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About this blog
The Firefly blog features news, views, buzz and ideas around the PR and communications industry.
Social trends, PR and social media tools, communications strategies, attention grabbing WOM campaigns, entertainment hotspots, running integrated and pan-European campaigns, safeguarding reputations and managing crises are just some of the topics we’re talking about.
Our CEO Claire has written about our office move in this month’s Spark. We’ve taken flight: moving from one side of Oxford Street to the other (aka from Soho to Fitzrovia) and into a bigger, brighter, buzzier space.
To match, we’ve got a bigger, brighter team too! In the last month, we’ve added three new Fireflies to our fold, in order to support our clients and busy new business pipeline.
First up, is new Account Executive Tom Reynolds. Tom is already running the Give as you Live, Lexar and Crucial Press Offices; as well as supporting on accounts including Job Bounties, The Search Agency and Vimeo. Tom brings almost three years of PR experience to the team; and today he scored Give as you Live coverage in The Sun, Britain’s biggest newspaper. You can follow Tom on Twitter, here.
Firefly also welcomes two new Account Coordinators, Ioannis (Yani) Giazizoglou and Melissa Scuse. Together, Yani and Melissa have started to add support across the busy Firefly portfolio of Business to Business, Business to Consumer and Digital accounts.
Yani graduated with an MSc from University College London, in 2011. Since then, he’s worked as a Chartering Assistant and Sales Negotiator, cutting his teeth in communication, negotiation and client service. You can follow Yani on Twitter, here.
Melissa has joined us from Tribe PR, based in Norwich. With a year’s PR experience under her belt, Melissa is a seasoned regional PR professional; and is excited about working in a London-based team from now. You can follow Melissa on Twitter, here.
As the team continues to grow, you can read more about future job opportunities here: http://www.fireflycomms.com/about/working-at-firefly
Following a raft of client wins to mark the start of 2013, Firefly is welcoming three new team members over the next month. A new account executive and two new account coordinators will join a bright, hardworking, creative team in the West End.
Starting on Monday 25th March, we welcome Tom Reynolds, a new account executive, to help support our busy client teams.
Later, starting on Monday 15th April, we welcome Ioannis Giazizoglou and Melissa Scuse, two new account coordinators, who will be gaining more PR experience and organising our teams across a variety of client business.
All new joiners will help to support Firefly’s business, consumer and digital practices, on a client mix that is both UK-specific and across EMEA.
As the team continues to grow, you can read more about future job opportunities here.
Firefly Paris recently turned 13 – and in 2013, no less! Some people may view this as doubly lucky, or perhaps doubly unlucky! The number 13 is often associated with the end of something and the beginning of something else. This is very much the case when it comes to the pace of the phenomenal and profound changes that have occurred in the French PR market in these past 13 years – from the building and bursting of the first internet bubble to today’s shift towards social media and digital PR strategies.
If we look back over this 13 year period we can see how much has changed in the French PR market:
- Economic crisis: We have witnessed many companies going into bankruptcy while, for those that have survived, communication budgets melt like ice in the sun. The media has similarly been affected, with the rise of more and more advertiser-privileged content that has left fewer editorial opportunities for smaller brands.
- Shrinking media: Consequently, we’ve seen a drastic change in the French media landscape, with numerous printed trade publications falling down, although some digital alternatives are now rising. Some landmark magazines, such as the 34-year old “Ordinateur Individuel” (personal computing) which we thought was impermeable, is slowly evaporating.
- New channels: It all started with the rise of blogs in the mid 2010s, at a time when traditional media was tumbling. And today some of these blogs have now become respected online sources, like Presse-Citron or Journal Du Geek. More recently, we saw the tremendous surge in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, which all agencies now have to include in their plans.
- New tools: Today, PRs must have an integrated ‘digital toolbox’ in their armoury; an agency will email a press release about a competition set up on Facebook, with press images hosted on Dropbox and a video on DailyMotion or YouTube, animating its community via Twitter, having its own Tumblr full of Gifs and memes… Digital is offering more choices and a faster way to communicate.
- Empowerment of the customer: We all know that the internet can provide us with tons, if not too much, information on products and services. However, more importantly, today the customer can have his voice heard publicly on social networks. The French love to protest, as seen recently by brands such as Cuisinella, La Redoute and Veet.
- Real time monitoring: There was a time when agencies would wait for newspaper clippings to come into their mailbox each morning, but the digitalisation of the channel now means that monitoring is around-the-clock. Findus has just hired an agency to “clean” the web of outrage around the horsemeat scandal, and resulting lack of trust in the brand; however that’s not to say that people aren’t still talking about them! Meanwhile Air France’s 2 man weekday digital team were caught by surprise when a crisis hit (over a weekend of course!).
- 360 PR: When Firefly Paris started, we focused on media relations for our clients. The changes above have led agencies to take a broader approach to PR by addressing all the different audiences of a company, whether in regards to its customers, investors, employees or influencers. As a symbol of this evolution, the main PR union in France recently made a small but very significant change to its name, turning “Relations Publiques” (as in “Relations IN public”) to “Relations Publics” (as in “Relations WITH the public”)
All this brings huge challenges to PR consultancies in France and only those who are able to evolve and adapt will remain. Professionally speaking, this is a very exciting time to be in the industry as you can innovate and create new ways of reaching out to audiences.
But we have to bear in mind that our raison d’être has not changed: PR is still dedicated to the reputation of an organisation or individual – it’s just the channels that are changing.
We are delighted to announce that Firefly has been shortlisted for a Golden Hedgehog PR Award for our work on The Centre for Effective Distribution’s ‘Inquiry into Public Inquiries’ project.
With the ‘Public Inquiry’ very much engrained in the UK’s consciousness in the wake of the News of the World hacking scandal and the resulting Leveson Inquiry, The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) was midway through its project examining the effectiveness of Public Inquiries and asked Firefly to help raise awareness and encourage contributors to come forward to take part.
We commissioned simple omnibus research to determine the public’s level of faith in the Public Inquiry process and, as predicted, a level of discontent was discovered. The findings were offered to top tier media with the opportunity of a briefing with the project’s co-chairs, former Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf of Barnes and Chief Executive of CEDR, Karl Mackie.
A media day was organised, beginning with a live interview on BBC’s Radio 4’s The Today Programme, and the co-chairs then met with journalists from national and legal press including the Financial Times, the Press Association and Legal Week. This gave the chairs the chance to get across their hopes for the project and encourage other experts to become involved.
We view the ‘Low Budget Campaign of the Year’ category as being particularly prestigious as it truly shows that effective PR campaigns do not have to cost the world. Being shortlisted is a testament to the agency (us) but also to our client CEDR, whose investment and collaboration really can’t be praised enough in making the campaign a success.
Give as you Live beats off stiff competition to win Best Giving Platform at the Institute of Fundraising awards
We are thrilled to announce that following an entry that the Firefly team put together, online shopping tool Give as you Live has won the highly contested ‘Best Giving Platform’ at the Institute of Fundraising’s Partners in Fundraising Awards last week.
Give as you Live was shortlisted from a range of online giving platforms, then put to an Institute of Fundraising members vote. Give as you Live managed to fight off tough competition from the likes of Virgin Money Giving, JustTextGiving by Vodafone and Blackbaud, to win the award.
The win marks a fantastic year for Give as you Live, which has helped to raise over £3.1 million for UK charities – through some clever technology which redirects affiliate marketing spend to UK charities and causes.
The award win is one of two recent big events for CEO and Founder of Everyclick (the company behind Give as you Live) Polly Gowers, who next week is set to collect her OBE from the Queen in recognition of her services to philanthropy.
“I’m thrilled. It’s great that the IOF members have voted us Best Giving Platform. It’s a real validation of the technology we have developed and the great team that supports our product. There are huge opportunities to deliver significant new recurring revenue through online shopping – we look forward to working with the sector to turn it into a major new revenue stream.”
More information on Give as you Live can be found on the case study section of our website.