Tag Archives: Big Cat

Big Cat brings CSI: The Experience to Birmingham

Birmingham based 3600 agency Big Cat, have secured a deal as the UK territory partner for an exciting new interactive entertainment experience, from EMS Exhibits the official international booking agent and promoter of CSI: The Experience – coming to Birmingham in February. Big Cat has been selected to deliver the event management & logistics, PR, social media marketing and design implementation.

February 26 sees the UK premier of CSI: The Experience which takes visitors on an exhilarating journey through dark alleys and hot deserts, to gather evidence and crack the case. CSI: The Experience will be making its UK debut in Birmingham next month in the country’s busiest shopping centre, Bullring Birmingham. The hugely successful attraction will challenge and stimulate all its visitors. CSI: The Experience is developed by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and produced by EMS Exhibits, a division of Event Marketing Service GmbH under a license from CBS Consumer Products.

Nick Morgan, CEO of Big Cat Group said: “This year is set to be an exciting year for Big Cat. CSI: The Experience will be the second international attraction that we have opened in Birmingham after a successful 3 month run of Bodies Revealed at the Custard Factory; part of a wider initiative to bring world class events to Birmingham as oppose to London and Manchester.

“We’ve been meticulously planning the project for some time now, and are excited to see all of the teams hard work come to fruition. The Bullring is a fantastic location for CSI: The Experience and we are delighted to be opening the first attraction in the busy shopping centre.

“The show has already visited Vienna, Dublin, Warsaw, Budapest and Las Vegas, all of which have been great successes. We’re hoping that the Birmingham experience will continue the trend.”

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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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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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360 Links for 22 May

In the time honoured tradition I have some new links to interesting sites that concern some of the 5 departments of our company.

Creative Design: 20 Useful websites for graphic design and textural patterns

Sure this is a slight cheat as I’m linking to a site that is linking to a load of other sites, but its all about spreading the word, and this link will help you get some great advice and inspiration.

Socia Media: How we can measure Social Media

If you read my last post, I give some advice on how we at Big Cat pitch in KPIs and strategise for social media. In this link Katie Paine gives us a nice scientific way of measuring Social Media.

PR and Marketing: What’s the difference between PR and Advertising

I’m willing to assume that if you are reading this blog, there’s a good chance you know the difference, but I am still stultified by the amount of people that can’t tell the difference. Let this site site do the explaining.

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Big Cat goes social – Birmingham Post

As some of you may be aware; ourselves and web whizzes, Substrakt, have joined forces to help deliver social media to regional companies and organisations. We have already collaborated on accounts with people such as West Midlands Police, NHS, Hare and Hounds and The Bull’s Head.

Yesterday, Creative Republic speaker Anna Blackaby wrote a piece documenting our new partnership in the Birmingham Post. I know its bad etiquette to document about yourself, but it is a nice indulgence from time to time.

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360 Links for 11 March

The difference between PR and Publicity

Guru Seth Godin discusses the importance of sorting out your PR before your publicity…

In my experience, a few people have a publicity problem, but almost everyone has a PR problem. You need to solve that one first. And you probably won’t accomplish that if you hire a publicity firm and don’t even give them the freedom and access they need to work with you on your story.

Finding the right ‘Brand Voice’ on Twitter

Need i say more about what this article is about. I may be uncomfortable reading for Twitter traditionalists but it is something that has become a strong and profitable reality.

When businesses open an account on Twitter, they must consider the right “Brand Voice.” One that is appropriate for what they want to say, and who they want to reach. This is a different sort of voice than the one companies have been familiar with in their traditional print and broadcast media channels, as it’s a more open and authentic form of communication.

In the importance of the physical world

Good point, well made by Chris Brogan. Chris makes the point that nothing ever matches face to face interaction and how such meetings are important in strengthening your online connections.

One thing that I feel is missing with all our focus on how social media will change the world is an eye for what we can do to introduce the physical world back into the equation.

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The Birmingham Big City Plan: Digital Challenge

Please try and make change the scenery between the Bullring and Digbeth

Please try and change the scenery between the Bullring and Digbeth

The Big City Plan is set to reshape the way we see Birmingham, through its economic, social and environmental future over the next 20 years.

The Birmingham Big City Plan: Digital Challenge gives you the chance to show how you want to reshape and revitalise the city centre.

The challenge is to show how you think Birmingham should develop over the next 20 years through photography and film. The photo/film you take could be an idea for the whole city or even just a local area, and the more imaginative the idea, the better. Maybe you feel Birmingham would benefit from more communal areas, better public transport, it could be anything you want it to be.

Every entry is welcome, and at any level, whether youre a professional or purely just love to be creative. There is no particular image/video quality needed so you can use a Digital SLR right down to your own mobile phone.

The closing date for this competition is 20 April 2009. For more details on categories and how to enter, please follow the links. Be sure to read the competition rules fully before entering.

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