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Beano Studios marks 2016 with presence at BLE

By House PR – entertainment PR london

Beano Studios, the newly independent arm of DC Thomson & Co, marked a bumper year last month with their first stand at Europe’s premier brand licensing event, Brand Licensing Europe.

At BLE, the Beano Studios team presented a newly refreshed Beano brand; Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed, a new CGI animated TV series; and a relaunching of Jackie, the 1970s cult girls’ magazine, with a new category direction and design. All offer up many licencing possibilities, from toys and stationery to publishing and apparel, and these will be coming through in the next few months.

Aimed at the market for seven to ten-year-olds, Beano.com is the exciting platform that will host the products, a curated selection of goods featuring the refreshed and revamped Beano images, and all were on show at the Beano Studios stand at BLE. In the coming months, the Beano Studios team will be releasing more cross-category offerings to new licensees.

Allison Watkins is Beano Studios’ EVP Global Consumer Products and with 25 years’ professional experience in the field is heading the company’s brand licencing team. Her job is to secure new category licensees for the revamped brand and to be responsible for the activation of products for consumers across the globe.

With the launch of Beano Studios and the myriad of new opportunities that the company will be able to market, Allison Watkins said that 2016 was turning out to be an amazing year. The revamp of Beano; a new, refreshed Dennis & Gnasher series that will be aimed at a world audience; and lastly, the wit and comedy of Jackie magazine, will all see the company looking to partner with many new licensees across all categories. She says that she and her team are thrilled that they will be working with existing partners and new partners in the creation of a dazzling range of new goods to wow consumers, young and old.

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House PR launch of Beano Studios and the Beano Experience

By House PR – Entertainment PR agency in London

On 25 September, House PR teamed up with Beano HQ to launch the brand new Beano Studios and the Beano Experience with a top secret VIP event.

The exclusive event organised to relaunch the cult children’s comic book of naughty kids revolved around the new high-octane entertainment channel for the most adventurous of its loyal and dedicated fanbase.

The exclusive Beano-House PR event took place at a secret location in London, with various media, fans and celebrities in attendance. The assembled invitees got the chance to experience a totally new event, with giant catapults and a secret mission of gunge tanks and much fun for all. On the day, seven to 10-year-old kids were at the helm of things in a totally interactive experience of mischievous mayhem. Suddenly the world was turned upside down and adults entered it at their peril. And the mantra of the day was that no rules applied.

The event also showcased Beano HQ’s new Beano Studios and the comic’s new digital network. Aimed at the comic’s key 7-10-year-old audience, various new features of the portal were launched, including Popjam, new Beano apps and a new presence of YouTube.

New platforms will also offer fans the chance to experience various side-splitting content from across the Internet, as well as competitions and games, plus listicles and naturally great videos.

Many celebrities attended the event including Kate Fleetwood, Kate Garraway and Donna air.

On the media front, House PR also organised attendance by the UK’s national press, including The Daily Mail, The Guardian and the Sun, and various reports of the event appeared on the Web on Evening Standard Online, Telegraph Online and Mail Online

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News: House PR to be play key role in campaign for greater awareness of Sarcoma cancer

By Ginny Paton – Lifestyle PR london

 Facts and figures

  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects soft tissue and bones.
  • Sarcoma makes up less than one percent of new cancer cases in the UK, ie approximately 3,800 new cases per annum.
  • Compared to more common cancers, awareness of sarcoma is poor.

 The client

  • Sarcoma UK is the only British charitable organisation that works with every type of sarcoma cancer.
  • A key aspect of the work of Sarcoma UK is to increase awareness of sarcoma cancers.

 The brief

  • House PR has been appointed by Sarcoma UK to support it in its work to promote awareness of sarcoma.

Key tasks:

a) To extract the maximum PR value from Sarcoma UK being selected by the office of the British Prime Minister as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016.

b) To help and support Sarcoma UK in its Sarcoma awareness mission during Sarcoma Awareness Week, which will run during 4-10 July.

Background of brief

Sarcoma UK was selected as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016 as a tribute to Chris Martin. Chris worked as David Cameron’s Principal Private Secretary and was struck down by sarcoma at the end of 2015. His colleagues at 10 Downing Street were instrumental in getting Sarcoma UK named as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016.

 

Sarcoma UK and House PR

Sarcoma UK selected House PR to support it in its ongoing work to raise awareness about sarcoma because of its extensive experience working with charities – Lindsey Bennister, Sarcoma UK CEO

 

House PR will be closely involved with the communications team at Sarcoma UK to raise awareness about sarcoma, with the ultimate aims of improving the rate of early diagnoses and increase donations to Sarcoma UK, a crucial aspect of the charity’s fundraising efforts for research – Ginny Paton, House PR MD article in The Drum

 

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House PR launch of Mountain Warehouse ‘Jacket In’ clothing recycling initiative By House PR

House PR – Lifestyle PR London

Clothing recycling for charity got an added boost in April as the clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse teamed up with Clothes Aid in a highly innovative ‘Jacket In’ drive to get consumers to recycle their old jackets in exchange for a discount on a new one.

According to House PR, Clothes Aid will be handling post-donation logistics and passing on any sales receipts to the major UK youth charity, the YMCA. Meanwhile until the beginning of June, customers will get the benefit of a 20% discount on a jacket from this season’s new collection.

Some 170 Mountain Warehouse outlets across England, Scotland and Wales will be participating in the campaign and organisers are hoping that consumers will be using the opportunity to update their wardrobes.

House PR have also supported and advised on a social media dimension to the Jacket In campaign with an exciting photograph contest every week. Purchasers who upload pictures of themselves wearing a jacket in an adventure outdoor setting with the hashtag #MWJacketIn stand to win a spanking new jacket.

At YMCA HQ, CEO Denise Hatton, said her organisation is “thrilled” at being a stakeholder in Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In initiative. She said all the different parts of the YMCA organisation in the UK will benefit from any monies raised for their ongoing, year-round work with young people, which also involves essential support work.

House PR’s efforts at gaining media interest in the Jacket In campaign has focused on local press, including online, right across the UK, in Wales, Scotland and different parts of England. House PR also managed to get coverage of Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In campaign on Bridge FM.

Ginny Paton on a Planner’s role in a PR Agency

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YMCA to benefit from nationwide Mountain Warehouse charity drive By House PR

April saw House PR – Lifestyle PR London – launch a major UK-wide charity drive by the clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse for the benefit of YMCA England and YMCA Scotland.

The Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In campaign will allow customers to swap used jackets to any of the UK’s 174 Mountain Warehouse outlets in exchange for a 20% discount against a new jacket. All jackets collected by the shops will be passed on to Clothes Aid, who will then give the sales proceeds for the garments to the major UK youth charity, the YMCA.

House PR reported that YMCA CEO Denise Hatton said she was thrilled about YMCA Scotland and YMCA England’s involvement in Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In initiative. She described the partnering up of different charities and the Mountain Warehouse retail chain as “innovative”, adding that any funds raised will be of great benefit to much of the YMCA work with young people across its many centres in the UK.

To add a further boost to the Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In initiative, House PR also helped the company organise a unique competition with the hashtag #MWJacketIn. All customers who upload pics of themselves sporting an outdoor adventure jacket stand a chance of winning a brand new one.

Thanks to efforts by House PR’s Mountain Warehouse Jacket In team, the charity initiative was reported on in several local press outlets, including the Stirling Observer in Scotland, North West Evening Mail Online and the South Wales Argus. Online, it was also covered by the Coventry Telegraph and the Chester Chronicle. It also featured as news on Bridge FM.

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Ginny Paton on a Planner’s role in a PR Agency

Planners provide the rigour behind our creativity – says Ginny Paton

Planners play an important role in the modern PR agency. At my agency we use planners all the time, and they really strengthen the work that we do says Ginny Paton.

The origin of the planner was in the advertising industry, where they bridged the gap between the creatives and the business leaders who were focused on the bottom line says Ginny Paton.

Their typical duties came before a campaign began in the shape of consumer insight, research and brand positioning. They also got involved after a campaign was completed, in the shape of evaluation says Ginny Paton.

But PR agencies like mine have, over the last decade, begun to take on planners as well. It’s partly due to the fact that client needs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and so the old reliance on our wits and a packed contact book simply won’t suffice any more. We need insight to back our ideas.

Planning teams do more though – they provide access to those all-important marketing budgets, often far meatier than PR budgets. And they also provide valuable weight when pitching to potential clients says Ginny Paton.

From what I’ve seen in pitches says Ginny Paton, clients love a good creative idea – and they love it even more when we show how we got there says Ginny Paton. The rigour of research is far more valuable than creativity which does not relate to the brand’s situation. We need to take on board insights such as how their customers feel about their brand compared to their competitors.

Planning directors really came into their own when digital took off. Digital provides data, and data enables planners to do their planning in real time. Digital skills are certainly something that a good planner needs to have, along with the ability to get deep into data to find out what it can tell us about the world says Ginny Paton.

There are other personality types that make good planners. Those with the ability to think laterally and be imaginative. Those who are able to challenge assumptions with a strong curiosity. The desired outcome is to develop a new way of looking at the world.

In my experience, there’s just one problem with using planners in PR – it isn’t advertising. It’s not as predictable, with planning cycles often closer to three weeks than three months says Ginny Paton

Despite this, it is still really important that we have these skills to hand. It feeds into a general movement for PR agencies to become more structured in their creativity.

These developments provide a useful counter-balance to that all-important gut feeling which should always play a part in PR creativity says Ginny Paton

Ginny Paton – MD House PR

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When it comes to integrated – take the lead – by Ginny Paton

PR agencies have a term – “playing nicely” – to describe the perfect way of working together with other consultancies, be they advertising, digital or any other elements of marketing.

This suggests that we’re all just too juvenile to work with other disciplines in a grown up manner, let alone to truly collaborate with them. There’s an implication that we’re all too aware of the budget that these ‘competitors’ are getting – budget that could be ours.

“But let me be clear” says Ginny Paton, “I’ve never been in a situation like that”. There have been many times when I’ve sat around the table with creative directors and digital consultants from the top ad firms, digital firms and so on, to prepare work for a mutual client. And I’ve always found it to be a rewarding, exciting experience.

It’s always a great opportunity to share ideas that cross the boundaries, finding great creatives that work for all of us. And at the same time we all get to learn from each other – and teach a little too.

And the great thing is, that in this multi-platform world, these meetings are increasingly part of the PR consultant’s job. Now more than ever, clients are choosing campaigns that will work across each and every strand of the marketing mix. And for that reason, PR agencies need to be taking a close interest in the way that their clients are approaching their wider marketing. Not only that, they should be sitting down with the other consultants in the mix.

The days of PR staying in its own little world are long gone.

So, if I was to advise PR consultants, I’d suggest they make it their mission to work closely with their clients’ other partners. That’s the only way that they will create amazing campaigns. While many PR agencies are still using the word ‘integrated’, not many seem to be getting it right.

Not every cross-disciplinary meeting goes entirely to plan, and there can be the occasional ‘lost in translation’ moment when something just doesn’t quite make sense to the other people in the room.

But all of that is overshadowed when you take part in the creation of a great new campaign, something which works across every platform. Something that you’re all proud of.

So, forget about playing nicely – that’s a given. What I want to see more PR consultants doing is leading the discussion and challenging the ad agency creatives, regardless of their huge budgets.

And that comes down to our creative expertise – that’s the power that we have around that table. Harness these skills and you’ll be leading the pack.

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