Twitter Updates

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Why you should probably NOT spend money on print advertising!

IF YOUR business is a start-up, or just a small business, you face the challenge of managing your limited resources whilst trying to generate a return.

In difficult economic circumstances, winning new business – even generating leads can be hard. Then there’s the question of building awareness more broadly, to ensure that when prospects make a “buying decision”, your business is front of mind.

It’s usually when you’re toying with these imponderables that the phone rings and some slick-talking smoothie says that the publication he works for has an available page, they’re due to go to print imminently and out of the goodness of his heart, he thought he’d offer it to you at a very reasonable discount. Yes, that old chestnut!

Well, I’m not suggesting that you say NO to every one of these media-sales types…just 99.9 per cent of them. Brass is better in your pocket than theirs!

In short, here’s my advice regarding how to respond when approached to buy advertising space:-

- Ask if their circulation is audited by ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation). If it’s a radio ad, the equivalent organisation that audits radio listener figures is called RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research)

- If they say they don’t have these metrics, but offer a “Publisher Statement”, there may be little basis to whatever they claim as their circulation. Ask them to qualify the figure by giving you their print run.

- Ensure that they offer you a detailed demographic statement regarding listeners/readers. Ask yourself if this demographic is really who you need to be selling to.

- Ask them if they have successfully advertised a business offering services like yours previously. Can they qualify this? Ask them what return on your investment you might expect. If this is answered in a woolly fashion, ask them if they have case studies from businesses comparable to your own. Or better still, ask if you can have the contact details of an advertiser who has gained a measurable return on their investment from advertising with them.

- If at any point when you ask these sorts of things, you are given prevarication or evasiveness, it suggests they can’t give you the assurances you need before you part with your money.

I was with a client recently when a salesperson from a lifestyle publication turned up. She flannelled through most of the stuff I’ve outlined, so I asked her to do a “taster” deal - and that if it worked my client would commit to a series of adverts. The taster I suggested was a free one page ad for my client and he’d pay them half of the profit he generated from any leads the ad generated. Suffice to say, she declined. More to the point, since then neither I nor my client have been approached by the publication. This speaks volumes about their confidence in their product to do anything beyond vanity advertising.

In fairness, you might want to advertise for reasons other than straightforward lead generation, such as long-term awareness building. In which case, at the very least this approach should get you access to better than rate-card prices.

Finally, as a test of a publication’s commitment to giving you a deal that actually works, why not ask them to publish a press release for you? If you get a response to your story, it’s reasonable to assume that if you advertise with them you might see a response too!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Pendle Pub Walk Top 20

Greetings Pendle Pub Walk pop pickers!

Brandspankin’ is very proud of its sponsorship of Pendle Pub Walk and tomorrow’s walk is set to be the biggest and best yet, with over 500 walkers covering the 10 mile route.

We’re hoping for good weather, but a few summer showers won’t dampen the spirits – especially if you tuck into a pint or two of Spellbinder – the special ale produced for by event sponsor Moorhouse’s Brewery.

In the meantime, here’s our Pendle Pub Walk Top 20 – listen to this tune - whilst reading the following...not ‘arf!

  1. These Boots Were Made for Walking - Nancy Sinatra
  2. Zippin’ up my boots (Going back to my roots) - Richie Havens
  3. I would walk 500 miles - The Proclaimers
  4. Running up that Hill - Kate Bush
  5. Walk On By - Dionne Warwick
  6. Walking in the Rain - The Ronettes
  7. Walking on sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
  8. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  9. I Can See For Miles - The Who
  10. Hurry up Harry (we're going down the pub) - Sham69
  11. Walk This Way – Aerosmith
  12. Run to the hills – iron Maiden
  13. I walk the line – Johnny Cash
  14. Walking back to happiness – Helen Shapiro
  15. Walk on the wild side – Lou Reid
  16. Don’t walk away Renee – The Four Tops
  17. Walk of Life – Dire Straights
  18. Walking On Sunshine - Rocker's Revenge
  19. (You Got To Walk And) Don't Look Back - The Rolling Stones
  20. Raindrops keep falling on my head – BJ Thomas

Monday, 18 April 2011

Funded PR & Social Media Marketing Courses are back!!

We have managed to access limited match funding for clients who want to come on our PR & Social Media Marketing Course. Total cost is £500 + VAT (£250 of which will be funded). Funds and places are limited, so please call us now to register your interest on 01282 878 301.

Our training courses have been extremely popular and have had a brilliant response from attendees – we guarantee that if you do the course and implement our advice, you’ll get a measurable return on your investment!

The Brandspankin’ PR and social media marketing course trains your business to:-

• Formulate key messages properly

• Write a compelling, “media-ready” press release

• Formulate an objectives-based Comms/Marketing plan that locks your

marketing activity into your Business Plan

• Understand the requirements of journalists and publication editors

• Use a series of freely available tools to monitor and measure the success of

your campaigns

• Understand how to optimise and best utilise your presence on social media

sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare.

• Use a variety of online PR resources to self-publish your news releases

• Use blogging platforms to self-publish

• Massively enhance your online presence – so-called “Digital Asset Optimisation”

• Significantly increase traffic to your website

• Significantly increase profitability

Friday, 15 April 2011

SIMCAM Stan catches nuisance knocker in the act!

Disabled Stan's ingenious wireless camera system foils phantom nuisance

AN ELDERLY pensioner at a Hull Residential Home has slept soundly for the first time in five years, thanks to an ingenious system that is the brainchild of a disabled entrepreneur!

The pensioner had been plagued by a malicious door knocker for the past five years and had barely had an unbroken night’s sleep. However, thanks to Stan Glover’s SIMCAM the problem is now a thing of the past.

“I have been plagued with a phantom door knocker for the past five years”, she said. “Thanks to that new camera they daren’t knock anymore!”

Stan’s clever device came about after he suffered a massive stroke in July 2008. He was told he would probably never regain his mobility, but plucky Stan, 58, decided to prove doctors wrong and teach himself to walk again. After a fall whilst teaching himself to walk again, Stan almost fallen into the fire and his wife worried about even going to the shops and leaving him alone.

The experience inspired Stan to come up with SIMCAM - a small, portable, alarm remote camera powered by battery or mains and fitted with a SIM card, allowing it to call mobile phones or send emails. The ingenious solution costs a fraction of orthodox CCTV systems and comes with a remote key fob, meaning that if a disabled user falls it activates the alarm/camera.

Solving the mystery of the malicious door knocker is the latest in a series of successful applications for Stan’s SIMCAM device. The SIMCAM has also alerted Nursing home staff to the unauthorised presence of a young Male at 5:45am one morning recently. The Nursing home Manager has the images and expects to identify the person involved.

Andy Rollins, Contracts Manager from 24-7 Security Systems Hull, said: “Our Company had been asked to patrol this area to see if we could apprehend this vicious nuisance knocker. The lady’s life had been made a misery, being woken up at all hours of the night by loud banging on her door.”

He added. “We heard about SIMCAMS and Stan came out in person to show the full range of products. We immediately purchased one of each of his Alert cameras and simply located it near the lady’s door, set it remotely via our mobile for infrared motion detection and lo and behold at 2.30 am that night an alert by text was received on the patrol guard’s mobile. The SIMCAM had taken 8 pictures showing the individual in the act of knocking on this lady’s door.”

Karl Crossland, Managing Director of 24-7 added: “It really does give you peace of mind. We now have images transferred from e-mail to a cd-rom which can be used in evidence.”

“The Nursing home has been shown the evidence. We feel this will be the end of the matter and we will no longer be required to patrol. For less than £200.00 we solved a five year long problem. I think we will be using quite a few of SIMCAMS products!”

SIMCAM Stan catches nuisance knocker in the act!

Disabled Stan's ingenious wireless camera system foils phantom nuisance

AN ELDERLY pensioner at a Hull Residential Home has slept soundly for the first time in five years, thanks to an ingenious system that is the brainchild of a disabled entrepreneur!

The pensioner had been plagued by a malicious door knocker for the past five years and had barely had an unbroken night’s sleep. However, thanks to Stan Glover’s SIMCAM the problem is now a thing of the past.

“I have been plagued with a phantom door knocker for the past five years”, she said. “Thanks to that new camera they daren’t knock anymore!”

Stan’s clever device came about after he suffered a massive stroke in July 2008. He was told he would probably never regain his mobility, but plucky Stan, 58, decided to prove doctors wrong and teach himself to walk again. After a fall whilst teaching himself to walk again, Stan almost fallen into the fire and his wife worried about even going to the shops and leaving him alone.

The experience inspired Stan to come up with SIMCAM - a small, portable, alarm remote camera powered by battery or mains and fitted with a SIM card, allowing it to call mobile phones or send emails. The ingenious solution costs a fraction of orthodox CCTV systems and comes with a remote key fob, meaning that if a disabled user falls it activates the alarm/camera.

Solving the mystery of the malicious door knocker is the latest in a series of successful applications for Stan’s SIMCAM device. The SIMCAM has also alerted Nursing home staff to the unauthorised presence of a young Male at 5:45am one morning recently. The Nursing home Manager has the images and expects to identify the person involved.

Andy Rollins, Contracts Manager from 24-7 Security Systems Hull, said: “Our Company had been asked to patrol this area to see if we could apprehend this vicious nuisance knocker. The lady’s life had been made a misery, being woken up at all hours of the night by loud banging on her door.”

He added. “We heard about SIMCAMS and Stan came out in person to show the full range of products. We immediately purchased one of each of his Alert cameras and simply located it near the lady’s door, set it remotely via our mobile for infrared motion detection and lo and behold at 2.30 am that night an alert by text was received on the patrol guard’s mobile. The SIMCAM had taken 8 pictures showing the individual in the act of knocking on this lady’s door.”

Karl Crossland, Managing Director of 24-7 added: “It really does give you peace of mind. We now have images transferred from e-mail to a cd-rom which can be used in evidence.”

“The Nursing home has been shown the evidence. We feel this will be the end of the matter and we will no longer be required to patrol. For less than £200.00 we solved a five year long problem. I think we will be using quite a few of SIMCAMS products!”

Friday, 11 March 2011

New Facebook business pages

Well yesterday was the day! The day Facebook business pages automatically changed over to the new design bringing them more in line with the design and functionality of personal pages. If you haven’t already looked, your business page may look a bit different today when you log on.

So what are the differences?

One of the first things you’ll notice are the tabs have gone from the top of the page. The navigation is now down the left hand side. There on the left...yes there, can you see them? Small aren’t they?!

According to Facebook it’s what we all expect, so that’s where they’re staying. I’m sure at first the ‘navigational links’ will not get used as often as the tabs were – which could mean lost opportunities, but it does mean we’ll have to be a bit more creative in letting people know about them and, like everything else in life, after a while what once seemed new, weird and different will become second nature.

Another change that will take some getting used to is the fact that wall posts now go through a filtering system and are no longer shown in chronological order. This can be very annoying and confusing, especially for admins - and comments left on facebook’s help pages certainly seem to bear this out. A post made by an admin yesterday for instance could show further down the page than a comment a fan made last week, AND it’s different for different visitors.

Why have they done this you may ask? It’s confusing for you as an admin but apparently not for your fans or visitors. It allows the posts to be more relevant, in a social capacity – rather than placing the most popular post at the top. It also ties in with how many, if any, of your friends have interacted with, commented or liked a post. This is a social network after all and by doing this they are given greater preference to more ‘social posts’ rather than the “shouty” sales pitch that we may want to deliver. But again it just means we have to be more creative and engage with our visitors a bit more, which aint necessarily a bad thing.

Whilst some might see the changes listed so far as negative there are some good amendments. You can now ‘like’ a page and ‘comment’ on wall posts of pages that you have liked. This means that you can go off and find relevant pages to your business and ‘like’ them, which will then show up on the left side of the profile page, under your tiny navigational links, and will rotate with each page refresh. Then, as long as their wall is set to open where others can post freely, you can “like” posts, leave a comment, or post something up yourself. But be careful not to fall into the trap of liking dozens of other businesses and posting comments everywhere just so you get in front of loads of people. This could and should be seen as spammy and could get you banned and cause more brand damage than it’s worth. Think about what and where you post and don’t do it just for the sake of it.

There are other more techy changes to get your head around too, but from what I’m told these are going to make things a lot easier. So, gone is FBML and in comes iFrames. Anything using FBML previously will still be ok, but as of today you’re going to have use iFrames. This, should open up a whole range of possibilities. You can basically put some content onto your website, ensuring its 520px wide, and then embed that page into a relevant navigational link (tab).

And that’s about it really. I could go on and talk about the five thumbnail pictures you’ll see at the top of the page or the fact you can see the activity summary when you log in or about spam monitoring or the fact you can now feature administrators to give your business page a more personal feel...or...or...or, but I think I’ll leave it there for now and let you discover the rest for yourself. Feel free to get back to us with any tips or hints on the new Facebook business pages and we’ll post them for everybody’s benefit!

Jac

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

NEWS RELEASE: Pendle Pub Walk set to be bigger than ever!

ROTARIANS from Burnley Pendleside Club have announced the 3nd annual Pendle Pub Walk, and this year’s sponsored charity event promises to be the biggest yet!

The 10 mile circular walk – scheduled for Saturday 18th June - will begin in Barley and pass through some of Pendle's most stunning scenery, stopping off at some of the area’s finest pubs as waypoints. This year’s walk is set to raise money for Pendleside Hospice – a very worthy cause that is close to the hearts of thousands of people across east Lancashire.

Grahame Trudgill one of the organisers of the walk, said: “The event gives people an opportunity to enjoy a summer walk through wonderful scenery and in the company of friends and family. It’s also a really good opportunity to meet lots of new people – I was really struck by the atmosphere and camaraderie at last year’s event, as people walked together chatting and stopping off for drinks on the way round.”

“This year’s walk is going to raise money for Pendleside Hospice. So many of us have a connection with the Hospice and everybody is touched by their dedication and the wonderful service they deliver to our community – so I’d urge as many people as possible to get involved.”

People interested in either participating in the walk or sponsoring walkers should visit the website set up especially for the walk - www.pendlepubwalk.co.uk. Organisers say that everyone is welcome on the walk - registration is open and costs just £10.

Last year's event saw 150 walkers raise over £6,000 for Derian House Children’s Hospice and The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Burnley Business sweeps the board at last night’s Oscars

Oscars accolade for Burnley’s global leader in sound engineering

A BURNLEY based digital technology business specialising in sound engineering last night enjoyed huge success at the Oscars.

The prestigious ceremony – watched by a global TV audience in excess of 150 million people - saw massive success for films associated with AMS Neve. Winners that used AMS Neve’s technology included The King's Speech, Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, Black Swan, Alice in Wonderland and True Grit.

Notably, Inception won 2 Oscars that are especially pertinent to AMS Neve, given their expertise - Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The sound for Inception was produced on the AMS Neve 88RS analogue audio console at Air Lyndhurst (London) and also on the AMS Neve DFC Gemini console at Warner Bros. (Los Angeles).

AMS Neve enjoys global renown in the ultra high-end feature film scoring and mixing environments, the post-production and broadcast industries, as well as in professional and project music studios.

From their headquarters in Burnley, Lancashire the business employs a team of world class analogue and digital designers, software specialists and audio purists who over the years have been at the cutting edge of the advancement and evolution of professional audio products.

AMS Neve founder and Managing Director, Mark Crabtree said: “We’re delighted to see so many films that use AMS Neve technology winning at this year’s Oscars. It’s a great testament to the quality of our work and the dedication of our people. We see ourselves as inheritors of Burnley’s tradition of engineering excellence.”

“This is a great accolade for AMS Neve and for Burnley’s high tech and digital sector. I hope this will support the work of the Burnley Bondholders group, as we transform perceptions and establish Burnley as a destination for investment opportunities, relocation and tourism.”

---ENDS---

Friday, 11 February 2011

Local girl joins Brandspankin PR and Marketing Agency

EARBY lass Madeline Horth is the newest member of the Nelson-based marketing and public relations agency BrandSpankin’.

Madeline, a final year public relations student at UCLAN University is on track for a 2:1 degree and will work as a marketing and public relations executive with the business.

Madeline has a passion for public relations and is immensely enthusiastic about her work. Whilst studying for a BTEC Media at Craven College in Skipton Madeline achieved the ITV Yorkshire television award for outstanding student of the year.

This will be a great experience for Madeline and give her an insight to the working world. Madeline said: “I am really excited to work with Brandspankin’ - it is such a fantastic opportunity and the people I am working with have lots of experience in the field so I will be able to learn a lot from them.”

Madeline’s dream job is to move to Dubai and ultimately have her own public relations agency.


ENDS

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

33 and counting for Harry Garlick’s Long Player!

OUR client,electrical retailer, Harry Garlick is set to celebrate the big 33 for its very own Long Player!
But that’s not 33rpm like a vinyl LP – it’s 33 years with the business for longest serving employee Ian Heald, the manager of Harry Garlick’s Barnoldswick branch.

Iain first joined the business in 1978 after he left school and for 28 years worked at the Burnley branch, starting on the shop floor and working his way up to be the branch manager.

He admits that keeping up with the latest developments in technology gets harder as you get older, but he recalls fondly the first thing that he sold - an Ultra Music Centre, that in 1978 cost a whopping £189 – which was the equivalent of three weeks wages for most people!

“It was a music centre,” Iain recalled, “so it was a record deck, a tape recorder and radio - like a radio gram. It was expensive at the time, but now you’d get that type of equipment for next to nothing. At the time it was cutting edge and the thing to have.”

“Things have moved on a lot, because nowadays the thing to have would be wifi equipment, so people can have music all round their house wirelessly.”

Harry Garlick may have diversified into many areas of consumer electronics, but they have a long association with television. Ian says that this is another area where things have progressed tremendously.

“3D is the latest thing in TV, but I can remember in the 1980’s when people were shown 3D and they had to wear green and red glasses. The picture quality was awful and people still think of that. It’s changed massively - I watched the Ryder cup on 3D and it was amazing. The contours on the green were really visible - it was fantastic.”

Besides the changes in technology, Ian fondly remembers the people and characters that he’s worked with and served down the years. But the funniest incident involved his father.

“He rang to say that my son had ruined his new video recorder. My son had been giving him instructions over the phone on how to set it up. When he put the video in and pressed play it just made a horrible grinding noise and got stuck. I asked how was that my son’s fault and he said, “well he didn’t bloody tell me to take the cellophane off the tape!”. So when people come in and say they’re techno-phobic, I tell them not to worry - they can’t be as bad as my dad!”

One of Ian’s sons now works at Harry Garlick’s Clitheroe branch, so it’s fair to say he’s kept it in the family!

“Harry Garlick is also a family run business, so it’s got a very good atmosphere, which is important to me. Plus I think it helps as customers have a sense of knowing that they can trust us to give good customer service. We’ve kept that friendly, family approach throughout my time here – even with the advent of new technology and an evolving market place. So for example, this Christmas we used our TV to have a family skype call between us in Barlick, my sister’s family in Nottingham and her daughter in Australia. Being able to do that so easily for all the family is just amazing, especially for the older generation is just mind blowing!

Monday, 31 January 2011

NEWS RELEASE: Burnley Bondholders appoint Brandspankin’ for PR brief

National and Regional media targeted to help change perceptions of the town and borough

A CONSORTIUM of Burnley’s largest businesses and organisations has appointed Marketing and PR agency Brandspankin’ to generate positive coverage across national and regional media and promote the Pennine Lancashire town as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.

The Burnley Bondholders group has been working towards transforming perceptions of Burnley for two years and have committed financially to promoting investment opportunities, relocation to the area and tourism.

Kevin Keith, Burnley Brand Manager, said: “Burnley Bondholders are not followers, they are leaders: people and organisations in Burnley who believe passionately that our town is a great place to do business, who believe more of the right people need to know the right things about Burnley, who champion our world-class aerospace industry; our advanced manufacturing expertise; our all-new schools, college and university, and our breathtaking countryside.”
“Brandspankin’ were selected for this important account in part due to their solid track record of delivering media coverage at regional and national level – it is vital more of the right people know the right things about Burnley - but also due to their drive and determination to show the rest of the northwest and beyond, that Burnley is open for business. We are delighted to have them on board.”

In the first twelve months, the Burnley Bondholder scheme has 90 members representing 50 businesses and organisations, including many of the town’s largest and best-known employers, Aircelle, Burnley FC, Veka Plc and Moorhouses Brewery. In addition to supporting promotional work, Bondholders also enhance the pride the people of Burnley feel about their town.


Julian Jordan, Brandspankin’s Managing Director, said: “Brandspankin’ is delighted to be awarded this contract. It means a great deal to me personally. I made a choice to move back up here from London as I felt it was a better place to bring up my kids.”
“We share the confidence that so many world-class companies have in Burnley. We share the determination that pupils, students and teachers have to excel in Burnley’s new schools, colleges and university. We share the delight of visitors who roam our magnificent countryside or stately homes. We share all of this because we are local - this is our place of business, our place of pleasure, our place to prosper, and we are determined to ensure many others can share this too.”

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About Burnley Bondholders

Burnley Bondholder’s are an influential group of organisations, predominantly from the private sector, who believe what is good for Burnley is good for business, and so contribute financially to promoting the Pennine Lancashire town as a place to live, work visit and invest. Bondholders believe more of the right people need to know about Burnley’s world class aerospace industry; new schools, colleges and university; nationally significant industrial heritage, and breathtaking countryside.

Friday, 21 January 2011

NEWS RELEASE: Harry Garlick appoints Brandspankin’ for PR and social media brief

NEWS RELEASE: 20.1.11
Harry Garlick appoints Brandspankin’ for PR and social media brief

ELECTRICAL retailer, Harry Garlick Ltd has this week announced that they have appointed Pendle Marketing business, Brandspankin’ to manage their PR and social media marketing activity.

Having been trading for nearly 60 years, Harry Garlick is one of the best known companies in the East Lancashire and North Yorkshire areas - and besides its retail outlets has a significant online presence.

The company has built a solid reputation for service and reliability and now feels that the full range of its retail offering - and the service it offers - needs to be understood more clearly by a new generation of savvy consumers.

Ian Scothern, Harry Garlick’s Commercial Director, commented: “Over decades we’ve evolved from a TV shop and repair business, to a significant retail player, across the North West and beyond - we’re now one of the top 20 independent retailers in the UK. Our values however, remain as they always were – competitive on price, and excellent on service. To communicate this, we required an agency that understood our business, our customers and our values, so we’re delighted to have appointed Brandspankin’.”

Julian Jordan, Brandspankin’s Managing Director, added: “Harry Garlick is a business with a long track record of excellent service across East Lancashire and North Yorkshire. Besides their retail presence they have 64,000 square feet of warehouse space at their Earby distribution hub and head office. They’re a member of Euronics, the UK’s biggest buying group - all of which means they can offer great deals to people and we’re looking forward to getting that message out there. By using PR and social media marketing, Harry Garlick don’t just provide cutting edge household electrical equipment, they also use cutting edge ways of communicating with their customers and prospects!”



---ENDS---