At the beginning of the week, all the talk about Manchester United focused on their cancelled game against Bournemouth.
The team’s many sponsors will understand the media attention on the discovery of a suspicious package within Old Trafford but quite a few people will be disappointed that their promotional plans didn’t come off.
Something happened yesterday that doesn’t happen very often around here. We turned down the opportunity to pitch for what would have been a very interesting client. We don’t tend to decline opportunities but on this occasion I’m convinced that it was the right decision this time. Why? The prospective client treated Lava as a clairvoyant not a consultancy.
The initial email asking us to pitch to become their exclusive PR company contained just a three line brief, which we had to respond to in a 45 minute presentation followed by questions. If we were up for the challenge, we needed to confirm our interest by email ASAP (whenever that is).
A quick look at the company’s website revealed a bit more about the prospect and confirmed that we had some relevant previous experience of delivering effective campaigns in their sector.
So, why did we walk away? Well, it’s pretty simple. The director who approached us refused to meet us and talk about this business, the company’s products, approach, competitors, USPs and objectives.
Can we meet up and have a chat about the brief?
Sorry, you are in a mix of the best PR companies in Lincolsnhire… and you all have the same brief.
It is easy to see from our website… B2B, Food industry, etc.
Can’t give any more away I’m afraid.
How could we possibly develop a meaningful proposal based on three bullet points? Yes, we could look at the company website again, undertake hours of desk research to find out more, but there’d be no guarantee that we would be on the right track. The last thing anyone wants to do is deliver a presentation based on guess work and get it wrong.
In short, we thought that if the director didn’t have time or a desire to talk about his business, then neither did we.
If you are responsible for marketing and undertaking a pitch process to appoint an external agency, surely you want those agencies to deliver the best proposals possible? It makes it a lot easier to develop a creative, costed strategy and effective creative ideas if you’re able to identify:
Who you are, who you want to talk to and who else is talking to your audiences
What do you do? What makes you different? What current marketing activity do you undertake? What do you want to happen as a result of the campaign?
Why are you looking for help? Why now?
Where are your target audience?
When do you want to start?
How long do you want the campaign to last? How much money are you willing to invest in the campaign?
Despite scouring the prospective client’s website, we couldn’t find this information on there and when we were told that the company couldn’t give more away than that we declined the opportunity. As the saying goes, if you assume something you only end up making an ass out of you and me.
Was it the right decision to turn down the opportunity to work with ‘the fastest growing company in Lincolnshire’? We’ll never know. As I say, we’re consultants not clairvoyants.
The media are loving our 2014 Christmas Card, which comes with two make-your-own reindeers!
Last year our Christmas Card contained everything people needed to make their own Christmas Penguin. We were inundated with photos of orange and black penguins, including one of Jeremy Vine in the BBC Radio 2 studio.
Like you, we know that Christmas penguins are so last year. That’s why this time around we included not one but two make-your-own reindeers. And, once again, the media have raved about our creative approach to celebrating Christmas.
BBC Radio Lincolnshire really got into the festive feeling with Nicola Gilroy challenging her Lunch Bunch panel to make the reindeers we sent her. She even took to social media to share her enthusiasm and posted a video onto BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Facebook page.
All Hallows Eve, traditionally the initiation of the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the Christian calendar to remember the dead. Now, you are more likely to find people apple bobbing, scary themselves silly on spooky city tours or dressing up like a creepy (for creepy, read slutty) nurse and drinking red shots through a fake syringe.
Here at Lava, we know that Halloween is a great opportunity to create some great PR – just check out our Hallo’win pumpkin carving competition on Facebook. This tongue in cheek occasion can help all sorts of brands reach their target audiences in the run up to 31st October. You just need to log on to Twitter to see how many people have jumped on the Halloween bandwagon.
If you haven’t heard of Miley Cyrus, the likelihood is that you have been living under a rock in the Sahara for the past few months.
At just 20 years old, the former Disney star boasts a global profile many brands would kill for. Google turns up over 883 million results and 14.4 million people follow her on Twitter. Not bad for a reasonably talented young pop star.
Admittedly, she has been given a headstart on most of us – her role in Hannah Montana and famous father have undoubtedly helped catapult the American to stardom – but her dramatic ascent to global fame contains a number of important lessons for anyone PRO.