Philip Sheldrake

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Category: Branding

Brand, PR, non-profits, and responsiveness – Q&A by Phillip Casey

Armstrong Building, Newcastle University
Having put my two penn'orth out there over the years I'm occasionally approached by students at this dissertation time of year. This week, Phillip Casey and I struck up conversation on Twitter. Phillip is a post-graduate student undertaking the MA in Media and Public Relations at Newcastle University (pictured) and his dissertation is titled Brand Image: PR in the UK non-profit healthcare sector.

Phillip Casey

Phillip Casey

I enjoyed responding to Phillip's questions, so, with his permission, I thought I'd make our Q&A public here. (It migrated to email in case you were wondering about a 140 character count.)

Where a reference consists of just a page number, it refers to The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age.

1) Is a strong brand image important for a non-profit organisation? Why?

A brand used to convey ownership of livestock. Then it was an "our name's on it" quality assurance. This century, with product quality (defined as fitness-for-purpose) increasingly a given, a brand represents a nexus of values. If our values align with a brand, then I'm part of that brand. If they don't, I look to take my time, attention and money elsewhere. [Attenzi]

Organisations need to communicate their purpose and values in order to attract and assemble the right mix of people and resources to live up to its mission and pursue its vision. So brand, defined like this, lies at the heart of things. Read more

The Marketing Century – a compilation of expert insight

The Marketing CenturyYou can now get your hands on The Marketing Century – out this week – a compilation of expert insight across a wide gamut of marketing and PR related topics to celebrate the centenary of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The chapter outline here is based on the book's introduction.

I'm delighted to have authored the chapter on digital marketing, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have on reading it.

Buy at Amazon / CIM / The Book Depository / Blackwell's / Waterstone's. And more info at Google Books.

1. Strategic Marketing (Martha Rogers and Don Peppers, Peppers & Rogers Group)

The Marketing Century opens with a clear statement from Don Peppers and Martha Rogers: it is vital that organisations put customers at the heart of what they do, both in the long-term and the short-term. To create value, firms must lift their sights from the typical focus on current profits and instead start seeing customers as the company's long-term resource – looking at each customer in terms of the long-term return they generate. A long-term strategy for marketing – one that focuses on customer equity and not solely on current profits – can provide marketing with the context and objectives needed to maximise the overall value created by each customer. Read more

Meanwhile, a new approach to marketing and PR consultancy

MeanwhileI've teamed up with some very useful chaps to form Meanwhile. We're defining venture marketing. Before I explain that further, I'll elaborate on the main trends that make me think Meanwhile is precisely the right approach at the right time.

In short:

  • Previously distinct disciplines are converging
  • There is a renewed focus on measurement and evaluation of marketing and PR related programmes with boards demanding an unprecedented level of accountability
  • A new framework must emerge placing influence at the heart of business strategy.

Here's how I present the situation in my upcoming book, The Business of Influence (Wiley, April 2011): Read more

Does your campaign measure up to search?

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The evaluation of PR campaign effectiveness is controversial. Forget for a moment the inadequate practitioners that insist all PR must have a benefit so better just get on with it than devote energy to measuring it, and you're left with an array of evaluation processes as diverse as the number of agencies.

Return on investment

The most over-used term is ROI. And that applies to all marketing disciplines not just PR. For example, I posted last week about the winners of OnMedia's Best of Broadband Advertising awards, yet when you read the rationale justifying OnMedia's selections only three out of ten make an attempt to link the campaign to a fillip to the client's bottom line. "Creative" and "ROI" are not synonymous. Read more

Magpie Brandwatch

I've just stumbled upon this service, Magpie Brandwatch. As an engineer by training, nothing quite appeals to me more than a good looking chart, but I'd like to ask a question of anyone who knows more about these things than me... How do they disambiguate brand names?

In other words, when looking for commentary about Apple, how do they differentiate between Apple and the type you eat?  What if you were trying to track where people are talking about Creative.  Great brandname; very very difficult to disambiguate.  Virgin? Next?  Palm?  Shell?  Gap?

And if anyone has tried Magpie Brandwatch, it'd be good to hear what it's like.