Category Archives: Video PR

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND NICHE CLIENTS-IS IT A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP?

By Cynthia Mbugua, media and communications student at Coventry UniversityCynth

 

To many, the description of the words ‘niche audience’ might be unclear. A niche audience can be briefly described as a small number of consumers/users within a specific sector which has a custom need for a product. Public Relations plays a vital role in reaching out to niche audiences.

 

One of the reasons PR is such an integral part of communicating with a niche audience is that it helps to create a relationship between a business and its customer.

 

Public Relations includes services like traditional PR, newsletters, and social media. These channels are in turn very important to the business as they help it to connect directly with its niche markets.

 

  • Traditional PR – Although digital media has changed the face of PR, traditional media such as trade magazines remain important when communicating a message to a niche audiences. For example manufacturers typically still prefer traditional printed magazines to digital news sources so by placing relevant and interesting material in industry magazines, we can help manufacturing companies reach out to potential customers.
  • Social media is integral to tapping into niche markets. Websites like LinkedIn allow for a business to find specific people they want to potentially do business with. For example, our client Pollite manufactures frangible airport masts, and they utilise Linkedin to find electrical contractors for airports across the world.
  • Newsletters–  These are a great way of reaching the exact people you want to target. Strong data lists are crucial here – once you have a highly targeted data list, then a newsletter is the perfect way for marketing your products directly to people likely to do business with you.

 

If you would like to find out more about targeting your niche markets you can get in touch with us on 02476520025 for some professional advice on the best route to take…

 

From Detroit to Miami – all in aid of the veterans

By: Film Producer Gail Downey
From: Whirlwind Productions/Nose Art Films
Twitter: @NoseArtFilms

This is the final of three blogs from our friend Gail Downey, the Director and Producer of Nose Art & Pin-Ups. Following on from her previous blog in which she told us how she got the wheels in motion to create her new DVD, she now details the story of her trip across America in search of veterans…..

As mentioned last week, I have been helped in pulling together Nose Art and Pin Ups by Mike Faley, who is on the board of directors of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society. We found Don Allen, crew chief looking after aircraft of the Fourth Fighter Group based at Debden near Saffron Walden in WW and he gave me contact details of around a dozen other veterans.

Because the film was about Nose Art and the stories behind those images, the first question I had to ask the veterans was – did they have Nose Art or Pin Ups on their aircraft?

Thankfully most said yes. This meant I could then go on to ask them to share their stories of life in England and their missions. You must remember of course that these were men in their mid to late eighties and yet when they talked of the past, their friends lost and battles won, they became animated, as though they had gone back in time, so vivid were their memories.

Stories included those from Don Freer, captain of the bombers “Stinky” and “Easy Does It” who spoke of how he had to bail out of the burning aircraft and then watched it explode in flames only minutes later.

Others, like Bob Barnhart, a fighter pilot, told how he had managed to get a picture of his wife painted on his aircraft because it just so happened a portrait artist was on the ground crew.

Once I had their permission to come over and film, my next job was to buy a map of the USA and work out the quickest and cheapest way to get around. When you are self-funding a film you need to make every mile count! So I bought the biggest map I could find, which covered the floor in the sitting room for two weeks – the rule being no-one was allowed to tread on it or move it as it was covered with sticky bits of paper with names, addresses and contact details.

The plan was to interview all the veterans on the East Coast from Detroit to Miami – driving most of the way – but with one internal flight which took us from Washington to Atlanta. What I didn’t count on was just how varied the weather would be – and how border agents in the USA almost stopped the project before it had begun!

Nose Art and Pin Ups is available from Amazon UK http://amzn.to/Sw2BuW and Ebay UK http://bit.ly/PqFDHd at £15.99 plus p and p.

Please support this project and help keep these veterans’ stories alive. To continue the story, visit the official Nose Art Films blog here.

Gail Downey, Nose Art Films
gail@noseartfilms.co.uk
gail@whirlwindproductions.co.uk

Telling the stories of young American servicemen

By: Film Producer Gail Downey
From: Whirlwind Productions/Nose Art Films
Twitter: @NoseArtFilms

This is the second of three blogs from our friend Gail Downey, the Director and Producer of Nose Art & Pin-Ups. Following on from her previous blog in which she told us how she got the idea to do the film, she tells us how she set the wheels in motion and the help she received along the way…..

Like so many things the idea to make a film about Nose Art and Pin Ups on the aircraft of World War Two came about by chance. I have made history programmes for the BBC and The History Channel before and while doing some research came across the title “Nose Art & Pin Ups.”

Curious to find out exactly what that was about, I read through the article and discovered it was the artwork on aircraft painted, sometimes by the crew, sometimes by commercial artists like Don Allen, who had been drafted into the United States Army Air Force in WW2.

What I found fascinating was what the images meant to the crews, fighter and bombers, who risked their lives every day in missions in which one in seven of them died. They were all part of the Eighth Air Force or “Mighty Eighth” when the USA joined the war against the Germans in 1942.

The article focused on their Nose Art and offered moving footage of aircraft, which to a film producer, was like gold dust. Here was the artwork on the actual planes in WW2 and provided I paid for the rights, I could use that filmed material.

But where to start on a subject which is so big? That is always the hardest part of making any film. Make the subject too niche and the audience will be too small. Make the subject too broad and you miss the point .

So being a Brit, I decided to tell the story of the American servicemen based here in England in World War Two and concentrate on the Nose Art on their aircraft rather than that of the RAF. For a start there was much more Nose Art on the USAAF aircraft and it was easier to find in terms of actual film footage. So now you see how a producer’s mind works.

What I really wanted to do though was to tell the stories of these young American servicemen, who saw friends killed and captured, some severely wounded and others who, to this day, have memories, which thankfully my generation, will never know.

Finding the servicemen was the first task. I had tried to get the BBC and The History Channel to pay for the film to be made but was told no – it was too niche so I decided to fund it myself (which producers should never do).

Thankfully I found Michael P Faley, an American who loves history and like myself, has huge respect for the pilots and crews and what they went through.

Mike is on the board of directors of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society and with his help found Don Allen, who was a crew chief looking after aircraft of the Fourth Fighter Group based at Debden near Saffron Walden in WW2……….he was and thankfully is, still alive. And so the journey began. More on that next week.

Nose Art and Pin Ups is available from Amazon UK http://amzn.to/Sw2BuW and Ebay UK http://bit.ly/PqFDHd at £15.99 plus p and p.

Please support this project and help keep these veterans’ stories alive.

Gail Downey, Nose Art Films
gail@noseartfilms.co.uk
gail@whirlwindproductions.co.uk

Nose Art – actually not a New Age ritual….

By: Film Producer Gail Downey
From: Whirlwind Productions/Nose Art Films
Twitter: @NoseArtFilms

One of the recent press campaigns we have been involved with here at Bridge is Nose Art and Pin-Ups. Directed and produced by Gail Downey, Nose Art and Pin-Ups is a documentary which follows the stories behind the art and images painted on the noses of aircraft by servicemen from the United States  in World War Two.

Gail has written a series of guest blogs for us. In this, her first, Gail outlines a little more detail about the DVD; the topics it covers and why she was inspired to tell such an interesting story……

For those of you who know what Nose Art is, the idea of making a film about the subject probably requires little explanation. For those who don’t I have had all kinds of questions. Is it piercings? Is it some weird form of artwork you have painted on your face? Is it a New Age ritual?

The answer is no to all of the above. Nose Art is simply the artwork which is painted on aircraft, whether it be during wartime or peace. Think Memphis Belle – the famous aircraft which flew from England in World War Two and made its name, and that of its crew, by becoming the first to survive 25 missions – no mean feat when the chances of survival for servicemen was one in seven. Can you imagine that? One in seven of you didn’t come home? Think about that on the way to work today. As you are sat in a traffic jam the seventh car doesn’t make it. Terrifying thought.

So for crews to have Nose Art and Pin Ups (pictures of girls) painted on their aircraft, it gave them a morale boost, something to “pat” when they got back from missions flying across Europe and into Germany – ten hours and more at a time. I bet the English Channel looked like a piece of heaven as they came home. No wonder the wartime song “White Cliffs of Dover” still resonates with that generation today.

So why make a film about Nose Art and Pin Ups? Well although there have been books written about the subject and pictures on the internet, I wanted to find out what these images actually meant to the crew. Why and how did they chose Our Gal Sal? What and who was Miss Dallas? How did the images actually get put onto the aircraft?

Along the way the crews also told me their amazing stories of friends lost, battles won, capture and escape. These were so fascinating that I had to include them in the DVD and in my next blog, I’ll tell you how I did it.

Please support this project and help keep these veterans’ stories alive.

Gail Downey, Nose Art Films

Nose Art and Pin Ups is available from Amazon UK http://amzn.to/Sw2BuW and Ebay UK http://bit.ly/PqFDHd at £15.99 plus p and p.

A New Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities

BridgitWith 2011 now behind us, we have had time to reflect on what Bridge has achieved in the last 12 months and what we are looking forward to achieving in 2012.

The past year has seen some major changes in our company with the development of new products and services, and the addition of new team members to support our growth. We have also developed  our partnerships with clients and now represent customers across a wide range of industry sectors. 

This has given us a very firm foundation for 2012, and we are very excited about the coming year, especially being a Coventry based agency with all that is about to happen surrounding the 2012 Olympics and Euro 2012.   

New ways of working in PR were very much to the forefront throughout the whole of 2011.  Social media gained in popularity with the majority of our clients and we spent a great deal of time providing training support around this and other marketing communications topics.   The new raft of digital technologies certainly helped us to raise the profile of our clients, a number of whom enjoyed national media exposure.  This was underpinned by having really great stories to tell.  Content is the lifeblood of marketing communications campaigns, and every one of our clients had interesting and topical stories in 2011.

In the summer months, we launched one of our own campaigns based around, Bridgit, a rather engaging red-eyed tree frog, who became the centre-piece for a social media workshop titled “Making the LEAP”.  Bridgit very quickly took on a life of her own after a successful campaign to name her, and we then set about creating her identity as our social media mascot.  You will see a lot more of Bridgit in 2012, so watch out for her.

As we headed towards Autumn, we increased our team again and welcomed our new account executive, Natalie Hunt.   With a breadth of experience across journalism and broadcast media, Natalie is a great addition to our team, and very quickly established herself with a number of our clients as well as building relationships with editors and journalists up and down the country. 

 

Looking Ahead

 It’s going to be great to be in Coventry

It’s particularly exciting to be in Coventry as we head into 2012.  The buzz surrounding  the 2012 Olympic Games is now starting to heat up in earnest, and Coventry will be in the thick of everything with some of the major games being hosted in our City.  In addition, local Company, Imagineer Productions, has created a magnificent spectacle in “Godiva Awakes” which will shine  the spotlight on two of the city’s home grown industries:  Lady Godiva and cycling.  The bicycle was invented in Coventry so what better propulsion to use to take the enormous Godiva puppet on her journey from Coventry to London.  Another Coventry coup is the Olympic torch.  This is yet another Coventry creation that will focus attention on the region, and especially when the Olympic torch relay wends its way through the Midlands on its way to the Olympic Stadium.    In among these major events is an anniversary that also has strong Coventry connections:  the centenary of the maiden voyage and sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912. Bridge client, Titanic Heritage Trust, is hosting a series of events throughout 2012 commemorating this event (hyperlink). 

New ways to boost your business

 As we have mentioned in a previous blog  ‘Boost your Business with “Video PR’, videos are 53 times more likely to generate a first page ranking than traditional SEO techniques, which means more visitors to your website, more calls generated, and ultimately more sales.  Just a short video about your products and/or services that you offer could increase the calls generated to 18%.

Working with our partner, Whirlwind Productions, we are keen to make you aware of the benefits of Video PR and how this can move your company forward, whether it be a short, sharp video release, or a larger budget corporate video.  We will be bring you more information on how you can boost your business through video PR through our own training and workshops, e-shots, and blogs.

 Social Media will continue to grow and develop

 Building on the great successes of 2011, we will be helping more businesses to make the most of social media.  No more can businesses say “Why should we be using social media?”, and finding reasons not to engage with their online audiences.  Instead, we are now hearing “Why would we not use social media, it has so much to offer?”  We predict that the social media revolution will continue to grow, and for some of our clients it will be a case of their social media activity maturing as they reap the rewards of early engagement after spending time building their following and creating and curating great content for their stories. 

Last year was a great year for us and we enjoyed every minute of it.  We are very excited by the prospect of continuing to work with our clients, partners and suppliers. 

 If you haven’t already signed up for our e-newsletters, then please take the time to do so now, and we will keep you up to date on the latest in PR and marketing and how you can use the lifeblood of your business (your stories) to really get noticed in 2012. 

 A Happy New Year. 

Boost your business with “Video PR”

With the New Year just around the corner, businesses need to be looking at their strategies and trends for the forthcoming year. Specifically, which channels to allocate their marketing budgets. 

One of the most exciting marketing channels to watch next year (quite literally and pardoning any puns) is video PR.  All our sources tell us that this is the fastest growing area, with the UK being the third on the list for the highest number of videos watched in 2011, so far.  This equates to a staggering 166 billion videos viewed in the past 12 months with only America and Canada ahead of us in the viewing statistics.

From a consumer’s perspective, video is a much more accessible format in such a congested media.  It gives the story far more impact through both sound and pictures, and has the potential to go viral if the subject matter is entertaining enough or it catches an emerging trend.  When you think about it, are you more likely to switch on your mobile device/TV or travel to the shop to buy a newspaper? Technological advances are the biggest influence on the way society operates. Marketing departments therefore need to stay ahead of the game.

Brands using video as a promotional or point of purchase tool are enjoying significantly higher conversion rates than those using static content, therefore if your business does not currently include video in its strategy this is a strong indication it should be included for 2012.

Video also massively helps your SEO opportunities attracting the attention of search engines, especially when supported by a keyword-rich title and a paragraph about its content.  This needs to be taken very seriously when you consider that Google now owns YouTube,

If you need any further convincing that video PR needs to be part of your business marketing mix for 2012, then here are some of the facts and figures:

  • A total of 1.2 billion people watched 201.4 billion online videos in October 2011 alone.
  • 85% of marketing brand managers currently use online video on websites for promoting products and services.
  • Videos are 53 times more likely to generate a first page ranking than traditional SEO techniques.
  • If a small business adds a video to their website’s business profile:
    • Profile views are increased by 100%
    • Profile clicks are increased by 30%
    • Generated calls are increased by 18%
    • The ecommerce site receives an increase of 55% in its flow of traffic, increase of 30% in the physical site, and incidence of purchases gets an increase of 24%.

What can video PR be used for?

Video can achieve all the usual PR angles and more. Here are a few examples of videos your company may use:

  • VNR (Video News Release) – must be newsworthy and strong to send around television stations
  • Product Launches
  • Video of conferences and events
  • Video for conferences and events
  • Vox pops
  • Client testimonial videos
  • Video tour of your company office
  • Short interviews to introduce personnel
  • “How to” videos to demonstrate your expertise

Where can these videos be seen?

The internet offers many destinations for video to be posted including magazine/news websites, blogs, company websites, micro-blogs, forums and direct emailing. In fact if you have produced a video for your latest release you are more likely to get covered by local and national press due to their current demand of video content. The traffic to newspaper websites is continuing to surge despite a decline in print circulation and editors are embracing video for higher SEO in a media where convergence journalism is an absolute must.

At Bridge we already have magazine and news editors crying out for video content, and we predict this will be a growing trend in 2012. 

How can you market your business with video?

Bridge has a range of video packages to suit every budget and every need, from a straightforward short, sharp video news release to a bigger budget corporate video. 

To find out more, just get in touch.