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PR Firm Celebrates Apprenticeship Success

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Apprenticeship

A leading Staffordshire PR and Digital Marketing firm is celebrating the success of its latest recruit on her completion of a level 4 apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships play a vital role in new careers, helping young students to identify their strengths, build self-confidence and improve life skills.

Our latest recruit, Jordan, is now assisting with client accounts, writing and distributing press releases and social media, working in graphic design and liaising with the media.

Whilst supporting the experienced team of six, Jordan studied a Level 4 Diploma in Public Relations set by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and is now taking on new challenges in her chosen career.

Read about her story here.

The Juice – The Importance of Creativity in PR

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CreativityThe purpose of creative thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective. Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an instructed process such as brainstorming and lateral thinking.

There are two main reasons why creativity is important in achieving business success; firstly problem solving and making decisions are seen as key functions. As much as 50-60% of time in business and in life is spent in problem solving; the better we become at thinking up creative ways to solve the inevitable and unavoidable problems of daily life and work and making effective decisions, the most successful we will be. Secondly, all of us want to make more money, we want to be successful and enjoy a great status, this could mean gaining new qualifications.

The biggest marketing trends you need to look out for in 2017

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2017Happy New Year! Wow, what a year 2016 was, we are definitely looking forward to what 2017 may bring. All social media platforms are improving, our clientele is expanding and we are gaining a huge insight into the biggest marketing trends of 2017.

The 10 trends you need to look out for:

Cognitive insights helping to predict digital behaviour

Content marketing conversion

GPS-based search engine optimisation (SEO)

Balancing marketing automation and authenticity

Increased emphasis on mobile marketing

Native marketing on social media platforms

Balancing mobile and desktop web design

The rise of customer service bots

News media outlets vs fake news

Using data security as a marketing tool

Have you seen the new LinkedIn updates?

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linkedinLinkedIn has now made it simpler to search and interact with new connections, draft and schedule posts and navigate the site with new icons. It is starting to look more like the mobile app and we are loving it!

It is now easier to explore the homepage; your profile will now look cleaner and clearly set out.

There is a difference in the content sharing section, where you now have the option to share an article, photo or update. Or you can just simply create an article, which used to be the publishing of a long-form post.

The biggest change is the way you search, the new user interface doesn’t have the advanced options anymore so you can’t filter by name, title or location. But you can now search by the level of connections, locations, companies, industries, profile language and schools. Most of the free search options are no longer available but with the premium options ‘Sales Solutions’ Sales Navigator’ allows saved and advanced searches, and tagging.

Notifications now have their own section in the new user interface, which makes it much easier to view interactions and respond to connections. You can view work anniversaries, people in your network who have published an article or who have been mentioned in the news.

As a lot has changed over the years of social media, more people have been using mobile apps. But as more companies are joining the platform LinkedIn has seen an advantage and wants their users to have experience both the mobile app and the desktop browser.

To follow us on LinkedIn, please click here.

Sharing Team Success for 2016

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sharing-team-success-for-2016From your Changeworks team Sue, Claire, Jordan, Sarah-Jayne, Rory and Martine.

As the year comes to an end we would like to thank the clients and strategic partners we have worked with in 2016. Changeworks has had a very successful year and is looking forward to what 2017 may bring.

We are more than just a PR and marketing company. We get our clients noticed across a wide range of channels, including video, social media and the printed press.

The many highlights of the last 12 months for us have included the introduction of a number of clients to Instagram, the recruitment of two new team members and exam success. We’ve also welcomed a number of new clients, but for a full round up of the year please continue to read our 2016 success story.

How to Deal with Criticism in a Positive Way

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CriticismAn insight from our apprentice Jordan – Not everyone likes to be criticised. At some point in your life you will receive comments you won’t like, perhaps in a professional way or in your personal life. Sometimes it will be difficult to accept but you can use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Dealing with criticism in a positive way requires good self-esteem and assertiveness skills.

“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by
criticism.”
Norman Vincent Peale

What You Should And Shouldn’t Do On Social Media

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Social What you should and shouldn’t do on social media. 

Every marketing agency in the country advises their clients that they must have a digital presence. It is essential, companies are told, to have your name appearing regularly on the main social media platforms, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
The vast majority of times, agencies will take over the function of posting items on these platforms and the client may or may not be involved. However, the target audience, the client’s customers and prospects, assume they are reading the words of the company, not a junior social media executive at an agency.

Click here to read the blog post

Make the Most of Your Apprenticeship

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Make the Most of Your Apprenticeship

An insight from our apprentice Jordan – make the most of your apprenticeship.

It has almost been a year since our apprentice joined Changeworks Communications, so it is only right she shares her thoughts that will help others get the most out of their new career journey.

Whether you’re applying for an apprenticeship or just about to start on your career path, you need to know how to make the experience better for you. Over the last 12 months she has found the following tips really useful. Click here to read her top tips.

Kicking off your career with an apprenticeship is a great way to get a head
start in the field you want to work in. Apprenticeships enable you to start working and earn a decent wage while you learn key skills and gain the qualification that future employers want.

We have received an exceptional award!

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exceptional awardWe have received an exceptional award!

We have recently been audited by the PRCA where we were assessed on the entire business, processes and systems in areas such as client satisfaction, business planning and development, new business and people management.

For a number of years we have been an associate of the Public Relations Consultations Agency (PRCA) and have now passed the Communications Management Standard (CMS) to become a full accredited member.

Clients of accredited agencies can be confident they’ll receive a professional service delivered by a team that is committed to excellence.

Click here to read the full press release. exceptional award

Popular Culture Inspires PR Professionals

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apprentice pr

Popular culture inspires many PR professionals – Nearly every top celebrity employs PR tactics. This may not always help when their bad behaviour generates the wrong publicity, but may actually take advantage of public attention to further their careers.

Watching TV, listening to music and actually meeting celebrities, has given our apprentice Jordan an insight into what these individuals can teach her about Public Relations.

There are many ways popular culture inspires PR professionals; the way some celebrities live have helped Jordan with the way she works and how to observe the world of PR.

Click here to read the blog post 

Trade Shows Have a Big Impact on Your Career

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trade showsOur apprentice Jordan recently a trade show event.

Working in PR isn’t just about writing press releases, posting on social media or talking to the media.

This September our PR apprentice was given the opportunity to fully understand the industry our clients work in.

Jordan recently took part in IMHX – the UK’s essential intralogistics event. This September over 20,000 supply chain professionals gathered at IMHX. They evaluated cutting edge technologies, explored the latest industry solutions and discussed how to increase efficiencies within supply chain operations.

She has given us an insight into what trade shows have taught her and how it has an impact on her career. Click here to read the full blog post.

What The Great British Bake Off Has Taught Us About PR

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Wednesday nights sure have become more exciting with the Great British Bake Off returning to our screens. The ‘Bake Off’ showcases groups of extremely talented men and women who dedicate hours of their time to push themselves to be the ultimate star; watching the show has inspired us and we have definitely learnt a few lessons from watching the show.

The past few weeks sure have been chaotic with the show moving to Channel 4 and Mary Berry leaving, she has definitely been a delight to watch over the years.

The BAFTA award-winning programme has struck many similarities between baking and the world of PR.

Please click here to find out the lessons we were taught from the show.

Stafford PR Firm Celebrates Apprentice Success

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Jordan 1A young apprentice at a leading Staffordshire PR and digital marketing agency is celebrating after completing her coursework in record time.

Whilst lending her support to the experienced team at Changeworks Communications, 19-year-old Jordan Dalziel has been studying a level 4 Diploma in Public Relations. Just half way through her 15 month apprenticeship she has completed all her assignments set by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

Jordan said: “I’m extremely happy to have completed all 20 of my assignments six months early; with hard work and determination I really am succeeding!

“I have learnt new skills and thoroughly enjoyed every piece of work. Changeworks is a great place to work as they’ve given me the chance to broaden my knowledge and work with a range of different clients.”

Click here to read the press release. 

Why Blogging is Important

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Blogging is one of the greatest tools for learning how to become a better writer, connect with like-minded people, showcase your skills and build your brand. Whether you’re a beginner blogger or you’ve been doing it for years, we are sure you are still looking for advice to improve.

Blogging has developed a lot since its first appearance in the late 1990s. It was initially used as a unique platform to share thoughts, opinions and experiences and today it is still growing into a platform used by millions – especially businesses.

Blogging isn’t just an individual hobby; it has become a very practical utensil for businesses of today.

To find out more about the importance of blogging and how it can help your business – click here.

Local PR Firm Comes to the Rescue of a Yoga School

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SYC_Contractrelease_0002_edit_LRA Yoga Centre in Birmingham, which provides a wide range of weekly yoga classes in Staffordshire and the West Midlands area, is being saved from closure by a major contribution from us.

Due to lack of funds, the Satyananda Yoga Centre has been limited in the way it has promoted itself online and we have stepped in to fund the stage 1 development of a new website and provide PR and marketing support.

The school provides great support for people in Staffordshire and the West Midlands; we simply couldn’t see it close.

As a business we believe in supporting the local community, so we will be conducting this work free of charge and making a donation to fund the website.

Please click to find out more on the rescue of the local yoga school.

Congratulations Jordan!

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Jordan 1Jordan Dalziel: “I am now half way through my apprenticeship and I am delighted to announce that I have completed my coursework six months early!

“With hard work and determination, you really can succeed. I never thought I would love a career so much, but PR has truly been the making of me.
From the beginning of 2016 to now, I have learnt new skills and thoroughly enjoyed every piece of work completed.”

The work consisted of:

Understanding Public Relations / The use of the written word / The Creative Process to Generate Ideas / Understanding the Media Landscape / Planning, delivering and evaluating PR campaigns / Pitching to the Media / Researching and Analysing Data / Plan and Organising Meetings / Blog Production Skills / Search Engine Optimisation / Brand Strategies / The use of Social Media within a Business

An insight from out apprentice Jordan, What Zombie’s Have Taught Me About PR

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IMG_2858

An insight from out apprentice Jordan – If I had a pound for every time I watched ‘Shaun of the Dead’ I would certainly be a millionaire! I’ll always remember the famous film quotes – “You’ve got red on you” or “There’s a girl in the garden.” Great quotes come from fantastic scripts and in PR the most successful messages are carried by the most memorable words.

Not only is the Simon Pegg film one of my favourites, from the catchy phrases and the thrilling drama; it’s actually about the lessons that zombies have taught me about PR. It also brings to mind the other important messages that Public Relations have.

Click here to read more. 

Be Happy Even If Things Aren’t Perfect Now – Apprentice Blog

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“Being happy doesn’t always mean that everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfection” – Unknown.

My life doesn’t always look the way I want it to. I could spend days writing a blog post that no one will be interested in when I could be surfing the internet to find out what others want to discover – when I write for others this gives me happiness that I am fulfilling other people’s needs.

Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is” – Mandy Hale.

The way we feel about ourselves and how much we can open up to new people and experiences, how often we choose to smile because it feels good – none of these could depend on real life situations. Click here to read the full blog post.

“90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by how your brain processes the world. If we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success we can change the way we affect reality.”

An Insight from our Apprentice Jordan

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Our apprentice Jordan Dalziel has given us an insight on how you can work your way up the career ladder with a small company.

When applying for a new job, do you ever take into consideration the size of the business? It’s always important to do your research when looking into a new career. Investigate the company you are applying for and the way they work. When I was applying for an apprenticeship I wanted to start off in a small organisation.

From my own personal experience, below are my reasons why you should start your PR career in a smaller company.

At Changeworks we work as part of a team, you learn on the go and communicate constantly. It may not sound easy, but it is definitely rewarding, especially with a qualification at the end of it.

Read here blog here 

Disney is going all out with new Emoji’s

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disneyemojiDisney has always upped their game when it comes to marketing, but their latest digital marketing effort is definitely growing their brand. The company has release hundred of emoji’s featuring the fascinating Disney and Pixar characters.

We love what they are doing though! Instead of just handing them over, they want their audience to work for them. If people want to receive the new characters, they need to download and play a game called ‘Disney Emoji Blitz’ (a bit like Candy Crush)  to earn different symbols for their keyboard.

Disney has provided more than 400 emoji’s, so users are more than likely to spend a lot of time on the game.

They have announced that some of the new character emoji’s will include Micky Mouse, Ariel and Simba.

‘Absolutely Fabulous’ lessons learnt in the world of PR

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Absolutley fabulousAfter 20 years the British comedy ‘ Absolutely Fabulous ’ has come back to our screens. For those unfamiliar with the sitcom, Edina ‘Eddy’ Monsoon (Jenifer Saunders) and Patsy ‘Pats’ Stone (Joanna Lumley) are two best friends immersed in the world of celebrities, fashion and PR events. They take on a whirl wind journey of mischief landing themselves into amusing situations.

The series features Eddy, a heavy drinking, drug-abusing PR agent who spends her time chasing peculiar fads in a desperate attempts to stay young and trendy. She is joined in her ‘career’ by magazine editor Pats, her lifelong friend, whose drug abuse, alcohol consumption far eclipse Edina’s comparatively mild self-destructive behaviour.

If you are in PR or hire PR professionals and have never watched the BBC comedy then you sure are missing out! With the help of a few people with genuine PR skills, they somehow find success from each adventure they embark on. Read our apprentice blog here.

Kicking off Your Career with an Apprenticeship

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Kicking off your career with an apprenticeship is a great way to get a head start in the field you want to work in. Apprenticeships enable you to start working and earn a decent wage while you learn key skills and gain the qualification that future employers want.

Why be an apprentice in the PR and marketing industry? You really can be the best. When you start an apprenticeship, you will learn to do the work you love and have the chance to gain a qualification that will take you further into your career – everyone wants to hire the best! Jobs that start with an apprenticeship are highly skilled, and they are high in demand. After all, not everyone can do one of these jobs! It takes specialised training, which you will gain through your apprenticeship.

Our apprentice, Jordan Dalziel is off on a training course today with the PRCA. She will gain a wider insight into the world of PR.

Read more about apprenticeships here.

2015 is a Myth

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Social media stats2015 feels like a long time ago now, especially with the growth of social media. We have seen an increase in visuals, the growth of Snapchat, and Twitter changing from favourites to likes. There are now 2 billion active social media users worldwide, which is growing by 25% each year. You want to get geared up and be ready for the rise in 2017. Start planning for the rest of the year and you will be more focused in the new year.

Create a social media calender – Get ready to be organised by planning early. Start scheduling in special events of draft the posts ready for your campaign. At Changeworks we love using CoSchedule and Sprout Social.

Invest in new platforms – With the development of Snapchat, you should definitely try it. It’s not a platform to boost sales as such, but for the younger audience you could definitely grow more of a following. Posting pictures and videos of the office environment and events you are attending give your audiece an insight into the back end of the business.

Use visual aids – Social media is primarily visual; take the time to create infographics, picture graphics and video to increase engagement with your audience.

Is Snapchat the new Twitter?

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In September 2011, Snapchat was the new mobile messaging platform used to share photos, video, text and drawings. It has become hugely popular in a very short space of time, especially with young people. Back in 206, Twitter was the biggest social media platform; with its quick 140-character limit enabling fast-track access to a wide variety of information.

10 years on, things have become a lot more visual.

Snapchat beams micro-snippets of video from friends and admired celebrities just at 1 click on a button. These snapshots provide us with a real insight into the life of others; when it comes to marketing it is a powerful tool, allowing brands to reach a mass audience on a wider level.

Snapchat gives brands the opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with consumers.

Twitter’s timeline has pretty much stayed the same, but its slow decline may be an indication that its modern audience prefers to gain information in a new way. Snapchat has taken over Twitter in daily usage, soaring ahead with 150 million people each day snapping their lives.

Name change of the PRCA revealed

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 The PRCA – known in full as the Public Relations Consultants Association, was formed in 1969. The organisation launched a campaign at the end of May on changing the name. Yesterday it announced that two most popular options were the ‘Public Relations and Communications Association’ and the ‘Professional Communicators’ Association’.

Other suggestions to the name change included: ‘Communications Collective UK’, UK Communications Association’, PR etc UK’, ‘Public Relations Professionals Association’, Professional Reputations and Communication Association’ and ‘Reputation Management and Communications Association’.

Happy Social Media Day 2016

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Social Media Day was launched by the popular website Mashable back in 2010, and often sees fans of the site going to real life meetups.

Social media seems to be everywhere these days. Though the days of social media pioneer Myspace are now long gone, we’re constantly hearing about trending topics on Twitter, laughing at social media fails and many people are obsessive about keeping up with their Facebook news feed. Even if Facebook and Twitter aren’t for you, there’s still blogging, Vine, Snapchat and even LinkedIn, among many others. Even businesses have recognised the value of social media for connecting with customers and selling their product, as well as quickly updating users about problems affecting their service.

Click here to read more 

Get to know your audience

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Your audience is everything to your business. These are the people you are trying to communicate with, help solve problems for and educate.

Many managing directors fail to train their customer service representatives properly. The best customer service employees need to work to get to know their audience in a way that goes deeper than simple facts and figures.

Train your team – Sales training is important, but you must also teach the skills of customer service. Listen to what your clients want and determine how you will apply your messages and marketing strategies to them. Make sure your team is aware of your customers and how to interact with them through various channels.

Contact your customers – This process should begin with approaching your current customers. Calling them and asking them how they’re doing is key to build your reputation.

Engage via social media – It is important to know who your target audience is, most of your customers are available via social media channels and this is the place to communicate with them.

No more mistakes with inspiration

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No more mistakes with inspiration! Our apprentice Jordan Dalziel has written a new blog, and we are loving it!

Creating content always relies on inspiration, whether you are a blogger, writer or entrepreneur. Sometimes the ideas flow but at other times sitting down to write isn’t easy. Sometimes it helps to read what others are saying online and in the newspaper and act on what they are writing – it isn’t copying – at other time times you have to look deep within.

Finding inspiration is all about finding the balance. For the past few months I have been writing to help other apprentices and PR professionals, where I have been comparing my blogs to the success of others. I often find myself thinking, “Why can’t I write like them?” or “What are they doing that makes them so successful?”

Click here to read the full blog 

How To Repurpose Your Existing Content

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Creating meaningful and relevant content – wherever it may be used – is valuable for any business wanting to succeed. Incorporating repurposed content into your overall strategy is often overlooked, but a valuable approach in the business world.

“More than half of B2B marketers are concerned with finding better ways to repurpose content, while simultaneously reporting lack of time to create content as a top concern” – Content Marketing Institute.

Your strongest pieces of content could come from blog posts, press releases or e-newsletters; these can continue to have an impact in terms of results from your audience. As for existing content that may not have generated much reaction, audience expectations could improve if the content was published in other ways or at different times.

View the full blog post here 

High-street Retailer BHS Failure

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The high-street retailer BHS entered administration at the end of April 2016, putting 11,000 jobs at risk – this is seen as the biggest bust since Woolworths collapsed in 2008. This story provides a good example of the ‘half-life’ of the biggest business news stories. Having sold BHS for £1 to Dominic Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions group in March 2015, Sir Philip Green, rejects responsibility for the company’s failure. The story provides a good example of the ‘half-life’ of the biggest business news stories. While most businesses punch into public consciousness for only a short period, usually no more than a week or two, stories that dominate the business pages are invariably critical and tend to follow a similar pattern. Click here to read the full story

PR Will Help Your Business Grow

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11529077 - public relations word on puzzle in man hands

Does your business need to grow? Do you worry about the behaviours among your most important audiences because those behaviours are crucial to achieving your organisations objectives?

We learned long ago that people act on their own perceptions of the facts, leading to predictable behaviours about which something can be done. We create, change and reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-action, the very people whose behaviours affect your organisation.

PR is one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing your new business. Implementing PR enables you to establish your brand identity in a practical way.

Click here to read the blog 

 

We love infographics as a marketing tool

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Visual ContentWe love infographics as a marketing tool. They convey a huge amount of information in a compact form. It is one of the easiest ways to highlight a chosen topic without losing the reader to text fatigue.

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so it makes sense that infographics are more effective than text along.

We enjoy using infographics as a marketing tool, we enjoy reading them even more. There is no shortage of visually impressive, information-packed infographics.

It’s Never Too Late To Experience Something New

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Henry-HeimlichHere at Changeworks Communications we were delighted to see a small news item relating to a major event in the life of an extremely influential person who has literally changed – and even saved – over 100,000 lives.

Dr Henry Heimlich (yes, the man who invented the Heimlich manoeuvre in 1974) is 96 years old and living in a care home in America. The other day he spotted that a fellow resident of the home was choking on a burger. Without hesitation, Dr Heimlich put his arms around the 87-year-old woman and squeezed her abdomen three times. Happily, the tried and trusted technique worked and the offending piece of meat was no longer stuck in the woman’s throat. Crisis over.

Read the blog here 

Is the economy expanding or approaching a recession in the PR World?

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expanding-worldWhether the economy is expanding or approaching a recession, a company’s PR budget is often the first to take the hit. Some management teams consider PR to be unnecessary. However, more and more businesses understand that investing in PR is a wise way to continuously accentuate the positive.

A PR guru once suggested that public relations is a lot like fishing: One can arrive at the water early on a beautiful clear day with the right bait and still not get any bites. But that attitude is no longer valid in our 24-hour news culture. A proactive PR strategy will root out inventive ways to get your company in the news and keep it there, whether that means yoking your story to trends and current events, positioning your CEO and executive leadership as expert spokespersons or using holidays and seasonal occasions as news pegs.

PR traditionally receives a bad reputation. Displeased companies might complain about shelling out high fees and seeing few results. And, as in many businesses, there are sharks in these waters. However, instead of a disreputable dark art, PR has become an integral part of any winning media-age business strategy.

At Changeworks we implement clear, bold and transparent PR strategy, so you can enjoy the thrill of seeing your company in print and on the air.

We strive to win hearts.

How Changeworks can enhance your communication

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36906602_lWe can enhance your communication by engaging and exciting your audiences through:

  • Print – use language that is purposefully rich in all of the senses.  Capture and hold the audience’s attention by using language that taps into visual, auditory and feeling representational systems.
  • Press releases – use html so that editors can read your sensory rich language in their web browser and then you can link to other integrated channels to help bring the story to life for them.  We use podcasts and video casts as well as photography in tandem with the written word.  This ensures that all thinking systems are engaged and the editors love it because they can bring the story to life in their own thinking system.
  • Internal communications – the use of web 2.0 tools and social media is fantastic to engage all senses.  The feeling based thinking styles love to interact and click and collaborate – blogs, networking sites, twitter based short messaging services, video and podcasting channels are fantastic tools, and very cost effective.  Get your people to engage with them directly and you have a powerful collaboration platform that brings everyone along with it.
  • Telling stories – this is something that we love to use because it engages the auditory (sharing and passing on stories), the visual (good stories paint pictures in people’s minds), and the feeling mind (metaphor and emotion are interlinked – stories engage the heart as well as the mind).  Build storytelling into your communication and you cannot fail to engage.

Is a degree necessary for Public Relations?

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13039078_lOver the weekend I was browsing through discussions on my Twitter profile and came across the hot topics of University degrees. When I left college, I had the choice whether I wanted to go to Uni, get an apprenticeship or just get a job.

I was asked by a peer ‘Don’t you need a degree to work in PR?’ This got me interested in the debate between those who feel it is best to jump into the trenches and work your way up and those who advise you to take an academic route at University.  I learnt that many people don’t have a degree to be successful in PR. Yes, the truth is that you may need a degree in public relations in order to get a better paid job at the start. Yes, with a degree you can enter a role at a slightly higher level. But, will you have the industry experience? A former University student also needs the client experience and understand how the working world works, so they really need to take some unpaid work experience. Click here to read more.

New Client Services Executive

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SJA Midlands based strategic public relations and content marketing agency has appointed a new PR Client Services Executive.

In her new role at Changeworks Communications, Sarah-Jayne Carter will help drive new business opportunities for the agency.

As an experienced administrator in the sales area she has previously worked on the road selling new telemetry devices and Internal Sales.

Sarah-Jayne said: “I am really looking forward to starting my new journey here at Changeworks, I am used to working for larger businesses so I can’t wait to get stuck into the more personal feel of working for a growing company.

Read more about Sarah-Jayne’s new appointment here 

Successful communication

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37304385_lSuccessful communication by definition is where information is taken in and understood by the recipient. So in order to get your message across in a way that is readily understood, it is useful to have an understanding of thinking patterns.

The connections that a person makes when they receive information, and the way they represent ideas, memories and information is unique to each individual.  It is important to remember this in our communication.  We take in information through all our senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell and this is represented in our minds as a combination of sensory systems.  These thinking patterns are how we ‘code’ our experiences.

The three predominant thinking patterns are:

Visual – these people think in pictures. They represent ideas and information as mental images.

Auditory – these people think in sounds.  They hear sounds, voices or noises.

Feelings – these people represent thoughts and ideas as feelings, either internal emotions or the thought of touch.

We generally have a preference for some systems over others, both in the way we think and in the way we communicate.  In order to engage all of the thinking systems of our diverse audiences, to become powerful communicators we need to use tools that engage all of the senses. This not only ensures that your message gets heard loud and clear but your audience will be keen to hear more from you.

Engaging with Instagram

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instaWe are now engaging via Instagram!

Visual content is becoming more popular on social media and it is also becoming increasingly important for us to create and leverage. We are now on Instagram so we can start to communicate more visually with our audience.

Instagram increases engagement – Depending on the quality of the post, branded updates on Twitter and Facebook are sometimes overlooked by the user. Having an active Instagram account with useful and interesting content can earn crazy levels of engagement with the audience.

With content being more popular for generating engagement, one of the key benefits is that we can build trust.

The great thing about Instagram is that it is free advertising. We can showcase who we are, our services, blogs and releases. It gives us the chance to show what we offer.

Developing B2B PR potential to Influence and Change

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821133_lThe field of internal communication is a rich one to write about because of its potential to influence and change. But that’s not to detract from the vitally important job of communicating to external stakeholders. Effective B2B public relations requires thought, planning and imagination.

Research shows that journalists turn first to the internet for all things press and media for their clients. After all most media types are going to be gen X-rs or gen Y-rs. They are online, wired, actively seek technological interaction and are becoming seamlessly connected through technology.

Clients are often not doing enough to meet the communication needs of the press and media. They think that a list of latest press releases posted on their customer facing site is enough. But they are missing a trick, or twenty, and not getting a fair share of voice.

We recently conducted some informal research with journalists, specifically in the B2B sector (though the same will apply to B2C) and they pleaded with us to have more press resources online.

This is part of our vision to take B2B PR into the 21st century and to continue to drive value for clients. Find out more about our services here

The PRCA is Seeking to Change its Name

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prca-logoThe PRCA is seeking the views of its members and non-members into changing the name, which it has held since 1969.

The PRCA is no longer limited to ‘consultants’, but has members across the entire breadth of the PR industry. As the dividing lines between practice have blurred over the years, many within the industry no longer term themselves as offering pure PR.

The PRCA emphasises that the board is open minded about changing the name and it is open to the widest possible range of industry respondents. It is possible that having weighed the balance of responses, there won’t be a change – the decision will lie with industry.

Should they change their name? If so what would you change it to?

The consultation closes at 5pm on 17 June. The results will be presented to the PRCA PR Council on 22 June and published the next day. The PRCA said it intended to announce its decision on 28 July, following a board meeting.

The Apprenticeship Levy

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Benefits of hiring (1)We take apprenticeships very seriously at Changeworks. It gives them the chance to prosper their career and strive to the top. This week we have truly researched this. The way the Government funds apprenticeships is changing. Some employees will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training.

The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3m each year, to make an investment. New guidance provides information on how the levy will work, when it is introduced on the 6th April 2017. It will also explain the principles that fund and the levy will operate on.

In June 2016, there will be information about provisional funding brands, which will set maximum amount of funding available for each apprenticeship.

The Importance Of Goal Setting

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This isn’t going to be the first time when someone has talked about the importance of goals and it definitely won’t be the last.

Putting the clichés aside, understanding the relevance of goal setting is essential to accomplishing great things in the PR world.

Having a goal written down with a set date for completion gives you something to plan and work for. A written goal is an external representation of your inner desires; it is a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish.

There are common patterns when it comes to working towards goals: you can set your mind to something, you get enthusiastic and work like mad and then the motivation kicks in. Setting goals that you can focus on helps you connect better with yourself; it gives you the motivation and energy you need to work through periods where your focus inevitably starts to wane. Goals also help you to believe in yourself and fuel your ambitions; they give you the inspiration necessary to aim for things that you never thought were possible. Are you someone that wants to achieve something that many dream about, but never actually reach?

Prioritising and developing the ability to say ‘no’ in the PR World

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IMG_0041One of the toughest challenges in the PR world is prioritising and developing the ability to say ‘no’. When the crunch comes, and for the sake of our own sanity we have to think long and hard about what it is that we really need to be spending time on.

Consider who you are, your sense of identity. Am I a professional communicator or a stress management practitioner? We are firm believers in the route to success. Discover your deep values and stay connected to them.

How to begin a productive day

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IMG_0236How to begin a productive day‘ is the latest blog post from our apprentice Jordan Dalziel.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you check your mobile or tablet, worry about yesterday’s problems or find yourself moaning about all you have to do? If so, then you are waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

The first thing you do and the thoughts you allow yourself to have can set the tone for the rest of the day – it is important to be mindful in your first waking moments. Read through the top tips to lift your mood, boost your energy and start the day on the right foot.

Why Creativity is an essential for your career path

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cartoon creativityJordan Dalziel: It is a weird thing, expressing your creativity. As a professional, we often dream of the days where we are freely creative. Do you miss playing on parks, doodling the hours away and making up stories to your family. Public Relations is just one career that allows people to use their creative talents to help other businesses in different industries. However, a creative passion can be put to good use in many other careers. Sometimes, I feel like this creative calling I have always had has strongly influenced my life, I have just had to channel my creativity in a more practical way.
I went into PR because I am a creative person. It is one of the most practical career paths for someone who wants to use their imagination to make a difference in the world. I have gained the skills that have transformed me into a strong and independent profession.

Is Facebook Helping Your Media Coverage?

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fbnewsfeedMedia coverage is important for businesses, especially in the Public Relations sector. Instant articles are slowly shifting how organisations get coverage. Facebook is redefining the way social media users experience articles, and sooner or later it will be the only news format on Facebook. If you aren’t on the bandwagon yet, why not consider how Facebook benefits your media organisation?

Traditional news outlets are afraid that Facebook will change their business models and distribution. Many see it as giving content out to someone else and effectively outsourcing the user experience.
The reality is that it isn’t all that scary. Facebook’s targeting capability is far superior to that of any media organisation.
Do you need help with your Facebook page? Give us a call on 01785 247588

Metaphors to live by

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13181528_lUsing metaphors in communication, whether this be face to face or broadcast, is a powerful way to ensure rapid and effective delivery of your messages.  It is rather like navigating a journey in a ship using the latest radar and satellite navigation and high horsepower engines compared to setting sail in an old schooner.

Metaphor is essentially where one thing is expressed in terms of another, whereby this bringing together throws new light on the character of what is being described. Metaphor implies comparison. Rather like the comparison that I have just used in the previous paragraph.

The meaning of the story or metaphor is often not in the specific events that make up its content but rather in the underlying patterns or principles it conveys.  Thus the content of metaphors are frequently symbolic rather than literal.  Because of this stories and storytelling is often a more effective tool for stimulating and supporting change.

Telling a story through metaphor is a way of distracting the conscious mind whilst activating the unconscious mind to search for meaning, relationships, patterns, similarities (with self and ongoing experiences) and resources.  Therefore communicating with metaphor is an excellent way of offering new concepts, ideas and behaviours, freeing hidden resources and facilitating change.

PR Industry All At Sea Over Boaty McBoatface

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boaty mcboatface2The most successful PR industry campaign of recent times or an embarrassing misfire that’s left scientists with egg on their ‘boatraces’? That’s the question that many in PR circles are debating following the decision to name a research vessel after the UK’s best known naturalist rather than Boaty McBoatface – the suggestion in a popular public vote.

The campaign surrounding the naming of Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council’s new ship generated headlines around the world but the decision to abandon the popular choice was guaranteed to create something of a backlash. For PR professionals the campaign offers a fascinating topic of debate and more than a few lessons, especially when you ask the public to determine the future name of a £200 million pound ship!

The New Additions to Twitter, or not?

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twitter 1Twitter is reportedly excluding URLs and images from its 140 character limit, making it easier for users to post longer.

Posting an image or URL, even when Twitter shortens the link, it takes up to 23 characters.

Observers have said the tweak is minor, but also indicative of how the internet has evolved from a primarily text.

  • There is more to the internet than words
  • Twitter is making tactical changes
  • This means greater flexibility for marketers