If you have a good rummage at the news you will unearth an interesting debate in which it is claimed rubbers should be banned from schools.
Yes the humble eraser is in line for the axe according to some who even claim that it is an ‘instrument of the devil,’ because it creates a ‘culture of shame’ about error.
The first reaction to this is to laugh it off as yet another academic spat and one which has achieved its purpose of making some headlines. But at second glance there just may be something in this.
We all make errors. Every day of our lives we make the wrong call whether it is forgetting something, carrying out an action that is wrong or simply coming across something we don’t understand and fail by having a go.
For those who use technology either for fun or in their work lives then there is an almost daily battle to remember those quick keys, get to grips with the latest software or just try something new and use good old fashioned trial and error to work it out.
For many businesses that is where they are as they stand on the verge of a marketing strategy that will take them into new and uncharted areas.
The mystery of social media and engaging digitally coupled with a disbelief that they could be making headlines for all the right reasons means there is fear of the new.
Perhaps the safety of the metaphorical eraser is something we should all shun and instead we should look for that new challenge.
Marketing, just like the trials of everyday life, can sometimes ask the difficult questions but when the right answers are found they can provide the ultimate fulfillment.
For full details of the services offered by SpitfirePR email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people have a view on crisis management and there are many terms for the dark art but once a full-blown crisis has hit it’s probably more apt to describe it as damage limitation.
Consider the point at which the good name of your business has been handed over to a PR professional to steer you out of the mess, you are now in the hands of an expert at dealing with such matters and the initiative is lost.
The way to look at this is through the old phrase ‘prevention is better than cure.’
This is because unless the PR advice you have been given has been dire, it is up to the business in question to make sure that such a situation should not arise.
Take the story of Thomas Cook. Every day now they seem to make poor decision after poor decision following an incident that took place almost 10 years ago.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the story, Thomas Cook have left themselves open with a failure to fully apologise and then the revelation that they had been handed £1.5m in compensation in 2010. The decision to hand it over to UNICEF only now looks crass and smacks of last minute thinking.
What a business must do at a time like this is to stay calm, not make any assumptions about the situation and play through all scenarios and all outcomes of any actions.
At the moment every decision made by Thomas Cook looks likely to land them in even more hot water, no wonder the hashtag #ThomasCookBoycott has developed, and it could so easily be avoided.
For further information about crisis management contact Darren Isted at SpitfirePR on 07539782979 or email email@example.com
There isn’t a secret recipe to finding a good marketing campaign. Very often it may be the result of a flash of inspiration or long hours of hard work before a brilliant idea emerges.
I’m not sure which course was followed by I heart Hitchin Bag (to be found on Twitter on @HitchinBag) but I have to salute this brilliant idea.
Born out of the need of Wilshere-Dacre Junior Academy to raise funds to repair a clock tower, the campaign which has been a hit on social media and has already hit the local press has centred on the production of an I heart Hitchin Bag which is seen and sold at many outlets and places around the town.
Of course the hashtag #IloveHitchinBag has been used extensively and has even promoted a contest where bag users are encouraged to post or tweet photos of their bags as far afield as they can. So far they have been involved with social media conversations from a number of events including @cleanuphitchin and @WalsworthFest and with a town as sociable as Hitchin there will clearly be more to come.
So for PTA members scratching their heads for a fundraiser and a profile raiser for their school, think past the usual raffle and you may get a very pleasant surprise.
Looking for a social media or PR solution? Contact Darren Isted at SpitfirePR on 07539 782979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can ask 10 experts what is the secret of good business and be sure that you will get at least 11 different and valid answers.
But while there are many parts that make up the whole of a complete business, it’s true to say that there is one thing that is an absolute must - and that is networking.
Whether we go to a formal networking group aimed at those who are trying to spread their area of influence, or even if it is informal and selling done among friends, much depends on our ability to make and maintain contacts.
In a previous blog I wrote how people buy from people. The truth of this is only reinforced when you can meet fellow business people and impress upon them the services that you offer and the need they have of your talents.
There are plenty of opportunities to network. Just today I accepted a kind invitation to pop along to BNI Blaze (Hitchin). The networking itself will of course be a very personal affair but the introduction was ironically made digitally following a #hertshour session.
This only serves to underline that networking can now be done in many ways and using many mediums. The only common denominator is that your skills and your personality must be able to shine through.
For help getting the right marketing message for your business email email@example.com or call 07539 782979.
Just what is it about buying and selling a used car that makes the heart sink?
When selling there are always suspicions about the motives of the buyer. Will they try to knock me down on price? Will they find faults I didn’t even know exist? Will they simply drive off in the car and steal it?
Of course when buying there are the same suspicions. There’s the fear that clearly the car is overpriced. What is wrong with it to want them to get shot of it? And of course do they even own what could turn out to be a cut and shut?
Imagine if that was the stomach churning reality every time someone bought your product or every time you went to make a purchase? Of course it isn’t and the reason why is because businesses market both their own products but also their own reputation to make sure that they can be trusted.
How do they do this? Well along with making sure that a product is fit for purpose, there’s the old adage that people buy from people.
With a well recognised, well marketed brand customers know exactly what they are getting and will go into any transaction confident that they are making a value for money purchase. Brand values can be underlined in a number of ways, perhaps the simplest and most current is the engagement that is offered by social media.
Using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram the personality of a business can really come across in a powerful way. Bonds of trust are already made before the customer makes a purchase and does so with confidence.
And even better than helping to make a purchase, social media comes into its own when it builds an army of satisfied ambassadors who are willing to promote your brand to a new generation of customers.
SpitfirePR maintains social media accounts for clients and also offers training sessions for businesses wanting to develop their own feeds.
To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Darren Isted on 07539 782979.
When I run training sessions for businesses new to social media I am often asked is there a word or phrase that sums up how we should approach these tools?
For those who are nervously about to open up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or one of the other platforms I always say that there is one reassuringly simple marketing message to remember.
When you are involved in property you are always told the phrase that pays is location, location, location.
Well it’s little different with social media marketing as here you just have to keep in mind target, target, target.
Social media is not random.You should target your message and make sure that you target your audience as well.
Of course an account can be chatty, conversational, informative and all of the above. But it must at all times be aimed at your target market with a message that is aimed at those who would be customers or ambassadors for your brand. This is where groups, hashtags, lists and all those other terrifying phrases will help to send a message direct to your customers in a way that no other medium can target at the moment.
One very popular brand of the moment told us that ‘life is random.’
While that may be arguable, it’s clear that social media marketing is anything but. Make life targeted and the benefits will become all too clear.
SpitfirePR hosts sessions for businesses and individuals on running social media accounts and campaigns.
For further information email email@example.com or call 07539782979.
It happened again this week and it drives me mad.
How many times have you discovered a restaurant and had such a great experience you wanted to tell all your friends.
The venue shall of course remain nameless but that’s exactly what happened to me and when I went to heap praise across social media could I find the place? Of course not.
At the end of the meal I thanked the owner for such a good time but he sheepishly acknowledged my point that there was no social media and put it down to ‘another thing I have to get round to.’
Make no mistake this place is doing good business and was ranked right at the top of Tripadvisor for its town. But although it is still in its first year, social media marketing is an effective way to drive even more business and the boss knows it.
I’ve still got the pictures of the delicious food on my phone. I hope I can share them soon with friends and followers alike when the accounts are set up..
For further information about the services of SpitfirePR email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07539 782979.
So there goes another General Election and what lessons have there been from the frantic battle that has played out in print, online and over the airwaves?
When it comes to marketing you can be sure that all the major parties (and ever increasingly the minor parties) have upped their game over the past few decades.
Kissing babies and wearing rosettes seemed to be the extent of the strategy in days gone by, now of course we have hashtags, youtube channels and an assortment of non politicians who are courted because their reach and followers make the marketing teams dribble.
Perhaps that’s because these are all defensive campaigns, politics might not be a popularity contest after all, just an attempt to be the least worst. It’s the football equivalent of parking the bus to get the right result. Forget about the aesthetics of the match and the quality of the message. Get in, get out and get the result you need.
When it comes to business think how lucrative a good marketing campaign can be if you actually have a positive message? If people actually care for your product in the first place and they are ambassadors for what you offer then with a sound marketing mix the options are limitless. Before long the public will be voting in their droves, voting with their feet to buy your product or service.
For further information about SpitfirePR email email@example.com or call 07539782979.
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