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Does PR Really Benefit Sales?

Although sales and marketing (including PR) are regularly put together, they rarely understand or appreciate each other. Traditionally, one is trying to make it and one is trying to spend it.

So, in today’s world of cutting costs and making every £, $ and € count, any outbound communication needs to support sales and sales needs to respect what marketing is trying to do for it.

Let’s take the basics of PR. Getting and taking a good idea and making it set the company apart from all the rest. This idea could be on the back of a product, technology, vision or installation. But it’s not enough to just do the basics anymore and by that I mean generate a press release or article for purely one objective/goal. Getting it published – dynamic and/or print – is still important and a valuable part of the mix. And strong relationships with editors and freelancers will make that happen in the most timely and effective way. But you also need to be able to take that story and visualise its reach in many different ways outside of the traditional.

A good story can be repurposed to suit many different audiences and requirements:

  1. Direct marketing collateral/HTMLs
  2. Website content
  3. Social media interaction
  4. White paper
  5. Case study
  6. Opinion piece
  7. Award entry
  8. Conference paper synopsis
  9. The list goes on

I’m going to be doing a series of short articles exploring the relationship between sales and marketing and how it can be made more effective.

Manor Marketing provides the ultimate sales-driven marketing communications strategy. What we do can be measured and have a direct impact on sales. Which means your revenue. Your bottom line. And therefore, your company’s future.

Getting my geek on with VR

I have been in this industry for more than 16 years and have done everything from working for one of the largest exhibition organisers in the industry to marketing and now, PR. I often joke that I’ll one day be an engineer and then I can say that I have tried it all. I won’t of course, I’m not in the least bit technical and don’t pretend to be, but that doesn’t mean to say that I’m not excited by the technology that I encounter in this industry.

Virtual reality is something that really excites me and is a very hot topic right now. My inner geek screams to be let out whenever I see it!

I was at my local sports club at the weekend and a guy came in with his new VR headset. I sat there quietly observing everyone having a go and seeing the delight on their faces at being transported to another world, all whilst thinking to myself, “This is nothing new folks. I saw it at IBC last year.”

I had the pleasure of getting to try on a VR headset on the Elemental stand at IBC 2015 and from the moment I placed it on my head I was suddenly in what can only be described as a large warehouse, in which musicians started appearing around me from all directions. The singer, a ghostly appearance of a woman, started walking towards me and just before she finished she lifted a large rope from the ground in front of her and started pulling it towards her. I swear I started moving towards her, like she was pulling me, and it was the most bizarre sensation. I knew I was stationary, and yet there I was, inexorably advancing towards her.

More recently my client Presteigne Broadcast Hire was involved in Good Morning America’s “GMA on Safari”. GMA took its audience on a live, immersive 360-degree virtual reality tour of the “Great Migration” in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Presteigne provided technology, project management, and system design for deployment of its mobile IP Mesh system. Five DJI drone-mounted camera systems and a stationary IM360 virtual reality camera were used to capture the wildlife in their natural habitat. Presteigne deployed a wide area NETNode IP mesh system from Domo Broadcast between the crater and the base camp. The result was nothing short of breathtaking.

Unlike 3D, which came and sadly went away again, VR is here and I truly believe it’s going to stay and we will all have it in our homes. Can you imagine watching the likes of Grand Designs and actually being able to walk around the homes along with Kevin McCloud? I can, and it will happen. Of that I am certain.

I have always felt immensely privileged to work in this industry, because we get to see new technology emerging before anyone else. We get to walk the red carpet and see the technology premiere, except we do it in comfy shoes (or at least you do if you have done as many tradeshows as I have!) and not in posh designer frocks and killer heels.

I look forward to seeing how far this immersive technology will go, and how my six year old daughter will view content in years to come. Probably by VR, on her way to work in her driverless, fuel-free car.

So to all the technologists out there, I salute you. Long may your brilliant brains continue to amaze me.

Photo credit: DJI / Ferdinand Wolf

Booth Etiquette - A guide for your employees at shows & events [Infographic]

Exhibiting at a trade show takes time, effort and costs a lot of money. It’s probably one of the biggest marketing investments your company will make.

If you have a great stand ready to attract visitors then make sure your staff don’t let you down.

IBC 2016 is just around the corner, it’s never too early to run through a ‘booth etiquette’ lesson with the staff who will be your company ambassadors.

They way your staff present themselves (visually and verbally) to visitors has a huge influence on your trade show success.

Here’s our Infographic (part one)

booth etiquette

Inflexible is Inexcusable

Manor Marketing, a full-service PR, marketing and sales strategy agency, is celebrating 15 years in business, specialising in outbound communications for clients, some with in-house marketing teams, and some without. Flexibility has never been more important in broadcast, and marketing consultancy is no exception, so we tailor our approach and level of service to fit what’s actually required, and sometimes have to be brutally honest about what we see as necessary versus the in-house perception. That flexibility and insight has led us to assisting companies, our specialty being SMEs, through everything from new product launches to MBO and VC journeys. Although we built our reputation by working with broadcast manufacturers, facilities companies, and professional associations, we’ve recently diversified into education, health, and even beauty. As I said, flexibility.

But no matter who we consult for, everything we do has a commercial focus. We’re not just about getting print and online articles published. We tailor content to be pushed through multiple platforms, which obviously includes social media, home pages, sales collateral, etc. Our technical knowledge ensures that we can communicate messages from the very basic to the very complicated, depending on the intended audience. However, behind it all, the end goal is to ensure our clients are highly visible to decision makers and therefore, potential revenue generators.

Of course, if you can’t measure success, how do you know you’ve succeeded? Measuring and monitoring communications is a passion for us, and we’ve invested in the latest software to validate the value of every campaign. We also invest in specialist personnel – for instance a digital communications manager – to ensure that all the latest technologies and techniques are applied for the good of our clients.

Now, despite all the technology and technique at our disposal, there’s still no substitute for face-to-face meetings to determine what’s really important and how to promote it. Ideas emerge from face-to-face meetings that can never come out over email, phone, or video call. Modern technology offers fabulous tools, but there’s nothing like a good old chin-wag.

15 years in business teaches you that, sometimes the hard way. But the value of lessons learned surely make life easier.

It also makes life a lot more flexible.

Special Project – Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15

In August 2014 Manor Marketing was awarded the contract to manage Cobham TCS involvement with Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s longest and most extreme offshore sporting event. Not only was Cobham TCS providing financial backing in exchange for branding, access, and marketing opportunities, its technologies would become key components of the racing boats themselves and the multiplatform broadcast compounds established in Race Village stopovers around the world, all linked to the Volvo Race Headquarters in Alicante, Spain.

Manor Marketing was made responsible and became the main contact for maximising exposure of Cobham’s deep involvement in the race over the balance of 2014 and up to (and beyond) the race completion in June 2015.

Pre-race activities included regular alerts to notify the media of Cobham’s involvement with extensive marketing initiatives. This involved everything from site visits with journalists and Cobham partners/management (including New Year 2015 in Abu Dhabi) to extensive social media engagement, website generation and promotion, video shoots, blogs, coordinating the branding, purchase and dissemination of marketing collateral, plus supportive documents and details were part of the comprehensive plan.

Coupled with the hands-on social media and practical marketing initiatives, as many as 20 or more Cobham/Volvo-related press releases, feature articles, Q&A’s, videos, blogs and case studies were generated resulting in consistent, sustained global coverage for Cobham and its technology over 10 months. The result for Cobham was an exceptionally heightened level of interest in the company and the highly successful technology deployed throughout the race.

As JP Delport, Broadcast Sales Manager explained, “We came to rely on Jennie and her team for every aspect of promoting the race and our technology. They became Volvo’s main contact and seamlessly facilitated our involvement. They surpassed our expectations and that is down to not only their professionalism and industry contacts/knowledge, but also their determination, persistence, support and enthusiasm.

“We have strengthened existing relationships and built new ones, and that could not have been done without Manor Marketing.”

Best Full-Service Broadcast Marketing Agency – UK

Celebrating 15 years this year, Manor Marketing is responsible for the outbound communications for SMEs in a wide range of industries including broadcasting, manufacturing and facilities. Jennie provides us with an overview of the firm’s services and explains how it drives value for clients.

“Everything we do has a commercial focus. We are not just about getting the story published, be it online or print, but about utilising the content generated for a story for multiple uses: social media, website, PR, case studies, sales collateral, etc. Our technical knowledge and background ensures that we can educate the reader from the basics all the way to the very complicated. But behind everything we do, we are thinking about the end goal: to ensure our client is in front of the decision makers and therefore, revenue generators.

“We are also responsible for their online presence, including website, app, and social media. We have partner organisations for website and app design, but also do this in-house. Regardless of how an online platform was originally designed and populated, we tend to take on responsibility for a substantial part of the look and content, keeping both up-to-date.

“Measuring and monitoring communications is a real passion at Manor Marketing and we are proud to have invested in the latest software to prove the worth of every campaign. We have also invested in specialist personnel – for instance a digital communications manager – to ensure that all the latest technologies and techniques can be applied for the good of our clients.”

Looking ahead, Jennie concludes that the firm has a number of projects and plans for the future which will set it up for strong growth and development.

“Contract sales and marketing is an aspect of our service offering which we are focused on currently, and are keen to develop it and drive growth in this area. Due to our commercial strength, it is a natural progression and in recent months it has been regularly requested. We are also doing more event-focused projects, as well as being approached from outside of the industry.

“Our involvement in the main organisations of the industry gives us unique insight into the broadcasters, as well as clients, and this has led to some very exciting opportunities which we are keen to capitalise on in the coming months.”

Why change or update your website?

It’s a new year. 2017. And new initiatives and targets for your company have either already been set or will be shortly.

So, does your current digital marketing offering reflect your new focus and vision or is it hindering your success? Does it back up your sales message? Is it out-of-date? Is it stale and uninviting? Is it boring and uninspired? And that’s just your website. What about social media?

One thing at a time.

Designing and populating a new website, we’re told, is a very expensive business. It takes a massive amount of time. It’s hard work. And then there’s the question of whether it’s static and you pay to get it updated or you invest in a solid back office. And don’t forget SEO and analytics.

I, like all business owners, evaluated my business at the end of 2016 and that’s why, over the Christmas/New Year break, I re-did our website. Not just updated it, completely re-did it. New look, focus and objective. It took four days. New content, style and it can all be updated easily.

Your website is your shop window. It gives the viewer an overview of what you do and offer. And like all shop windows, the display needs to be updated on a regular basis to encourage the customer (or in this case, Google, etc. spider) to visit.

Why should you change/update your website?

I’ll start with one word – mobile internet browsing is massive and it’s only going to get bigger. It overtook desktop usage in 2013 and the amount of time spent browsing on mobile devices is nearly double that of desktop.

So, if your website isn’t optimised to work on a mobile device, you’re missing out. Big time. You need to offer a seamless experience between all platforms. Even Google is taking mobile seriously by changing from “Desktop First Index” to “Mobile First Index”. And what this means for your website, your shop window, is that Google will generate your website ranking via your mobile site, rather than your desktop site.

But let’s remind ourselves of the basics, content is still king. It’s everything. It either grabs the viewer or not. Does it tell part of all of the story? Does it give the view a good reason to contact you? Can they easily contact you? Is it obvious what you do and how you can help them? But how you present it is just as important. Social media, video, blogs, etc., are all elements to be included and now an integral part of communication.

And then how often you update and refresh is critical to the experience. So presentation and navigation of the content needs to be done hand-in-hand and not exclusively or one given more emphasis than the other.

A website redesign or update also gives you the perfect opportunity to refresh your message and look at your target markets – existing and/or potential.

All this is wasted though if you can’t update it yourself. You need to have a good back office. Everything should be able to be changed and updated – including some elements of the design. It’s the single most vital element of any website. If it can’t be updated, it will be out-of-date/useless very, very quickly.

Changing/Updating your website

The first place a customer or partner or supplier will go is your website. It needs to reflect you and your offering. It needs to be what you are – now, today.

Whatever your strategy might be for 2017, make sure your website and associated digital marketing is on the list.

And now?

Manor Marketing is proud to have a dedicated digital communications specialist as part of the team. We understand what a good website and digital strategy means. We know the good, the bad and the ugly!

Talk to us about what having a good website really means.

Do you have a strategy or are you just winging it?

Manor Marketing, now in its 16th year, prides itself on being a full-service PR, marketing, sales and strategy agency.

And it’s the strategy aspect that many people forget, but at their peril. Strategic planning is just as key to any out-bound communications programme as it is to a product or service launch. While still important, issuing press releases and hoping they’ll be read somewhere by someone important is no longer enough, on its own, to generate sales leads or reinforce brand identity.

Today, ultimate success and ROI require a highly targeted, well thought-out strategy to maximise the potential reach of every piece of news – especially in light of numerous, multi-platform outlets for that news. For example, what might not make the grade as a press release can, couched in the right way, be an attention-grabbing, far-reaching blog, LinkedIn article, Tweet or Facebook status (multi-platform outlets) that can have an immediate beneficial impact far in excess of a paragraph on page 31.

With the current challenges in the broadcast industry, a consistent, firm strand must be established throughout all PR/marcoms initiatives. Being a supplier - whether of black boxes, intellectual property, or software - in isolation is not enough. You must be seen as a trusted problem solver, confidant and, if you will, a benefactor with your clients’ best interests at heart. That needs to be reflected in all outgoing communications, establishing you as a trusted authority with a vision of the near- and long-term future.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The exponential rate of change in broadcast is driving the need for levels of flexibility never before seen, which as an Agency we address every day. If you have something to tell the world, tell it right, tell it quick, and tell it through every appropriate channel. We tailor our approach and service levels to reflect precisely what can be done, both proactively and, sometimes, reactively, to match what’s actually required, and doable.

We built our reputation with broadcast manufacturers, facilities companies, and professional associations, and the same principles of honesty and flexibility apply to other areas into which we’ve recently diversified such as education, health, even beauty. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all, but fundamental, professional principles do.

At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of maintaining a commercial focus at all times. Marketing, PR and Sales support are all central to that, but it’s not just about getting articles published. It’s about being visible as a thought leader online, in print, at conferences and, increasingly through video.

We provide expertise in all those areas, but it starts with a strategy, and a flexible one at that.

Manor Marketing

  • Is a premier, global communications agency for the broadcasting/technology industries
  • Offers a truly integrated sales/marketing tool
  • Has multi-platform influence - PR, marketing, advertising, social media, digital, mobile all working together
  • Produces engaging content and measures effectiveness
  • Is results-oriented to meet business objectives
  • Builds relationships with dealers, customers, consultants and media
  • Offers effective tradeshow and conference communications workflows
  • Offers traditional methods alongside new trends working to maximise brand awareness
  • Is your B2B, technology, commercial partner

Manor Marketing NAB 2017 Client New Kit/Launch Summary

CENTRAL HALL

C7137 Domo will feature its new Broadcast Nano HD transmitter, PRORXD 8-Way Diversity RF wireless receiver platform, and improved bi-directional camera controls at NAB. Also being launched is Encipher, a dual-channel IP encoder. Maryland-based broadcast technology specialists 3G Wireless will also be on the Domo booth. 3G Wireless has deployed a range of on-board camera systems based on Domo’s SOLO7 OBTX transmitters and wireless receivers for the 2017 WeatherTech Championship which opened with the 55th Rolex 24 on the weekend of January 26-29 at Daytona International Speedway. The system will be used again by the 65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuelled by Fresh From Florida at Sebring International Raceway on March 15-18. And the team Visit Florida car will be on the booth showcasing video footage from the technology utilised.

C7649 Photon Beard will be showcasing its Highlight LED range of remote phosphor directional softlights and talking about global YouTube Studio installations.

SOUTH LOWER HALL

SL11116 Cinegy will be showcasing the latest version of Cinegy Air PRO, its real-time playout server and multi-channel broadcast automation software, and Cinegy News, an all-in-one new production package that now includes Cinegy Archive and Cinegy Desktop – which includes a fully featured NRCS client to provide an all-inclusive, pre-integrated news production environment.

SL5825 Suitcase TV will demonstrate Iphrame Flyaway its compact, powerful IP-based production system, which combines IP, ASI, and SDI signals in a portable systems for real-time, ultra-low latency production on the fly. Once connected to a broadcast centre via any standard IP link, Iphrame can be online in minutes, you only need to plug in SDI cameras/feeds and audio sources. Major US brand broadcasters are now buying into this technology and seeing increased viewers, as well as monetisation.

SL8320 Pixel Power will be demonstrating its software-defined tools including StreamMaster™ Media Processing and Gallium™ Workflow Orchestration in virtualised and cloud implementations. StreamMaster Media Processing is a processing platform that allows you to do things “to” a piece of media content. For example, transcoding, rendering, master control, real-time graphics and DVE delivery. Gallium Workflow Orchestration is a workflow platform that allows you to do things “with” a piece of content. You might want to assemble the content to deliver a linear playout channel with automated branding, or you might want to produce a VOD channel from the same schedules with no manual intervention, or you might want to automatically create localized versions of the content for secondary markets - this allows the broadcaster to monetise their content in more ways or save money in their production process. Each platform comprises of a suite of features and functionality and you can buy outright the main features that you want to use all the time, but for features that you only use occasionally, you can buy by the hour. Major global brand customers will be announced at the show.

NORTH HALL

N5924 Starfish is launching a new addition to its range of transport stream processing products which will take the TS Splicer’s existing, clear, advantages and adding new features which will support an ever growing range of application areas. The TS Splicer combines low propagation delay, multiple-channel, frame-accurate transport stream media splicing with media storage and SCTE 35 opt-out signal decoding. In addition, a new Switch product is being launched to work with those US Broadcasters who already have add insertion technology. And finally, they will be launching a US operation and talking about a multi-national, corporate client who’s standardising on Starfish.

N5931 Veset will feature Veset Nimbus™, a platform for versatile, powerful, and entirely cloud-based all-in-one playout that also includes powerful new tools for live event management.

N6227 TMD is launching new bolt-ons, built on the Mediaflex-UMS (Unified Media Services) architecture for software-defined workflow management. MediaPackages provides complete workflow management for the creation and delivery of packages to non-linear/OTT platforms. MediaMiSR provides sophisticated integration with third-party scheduling systems, automatically raises workflows based on those schedules, reports on missing content and manages cache storage for transmission-ready content for playout systems. Finally, MediaLines provides complete management for the scheduled recording of live feeds.

Cinegy Q&A NAB 2017

Lewis Kirkaldie, Head of Product Management, Cinegy spoke to Manor Marketing ahead of NAB 2017. Learn more about cloud playout, IP compression and workflows and the benefits of 16K.

Cinegy will be on Booth SL11116 at NAB 2017. Email if you would like to meet with Cinegy at NAB 2017

Watch the video here.

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