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Thursday, 18 April 2013

PHPR welcomes Supreme Court decision to protect internet users from "over-reaching copyright collectors"


Edinburgh PR agency PHPR on PRCA and NLA news monitoring decision
Press releases are a key part of  PHPR's service to get clients noticed in the media and online 
Edinburgh-based PR agency, PHPR welcomes today's news that the Supreme Court has supported all of the arguments made by the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants' Association) against the NLA (Newspaper Licensing Authority) re browsing online articles without infringing copyright law. It will now refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) so that this point can be clarified across the entire EU.


Francis Ingham, PRCA Chief Executive says, "The PRCA is very proud to have stood up on behalf of the whole PR industry for the last few years. We are delighted that the highest court in the country accepted our argument outright."

Penny Haywood Calder, founder of PHPR says,"It beggers belief that the Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd (NLA) thought it could charge for looking at a web page online if it included newspaper articles and passing on a link to an article: something millions of people probably do all over the world every day. It is particularly galling as the NLA is extracting cash from the PR industry and their clients, despite us alerting journalists to many potential stories and often bending over backwards to give them access to senior executives for quotes and comment. To charge us for checking to see what a publication had done with that input is, in my opinion, ridiculous. 

"The introductory NLA license is for a small agency of up to 5 people serving just three clients. In our experience, we have to run more than 3 clients a year per consultant to break even, and it places us in an impossible situation if we get a spate of one-off launches and other ad hoc work. We are too small to risk falling foul of the rules, so we just suggest to clients that they make their own arrangements to see results. It is galling when our client knowledge gives us the ability to go into each and every online news search in more granular detail than would be possible with a general monitoring brief involving a third party."

According to the PRCA, the Supreme Court said that the NLA’s position would be “an unacceptable result, which would make infringers of many millions of ordinary users of the internet across the EU who use browsers and search engines for private as well as commercial purposes."

Penny Haywood Calder added, "I have been online since 1985 in the heady pioneer days of acoustic coupled modems running at unbelievably slow speeds. I've watched online forums rules develop to balance the fundamental freedoms of the internet against the need to curb abuse, then watched as users developed individual codes of practice and social media policies. In nearly 28 years online, I have never seen anything as blatant as this attempt by the NLA to curtail online freedom. 

"As a small business owner, I felt powerless to do anything. All credit to the PRCA and Meltwater that they have stuck with this battle. A battle that, in my opinion, should not have had to be fought. The only winners in this long drawn out battle would appear to be the lawyers, which in the current economic climate is not good news for entrepreneurial and ground-breaking newsworthy businesses and their PR support teams."

Jorn Lyssegen, CEO of Meltwater said: “We are very pleased that the Supreme Court overruled the previous rulings of the Court of Appeals and The High Court that the simple act of browsing the Internet could be copyright infringement. This ruling is an important step in modernizing the interpretation of UK copyright law and protects UK Internet users from overreaching copyright collectors.”

Penny Haywood Calder adds, "It's not yet over for PR agencies who the PRCA advises to keep paying NLA fees as "a precautionary measure" until next year when the Court of Justice of the European Union is expected to report. 

PHPR is an Edinburgh-based PR and online marketing agency founded by Penny Haywood Calder in 1986 and incorporated as PHPR Ltd in 1999. The agency now specialises in B2B, technology and small businesses. PHPR has come through three recessions and spends up to a third of its time actively learning about new outlets and practical tools to effectively help develop clients' businesses on and offline. PHPR is an award winning agency and a VIBES finalist - Scotland's top environmental award for business. 

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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

ConnectED Talk Today: "Content may be king, but clarity and contacts (or was it connections?) determine the size of the kingdom"

Penny Haywood Calder from PHPR gives PR talk to boost business at ConnectED meeting
3 vital Cs: Content, Clarity and Contacts


Really enjoyed giving Publicity Tips to ConnectED members: mainly small business owners this morning.

A phrase that really pulls together a lot of what we do popped out during the talk. From a Google search, it looks like no-one else has said it: 





"Content may be king,
but clarity and contacts determine the size of the kingdom"

Penny Haywood Calder, founder PHPR Ltd


From the buzz on the ConnectED LinkedIn group, it is entirely possible that I actually said: 

"Content may be king,
but clarity and connections determine the size of the kingdom"

The truth is: I can't remember, but both seem apt and I have a slight preference for the latter which seems to roll off the tongue smoothly.  I may shorten it to 

"Content may be king,
but clarity and connections shape the size of the kingdom"


The gist of the talk is that publicity is the oxygen of business, otherwise, no-one's heard of you. 
Underpinning all effective publicity for business, from word of mouth to website to media to marcomms to sales is: Clarity, Clarity, and Clarity.

That stems from clear purpose/vision and the hard work that goes into really nailing your core business proposition. Bill Joos - Silicon Valley VC & supreme clarity-meister suggests that to stand out from thousands of applications for funding (or indeed, anything else) you need to nail your key proposition in seven words or less, including an emotional hook. 

Ours is: 


PHPR gets businesses noticed on and offline. 


Getting noticed is a major issue for people as all too often businesses ignore them. 

Websites are the cornerstone of marcomms, yet many websites neglect to clearly spell out what they sell on the front page - including many large companies which have become so big, they are generalists. We sell solutions may have had shock value when IBM was best known as a hardware provider, but if a small business echoes such vague general statements, they are not going to get far. The annual Bowen Craggs large corporates' websites survey sponsored by the FT is due out at the end of this month. If this year is anything like its predecessors, it will show that there is still plenty of room for improvement which will be good news for small businesses: more chances to nibble away at the big guys' markets, one niche at a time.  

I say niches very specifically as it's much easier to reach people in niche areas effectively - find Joint Venture partners who need to reach the same markets (e.g. trade associations, complementary non-competing companies or....? ) and offer a major benefit to their customers/members - and they'll do your publicity for you provided that you keep them supplied with relevant news and titbits. 

Plus small businesses can nurture key contacts and use social media more effectively to plug the gaps between meetings and accelerate the relationship. That's because the networking tends to be done by the top people - or by people with a very short line to the top. 

I passed on various tips today on tools to use to remember to stay in contact, such as www.fivehundredplus.com. 

Plus work smarter with social media using Hootsuite. And provided a run-down on social media and the specific merits of the main platforms. With several B2B business owners in the audience, the reminder to optimise their Linkedin profile seems to get the note-takers scribbling. And use the Linkedin groups to expand their reach. Plus an example of the power of using Linkedin's shared connection lists intelligently.

Constant Contact or Mail Chimp are good solutions for newsletters. In our experience, the former is easier to use, while the latter is FoC: you takes your pick: time or money? 

Plus Paper.li's automated curated content newsletters and associated Twitter feed plugs the posting gaps that are inevitable with owner managed or very small businesses. 

The Qs and As ranged over a variety of tools, plus the value of blogs: very high if they contain good content that sits on your own domain. 


Fund-raising for Practical Action

When I originally offered to do the talk, I hadn't planned to do this year's 5x50 challenge and associated fund-raising. The entry fee goes to Comic Relief and I've chosen to raise funds for Practical Action who lift an amazing 1 million people out of poverty each year. I was delighted that several people were sufficiently pleased with today's publicity tips that they agreed to donate to the cause, although I did suggest they wait until they had benefited materially. PR tips in exchange for charity donations is a first for PHPR, but it seems to work! 

If you benefit from anything above, do consider helping Practical Action lift even more than a million out of poverty next year by donating here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PennyHaywoodCalder 

More about the 5x50 challenge and my progress here: http://5x50xpenny.blogspot.co.uk/ 




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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Friday, 12 April 2013

Edinburgh PR News Round-Up





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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Practical Action inspires 5x50 fund-raising action

Edinburgh PR agency founder, Penny Haywood Calder of PHPR on her bike at Portobello for charity
Penny Haywood Calder, founder of Edinburgh PR agency, PHPR Ltd on her bike for charity and fitness

With a face as bright as my Practical Action T-shirt, this is me today with 70k clocked up so far in the 5x50 challenge to walk, run, cycle 5k a day for 50 days. My 5x50 blog charts my challenge progress here.

I'm doing it to raise funds for Practical Action, the charity that was born out of the "Small is Beautiful" Ernst Shumacher Centre. Practical Action takes an incredible 1 million people out of poverty each year using technology developed in partnership with local people. Support their work through my VirginMoneyGiving page here.

I like to think there's some synergy (but not the scale) between Practical Action's ingenious use of technology and the way PHPR goes about using technology and ingenious content to help small businesses punch above their weight in today's uncertain economy, creating/securing livlihoods for people.

I am lucky enough to have been online since 1985. I started my own PR business a year later. I couldn't have set-up the business without a computer as I had no confidence that I would be able to afford admin support when I first started. The computer enabled me to do so much more, including my own admin until I got going properly. Plus it freed me from the 9-5 routine of working for a major bank's PR department. I am eternally grateful to technology for enabling me to do my own thing, and am happy to support Practical Action who are multiplying that effect x1 million each year to help free-up people around the world - fabulous effort. .

I am particularly proud to be using my PR and technology experience to work with Redeem, a Scottish mobile phone recycling and recommerce company with a great CSR offering that recently entered the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of fastest growing companies in the UK.

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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Tracking Multi Online PR Channels

Tracking online PR - Edinburgh PR agency owner Penny Haywood Calder explains
Generate URLs for each online PR tactic



How do you account for results if you are using a variety of PR tactics to boost traffic to a website?  Tactics like:

  • press releases
  • press and blogger outreach
  • social media.


They'll all be there in Google Analytics, but it will be quite hard to sort out what came from where.

I'm indebted to Jason Poulos at The Buzz Bin  for showing me how.

The answer is to use Google's unique URL builder tool to create custom campaign URLs so that the results generated by all your individual tactics (or channels) show up separately in your analytics results.

There's a separate tool:  the Google Play URL builder for mobile app tracking.

Clever, huh?


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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Edinburgh PR news round-up







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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter 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 Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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