Rebecca Allen

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Rebecca Allen is a PR manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln.


Coca-Cola – Move to the Beat of London 2012

Designed to engage teens with the Olympic Games, Coca-Cola designed a campaign which saw London 2012 hopefuls and superstar Mark Ronson at the heart of its activity.

Creating a piece of music Anywhere in the World sung by Katy B, and featuring athletes and the sounds of their sports, it was guaranteed to capture the hearts and minds of the target audience.

Working across social and traditional media, through advertising and PR, the campaign created headlines, buzz and generated interactions. To bring the campaign to life, Coca-Cola further developed a BeatBox, an interactive experience which allowed users to ‘play’ the variety of sporting sounds featured in the track.

Coca-Cola really thought about its target audience and created a campaign which worked well and generated some amazing results. We loved that the campaign was completely integrated and ran across social media and traditional platforms to engage with young people across the world – all in different ways. It wasn’t just a one hit wonder – and through using a phased PR campaign it ensured longevity and sustained buzz with the target audience.

The campaign worked fantastically well and was rolled out in 110 markets globally. It received massive coverage online and in news outlets globally and gained 23K followers on its Twitter channel in just 25 days. 200,000 visitors to the BeatBox at the Olympic Park.

Red Bull – Near Space Jump

Famed for the support of daredevil stunts and Formula One, Red Bull went one step further and held its Red Bull Stratos, where Austrian sky diver and BASE jumper, Felix Baumgartner, took an epic jump from the edge of space in an attempt to become the first person to break the speed of sound during the free fall.

This was probably the best marketing stunt Red Bull has done. As well as having me on the edge of my sofa in anticipation, over 8 million people around the world were also watching as it streamed live on YouTube. And, on the day of the event, it drew over 2.6 million conversations on social media.

Channel 4 – Meet the Superhumans

Channel 4, the official broadcaster of the Paralympic Games, launched its Meet the Superhumans campaign in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Centering around a TV ad campaign featuring the Public Enemy track Harder than you Think, it aimed to showcase the abilities of some of the leading UK Paralympians, highlighting some of their unique stories, and showcasing the herculean efforts that have gone into their preparation for the Games.

The integrated campaigns ran along outdoor posters, press ads and digital activity.

The campaign saw a huge perception and behavior change. As Reuters highlighted, “over 70% of people now regard the Paralympic Games and the Paralympians as elite athletes.”

Kotex

As a brand which needed to build a personality and stand out from its competitors, Kotex (Europe) delivered a campaign on Pinterest. Simple and smart, this campaign worked by identifying key influencers, understanding what they pinned and what interested them and then sending them a customised gift box.

This was simple campaign which worked exceptionally well. Over 90% of the recipients posted about their prizes on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, leading to 2,284 interactions and 694,853 total impressions. Impressive for only sending out 50 gift boxes.

Britain’s Super Brand: The Diamond Jubilee

As a premium super brand, the Diamond Jubilee was the perfect occasion for the Royal Family to re-engage with the people of Britain and once again build up their brand loyalty. From Harry to Kate and William, Charles and Camilla, and the Queen and Prince Philip, the Royal Family has an offering for every age and taste.

The Diamond Jubilee was a perfect blend of sophisticated and social media-friendly PR. Using tactics such as historic black and white pre-coronation film, released as a taster, never-seen-before family movies, supported by up-to-the-minute intimate TV documentaries, aired and repeated at peak times.

Every emotional string was pulled through the magic of music and moving pictures, including a pop concert with Rod Stewart, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir singing Land of Hope and Glory.

This campaign was executed perfectly with wall to wall media coverage, and despite comments surrounding some poor broadcasting, it only ignited our love for the Royals.

Rebecca Allen is a PR manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln.

Rebecca Allen is a PR manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln. In an expert comment series for The Lincolnite, she gives Lincolnshire Day a twist and looks at grass roots marketing.


With October 1 being Lincolnshire Day, the celebration of all things Lincolnshire, I wanted to keep with the recent news about the fight to get protective status for the Lincolnshire sausage.

The Lincolnshire Sausage Association launched a campaign putting pressure on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to allow Lincolnshire’s sausages to get protective geographical indication. This would mean that only sausages made in Lincolnshire can have the coveted accolade of being ‘Lincolnshire Sausages’. For those of us born and bred in the county, this makes perfect sense. The much-loved banger is part of Lincolnshire’s heritage and reputation, so is well worth fighting for!

This campaign got me thinking about the pressure on brands. If you believe strongly in something, how do you get others to start talking about it? In PR, we call this a grass roots campaign.

Based on experience, I’ve put together five simple tips on how to start your own campaign:

Plan and plan again
Think about what you want to achieve – Do you want to raise the profile of an organisation? Do you want to get people talking about a certain issue? Make sure you set some objectives, consider your messages and identify your target audiences. In the Lincolnshire Sausage Associations’ case, it is clear – Protect our sausage!

Think about your audiences
How will you reach your target audiences? Think about the best way to get in touch with them and inspire them to become involved in your campaign? So, in the Sausage Associations’ case, it might be talking to MPs, MEPs, Celebrity Chefs, Local Hotels and National Supermarkets.

Tell a story
To ensure your messages are imaginative, meaty, can be easily digested and repeated to others. Try to build an emotional connection through the use of an engaging and heart-warming/heartfelt story. I’m sure for the sausage campaign, the Association has hundreds of stories to tell to add taste and colour to the campaign, for example: the heritage of the recipe. Where did it come from?

Start conversations & expand networks
Why not invite other partners or organisations to be involved? By working with people outside your immediate organisation or group, it is possible to cultivate a sustainable network of people which will help you to spread your message.

Give them responsibility and allow them to become involved. The bigger share they have in the issue, the more they will promote it. Nurture these relationships. I’m sure the Lincolnshire Sausage Association is in talks with Tastes of Lincolnshire, Select Lincolnshire, Organisers of the Sausage and Mash Ball, and Sausage Clubs across the country to help inspire and encourage buy-in.

Join Social Networks
Once you’ve inspired a number of followers into action, use social media to branch into their networks — and their followers’ networks. Try to build awareness using all the social networks you can, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make it easy for your supporters to promote your cause with hashtags and popular, shareable content, eg: #savelincsbangers

Remember, many campaigns lose traction after an initial burst of activity, so if you are truly passionate about your campaign, keep momentum and keep your audience informed, interested and intent on achieving your goal.

Rebecca Allen is a PR manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln.

— Rebecca Allen is a PR Manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln. In an expert comment series for The Lincolnite, she highlights ways Lincoln organisations can learn from the London 2012 Olympic Games when it comes to creating public interest.


Although the spotlight of the national media has firmly been on London for the past few weeks, I’ve felt the Olympic spirit here in Lincoln too. From the fabulous Olympic screen in Cornhill, to city bars showing the events, and the increase in people visiting local sports centres, the Olympics has created a legacy and brought the nation together. People are talking to each other and making friends in a way that we haven’t seen before.

So, what does that mean to businesses and marketers? How can you use the legacy of the Olympics to inspire your marketing activity?

I’ve identified five simple steps to creating a lasting positive profile for your brand:

Strong branding

As Lava’s design manager, Lisa, alluded to in her latest blog post London 2012 brand consistency wins gold, organisations need strong branding which is consistent across all materials, so not just letterheads and business cards, but also POS materials, advertising, and store front merchandise.

PR strategy

Your PR strategy needs to be current, interesting and creative. Okay, we can’t all get the Spice Girls to perform, but we can capitalise on current popular culture and current interests.

Most pitched features (that’s when you persuade a journalist to write about your idea/story) are written anywhere between 3-10 weeks ahead of publication date, that’s nationals, monthlies and some weeklies, so plan now and get your ideas in early.

Call the press you want to feature in and ask for copy plans, features lists and deadline dates, so you can plan. To give you an idea, we are starting to look at student and Christmas campaigns now, so make sure you plan your ideas well in advance.

Press office

Run a pro-active, yet methodical, press office. Ensure each journalist and publication is profiled, so you can send them the most relevant information.

This is something the Olympic media centre forgot to take note of and consequently didn’t allow media access to The Voice, the UK’s oldest, biggest, black newspaper. An exercise which takes only a few minutes, could have avoided embarrassing column inches.

Administration

Get organised. I know it sounds simple, but look at the issues with the Express and the Mirror printing the wrong images of the Dutch and British equestrian teams. The mistakes were down to incorrect meta-tagging of photos, so be sure that if something is going out to the media it is labeled correctly.

Be prepared for a crisis

Many organisations or businesses think that nothing will ever go wrong, so why should they need a crisis comms plan?

The truth is, problems do arise. London 2012 shows us that unexpected things always happen, from the Met losing the keys for one of London 2012’s main football venues at the start of the Games to LOCOG asking spectators not to use their mobile phones at events because they interfered with the transmission of times to broadcasters.

No one wants to be remembered for a crisis. But often it isn’t the crisis which is remembered, but the way in which it was dealt with. So, to create a lasting positive legacy, make sure you can deal with the unexpected in a convincing and timely fashion.

The basics of effective crisis communications aren’t difficult, but you must plan ahead in order to minimise damage when issues develop, as the slower the response, the more your reputation will suffer.

Start by identifying your communications team; chose your spokespeople; establish notification systems; know your stakeholders; think about potential crises; identify key messages, and develop holding statements. This should help you deal with the unexpected.

I hope these five tips help you plan, but remember everything takes time and effort, and as double gold medal winning Olympian, Mo Farah, said: “It’s all hard work. It’s been a long journey, grafting and grafting.”

Rebecca Allen is a PR manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln.

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