The Winning Streak Continues! 🎉 Success at the Marketing Cheshire Annual Tourism Awards

The Winning Streak Continues! 🎉 Success at the Marketing Cheshire Annual Tourism Awards

If we do say so ourselves, we’re a dab hand at writing a winning award entry here at The Source and making sure our clients get the recognition they deserve for their incredible achievements and accolades. Once again, it’s paid off, with three clients receiving awards and high commendations at the Marketing Cheshire Annual Tourism Awards.

On 23rd November, we attended the ceremony at the historic Chester Racecourse along with over 300 tourism representatives. The awards celebrated a diverse variety of businesses that contribute to Cheshire’s thriving visitor economy, which was worth £3.3 billion and employed over 42,000 people in 2016.

Combermere Abbey won the coveted Boutique Accommodation of the Year award for their newly-restored North Wing, which offers luxury B&B accommodation overlooking the vast estate. The Chester Grosvenor and FREEDOME parks also received high commendations, for the Outstanding Customer Service award and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year award respectively.

 

Along with the recent successes at the Cheshire Business Awards, which saw The Ice Cream Farm scooping the Innovation and Enterprise award and The Chester Grosvenor winning the Employer of the Year award, it’s safe to say that it’s been a fantastic few weeks for our clients! We’re delighted that they’ve been recognised for their achievements are are amongst the most respected businesses in the region.

Now, onto the next award…

 

Ready, set…bake! The Great British Bake Off’s Howard Middleton comes to Inspired Villages.

With this year’s Great British Bake Off finale drawing in a whopping 6.5 million viewers, it’s safe to say that Britain is still in the midst of a Bake-Off fever! On Tuesday 24th October, fans of the much-loved show were in for a treat when former series 4 contestant, Howard Middleton, demonstrated his best bakes for the festive season ahead at Inspired Villages, Tattenhall.

Inspired residents and locals alike were invited to Eric’s restaurant on-site to watch the Bake-Off star rustle up a delicious array of Christmas delights, including a clementine and almond cake and frangipane mince pies with a ‘cherry berry’ mincemeat. As well as receiving some top baking tips, the audience were left entertained by Howard’s hilarious anecdotes from the nation’s favourite baking TV series, including the infamous ‘custard-gate’ incident.

The Source were approached by Inspired to raise the profile of their Tattenhall scheme and create a comprehensive plan of PR, marketing and event activity to communicate the quality of lifestyle, facilities and accommodation offered at the retirement village, as well as involve the wider community. We devised the Bake-Off event to acquaint locals in the area with Inspired, create positive regional press coverage and raise Inspired’s profile as a state-of-the-art retirement village with an exciting programme of events.

The proof of the pudding was in the full house of guests, extensive regional coverage, as well as a great deal of fun and laughter had by all.

For more information on organising events and getting your business noticed, please get in touch on 01829 720 789 or email info@thesourcepartnership.com.

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Store Dubbed Mini IKEA Arrives in Chester to Record-Breaking Queues

Interiors fans, brace yourselves… Last week we helped Danish brand, Søstrene Grene, open their Chester store in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. The homewares brand is famed for its huge product range; from quirky kitchen accessories and sumptuous soft furnishings to stylish ceramics at affordable prices.

Approached by Søstrene for our extensive experience in the retail sector, knowledge of the region (and perhaps for our penchant for everything Scandi), we held an exclusive VIP launch event on Thursday, 19th October, followed by an official public opening on Friday, 20th.

Only the second store in the country, there is little or no knowledge of the brand in the UK and so we were tasked with not only increasing brand awareness regionally, but we also introduced national press to the cult-homewares business.

Our launch campaign included working closely with the Danish team to compile social media content, as well as securing press coverage in local and regional press, which resulted in Søstrene Grene featuring in a huge variety of regional publications.   We also worked with a local radio station to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to the VIP and official openings.

Over 100 people attended the VIP launch event, including regional press and bloggers, as well as a wide demographic of guests, who all enjoyed fizz and canapes from local bar and restaurant, The Botanist whilst browsing the store.

For the public launch the following day, there were hundreds of eager shoppers wanting to get in on the action, with queues through Grosvenor Shopping Centre and into the street, which hasn’t been seen in the centre for many years.

For more information on launch events or introducing brands into the UK, please get in touch on 01829 720789 or email info@thesourcepartnership.com.

Three Clients Nominated for Cheshire Business Awards 2017

It’s an exciting day in The Source offices today with not one, not even two, but THREE of our clients being nominated for the prestigious Trinity Mirror Cheshire Business Awards 2017.

We love an award entry at The Source and don’t mind us if we say we’re pretty good at it. Of course, it helps that our amazing clients have plenty to shout about! The Chester Grosvenor hotel, The Ice Cream Farm and Text Local have been nominated for the Employer of the Year award, the Innovation and Enterprise Award and the Business of the Year award (over 50 employees) respectively.

The awards recognise excellence, innovation and achievement across the Cheshire region. With a staggering 48% increase in entries this year, we’d like to congratulate our clients for getting to this stage, as it was a particularly competitive shortlisting process!

The awards ceremony will be held at Chester Cathedral on Friday 6th October. For more information, visit http://www.eventsnorthwest.co.uk/cheshire-business-awards/.

2017: The Tact of Advertising the Drink of Diplomacy

Drinks companies constantly produce and push campaigns through various social media platforms and TV channels.  We’re so used to seeing them that we almost become desensitised.  However, in April 2017 campaigns from drinks giants Pepsi and Heineken became hot topics for different reasons.  Both put out issue-driven messages but one took the internet by storm and the other had to be taken down…

 

Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ social experiment reached 13,520,408 views on YouTube with #OpenYourWorld creating a real conversation on Twitter. At the start of the video the question, “Is there more that unites than divides us?” was asked in between short clips of six people describing their views on topical issues such as; Climate Change, LGBT rights and Feminism. By addressing real world issues, Heineken created a campaign that everyday people could relate to, choosing subjects at the forefront of today’s society.

 

In contrast to Heineken, Pepsi took inspiration from the social justice movements Black Lives Matter, yet the campaign was vague and lacked any acknowledgement of real-world issues.  The advert showed a generic protest with a serious looking police officer relaxing when handed a Pepsi by super model, Kendall Jenner.

 

This message was not received well by viewers.  Bernise King, daughter of Martin Luther King tweeted a picture of her father with the caption: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” The lack of perspective was put down to the campaign being created in-house in comparison to creative agency input.

 

The question is – Did they create these as PR stunts purposefully taking a gamble on the outcome?  When creating a PR or marketing campaign, every element needs to be dissected and each possible reaction debated to prevent a PR disaster. As the saying goes, ‘There’s no such thing as bad PR’, but careful planning, understanding your audience and preventing the inevitable is all part of the difference between a bad campaign and a truly great one.

 

If you feel your business needs some guidance to create the best PR campaign, get in touch. We are what you need.

 

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials. It’s a word that we’re seeing repeatedly in the news and online recently, whether it’s because they’re being blamed for killing the paper napkin industry and the McDonald’s McWrap or they’re buying too much avocado toast which is stopping them getting on the housing ladder, but what and who are millennials?

 

Millennials (also referred to as Generation Y) is the term applied to individuals born between the early 1980s and the mid to late 1990s, and they should be your focal point when it comes to marketing.  The technology industry has grown at increasing rates over the past 35 to 40 years and Millennials have evolved with this, they’ve experienced the progression from dial-up internet to broadband and standard mobile phones that were just made for calls to smartphones that give you access to everyone and everything 24/7. They’re defined as the “always connected” generation and it’s more important than ever before to market to them correctly as ultimately they’re the consumers that will be purchasing your products in years to come.

 

When it comes to marketing to Millennials personalisation and authenticity is key. They want something that speaks to them on a one-to-one basis, so it’s important to position yourself on their level and really understand what they’re thinking and their online behaviour.

  • Talk to them how they would talk to their friends and include emoji’s and GIFs in social posts as it has been proven that millennials find it easier to express emotions through emoji’s than words.
  • As the generation that is “always connected” mobile optimisation is really important to millennials in order for them to gain access to information 24/7, whether it’s to book a hotel, browse a restaurant menu or brush up on a fact. If they can’t find it through their mobile browser, they will instantly be discouraged to use the site again.
  • Instagram is also increasingly becoming the platform of choice with millennials so it’s paramount that you have some form of presence on the mobile platform. Like we say here at The Source “If it wasn’t on Instagram did it even happen?”.

 

 

To give you a bit more understanding and inspo for what it takes to successfully market to millennials, we’re giving you a run-down of some of the best millennial marketing campaigns of the past few years:

  • Netflix: Netflix in general speaks to millennials in ways BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub could only dream of. Whilst many generations use Netflix to watch the latest TV shows and newly released films, without millennials it would not be the huge success that it is. It’s mobile optimised, can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets and smart TVs giving people access to the big screen all day every day.
  • Coca-cola: Coca-cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was a huge hit with millennials in 2013 and 2014. It made 998 million impressions on Twitter and 235,000 tweets were generated using the #ShareaCoke hashtag, because it offered a personalised experience for the user.
  • Body Coach: Joe Wicks, the Body Coach is a social media mastermind. He began using Instagram in 2014 and has been a huge hit ever since. He is accessible on all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) and mixes up the content he uses from personal photographs with his nephew Oscar to recipe videos and promo shots you can never get bored of the Body Coach.

 

If you’re looking to create a marketing campaign and not sure what to do or where to start, why not drop us a line? We work with a broad range of clients and can work alongside you to create an effective campaign that ticks all the right boxes.

 

enquiries@thesourcepartnership.com

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Landing a PR Internship: How to Shine and Make the Most of your Time

If you’re a student or recent graduate, the chances are you’ll have started your job hunt only to be met with a disheartening response to your applications:

“Unfortunately, your current experience does not meet the requirements for this role”.

The reality is, experience is the all-important tick-box on your CV that demonstrates the willingness to progress professionally and bridges the gap between ‘graduate’ and ‘young professional’. It can make the difference between your application being ignored or earmarked for potential.

Sound daunting? Fear not! At The Source, we go out of our way to help those looking for more work experience. Here are our top-tips on how to make the most of your first internship in PR.

 

Ask Questions

Internships are generally between one week and three months long, so it’s vital that you spend that time learning as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your team questions and pick their brains on topics that interest you. There’s no such thing as a stupid question – the whole point of an internship is to expand your knowledge and skill-sets.

Show Initiative

If you studied English or a media-related degree, you’ll be able to put your creativity and flair for writing to fantastic use. PR is an industry that thrives on fresh ideas and thinking outside the box. Got an idea for a blog post, or spot something trending on Twitter? Voice it! Rather than wait for your line manager to provide you with a new task, always ask if there’s anything you can help with to make sure you’re exposing yourself to a varied workload.

Keep a log of everything you’ve achieved

Make sure that you’re keeping a note of your day-to-day tasks and everything that you’re learning. By the end of the internship period, you’ll have a backlog of work and skill-sets to show for yourself that you can add straight to your CV and wow a prospective employer with at interview.

If you’re a student or graduate keen to gain experience in PR and Marketing, why not drop us a line? We’re also recruiting for PR Assistants and PR Account Managers, so send in your CV today!

 

enquiries@thesourcepartnership.com

PREDICTING THE UNPREDICTABLE

2016 was perhaps the most unpredictable year for decades with the rank outsider Mr Trump winning the US elections, Britain voting to head for the European exit and Leicester City winning the UK’s Premier League at odds of more than 5000 / 1.

You could therefore argue what’s the point in making predictions for 2017, when some of the biggest events of the last year were not foreseen by anyone?  Perhaps our time should be better spent being ready to identify, embrace and accept change.

With the speed of technological evolution there’s no doubt that all businesses and sectors will face exponential change, with the potential of many being left behind if they don’t accept it.

Examples of companies that failed to predict trends and react to it include the likes of Kodak, who in 1998 had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.

We could also look at the likes of Uber, they don’t own any cars and are the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

If we look at Artificial Intelligence, IBM Watson is challenging the legal sector by offering basic legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Some predict that as a result there will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

It’s forecast that by the end of the year / early 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear and by around 2020, the industry will start to be completely disrupted. People won’t own cars but will use cars like driverless taxis where there’s no need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.  There’s no doubt this will reduce accidents and also the need for insurance.

Traditional car companies are threatened by tech companies such as Tesla, Apple and Google who are essentially building a computer on wheels.  Let’s also not forget that this, alongside the growth of 3D printing and a suggestion that by 2027 10% of everything produced will be 3D printed, there will also be cost savings.

So what’s important now is for companies to identify business priorities, opportunities as well as threats to determine how they need to position and market themselves if they are to succeed.

No doubt, some will stick their heads in the sand, others will keep to what they know, while some will embrace different mediums and channels to push their boundaries and explore all opportunities available to them.

I’d hazard a guess that it’s the latter group who will make the biggest strides, engage with their customers and build a loyal following that will be useful to them now and for years to come.

Embrace the opportunities

So, if you’re looking to embrace the opportunities, where should your time be best spent?  Genuine engagement with target audiences remains key and a conscious effort to listen, engage and deliver consistently across all channels is key.

There’s no doubt that the various media mediums will continue to grow and evolve as the primary source of information, news and opinion.  The various platforms will continue to battle and evolve their offering, but their importance can’t be underestimated – as illustrated by Donald Trump using Twitter for significant policy announcements.

No one would have predicted this this time last year, so remember – be prepared for the unpredictable.

12 THINGS YOU’LL ONLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU WORK AT THE SOURCE PARTNERSHIP

It’s safe to say, that at TSP, we’ve all gotten into our daily routines and habits (good and bad) and we’ve no doubt that they differ significantly from other offices – we’re very unique and we know it! So from the positive to the negative, we thought we’d sum up the top twelve TSP moments of the working week! (N.B: If hungry, do not read – there may be one or two mentions of food).

1) Our impressive tea selection:

A normal tea? Please 💁.

Don’t forget our beauty tea, lady grey, peppermint, chamomile, ginger, nettle, passion fruit and whatever else you could think to brew! The only issue is (and now we are being picky) the kitchen in our new office is down stairs, so the tea run is quite the job. Don’t forget the recurrent office debate: leave the teabag in or take it out… and don’t get us started on Chelsie’s ‘can you leave my teabag in for 30 seconds…’

2) The mid-morning sausage bap dilemma:

To deli or not to deli? We blame Emily for introducing the biggest dilemma of the day to the TSP office, especially when the hunger pangs get too much and we can’t help but run to the deli next door. The delicious taste however, often leaves us in limbo for the rest of the day – we’re too full for lunch, but hungry again at 4pm.

3) Insta-food:

As Lottie always says ‘If it’s not on Insta, did it even happen?’ With our guilt ridden food trips comes the inevitable Instagram snap, and with foodie clients, Sara is undoubtedly the office foodstagram expert, showcasing the delicious choices online. The inter-office support is real too. First 10 likes? TSP colleagues.

4) Friday lunches are the best!

If you can’t treat yourself on a Friday, when can you? With clients such as The Ice Cream Farm literally around the corner (Beth’s personal favourite), as well as our restaurant neighbours taunting us with Thai and Chinese aromas and the nearby supermarkets tempting us with homemade pizza, lunch is another reason why Friday is the best day of the working week.

5) And if you’re hungry mid-day…

You can always rely on Louis to have a packet of biscuits at his desk.

6) Stepping away from food, we are also subject to some more typical PR moments…

We promise, no more food references.

7) Calling IT support is always ‘interesting’:

You’ve done everything in your power, but your laptop won’t play ball (who said technology was reliable?!). The time has now come to phone IT support. How successful the call will be is a constant source of debate, especially when the first piece of advice is typically, ‘have you tried restarting it?’

8) But of course there are plenty of good moments in PR too:

Like getting a fresh blog idea which you know will be the best one yet (so meta). Of course, this is a daily occurrence for the TSP team, and once we start typing, the ideas just keep coming. Client, get ready to be blown away.

9) Or getting incredible coverage:

Again, this happens regularly (would you expect anything less?!) – but each time it feels like winning an Oscar (and actually winning *cough cough*, will they ever live that moment down?). The office is our red carpet, the coverage our trophy. If only it were acceptable to repeatedly strut up and down in a stunning, designer floor length dress. Cue the emotional speech when we announce our coverage win to the client…

10) But this couldn’t be achieved without Debbie’s organisational spreadsheets:

Move over Picasso – colour coordinated, stored under different tabs and filled to the brim with numbers, emails and deadlines, our Excel sheets resemble a work of art. We owe so much to these beautiful documents – how did we cope before Debbie joined the team?!

(Here’s to you Debbie!)

11) And of course, PR has the perk of attending events:

From frequent construction safety days (Scarlett has quite taken to adorning a hard hat as her workplace attire), to charity events, we’ve done them all and we enjoy our events as much as the guests – even if some clients do require picnic events (this does not count as another food reference!) with visits from the likes of Olaf .

When it comes to events though, there’s always one question from Laura… will there be Prosecco?

12) Of course PR (and office food) wouldn’t be anywhere near as enjoyable if it weren’t for all the TSP employees!

One thing you’d only know if you worked in the office is that we are the best colleagues and our days are made a little easier with each other’s company (and a bowl of Pad Thai: no prawn tails 😉)