Reflecting on its two decades in housewares seemed the perfect time for specialist housewares PR agency PR Direct to expand its horizons with a move into digital marketing in a big way! Directors Sarah Selzer and Mark Chapman talk us through the reasoning behind the move.
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aving built up a rock solid reputation as the go-to agency for housewares PR – with extensive media contacts in print, digital, TV, film and increasingly influencers – PR Direct started to look at the way the media industry was evolving and what the next steps should be to ensure that clients continued to get the best consumer reach. “We have always made it part of our DNA to explore, research and embrace trends and different ways of working,” says Sarah. “When PR Direct started out, emails were in their infancy and the now ever-present digital platforms that support PR activity in terms of reporting or outreach to media, hadn’t even been dreamed of! In recent years, we have increasingly seen our day-to-day PR activity with the media morph into their ever-more insistent hunt for digital content as key titles move online.” This evolution in the way the media present brands to their audiences has coincided with the huge growth in the role of influencers and the experience of how working with them can enhance a brand’s reputation. “While ‘conventional’ PR remains
What we offer Consumer & trade PR – print/digital Influencer outreach Product placement Content creation Social media management Digital advertising & email marketing Digital marketing strategy at the heart of what PR Direct does – working closely with print and digital media to highlight retailer and supplier brands, products and trends – influencers have become a media channel in their own right,” says Mark. “They can provide an organic feel to your story – photographing the product in a real life setting in their own home and in some cases even showing their family using it. If you get the balance right, whether paid-for or gifted, this channel can be a real sales driver.” PR Direct’s increasing shift to digital, with clients looking for them to take PROGRESSIVE
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ABOVE: PR Direct’s Sarah Selzer and Mark Chapman (top right) believe the company’s long tradition in housewares lays the perfect groundwork for this new chapter.
on more work in that sphere, was initially confined to digital PR and social media. “We began to look seriously at the idea of enhancing our offer, to bring in digital elements we hadn’t touched on before like email marketing and digital advertising,” says Mark. Those initial thoughts coincided with Sarah and Mark making a very fortuitous connection in their local area. Karen Williams is a senior marketer with over 25 years’ experience, including Head of Marketing at IBM PC Division and most recently was Head of Digital Marketing of The ACC Liverpool Group (including the prestigious M&S Bank Arena Liverpool). “We are firm believers in everything for a reason,” says Sarah, “so when we were introduced to Karen we all knew we had to work together because the synergy was so right!” Karen agrees. “It just made perfect sense to work together. We have