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Creating a Media Strategy

When time, money and resources are tight, it’s important you understand what you want to achieve with your media activities and why.  Being strategic is vital as this will enable you to present a consistent message that is heard by the right people at the right time.

Working through the strategic pillars below before embarking on media activity will help you and your organisation decide what you want to achieve and why. It can also help remove duplication of effort, enable resources to be directed precisely where they are needed and avoid wasting time and money.

The Strategic Pillars

1: Objectives

What do you want to achieve and why? Do you want to raise awareness? Strengthen your reputation within a key area? Promote a fundraising campaign or petition? What does media success look like to you and your organisation?

2: Target audience

Who do you want to talk to and why? There is no such thing as the general public so be specific about who it is you want to engage with and what their information needs are. This will allow you to target your media activities accordingly.

3: Tone of voice

What kind of personality do you want to convey? Are you fun and energetic? Authoritative and serious? The impression you want to create among your target audience will help determine the type of media outlet you want to work with, what you want to say to them and how you say it.

4: Key messages

What do you want people to think, feel or do? Your key messages will help explain your organisation and what it does, why this is important and the difference you make.

5: Content

Central to the success of your media activity will be the quality of the stories you have to offer journalists. What case studies do you have? Do you have access to data that will help evidence your opinion or your work?

6: Media training

Knowing what you want to say is one thing. Having a spokesperson who can communicate this clearly and concisely, particularly under times of pressure, is another. Media training can help iron out any creases.

7: Crisis communications

Preparation is key if a crisis is to be averted or minimised. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and having a plan as to what to do if it all goes wrong, are essential to protecting your reputation.

8: Managing expectations

While you may understand the opportunities and challenges associated with media your senior management team and trustee board may not. Helping them to understand what is realistically achievable is important if you are to satisfy expectations.

9: Monitoring and evaluation

Knowing what worked and what didn’t will help you understand which areas of your strategy to change and to do more of. It will also provide you with valuable insight to build the case for future investment.

Social Media Strategy

With all the new tools and platforms constantly emerging, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking about social media through a tactical prism instead of a strategic one.  The best social media strategic plans are tools-agnostic, and set forth objectives and metrics that supersede any particular social venue.

1: Build an Ark

Nobody should “own” social media strategy in your organisation. Social impacts all corners of the company, and should be more like air (everywhere) than like water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of the strategy.

2: Listen and Compare

It’s an old social media strategy chestnut by now, but “listen” is still good advice that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers (and competitors) will give you a good guide to where and how you should be active in social media, if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand name.

3: What’s the Point?

Yes, you can use social media to help accomplish several business objectives. But the best social media strategies are those that focus (at least initially) on a more narrow rationale for social. What do you primarily want to use social for? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one.

4: Select Success Metrics

How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference in your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend (hopefully) likes and engagement? Will you measure ROI?

5: Analyse Your Audiences

With whom will you be interacting in social media? What are the demographic and psycho-graphic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?

6: What’s Your One Thing?

Passion is the fuel of social media.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and benefits aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy stir. How will your organisation appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head? Disney isn’t about movies, it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology, it’s about innovation. What are you about?

7: How Will You Be Human?

Social media is about people, not logos.

The mechanics of social force companies to compete for attention versus your customers’ friends and family members. Thus, your company has to (at least to some degree) act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that?

8: Create a Channel Plan

Only after you know why you’re active in social at all, and how you’ll measure social media strategy success should you turn your attention to the “how” of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest. This channel plan should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each.

To find out more about our thinking please contact us.

E-commerce Rockstar Style

Selling products on-line is almost expected nowadays from most businesses.  At Rockstar Media we can create anything from a simple shopping page to a full-blown E-Store.  Adding this feature to your website is an obvious way of generating revenue and reaching out to a global audience.

Some sellers use eBay or sell or do business via larger companies such as Amazon.  This sounds fine in principle, but remember, these companies take a big ‘slice of the cake’ in terms of commission and you have to adhere to their sometimes complex rules and regulations.  You are far better moving things ‘in-house’ and keeping all the revenues yourself!

In an increasingly digital-age it’s very rare for those with a physical product or high street presence, to not take advantage of the many channels there are to sell on-line.  Selling a product on-line allows you to reach a wider audience and new customer pockets, with 81% of the world’s global internet users purchasing products on-line in 2017.  But if it’s an area you’ve never explored, it can be overwhelming.  That’s where Rockstar can help.

Hosted or self-hosted e-commerce solutions?

If you want to set up a full website where people can come to view your products and your products only (as opposed to a marketplace such as Amazon or eBay), then you’ll need to choose between a hosted or self-hosted e-commerce platform.

A common analogy used to understand the difference between self-hosted and hosted e-commerce solutions is the difference between buying and renting a house. When you rent a house (hosted), you are tied to the wishes of the landlord.  You can live there, but you probably can’t paint or make physical changes to the look and feel of the property.  If the landlord decides to sell up or change the property, you could lose access or be forced to leave.  The benefits of renting a house however, are that you can test the water before you decide to buy and you can change houses with minimal fuss or cost.

In comparison, your own house (self-hosted) means you have the freedom and benefit of choosing exactly how you want your house to look, where it is and how quickly you want to extend or build on what you have.  However, having your own house is initially more expensive and means that you are liable for making improvements and fixing anything that breaks.

The Rockstar Store-front

Having an on-line store-front is one of the most straightforward ways to conduct e-commerce.  The client gets Rockstar Media to create a website and uses it to sell products and services using shopping carts and e-commerce solutions.  The final custom solution will depend on the client and their products.

To find out more about our thinking please contact us.

 

A Rockstar Press Pack

A press pack is a document containing information about your business, product or event.  They are mainly used at events and for launches as a package of information for journalists to help them write their story.

The whole point of a press pack is to catch the eye of a journalist and make them want to write an article or do an interview.  It should be a one-stop shop for all of the information journalists need.  In the digital age, some companies disregard the importance of a press pack which is sometimes called a media kit.  After all, everything people need to know about a business is on the website, right?

What some companies don’t realise is that media kits have a very specific focus and purpose beyond what a conventional website can convey.  Essentially, a press pack is a ‘packet full’ of information about your company.  Traditionally it is sent to journalists to encourage them to promote the company, but it can also be sent to current and potential clients.

Press pack’s usually consist of printed materials, but they can also be digitized into a PDF.  Let’s explore what to include in a media kit and then look at why it’s so important.

What’s in a Press Pack?

Press pack’s vary widely, but they might include any of the following data:

  • Contact details for company employees
  • Information about your company’s products and services
  • Information about your company’s history and mission
  • Press releases, explaining details of an upcoming event or product release
  • Images, including your company logo
  • Testimonials from clients
  • Reports of your company’s sales and statistics
  • Frequently asked questions and answers
  • Lists of notable clients

You can customise your media kit to meet the needs of who you’re sending it to.  For example, if you’re sending it to a journalist, you could include contact details for employees they could interview.  If you’re sending it to a potential client, you could send samples of your product or a list of prices.  Making the base of the media kit evergreen you begin the process of turning the kit into a “Look Book.”  Additional pages or personal letters can compliment the piece to help better target your audience.

Why Is a Press Pack So Important?

There are many benefits to a press pack that set it apart from a website and other advertising tools.

It Gives You Control

If you don’t provide adequate information about your company, reporters and clients will come up with their own assumptions about it.  A press pack gives you the opportunity to present yourself as you want to be seen. It also gives your audience a detailed description of exactly what you offer. It allows you to control the message.

It Saves Time

When you take on a new client, he or she will likely have lots of questions about your products or services.  Rather than spending hours answering questions, you can present all your company information through your press pack.

It Helps You Promote a Specific Product or Event

If you’re holding a public event or launching a new product, you want to get that information out to the media. By sending journalists a press pack, they’ll have all the information they need to write an article or advertisement.

It Promotes the Launch of a New Company

If you’re just opening your doors as a company, you want to let people know what you’re all about. Sending your media kit is a simple way to give people all the facts they should know about your business.

It Explains Company Processes

A detailed, step-by-step process of how you help clients may be overwhelming in a website setting, where people just want to browse different pages. In a press pack for a new client, this explanation is essential.

It Helps You Bring On More Customers

Perhaps the most important reason behind having a press pack is that it can attract new customers. The information from your press pack can attract attention from potential customers who wouldn’t otherwise hear about your business.

It Increases Client Confidence

Thorough information in a press pack gives customers confidence that you’re experienced and you know how to take care of them.

Some other options to consider.

Perhaps not as vital but you may also want to think about:

Testimonials from clients or customers

Your happy customers are your best marketing. Use your best testimonials to demonstrate your credibility.

Annual report

If your business is in a field where journalists are interested in your annual reports, make sure you attach one for easy reference.

Other interesting facts

Outline anything else the business/person is up to that journalists may find interesting. Remember, journalists are always looking for interesting angles, so make their work easy for them.

Samples of your product

If you create products, send the journalist samples of your product along with your media kit, so they can try out your products for themselves.

Recent news coverage

If you have recently appeared in the news or other publications, make mention of this to increase your social proof and credibility.

Where to send your media kit?

Just as with sending out press releases and media pitches, knowing when and where to send your kit is crucial.  Before sending it out to everyone in the media, spend time researching publications and media outlets to know which ones are most likely to cover your company.

You want to include a personalised email to each journalist to introduce yourself, the company and explain what the media kit is for.  This will help you to make a connection with the person you’re trying to reach, rather than sending them the exact same media kit you may be sending 100 other journalists.

If you do choose to include a product sample be aware some media outlets have rules surrounding accepting gifts.  If you’re not sure, contact the outlet before you send the kit and don’t make the gifts too extravagant.  Media kits don’t need to be used all of the time, but sometimes they do have their place in the world of public relations.

At Rockstar Media we can create the perfect press pack for any size of business.

To find out more about our thinking please contact us.

Sony CineAlta 6K VENICE

Sony has officially announced its previously rumoured VENICE, a new top-of-the line CineAlta full frame digital cinema system.

We’re used to Sony using a somewhat inconsistent combination of letters and numbers for its camera naming (the F65, for instance, doesn’t have a 65mm sensor, and the F5 and F55 and FS7 don’t line up in a tidy row like one might hope), but the company has broken with tradition for its latest and greatest, which it has announced today will be called VENICE. With VENICE, Sony has developed a brand new full frame 36x24mm sensor as the centrepiece for the camera system, larger than the Super35mm sensor from the previous flagship the F65.

The other key feature is the lens mount, which is PL-mount standard but can be swapped out for an E-mount. While there are a wide variety of PL mount full frame lenses available, this is a smart move for Sony, taking advantage of its tremendous selection of full frame E-mount lenses to broaden the available lens supply on launch. Support for /i lens data has been announced for the P- mount, with no indication of whether the E-mount will be smart and support lens data or auto focus yet. However, there are connector pins in the press images, which is a good sign.

VENICE (Sony appears to be pushing all caps and no definite article, like Concorde) works around existing and established CineAlta workflows, which means 10bit internal XAVC recording to SxS cards or 16-bit RAW X-OCN via an external recorder. Building on established workflows, lenses and accessories is a smart move while continuing to expand the sensor size and imager capabilities since it makes transition and integration easier for existing customers.

In a throwback to the old days of working with Panavision behind the lens filters, VENICE is a digital cinema camera that has an internal 8 stage ND filter. Considering the high sensitivity of digital sensors, this is a great system to give filmmakers more control over aperture. It unfortunately is not the same continuous ND that the FS7 Mark II launched last year, but that system created a way to seamlessly ramp ND without color shift that would be interested in a digital cinema platform. However, any internal ND will help tremendously, especially when the camera is rigged to a gimbal, drone or crane and can’t be easily reached for a filter swap.

The assistant display is now exceptionally similar to the Panasonic Varicam and Arri ALEXA interfaces (originally developed by Arri), which should make it easier for crews switching from platform to platform, with only RED continuing to push its own menu system at the high end. No price announced as yet, though it’ll likely be expensive and generally a rental item. That being said, the flexibility of E-mount could make it an attractive reach purchase item for filmmakers depending on the budget. Some features will be licensed, meaning you’ll need to pay extra to open up Anamorphic and 6K modes in the camera, but Sony will be offering those licenses in a variety of timeframes, as short as a week, which should make them affordable and perhaps an expense that can be covered for the production looking for those special formats.

Price £51k+VAT