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Friday, 6 March 2015

Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links






I was interested in an article in the New Scientist about Google's plans to change the way they rank web pages.

Rather than clock the number and quality of inbound links, the idea is to assess the trustworthiness of a page. Sensibly they have not gone down the road of totting up the number of correct facts on the page (just imagine the fact-stuffing that would have gone on if they had gone down this route - shades of the now discredited keyword stuffing). Instead the bots will count the number of incorrect facts on a page to give it a knowledge score, which will be used as a measure of trustworthiness - or not as the case may be.

The data that will drive this is Google's Knowledge Vault which pulls information off the net. Quite how they verify such knowledge, I don't pretend to understand, but I can see people doing all sorts of strange things to underpin online "knowledge".

It will be an interesting journey for Google. I seem to remember Stephen Fry saying the QI elves reckon about 10% of all accepted knowledge is disproved every few years. Sadly a cursory search online has failed to jog my memory as to the precise number of years.

"The steady and inexorable transmogrification of the known universe to the naughty pile will heap a load of stress onto the poor bots that bravely soldier on through the ever-increasing online bumph that we content mongers peddle. I almost feel sorry for them."


Certainly it will be a seismic shift, yet again, for online businesses and all our rankings. But as an avid online searcher, every major change Google has made to date has, I believe, vastly improved the quality of results returned. I look forward to "Fact is King" replacing "Content" as my new mantra. As an inveterate collector of useless information, I can see a lifetime stretching ahead of ardent delving into an encyclopaedic treasure trove.

Bring on the age of the elves!






PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  



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Monday, 2 March 2015

Capitalising on hand gestures - literally!




This video discusses interesting new research at Leeds University showing that the pitch delivered with the best combo of words and gestures tends to win investment pitches.

Most people that know me know I'm very keen on helping businesses grow through PR and online marketing. After all, that's what I've chosen to do in my day job as founder of PHPR.

As the immediate past Edinburgh area governor for Toastmasters International, I also spend a considerable amount of my free time voluntarily helping people boost their presentation skills to boost their own, or their business' prospects.

That's why I found this FT Business School video irresistible as it covers how savvy business owners turn hand gestures into cash, quite literally.

If you need an inexpensive forum to practice your public speaking and gesturing skills, the not-for-profit Toastmasters Clubs will give you structured training projects plus speaking practice, evaluation and feedback. There's over 14,500 clubs in 126 countries and you can find the club nearest you at www.Toastmasters.org - scroll down for the club finder.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Seasons greetings and a prosperous New Year









PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Crisis? What Crisis? Crisis PR



I've noticed a lot of customer relationship problems being labelled "crisis" by digital experts.
Left unresolved, they undoubtedly have the potential to have a negative impact on the business. With good management, however, the business can often come out of such incidents with an enhanced reputation as a caring organisation, willing to listen and respond to customers, and to make changes based on their feedback.

But are they crises? 

The defining nature of a crisis is that it is unexpected, otherwise it is not a true crisis: just a management challenge.
Customer complaints are often fairly predictable if the basic processes involved in the marketing, sales, payment, supply and delivery plus aftercare pipelines are examined in detail.
As long as you have effective monitoring in place and act effectively and quickly, they become management issues.

Crisis PR

To be crisis resilient demands regular analysis and planning to create a heat-map of different levels of threats to help protect the business. Plus scenario practice sessions. That all sounds like big company stuff, but it doesn't have to be very complicated to make a difference. I know of not-for-profit organisations that have screeds of crisis planning material. And large companies that can crunch a likely scenario down into just a page or two of key issues and key messages. Which do you think would be more effective?

Why should you bother with crisis planning and practice? 

Crises don’t just happen to larger companies. For example, even a small cafe or food shop has the potential to kill vulnerable customers with food poisoning.
Or what if someone was badly injured or killed on your premises?
Making it up as you go along is not a great option in these circumstances, even for cool, calm, collected heads.
In these cases, the first priority is sympathy for the family and friends from your highest level.
But forward practice and preparation will help.

Be Prepared

You may not know the actual crisis coming down the line, but having good relevant background material and pictures to post, and help you answer enquiries, will help you retain your position as the main information source in your particular crisis.
You can also plan ahead to make sure that all the relevant people know at all times how to quickly cancel automated social media posts that are making your company look as if you are all oblivious to the problem. You can also plan how to quickly set up relevant dark tabs on social media.
For larger or higher profile organisations, having a dark site up your sleeve that can be quickly adapted to the particular crisis will help to avoid giving an uncaring "business as usual" impression. Know who authorises and effects that dark site deployment (and the back-up people if the key people are out of the office).
Plus how you are going to man the keyboard and phone 24/7 if need be to answer queries and issue updates? Who is authorised to speak? What instructions do you need to give to staff re social media and other communications channels? Do you have the right policies and guidelines in place? Sorting all that out during a crisis where seconds count is not an option.

Protecting Reputation

There's also a lot you can do on reputation management in advance. Joining the relevant trade or professional body (or other relevant qualifications provider), attaining the appropriate qualifications, maintaining any CPD requirements and going public on these activities shows you are staying up to date.
Obtaining relevant awards and kite-marks show that you are not just adopting industry standards: they show you are an externally endorsed outstanding example in your field. Awards and kitemarks demonstrate that you successfully seek out and adopt best practice to improve and certify working systems and practices. Making that activity known on your website and release boilerplate will help to defend the business reputation.
Of course an ill-judged remark on social media when handling a complaint will put a dent in the reputation, but it's also an opportunity to prove you do care, by getting on top of it.
And a crisis may seriously damage a business, but a reputable business with the kite-marks and awards will often get the benefit of the doubt - unless an independent investigation proves otherwise. But if best practice is encouraged and celebrated, that is less likely to happen, so awards and kite-marks are not just a self congratulation exercise. They are a useful reputation defence strategy.

No matter what you do, an actual crisis won't exactly match your practice scenarios.
In a true crisis a shedload of crisis experience will help, but in its absence, planning and preparing, plus good reputation management could well make the difference between saving a business - or not.



PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Wonder why clients do well with PHPR's B2B international PR?


























PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Are you setting up a Better B2B Business in 2015 today?

PHPR red in night jungle shot



The nights are getting longer, but there's no need to feel  in the dark about your publicity! Now's the time to begin to think about next year, before the party season starts, so you can get a head start on 2015.

For B2B businesses:

  • Maybe things you usually do aren't working any more? Are you as clear as you can be about what you do, or has the message got more complicated over time? Go back to basics and get your 7-word summary - including an emotional hook sorted out and work from there
  • What's your conversion rate of new business enquires vs actual conversion to sales? That statistic tells you whether you need to take action and provides a baseline to work from.
  • What's your referral rate like? Do you have a Referral Plan - that's often the fastest way to boost a business . We have over 100 referral tactics and most are do-able immediately and won't make you cringe. It's not all about content marketing and social media. People come first and the rest are just tools. But check out Dan Pink's TED talk about why money doesn't necessarily motivate (and can do the opposite) if you were thinking about paying referral fees... 
  • Is it time to look for new things that work - having conversations with existing clients is a great way to find out what they're using and resolve to meet clients on their chosen platforms, or events or.... 
  • No idea why you are beating your head against a brick wall with some potential clients when you have a great solution for them? Sign up for a free Future Sales Factory session to see how you are missing out on half of your true potential clients. It's an eye-opener, I promise and we are not affiliated or in any arrangement with them at all.
  • Ditch the "7 steps to a successful business" generic approach. Bottom line? There is no one-size fits all magic formula for business success. What works brilliantly for dyslexics (and dyslexics are often brilliant communicators) won't work for people who rely on their notes. And vice versa. Like most common sense, it seems obvious, but it's only by playing to your people's strengths that you will create sustainable and authentic content and publicity. Maybe you will find you need to plug some gaps, but that can often be done cost-effectively on an ad hoc basis. 
  • Not making the most of social media and other publicity channels because you have too little time? Take a half a day out to work with us on "doing more with less in 2015" session to get powerful content and authority behind your business to create a platform for success. Practical fusion of strategy and tactics tailored to personally suit your people. Including a 90 day publicity plan, with monthly follow-ups to hold you accountable.

If you want any help, call my PA on  0131 669 5190 to express interest in "A Better Business in 2015", starting with that call today. I'll get back to you to fix a date on either side of the festivities.

And whatever you get up to, have a brilliant 2015, starting from today!







PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The hidden factors that seriously boost your B2B PR and online content

Are you hiding your business personalities?


Most people now understand that Google means business when it says quality content is guiding search results. To be fair, they have always said content is king, but until relatively recently found that hard to enforce. Now they are enforcing quality, everyone has jumped on the content band-wagon.

Creating content such as blogs or video is a great way to raise your online B2B business profile to the point where potential customers find you in searches.

But one type of content creation in particular stands head and shoulders above the rest and that's video. It doesn't just help you be found: Forrester Research reckon one well-made video is worth 1.8m words of text online (that's the equivalent of all the words in the Bible & Shakespeare's complete works together, plus another 200,000 words!)

Can you imagine what 50 videos would do for your business...?

The best bit is: if you feature your key people in your videos, you also significantly increase the chances of getting well-disposed new business enquiries. 


Most people don't realise that videos show enough of your personality to enable a potential buyer to decide whether they can work with you or not. Since many B2B relationships are based on trust, that feeling that they can "do business with you" is very important. It's also important to avoid wasting time on the ones that won't gel with your people, and that decision is made for you by the video viewer.

By capturing speech, vocal intonations and accent, facial expressions, fleeting micro expressions, plus gestures and body language, video delivers enough information to accelerate the initial stages of building trust and pre-qualifying well disposed sales leads. Video does this in a way that other forms of communication just don't - bar face-to-face.

By unleashing all these hidden people assets, your business stand to benefit while most of the others hide behind corporate-speak, confining their personalities to static text and profile pictures. 


Just imagine how you can supercharge the reach of your business by posting videos online to make their impressions on people - and Google -  24/7/365.

And of course, any topic that is a good subject for a video can be re-worked for blogs and social media.

Contact us on 0131 669 5190  for help in setting up a video desk or corner to transform inspiration into helpful videos that send your experts out to work 24/7/365 to boost your business. We can help you with media coverage and social media too.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Monday, 5 May 2014

How video story-telling boosts accountancy practices




In evolutionary terms, TV and smartphones haven't been around very long. But story-telling, music and dancing have been around for millennia - so long -  that our brains are "hard-wired" by evolution to respond and remember them.

Story-telling in particular is the mode where people take in messages rather than directly participating. Out of these story forms, there come some particularly successful story formats and characters - the archetypes.
We use these tools a lot every time we need to add interest to a conversation on or offline. When the small talk is dying, it's quickly revived with a story prompt: "Did you see that story about....".
It's also our favourite device in writing interesting case studies, where the problem is described as mountainous and our client rides in as the hero who saves the day.

That's why we are particularly looking forward to the next free webinar on video from The Profitable Firm. It features Chris Payne on how to make compelling video.

He'll cover:

    - Adding a splash of "Disney magic"
    - Making stories compelling
    - Using the the hero journey format
    - Testimonials in story form

If you don't want prospective clients to just think about you, along with all the others on their shortlist, why not discover how to compel them to act?

Register now for the free webinar on compelling video for your accountancy practice on Tuesday 13th May. at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/338885769




PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Nuts and bolts of video marketing online for accountants webinar












The second free webinar on training accountants to use video to attract clients was run by #TheProfitableFirm with Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR and David Calder BitWeb.tv on May 1st.  Billed as "the nuts and bolts of video marketing",  we showed participants how video marketing fitted into The Profitable Firm's marketing ladder to create success for accounting practices and some of the equipment to make that a reality. The highlights from that webinar are noted below.

We were joined by an audience on both sides of the Atlantic, showing them how to extend their partners' reach well past the normal limits of personal contacts and networking to the "always on" 24/7/365 online world.

The next free video is with Chris Payne who is showing how to create compelling video, covering:

    - How to add "Disney magic"
    - Creating compelling stories
    - Testimonials
    - The hero's journey model

Sign up for this free webinar on the 13th May to get the inside scoop on producing compelling video for your firm.

Join us on Tuesday 13th May, register at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/338885769

Meanwhile, here's some highlights from the Nuts and Bolts webinar.

Sector expertise expands practice reach:

Penny emphasised the way video allows accountants to cross normal local boundaries by demonstrating their expertise in specialist sectors on video, to attract more profitable business. Who wants a general accountant, when they can have one that has lots of experience with e.g. the construction industry (if you happen to be a builder)? Everyone believes their own individual sector is unique - after all: jobs often depends on experience in a sector. So an accountant explaining how lots of their clients in a specific sector are benefiting from a particular tax break (or other benefit) will look a lot more attractive to someone in that sector who stands to gain from that break. They will also want to use that accountant to get an edge over their rivals.

Personal attraction before the first meeting!

There was interest in the way video saves sales time by self-selecting the clients that want to work with you and closing off the ones that don't. That's because video shows enough personality clues to allow people to form immediate "first impressions", attracting well disposed clients to a firm, and saving lots of time on new business enquiries that would fall flat at the first meeting.

The final clincher is personal chemistry. No-one wants to work with someone for very long if they don't get on with them. That crucial personal chemistry is often an involuntary reaction which can be totally unrelated to anything you say or do. For example, it could be down to past experiences (positive or negative) with people that resemble you.

The important thing is to get that decisive personal  element out of the way early on to avoid unnecessary sales effort. The end result is less time wasted and better disposed potential clients that develop into better client relationships and more frequent referrals: a virtuous circle that can accelerate your business.

And all the time, your partners are out there attracting well-disposed people 24/7/365 online - without any extra wages or overtime!

The nuts 'n' bolts of online video marketing

Our first webinar at the beginning of April emphasised the benefits: particularly boosting authority on Google to influence search performance: Forrester Research now reckon one well made video is equivalent to posting 1.8m words of text (that's the whole of Shakespeare's works and the Bible, plus 200k words!).

David got down to equipment basics with an overview of equipment to cover a range of video options.

He pointed out that many accountants may already own an option better than most video camcorders if they have a good DSLR camera with a video option. The light hitting the sensor through the comparatively large lens on a DSLR will capture much more detail than the standard tiny size of lens with a plastic cover fitted in a smartphone, even if the smartphone has a more powerful sensor. He has trialled the current basic level Nikon DSLR (around £350 when we bought it from Costco) which has a separate audio input socket - essential for capturing acceptable sound quality - something that is sadly missing from most readily available camcorders. Many domestic camcorders have woefully inadequate microphones built into the sides if the camera, which happily record all but the sound in front of them! That's one of the reasons why "Digital Video for Dummies says, "The quality of the audio recorded with your camcorder's mic never exceeds "adequate."

Research shows that viewers will tolerate acceptable, but not great picture quality, if the sound is good quality and informative.

How to never be at a loss for words on video

David came up with some handy tips to hide the camera behind invisible prompts (you can see them, but the camera can't) using a teleprompter that works with a smartphone app to ensure that you doesn't miss out a key point. The teleprompter also hides the camera lens which can inhibit people.

He did acknowledge that a smartphone on a tripod could be an effective way to collect spontaneous video: maybe a video testimonial from a very happy client? It's certainly easier to carry around, but it needs stabilising. He demonstrated a neat smartphone holder that fits onto a tripod, available online for around £13. The tripod or some other means of stabilising the recording device is crucial to creating watch-able video for a professional firm.

David outlined how to set up a permanent video recording station to capture video easily and allow people to gain confidence in speaking to the camera.

DIY video vs Outsourcing? 

There's a good case for using both: a recording station for recording comment or news, speaking direct to the camera, or capturing testimonials (as long as the quality of both picture and audio is very good and the client approves the final video).

He explained why some video is best outsourced: including anything that involves complex audio capture and tricky indoor lighting will be better with professional input, such as seminars, for example.  They may require several very expensive radio microphones as the camera needs to be behind the audience to avoid blocking their view - so the camera is too far away to capture the sound even with a separate directional microphone.

Indoor events usually also need supplemental lighting to avoid window light turning the speakers into silhouettes. Plus standard room lighting is often mixed source and will show up on camera with an orange or blue tint. More powerful lighting is needed to overcome the existing lighting in this case.

Longer events like seminars also need several cameras positioned to capture detail from different focal lengths and angles to provide enough footage to cover voice-over links and provide visual variety. Footage and audio from several sources needs an experienced editor to create a satisfying record of the event.

Shooting outdoors or in premises open to the public is fraught with potential snags, to the extent that professionals need to be competent at performing health and safety risk assessment sheets. We know of professionals who have had very serious life-changing accidents due to the intense concentration needed down the camera lens to record quality footage. This means it's all too easy to become momentarily oblivious to the general surroundings. Many serious photographers may have already experienced this phenomenon, but it's prolonged by the ongoing nature of video footage. It's good practice to wear high vis vests and have a minder watch the camera operator's back (and sound operator if applicable) at all times during filming.

In all filming situations, there are added risks from equipment lying about, cables trailing, and various electrics, tripods and stands to trip over. Any contractor who appears not to understand risk assessment may be an expensive liability and all contractors should be able to prove they have substantial public liability insurance.

We went into a lot more detail on equipment and lighting but the above are the highlights of the one-hour session. We'll be going into even more detail in the associated video course.

Looking forward to the upcoming compelling content webinar!



PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Test



Google+

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Profitable video for accountants training course - free taster webinar

PHPR is proud to be working with accountancy marketing specialists, The Profitable Firm, plus the intelligent video production and training company,  BitWeb.tv* in producing an online Profitable Video for Accountants course.

There's a free taster session on Friday, 11 April 2014 at 10.00am – 11.00am called "Leveraging Video to Get Your Best Clients Ever" where we will be outlining the benefits of online video to accountants - and the research that shows why this works.  Plus giving solid tips because we'd rather demonstrate our expertise by being informative and useful than boring the pants off people with a long sales pitch punctuated by the odd nugget of wisdom.

As Karen from The Profitable Firm points out: "Video has quickly become one of the biggest lead generation tools available online. The opportunities for accountancy firms are massive." We agree.

It's exciting and not a little challenging as we are putting a lot of research into this to make sure it's bang up to date. And have unearthed some spectacular new statistics from reliable sources as to why this is going to be an accelerating opportunity for those with professional expertise.

If you're an accountant, all I can say is: "be there, or be square!" Register for the free webinar here.

* Disclosure: I may be biased as BitWeb.tv is run by my husband but I notice their clients keep coming back..


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Video driving sales for accountants

Profitable video services firm set up by leading marketing, video and PR pros




















Analysts, trade press, key contacts and bloggers - I'm picking up the same message from them all: 2014 is the year of the video as the Return on Investment for video has shifted from creating brand awareness into actually converting to sales.

Plus video content viewed on mobile devices has gone up 300% in the last year!
It's not that hard to create video nowadays, but for professionals like accountants, it's not always immediately obvious how to use video. A quick search for accountants on YouTube yields plenty of disasters, from the stilted and stuffy, to the plain silly - all nestling amid the inappropriate ads and cute cats. Hardly the place for placing client testimonials - yet they do. As a PR professional, I'm a reputation manager: acutely aware of the big picture: the context around marketing communications activity.

Don't get me wrong: YouTube is good for SEO and general branding, but it's not the place to engage clients.
That's just one of the developments recently around the tactics for effective video. Changes in tactics that broadly echo the wider changes (for the better imo) on Google, YouTube's parent company.

BTW: did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world?

As for embedding YouTube videos on your own website, I heard that practice described at a great webinar run by web hosts Brightcove today as "the equivalent of putting exit signs all over your site..." for very good reasons.

We have been especially focused on video over the last few months as we were approached to join an  interesting JV to accelerate accountants' videos into profitable videos.

The JV involves my husband, David Calder (30 years producing, presenting and reporting at the BBC on news and The Money Programme, plus communications skills trainer, not to mention speech-writer for a  former CBI Director General). He's a fellow professional with a degree in law under his belt.

Plus Karen Reyburn at TheProfitableFirm - the leading specialists in marketing for accountants with an international clientele - see her profile and while you're at it, download some of her freebies.

I'm currently starting to softly create a publicity platform for @accountantvideo on Twitter and we make use of the hashtag  #VideoForAccountants across social media.

We'll be developing a series of webinar based training together, but in the meantime, we're happy to help on a one-to-one basis, from a simple technology advice session on Skype or brainstorming content, to actually helping you set it up and do it.

David is great at getting people to feel comfortable in front of the camera and passes on great tips - so you never have to worry about remembering your words again - or seeing the camera lens ... but more of that later - and no, it doesn't involve surgery or a new brain - or wearing silly specs!

.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Redeem expands European mobile buy-back footprint with Envirofone acquisition

Redeem is headquartered at the Pyramids Business Park near Edinburgh.


Delighted to report that Redeem Holdings has acquired Eazyfone Limited, trading as Envirofone, a leading consumer mobile recycling brand. This will increase Redeem's processing capacity and provide access to new sales channels in new markets across the world 

Claes Svensson CEO of Redeem Holdings Limited says, “This addition to Redeem’s portfolio improves our capability to deliver market-leading buy-back, trade-in, refurbishment and wholesale solutions for mobile network operators, retailers, corporates and consumers across Europe.”

In the UK alone, Envirofone’s consumer focus opens up an estimated £11 billion* direct-to-consumer market for Redeem, with around 124.5 million unused handsets thought to be languishing in British homes.

Redeem now provides sustainable, data secure, recycling services to mobile network operators (MNOs), consumers, retailers and corporate clients across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas through offices in the UK, Estonia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.   




PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

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Friday, 10 January 2014

New year, new name? It pays to run these checks when looking for the right name

Naming a new venture affects every aspect of the business













An appropriate and memorable name is a major asset to a company or brand, but available ones are thin on the ground thanks to the low cost of registering domain names.

Online availability is important, but it isn't the only criteria. If a name has been registered as a limited company or a trademark, it may be almost impossible to use in case of legal action.

And if it's been blacklisted or has notoriety attached, the associated negativity and hassle factor is not a great start to a bright shiny new brand. I know of at least one new company that was chased hard for substantial debts racked up by another outfit  trading under the same name. That takes time to deal with and causes considerable anxiety.

We do get asked to help with naming, usually after a team have spent a lot of time and failed to find a name that nails the offering, and is also available in the desired domain(s).

The domain availability is usually as far as they've gone in the checking process. When we are commissioned to run a search, we use a raft of creativity tools, some of which are unique to us. Everyone has their own way of thinking up ideas. Whatever you use, keep notes and remember, the wrong name is often a stepping stone to something much better. To be sure of coming up with really strong ideas, we usually generate enough names to create a list of around 100 available names online. We then whittle that down to c10 and yes, the hidden names do include some stepping stones! Before we show the shortlist to the client, we run more detailed checks and recommend the following:


  • Online availability (usually we're asked for the .com  and co.uk). If other suffixes have been taken (for example.org or .co) we will show who owns the other versions if that info is available 
  • Companies House check
  • Trademark search (basic)
  • Google search to see if there's anything obviously amiss.

We also run the telephone test. The what? I hear you ask Well, if the company or brand is going to be a hit, you are going to be contacted, possibly by phone. When your staff or virtual PA answers the phone, does it trip off the tongue? If so, it should also be easy to say with confidence at networking events and presentations - and be remembered fairly accurately.

Even if the first shortlist doesn't nail it, it will have teased out a whole raft of secondary criteria that were not obvious from the initial brief. Quite often that's enough to bring other available solutions we've already discovered into the frame. And if it significantly alters the brief, we are starting from a point much closer to a solution and should be able to nail it with a shorter search.

It sounds like a lot of detailed work, and it is, but all of your marketing and branding effort is affected by a name. It sets the tone for the entire venture. So getting it right rather than bagging the first available name you see could mean the difference between success and the also rans.

If you get stuck, by all means contact us if you need help finding the right name for a business, a brand or a new development.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder founder of Edinburgh PR agency:  PHPR Ltd

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Seasons Greetings from PHPR













May all your ventures bear fruit in 2014!




PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.

URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk

PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv

  

PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn

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