Why we think it’s important to challenge our clients  

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At Little Red Rooster we’ve always been big believers in challenging staff to achieve greatness, whether it’s landing ‘coverage of the month’ or simply getting fit. We think it’s important to challenge our clients for the very same reasons.

 

Taking people out of their comfort zone and challenging them can produce results they didn’t realise they were capable off. Pushing the same envelope with clients can aid the creative process.

 

Let’s get one thing straight: we’re not the sort of agency that goes around telling our clients exactly what they should be doing. We recognise they are the best at what they do for a reason, and they have immense expertise in their respective industries.

 

 

Similarly, brands want to work with us because they know we have incredible relationships across the media spectrum, offer a valuable insight into what consumers want and our unique way of doing things aims to deliver outstanding results.

 

However, one of the biggest tools in any business, let alone PR, is effective communication. Interacting with clients on a regular basis can lead to exciting ideas and some of the most creative campaigns in the industry.

 

 

We’d be hard pressed to think of an occasion where one of our clients has proposed an idea so bad that we’ve had to step in and advise them against it, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be ready to – if we felt it was warranted.

 

“If a client was dead set on a particular campaign or working with a certain influencer or ambassador we felt wasn’t right for the brand, what sort of agency would we be if we didn’t challenge their way of thinking?” says Little Red Rooster co-founder Victoria Ruffy.

 

“There’s also the case of the agency being true to itself. We believe in sanity-versus-vanity PR and would seriously question a scenario that risked us going through the motions on a campaign we didn’t believe in.”

 

It can be hard to excel at anything if your heart isn’t it, and going along with something for the sake of it risks average results that wouldn’t do us or the client any favours.

 

“It’s a ‘hole-digging’ mentality that could lead to a client’s brand being damaged, and in the age of social media we all know that can spiral out of control,” says Little Red Rooster co-founder Henry Griffiths. “The best way to steer clear of crisis-management PR is to avoid a crisis that requires managing.

 

“A good PR agency will have the ability and willingness to truly challenge a client when situations like this arise. It takes bravery and might even put your credibility on the line, but the courage of one’s convictions is crucial.”

 

That doesn’t mean all PR agencies are infallible. Quite the opposite. We’re sure there are countless instances where agencies have pushed a client to do something that simply hasn’t worked.

 

A greater chance of success can depend on how well you know your client, how effectively you communicate, and the level of trust and mutual respect. This gives agencies the confidence to challenge clients in the first place and know how far to push things.

 

 

Challenging new clients may prove trickier, but calling the right play could be the making of a long-lasting relationship.

 

We’re an optimistic bunch at Little Red Rooster, and wouldn’t dismiss an idea out of hand without properly researching it first and having a constructive conversation with a client. There are always two sides to every story, after all.

 

It could be that the idea would benefit from fresh thinking or an approach from a different angle. Ironically, this can result in the agency being challenged and leading to spectacular campaigns. In instances like this you have to thrive on the pressure.

 

Whether you challenge a client or they challenge you, the sole aim is achieving greatness and creating campaigns that both parties can be proud of. If you think you’re right, stick to your guns sensitively and constructively and it will strengthen the partnership, not weaken it.

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Stephanie Dunn joins Little Red Rooster

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We are excited to announce that Stephanie Dunn has joined us as a senior account executive. Stephanie is now working in our Twyford office, looking after key design and fashion clients, including Smeg and Ted Baker.

 

Stephanie is the seventh new hire for us this year, as we continue to grow as an agency.

 

Stephanie previously worked across entertainment and consumer PR at Splendid Communications, working on clients such as Showcase Cinema and Tesco. Stephanie has built up a strong list of media contacts across the food and lifestyle sectors, which makes her a fantastic asset.

 

Stephanie Dunn

 

“We are thrilled to welcome Stephanie on board,” said Victoria Ruffy, founder of Little Red Rooster. “Her experience within the lifestyle consumer sector will add even greater knowledge to the Little Red Rooster team.”

 

 

Stephanie has a passion for music and has previously studied singing at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and completed a Songwriting degree at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. She hopes one day she will perform at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

 

Stephanie Dunn said, “I am so pleased to be a part of the team at Little Red Rooster and being involved with such exciting clients.”

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Instagram is luring millennial viewers away from rivals with IGTV

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Instagram is still a critical marketing tool for consumer brands, as seen with the recent Instagram Shopping update. It manages to match and outdo new updates from rivals Twitter and Snapchat. Now the platform has set its sights on luring millennial viewers away from YouTube. Last week it introduced a long-form vertical video platform that appears within the Instagram app as well as part of a stand-alone app, IGTV.

 

The new update comes while Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, struggles to attract teens, while also dealing with the scandal exposing its leaky controls for protecting users’ personal information. As explained by a representative: “We’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

 

 

With over 800 million monthly active accounts and a focus on visual aesthetic, the platform has become one of the most relevant social platforms for brands. It now holds over 25 million business profiles. It is no surprise that 50% of hashtags on the platform are marketing related and that 60% of users follow a label’s account.

 

A study commissioned by Instagram in partnership with GWI back in March 2017, found that over 58% of luxury global consumers from France, Italy, Germany, the UAE, UK and the US use the platform to stay up to date on trends. Roughly half of these are motivated to follow brands or celebrities.

 

The playing field for potential commercial partnerships between brands and Instagram is already crowded, but as the business expands to speak to young viewers, the emphasis is on relative unknowns turning into internet sensations with fervent followings among teens and young adults, as explained by Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom on Wednesday. Meaning that now is a limited opportunity for brands to get in early and experiment before it’s saturated with content.

 

IGTV doesn’t yet feature any ads, and the company doesn’t have any revenue share agreements in place. Right now, the focus is on building engagement and, as simple as it sounds, due to Instagram’s visual nature the quality of imagery and video used by brands is the greatest driver of success. However, as per Instagram’s methodology, the vertical video is perfect for unpolished, personable, on-the-spot-and-on-your-smartphone material.

 

Biometric research conducted by MediaScience on behalf of Facebook, who acquired Instagram in a billion-dollar deal back in April 2012, shows that people psychologically react better to companies on Instagram than any other feed-based social network tested. Engagement was high while users navigated their feed, as well as while adverts were displayed. Potentially, then, IGTV is a great opportunity to show off products and experiment with an already-involved audience.

 

 

IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app or tap the icon in Instagram, and videos can last for up to an hour. Once you are in the app you can swipe to “change the channel” and from there either search for a known favourite, sort through popular content or scroll through videos created by those you follow. It has a lot in common with Snapchat’s Discover section, where user-generated content plays on a continuous loop. Like the traditional Instagram app you can still like, comment and share content.

 

If your brand has already been making use of Instagram Stories and creating unique content for YouTube and Snapchat, IGTV could be simply about repurposing these videos to the new channel. However, although not many brands shoot campaign content tailored specifically for Instagram, it can pay off.

 

One brand which has managed to do this with great success is Louis Vuitton, which first shot video content designed exclusively for the stories platform to launch its Spring/Summer 2017 menswear collection. By taking advantage of the vertical screen to display full-length looks, along with detailed images of the clothing and accessories, it created a compelling visual narrative revealing the craftsmanship of Kim Jones.

 

Due to this tailored approach, Louis Vuitton grew its online video audience by 8.2% between 2016 and 2017.

Your first uploaded video to the new app will create your brand’s image. Something to keep in mind is that videos can last up to 60 minutes, but these will be saved for larger or verified accounts – smaller brands and users will have a limit of 10 minutes. As with Stories, you can add a swipe-up call-to-action to IGTV videos, which you can link to target landing pages.

 

Campaigns will help to reach new audiences and young creators. With consumers having so many choices, companies do need to use this multi-levelled approach to retarget as well as continue the dialogue. Ultimately, it is about constantly experimenting, optimising and tracking the data to find what resonates with audiences, keeps the conversation going, and drives sales.

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The continuing shift of technology coverage in the media

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The tectonic plates of the technology print press have shifted significantly of late with some major consequences for the way they deliver coverage in the UK and how we secure it for our clients.

 

Let’s bring you up to speed. Stuff magazine has a new home with independent publisher Kelsey Media after buying the title from the Haymarket Media Group. It’s the best-selling gadget magazine in the UK, but internationally is where it has real clout, shifting millions of copies worldwide thanks to no fewer than 26 international editions.

 

 

Haymarket had attempted to sell Stuff to fellow publisher Future plc in a multi-million pound deal that included specialist titles such as What Hi-Fi? While most of that was eventually ratified, the Competitions and Markets Authority stepped in to veto any idea of Stuff being part of the package.

 

That’s due to Future already owning Stuff’s closest competitor, T3, and having both under the same roof understandably didn’t sit too comfortably with the regulators. It may have also had something to do with Future previously purchasing Imagine Publishing and swallowing up the now defunct Gadget magazine in the process.

 

 

Meanwhile, T3 has been undergoing its own changes, including a magazine redesign and a new look website, expanding its remit outside of tech to encompass more lifestyle features. Over at Condé Nast, WIRED has halved print output and gone bi-monthly, switched to a ‘digital first’ policy and implemented a paywall on its US site to help secure its future.

 

Largely untouched in all of this are the plethora of hugely powerful dedicated technology websites, such as The Verge, Digital Trends, TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Pocket Lint, Gizmodo, Wareable, Alphr, Recombu, Mashable and TechCrunch among others.

 

So what does this all mean for Little Red Rooster and our tech clients? Well, firstly it means there are more opportunities than ever before in a field of fiercely competitive and highly influential publications and platforms posting decent numbers, and that’s a good thing for everyone concerned.

 

 

The ‘digital first’ policy adopted by many of the aforementioned titles, allied to the huge growth enjoyed by almost all the tech websites, means our clients’ stories are read by more people than ever. And not just in the UK, but rather we’re looking at these digital platforms as a way of engaging with all English language consumers. And these have a more democratic feel, with lots of varied voices, rather than a small ivory tower of experts telling everyone this is how it is.

 

The good news is this can equate to spectacular impact on the day of a launch, and one which lasts online. This content is then often repurposed for print further along the line, with time to expand on the details, or offer a new angle to journalists working on a magazine piece.

 

The changes to the UK’s tech print media is also a reflection of how technology is now a key part of all our lives. I know, insightful right? But in the media tech stopped being the exclusive preserve of gadget titles a long time ago. Newspapers, lifestyle magazines, interiors titles, you name it, they all cover technology, connected devices and consumer electronics in their publications and online. This can impact favourably on our clients on two sides of the coin.

On the one side, it’s caused some tech titles to diversify into other areas such as fashion and style, to follow lifestyle and interiors trends, and think more seasonally. This can benefit clients who wouldn’t consider themselves to be ‘tech’, to reach new audiences in unconventional places.

 

Far more importantly, our consumer electronics clients now regularly feature in titles once considered off limits. And this change of tack also means our clients’ products aren’t sitting in some tech silo. Rather they are happily featured in dedicated fashion, lifestyle, shopping and design pages. Again, this means new audiences in unconventional places and a chance for a brand to increase its following.

 

We hate to say we told you so, but this was one of the reasons Little Red Rooster came into existence eight years ago. We felt the worlds of design, technology and fashion where about to collide and wanted to lead in that space.

 

We have always thrived on taking our clients out of their comfort zone and exposing them to new audiences, so the impact tech is now having on content in all areas of the media is music to our ears.

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Influencers are a core part of beauty brand marketing

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Influencers have become a massively important part of the marketing mix and the surge shows no sign of slowing, especially in the beauty industry where they’re a core part of many brands strategies.

 

Not only do an astonishing 98% of the industry believe influencer marketing is effective, but for every £1 spent in 2017, brands saw an average ROI of £8.81.

 

This incredible figure goes to show just how important it is to build successful relationships between brands and influencers.

 

What’s more interesting, is how brands are using a predominantly data-led approach in order to achieve such successful results in this sector. Looking at everything from follower attributes, demographics, hobbies and discussion topics – we’ll touch more upon this later.

 

 

A recent report by Celebrity Intelligence, in association with Fashion & Beauty Monitor, looked at the impact of digital media on brands, consumers and their buying decisions.

 

Little Red Rooster  attended a briefing on the report and heard from Fumni Fetto, a journalist-turned-influencer who has been working in the beauty industry for over 15 years.

 

Here we delve into some of the key discussion points teased in the report and during the talk.

 

Trust, credibility and authenticity

 

Digital influencers are now perceived to deliver higher levels of trust and credibility, and their impact on brand campaigns is being felt by our own clients. Take B&O Play’s ongoing, organic partnership with model Ricki Hall, which has been managed with astounding success and has done wonders for raising brand awareness among the creative demographic of east London.

 

 

In contrast, the report states 73% of Generation Z consumers demand more transparency from influencers and brands when it comes to how they communicate. This suggests that not all influencers are credible and consumers want to see a clear distinction between the two.

 

Ultimately, this demand resulted in Instagram changing its advertising rules (any paid-for posts must be clearly identified by influencers in the post or blog) which poses a question: how credible are influencers working with brands under paid-for partnerships?

 

Should we trust influencers who one day talk up an all-natural, ethical beauty brand, but the next day recommend a product tested on animals? This doesn’t exactly scream ‘authenticity’.

 

 

During the Q&A, Fumni commented that the number of campaigns between brands and influencers that don’t resonate with her far outweighs the ones that do.

 

To the consumer, it’s easy to differentiate between campaigns showing a genuine passion for a product in a credible and authentic light, and the ones with big-budgets behind them.

 

Don’t get blinded by the numbers

 

In 2016, Estee Lauder launched the Estee Edit sub-brand in order to target millennials and chose to work with two of the world’s most-recognised personalities in Kendall Jenner and Irene Kim.

 

Despite a huge social media presence and proven success with brands in the past, Estee Edit folded in under a year after failing to deliver on projected sales.

 

Estee Lauder fell into the trap of believing big social media numbers equals products flying of the shelves.

 

 

This comes back to the report’s findings about the importance of authenticity and research. Estee Lauder failed to consider the attributes of its target influencer or their followers and ultimately, both were a mismatch for the brand and it fell into a trap.

 

This is now why, according to Celebrity Intelligence, 67% of brands believe a data-led approach is most effective when working with influencers and metrics such as social media analytics, audience and engagement insights have proven the most useful.

 

These metrics help to shape who is the right influencer to work with a brand by looking at core values, personal interests and passions – not just how many followers they have.

 

The rise of indie brands

 

The growing influence of social media has given a voice to up-and-coming indie brands with a strong ethos and a cool factor cutting through the noise to carve out their own success.

 

For example, EOS and Glossier – unheard of a few years ago – have used passionate individuals and its online communities to raise awareness and establish themselves. Without the impact of social media influencers, the big beauty giants would simply dominate.

 

We love to support free thinking brands with a big voice and social media has provided a great platform.

 

What about traditional media?

 

The beauty industry loves to communicate with its customers through digital. However, there is a danger of underestimating the value of traditional media and journalists.

 

 

 

According to the report,  newspaper magazine supplements such as ST Style and You can have a huge impact for a beauty brand in terms of generating sales.

 

On the other hand, influencer marketing budgets are set to increase by 70% in the next year as traditional media titles take another hit and continue to tackle what’s described as an increasingly competitive market.

 

We believe digital alone is not enough and it’s important to achieve the right mix of traditional, digital and influencer marketing.

 

Boldly, one audience member pointed out it seems astounding a blogger with three years’ experience is considered more of an authority when recommending products compared to a make-up artist with 20 years’ experience, or a journalist who has written

 

Many people will agree but influencers are influencers because within their communities, people have an affinity with their lifestyle and want to engage with it – in the exact same way people would pick-up a specific magazine.

 

So, what now?

 

Beauty is clearly an industry which has a natural affinity with influencer marketing. An early adopter of new ways to communicate with brands, it’s one that benefits from an influencer’s ability to bring a product to life.

 

The customer’s path isn’t a straightforward one anymore and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, especially as influencers recognise the authority and power they have over brands.

 

This report definitely proves how important influencers are within the marketing mix but, at the same time, how detrimental it can be.

 

If brands are going to introduce influencers into their marketing strategy, both careful research and an authentic relationship – even within a paid-for partnership – is essential to success.

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Ruark Raises The Roof With John Lewis

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Although notorious for being wetter than winter, the British summer defied the odds yesterday for an exclusive press lunch we hosted on behalf Ruark Audio,  in conjunction with fellow British icon John Lewis . Ruark’s longstanding relationship with the high-street store, combined with the news that once more the flagship Oxford Street shop would be turned into a seasonal “pop-up”, equalled a match made in heaven. The Summer of Sound  is a rooftop bar, with a number of hosted studios the public can book into for food and drink. The superior studio has to be Ruark’s, boasting the biggest space and the most fashionable design. The pod is complete with an English countryside meets modern botanical aesthetic, with incredible music provided by the brand’s MRx speaker.

 

Ruark Audio John Lewis Event

 

Yesterday afternoon, team Ruark hosted a private press lunch with guests including Jennifer Newton, Jacky Parker, Amira Arasteh, Clare Piper, Cate St Hill and Max Langridge.  The event was the perfect opportunity for guests to be wowed by the incredible quality of the MRx. The first new model from Ruark in over five years, MRx is a connected wireless speaker that mixes rich sound with incredible style. Its launch has been monumental, and our guests were very impressed. “Ruark’s MRx delivers a room-filling sound. The studio may have been small, but the volume was turned down to a relative level. I have no doubts about its potential performance in larger spaces.” Says Max Langridge of Pocket-lint.

 

Ruark Audio John Lewis Event

 

The impressive capacity of the rooftop meant that the atmosphere was buzzing throughout the afternoon, both inside and out. The lunch was hosted by Butchies, the official food sponsor of the event, and we think we can speak for the entire nation when we say you can’t get much better than honey-chilli infused halloumi fries. Speaking of the atmosphere, freelance journalist Amira Arasteh commented: “I really liked the relaxed atmosphere. It meant everyone could get to know Richard from Ruark who came, and hear more about the brand and its products. It made for a less pressured feeling and allowed for organic and authentic conversation to flow. Being fed specs, albeit important, can be fairly dull, but this was far from that”.

 

Ruark Audio John Lewis Event

 

Whatsmore Amira, alongside all guests in attendance, were immediately drawn to Ruark’s very own piece of artwork it created for the event; an incredible ‘flat-lay’ installation of the entire Ruark range, from R1 right through to R7. The synergy throughout the collection cannot be denied, and the rest of the studio reflected the brand’s signature style.

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Ethical influencers and what value they bring to brands

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Move aside Kim Kardashian – a new breed of social media celebrity more concerned with campaigns that make a difference than their own self-importance has arrived. Welcome to the brave new world of ethical influencers and what value they can bring to brands.

 

Rather than being motivated by the glitz and glamour of fame, ethical influencers, also known as woke influencers or wokefluencers, prefer to busy themselves with values, ethics and activism. So far so contrived? Perhaps, but hear us out.

 

It’s fair to say influencers can be easy meat for critics in traditional areas of the media. Youngsters with ambition and no perceivable talent, but an understanding of social media and smartphone cameras suddenly amass an army of followers, advertising revenue and brand endorsements. Shameless, right?

 

Bisque Radiator

 

In reality there is more to it than meets the eye and we’ve come across plenty who fall into the influencer bracket of grafters who have worked hard to carve out a career authentically promoting their wonderful creative talents.

 

It’s why at Little Red Rooster we have a particular way of working with influencers and bloggers and why we’re not afraid to collaborate with them for the benefit of our clients – take the recent tie-up between Mad About The House and our radiator brand Bisque. After all, if the stars align then you shouldn’t be scared of dipping your toe in new waters.

 

However, there are certainly serial social media charlatans more concerned with Botox and bolstering their bank balance by any means necessary, rather than being objective, wise and entertaining disruptors the public can actually look up to – benefitting a brand in the process.

 

Bisque Radiator

 

So in a modern climate of increasing attention and interest around issues of sustainability, sexism, race, morality and more, ethical influencers might just be a welcome breath of (naturally sourced) fresh air in the murky world of internet celebrity.

 

Take model Adwoa Aboah. If she were the sort to boast, she’d no doubt tell you about her 600,000 plus Instagram followers and the fact she has worked for a host of huge fashion houses.

 

However, she would much rather be known for founding Gurls Talk, a movement encouraging girls and young women to talk about sexism, life challenges and female empowerment. We’re huge fans, not least because these are topics close to our heart.Gurls Talk Many forward-thinking brands share the same ethics, and so perhaps would be keen to harness the immense impact ethical influencers can wield… if, and it’s a big if, campaigns are handled respectfully, cleverly and carefully.

 

Our clients like steel water bottle brand Stay Sixty and Austrian eyewear label neubau are built on values of eco-awareness and sustainability. Other clients such as Bang & Olufsen have a clear environmental policy stating it strives to build eco-friendly products.

 

A great example of a PR campaign using an ethical influencer comes from UK cosmetics brand Illamasqua. It hired transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf as its new face. Bergdorf had been fired by previous employer L’Oreal for comments about race and gender it considered inflammatory.

 

Damaged goods? Not a bit of it. Illamasqua stepped in and snapped up Bergdorf saying the LBGT champion “represents diversity, and she’s not afraid of who she is”.

 

A brave move, but an arguably brilliant way of strengthening your brand ethos with a powerful, headline-grabbing statement that ultimately generates coverage and gets people talking.

 

Ibn Ali Miller

 

Elsewhere, US Yoga brand Lululemon recently ran its first campaign targeting men. Rather than reaching out to a male Instagram #fitspiration model, it chose Ibn Ali Miller, an online activist debating masculinity and non-violence.

 

Another example of ethical influencers in this space includes DeRay McKesson, a key voice for Black Lives Matter and a personality with more than a million followers on Twitter (check out the ice cool handle he can call his own too).

 

So it’s all about being wiser, more connected, healthier, more ethical, eco aware and socially conscious and these are areas the smartest brands care about – and that’s the point, really. Working closely with a woke influencer can really strengthen a brand, but only if that brand is strong in areas that influencer is promoting otherwise you face a massive PR own goal. There has to be a synergy between the two or it simply won’t work.

 

Black Lives Matter

 

It might sound obvious, but before recommending an ethical influencer to a client, we would ask them to consider how much their business would have to change in order for an ethical influencer to agree working with them. That’s what a diligent PR agency would do.

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Smeg hosts annual supper club

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When Little Red Rooster first began representing Smeg, one of the original ideas – which instantly proved a resounding success – was to host regular supper clubs, connecting leading press and influencers with the people behind the brand.

 

Over the years we’ve hosted some incredible events. We kicked off proceedings by inviting media to ‘Dine in the Sky’, where over 30 journalists were hoisted up in the air above St Paul’s Cathedral to enjoy a delectable dinner cooked live by the one and only Tom Aikens. Next, we hosted a private lunch with celebrity chef Tom Kerridge in the test kitchen of his Michelin-starred pub, The Hand and Flowers, to demonstrate how he uses Smeg’s very own products on a day-to-day basis.

 

For our third supper club, we decided on a more intimate affair, inviting a handful of select influencers from the worlds of fashion and design for a private supper at Smeg’s Regent Street St James’s store.

 

 

Guests were treated to the pioneering talents of Smeg’s very own in-house home economist, Clare Edwards, who tasked our diners to get ‘hands-on’ and prepare certain elements of their meal themselves. Media were soon rolling out pasta using various attachments on Smeg’s SMF01 stand mixer; tucking into pizza freshly prepared from its specially-designed pizza stone; and even got crafty creating freshly brewed coffee for after-dinner Espresso Martinis. The entire menu incorporated food from Smeg’s very own family-owned farm, Montecoppe, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. This included parmigiano reggiano cheese, balsamics and chutneys, and even its collection of red and white Lambrusco wines.

 

There was also an element of surprise to the evening; the team collectively were tasked with breaking a Guinness world record for the longest sheet of pasta. Sadly, we were slightly off the current milestone – our measly 7m result didn’t quite stand up to the 3000m record.

 

 

Izzy, Emma and Louise from team Smeg lead the charge on the night, with guests in attendance including Claudia Baillie, Lucy Gough, Jess Hurrell, Cate St Hill, Forward Features and Harriet Davey.

 

And although it’s well known we do love a good old knees up, the underlying purpose of the event was to reinforce Smeg’s status as an authentic, Italian cooking brand, with food, friends and family at the heart of everything it does.

 

To find out more about Smeg’s London store, please visit www.smeglondon.com.

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Musk media meltdown causes quite the backlash

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The Elon Musk anti-media meltdown threatening journalists with a website to rank their work certainly caught our attention at Little Red Rooster. Naturally, it caused quite the backlash among reporters, but also received support from nearly 700,000 Twitter followers… assuming they were party to all the facts and it’s a fair vote that can be verified.

 

Elon Musk

 

To recap, the Tesla boss took off on a Twitter tirade ranting about news outlets’ credibility after a Consumer Reports review refusing to give a recommendation for his car company’s allegedly troubled Tesla 3 model.

 

Cutting the story short (we imagine Musk hates that), he suggested a solution to his problem with the media was a website of his design to rate the “core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.”

 

Somewhat uncomfortably, the multi-billionaire (fact-checked) said it should be called Pravda, the Russian word for ‘truth’, but also a propaganda-laden leading communist newspaper. Was he joking that he wanted to lead some kind of revolution or was he merely lusting after a mouthpiece that would only spout Musk-speak?.

 

Telsa 3 Model Car

 

All in all it could be construed a PR disaster for the man dubbed a marketing genius by some – unless it was intended to deflect attention from a failing automotive business – and that’s just one reason why we need to try and interpret Musk’s tweets before passing judgement.

 

Does he just have the hump with certain media? Were they really being disingenuous. The media doesn’t have to agree with him after all do they?

 

Musk then blamed journalists claiming “they are under constant pressure to get max clicks and earn advertising dollars or get fired”. He went on to tweet it’s a tricky situation because Tesla doesn’t advertise, whereas fossil fuel car companies spend big in that area.

 

This might ruffle a few feathers, but it is almost certainly true of certain publishing houses where revenue streams are being squeezed to such an extent they are having to take, shall we say ‘special measures’, to remain in business. Everyone has their price, don’t they?

 

Elon Musk Tweet

 

That said, tarnishing all media with the same brush – a conclusion plenty of observers jumped to – is a dangerous and misguided game. One very vocal opponent was Greg Sargent of the Washington Post who accused Musk of a “clever rhetorical trick” by appropriating the idea of public confidence for cynical purposes. Another attempt at Musk marketing genius?

 

Perhaps some would be more favourable if Tesla was spending money with them, but Musk does receive plenty of positive press too and can boast a media fan club of sorts to counter the naysayers.

 

It’s worth reminding ourselves what makes a good journalist. It’s someone who separates fact from opinion, although we appreciate this becomes more of a grey area when it comes to reviewing a product. In that instance it boils down to how much you value that journalist and that publication or platform.

 

Do we need Musk to regulate that or can we make our own judgements? Press regulation is definitely back in the headlines and debate is healthy, but our argument would be it needs more than Musk at the head of his own website calling the shots.

 

So where does Little Red Rooster and good PR fit into this equation? First off we’re careful to court close relationships with leading journalists that we feel the public trust and that we have faith in to write fair and accurate articles about our clients.

 

If, in our opinion or that of our clients, we feel they’ve failed in that responsibility we would approach them for an informal chat to explore how we could resolve things – a fair and measured response.

 

Greg Sargent Tweet

 

The best way to safeguard yourself against such a situation is to work with brilliant clients to begin with. We have carefully curated our portfolio of exceptional clients, we fully believe in the ethos of each brand and it goes without saying we love the industry-leading products they make.

 

Working with someone for the sake of a pay cheque is not the way of the rooster. After some careful consideration there’s every chance we might entertain the opportunity to look after the PR for any of his companies, be it Tesla or SpaceX (imagine the press trip potential) but only if they satisfy the criteria set out above.

 

As for the press, at Little Red Rooster we fully understand the media is never going to write what clients want all of the time, but if they are fully informed of all the facts, through our exceptionally close relationships, we are giving them the best chance possible.

 

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Silhouette adds specs appeal to its growing portfolio of luxury eyewear

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Silhouette Atelier Event

 

Last week, Silhouette, the Austrian luxury eyewear brand, launched its brand-new Atelier collection to a host of luxury media, customers and trade press, in the decadent surroundings of London’s Austrian Embassy.

 

With Little Red Rooster having worked on the luxury eyewear brand for over a year, the team were incredibly excited to be a part of one of its key launches for 2018 and to welcome press to such an incredible venue. Located in between Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge, the balcony over looked the leafy greenery of Belgrave Square – a perfect setting for guests to enjoy a glass of champagne.

 

Two of our own from Little Red Rooster were lucky enough to be at the event. This year, Silhouette introduced two new collections to its Atelier portfolio – Art Eternal and the much-anticipated Pure Elegance collection.

 

Silhouette Atelier Event

 

Silhouette invited Christian Kesberg – long-time fan of the luxury eyewear brand and also Austria’s Trade Commissioner – and recently appointed UK managing director, Perry Moore, to introduce the collection’s to guests.

 

Renowned for the quality of its materials and beautiful craftsmanship, Silhouette’s Atelier collection embodies the very best of its brand values and core ethos and this year’s collection proved to be even more luxurious than ever before.

 

Silhouette Atelier Event

 

The star of the show was the Art Eternal frame. One of only eight frames made worldwide, the super exclusive design features 60 brilliant cut diamonds adorning the temples and nose bridge. Silhouette has also sourced rare, precious Canary Diamonds – known for their distinct and unique yellow glow – to decorate the temples, acting as the frames centrepiece and a real rarity in the world of unprocessed, natural gemstones. This opulent detail means that this high-class frame will retail at £26,000. Hurry now to get yours, one has already been sold to a woman in Japan!

 

The other main event of the evening was the unveiling of Silhouette’s Pure Elegance collection. Displayed elegantly in glass cases, the new luxury eyewear range introduced a brand-new material – sustainably sourced buffalo horn – for the first time.

 

The new Horn collection consists of three ranges: Titanium x Horn and Horn x Art for men and a Horn x Art for women. The use of horn adds an extra element to Silhouette’s Atelier collection, which previously has only offered rimless frames. The range now blends ethically-sourced horn with high-tech titanium and 18-carat gold to form beautifully crafted masterpieces – 80% of which is put together by hand.

 

Silhouette Atelier Event

 

Throughout the evening, the Austrian Embassy ensured guests were well fed and watered with a selection of canapés and drinks inspired by the home nation – potato rosti, chicken schnitzel, mushroom risotto and mini chocolate sacher torte’s – to name a few of the yummy delicacies that were on offer!

 

For more information on Silhouette, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at silhouette@littleredrooster.co.uk.

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The Coop Takes on Clerkenwell

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2018 marks the ninth year that Clerkenwell Design Week has been running. Arguably one of London’s most influential design events, Clerkenwell has become a hub of creativity and innovation. Interesting fact, Clerkenwell may only cover roughly 2.5 miles, but holds within it more creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else in Europe. There are now over 90 showrooms and studios that are open to the public during the design week and they draw in a tremendous number of visitors over the three days that it runs.

 

Here at the coop, we are all about immersing our team in events that will improve their design understanding. That’s why this year our Sam and Emma headed into the hive of activity across two days to explore Clerkenwell Design Week and look out for exciting new installations and studios.

 

 

Day 1:

Emma tackled day one and she was on the lookout for eye-catching lighting and furniture studios. The first company that Emma came into contact with was the incredible Danish furniture brand, Mater. Founded in Copenhagen in 2006, Mater’s conscious and ethical design approach mixed with great craftsmanship makes it a hugely exciting brand to find out more about. The occasion actually marked the launch of the new showroom which is positioned near to the Angel end of the design district. We really like the reasoning behind the name, being that Mater means “mother” in Latin. The name is a daily reminder of the company’s small contribution in preventing the challenges “mother earth” faces – wise words from the CEO & founder of Mater, Henrik Marstrand.

 

 

Next on Emma’s hitlist was the brand new Allurmuir showroom, which is a truly breathtaking design in itself, product aside. The vast open and minimalist space in the centre of Clerkenwell stood out as being anything but normal. Over the past 10 years the brand has grown, expanding into six continents and over 70 countries. Although the company is now international, its background in bringing personality and diversity to design has not been forgotten. Allurmuir stood out, as one of its key brand messages is “death to mediocrity”. Here at the coop we totally back such an ethos, as we aim to provide anything but mediocracy through our unique “Rooster approach” to PR.

 

 

Emma’s last stop of the day was family-run design and furniture brand, Ecrol. Its philosophy is to create contemporary furniture that will suit all spaces whilst sticking to using simple but effective designs. Ecrol works across living, dining, bedroom, and home office furniture. Having started in 1920, it has years of expertise to command attention in such a modern and diverse market. Emma’s trip provided us with the exciting information that it plans to open a showroom in New York in the near future which will be a huge stepping stone into the US market.

 

 

Day 2:

Sam’s mission for day two was simple, scout out the best flooring and fabric offerings that Clerkenwell Design Week had to offer. His first stop was the incredible Modus showroom which had been transformed into a pop-up workshop with live product making, focusing on the company’s new “Belt” stool product. The Belt is designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune and is aptly named after it’s distinguishing belt-like handle strap which runs up the side and across the top of the seat. The idea behind the design is ease and portability for a generation who are moving more than ever before. The product was launched at Clerkenwell Design Week and throughout the three-day event was constructed in 30 different shades for a wall display in the showroom. A percentage of the sale from these Belt stools are being donated to Clerkenwell Design Week’s official charity partner, Maggie’s Cancer Charity.

 

 

“in modern-day business, having a sustainable outlook is no longer a choice but a necessity. Customers increasingly look at a company’s environmental credibility and choose between products accordingly.” Wise words from one of our favourite finds at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, Bolon. Bolon Flooring began in 1949 and it has developed a unique woven vinyl flooring which it is renowned for. Here at the coop, we are all about sustainability, and with the media attention around global warming and plastic wastage, it seems smart for any company to be thinking with their eco-friendly hat on. Bolon has worked with a local recycling plant to develop a recycled flooring. This is made through a unique process that grinds and modifies old bits of flooring into granules that can then be bound and reshaped into a new material, starting the cycle over. Sustainable yet stylish, we can safely say that Bolon really is right up our street.

 

 

We couldn’t head to Clerkenwell Design Week without heading over to our client Bang & Olufsen’s dear friend, Kvadrat. Kvadrat is Europe’s leading manufacturer of design textiles, creating high quality textile product for several Bang & Olufsen products including the Beoplay M3, Beoplay M5, and Beoplay A9 speakers. Anything cool enough for Bang & Olufsen is 100% cool enough for the coop, and the stunning showroom didn’t disappoint. It was an exceptionally minimal space allowing the fabrics to be the centre of attention.

 

The Verdict:

Clerkenwell Design Week never disappoints, however this year stood out as being quite spectacular. The incredible diversity of products, and the creative approaches to showroom aesthetics was truly astounding. From the stripped back workshop of Modus, to the modern minimalism of Kvadrat, the range of presentations from the studios seriously impressed Emma and Sam and we can’t wait to go back next year and see even more exciting new brands for 2019!

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Why freelance journalists and PR professionals need each other

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Friends with benefits is one way to describe the relationship between PR professionals and freelance journalists. At Little Red Rooster we know why we need each other – now more than ever – to deliver the best coverage for our clients.

 

 

It’s no secret pretty much every media outlet is cutting its editorial teams and this tends to equate to bigger commissioning budgets for freelance journalists, content creators and contributors.

 

In some cases even the role of editor is being given to a hired hand rather than a traditional long-term appointment added to the payroll. It’s just one way the media world is being turned on its head in the 21st century.

 

 

We’ve also recently seen many of our closest contacts in the media choose to leave full-time journalism roles to go freelance for a multitude of different reasons, be it work/life balance, a greater variety of consumer and corporate opportunities, or perhaps a voluntary redundancy offer too good to refuse.

 

Plenty of PR professionals fall into the trap of only knowing how staff journalists work and can grossly undervalue freelance writers. At Little Red Rooster we realise this is not only detrimental to our relationships with those that have gone self-employed, but also our clients who could be missing out on golden opportunities to reach greater audiences. Here’s why:

 

PR benefits

 

Freelancers usually work across several publications, this gives them more reach and the opportunity to spin stories for different readerships. With the right material they can turn one interview into multiple features and that means more coverage for clients and a better ROI.

 

“Freelancers can be good news for PRs as we can cover a story for several different outlets while staffers are usually limited to just writing for the title they work for,” says tech and science journalist Libby Plummer who has written titles including Wired, Metro, Total Film, and The Huffington Post.

 

“This is particularly true for out-of-town press events, where we might not be manically filing news pieces or hands-on reviews, but we’ll be able to cover the stories that emerge in the coming days, weeks and even months, for multiple titles.”

 

A skilled freelancer will have a diverse range of publications he or she can go to with a story pitch (newsflash: more gigs means more money). For PRs this can alleviate the pain of pitching the wrong angle to the wrong journalist because unlike staff journalists, freelancers are far more likely to listen to what you have to say and find a way to make it work.

 

A freelancer’s livelihood depends on the more they can get published and money is quite the motivator when it comes to producing copy of quantity and quality as well as meeting tight deadlines – another coverage score. Plus, most freelancers have tight relationships with commissioning editors, many of which may prefer working with trusted writers rather than PR agencies.

 

 

“One of my most important roles as a freelancer is acting as a filter for the various editors I write for,” says lifestyle, tech and automotive journalist Leon Poultney.

 

“They know the ideas and invites I approach them with will have been thoroughly considered and suitable for the title, leaving them more time to deal with other matters. Placing a story in multiple outlets from a single trip/event means PRs get more bang for their buck, but it does mean time is money.”

 

Freelancer benefits

 

There are many benefits to being a flexible freelancer – working from the bedroom, garden, coffee shop, beach, cocktail bar – but being permanently ‘out of office’ means they don’t have access to the resources readily available at a traditional workplace.

 

For example, it’s fairly easy for staff journalists to check a PR database and discover which agency looks after a particular brand. In comparison, freelancers are at the mercy of a Google search so impeccable media relations are critical to ensuring our clients are always front of mind.

 

Whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, phone call or email we hope freelancers will always welcome our outreach because they’re constantly on the lookout for new stories to write in order to bolster their bank balance.

 

The onus is therefore on PRs and brands to present a well-packaged pitch loaded with newsworthy information leaving freelancers to do as little legwork as possible – aren’t we good.

 

“It really helps to get exclusive and tailored pitches from PRs,” says Libby. “The guys at Little Red Rooster are great for this, as they take the time to build strong working relationships with journalists, especially freelancers, getting to know which titles we work for and how, so they only pitch us relevant stuff.”

 

“Trips and events need to be packed with information and PRs should facilitate requests knowing it will assist in creating great content for numerous outlets,” adds Leon.

 

“I can give a great example of a recent event that provided a nice overview, but failed to go into much detail. The PR department in question took an age to follow up with further requests from a leading tech magazine and have potentially missed out on a large feature and failed to get much in terms of coverage from the trip.”

 

 

 

Chasing clients for information, fantastic photography, spokespeople and expert opinion is just another part of what we do to make a freelancer’s life easier.

 

Coming through with the goods isn’t just about providing a great service, it’s all part of building and maintaining lasting and trusting relationships we hope will be repaid with thrilling and diverse coverage. This usually leads to even more shouting from the rooftops… well, we are the loudest animal in the farmyard.

 

Another area where we can be a lifeline for freelancers is covering costs for travel to an event or treating them to things like lunch or drinks. After all, the poor souls don’t have the benefit of being able to put things on expenses or fall back on paid holiday, so sometimes the small things can mean a lot.

 

Working closely together can offer brilliant benefits to both PRs and freelancers and building personal relationships with journalists is at the very heart of our DNA. The great news is we have the same end goal – delivering outstanding coverage for our clients.

 

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Polk Command Bar launch

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Distinguished American brand Polk Audio launched its innovative Amazon Alexa-enabled Command Bar at the exquisite Mondrian Hotel on London’s South Bank last week.

 

Voice control is a hugely popular category with both consumers and media at present. And Little Red Rooster is fortunate enough to have a client be the first key player to launch an Alexa-enabled soundbar. This gave us the perfect opportunity to gather the great and the good from the UK’s tech media together to experience the remarkable device first-hand.

 

And rather than a ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentation, Little Red Rooster wanted the journalists to get a true hands-on feel for the future of home cinema.

 

Afterwards an informal supper and drinks reception gave our guests the perfect opportunity to get to know key Polk personnel, with the evening culminating with balcony drinks overlooking the Thames at the Mondrian’s Rumpus Rooms.

 

 

The Presentation

 

 

 

Journalists from titles including Stuff, The Sun, Trusted Reviews, WIRED, What Hi-Fi and The Independent arrived at Mondrian London and were escorted to the Curzon Theatre for a champagne reception.

 

Once seated, Polk Audio executives explained how two men from Baltimore with a passion for music had built a brand on the belief great sound shouldn’t break the bank.

 

Now, 45 years on, the company is collaborating with the world’s largest online retailer and smart home tech pioneer, Amazon, to not only deliver an incredible Alexa-enabled product, but make it available to as many consumers as possible.

 

Believing a ‘surround sound’ experience is critical to consumers, Polk has outperformed its competition selling 10 million speakers in the past decade. In fact, its acoustics and engineering prowess is felt in 10 per cent of American homes, making them the number one speaker brand in the US.

 

Meanwhile, voice assistants have quickly made their way from smartphones to smart speakers and in-car audio, and are now being integrated into devices such as kitchen appliances.

 

It’s predicted that by 2022 over 70 million homes in the US alone will have a voice assistant. Amazon’s Alexa is leading the charge and is already available in 12,000 smart home devices.

 

With an incredible history and track record as market leaders, a Polk Audio and Amazon collaboration is the start of a new chapter in the smart home theatre.

 

 

Demonstration

 

 

 

Following the presentation, journalists were offered an opportunity to get a first look at the Command Bar.

 

Proving very popular was Polk’s attention to detail by including an Alexa action button that briefly lowers the volume, so you don’t have to shout to be heard.

 

The integrated microphones on top of the sound bar can control the master volume, mute, bass, sound mode and source selection with the Polk Connect Skill, which integrates voice commands.

 

The Command bar also supports a variety of Alexa-compatible music services and can even read books from Audible. Additionally, the sound bar supports a full set of home skills to control lights, locks, thermostats and other smart home devices.

 

 

Rumpus Rooms and Sea Containers

 

 

 

Following the demo, guests were escorted to the 12th floor of the Mondrian to the Rumpus Rooms rooftop bar where rare blue skies across London town allowed the riverside views to speak for themselves.

 

After cocktails, guests were taken downstairs to impressive Sea Containers restaurant where they enjoyed a selection of dishes, including Padrón peppers and a rather unique avocado foam. The meal also offered a laid-back setting for journalists to quiz the Polk and Amazon team.

 

After dinner it’s the after party, where guests were able to head back up to the Rumpus Rooms as things continued into the early hours. What else would you expect from a Little Red Rooster soiree?

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A day in the life of a Little Red Rooster by intern Annie Hill

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Being a small town country girl at university can be overwhelming – everyone aspires to work in London and live the big city life. But fast paced and exhilarating can also exhausting and I’m just not sure it’s for me. Being a little fish in a big pond can be daunting.

 

When I was looking for PR internships they all offered so much potential, but I just wasn’t sure I was comfortable moving into the capital. The prospect of staying in a smaller town, with a close-knit team excites me much more. And I guess that’s where Little Red Rooster comes in. Based close to my university and in the countryside with a team that works seamlessly together and run by Vic… who sometimes brings in her dog, Keef, to work. Frankly, it was my dream.

 

Tell us a little about your internship with Little Red Rooster PR, what were the main tasks that you were trusted with?

 

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started at Little Red Rooster. I had never done a PR internship before and from what was rumoured about my friends’ placements, I was going to be a professional tea maker, brilliant at scanning and would know Twyford like the back of my hand in no time. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

 

After an hour of training with Lucy on my first morning, the reigns were in my hands. I was busy mounting coverage all day, time flew past and before I knew it, it was 5pm and I didn’t want to leave. The team were so welcoming, gave me loads of tasks to keep me busy and some valuable insight into what they do day-to-day. I loved it.

 

The remaining days were some of the fastest four weeks I’ve had in a long time and some of the best. Worth every early morning whilst my student housemates slept in till 1pm.

 

The team got me involved in their creative brainstorms, where they discussed ideas of how they could get Greenwich and Proporta more coverage; from leaving portable chargers around London landmarks to personalising passport cases and travel wallets at King’s Cross Station. Being involved in projects like this opened my eyes to the imagination and talent involved in PR.

 

Another part of my time at LRR was spent organising stock from sunglasses to socks, and sending out samples to journalists or shoots (a pair of socks even went to James Bay’s stylist). I learnt how to edit an editorial status on a Google Document to show what stock was available, as well as what was currently out with journalists, and to document what coverage the team had achieved along with what was in the pipeline for the future.

 

During my month I helped the team find appropriate slots for their clients and their products by looking through magazines and newspapers at existing articles. For some clients, going to events where journalists will be reporting is the best way to promote their products and target a suitable audience, making them aware of what the brand offers. So, for Adidas Eyewear I collated a list of sporting events they could be represented at.

 

Getting involved in the everyday tasks that go on behind the scenes at Little Red Rooster showed me that an office job does not mean doing the same thing 9-5 every day. In fact, even under one job description, the possibilities as endless. This realisation made me more certain about my decision to pursue PR because it’s fast paced and always changing, perfectly suiting my slightly barmy personality.

 

 What have you learnt over the course of your internship?

 

Organisation is key, do not doubt this. ‘To-do’ lists will be your best friend. Knowing what you need to do will help you feel more in control of your work load and prevents any feelings of stress that could arise. The team are always more than happy to help you prioritise the coverage you need to mount so don’t be scared to ask.

 

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. Some of the team have been working in PR for years, they don’t expect you to know everything. It’s better to ask a question, however simple or stupid it may seem and learn the answer than do something wrong, which could ultimately prove costly.

 

Attention to detail is vitally important in many job roles, but my time as an LRR intern has taught me that this skill is essential to many tasks. Even mundane tasks such as mounting coverage demand precision and the careful following of steps to produce sound results.

 

Good relationships are essential throughout the whole of your PR journey. Maintaining strong relationships with the companies you intern at opens a plethora of opportunities to you in the future and a ‘foot in the door’ is essential when starting out in PR. These relationships are also invaluable when your career starts, you will require connections with journalists to gain coverage for your clients. Be a people person.

 

Being in a good team makes all the difference. I always thought that being successful would be easy if you are motivated enough to go out and work for it and yes, I don’t doubt this has a massive part to play, but this month has taught me there’s more to it than that. Being in a team with a group of exceptionally talented and motivated individuals drives your desire to succeed and succeed not just for yourself but for your team.

 

What advice would you give interns starting in PR?

 

Be yourself. Every PR agency is different and you will undoubtedly find one that suits you. I did not hesitate to be myself at Little Red Rooster and luckily, I fitted into the coop perfectly. Being myself made my time at LRR all the more enjoyable and I think the same goes when you start your career. Being happy somewhere inspires you to be more motivated and makes you want to get up in the mornings (even when its 6am and the rain is lashing against your window).

 

It might take many months to find an internship and a company that suits you, but when you find the one, it’ll be worth every early morning alarm you had to endure and every morning you wished you could stay under your duvet.

 

Get involved, ask for things to do and offer your assistance to the team at every opportunity. Even the simplest tasks such as looking through magazines at potential slots for clients can hugely add to the level of knowledge and experience you need to take on a permanent job in PR.

 

Read, read, read and read some more. Being aware of many different magazines, newspapers, newspaper supplements, websites and blogs can massively impact your success when trying to get coverage for a product. Knowing a blogger that other people in your team haven’t heard of, but would be suitable to promote a client, can be the difference between your team getting that last piece of coverage to hit target, or not.

 

 

In your opinion, how important do you think internships are?

 

Without my internship at Little Red Rooster I think I would still be stuck in the rut of not having any idea what I want to do with my life. This is typical for many university students who aren’t studying vocational degrees. Internships help you find your calling and eliminate the careers you can’t stand to even spend a week in.

 

Not only does getting an internship open your eyes and widen your opinions of prospects that you were maybe previously narrow-minded about, it also opens a host of other opportunities for you to gain further experience. Every company runs differently; PR can vary from brands that manage their promotion in house, to agencies that handle an abundance of specially chosen labels. Finding what works for you is priceless to finding a career you’ll love.

 

Anyone that has been in a position similar to mine knows the struggle of trying to get experience when you have no previous experience, but once you’ve got your foot in the door of one, this becomes much easier. Welcome every offer that you’re given with open arms, you’ll benefit more than you realise.

 

 

 

 

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Planning the Perfect Press Trip

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A press trip might be seen as a free holiday to many an overworked and underpaid influencer or journalist, but planning the perfect one can be a daunting experience for any PR agency.

 

Clients, PRs and the media share some common goals when it comes to cracking this particular nut; namely a juicy story resulting in awesome coverage, a better understanding of the brand and developing long-lasting relationships with key players at the company. And if it leads to some lasting memories as well all the better.

 

Companies often focus too much on the here and now when it comes to such shindigs, overlooking longer-term goals. “The biggest benefit is cementing long-lasting relationships with media that add value way beyond the lifetime of a specific event, rather than any stories coming directly from the trip in question,” says Little Red Rooster co-founder Henry Griffiths. “A truly successful jaunt will keep delivering a ROI, often for years, and this is something brands always overlook”.

 

The Berlin press trip to Berlin Fashion Week with Silhouette Eyewear

 

Obviously every press trip is different and there is no exact science to their success, but by following a tried and tested framework – with an added pinch of Little Red Rooster rock ‘n’ roll – our aim is always to ensure all parties get a return on their investment, whether it’s time or money.

 

“A good mix of people you know value the brand you’re representing is a must,” says agency co-founder Victoria Ruffy, referring to the creation of a carefully curated invite list “There is nothing better than having one or two trusted ambassadors on board that you can rely on, but it’s also important to include new people on the trip so you expand the brand to new audiences.”

 

 

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail, so says Benjamin Franklin and the rule certainly applies to press trips. It’s imperative planning begins months in advance to avoid mishaps later down the line.

 

Cost plays a part here. Most people book holidays early to get the best deal on hotels and travel and a press trip is no different – it’s even more important if a client is on a tight budget.

 

Plus, by achieving the best balance of cost effectiveness versus comfort it leaves more money for experiential brand activities that can make all the difference to your guests, whether it’s spectacular meals or maybe a music gig… we’ve even been known to attend a Mötley Crüe tribute show on Sunset Strip in LA.

 

Another factor is availability. The best journalists get booked up, so to snare the best you need to get in there early. You also need to make sure the trip is enjoyable. “We’ve heard horror stories of four-day itineraries where every hour is full and there is no flexibility or downtime,” says Henry.

 

“Journalists shudder when they see these kinds of plans. You want your guests to come back with some good memories. It shouldn’t be a slog and less is certainly more in this instance”.

 

“We want to make the whole process as pleasant as possible so it’s also important to factor in things like airport transfers and attractive flight times,” adds Victoria.

 

“Itineraries should be signed off at the earliest opportunity and shared with journalists so they have a chance to plan other commitments around it. Allowing free time in the schedule is vital too so there’s a chance to relax or open the laptop and get some work done.”

 

Already this year we’ve taken top-ranking members of the media to the US, Germany, Italy and Austria, and as an agency we’re well versed in delivering on press trip promises once we’ve arrived at a destination.

 

The Vienna press trip for the launch of neubau’s new collection inspired by Carl Jung & Sigmund Freud

 

It takes more than organising three meals-a-day, keeping everyone watered and getting the group to a press briefing on time – although that’s a decent start. “Some people may want to head back to the hotel after lunch, while others may fancy another glass of wine or two… and it wouldn’t be very Little Red Rooster to deprive them,” says Victoria.

 

“But the key is to be flexible to each journalist’s specific requirements and have plenty of options lined up. We often create bespoke itineraries for each guest on a trip, as we know what will interest them”.

 

As part of the planning process we consult as closely with journalists as we do with clients to achieve press trip nirvana. Jeremy White, executive editor at Wired UK, has attended many LRR trips and we certainly value his opinion. He was part of the reason our visit to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January was done with a difference.

 

Rather than suffer the exhaustive slog of a Las Vegas convention for an entire week, we based ourselves in LA for some much needed rest and relaxation either side of the show, before hitting the exhibition for a short, sharp 72 hours.

 

“There is no secret to a good press trip, but it is an art,” says Jeremy. “Small things such as knowing where you are going and why, contact numbers, press releases, media imagery and video all to hand is a solid starting point.

 

“Shepherding tiresome journalists with a smile and generally a ‘nothing being too much trouble’ attitude means you’re onto a winner. All this is obvious, yet sadly not common.

 

“What else elevates a press trip is going outside the norm of getting people to an event and making sure they get home by making the trip fun. Factor in time for enjoyment beyond drinks in the hotel.”

 

“I don’t think many PR agencies would put together the kind of trip Little Red Rooster did for CES,” adds interiors journalist extraordinaire Claudia Baillie. “If it’s a longer trip then some sort of ‘treat’ is particularly welcome, i.e. the chance to go somewhere not related to the company, or somewhere fun, or to do something relaxing.”

 

Pampering aside, Claudia has some other top tips for PRs putting together the perfect press trip. “I go to Maison & Objet in Paris every year. The Eurostar is early because it has to be, but we’re given a £10 gift card for the coffee shop so we can get what we want in our own time. It’s a small touch, but I really like it and anything thoughtful like that is a bonus.

 

“Free time is good. I went to Salone del Mobile in Milan and the brand only wanted a day’s worth of commitment, but paid for two nights at the hotel. It meant the second day was free to do as we pleased, which was mighty generous considering the cost of hotels in Milan during the fair.

 

The Milan press trip to Salone de Mobile for the launch of the Smeg x D&G Collection

 

“Flights at a decent hour and transport to the airport is also good. I was asked to be at the airport at some ungodly hour not so long ago and they refused to get me a cab. I’m not a princess, but there was no other way of getting there at that time and as a freelancer I don’t have the luxury of claiming things back.

 

“Don’t pack an itinerary so tightly that there’s no downtime, because trips where they really want a pound of flesh aren’t fun. I recently refused a trip to New York because it was one night and a full schedule. Some PRs think because they’re flying you somewhere you should be grateful and they aren’t prepared to make the trip enjoyable.”

 

With a growing roster of incredible clients headquartered across Europe and beyond, plus a jam-packed calendar of tantalising events to take journalists to, we’re hugely excited by the potential for more press trips.

 

Stellar excursions for our brands Bang & Olufsen and Sound United are just around the corner and the team are already plotting an even bigger and better experience at CES in 2019.

 

Mastering the art of the press trip is a tricky business, but it helps to have a vastly experienced PR agency to steer the ship. First and foremost Little Red Rooster has the best interests of clients and journalists at heart when it’s time to pack a suitcase, but we’re also guaranteed to inject some fun – something other agencies almost always forget.

 

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Little Red Rooster wins adidas Sport eyewear

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adidas SS18 tempest frames

adidas SS18 tempest frames

 It’s another week and another win at the coop as we are thrilled to reveal that adidas Sport eyewear’s PR account has been awarded to Little Red Rooster. This brings yet another thrilling addition to a roster of exceptional clients.

 

The iconic sporting brand transfers from its previous relations agency, Dust PR. This new win comes after two years of excellent results from Little Red Rooster for adidas eyewear’s sister firm, Silhouette International.

 

Perry Moore, managing direction of Silhouette International, commented:

 

“Little Red Rooster is now a fully-fledged extension of the Silhouette International team. We are incredibly confident they will continue to challenge us and push us to ensure superb consumer relations via PR and influencer engagement. adidas Sport eyewear is a prestigious brand that will fit seamlessly across Little Red Rooster’s fashion and sports divisions.”

 

adidas will be in great company, joining Little Red Rooster’s roster of sport and fashion clients. This includes the likes of fitness tracker Myzone and a host of sports headphones from Bang and Olufsen and Denon. The coop will be running the brand’s UK press office – managing press relations, influencer engagement and celebrity endorsement of its prescription compatible sport eyewear and snow goggles.

 

adidas SS18 paycr frames

adidas SS18 paycr frames

 

adidas Sport eyewear will be managed by Little Red Rooster partner, Victoria Ruffy  with support from new account manager, Jenny Jones, and account executive, Tabitha Grove.

 

Speaking of the win, Victoria said:

 

“You could say six is a fix and there is no doubt that we’ve had some serious new wins for Little Red Rooster in 2018. This is down to a team who constantly deliver devastatingly good results. It’s no surprise to us that a substantial amount of our agency’s growth comes from organic wins. Winning new businesses is not just about a slick pitch. It’s about proving you can do the job on time and by exceeding agreed KPIs. That is why we have such a strong portfolio of long lasting clients. We are here for the long haul and not a quick win”.

 

Victoria Ruffy, partner at Little Red Rooster

Victoria Ruffy, partner at Little Red Rooster

Little Red Rooster’s other sports and fashion division specialists will also assist the adidas team.

adidas Sport eyewear joins an outstanding collection of brands managed by the agency, currently includ Bang and Olufsen, Smeg, Freeview, Pantherella and Ruark Audio amongst others.

 

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Master Lock House Party

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Last Thursday, all American super-brand Master Lock, security connoisseur for over 90 years, hosted an epic house party to showcase its extensive range of gadgets to both press and social media influencers. Little Red Rooster kitted out a traditional yet quirky three-storey Georgian townhouse just a stone’s throw away from King’s Cross station to launch the Select Access Key Safe, explain the legendary heritage of the brand plus allow attendees to relax over a game of beer pong and a slice (or eight) of pizza!

 

Master Lock

Master Lock House Party

Fun fact, Master Lock founder Harry Soref worked with infamous escapologist Harry Houdini after he met with the company’s architect as he was unable to breakout from a pair of handcuffs. Soref advised Houdini on trick places to hide padlock keys between his fingers and under his tongue during stage shows. The brand is recognised around the world as the authentic, enduring name in security gadgets and Master Lock continues to develop innovative and high-quality products.  A leader in security solutions for sports, home, school, work and travel, Master Lock has recently launched a new wave of Bluetooth padlocks and lock boxes to sync up with the connected home trend.

 

So, let’s get right into it with the new release, the hotly anticipated Select Access Key Safe! The simple and secure lock box ensures parents and children will never have to hide keys under a doormat or flower pot again. Ultimately, parents who are concerned about their family accessing the house after school or a night out won’t have to worry. With the Select Access Key Safe you can store a large number of keys or access cards as the gadget boasts the biggest internal capacity on the market. Once the correct code has been entered, simply turn the handle to open the storage chamber to access a multitude of keys. Master Lock’s spacious innovation means that only one safe needs to be wall-mounted and combination codes can be easily managed. A flip cover hides the keypad from would-be thieves and also protects the key safe from the wonderful British weather. At the event, journalists were able to appreciate the attack-resilient and heavy-duty nature of the robust box.

 

Master Lock also provided exclusive hands-on time to both press and influencers for its soon to be released Digital Security Chest. More about this next month on official launch. Watch this space!

 

U Lock

Master Lock U Lock, best for bikes

 

To celebrate these launches Master Lock and Little Red Rooster invited a number of key media from the technology, security, lifestyle and design sectors to come along to a colossal house party and put the products to the test in a home and festival environment.

 

Breakfast

 

We supercharged the morning attendees’ day with tea, coffee, croissants, fresh fruit and juices. Journalists were treated to an intimate session where they were able to get hands-on with all available Master Lock products, not just the newbies. Proving very popular were the Bluetooth Smart Padlock and Bluetooth Key Lock Box located in the ground floor living room. With both connected products you are able to manage the app with your smartphone and fully monitor who is given temporary/permanent access. Another little gem from the day was the Fire & Water Resistant Security Chest that was submerged in the master bedroom’s luxury ensuite in the freestanding bathtub. The Security Chest protects your family’s most important paper documents, media, and valuables from fire and flood damage. Attendees included BBC Five Live and Country Homes & Interiors.

 

Trade lunch

 

After an informative morning session, we readied ourselves for trade journalists from ERT, DIY Week and PSI to arrive for their one-to-one Q+A sessions with the marketing and sales team from both the UK and France, the latter is where Master Lock’s European HQ is located. They were given an in-depth tour of the event space followed by a sit-down discussion about everything and anything Master Lock.

 

Carry Straps

Master Lock Carry Straps being used to ferry beer from boot to car

 

Party

 

The sun was beginning to set on an illuminating afternoon. It was now time to prepare for the party, we kitted out the kitchen area with beer pong and a smorgasbord of pizza. But it wasn’t all about that, the guests were treated to a succession of talks from the Master Lock team about new product releases and the rich history of the brand. The evening session was filled with a variety of press from The Sun, MTV, TechRadar, Saga, Esquire, Pocket-lint, Build It, ITV plus many more. Additionally, a bounty of influencers came, saw and conquered the beer pong plus shared their experiences via social media with a mammoth amount of tagging involved, creating a buzz on the evening. Everyone that attended was treated to a goody bag filled with Master Lock products to take away with them into the night.

 

Going into the late hours everyone was able to wind down, enjoy plenty of pizza and even have a boogie. You can’t deny Little Red Rooster and Master Lock know how to through a mega house party!

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Picking the right PR agency for the region

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The phrase “think global, act local” is crucial for brands picking the right PR agency for the region it wants to operate in.

A local presence in the UK carries extra clout as a key territory punching above its weight globally, especially if you consider the English language and culturally important locations such as London really are our crown jewels.

 

It’s a strategy adopted by some of the biggest names in the business. The likes of Nike, McDonald’s and Apple may appear to communicate with a one vision, one logo outlook, but these companies won’t launch a charm offensive on foreign soil without carefully weighing up the impact on local culture, and its impact on them.

 

 

Organisations can spend their entire marketing budget on a beautifully crafted global campaign only to discover it means something quite different in another language because they overlooked cultural differences a local agency would surely have identified.

 

Research by California State University found it would take 83 languages to reach 80% of people around the world, and over 7,000 to reach everyone. While 56% of consumers said obtaining information in their own language was more important than price.

 

This becomes especially important in an increasingly global market where brands can’t rely on a network of local retailers and high street stores to effectively carry its message to consumers.

 

“It’s easy to talk up the idea of a global marketplace in terms of selling and shipping products, but when it comes to promotion and PR being local can make all the difference to a successful launch,” says freelance technology and lifestyle journalist, Chris Haslam.

 

“Sure, global launches have their place with Samsung etc., but when it comes to getting beyond the names on the magazine masthead and appreciating how the media landscape works it will save so much miscommunication and time wasting – from both sides.”

 

This is one example where Little Red Rooster can step in. We’ve always been a boutique agency with a big picture mentality. By that we mean we consider brands on a local level first and foremost, but never without taking our eye off the global picture.

 

 

As our clients have grown and we have expanded as an agency, we’ve been careful to keep that magic going and not lose sight of where we all came from in the first place – never forget your roots, as they say.

 

Our home-grown clients understand this and have one thing in common: British pride, whether that’s in design, manufacturing, its personality or workforce. A PR agency should be a seamless extension of that operation and based in the same country.

 

As stated earlier, it’s important to note operating in the UK has distinct advantages from a media reach point of view. The English language has a huge impact when it comes to plenty of our greatest publications being syndicated and distributed internationally.

 

Several others with huge sway on both sides of the Atlantic, such as The Verge and Tech Radar, are based here and Forbes has just established a new European base in London. We’re home to the world’s luxury and in-flight press too.

 

Now think about how valuable authentic knowledge about a destination can be when you go on holiday, or visit a city for the first time. Getting a restaurant recommendation from somebody who lives there and knows the area is worth its weight in gold.

 

It’s one reason why we also attract overseas brands like Smeg, Loewe, Steel, Silhouette, neubau and LPG endermologie, all diligently looking to launch themselves in the UK and Ireland, or improve existing awareness.

 

The disjointed alternative is hiring a global agency that struggles to grasp the difference between markets, doesn’t get to know teams in each country and fails to forge close ties with its media.

 

Personal relationships are key in PR and the problem with pan-European agencies or larger is they lack the local presence and senior staff to meet journalists face-to-face. Very often junior team members are pushed under the bus with media relations low on the list of priorities.

 

 

This is something another of our overseas clients – B&O PLAY – found out to its cost and since taking over the account in 2016 it’s no secret we’ve been able to assist with incredible growth for the brand here in the UK.

 

We’ve been begged by clients new, old and prospective to open offices in France, Italy and America and handle PR operations in those territories. It’s certainly something we would consider, but the crucial part from our perspective would be market experience as well as boots on the ground.

 

“I was speaking to the chief sales and marketing officer of a Swedish audio company who told me partners that know the local market they wish to operate in are vital,” says James Day, technology editor at large at Enki magazine.

 

“He went on to say that even though we’re from Europe, we are not the same and that despite being from Sweden he’s never even succeeded with a Nordic campaign that works, because the Norwegians, Danes and Finnish are so different.

 

“I’ve dealt with hugely respected brands who have culled local press and PR operation in favour of a pan-European or global agency approach and it never works, to such an extent that in some cases ties have been totally severed.

 

“I might be a bit biased about my affection for Little Red Rooster because they’re based just down the road from me, but actually that just goes to extenuate the very point I’m trying to make about the importance of being local.”

 

Little Red Rooster is based in the tiny village of Twyford, Berkshire, while our London office has an established, experienced team knowledgeable about the capital and its unique ways.

 

Whether you’re a British brand looking to build your customer base here or an overseas client looking for a foothold in the UK market get in touch, because we’ve got our house in order.

 

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Case study: Bisque x Mad About The House

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As well as being PR pros, we’re also dab hands at managing social media and influencer relations. In fact, we handle the social media accounts for several of our clients. This arm of the business began when Bisque Radiators – Little Red Rooster’s very first interiors client – handed over control of its social media accounts back in 2011. Seven years later, we’re still going strong.

 

 

In 2018, Bisque set itself the ambitious target of doubling its SEO rating and once again turned to Little Red Rooster. Between the two parties, we devised a plan to work with former Financial Times journalist-turned UK’s number one interiors blogger, Kate Watson-Smyth (of Mad about the House fame) for a series of sponsored posts with the overarching aim of driving traffic to the Bisque site.

 

 

The end result? A 50% increase in social media followers, the most popular Instagram post for both brands in history and, ultimately, a prestigious gong from Pinterest UK at this year’s #BestofPinterest awards.

 

Head over to our latest case study for the full story.

 

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