What’s it like to start a PR internship virtually?

Written by Jess Richardson, Intern at FanclubPR

My first day as a PR intern went something like this: Woke up. Got changed. Made myself some peanut butter and banana on toast with honey (aka fancy brekkie) and a big cuppa. Went back up to my bedroom. 

I started my internship at Fanclub in May and - in case you’ve been off-planet for the last 3 months - we were slap bang in the middle of a pandemic. I already had a few worries about starting a new role in a new place with new people; now I had to add to all this newness being remote. Luckily none of my coworkers had ever started a job in the midst of a national lockdown either, so it was new to everyone.

How can you get the most out of a virtual internship?

Ask away - Sat behind a screen, it’s not easy to know if what you’re doing is right, but putting what would have been a shout across the office into a written question initially felt a bit awkward. Without asking those questions, however, I think I would have spent a lot more time panicking and less time learning.

Make notes - Although asking questions is completely normal, sending a message every five minutes could be a tad distracting. Taking notes throughout the day on things I was a bit unsure of or found interesting meant I could address any issues more organically the next time I spoke to the team, and has also given me a valuable record of things I’ve done. 

Get stuck in - Before starting, I had a big concern: will working remotely leave me feeling left out? It’s hard to feel part of a group when you’re new, even when you’re allowed to be within 2m of each other. Getting to know people without the aid of natural interactions sometimes means jumping in head-first. For instance, in a game of “Desert Island Crisps” that we played during my first Friday drinks with the team, I revealed that I like to eat my crisps topped with slices of banana. Although this was a revelation my colleagues didn’t need, want, or ask for, it definitely broke the ice. 

Get out - How do you avoid getting bored of your desk whilst WFH? The answer seems obvious but working by a window and going for a run in the morning or a walk at lunch has saved me from resenting my desk too much. To combat Zoom fatigue I’ve also been encouraged to take meetings by phone or without video if I needed to. 

Be proactive - Sometimes I’ve finished a task before being formally given the next one. I try to use this time to think ahead or read around the subjects I’ve been working on. 

What are the benefits of a virtual internship?

Being an intern, even virtually, has given me insight into the broad spectrum of opportunities within PR. Every day has brought something new and I’ve been able to try a bit of everything; from research and writing, to brainstorming creative campaigns, to pitching to the media. Concerns about feeling alone, out of my depth and being left to my own devices never transpired; my colleagues have never been more than a Slack away and always incredibly happy to help. 

In some ways starting from home has been great. Holding meetings via Zoom meant I could frantically google terms like KPI and SOV to keep up with what was being said. Working within familiar surroundings has helped when I’ve felt nervous or unsure. The challenge of keeping Friday drinks interesting in the digital sphere has led to some novelty activities such as a Zoom-taught salsa class and rap-parody pub quiz. And, perhaps most importantly with the hot weather we’ve had, I’ve been saved from the commute on the Central Line.

Myself & the lovely Fanclub PR team


How to get an internship in PR?

You’ve likely found yourself here because you’re considering a career in PR. It’s an industry that is eclectic and fast-paced; with no two days on the job the same, it’s a role best learned on the job. With a host of agencies and in-house roles boasting clients across a range of sectors, an internship is a great opportunity to understand just exactly what PRs do day-to-day and get to know what type of PR suits you, but you must be prepared to jump straight into the deep end!

At Fanclub, our interns have joined our team in paid roles since the agency’s inception- many of whom have stayed with us for exciting years of their PR career. It’s not just an industry that welcomes interns with valuable experience and opportunities to learn- it’s bloody fun. It’s no surprise that roles are competitive.

So what are employers looking for in a PR intern? And what will give you the best chances in the application process?

What will a PR internship teach me? What will I be doing? 

What you will learn and what you’ll be tasked with doing will vary from agency to agency depending on their specialism. Fanclub is an agency that operates in many different sectors, with interns learning about something new every day! 

First and foremost, be prepared to learn a lot about the media landscape. Any PR internship worth its salt will give you a good grounding in what the media is, its various channels, how each channel is used and how journalists and influencers like to be contacted and spoken to. You’ll also learn the different forms of PR - B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer)- as well as the number of channels we either feed into or own.

At Fanclub, we have a mix of B2B and B2C clients, meaning that not only will you learn about issues impacting consumers, but you’ll also have a brain filled with knowledge across a range of different business sectors; from tech and e-commerce to business consultancies and the marketing industry. No day is ever the same, so a role within a PR agency is perfect for those that constantly crave to learn and want to become a jack of all trades, whilst still being a master.

You can expect to be helping to develop creative campaigns, to raise awareness of our clients and their services, pitching to the media, researching suppliers to bring an event or digital concept to life, or finding the most suitable influencers to partner with.

How do I find PR internships? 

Job sites like Indeed or The Dots are your first port of call, and if you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate, Milkround is a great start as it specialises in graduate internships. PRWeek and the PRCA even host PR Internships Awards- so you can check out best-in-class opportunities on PRWeek Jobs.

You won’t need us to tell you, but Linkedin is an incredibly powerful resource for making contact with potential employers, as well as keeping up to date on industry work and news. It’s potentially one of the best ways to get you started by keeping tabs on the creative work and thought leadership that’s shaking up the industry. Identify agencies and employers who get you excited, make some connections on Linkedin and keep your ear to the ground for intern ads. 

How do I make my PR internship application stand out? 

Firstly, make sure you do your research on the agency or role you’re applying to -who are its clients? What work has it done before? Is any of it relevant to your own experience or skills? Join up the dots and show that you’re invested in it and what it does. It’s surprising how much this can be overlooked in favour of detailing your own skills, but it’s just as important.

Your cover letter is an incredibly valuable tool that should be used to demonstrate any relevant skills which would apply well to PR- these include copywriting (make sure you proofread your CV as evidence!), communications, creativity, analytical and critical thinking and attention to detail. Not just that, it needs to show who you are. Don’t be afraid to give it some personality.

Communicating is literally what the industry specialises in, so the way you communicate yourself is your first chance to showcase what you can do. Your application needs to show why you’re a good fit not just for the agency but for the industry- this is especially important if your education or experience isn’t a seamless transition. If you’ve got a degree in accountancy, what draws you to PR?

How can I prepare for an interview? What kind of questions will I be asked? 

As an entry-level role, employers won’t be looking for experience. They want an intern who is eager to learn and proactive in the learning process. Outside of the basics around why you are interested in PR and what you can offer, you might be asked to complete some basic skills tasks - perhaps even write a short press release. Make sure you have a broad understanding of the news agenda, too. 

Working within a team is fundamental to a PR role- so expect questions which explore your personality, motivations and values.

Ultimately, the interview process will be different everywhere. But one thing that is imperative, is looking into the agency or company itself- not just the PR work they do, but what their values are and who they are as a team. Go beyond their website and check their social channels and the way they are covered in the industry press. With this info, make sure you ask them questions back- the interview is your opportunity to see if the employer is the right fit for you, too.


Welcome to the team Buzzbike

We are super excited to announce our latest client win, London's leading bike subscription platform, Buzzbike. We will be heading up the brand's consumer and corporate communications while working closely with the entire Buzzbike team to meet growing customer interest. 

Founded in 2016, Buzzbike was launched to be the easiest option for those who want to start cycling in London. For £29.99 a month subscribers receive a high-quality bike and lock delivered to their door; insurance against theft, on-demand servicing, and rewards for riding via the Buzzbike app. Buzzbike also partners with companies to offer a low-cost, flexible way to get employees cycling to work. To date, it counts Spotify, Harrods, and Sweaty Betty among its corporate partners.

Tom Hares, CEO, and Founder at Buzzbike, commented:

“It’s a really exciting time for Buzzbike, as we continue to grow and invest in our capability we needed an agency partner that could match our pace. The team at Fanclub impressed us with their strategic counsel and understanding of the industry landscape. We’re looking forward to doing some great work together”.  

Onwards and upwards, let's get physical London!


Recognising kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week

Fanclub has always recognised the importance of being kind and it’s rooted in our company value of ‘playing nicely’. Kindness has also been chosen as the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The positive impact that being kind can make on both our physical and emotional wellbeing is extraordinary; everything from protecting your heart to reducing stress and anxiety - kindness has it covered. In these uncertain times a small act of kindness has never been more powerful. With this in mind, in this week’s blog we felt that it was worth highlighting the acts of kindness we’ve witnessed in our own lives recently to share the kindness around.

Hannah 

I’m part of the not-so-lucky bunch that’s been forced to celebrate their birthday in lockdown. While at first it seemed dull, I’m lucky enough to have some brilliantly creative friends that helped me celebrate from the comfort of my own home. My friend Liddy, a graphic designer, has been creating ‘Stay at Home’ inspired prints, designing and sharing one-a-day since lockdown was announced, and she created a special birthday edition print for me that really put a huge smile on my face! Check out her prints, they’re sure to make you smile too.

Fab

I think we all know how awful the pandemic has been. So rather than indulging in my usual pessimistic thoughts - who doesn’t like to complain? - I’ll instead focus on one of the biggest positives the coronavirus has brought us; community spirit. Despite my extremely approachable resting bitch face, you’ll be surprised to learn that I haven’t ever really engaged with my neighbours beyond doing an awkward nod in the street in their direction. 

Since the lockdown began, I’ve joined the local community WhatsApp group, sharing local things to do and resources we’ve found online to help with pandemic-induced anxiety. But the best part of it all is my next door neighbour. At least 3-4 days a week she’ll share home baked goods, her first attempts at maki rolls and even strawberry daiquiris! Unfortunately, my house’s culinary skills leave something to be desired, so in return we’ve been helping her on shopping trips and bought her a hamper of snacks and wine. 

So to Yasmin; thank you! And may the pandemic leave behind this brilliant sense of community spirit. 

Camille 

Stories of people’s little kindnesses have been endlessly uplifting during these past two months, and I’m lucky enough to work on a client that rewards its own employees for the kind ways in which they help their customers. Every week I write a summary of these actions for the client newsletter and am always warmed by the various acts of kindness. One that sticks out in recent memory are the two employees who made sure that one woman, isolating alone with her vulnerable elderly mother, received not only a full food shop but also flowers and chocolates for Mother’s day (unasked for)! 

Emily 

Since being stuck at home, I’ve relished the doorstep bundles of pick-me-ups and support from kind friends and neighbours. I’ve had all manner of useful, edible, fun and sentimental gifts dropped at my door in times of emotional and practical need- from cake, to boardgames, to potting soil; most have been unsolicited. Knowing that people are thinking of you and are kind enough to go out of their way to show it, even if they don’t know you well at all, has literally made all the difference to my mental wellbeing over these last few weeks

Adrian 

Watching the pandemic unfold was nothing like the movies. In the main, there was no rioting in the streets; no overbearing policing of lockdown; no ‘iron fist’ of governance. Instead, we were stood on our doorsteps applauding key workers.

 The spirit of generosity and collaboration to ‘get through it’, extended to the corporate world. It’s been uplifting to see companies step up the COVID challenge, whether that be by re-allocating resources to create ventilators or hand sanitiser, providing free bikes to NHS workers or countless donations of time and goods.

In the 1950s there was a management theory called ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’. Its protagonists put forward a view that companies should serve society as a whole, rather than its shareholders. 70 years later, the one positive thing that could come out of this pandemic is a kinder version of the economy. And after centuries of wrecking ourselves and the planet to serve the old economy, boy do we need it. 

Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric said it best when he said, “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world”. Life in a pandemic has provided a glimpse of a smarter and kinder way to live and work.

Jess 

My mum is a teacher in a West London primary school and when lockdown hit it quickly became clear that the school had many already struggling families where parents had now lost their jobs, with nothing to fall back on many of the pupils faced going hungry within the week. The school sent out a plea for help and within 3 days we had gathered enough donations from our friends and neighbours to fill our car twice over. The generosity of people towards complete strangers was overwhelming and it’s amazing to know that what may have been a small act of giving for one person made a huge amount of difference to someone else. 

Paul 

I live in South East London not far from Lewisham Hospital and the speed at which the local community galvanised behind the vulnerable and key workers has been nothing short of amazing. 

More often than not it has been the local independent retailers and restaurants who had to shut up shop that gave their time and resources for free.  From the florist delivering free bouquets to the self-isolating elderly, to the Indian restaurant that has cooked and delivered over 1,800 free dinners to frontline staff,  this has truly been a time where neighbourly spirit has been reborn.

Emilee

Since moving to London from Canada 3ish years ago my parents, who still live in Canada, every year embark on a journey across the pond to visit me in the Big Smoke. Unfortunately this year, due to Covid-19, they had to cancel their travel plans. Being in lockdown, this has been particularly hard on me as at the moment I don’t know when I will be able to see them again. 

In usual parent fashion, when my parents do visit they usually bring me a load of Canadian goodies, which can be chocolate, chips (yes chips, not crisps), cooking products, etc. We tend not to send other large items in the mail due to the high costs involved- but as they knew I was feeling a bit down they thought they would surprise me with a little package from home to cheer me up! The package included my favourite ranch dressings, seasoning salts, and cheezies (a better Canadian version of a wotsits). Needless to say, I will be stocked for a while. 

So, to my lovely parents - thank you for brightening my day and hopefully we will be reunited soon! 


SABRE In2 Awards EMEA honours ShareThyme

A chance supermarket encounter between a 79 year old Bangladeshi woman and a 32 year old techie became the inspiration for our work with ShareThyme, a digital platform to help combat loneliness.

Since its launch, it’s attracted a community of enthusiastic supporters and united young and old people through a shared love of cooking.

We’ve been working with Red Badger and our agency partners 10x on this project and are proud that this picked up further recognition (after receiving an Honorable Mention in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2020) as it has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in the Best in Digital Brand Platforms category in the In2 SABRE Awards EMEA.

You can read more about the project on Red Badger’s website here.


How to inspire and foster creativity in the workplace

Whilst it’s easy to recall all-singing, all-dancing campaigns when asked about creativity in PR- Thames-floating, shock-inducing, tear-shedding ideas- creativity runs much deeper than that. It’s the foundation for progress and innovation- from pitching to ways of working.

Great PR has to have creativity at the core. Not only because it is a prerequisite to effective communication, but because PR is stepping up as a competitor to its siblings; marketing and ad giants have positioned ‘creative’ as their beating heart since their inception, and PR needs to do the same. And no, you don’t need a Creative Director to set that benchmark in your team (although it does help).

 Creativity unlocks an agile advantage because it demonstrates an understanding that innovation is fundamental to keeping up with how audiences and people change. In this sense, any agency worth its salt needs to foster an entire culture that inspires and supports creativity, in all its forms. That means acknowledging that not everyone’s creativity is nurtured and brought out in the same way- and investing in accommodating this.

 What might help, are the following tried-and-tested tips for what we have found to make the biggest difference.

 1. Start with a diverse team

Bringing a rich tapestry of experience, identity and talent together is absolutely your most powerful creative asset, and competitive advantage. The best ideas are informed not just by a rich set of data, but by diverse minds.

Diversity has long been an issue in PR and the wider creative industries, and the agencies will only fall short of the best work because of it.

This needs to continue beyond recruitment and into process. At Fanclub, we have a flat structure when it comes to creative ideation for campaigns. Everyone gets involved, together- from interns to directors.

 2. Workspace autonomy

 People need to have autonomy of their own workspace, schedule and way of working to accommodate the true definition of ‘creative thinking’: how people approach problems with solutions. This can depend on so many things, beyond personality and skill.

 Allow flexibility with working hours, where people work and their own day-to-day process.

 Don’t just allow flexibility, but support it. This can also make all the difference to retaining great creative talent- a lack of practical support to help balance work and family life, for example, can mean losing them.

3. Brainstorming: consider time and space

Our MD, Adrian, always says that his best ideas come to him in the shower. Each to their own, truly. Mine usually strike me a few hours deep on Reddit (I like to think of it as ethnographic research…).

 The point is that ideas are not always born inside the confines of a meeting room, in a pressured, time-constrained brainstorm. Plus, not everyone feels comfortable shouting out ideas. Let your team stew, think, ponder and be struck by inspiration outside of the office.

 For campaigns, you might not always be blessed with a decent response time (but that’s for another blog post), but encouraging people to take a walk, sleep on things and contribute in their own time and using their own format will lead to stronger ideation.

4. Always-on creativity and a culture of proactivity  

 Don’t just ask for or rely on creativity once you have a problem or a brief. Encourage an always-on approach to ideas-sharing and creative inspiration.

 At Fanclub, we hold a weekly Open Practice Brainstorm for the entire agency, in which we develop a brief for an existing client or prospective one, and develop ideas in pairs over the week. Not only does this mean we mix up collaboration across the team, but we’ve got a stream of creative sessions and ideas at any given time.

 We also have Slack channels dedicated to sharing creative case studies and thought leadership, as well as a weekly forum to discuss them.

5. Moving away from the pressure of big ideas

 Thinking creatively is not just about huge, integrated campaign ideas. Smart creativity is being proactive with smaller ideas, and not just for smaller campaigns; reactive opportunities, strategic copy, byline ideas, and suggestions for better ways of working are all great ways of demonstrating a creative mindset.

Fostering proactivity like this, for clients and the agency team, showcases the impact of always-on creative thinking and the power of creative solution.

6. Support self-identifying ‘non-creatives’

Everyone has met someone who says that they’re just ‘not very creative’. More often than not, this comes from people believing that to be creative means to strive to be a Creative Director, or simply an issue of confidence. But, as we know, everyone has the capacity for creative thinking in their role. And whilst some might think it can’t be taught, they’re wrong- it’s about exercising those muscles more and more.

Those who lack confidence can often end up sabotaging their potential. It’s up to managers to help them explore what it means to be creative, and help empower them with confidence to share ideas and platform their day-to-day creativity. 

Emily Barnes - Account Director at Fanclub PR

 

 

 

 

 


Fanclub favs: Binge-watches

There has been a wave of ‘pandemic productivity’ talk across social media, advocating that now is the best time to write that novel you never knew you wanted to write, become a home fitness guru like Joe Wicks or bake enough bread to feed the entire Great Britsh Bake Off crew. But honestly, sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy good Netflix series binge.

As a further three weeks of lockdown is now upon us, and we’re all compelled to #stayhome and spend more time indoors than we ordinarily would, the team decided that for this weeks ‘Fanclub Favs’ we’d share our favourite shows that we’ve recently binge-watched. All you've got to do now is get comfy and let that autoplay feature do its thing.

 

Emily: There’s a reason why The Sopranos still has an evergrowing fanbase. I remember downloading every season on Limewire, and it was worth every single hour over the week it took to download. Aside from it being the best TV show ever made (yada yada yada), the style moments (CC sopranosstyle on Instagram) are worth it alone. I don’t have anything else to say except to get your friend’s NOW TV log-in and commit.

 

Hannah: I’m going to go mainstream here and say Tiger King. Not only will the series take you on a weird emotional rollercoaster-ride, but you’ll also start to understand the majority of memes that are currently circulating across social. The Netflix documentary follows the life of big cat zoo owner Joe Exotic, whose personality is even more eccentric than his name, and his feud with rival zoon owner, Carlos Baskin. Be prepared because there’s a lot more drama involved in being the owner of a zoo than you might first expect.

 

Camille: Like others have said, I’ve found it hard to pick just one favourite show to binge-watch. But for me, in times of stress or hardship (or global pandemic) I tend to find it difficult to focus on new shows, preferring instead to fall back on comforting old favourites. Depending on mood this could be Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars or Gossip Girl. But my all-time favourite show to binge-watch has to be Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

A show with great writing, jokes, fashion, love interests, subverted gender roles and an infallible moral centre, Buffy has everything. Plus it’s nice to watch something where the bad guys are clearly signposted and easily vanquished (though don’t get me wrong Buffy and friends have their share of moral ambiguity sometimes). In a nutshell, Buffy is a tiny blonde superstrong “chosen one” destined to fight vampires and demons and save the world. She’s also in high school. It’s binge-watching comfort food, and right now that’s something we could all do with. Because, as Buffy says in the Season Five finale, sometimes “the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

 

Emilee: This is a tough one, as I have been watching so many shows recently it’s hard to pick just one. If you know me, I have always been a sucker for a reality show, and before moving to London I was hooked on a TLC show called 90 Day Fiancé. If you haven’t heard of the programme before, it’s an American reality TV series that follows couples who have applied for or received a K-1 visa (fiancé visa) in America and then have ninety days to either marry each other or break up. Since moving here, it’s been a struggle to find the time to keep up, but since I have more time than ever now I am hooked, again. With numerous series and spin-offs, it’s a perfect show to entertain and pass the time. 

 

Adrian: It takes me forever to watch any series. My TV time depends on how long my children will allow me to watch a show for (we have terrible sleepers, and rarely have more than 45 minutes before one wakes up). So binging seems like a luxury to us! But, we do love a good series and have enjoyed dark comedy thriller Killing Eve seasons to date. Both Villanelle and Konstantine are style icons for us. And the drama and humour make for a great escape once the kids are in bed.

 

Fabian: I am a serial binger. As soon as a new album, TV show or documentary comes out, I’ve usually gotten through it at least twice within 48 hours. And now we have a lot more time on our hands, I feel like I’ve seen and listened to everything in existence across Netflix and Spotify. So I’ve used the pandemic to binge a new channel; YouTube. There are certain shows I’ll never miss on YouTube (Unhhh, which is one of the sites most popular shows, and Skincare by Hyram are weekly events for me), but one channel that has really caught my attention and warranted a huge four-hour binge the other week comes from YouTube Natalie Wynn aka Contrapoints.

Wynn is a transwoman that explores counterarguments to right-wing rhetoric, discussing everything across politics, gender, ethics, race and philosophy in video essay formats. A firm favourite of mine is her exploration into masculinity and the rise of ‘menism’, which raises some very valid points on the negative aspect of feminism; men have no new framework of masculinity and therefore feel ostracised, ultimately creating the rise of ‘menism’. If you’re looking to really get into her channel, her essay on cancel culture is a must-watch. The almost two-hour video explores the cancelling of makeup YouTuber James Charles, and then descends into Wynn’s experience of being cancelled by the non-binary and trans community. 10/10 would recommend.

 


Download the crisis comms planning guide

Click to image download the guide

For businesses, when it comes to crisis, it’s a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. A pre-Coronavirus study by PwC showed that 69% of business leaders had experienced a crisis in the last five years. The same study found that companies with over 5,000 employees can expect to experience one crisis per year.

Never have crisis comms skills been more valued than the world we’re in today. I won’t labour the point any more than you’ve already heard; instead, we’re offering practical advice from one of the best in the business.

Richard Peel was the former director of comms for the BBC (where he had to deal with everything from terrorist death threats to journalists, through to defending the very existence of the BBC itself), before departing to head up comms at Ofcom and Camelot. We’ve been working with him for the last year and he’s our go-to person when it comes to crisis management.

Richard has been kind enough to distill his experience into sage advice for our clients, peers and friends in our latest whitepaper; a practical guide to creating your crisis comms plan.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be better equipped to deal with the impending crisis on the horizon, helping to safeguard the longevity of your organisation, its customers, jobs and the well-being of all involved in their professional lives.

We could all do with a bit of help at the moment and we want this advice to benefit as many people as possible. Instead of placing this behind a data-capture gate as we usually do, you can access this freely without entering any details. Just click on the image above. And please do feel free to share this as much as you like, too.

We’d welcome any feedback or suggestions you have. If you’d like to share any thoughts, or say thank you, email us at hello@fanclubpr.com


"A breakthrough in measurement" and other predictions for PR in 2020

Predictions. Granted, everyone's at it at this time of year and you may be tired of seeing the same old things year in, year out. But we've taken the time to look at current trends in culture, technology and media to bring you our Top 5 predictions for 2020. Happy new year.

TikTok on the clock, but the party don't stop, no

Predicted by Emilee Senchyna

Video-sharing social app Tiktok blasted into the spotlight this year, becoming the most downloaded app of 2019. Focused on the Gen Z generation, the app has brought a whole new generation of influencers. With the audience being in their teens or early 20’s this is a platform we will need to be aware of in 2020. Unlike Instagram, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have – the app rewards and amplifies creative and unique videos, in turn making people constantly deliver engaging content.

Brands are already dipping their toes into the app, with brands such as Apple, Nike and Fenty beauty all using TikTok to promote their products in a unique and visually compelling way. Instagram will still take first place in 2020 being the leading social platform, but with TikTok’s success only increasing, brands will need to adapt their strategies to meet the growing audience.

PR agencies will have to expand their expertise

Predicted by Hannah Kalyan

The role of PR agencies is changing. A 2017 study shows that 87% of professionals believe the term ‘public relations’ will not describe the work they do in five years. Gone are the days of simply writing and distributing press releases. While traditional media relations is still relevant, we must increasingly get creative when looking to secure coverage for our clients. Resources once spent on more pitching should be shifted to content marketing and social. PR will always be important, but its impact is amplified when coupled with digital and social activity. For those looking to get ahead of the curve, you must find ways to disrupt and innovate internally. If you don’t currently have paid social capabilities for example, explore staff’s passions, invest in their education and build the practice from within.

Brand Saturation = Less Voice Infatuation

Predicted by Fabian Castellani

2020 will be the year brands make voice a lot less sexy. We’re going to see an influx of brands that have waited for others to test the platform before they dip their toes in too. But an influx of voice-based products that people don’t want or don’t know exist will result in customers turning off to voice. Let’s hope brands can leave voice alone until they can add real value to the platform.

Brand transparency in the era of fake news: scrutiny increases

Predicted by Emily Barnes

With the spotlight on fake news as an urgent issue, there is an increasing push for regulation as a means to fight misinformation- with a need for PR to safeguard clients  using a watertight strategy for proactive and reactive reputation management.

The surge in scrutiny extends to the heart of brands themselves, which are increasingly challenged by consumers across all media platforms, as well as by employees with sites like Glassdoor. With the conversation around the impact on the environment and ethical practices increasing every day, brands are being held accountable for their choices.

The single solution to this is transparency; consumers want to know everything about what the buy and engage with- where it comes from, who is involved in producing it and the implications of consuming it.

For PR, this means that trust proof points are of particular significance for clients,  but equally that honest communication around mistakes and the quest to improve are fundamental in building brand credibility and importantly, brand affinity.

Finally, some meaningful PR measurement

Predicted by Adrian Ma

2020 will bring a PR measurement breakthrough. Technology already exists on a small scale for brave brands to more accurately measure PR attribution; where spend can be matched to website visitors. This will go two steps further. One, we’ll see attribution to sales rather than visits. And two, scale. The last point is important because from scale, we can establish benchmarks. This is where things will get really interesting, as we’ll be able to measure campaign performance against these benchmarks. Expect a decade where meaningful PR measurement will be the key driver of investment.


It's a smashing win!

Last night, our suffragette-inspired Broken Windows campaign for Harvey Nichols, with TBWA won the Fashion, Beauty & Retail category at the SABRE EMEA 2019 awards.

If you’re wondering what all the hype was about, here’s the video to explain it all.

We’re chuffed, as you can imagine. There were over 2,400 entries from across the whole of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and in our category, we were up against entries from Rimmel and Prada, among others.

It was a collaborative effort, led by a brave client team at Harvey Nichols (Deb, Alistair and Kasia), and the incredible team at TBWA London (Jarrod, Tom, Andy, Grace, Sara and Anna).

And last of all, huge props and thank you to Dr. Helen Pankhurst ✊