Finely honed PR skills, extensive media contacts, creative thinking, commercial insight, strategic approach, amazing and measureable results: Welcome to intelligent PR and communications by Cloud Nine PR

Author Archive

MARLOW ROPES

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Working with Kate and Cloud Nine is a real pleasure.  Cloud Nine’s PR knowledge and expertise is incredibly valuable in pushing forward Marlow’s global PR and Communications strategy.  We have had a great deal of success this year so

We have had a great deal of success this year so far thanks to the hard work of Kate and her team who have been a tenacious force ensuring that targeted, quality content is shared to the right audiences.

E Donovan, Marketing Manger

Hotel PR

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

“We set up and opened The Driftwood in early 2017. Cloud Nine PR has been an integral part of our success.

Hotel PR, Restaurant PR

“Without the help of Cloud Nine PR , I really don’t think we would be where we are today. For a new hotel and restaurant business starting from scratch, Cloud Nine PR achieved the amazing! The icing on the cake is that The Driftwood Bexhill has now been recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the top 10 places (bed & breakfast) to stay in the UK.

“Our profile and PR appeal was carefully and creatively managed by Cloud Nine PR to achieve maximum exposure; locally, regionally, nationally, internationally and within the travel trade sector too. From The Daily Telegraph to the Evening Standard, influential bloggers to highly successful promotions, interviews and reviews –  The Driftwood is now firmly on the radar of our vast target market.

“I recommend any business wanting to grow and generate great publicity to speak to Cloud Nine PR.”

Seng Loy, The Driftwood Bexhill 

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Cloud Nine PR is a pleasure to work with. The team has great creative ideas, lots of good contacts and is an all round  efficient and professional PR agency. We would highly recommend them.

Tina from Hoogly Tea

New Scandi-cool tea brand brews up with PR

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Cloud Nine PR is managing the PR launch of a new tea brand steeped in the mindful Danish concept of Hygge. Credited with making Denmark one of the happiest nations in the world, Hygge can be loosely translated as a year-round feeling of warmth, wellbeing and cosiness.

And what a success so far for Hoogly!

Hoogly Tea Launch PR

Condé Nast Johansens, the world-renowned collection of luxury hotels and spas, has selected it as its hospitality tea partner. And if that wasn’t enough, Penguin books has also partnered with Hoogly Tea to launch the Sunday Times best seller, Meik Wiking’s new book –The Little Book of Lykke.

The team at Cloud Nine has also been lucky enough to enjoy endless samples of Hoogly’s 18 blends of green, white and black teas, as well as herbal infusions. We know … it’s a hard life but as the PR support it’s a necessity of the job!

Denmark is consistently rated as one of the happiest countries in the world, and its love of hygge is frequently cited as one of the reasons for this. The Happiness Research Institute ran a survey among Danes to find out what they most associate hygge with and – you guessed it – hot drinks took first place. So there’s more to Hoogly tea than meets the taste buds!

We’re definitely feeling the effects of Hoogly Tea and so is our once coveted Nespresso machine – now relegated to the kitchen cupboard.

Some of our favourite Hoogly Teas include:

Marzipan and Spiced Orange –  both these herbal teas have an amazing taste and smell simply divine. 

Around the Fire Black Tea – this is wonderful combination of smoky tea leaves, warming spices, safflower and crushed chilli

Baked Apple Chai – a base of Mellow Sri Lankan tea with apple, ginger, cinnamon and cloves – yum!

Sparkling White – Chinese white tea with apple, lemongrass, elderflower and rosehip.

Available as loose tea or in soil association certified biodegradable tea pyramids. All are hand blended and packed in the UK, ethically sourced and fairly traded. www.hooglytea.com

Chandlers Building Supplies

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

 

Kate and her team approach our PR with enthusiasm and fresh ideas. Cloud Nine has lifted our PR, from a sea of somewhat unexciting press releases, to create stories and PR campaigns that are receiving excellent exposure, traction and engagement in both the trade and consumer media. They are also even being talked about by our employees!

I am impressed by the understanding of our brand and the creativity shown by Cloud Nine to come up with news worthy stories and angles in what is generally a very traditional industry. The value of the media exposure; traditional, online and social, that we have received so far this year far exceeds what we could have achieved from advertising.  

Sue McKinney, Marketing Manager, Chandlers Building Supplies

WE’RE HIRING – PR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Have you got that elusive 12 month’s PR experience under your belt? If you have, then we would be interested in meeting you – you could be our new PR Account Executive.

The role

We’re looking for a PR Account Executive for our fantastic Sussex agency. You will be required to service a really diverse range of high-profile business to business and consumer accounts. You will support the delivery of client PR campaigns, develop high quality content, as well as  social media campaigns. You will also be responsible for reporting and monitoring.

What we’re looking for

We need someone with at least 12 month’s PR experience, whether that be from an agency or from working in-house. You will have strong writing skills and can demonstrate great media management skills. You’ll be keen to work within a busy agency and will be able to show that you’re capable of managing a very busy work schedule.

What’s on offer?

This is a rapidly growing agency that believe in offering personal performance related incentives as well as excellent career development and training. Ideally situated 3 minutes walk to the beach and close to the train station. Cloud Nine offers a plethora of softer benefits. Salary level is dependent on experience, and is highly competitive.

Contact: kate@cloudnineprandmarketing.co.uk T: 01323 325357

WANTED: PR MANAGER | FULL TIME

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Are you looking to join an ambitious, supportive boutique PR agency that delivers results for a great range of clients? If so, put your creative, writing and client engagement skills to full use. Cloud Nine PR offers a fun, dynamic working environment and an enviable list of clients.

Joining us as PR Account Manager, you’ll be supporting and delivering services to our portfolio of clients across different industries, to include:

  • hospitality and tourism
  • manufacturing
  • business travel
  • healthcare

You’ll be managing PR activities to deliver results so we can continue to exceed our client expectations. You’ll act as the main point of contact for our clients and coordinate the PR campaigns independently, building and maintaining strong, long lasting relationships. We encourage you to gain a real understanding of the industry and trends, that ensures we can then make appropriate recommendations regarding communication strategy.

Your day to day responsibilities will be varied and include some of the following –

  • managing media inquiries and interview requests
  • running client meetings, conference calls and journalist briefings
  • writing, editing and approving press releases, case studies, feature articles, web content and blogs for online and print
  • event management and attendance; to include pre and post show client support
  • evaluating opportunities for partnerships, sponsorship and advertising
  • monthly reporting
  • maintaining existing media relationships and developing new ones
  • managing and training account executives

To succeed in this environment, you’ll be someone who manages their time effectively, can engage and persuade effectively; consistently work to a high standard. You’ll demonstrate the ability to manage multiple projects, listen and negotiate effectively, and of course spot opportunities for content across a variety of channels.

Our extensive range of services includes:

  • Strategic PR planning
  • Media Relations (traditional and social)
  • Copy Writing
  • Social Media
  • Event Management

We are looking to get the right person to join us as soon as possible so if you are keen to embrace a new challenge and develop your career in a fast growing agency,email your CV and covering letter to: kate@cloudnineprandmarketing.co.uk by the end of June 2017

Salary is competitive and we offer lots of soft benefits.

3 ways to supercharge your Twitter hashtags

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Hashtags were suggested on Twitter back in 2007 by designer Chris Messina as a neat way to group similar conversations together. It took off on the platform shortly afterwards and eventually, the rest of the social media world followed – including Facebook, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest.

Chris Messina

Most of us include simple hashtags in our own posts. For example, if you’re a local business, you could include your town hashtag. And if you sell ice creams, you might add #icecream. This means that anyone searching for those hashtags could potentially see your tweet, rather than just your followers. But hashtags can do so much more than this! Read on to find out how to take them to the next level…

Trending hashtags

Not all hashtags are created equal. The trends bar on the bottom left hand side of your twitter page shows the hashtags that are currently ‘trending’ (attracting the most tweets).

It’s worth bearing in mind that this only shows you the top 10. For a wider reach, try sproutsocial.com or trendsmap.com. Trendsmap is a great tool for highly targeted marketing as it shows the most popular hashtags by geographical location.

Tapping into one of those conversations is a great way to instantly expose your brand to a large audience. There are some rules though! Number one is to research the hashtag first. Pizza company DiGiorno jumped on the #WhyIStayed hashtag, without realising it was being used to talk about domestic violence. Although the company apologised afterwards, this would undoubtedly have damaged their brand.

whyistayed

And some more rules… Don’t hijack the tweet by randomly adding it on to an unrelated post of yours. It must be relevant, and it’s best to steer clear of controversial topics.

Take a look at the fun way Doritos used the hashtag #sharknado3 from the cult American films to tap into a specific demographic:

Dortitos

Brand hashtags

If jumping on the bandwagon isn’t your thing – invent your own. For example, KitKat use #mybreak across all their social media sites. This helps define their brand (fitting in nicely with their ‘have a break, have a kitkat’ slogan) and lets fans find and engage with them. Alternatively, you could use your company name (if it’s relatively short). Do your research first to check your hashtag is unique, and that it chimes with your brand message.

kitkat.jpg-large

Campaign hashtags

You can of course invent numerous different hashtags for specific marketing campaigns. This helps create a buzz around a campaign or competition, and lets your fans do some of your marketing for you!

For Coca Cola’s hugely popular #shareacoke campaign, the coke logo on bottles was swapped with common names and nicknames. Fans shared thousands of pictures and stories online using this hashtag, helping Coca Cola reach far more of their target market than they could have done on their own. It also paved the way for endless spin off campaigns (see below).

coke

So to sum up, the humble hashtag can help your target market find, engage and share your brand online, expanding your reach and your customer base. Used creatively, it’s a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

Remember, don’t overload your post with hashtags. Around two is the limit. More than this and reading the tweet becomes impossible. It also looks very ‘salesy’ – a big no no on social media.

How have you used hashtags in your marketing campaigns? Let us know!

If you’d like more advice on this, or any other aspect of social media marketing, please call us on 01323 325357.

5 simple ways to get publicity and media engagement

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

You’d like to make an impact – publicity, media coverage, social media engagement. The only problem is, there’s not a whiff of a story in sight…or so it seems.

Here are five top strategies to help unearth that gem of a story – even when you think there isn’t one.

The piggyback

Get someone else to do the heavy lifting

Get someone else to do the heavy lifting

Read, read and read some more – news items relevant to your industry. Set Google Alerts to help you keep on top of this. Are there any current trending news stories that your business could relate to?

Example: You run a local sports centre. There’s a national news story that claims exercise is the number one factor in healthy old age. This is a hook, but how do you turn it into your story?

Find a way to insert your business into that conversation. Do you run octogenarian yoga classes? Offer discounts or provide a meeting place for retired people? Is there a bodybuilding pensioner who regularly attends the gym?

The media loves statistics. So find stats that show how many over 60s live in your area, and how much exercise they currently do. Check out the Office for National Statistics or run your own survey locally and compare the findings to the national figures.

Remember to include a great comment from your company figurehead. This will begin to establish them as an authority on the subject.

Dig for victory

I know it’s here somewhere…

I know it’s here somewhere…

The office move, the new member of staff, the new piece of equipment… some things are just not news, however much we’d like them to be. Be careful about sending non-news story press releases to journalists or bloggers ‘just on the off chance’. A badly pitched story can ensure that your emails never get read again.

If you have a story like this, one option is the trade media. These publications often have sections specifically devoted to office moves, staff hires and so on. Online coverage in your trade media can help your website’s SEO.

Alternatively, think like a journalist and dig, dig, dig until you find something valuable.

For example, we recently had a conversation with a client of ours (a dementia care home). One of their new residents had just started holding poetry classes for dementia sufferers, despite also suffering with the disease herself. It turned out she was also an award-winning poet!

This unusual story was covered several times in all the client’s target media as well as boosting the client’s social media footprint.

The case study

Self-obsessed, us?

Self-obsessed, us?

Human-interest angles. They work because we are all a bit nosy. We find other people’s lives fascinating. This is your chance to show how your product or service has changed someone’s life.

Identify a willing case study and find out why they use your service / product. What was their initial situation or problem? How has it helped them in their daily life / solved a problem they had? When do they use the product / service? Does it highlight a wider issue in society?

Case studies are considered soft news, so put a bit of emotion into the mix. Don’t forget that a selection of good photos and/or video is essential to stimulate engagement – in all media, particularly social media.

Keep the focus tightly on the experience of the interviewee to ensure it’s not just a thinly disguised piece of sales puff.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum – a rags to riches story

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum – a rags to riches story

Your own personal story may even make a case study in its own right, like the story of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum.

Raising awareness

All this writing is making me hungry

All this writing is making me hungry

From National Cupcake Week to World Alzheimer’s Day, there’s an awareness day for just about everything. These days are a gift! They provide an easy hook for your story; they give a journalist a reason to cover your story now and a smooth ride on social media too.

It’s National Cupcake Week and you’re a local bakery…bingo! Alternatively you’re an anti-sugar campaigner – either way you get an excuse to fly your flag and get your message out there. So get the data together – how popular are cupcakes? How bad are they for you? What’s the average sugar content? You may even find figures showing the top five flavours.

You could bake some limited edition cupcakes, or hold discounted cupcake-making classes to celebrate the week. The icing on the cake? A relevant quote or two from yourself.

Check out this handy calendar.

Be charitable

On the face of it, a community fundraiser you’ve organised is quite similar to the doomed office-move story. But they’re different in one crucial way: They’re not all about you.

Raising money for a local charity makes a great local news angle, especially if it’s done in a novel or unusual way.

One Norfolk butcher has the right idea. He challenged contestants to eat giant four-pound patties to raise money for MENCAP. The idea is relevant to his business. It’s also great fun, and provides a fantastic photo opportunity.

Attack of the killer burger

Attack of the killer burger

So there you have it, 5 simple ideas to help you get noticed in the media generally and on social media too – even when you think you have no story. Put on your thinking cap, ask questions, be creative and if all else fails – talk to us, we’re always happy to help!

Still stuck? Give us a call on 01323 325357.

Why We Don’t Write Press Releases

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Once you’ve read this you’ll understand. More importantly, you’ll think differently about how to market and publicise your business.

It’s a regular occurrence at Cloud Nine PR & Marketing – the phone rings and it’s someone asking if we can write a press release for them. Inevitably they want to publicise an upcoming event, new product, a service launch or similar. Our answer is ‘no’!

Why? Because the crucial element to a successful release is the story you want to tell – often referred to as the ‘hook’. Irrespective of our lovely writing, if there’s no hook then there’s no point.

So whether you offer me £50 or £1,000 I will not write you a release if I know, even before my fingers touch the keyboard, that it will not achieve what you want it to achieve.

It looks something like this:

no hook + great writing                       = no coverage or engagement

great hook + poor writing                    = possible coverage

great hook + great writing                   = lots of coverage and engagement

The variable of success of your release is the hook. Ask yourself is this really news? If you were not directly involved in your business would you be interested in it?

With a little scratch of the surface – there probably is a much better story – a great hook that will gain traction, publicity and engagement. A better idea or angle that will give you the ‘show and glow’ power that PR and marketing is all about.

I’d much rather help you find that gem of a story. I’d much rather look at your entire business and help you understand how to use the wide variety of PR and marketing communication tools and channels – to the best effect.

Think differently about your PR & marketing.

Typewriter6

Club Class Chauffeurs

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

“Club Class has been working with Kate McCoy and her team at Cloud Nine PR & Marketing for many years. In that time they have achieved outstanding results due to the work ethic of her team and the quality of work. The media coverage, online, traditional and social, and targeted interest Cloud Nine PR has created has been extraordinary.
The success of our working partnership has resulted in our group expanding Cloud Nine PR’s involvement across all our subsidiaries in the UK. Kate’s unique approach is also what makes it one of the most enjoyable working partnerships. I cannot recommend Kate McCoy and her team at Cloud Nine PR & Marketing highly enough.”
Jonathan Dow, Club Class

Hastings Adventure Golf

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Like many privately owned companies we do not have the resources or expertise to manage our own PR. With some scepticism we decided to enter the PR world. We enlisted the help of Cloud Nine PR & Marketing and have not looked back since!

We have found Cloud Nine PR to be both approachable and understanding to the needs of our business. At no point have we felt a power struggle in terms of what we deemed best for the company or the direction we see our business heading.

Importantly they have been extremely open to our suggestions whilst also providing good strategic advice and great ideas. Without their creative input we would not have gained such great exposure this year.

Cloud Nine has assisted us heavily in improving our social and on-line presence whilst also achieving a wealth of very valuable publicity on national TV, national newspapers, in print and online, targeted regional media as well as radio and of course our all important South East – Sussex and Hastings media.

If you, like us, are unsure I would recommend giving PR and these guys a go – you won’t regret it.

A big thank you to Kate and the team at Cloud Nine PR and Marketing. We enjoy working with you guys and are looking forward to next year!

Simon TompkinsManager, Hastings Adventure Golf

 

The Enterprise Centre

Monday, September 21st, 2015

“The Enterprise Shopping Centre has been working with Cloud Nine PR and Marketing to promote the refurbishment of the Centre and to change our positioning in the market place.  Kate and her team are extremely professional, knowledgeable, flexible and enthusiastic. They have been able to gain a lot of publicity us, promote events and generate great ideas. We are hugely grateful for their continued support.”

Denise Harwood, Commercial Director, Enterprise Shopping Centre, East Sussex

www.enterprise-centre.org

10 Ways To Increase Awareness of Your Product/Service

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Think Lady Gaga, she did it once (with a dress made of raw meat) and grabbed huge attention – that’s impact. Now she does it all the time [read: very frequently]. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know who we’re talking about!

We can’t all be pop stars, so how do you create awareness and, importantly, how do you sustain it – even for what may seem a ‘boring’ product or service?

There is no magic formula – it’s just simple maths. Impact x Frequency = Awareness. This is the basis of all great marketing communications.

The Meat Dress

Think about it for a moment. Think about stuff that you know… how did you come to know it? When you heard “it’s a boy”, or “you’ve got the job”, how many times did you need to be told to remember? Probably just the once. That’s impact.

Now think about something you know that is a bit dull. Say, your times tables or even the Cillit Bang adverts on TV. Both are quite uninspiring, and hardly creative or impactful, but because you’ve repeated them over and over again, or have been exposed to these ads repeatedly, you remember them. That’s frequency.

Now, bring these together to think about your marketing communications. Most products and services aren’t exactly mind blowing. So, you’ll need to up the impact to get noticed, and then, up the frequency to get remembered.

If you have something really impactful, but it’s only briefly glimpsed, it’s unlikely to be remembered for very long. And, if you have something dull – even if you go on about it ad nauseam, it will usually still go unnoticed.
So, how do you achieve both?

5 ways to increase the impact of your marketing

Emotion
If you’re able to trigger an emotion in someone, they cannot help but notice you. You can do this by pin-pointing a real issue they’re having, asking a searching questions, making them laugh, cry, etc. Marketing that does this almost always gets noticed more than stuff that highlights a deeply logical message.

Image
We are all human, and so, bright colours, beautiful people, and other visual techniques can grab your attention in seconds. Building this into your marketing materials is definitely worth the effort. It works for our clients all the time. A great image or photo grabs attention.

Talk about ‘them’, not ‘you’
You know when someone always talks about herself? It gets a bit tedious, doesn’t it? Take a moment to look at your marketing. If you use the word ‘we’ more than the word ‘you’ – you’re just that tedious, boring person. Instead, emulate that amazing person who always asks about you, and remembers the important stuff about you.

What’s that?
There’s amazing power in arousing curiosity. If you give everything away up front, there’s nothing left to find out. Look at headlines and one-liners that leave a little to the imagination and you’ll draw more people into conversation.

Do something unexpected
When you expect one thing, but get something else, you’re surprised. It stops you in your tracks for a moment. What could you do that’s a little unexpected? We’re always saying this to clients – do something different, add a personal touch, comment on something you’re passionate about – remember no one gets noticed for sitting on the fence.

5 ways to increase the frequency of your marketing

Timing
Research when your buyers go online, or read your emails, or review their supplier list, this can mean that you don’t need to actually be more frequent in your communications, you will just seem more frequent by showing up when they are actually looking.

Recycle
And I’m not talking about your general waste! Have you a news release, or a great blog. How about using that on LinkedIn, or make an online video, or use it as an advisory column in one of you core media. Perhaps offer it as a presentation topic at a local networking event? There are many ways to re-use great content. And, in doing so you show up more frequently, and reach people when and where they are most likely to enjoy it.

The Calendar
Did you send your clients a Valentines card? Or a Saint Patrick’s Day card (I’m Irish!)? Why not? Looking at diary dates, like this, or more business-focused ones like year-end, gives you a great reason to get in touch at a time you know they are looking. With a little imagination you can use these sorts of events as a great angle for some useful and impactful content.

Get others to do your marketing
Yep it’s the power of going viral. You know, your followers pass stuff on to their followers, and they pass it on to theirs, etc. But, how do you get shared? (1) Make it easy and have your ‘share buttons’ visible, (2) think up topics that people want to share such as tips, advice, questions, lists or controversy.

Stay on the Radar
Some services that we manage for clients are often ‘crisis’ purchases, such as a care-home or technical breakdown backup, or even a last minute gift for someone that you need now, this minute. Getting noticed is often about being there when someone happens to look, which is often when they have a need. This means that they become hyper aware of the topic at hand.

You know when you learn a new word and suddenly hear it everywhere? It was always there; you’ve just noticed it. What this means for your marketing is that you need to commit to a level of activity that keeps you on the radar of potential users, customers and clients so that when they have the need for your product or service, you or your business springs to mind.

So keep reminding yourself: Awareness = Impact x Frequency.
I’m not suggesting you cover yourself in raw meat, or keep banging on about some very boring aspect of your product/ service. Just think a bit more creatively, show some personality, know your timings and keep at it. This might just be your formula for success.

Kate McCoy is director at Cloud Nine PR and Marketing. For more information visit: www.cloudnineprandmarketing.co.uk

6 Ways To Make Your Event A ‘Bottom Line’ Success

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

At Cloud Nine PR we are still basking in the glory of an incredibly successful re-launch event that we planned, managed and executed for one of our clients, Gemini Brighton. It was over subscribed by the key target guests, generated unending media coverage, before and afterwards, seriously raised the profile of our client and most importantly, one month on, it has directly contributed to the client’s bottom line.

We thought we’d share 6 tips on how you can make your event successful.

1. Define your objectives
Yes, I know it’s a basic but, believe me, sometimes clients get carried away with the thought of a big bash and forget to focus on the reason for it. So think, what exactly do you want to communicate to people at the event and to your wider target market? What is your ultimate goal(s)? Write it all down, and keep your mind focused on these objectives all the time.
We always start by asking clients this question: Two weeks after the event, what would be your ideal outcome? Then we work the event around that.

2 Quality and quantity of guests
Getting the right guests and decision makers to come to your event is key. A venue full of people who will never make the decision about whether to use your goods/services is pointless. Prepare yourself for some hard work on fine-tuning the guest list. On the event day, similar to airlines and hotels, there will always be a few who drop out for one reason or another. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Allow for this by over subscription in the first place. Remember to invite your target media too.

Delighted to say that, we had 98% of the guest list materialise on the night all of whom were the clients key targets.

3 Engagement : with your guests and media
Communicate and engage with your invite list before the event in a manner that draws them in. Social media is fantastic for this. Give your audience snippets of what’s going to happen, what’s in store and who else is attending. We conducted some really impressive personalised direct mail (as this particular client is adept at this), e-marketing and social media activity to include a memorable #hashtag for the event and encouraged guests to use it.

Communicating directly with guests is great and there is even more added value by generating publicity in all local, regional and sector specific media in advance of the event. This can make your event an even hotter ticket! Feed these into twitter, include some pics of key aspects of the event and bingo you’re creating a simmering interest in your event.

All of this, executed correctly will get invitees to respond to your invitation almost immediately. This is a major time saver – cutting out a lot of time chasing up non-responders.

So now we’re at the event with our A list guests. When the guests arrive, is there something for them to engage with?…. We don’t want people arriving to the hottest ticket in town to just stand around looking lost with a drink in hand. We were invited to the corporate party once, billed as Oscar’s Night. Good theme? Yes…… but once guests entered the venue the Oscars theme was forgotten. There was nothing creative, inspiring or even engaging. No entertainment, no focus, no idea of what was going to happen, no music…and, you guessed it, no Hollywood stars! It was just drinks and poor quality canapés! Guests almost forgot why they were at the event, or the reason behind the gathering. Sure enough key people were gone within the hour!

So carry your theme through, give people something to do when the arrive, tell them what the plan for the night is: will there be speeches, by whom, fireworks, a competition, the opportunity to win something, what’s on the menu, at what time and where. People like to know what’s in store. If there’s a key speaker then they’ll most likely wait to hear that but if they don’t know then they might just hit the road. Have plenty of hosts briefed to make introductions, provide an outline of what the plan is and look after your guests.

We always provide a full brief to our team and the client’s team the day before the event. The main message being that it is all our responsibility to look after guests, just like it is when you invite people to your house. Also its very important that all representatives ‘big up’ the company, make ‘friends’ with guests (rather than just trying to sell to them) and help communicate the key objectives – Remember point 1: yes, those objectives that we outlined at the very beginning of the event planning process.

4 Keeping up the momentum
Following your event, what next? The journalists and broadcasters we invited to the event are all provided with the aspect or angle of the story that fits their agenda. Some are only interested in social pics, some are more interested in the key message from the company, others want to conduct a more in-depth one to one interview with the MD. So making sure that every media outlet gets what they want quickly and efficiently helps generate heaps of additional publicity opportunities.

Keep in touch with all the guests, share photos of the event, as well as the publicity generated following the event – people love seeing photos of themselves ….well most do. Update them on who won if you were running a competition, ask about how they’re getting on with something in their goodie bag, for example, did they like the chocolates? How are the seedlings (from the goodie bag) getting on? you get the idea. Social networks, e newsletters, your website are all great ways of continuing the story.

5 Feedback & leads generated
So what was the feedback from the client and guests at the event?
If you hear nothing, I don’t need to tell you that, its not good! However, if the quality of guests and the general mood of the event was good, then you know you’ve done well. Guests who email in and tweet about what a great time they had etc is also powerful feedback. Our client was inundated with ‘congratulations’ and ‘thank yous’ and ‘well dones’ following the event. It is also a key relationship builder and this is ultimately the key to businesses. So that’s another tick in the box.
Check on the visits to the website, has this increased? What’s the effect been on twitter? Review inbound enquiries and make sure to follow-up on leads generated.

Five weeks following our client’s event, the company’s business is almost working at full capacity. We’re not suggesting that it was all down to the success of the event and surrounding PR but it has definitely contributed. This is some of the feedback we got:

Thought I would just drop you a line and say a big thank you for making
last night a great success. The atmosphere created was spot on
and the general consensus is ‘what a great night’! Dave Britton, MD, Gemini Brighton

Thank you Cloud Nine so much for all your work on creating a fantastic well though-out and executed re-launch event. It really ticked all the boxes, it is already helping to drive the business forward and was thoroughly enjoyable. A great success. S Cropper, MD, Gemini Group

6 The Budget
I’ve seen businesses blow a lot of money on what I can only describe as ‘very average’ events, or at worst disorganised, pointless events. What’s the point in that? It’s just wasting your money and leaving your guests with a poor impression of you. You can have a super event for probably the same cost. With careful planning, creative thinking and huge attention to detail your event can come well within your budget and most importantly achieve all the key objectives, that you outlined at the beginning of the process.

Tune in next time for: 6 Ways to make your event memorable and produce a healthy ROI.

Himalayan Footsteps

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Cloudnine PR & Marketing had made a very positive impact on my business (travel and tourism sector). Kate and Sandra work hard to understand us and deliver results. Working with them is just like an extension of our company and as such they are dependable and provide authoritative PR strategies and advice.
Olly Margry
Managing Director – Himalayan Footsteps
www.himalayanfootsteps.com

Our day at Let’s Do Business, Brighton Race Course: It’s a winner!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

In advance of Lets Do Business Eastbourne, we thought a recap on the whirlwind delights of this year’s LDB Brighton exhibition was a good idea. Its always great for a browse, meeting up with old contacts, making new ones – and of course gorging on all the chocolates and cupcakes you can eat! My colleague, Kate, managed to hold off for at least 10 minutes but I fell at the first hurdle – pretty appropriate as the event was held at Brighton Race Course.

The Cloud Nine team was only at the event for a couple of hours – had to race back to our stables for a client meet, but we still managed to cover a good few furlongs among us.

Gemini Brighton– a fab ‘can do anything’ printers – was first on our race cards. They were there with colleagues from their sister company Gemini Press. Gemini Brighton, formerly Andus Print, has recently rebranded to flag up its Brighton & Hove focus and its impressive green credentials. They reported that the ‘going was firm’ and they had seen lots of their clients and had some great enquiries regarding new business.

Cupcakes in hand we headed off to Yelo Architects that had an amazing display of work they were undertaking in the Brighton area. We had a quick chat with the young architect manning the stand who said she was half way through her seven year training period – just goes to show what experience you are paying for when you engage professionals to help with your designs.

The boys at Wonderlabs SEO were on good form and explained to all visitors to their stable the delights of search engine optimisation – a market place in which they are specialists.

Our friends at the Argus, Sussex Business Times , South East Business Magazine and the newly renamed Brighton & Hove Independent were all out in force and it was great to swing by and say ’hello’. It’s amazing how good it feels to actually see people face to face that you speak to so frequently on the phone, or engage in email chases with!

One of the most educational visits we had was to the stand of Merlin Environmental Solutions. The owner was incredibly engaging and knowledgeable about his trade. He was telling us that his son is flown all over the world to get rid of pesky little bedbugs – it just goes to show – glamour can be found everywhere – if you choose to see it!

Sarah Edmunds Legal Services was also another great stop off. She explained that her and her staff simplify the law to their clients and concentrate on providing a super-quick service to clients. To draw people to her stand Sarah has cleverly engaged a silhouette portrait artist, Charles Burns, who did an incredible cut-out profile picture of my colleague, in what seemed like a nano-second. It was amazing to see her side profile features transferred onto the black card before our eyes. Suddenly it was as though Princess Diana had returned from the grave – because that’s exactly what thes profile looked like – must get her an evening job as a Diana lookalike – she could buy some more Hobbs dresses!

We had many other chats that are too numerous to mention. On our tour round the course we spoke to representatives from some of Brighton’s best hotels, catering companies and entertainment businesses – all very useful when planning events for our clients.

Last but not least we touched base with the Clerk of the Course, so to speak – Jonathan Dolding and Graham How – Head of exhibitions and events for Let’s Do Business. They reported a great turn out, which only goes to show people still love getting out there, engaging and meeting others in the world of business. All the social media in the world can’t hold a candle to a good old-fashioned chat, a cup of coffee and a cake.

We were on the home straight but there was still time to touch base with our friends at Shoppers Anonymous Sussex, who have the winning format to improve almost any business where customer service is vital.

Regrouping the Cloud Nine team in the car park, there was finally time for a Steward’s Enquiry – just who had consumed the most calories? If the chocolate around our chops was anything to go by I think Kate and I were joint favourites!

Business & Investment Media ‘Uncorked’

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Herron Fisher is one of the region’s leading insolvency practitioners, with offices in London and Sussex. It undertakes all aspects of corporate recovery and insolvency work, as well as assisting with corporate turnaround and refinancing.

Herron Fisher engaged Cloud Nine PR:

  • to liaise, manage and publicise its involvement as the Court appointed administrators of failed wine investment company, Vinance Plc.
  • to highlight its task of rescuing the company as a going concern.

Cloud Nine PR drafted various news releases and with our knowledge of the national finance, business, investment and wine media we secured very valuable coverage on and off-line, as well as stimulating an immensely powerful campaign on Twitter to highlight Herron Fisher’s appointment and plan of action.

There was efficient and far reaching coverage on the story particularly on Twitter where it was tweeted via the media to well in excess of 6 million followers and then re-tweeted several 1,000 times! Our release was pretty much published word for word on over 12 national media sites and most importantly incorporated hyperlinks to the client’s site too.

Decanter, the leading national ‘wine bible’, featured the initial story in November and then we also secured a further follow up feature in December and January.

BBC Radio 4 interviewed our client on BBC Money Box and this generated further coverage on the BBC website as well as twitter mentions. Money Box is broadcast on Saturdays at 12:00  on BBC Radio 4 and repeated on Sundays at 21:00. You can listen again via the BBC iPlayer or by downloading Money Box podcast.

Features and reports also secured, but not limited to, include:

Numerous influential national and international wine blogs and associated twitter accounts, to include:

The effect was hugely powerful, reinforcing Herron Fisher’s position as leading administrators with key experience and professional reputation.

“We’re really pleased with the work done and the great coverage achieved. Thank You.” Chris Herron, Herron Fisher

EASTBOURNE TOWN TEAM

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013


Really well done Kate & Cloud Nine PR. Fantastic message to get out to a broader audience the we’re open for business. Thank you.
Stephen Lloyd, MP, Eastbourne & Willingdon
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

You’ve helped the Town Team take a good idea and reach real numbers across the country. Setting up the picture, getting the angles right and sending out the releases so quickly and effectively..not to mention numerous calls etc. We’re extremely grateful. The town’s profile, has had a significant seasonal boost, and our retailers will no doubt notice the impact. Thank you.
Adam McNaught-David (on behalf of Eastbourne Town Team)

A Clean Sweep for Cloud Nine

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Cloud Nine PR & Marketing has won the contract to help launch the newest, quirkiest vintage-style household cleaning products to hit the UK.

The new glamorous cleaning brand is MAID IN THE UK (no, that’s not a typo!). The Maid Simple product range recognises the nation’s insatiable appetite for all things 50’s and 60’s – from Mad Men style TV to cosmetics, vintage style clothes to homewares. The female team at Maid Simple cleverly spotted a gap in the market for everyday cleaning products that appeal to our love of vintage style.

Who's doesn't love the 50's/60's style-vibe!

So watch out for  Spick and Span shower cleaner and Lovely Bubbly washing up liquid among others. In the meantime visit: maidsimpleproducts.co.uk or follow @MaidSimpleuk

Featured in The Sun, largest circulating newspaper in the UK


Maid Simple products coming soon...

 

TV Presenter Makes the Cut

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Cloud Nine PR created and implemented the recent successful launch event for Canford Healthcare in Sussex. It was a really great afternoon and generated fantastic publicity, on and off line, as well as throughout the social media networks.  Well done to all our team and the lovely Kaddy of course, for a great job.

Pictured: Bubbly TV presenter, Kaddy Lee Preston, cuts the ribbon to offically open the new wing at Ashridge Court care home in Bexhill.

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Having a ‘Fine’ Time in Sussex

Monday, December 10th, 2012

DEC 2012 Parking warden aka Lucy Towson-Bishop has a fine time of it as parking meters are being made redundant in Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes in the lead up to Christmas. In an effort to support retailers and encourage more shoppers into the town centres East Sussex County Council, and its parking operators, NSL, are providing free on-street parking for late night shopping on every Thursday from 4pm running up to Christmas.

The initiative was instigated by the Eastbourne Town Team – a group of young businesspeople in Eastbourne who aim to re-energise Eastbourne Town Centre and leave behind the ‘God’s Waiting Room’ label.

Councillor Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Transport and Environment said: “In the spirit of the season, we have agreed that we will not charge for parking on the Thursday nights running up to Christmas. Hopefully it will make Christmas shopping a little bit easier for people.”

 

Christmas Parking in Sussex

 

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This recent great fun job was for East Sussex County Council and The Eastbourne Town Team. It generated Sussex-wide publicity. Happy Christmas shopping one and all!

Cloud Nine is Sussex Business Times’ PR expert

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Cloud Nine PR was asked to provide some top line advice to a company conundrum.

How can PR help a financial services business differentiate itself from its competitors?

Check out this month’s issue of Sussex Business Times (page 52) for some ideas that might get the creative juices flowing.

Training client dramatically boosted by Sun exposure

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Our client, The Plumbing Academy, experienced a huge increase in enquiries from our PR in The Sun newspaper – the country’s biggest circulating paper. The case-study feature story was perfectly timed to coincide with A-Level results week – when training and qualifications are top of the agenda.

The Sun has the tenth-largest circulation of any newspaper in the world and the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom It had an average daily circulation of 2,614,725 copies in March 2012.Between July and December 2010 it had an average daily readership of approximately 7.6 million, of whom approximately 2.65 million were in the ABC1 demographic and 4.9 million in the C2DE demographic.

Training company features in The Sun

 

The Conference People

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

“I have worked with Kate and Cloud Nine on several varied projects and she always provides highly focused and very successful solutions.

She has great contacts and experience – a consummate professional.
Amongst other projects, Cloud Nine PR has an ongoing agreement with my company to look after the PR for the World Social Marketing Conference.
A genuine pleasure to work with:  Great Results, Personable, Creative.

Robert Enefer, MD, The Conference People

 

Member of the Chartered Institure of Public Relations

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