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Changing logo colours is easy, but that can’t be the end of it.

It should be pretty obvious to any social media user that June is Pride Month, as nearly every corporate logo has taken on the pride colours!

2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan was subject to a police raid. This was followed by days of riots and an uprising against the police, led predominantly by trans women of colour activists, such as Marsha P. Johnson. The civil rights movement that followed led to the creation of Gay Pride, evolving into the Pride Month that is celebrated today.

There have been numerous examples in the last month to exemplify why Pride Month is still very much needed. But perhaps we should be going back to its original roots of protest, rather than celebration.

There’s not much to celebrate when a lesbian couple on a London bus was recently beaten up by a group of young men for refusing to kiss in the name of male entertainment.

There’s not much to celebrate when the politicians of the UK are debating, and in some cases refuting, the need for education on LGBT relationships in primary schools.

There’s not much to celebrate when there has recently been a surge of demands for Straight Pride.

For more eye-opening facts about the level of inequality the LGBT+ community still faces, read 15 rights LGBT people in the UK still don’t have, by Pink News.

There is some progress to celebrate, though.

Botswana and Ecuador have both recently legalised homosexuality.

The World Health Organisation has finally decreed that transgender people are not mentally ill.

More than 150 LGBT+ candidates were elected into office in the 2018 US midterm elections.

Let me be clear: I write this article primarily as a content marketer, and, secondarily, as an LGBT+ ally.

As a marketer, I have certain values. Customer-centricity. Authenticity. Storytelling.

It’s not my place to speak for the LGBT+ community. So, for this piece, I sought opinions from the community itself across various social channels. As a jump-off point, I asked the question:

“How do you feel about companies changing their corporate logo to the Pride flag?”

A few responses:

“I welcome companies supporting pride, but to be truly authentic it’s essential that it starts from grassroots.”

— Pete Badger, Sustainability Consultant at Stride Treglown

“I think it’s great as long as they support the community outside of just changing their logos for a month; donations, awareness campaigns, inclusive policies, etc. “

— Olivia Bushnell, Owner of Bushnell Community Solutions

“I think companies that do it while a) not actively doing anything to support the community or, b) actively hurting the community, ruin it. A logo change and a tweet of support, but no action, is co-opting a symbol of the largely marginalised and systemically discriminated community that have fought, some with their lives, for equality.”

— Hap Fiala, Co-founder of @queerpacklondon

Across the whole spectrum of responses, one viewpoint was a constant. It’s just not enough to change your logo to the Pride flag and to blithely declare “We Support Pride.”

The history of the Pride movement, and its flag, is of resistance and empowerment. When it was created in the 70s, it was a symbol “the community could rally behind,” states Out Magazine.

Nothing has changed.

Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Pride flag said:

“I thought of the American flag with its thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, the colonies breaking away from England to form the United States. I thought of the vertical red, white, and blue tricolor from the French Revolution and how both flags owed their beginnings to a riot, a rebellion, or revolution. I thought a gay nation should have a flag too, to proclaim its own idea of power.”

Baker’s close friend, Charles Beal, told the Huffington Post, “He purposely never copyrighted the flag because he wanted it to be owned by everyone.” Yet its image, co-opted for marketing campaigns, feels a far cry from that desire. Some members of the LGBT+ community perceive it simply as an exercise in jumping on the bandwagon to exploit the pink pound.

The Transgender Flag: Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

So before you change your creative to the Pride flag, ask yourself:

Do we know its history?

Do we fully understand its legacy and ongoing struggle it represents? (The Huffington Post has provided an educational take on “The History And Meaning Of The Rainbow Pride Flag.”)

Do we have tangible plans to support the LGBT+ community?

Dr Elisha Foust, Women’s Equality Party LGBT Activist told me,

“I don’t mind [brands using the pride flag] as long as they are doing something more substantial than that. Donating to charities, promoting equality in their hiring and leadership pipeline. Etc. Problem is most of them don’t…Many folks don’t attend Pride in London because of the ties to commercial brands.”

So, what should (and shouldn’t) companies do?

Do you market your services or products to young adults? Do you employ young adults? Then you’ll be horrified to learn that, according to American youth suicide prevention organisation, The Trevor Project, 39% of LGBT+ respondents between the ages of 13 and 24 “seriously considered suicide” within the past 12 months.

Take heed from the Suffragettes: it’s about “deeds not words.”

The following statement has been circulating on social media in response to calls for a Straight Pride: “Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution.”

Munroe Bergdorf stated at the recent Creative Equals Rise event:

“Many marketers are guilty of creating merely the “illusion” of diversity and inclusivity.”

But she urged people to examine how they can use their privilege to help others.

Let’s talk about two brands: NSPCC and Natwest.

Many LGBT+ individuals are still rightly angry that NSPCC continues to use the Pride flag, even following their dismissal of Bergdorf as their first LGBT+ Childline Ambassador. The dismissal was a response to a Times journalist incorrectly labeling her as a porn model.

With minimal communication to her, and deletion of her content from their site, these deeds are in exact opposition to their words that their recent campaign “aims to support children with LGBT+ concerns.”

Natwest kicked off Pride Month with a tweet declaring their support for the LGBT community.

Granted, a somewhat better effort than companies with no communications strategy — just a logo change.

Still, the need for ‘deeds not words’ was yet again highlighted by Twitter user: @artofstumbling.

“I see NatWest also has a nice rainbow despite their employee refusing to change my title and telling me I didn’t “look like a man” so it would appear fraudulent. Also getting misgendered every time I phone because you can’t include trans people in your basic call centre training.”

As marketers, we advocate audience-first marketing. When I advise companies on content marketing, I often endorse research with employees as representatives of the organisation or brand. Where possible, also, with end customers.

Don’t just use the Pride flag with a view to cash in. Conduct research to understand the challenges of your own employees and where possible, your customers who are LGBT+. How can you represent and serve them better? Analyse the results and create policies that address the research. Take a public stand on LGBT+ issues. The political is now personal which in turn, is now professional. If you’re creating and selling Pride flag products for the month, give 100% of your profits to relevant charities. Otherwise, you’re still exploiting the community and its symbol. Analyse your unconscious biases. Equality doesn’t happen overnight, but work towards progress. Be bold and transparent with the challenges you face along the way.

Most importantly — and I can’t stress this enough — don’t limit these activities to Pride Month. Undertake this work throughout the year, alongside intersecting initiatives for BAME and female communities. Investigate Stonewall’s Creating Inclusive WorkplacesOUTstanding via INvolve: The Inclusion People, and many other diversity led organisations.

Campaign Magazine recently wrote,

“…while inclusivity should be at the top of every brand’s agenda, every day of the year, Pride Month provides marketers with the opportunity to shout even louder about key issues impacting LGBT+ people and fly the rainbow flag.”

Finally, and as a fitting conclusion, transfeminist social neuropsychologist Reubs J Walsh commented:

“I think there needs to be a formal process for identifying criteria (like with the fair trade logo for example) but if I was involved in that process it would be about ethical business practices, active intersectional diversity policies in terms of hiring and workplace culture for public facing companies, equivalent requirements in terms of the training and policies that relate to the treatment of lgbt clients, and then a minimum level of donation to lgbt causes. I would also rule out companies with racist, colonial, ableist etc track-records.”

With thanks to everyone who contributed to this piece. Feel free to get in touch and let me know your thoughts.

Rachel Barber, Creating Stories

The post How To Do Pride Marketing the Right Way appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has appointed Redactive as its content and commercial agency after competitive tender.

The Association of Accounting Technicians is the world’s leading professional body for accounting technicians, with over 140,000 members worldwide.

Redactive assumes responsibility for the association’s two 68-page print magazines: the bi-monthly, AT (for members), and three-times-a-year, 20 (for students), as well as digital content creation for AAT’s digital and social channels including AAT Comment (aatcomment.org.uk) from July 2019. Current editor, Mark Rowland, continues in his role.

A refreshed multi-channel content strategy will build on the strong foundations that the current magazines provide to enable AAT to engage its members, students and other stakeholders more effectively across all touchpoints.

Redactive’s media sales operation will be tasked with securing advertising, sponsorship and content partnerships with brands wishing to engage with AAT’s 80,000-plus members and over 50,000 students. Redactive’s commercial remit will cover print, digital and events channels.

Andrew Williamson, AAT Director of Marketing and Communications, said, “Our magazines are highly acclaimed and play a vital role in delivering benefits to members and students. AAT selected Redactive to make an already successful formula even better. They offer a combination of innovation, creativity and digital expertise, which will help us achieve even more going forward.”

Redactive Director, Aaron Nicholls, said, “AAT is a world leader in its field. The content that we will produce and distribute with the AAT will help to cement this position, providing its members and audiences with inspiration, information and intelligence that will help them to develop their careers in accountancy. All of us at Redactive are looking forward to bringing our extensive experience of delivering effective integrated content and commercial strategies for membership organisations to AAT’s creative multichannel portfolio.”

AAT content or advertising enquiries should be directed by email to aat@redactive.co.uk or telephone +44 (0) 20 7880 6200.

The post AAT selects Redactive for content and commercial brief appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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Growing up, we’re always told not to judge a book by its cover — meant to be taken both literally and figuratively. But, when it comes to reading, we still blindly ignore that lesson by quickly judging every book by its “cover” or title.

Think of emails as a trimmed down version of a book—they can be serious, funny, or an absolute waste of time. Every book has a cover, but with emails, the cover is the subject line. The first impression and defining moment where a recipient will either open your email or toss it in the trash. That’s why it’s important to craft a subject line that is compelling, while maintaining your brand’s voice and tone.

There are many subject line techniques that you can use to draw people in. Some focus on creating a sense of urgency — giving the recipient a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), some are more personalized, while others pique reader interest — leaving them wanting more.

As we hear all the time now — in 2019, our attention span is a little lacking. In fact, it’s been compared to being less than that of a goldfish. A GOLDFISH! Wait, where was I? Right, attention span. An important rule of email writing is being able to quickly grab your reader’s attention.

It’s a delicate balance of being both appealing and informative. If you want your reader to understand the message behind your email, it’s important for them first to read the damn thing. You shouldn’t beat around the bush with a cryptic subject line, but also don’t give everything away. Email marketing is similar to fishing — you first have to get them to take the bait (subject line), hook them to read more (opening), then reel them in as fast as you can with your content.

“Email is still the number one most effective one-to-one communication channel for marketers.” — Adobe

According to the Radicati Group, there are roughly 3.9 billion email users worldwide. That’s over half of the world’s population! Imagine the possibilities of an email campaign coupled with a strong strategy—they’re endless!

Quick recap, for the forgetful:

Subject Line

  • Your readers’ first impression.
  • Avoid being gimmicky.
  • Instill a sense of urgency and curiosity.
  • Personalization is helpful.
  • Build anticipation of what’s waiting behind the subject line.

Grabbing their Attention

  • Keep things short, sweet, and to the point.
  • Emphasis on “to the point.” You have minimal time to engage and inform before the reader loses interest.
  • Find the balance between being engaging and informative.

Emails are Effective

  • The most effective one-to-one communication channel for marketers.
  • 3.9 billion email users worldwide.
  • Relevance is key — whether that is demonstrated through a strong subject line or the opening paragraph. Misleading subjects can lead to credibility loss, not only for your email, but also your brand.
  • One crucial tactic that brings an email strategy from “good” to “great” is staying true to your brand’s voice.
  • As strategies change and evolve, the important thing to remember is to be genuineeffective and creative. (Remember you’re writing for the attention span of a goldfish.)

Jordan is an intern with VERB Interactive — a leader in digital marketing, specializing in solutions for the travel and hospitality industry. Find out more at www.verbinteractive.com.

The post Thinking Outside the Inbox: Why You Need an Email Strategy appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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You can plan, create, and execute a brilliant PR campaign that drives traffic and engagement. But while you might be satisfied with the beautiful graphs that you dig out of analytics in a few weeks’ time, your stakeholders probably want to see more – and sooner.

You need to be able to show your client or boss specific pieces of coverage that a campaign has achieved – and you should do it quickly.

However, it’s not easy to find coverage as soon as a campaign goes live. Most journalists won’t send you the link (because why should they?) and a lot of tools can be slow to pick it up.

But we’ve got you covered. We’ve shared our go-to strategies for finding coverage, including useful tools and practices you can implement to catch the pieces that inevitably slip through the cracks.

Why should you look for coverage as soon as a campaign goes live?

Before we show you how to find coverage, you should understand why it’s so important to find it quickly:

  1. So you can thank the journalist – doing this is always good for developing and maintaining a good relationship. Plus, it’s just polite.
  2. So your client or boss can share the coverage with other stakeholders (and you can show that they made a great decision when they chose to work with you).
  3. So you can spot any mistakes quickly, and if you need to ask for a correction you can do so in good time.
  4. So, if the journalist hasn’t linked to your content and you think it’s worthy of a link, you can ask for one in timely fashion – being quick can make a huge difference in getting a link added.

4 tools you need to start using to find coverage

Before we share our favourite tools, we need to warn you – no tool picks up everything.

We use a combination of platforms, which has proven to us just how many gaps there are. That’s why we try to cover all the bases by using several different tools to crawl for each campaign we run.

We’re the first to admit that, even with the suite we have, we occasionally discover that we’re missing things. However, using following four platforms will allow you to build a strong foundation.

1. Buzzsumo (Paid)

We use Buzzsumo’s monitoring function to set up real-time alerts for all our clients’ brand names and for their domains, so we’ll receive alerts on any backlinks.

We usually find the Buzzsumo alerts to be the fastest of all alert services. It’s also handy that they’re organised in one place so you can see them over time.

2. Google Alerts (Free)

It might be an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning because Google Alerts free service will sometimes lead us to things we might have missed otherwise.

The downside is that it tends to be slower than Buzzsumo, and, despite the fact that might you think it would be the best option (considering Google is supposed to know all), it will often miss some of the coverage that Buzzsumo picks up.

3. Google Search (Free)

As well as having our alerts set up, we manually check for coverage at least once each day (and often more frequently during a campaign launch).

To do this, we use various combinations of searches, including:

  • The brand name
  • Variations of the brand name
  • Product names
  • Any relevant campaign messaging (such as straplines, hashtags, and experts we’ve quotes)

The combination tactic is key, as some sources of coverage won’t mention the brand name but will discuss the campaign messaging in detail.

4. Kantar Yellow News (Paid)

For a long time we avoided paying for a ‘proper’ news monitoring service. However, with more clients being featured in print and broadcast as well as online, we realised we needed to branch out.

Kantar monitors all the big media titles for us, sends alerts, and provides a dashboard that displays all coverage. We’ve found that it tends to be more reliable from a traditional press standpoint than some of the other alert services.

Note: An important note on this (as well as any media monitoring) is that if you need to share coverage from certain publications internally or with a client, you must covered by an NLA licence. A list of which titles are covered by the NLA is available here.

Troubles with tools (and how to work around them)

While we have a very comprehensive monitoring process, these tools collectively still don’t provide us with complete overview of coverage. We’ve learned that there are gaps in the system – but we’ve also learned how to fix them.

Google can be slow

Our recent campaign for Dance Direct was based on Eurovision, and the coverage came in fast over the days leading up to the final.

One particular problem was with local news coverage – Google wasn’t indexing the articles quick enough for them to be picked up by alerts (or our searches).

Luckily, we discovered a workaround. We searched for the article title, which Google would then index on archive pages (which seem to be crawled more often), allowing us to find the articles from there.

However, two weeks after the articles went live, we were still finding 2-3 unflagged articles per day. This was because they were also disappearing from the index, so we had to keep refreshing to catch them before they disappeared.

For example, when we searched the phrase pictured below at the time of writing this post (about a month after the campaign ended), Google only had 8 results. However, we tracked 107 individual articles with the same article title (all of which are still live):

The problem may well stem from the fact that a lot of the articles have canonicals back to one of the sites, hence why they’re appearing and disappearing in the index.

We also tried finding the list of local sites covered by same publisher and searching the news sites themselves. However, most use Google Search Bar and so we ran into the same problem – Google hadn’t indexed the article yet.

Because of this, we probably still missed identifying a lot of coverage.

The workaround

When we do get an alert for coverage, we keep searching for that article title to see whether it goes live anywhere else – often refreshing numerous times a day.

As you’ll know a lot of national title such as The Independent can act as triggers for other articles on smaller websites. Often these use the exact same headline and article copy as the original article (on The Independent or wherever else). So this workaround also helps with capture these as well as with the local news problem.

Journalists can misspell

Even if you have all your alerts set up, journalists will occasionally misspell your brand, product, or campaign name – meaning your alert won’t catch their mistake.

For example, one of our clients is called TheAdvisory (all one word). During our latest PR activity, even though we wrote this correctly in our press releases and emails, two journalists spelt it “The Advisory” in their articles. If we only included the correct spelling of the brand name in our alerts, we would have missed that coverage.

That same client also has a tool called Propcast, which we were using data from. Another journalist that covered the story didn’t reference TheAdvisory but instead just Propcast. Again, if we only had a “TheAdvisory” alert set up, we’d have missed this piece.

The workaround

Have multiple alerts set up that cover terms associated with the brand or predictable misspellings set up across tools. Look out for potential mistakes such as:

  • Brand name as all one word and with spaces
  • Key products or tools that you quote
  • The name of the spokesperson you include quotes from in your press (with any obvious potential misspellings worked in)

If you run a campaign that gets plenty of coverage, chances are there might be the occasional piece that slips through the net – however, using these tools and monitoring the gaps will give you a better chance of finding as many sources as possible.

And what about now – are we missing anything? We’d love to hear about any other tools you have in your suite for monitoring coverage, and any workarounds you use to make sure you find it all.

The post You’re probably missing something: How to effectively monitor online PR coverage appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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Pick n Pay’s Fresh Living magazine is now available in Braille, making it the first supermarket in South Africa to offer something like this to its customers.

The May issue of Fresh Living was recently piloted in Braille, with 250 visually impaired customers each receiving a copy. Following a very positive response, the magazine will officially be trialled for two months in selected Pick n Pay stores across the country.

The June Fresh Living: Braille Issue landed in the selected stores this week and can be picked up at the Customer Care desk.

Free to Smart Shopper customers, Fresh Living has grown from 60,000 copies at its launch to over 500,000 copies per month. It provides readers with lifestyle inspiration, the latest food and drink news, and accessible, everyday family recipes with each edition.

Sharing Fresh Living with the visually impaired community

It is this popularity that led a loyal customer, Jennine Britz, to contact Pick n Pay and offer her Braille translation services in order to share her favourite magazine with the visually impaired community of South Africa. Classified as blind, Jennine has worked closely with Pick n Pay and Fresh Living‘s publisher, John Brown, since September last year to develop the sample copy and make the Braille edition of Fresh Living a reality.

The Braille edition was piloted in April through organisations that cater for the blind in KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. Copies were distributed to visually impaired readers, who shared their feedback and ideas on how to refine it.

Embracing our differences

Fresh Living magazine is a wonderfully inclusive publication, and this takes us one excellent step further,” says John Bradshaw, Head of Marketing at Pick n Pay.

Jennine says that the foundation of her Braille printing company came from her experience as a blind person living in a sighted-person’s world. “This is a daily struggle, especially when it comes to using any form of public facility. Pick n Pay is one of a handful of companies that understand my vision of improving public facilities for the blind by having more consideration for their blind consumers. Through the Braille version of Fresh Living, Pick n Pay has brought overwhelming excitement and appreciation to me and hundreds of Braille readers across the country,” she says.

Editor of Fresh Living Justine Drake says, “At Fresh Living, we make much of celebrating and embracing our differences, and our decision to print a Braille version of the country’s largest food and lifestyle magazine seemed to present a really tangible way to demonstrate this. I hope it brings much joy and inspiration to our blind and partially sighted communities.”

“We listen carefully to our customers and we’re really grateful that Jennine got in touch so that we could expand Fresh Living‘s reach to our visually impaired customers. It’s been a rewarding learning process to launch the Braille edition and we are excited to share it in-store with our customers during the next phase of the trial,” says John Bradshaw.

Fresh Living: Braille Issue will be trialled at selected Pick n Pay stores and organisations that cater for the blind nationally for the months of June and July and may be expanded, based on customer feedback.

Fresh Living: Braille Issue can be found at the following selected stores:

Gauteng: Welkom, Gallo Manor, Florida, Bethlehem, Local Leandre, eMbalenhle, Rosebank, Kensington, Clearwater Mall, Westgate, Sasolburg, Bedfordview, Kroonstad, Kimberley, Lenasia, Daveyton, Auckland Park, Secunda, Blackheath, Carlton Centre, Chris Hani Crossing, The Falls, Brandwag, Victory Park, Vaal Mall, Diepkloof, Southgate and The Bridge

Eastern Cape: Langeberg Mall, Woodmill Lane, Bay West Mall, Family Grahamstown, Family Mdantsane, Family Port Alfred, Cleary Park Shopping Centre and Family King William’s Town.

KZN: Local Maluti Crescent

Western Cape: Tyger Valley, Paarl Mall, Constantia, Pinelands, Vangate Mall, Claremont, Cavendish Square, N1 City Mall, Mountain Mill, Worcester, Stellenbosch, Kenilworth Campus, Local Poppy’s Retreat, Local Boston, Local Monte Vista, Waterfront, Bellville and Longbeach Mall.

Northern Region: Gezina, Wonderboom Junction and The Tramshed

Hypers: Klerksdorp, Greenstone Shopping Centre, Centurion Lifestyle Centre, Ottery Centre and Princess Crossing.

Copies are also available from the following organisations for the blind:

KwaZulu-Natal Society for the Blind

Cape Town Society for the Blind

Nkosinathi Foundation of and for Blind and Partially Sighted People, Port Elizabeth

Society for the Blind, Bloemfontein

Johannesburg Society for the blind

The post Fresh Living magazine now available in Braille appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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Fifty years after the Stonewall riots, Cedar is partnering with Opening Doors London (ODL) to launch the My First Pride campaign this week, with the aim of celebrating the legacy of the older LGBT+ community and putting these pioneers at the heart of the Pride conversation.

The social media campaign features video stories of five Opening Doors London members, each sharing their real, honest accounts of their early Pride experiences, from attending their first Pride march in 1972, to the story of joining the parade for the first time aged 72.

They also highlight the very real challenge of isolation in ageing, the importance of inclusion and accessibility in Pride, and the vital role that Opening Doors London plays in bringing this community together.

My First Pride (with members of Opening Doors London) - YouTube

Alice Wallace, Director of ODL said, “As this year’s Pride marks 50 years of LGBT+ activism since the Stonewall riots, we want to celebrate the people who made this history – our members. While older LGBT+ people are seldom visible in media representations of the LGBT+ community, we are an integral part of it. Whether we marched at the very first Pride in London or came out later in life, Pride is for us!”

The stories will appear across Opening Doors London social media channels in the run up to Pride, @OpeningDoorsLdn on Twitter and @openingdoorslondon on Facebook.

The campaign was developed in partnership with content marketing agency Cedar, as part of the annual Omnicom OPEN Pride and Allies initiative.

Clare Broadbent, Cedar’s CEO said, “We are incredibly proud to partner with Opening Doors London on this important campaign. As a story-telling agency, it was an honour to have the opportunity to share the incredible stories of these LGBT+ pioneers, and to shine a light on the role ODL plays in their lives. We can’t wait to see the real difference this campaign will make in raising awareness of this vital charity and community.”

Discover the campaign at https://www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk/news/my-first-pride

The post Opening Doors London and Cedar launch My First Pride campaign appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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How should you alter the way you communicate to a group of employees rather than a group of shareholders? Wardour has worked with clients on hugely successful campaigns, taking different approaches depending on whether the audience was internal or external. Here’s our take on what to consider before producing content.

Check your tone

Deciding the tone of your content is important regardless of audience. There are pros and cons for both formal and informal communication styles. However, whatever your outward-facing tone is, when talking to staff you’ll probably want to be a little warmer. Using language and content that unites your colleagues and inspires them around your mission is just as important as sharing important information with them.

Your external content must share knowledge, showing readers why they should work differently tomorrow. Internal content needs to do this as well, but must also inspire your people, showing them the importance of what they are doing today.

Skip the small talk

When writing for external audiences, it’s often necessary to approach content with the expectation that it might be seen by someone with no knowledge of the subject whatsoever. While you shouldn’t patronise any audience, some level of basic explanation is necessary for most external pieces.

When writing for your own colleagues, however, you can assume a certain level of understanding. There may be areas that are covered thoroughly in induction, or language used so commonly internally it requires no introduction. Show confidence in their knowledge and skip the small talk.

Be authentic

Beautiful imagery or high-quality video forms part of both internal and external strategies. User-submitted content and photography, however, is more of an internal affair. Using pieces that your colleagues have created makes them part of your story and they are more likely to share it. Work with them to make it the best it can be, but don’t be too heavy-handed – authenticity is key.

Involve everyone

When creating external pieces of content, interviewees with lofty job titles or high profiles can set you apart from your competitors and lend weight to your communications. But internally, you probably want to mix things up more.

There is an old anecdote concerning John F Kennedy’s visit to NASA’s HQ in 1961. While touring the facility he approached a janitor, introduced himself and asked what he did at NASA. The janitor replied that he was helping to send a man to the moon.

While the tale may be apocryphal, the sentiment remains true: all employees can contribute to your success and should therefore be represented in your communications across your organisation.

The post In or out? Telling the difference between internal and external communications appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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The #BestManProject by Bold Content for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) won Gold in Best Video Series at the 2018 International Content Marketing Awards.

The campaign tackled a difficult topic: male suicide. The brief was to create a series of videos that encouraged men to talk to a friend if they were feeling low, but in an entertaining manner. Bold Content Video deftly produced a solution that mixed humour and emotion to deliver a message that would stay with the viewer long after the videos had finished.

Working with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the production team approached the challenge by creating a mix between an interview and a social experiment. Beginning with a casual interview of two friends, the director flipped the easy style by instructing the men to “turn to your friend right now and tell him how much he means to you.” Catching the interviewees off guard, it allowed them to be open and vulnerable, producing some truthful and emotional answers.

The first film in the campaign features three sets of regular pals. In the second piece, they were joined by his Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge, who came along to support the project. Prince William participated in a round table discussion with celebrities including Rio Ferdinand, Loyle Carner, and Roman Kemp.

The videos were widely spread on social media, amassing over 10 million Twitter followers and six million Facebook followers. In total, the videos were seen over 22 million times. “This was a strong series that tackled a difficult situation in an innovative and engaging way,” said the judges. “The simple approach was executed well, producing meaningful results.”

“A truly engaging suite of productions that keep simplicity at its heart to ensure the message and value behind the production shines through.”

Adam Neale, Managing Director of Bold Content says “It meant a great deal to us to win the Gold CMA award.  It’s a project that’s very close to our hearts, so getting the recognition that other professionals in the content industry have been positively affected is incredibly rewarding.”

“We feel that the humorous tone, coupled with an important and emotional message, leads to great storytelling potential. To that end, we’re currently developing the campaign beyond the original scope of the project and are looking for brand partners who want to be involved.“

In total, the 2018 International Content Marketing Awards has received over 400 entries from over 130 agencies across 20 different countries including UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Sweden, South Africa and Israel. View all of 2018’s winners here.

The 2019 awards are open for entry, with the deadline on Friday 6th September. There are a number of new and updated categories this year, to see more information on entries and categories click here.

Eight men and a Duke discuss CALM's #BestManProject - YouTube

The post Awards Case Study: #BestManProject appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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Northampton film and photography specialists Amplitude Media have moved into expanded studio facilities in the heart of the town. Located above the Albion Brewery, Amplitude Media’s new 600 square foot space boasts multiple shooting walls, a wide range of ceiling-mounted colour rolls, product tables, lighting options, and much more. The studio will be used for in-house projects and is also available for hire by photographers and filmmakers.

The expansion comes following a strong year of growth. Regular clients including Avon Cosmetics and Reed Professional Services have contributed to that growth significantly, and upcoming work with new high-profile clients sees it set to continue.

Amplitude Media has also expanded its offices and core team in the last six months, doubling project management capabilities. The increased office space allows Amplitude to continue supporting upcoming young creatives, providing desk space for work experience students throughout the coming summer months.

As well as offering a studio for hire, Amplitude Media is a full service creative marketing agency, capable of managing the full creative process, including location sourcing, model and prop sourcing, photography, filming, and editing. For more information, or to book studio time, contact Amplitude Media at www.amplitudemedia.co.uk or via info@amplitudemedia.co.uk.

The post Amplitude Media Expands into New Studio appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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Back in 2015 and Claudia Winkleman was hosting, I was sitting at the Roundhouse, practising my losing face as the Best Use of Data & Insight Award was announced … the next thing I know I was walking up on the stage, fist pumping the air (embarrassing I know) as I had just won! Needless to say, I was absolutely delighted and after 2/3 days of recovering from the legendary CMA Award hangover, I was feeling somewhat enthused about my job, my team, my brand and the agencies that I was working with.

After winning said award, I started looking for ways in which I could improve on the work and strategy whilst aligning the marketing strategy to the wider business. I was looking to create and improve and what I noted was quite simply the challenges still come at you… understanding a changing audience, how to attract and retain them whilst retaining brand integrity was and remains bloody difficult.

The challenge with b2b marketing is that whilst you think it should be easier because the audience is smaller, the intensity and knowledge of your subject matter (your brand) needs to be greater; if you can’t explain what you are doing, why you are doing it and why people should trust you then you will be up against it. For me, the best learning was that b2b marketing, done well, requires a cohesive approach with everyone working together, owning their channels and delivering to a well-crafted plan that puts the audience first. You must answer their needs before trying to sell your own!

My top three learnings

1.  If you haven’t already orchestrated an agency Summit then I urge you to do so, bring all you players together so that they and everyone else understands their roles; a clearly defined measurement plan and reporting structure helps the hierarchy of the decision making process and will support your performance.

2.  Openness: How can I brief what it is that we need to achieve if I didn’t clearly understand the numbers or the opportunity? Stats, measurement and bringing in other internal teams to make sure that all lines of communication could be measured or tracked is integral to content being placed at the heart of the business.

3. Face2Face: When you can, ask questions of industry experts. As a natural born extravert, I don’t find it daunting to put my hand up and ask a question at the end of an event but I am aware that many people do struggle but don’t forget facilitators and social platforms also provide a decent home for the DM messages facility to be used! The world of Content Marketing is constantly evolving, my personal belief is that it’s not a solo activity, so go old school and integrate  F2F (Face2Face) into your strategy, I highly recommend it.

Catherine Maskell, MD, The Content Marketing Association

The post Top 3 learnings from the MD of the CMA appeared first on Content Marketing Association - CMA.

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