Wildfire Tech PR Blog

Have you been telling stories?

Posted by Paula Fifield on Nov 16, 2015

15569267347_d5b6245c3dGrowing up in a household in the North of England, for me ‘telling stories’ was something that could easily result in a warm ear, rumbly tummy and early bedtime…

However, ‘story-telling’ seems to be the word of the moment in PR-land. A fine fit you might think, given PR folks have been known to spin a yarn or three in times gone by. And therein lies the point…story-telling is nothing new, so why all the excitement?

Perhaps a better description for what we are now seeing is in fact ‘truth-telling’, a concept that sees brands communicating in such a way that resonates with the recipient’s ‘truth’, so that they can better process and engage with the information – ultimately feeling a closer, long-term affinity with your brand.

The trick is that this kind of brand communication needs to be authentic, consistent and, most importantly, very very well targeted…and that can take a lot of effort, particularly for companies that don’t truly know or understand their audiences.…

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Is PR about to die ‘again’? The robots are coming!

Posted by Chris King on Oct 09, 2015

robot-507811_640Gartner’s ‘Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2016 and Beyond has been getting a lot of headlines in the tech press this week and also stimulated a bit of a reaction on the UKTJPR Facebook group.

This year’s predictions “look at the digital future, at an algorithmic and smart machine-driven world where people and machines must define harmonious relationships.” Doesn’t it sound lovely!

There are 10 predictions in all, but the one that has been getting a lot of attention (perhaps because it has an impact on journalists) is Gartner’s view that writers will soon be replaced. By 2018, 20% of all business content, one in five of the documents you read, will be authored by a machine.

New technologies that can proactively assemble and deliver information through automated composition engines are going to drive a trend from human- to machine-generated business content. Data-based and analytical information can be turned into natural language writing using these emerging tools.…

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Blurred lines: the marketing, PR and advertising mêlée (not the Robin Thicke song…)

Posted by Sanjay Dove on May 05, 2015

imgresI was once told that the difference between PR and marketing was thus: marketing is the art of saying good things about yourself; PR is the art of getting other people to say good things about you.

I’ve always quite liked this description because it helps me explain to my elder relatives, who don’t really know what PR is, what I do for a living. It’s a nice simple way for them to get their heads round the fact that I work in neither journalism nor advertising.

But anyone who thinks that statement is still true is kidding themselves, really.

While PR used to be all about producing content that got others to say good things about you in “earned” media, practices have moved on now in the digital age. First we took on more “owned” media, once owned (excuse the homonym) by marketing — like producing content for blogs, social media and white papers.…

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Can marketing attribution models save PR measurement?

Posted by Ian McKee on Apr 15, 2015

The reason the old standard models of PR measurement no longer cut it can be summarised thusly: the internet.

It’s pretty obvious to anyone familiar with these old standards that they’re just not going to work in a world of blog posts, tweets, viral content and multiple screens.

If you break it down further, however, the problem is even more fundamental. Pre-digital era, the basic measurement methods were circulation, and AVE; advertising value equivalency.

PR has always been measured against the ‘known value’ of its big brother advertising (for anyone not familiar with AVE, it basically involves saying a half page of advertising is £X, therefore our coverage is £X). The irony of this being that, of course, no one really knew the true value of advertising either.

So how on earth PR’s worth was determined as an equivalent of what was already of unknown value is anyone’s guess. The metrics were clearly faulty before the internet came along and ruined everything.…

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Purdah Mysteries: The absurdity of UK election PR law

Posted by Benedict Sycamore on Apr 01, 2015

Houses of ParliamentParliament dissolved on 30th March 2015, and the start of the pre-election period known as ‘Purdah’ began in the UK. This was also the day I attended an expert panel debate on PR in the 2015 General Election, chaired by Trevor Morris, Professor of Public Relations at the University of Richmond.

The panel comprised a handful of heavyweight PR politicos who discussed several topics, ranging from the communications challenges that particular political parties and their leaders face this year, to the limitations of polling and measurement.

Amongst the panel was Sir Chris Powell, Labour’s advertising advisor for three decades. He highlighted a fact that struck me as the most absurd thing about the 2015 UK General Election:

It has always been illegal for political advertisements to be shown on television.

At first it almost makes sense; paid political advertising would simply mean political parties with the deepest pocket can secure the most airtime.…

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