Category Archives: Big Cat Group

10 reasons why you should hire a PR company

I came across a blog last week entitled “10 reasons why you should get rid of your PR firm”. Personally I feel all the reasons are rubbish, well for Big Cat at least.

In response to the blog I thought I’d do my own “10 reasons why you should hire a PR company”

Now I’m not one of those types that thinks every company in the world needs a PR firm, it all depends on circumstance, resources, what you actually want to accomplish and whether or not you can achieve it yourself.

Most PR companies deserve your time because……

1) We know our market

There are a vast range of resources out there which allow PR companies to analyse their market, whether it be software such as Media Disk which allows us to find the right journalist for the right story, or online websites such as Mintel which contain a whole wealth of stats and figures on any topic you could imagine. If you want to know your market you’ve got to put the time and research in.

2) We speak English

Many PR firms have a number of B2B clients which specalise in technical goods that Joe-Public aren’t interested in. Due to the type of market, much of the material has to be technical as well, however you have to be careful not to overload it. If you’re writing for the trade press, the reader will know much of the technical info already so you can get straight to the point. There’s no need to skirt around the topic, most times its better to dive in straight to the point.

There’s also an opposite to this. As PR’s we’re often asked to “flower-up” a release, make it more interesting and appealing to the reader. Again, this is another trap that a good PR knows to avoid. It’s ok adding the extra multi-syllable word here and there, but you have to be careful not to overdo it, otherwise your release ends up looking like an 18th century novel rather than an article for a newspaper.

A good PR can write a release to fit any subject area, whether it be B2B or for the general public. Through research, practice and meticulous proof reading you can ensure that any release is ready for its target audience and is easily understandable.

3) We’re not journalists

Journalists are 100% essential for any PR. Building rapport with journalists makes life a hell of a lot easier, and I’m not on about sending them gifts (which I’m sure they love), just treat them normally. A couple of my closest friends are journalists and the one thing they hate is people who brown nose. Just show a general interest, they’re not aliens (which surprisingly many people still believe). It seems (despite how much both sides disagree) journalists and PR folk are more a like than either of them realise.

4) We care

I’m relatively new to the industry however I still get a buzz when I get a piece of coverage, it doesn’t matter how big it is or whether its national or in a small local paper, to me coverage is coverage. Hopefully I’ll always feel like that.

One thing I can’t stand is blanketing out a press release to a million journalists. If you’re a good PR you have your contacts and know who to target. If you’re venturing into a new arena, do your research and pick up the phone. However its better to find out when journalists aren’t on a deadline though and time your calls for then.

Sending out a release to 14 titles isn’t a result to me, it’s not until I see the story in the appropriate publication that I know the job is done. I’m pretty sure this is how the client feels as well as telling them the release has been sent out isn’t what their paying for.

5) We manage our resources

I’m going to use the old cliché here and say that all businesses are under pressure to generate the same if not greater results on far fewer resources. However its upto the good PR to keep tabs on the resources and manage client expectations accordingly. Over-servicing has become essential over recent months, however the majority of the time its the only way to get the results. Quality should always overcome quantity.

6) We’re good at publicity

This is sort of self-explanatory. How else would you know about a good PR company unless their good at publicity? There are so many platforms to promote a company whether it be via newspapers, trade titles or social media. However word of mouth and recommendations still seems to be the best way to get new clients.

7) We don’t like ruts

Any good PR loves a challenge and something new to dig their teeth into. That doesn’t necessarily mean a new client though. It’s a PR’s job to make their own work interesting, that’s the challenge. Injecting life and new ideas into a campaign not only keeps the client happy but also the agency team.

8 ) We choose good clients

We’re not all money grabbing Fat Cats, many of us like to pick who we work with and for very carefully. There are a number of PR firms in Birmingham, including Big Cat who are proud of who they work for and the results they achieve. A lot of the time people think its the client that chooses the PR firm, but the PR firm has to have some say in it as well otherwise the campaign will never succeed.

9) We make the industry look good

All in all the majority of PR agencies do a dam good job. Every single one is different, each with their own methodology, quirks and perks. I’m not saying that all agencies are fantastic, far from it, however they don’t deserve the bad reputation which they seem to have developed over recent years.

Some of the countries greatest product awareness stunts were designed and implemented by PR firms, so next time think before you come out with a comment such as “Oh, you’re one of those.”

10) We love what we do

Simple as that. We, the team at Big Cat love what we do. We love our clients, we love our work and we love each other (well  most of the time). Becuase of this we do a damn good job, and this is why we continue to work with some of the best clients in the country

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Filed under Big Cat Group, PR

It’s Christmas time….

Well it’s been a busy old few weeks here at the Big Cat office. Usually during the run up to Christmas people start winding down, brew the mulled wine and pop open the mince pies…no such luck here, it’s been hands on deck.

Last Friday saw the launch of NEC Funworld, Europe’s most exciting funfair, which Big Cat PR and Marketing had a helping hand in promoting. Featuring over 60 adrenaline fuelled rides including The Superstar, Frisbee and Frog, it’s enough to turn your stomach (which Chris Brown can testify too).

As with any launch though, you have to have a high-profile celebrity, and boy did we have an act. X-Factor legends John and Edward performed a number hits on the night which included their very own interpretation of “Ghostbusters”. The hall was buzzing with atmosphere, with a crowd of screaming girls (and a few boys) chanting “JEDWARD! JEDWARD!”. Some of the girls had been queuing up since 1:00pm in the afternoon and during the time had practiced a little routine to wow the twins with.

The launch event was a great success though with the Big Cat team even having some time on the rides themselves….well we had to make sure all the rides worked ok.

But, no rest for the wicked though. 3 days left till we break up for Christmas and we still have a pile of work to get through. Some great projects coming up in the New Year though which we’re really excited about, however it’s all a bit hush hush at the moment so you’ll have to wait and see what they are.

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Filed under Big Cat Group, Big Cat Social, Marketing, PR

New Kid on the block

Hi I’m Chris, 22, originally from Wolverhampton, now living in Birmingham. My favourite film is “A tale of 2 sisters”, favourite food is Cornish pasty and favourite band is Epica.

Right, that’s the introductions out the way. If you’d hadn’t guessed from all the tweeting I’m the new Senior Account Executive here at Big Cat, working alongside Natalie in the PR team.

This is the start of my third week here at Big Cat, and in all honesty the first chance I’ve had to blog. It’s been an incredibly busy two weeks in the office, filled with client meetings, tenders and the occasional rubbing of shoulders with celebrities…what a life eh.

My role here at Big Cat will be to support Natalie on all fronts as well as look after clients’ needs/wants in regards to social media. So if you have any questions about what’s trending in the world of social media or just want some advice, don’t be afraid to drop me a line.

Stay tuned to the Big Cat Comms blog as we’ll be keeping you up to date with the goings on in the office and what’s happening in world of PR.

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Social Media killed the seminar

Seminars and conferences have been the staple diet of companies and yuppies alike since the 1980s. As well as providing a great excuse to go to another city on the company credit card, they are a forum where experts share their knowledge and ideas.
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The content within such conferences help identify and mould current and future trends. The latest ideas and technology are showcased there along with market patterns and new innovations.

They sound interesting don’t they? I can tell you first hand they’re not and I’m sure many will agree with me. They’re filled with awkward small talk, pretending to be interested and trying to concentrate after sinking two cheeky pints in the interval.Happy_Customer_with_Laptop_repaired

Social Media maps and compartmentalises all the content found in seminars as well as being able to share the information in real time to a mass audience. Some content is interesting, others less so.The important thing is it’s free, quick, easy and you only learn want you want to learn.

No more expensive trips, no corporate comms; turn on the tele, eat your dinner and get online. Learn the future in real time.

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Forget New York: This is Birmingham!

I’m sure anyone that has walked around the Bullring in the last week or so will have noticed a Statue of Liberty and a mock up yellow taxi just outside the Selfridges building.Taxi

I don’t know if this is a marketing ploy or stunt (although I assume it is) but it doesn’t half look out of place. Firstly, they’re not particularly evocative; it doesn’t grab the eye and whisk you over the mental pond to the land of steaming grills and Christmas movies. Secondly, and this maybe over the top, it is right next to Birmingham’s biggest landmark and symbol.

New York wouldn’t have a mock up Bullring, Custard Factory or ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’, it doesn’t need to because it’s a well established, world class city.

So is Birmingham, we’re not New York (yet) but we have unique landmarks and a distinctive culture. That means we no longer have to rely on basking in the glory of other cities. Our re-invention from industrial powerhouse to cultural and creative hotbed in little over 10 years is remarkable, and there is a genuine community and life force growing within the city.statue-of-liberty

Selfridges and the NEC give us an immediate draw and the beauty of the Council Building, Town Hall, and Centenary Square provide the city with a scenic dignity comparable with any European city.

I’m probably wrong, they’re probably a littlebit of fun but I think Birmingham has enough of a grounding and culture to not need to decorate our town with trinkets from New York or Paris.

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Filed under Big Cat Group, Big Questions

Say hello to Big Cat Strategy

Our 4th and final departmental blog is up and running. Its author, Daniel Webb, has just come back from holiday and so was unable to get the blog live as early as the others.

Big Cat Strategy is the marketing arm of the company and thus the blog will contain questions, comment and features on the world of marketing.

Check it out and see, it should be a hit.

bcgstategy

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‘Brand’ new design blog (see what I did there)

Big Cat Idea

This is starting to become quite commonplace but our very own Jason Hannon, who has sired posts on this blog, has officially started his design blog.

Jason will be discussing branding, graphic design and advertising as well as offering opinion, industry insight and examples of great design.

hannons blog

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Filed under Big Cat Group, Big Internal Stories, Design