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Hello from Mr Site

Following on from last month's topic of branding, we thought it would be good to give you all an insight into the world of public relations. We at Mr Site know the value of great PR – Takeaway Website owes a lot of its success to publicity in national newspapers, magazines and even television. So what is PR and how can you make it work for your business and website?

EXPERT OF THE MONTH

Sam Pearson
of Frank PR

Our expert this month comes from Frank PR – an award winning consumer PR agency that offers a different take on how PR can have the biggest impact for a brand. They come up with creative ideas, platforms and themes which kick start word-of-mouth and talkability. Have a look at www.frankpr.it to to see some of their great PR successes.

Sam Pearson of Frank PR, tells her thoughts on how you can start promoting:
"PR is a vital business tool for small and big businesses alike. Generating press coverage for your business through PR provides a great opportunity to get your company or brand in front of the eyes of hundreds and thousands of people and is much more credible than direct sales or advertising."
"...get your company or brand in front of the eyes of hundreds and thousands of people and is much more credible than direct sales or advertising."

- Sam Pearson
 
Here's a few of Sam's hints and tips on where to start when it comes to PR for your business:
  • Determine who your audience is and work out what newspapers they read, radio stations they listen to and TV they watch – draw up a definitive list of these media outlets so you know who you're talking to

  • Work out a PR plan including what your objectives are and what you want to achieve for your business, how you want to be positioned and perceived by your audiences and a list of key messages which are the most important facts about your business that you want to communicate

  • Write a press release to send out to the target media you have identified. Press releases are essential in getting new and interesting information about your business to the media. They should be about a page in length and include all of the important details including who, what, why, where, when

  • Develop relationships with local media as they are always on the lookout for a new story, fresh angle or different approach. In turn, the media will call on you for specific comment on particular stories further driving your business' profile

  • Don't be afraid to shout about the great things you and your business is doing – if you don't then you'll only be reading about the people that are!

OUR EXPERT CUSTOMERS

www.42pr.com
Founded by Jason Wyer-Smith

"...there will almost certainly be journalists interested in writing stories about you, your company, your customers and your industry..."

- Jason Wyer-Smith
This month, we have asked the founder of www.42pr.com, Jason Wyer-Smith, to give us his thoughts on the benefits of PR. Until he decided to set up his own agency in 2008, Jason was a Senior PR Manager for Sir Richard Branson's financial services company, Virgin Money.

"Most companies have a story to tell. It may not be a ‘front page of The Times' type story (very few are!) but with all the various newspapers, magazines and websites your potential customers could read there will almost certainly be journalists interested in writing stories about you, your company, your customers and your industry."
 
Here are a few of Jason's PR tips and tricks:
  • Why bother with PR? Firstly it can be a very effective way of getting your brand and key messages into newspapers, magazines and websites at a fraction of the cost of buying advertising space. A well executed PR campaign can take the obscure and put it on the front page. Remember Joanna Lumley and her battle for the Gurkhas? OK, so we can’t all persuade celebrities to charge around Whitehall publicly ticking off Ministers. But on a smaller scale even getting your company mentioned regularly in a relevant trade magazine or regional newspaper could do wonders for your name awareness and reputation.

  • As well as being a great way to build your brand, PR can be hugely effective at changing perceptions and eventually behaviours. People trust news stories, articles and blogs far more than they do advertising. So whilst a full page advertisement for a new product may get your attention your perceptions will be influenced far more by what a journalist writes about it in a review. Awareness of the product coupled with favourable PR means you might try it. Awareness on its own, or even worse, awareness with a bad press means you’re likely to pass it by.

  • PR shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to traditional marketing. PR will complement your marketing activity by reinforcing your key messages and amplifying their influence. A sustained, well executed PR campaign will help to build your brand awareness and tell consumers what you stand for, whether it’s equal rights for foreign soldiers, or offering the best products and services on the web.

WEBSITE OF THE MONTH

www.CocktailPR.com
Founded by Louise Cox

This month we were looking for a website that really knows good PR! So our Website of the Month, created by Louise Cox, has been chosen for it's brilliant use of design and its PR credentials. Bravo!

"Done right, PR builds and maintains relationships developing an interest in your brand and can increase traffic to your website or call centre, often resulting in direct enquiries or sales. For cocktail pr, our website has to sell us as it is usually the first port of call for potential clients, so having a professional and easy to navigate website is a must.

We need to showcase our skills, so we used the gallery option to post all our press coverage. Having a fabulous website has paid dividends in gaining new clients."
"our website has to sell us as it is usually the first port of call for potential clients, so having a professional and easy to navigate website is a must."

- Louise Cox

TIPS AND TRICKS

Help us PR your website

Would you like see your website, business or story in a national newspaper, your favourite magazine or even on television? We get lots of requests from journalists looking for Mr Site case studies and stories to feature in their publications.
So, to help give you a PR start; we've set up a special mailing list to let our customers know about any exciting publicity opportunities that come our way.
To sign-up, simply visit www.mrsite.co.uk/community.asp and give us your contact details.
 
Rebecca Pegg, of www.cakesbyrebecca.net, is one Mr Site customer who worked with us to get her story published in Woman's Own. She explains the impact PR coverage had on her business:
"Being featured in Woman's Own magazine was amazing, I felt like a celebrity! It has helped me to reach customers I may otherwise have never been able to reach. As well as providing me with new business, I also noticed that it had encouraged people to contact me wanting to understand how they too could begin their own journey of success. Without the PR editorial Mr Site helped me achieve, I would still be growing my business as I am, but it has certainly help accelerate it beyond comparison around the time when the piece hit the shops, and to a degree still does."

MR SITE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mr Site KickStart

In the past, lots of people have told Mr Site they'd like a helping hand from our in-house design team – so in response we are launching a new service this month, called KickStart.
Have you bought a copy of Takeaway Website and realised you don't have the time or inclination to build a website yourself? Perhaps you would like a bespoke logo or header for your website, created by a professional designer? Or, maybe you'd just like a helping hand to get started and then you can make any future updates yourself; quickly, easily and without further expense.

Our expert design team will build you a bespoke website of up to 15 pages, including a professionally branded logo, header and background, using your Takeaway Website package. If you're interested in having a KickStart website created for you, for just £399, why not visit www.mrsite.co.uk/kickstart or contact us on kickstart@mrsite.co.uk / 08444145158.

COMPETITION WINNER

www.TheHenProject.com
Founded by Helen Francis

Thank you to everyone who sent in their branding stories – all of your websites were to an extremely high standard. This month we have chosen www.thehenproject.com for demonstrating how corporate consistency and a good logo has resulted in a fantastic website and brand image;

"From the very start of The Hen Project we have been conscious of creating and maintaining a strong brand image. Central to this was the creation of our eye catching and unique logo. We wanted our logo to appeal to our target market (hens and brides-to-be) as a fun, girly, but easy-to-use service. We have been inspired by brands such as Innocent smoothies who's simple, funky and user friendly branding really appealed to us.

The logo appears in the homemade header on our Mr Site website, as well as out e-newsletter, twitter profile, address labels, business cards etc. and we often receive compliments about it.
"We wanted our logo to appeal to our target market as a fun, girly, but easy-to-use service..."

- Helen Francis
When we tell people that we created our website using Mr Site and had no previous experience, they can't believe it! We are especially proud that we created the website and logo for under £250. A true credit crunch start up."

WHATS IN THIS ISSUE?

MR SITE FORUM

We're happy to announce the launch of the brand new Official Mr Site Forum.
Why not become part of the Mr Site community, where users support each other with their Takeaway Website experiences and offer tips on the best ways to improve your website. You will also be able to follow all the latest Mr Site news and system updates, plus it free to join.

All Mr Site users are automatic members. To start posting, click login in top right corner of the forum page and follow the onscreen instructions.

Visit www.mrsiteforum.com.

SEPTEMBER COMPETITION

For your chance to win this month's luxury hamper, all you have to do is tell us about how you might have boosted your business using public relations – has your website featured in the local press? Or maybe you've had national coverage that has resulted in new customers around the world?

Send us your PR stories to: stories@mrsite.co.uk

And remember...we're always looking out for interesting stories so don't stop sending them through.

PARTNERSHIP NEWS

Mr Site is proud to announce a new collaboration with British Association of Beauty, Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC).

BABTAC has been the professional face of beauty and holistic therapy for over 30years. It is the premier UK association for beauty therapists and is widely recognised as one of the longest standing and most influential bodies in the beauty industry. As a not for profit organisation with no shareholders, their main concern is their members, who will be not only suitably qualified in their field (a pre-requisite), but also insured with one of the best policies available in the industry.

Mr Site customers who would like to join BABTAC can enjoy an exclusive £10 discount on membership for their first year. To take advantage of this special offer and request an information pack click here.

AWARDS

Mr Site has yet again come up top, with another award shortlisting – this time for Takeaway Website Pro as Internet Product of the Year at the BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Technology Excellence Awards 2009. Congratulations to the development and support teams for all their hard work to achieve this. Results will be announced at the end of November.

FORUM TIPS AND TRICKS

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