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Believe it or not, some of us are old enough to remember when the hashtag was a rather innocuous button on your keypad, reserved only for early internet users and developers, who used the symbol to label groups and topics. When Chris Messina tweeted to suggest that the platform introduce the hashtag to group topics and conversations, little did he know he was launching a cultural phenomenon.

Hashtags make your content more discoverable, but is your brand using them correctly? Regulations and techniques vary across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; here is our quick guide on how to use hashtags most effectively.

Twitter

With its 280-character limit per tweet, every character counts when posting on Twitter. The great thing about twitter is that any word can be discoverable from the search bar even if it is hashtagged or not.

Twitter - London Trends - The PHA Group

Nonetheless, hashtags are still a useful tool to use when tweeting, but in most instances, one or two hashtags per tweet is more than enough. Make those hashtags the theme of what you are tweeting about, such as the example above of #NationalCroissantDay. Creating light-hearted content that is relevant to your business will generate a wider audience reach; #WorldCroissantDay would be great for a bakery business for example. It can be tempting to join in on all trending topics, but it is best to keep your content on-brand, as you don’t want your followers to become confused. There are many micro-holidays throughout the year that often trend on Twitter, there is bound to be at least one that is relevant to your industry. You can find out about any upcoming dates using calendar websites such as Days of the Year. As well as keeping an eye on upcoming holidays, check the trending hashtags on Twitter’s homepage daily.

There can be times of the year where it can be difficult to find relevant topics, but there are daily themed hashtags that you could consider using:

#MondayMotivation

#TravelTuesday

#WednesdayWisdom

#ThrowbackThursday

#FridayFeeling

#SelfieSunday

These hashtags trend week-on-week so if you have a post ready in your content plan that is scheduled for Tuesday, consider rescheduling for #WednesdayWisdom. Hashtags such as these are broad and can be used for a variety of subjects.

Instagram

We can all agree that Instagram is the ‘vainest’ of all of the platforms, which means maximum engagement is always the goal with every Instagram post. Instagram allows up to thirty hashtags to be included in one post, but using the maximum amount is not always necessary. A handful of well-chosen hashtags can work just as well.

Choosing which hashtags to include in your posts can be daunting as there are so many options, but you should always keep the tags relevant. For example, although #fashion has over six-hundred-million posts on Instagram, if you are a chocolate brand it’s best you stick to #chocolatelover hashtags instead.

There are many websites that can source hashtags for you such as http://best-hashtags.com. Type in a subject matter and the website suggests a selection of relevant tags for you to simply copy and paste.

Another way to source hashtags is to look at your competitors and see what hashtags they are using. This will tell you what your target audience is searching for. There is also the old-fashioned manual search. Instagram’s search tab will tell you how many times a hashtag has been used, which will indicate if it is worthwhile using in your post. Search a relevant word to your business and a drop-down list of options that include the word you searched for will appear.

Although it may seem a good idea to choose hashtags that are the most popular on Instagram such as #love, a tag that can almost apply to anything, it is best to vary the hashtags you use. Pick some that are less popular with around 15,000 hashtag mentions and your post is more likely to be seen for longer. This is because when a ‘top hashtag’ is used, there are potentially hundreds of people tagging the same word as you are at the same time, which moves your post further down the page and therefore it is less likely to be seen. If you choose a more niche term your post will be discoverable for much longer and therefore have better reach instead of a short-lived burst of engagements.

After choosing your hashtags, you now need to decide where you are going to put them. As Instagram is all about aesthetics, we would recommend hiding them as much as possible.

Instead of including a hashtag in the middle of a caption, there are two options that look a lot sleeker:

  • Include the hashtags in the comments of your post. This way they will only be seen in the app when users actively select ‘View Comments’.
  • Include the hashtags in the copy (shown below). Instagram favours shorter copy overall which means if a long caption is included with a post only the first two lines of the caption appear. Users have to select ‘See More’ to view the entire caption. However, Instagram does not allow users to include line breaks. An easy way to get around this is to include a character of some sort, a full stop is the most popular option, on 5 of the lines.

Smile train instagram post - The PHA Group

We have tested both methods across different clients and have noticed no difference in engagement. It is purely preference for each individual.

Facebook

Facebook introduced hashtags in 2013, which is surprising considering they are still rarely used. There is even research to suggest that posts that include hashtags get less engagement compared to those without hashtags. Facebook started as a community for friends which contribute to why hashtags don’t translate well on this platform. Facebook is a more authentic and honest platform compared to Instagram, which can cause an audience to lose interest and trust if a brand floods their posts with hashtags. They simply don’t want to interact with the post when #every other #word is a #hashtag. Distracting, isn’t it?

Another reason hashtags don’t work on Facebook is because often brands cross-post from Twitter and Instagram to Facebook, which exposes a brand to be, essentially, lazy. If you are not making original content for each platform, your audience will often choose to not interact with your content. Tones vary across platforms and therefore every brand should be taking the time to tailor what they post. It’s a time-consuming process but with much better results.

There are certain circumstances where hashtags can work well for engagement and reach on Facebook such as competitions. Starting your post with ‘#WIN’ will ensure more entries as users who often enter competitions will search for this tag. However, if you want your competition to grow your audience authentically and engage with users who are in line with your target consumer, this may not be the right technique. People who are not interested in your brand will now be entering purely because there is something free up for grabs.

Despite all the negativity around using hashtags in Facebook posts, it’s not a complete faux pas. One hashtag in a post, two at a maximum, would not be detrimental to your post. Perhaps steer clear from including the hashtag in the middle of the sentence and instead include the hashtag at the end of a post to enclose the overriding theme of the post.

National Casino Forum status - The PHA Group

In conclusion, the world of hashtags may seem a minefield, one thing is for sure – it is always wise to stay relevant to what you are posting. You should also remember to choose quality over quantity when it comes to hashtags; one or two is more than enough for Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is the only platform where it is wise to use a handful but be considerate to how these affect the aesthetics of your post. Overall, there are many trending hashtags that you can jump on as a brand that are within your field as well as broader hashtags that will allow you to reach a wider audience.

Here at PHA Social we pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date with social media trends and we are experts in a wide range of areas. We are able to give insight to our clients and save them the leg work of having to source their own strategy. If you would like to hear more, contact us.

How to make the most of #hashtags

For many reasons, Gillette deserve some well-earned praise for this latest marketing attempt. The advert, which challenges men and boys to be better and call out sexually inappropriate behaviour, deserves both praise for bravery and for getting the go-ahead. Tackling social issues always carries an inherent risk of backfire.

Millionaire Kendall Jenner’s poorly judged peace offering involving Pepsi at a protest already served as a significant warning to the industry of what can go wrong if issues aren’t handled sensitively. Yet, more recently Nike has seen booming sales after standing with Quarterback Colin Kaepernick in their “Believe in Something” campaign.

It’s continuing a strange phenomenon where the marketing teams of the world’s biggest companies seem more capable of touching the right cord with consumers than politicians do with their voters.  A lot of these decisions are calculated. Companies like Nike know which side their bread is buttered on. As University of Michigan Business Professor Jerry Davis put it on ABC news, “it turns out Democrats buy a lot more sneakers than Republicans.”

This comment was referring to the legendary adage often attributed to Michael Jordan that “Republicans buy shoes, too.” Yet, the increasingly important divide that age is playing in politics now means many of the world’s biggest companies are quite happy to hedge their bets on the next generation. Nike know the average customer who walks through its door is a teenage male, far more likely to sympathise with the political messaging that Kaepernick “sacrificed everything” to support. That risk has for the time being paid off.

Marketers ultimately report to the bottom line. Unlike Gillette, Nike has seen year on year growth for a decade. Gillette has instead seen year-on-year falling sales in a market where men have increasingly more choice and fewer people choose shaving. Gillette will have been sitting on ideas of how to revitalise their iconic “The Best A Man Can Get” slogan for a while now and how to target it at the next generation of men. This advert, however, certainly doesn’t naturally feel like it is driven directly by sales. There are no razors. The demographic it is most likely to impress, women, aren’t even potential customers. It fits into something bigger.

Gillette wrote on their website of how they plan to include this as part of a wider campaign: “From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.”

The advert has so far only been paid for on digital channels in America, with no known plans to run it in the UK. So, when Piers Morgan reacted, himself fast becoming an effective medium through which all successful marketing campaigns must pass, Gillette had achieved huge global organic growth with a relatively modest budget. But you wouldn’t clap just yet…

When it comes to marketing, the opposite of bravery isn’t cowardice but conformity. Standing still isn’t so bad compared to losing ground. The launch of Gillette’s new campaign has achieved both widespread coverage and supported an excellent cause. Yet, for a company with more than half the market share in the US and far more than that in the UK (roughly 65%), we might be left asking what Gillette is set to achieve from this.

When Nike launched their campaign, they weren’t operating with anything close to a 50% share in any of the markets they compete in. When Nike isolated a certain part of America, they knew they were already experiencing declining sales due to a negative price elasticity those consumers were having with its products. They expected to recoup those sales elsewhere. It isn’t clear if this is going to be the case for Gillette.

Where Nike’s campaign was positive and inspirational, Gillette’s message feels negative. Nike told its key customers they behave better than the rest, Gillette has told its customers the opposite. At writing, Gillette’s video has received nearly 10 million views but the reaction to it has been overwhelmingly negative. The dislike to like ratio stands at 577k to 217k. On Sunday, the ratio was 10:1 with most comments saying they would abandon the brand. Make no mistake, those who found the advert first were Gillette’s actual customers.

In comparison, Nike’s campaign ran at the complete opposite. With ten positive reactions for every one negative. In the four long months of media coverage, the “Believe in Something” commercial still hadn’t amassed the number of dislikes Gillette has run up in the first 24 hours. Online sales grew for Nike by a massive 31% in the bank holiday weekend after the ad launched and the company has grown by $6 billion since. Opponents couldn’t boycott the company because they already didn’t shop there.

It’s of course too early to know how this will affect sales, but whether you agree with the message or not, it’s obvious Gillette have risked marginalising the actual people who buy their products. If they don’t end up attracting that next generation of customers, Gillette may be left wondering if their marketing strategy really is the best they can get.

Gillette: Is social posturing the best marketing you can get?

Last weekend, the number one obstacle course racer in the world Jonathan Albon had an opportunity to win a $1 million. At the start of the year, Spartan Founder Joe De Sena vowed to give $1 million to any athlete who won all three Spartan World Championship Races – dubbed the “Million Dollar Trifecta”.

Jonathan Albon Spartan Race

The Spartan race is a series of obstacle races of varying distances and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. Jonathan Albon is an all-round athlete who competes in both obstacle course racing and skyrunning; currently the undefeated OCR world champion, skyrunning world champion and winner of both the 2016 & 2017 skyrunning extreme series.

Jonathan was set the challenge to win the jackpot of $1 million if he were to win the third and final event of the series – a 24-hour Ultra World Championship in Iceland. It wasn’t as simple as just completing it, he would only win the prize if he were to complete the 100-mile race within the 24-hour time limit set for the course.

Spartan Race Iceland

Raising their profile

Spartan approached The PHA Group to help raise the profile of the Ultra World Championships in Iceland, by utilising Jonathan’s participation. Jonathan is probably the UK’s most unknown world number one and PHA were set the challenge of ensuring everyone knew who he was.

The deadline was set for just two weeks…

The team set to work and focused their efforts on putting together a communication strategy that would raise Jonathan’s profile, increase coverage about the Ultra World Championships and all in a very tight timeline. Their ability to turn something around quickly and their extensive media relations experience and a large network of key sport and fitness journalists ensured great results with coverage across a wide range of publications and networks.

Tom Inskip, Sport & Fitness Senior Account Director said “We have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to working with mass participation events such as Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, Total Warrior and Mo Running. We also have a fantastic track record of championing athletes who don’t have the profiles they deserve. With this combined experience and contacts book, we were able to turn around and deliver quality coverage in a matter of days”

The results

Our experienced PR team managed to place 18 news stories around the event on major outlets including BBC Sportsday, Telegraph Online, BBC online, Mail Online, Sports Bible, Runner’s WorldThe I, Square Mile and Talk Sport. As well as a five-page feature on the event that was published on December 29th in Saturday Times Magazine.

Unfortunately, Jonathan didn’t manage the feat, but it made for a fantastic story and an incredible achievement nonetheless to participate and be in for a chance to take the top spot.

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your mass participation event? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can support your event.

Two weeks, $1 million prize and only one winner – Spartan Race

Whatever the industry, brands will continue to battle it out for top spot until the end of time. It’s rare that we see a brand blow away its competitors for a sustained period and completely monopolize the industry in the process but that is exactly what global tech giant Fitbit did.

In less than a decade Fitbit went from being a hopeful startup that almost died seven times in the initial stages according to CEO James Park, to a tech powerhouse worth over $4 billion.

So how exactly did Fitbit dominate the wearables industry? We take a look at the strategies that turned the once-faltering startup into one of the most recognisable global brands on the market.

Product development

Fitbit decided to incorporate a process that saw them strive for improvement rather than perfection on all their products. There’s been a constant stream of new gadgets released ever since the very first Fitbit model launched at the end of 2009. The Ultra followed soon after in 2011, which included an altimeter, digital clock and stopwatch feature. The following year, Fitbit launched the One & Zip which were the first fitness trackers to be completely wireless.

In total, Fitbit have produced 18 different fitness trackers in just nine years, what makes it even more impressive is in 2015 they didn’t launch anything and still sold 18 million fitness trackers.

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Today is no ordinary Monday. Make the most of this Fitbit sale with up to $70 OFF—major discount-snagging endorphins coming your way. Ends tonight! Link in bio.

A post shared by fitbit (@fitbit) on

Explaining the data

Over the years Fitbit’s sleek desktop dashboard has helped to provide consumers with an extra level of reassurance and knowledge to their workouts. Before Fitbit was around, there was very limited information available to consumers regarding their heartbeat and fitness levels, calories burnt during exercise, optimum points of the day when they have burnt the most calories all whilst tracking your daily steps. Fitbit empowered people to take ownership of their exercise.

This was a key strategy for the wearables brand and helped to cement Fitbit’s position as a giant in the fit-tech industry. By creating and building an environment where friends and family could compete against each other this let to an influx of fitness communities all around the globe. It became part of people’s fitness regime and the communities began to share and engage with each other over their results.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdvqIlBgzRl/

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A little sibling rivalry goes a long way to hitting those step goals. #NationalSiblingsDay

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BpxD_IHALiA/

Tactical partnerships

Fitbit took the decision to partner up with leading fitness and wellness businesses, realising that challenger brands in the industry could strengthen their position in the market. Fitbit could begin to target a larger demographic they wouldn’t have been able to reach.

They teamed up with Habit the world’s first complete personalised nutrition solution. Habit use Fitbit data to create tailored food recommendations and nutrition plans for consumers.

Another partnership was formed with Peloton, a company that makes peddling at home so realistic you’d think you were taking part in the Tour De France. The use of Fitbit data enabled Peloton customers to monitor their improvement and progress all in one app.

Fitbit’s data partnerships have resulted in a 37% growth of their active user community grew.

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Fitbit has partnered with three leading brands in the #health and #fitness market – VirZOOM, Peloton and Habit – to make it even easier for users to reach their personal fitness and #wellness goals!  #nutrition

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Branching out

Park realised they had to revamp the brand and find a new revenue away from the tough consumer market if they wanted to continue their growth, it was decided corporate wellness was the answer. Fitbit Care was designed to promote wellness, and improve disease management and prevention through health coaching, digital interventions and personalised care plans.

Health care costs pose a challenge to employers, so a platform that could help employees with conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease could turn out to be a great success for Fitbit.

The Fitbit Care launched in September, so it will be interesting to see if Fitbit’s latest move can help continue their success.

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The weekend is almost in sight, but it's important to look after yourself throughout the week too. Find the time to kick back and relax with some meditation using the Relax feature on your Fitbit. #SelfCare

A post shared by Fitbit UK & Ireland (@fitbituk_ireland) on

If you would like to find out more about our sport and fitness public relations services, or how we worked with some of the UK’s top sporting brands speak to a member of our team today.

Dominating the market: Fitbit

Over the past decade, the notion that health and technology doesn’t mix has been widely challenged. Healthtech is now a booming industry, set to continue its rapid expansion due to our ageing population. In fact, research by Deloitte has shown the UK market for digital health is expected to grow to almost £3bn this year alone.

With healthtech on the rise, a key aim for us at PHA has been helping our clients get in front of the right audience – be it care homes, hospitals, or everyday consumers.

One of our key clients in the healthtech space is Shift8*, the company bringing the Tovertafel™, or ‘The Magic Table™’ as it is commonly known, to the UK and Ireland. Tovertafel™ is a series of award-winning games from the Netherlands, aimed at those living with mid-to-late stage dementia. Working in tandem with Tovertafel™’s business goals, we devised a PR strategy which would ensure the product was at the forefront of healthtech debates, and ultimately, in front of the right audience.

Personal story

Working with the co-founder, John Ramsay, who had left his career at a corporate law firm to pursue this social enterprise, we were able to share his story across the mainstream press, using his personal story as a way to hook in key audiences and raise awareness of the amazing work they are doing.

healthtech - How to promote your tech gadget

Hijacking the news

Using key awareness dates, such as World Alzheimer’s Day in September, we hijacked the news agenda, raising awareness of the Tovertafel™ technology and putting its impact at the forefront of media conversations.

Hijacking the news Using key awareness dates, such as World Alzheimer’s Day in September, we hijacked the news agenda, raising awareness of the Tovertafel™ technology and putting its impact at the forefront of media conversations. Hijacking the news Using key awareness dates, such as World Alzheimer’s Day in September, we hijacked the news agenda, raising awareness of the Tovertafel™ technology and putting its impact at the forefront of media conversations.

The impact of visuals

As Tovertafel™ is an extremely visual product, we wanted to showcase this through the coverage we secured. We worked with the team to secure a bank of photography to ensure our coverage was bringing this to life.

Promoting your healthtech product Promoting your healthtech product

Media engagement

Inviting key journalists along to see the technology in action was also a key strand of activity, particularly as it is such a visual product, and one which sparks an emotional reaction for both the users and those who witness it in action.

Promoting your healthtech product Promoting your healthtech product

In almost a year, we’ve secured 65 pieces of coverage in the national, regional and trade press. Top national coverage included filming opportunities with BBC News, Sky News and London Live, as well as articles featured in The Daily Mail, The Spectator, HuffPost and GQ. A few pieces of top trade coverage included Saga, Care and Nursing Essentials and Retirement Matters.

 

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your healthtech product or service? Speak to a member of our award-winning technology team today.

Promoting your healthtech product

In today’s society, sport has arguably become more important to national pride and goodwill than anything else.

The feeling of euphoria across England while the football team excelled during this summer’s World Cup in Russia was reminiscent of London in 2012 during the Olympic Games. An atmosphere not matched by any political vote, business success or new reality show heartthrob…

With as much influence as our sporting prowess processes, it is unsurprising that the pressures on the athletes are increasing, striving for that extra half a per cent, which often is the difference between wholescale success and failure.

This increased focus in the past decade has coincided with the dramatic surge in technology innovation and investment. Over 1,000 apps are launched every day across the world, with even more gadgets and the next “must have” items flying off the shelves.

We at The PHA Group see first-hand the sheer amount of incredible tech developments and their new applications being produced by businesses across the globe. From PropTech to MedTech, a new dawn is upon us, FitTech.

It’s natural that the worlds of sport & fitness and technology have crossed paths to create the landscape we see today where innovation dramatically influences the way we watch, play, train and enjoy sport, with developments such as goal-line technology creating both front and back-page news.

From wearable tracking devices (leading brands include Garmin and Fitbit), personal-trainer-in-your-pocket apps (LDN Muscle & Madbarz are two of our favourites) to revolutionary injury prevention and curing accessories (Normatec & HyperIce’s Vyper 2 are both well worth checking out for those aches and pains), these gadgets and many others can dramatically affect the way we live our sport and fitness lives.

Each creation has the ability to give someone that little extra they need to achieve a new goal – whether it’s starting to exercise once a week, completing your eighth Ironman Triathlon or winning that first Olympic Gold; the insight and expertise provided by combining the great minds of fitness pioneers with technology developers can, has and will continue to transform the fitness landscape for the better.

With so many new tools and devices across each discipline, it is important that your brand receives the right media awareness and visibility it deserves. We are experts in putting your product or service in front of the right audience through a consistent and quality media campaign to help achieve your aims of helping athletes achieve theirs.

The race is on and FitTech is already strides ahead of the competition

One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to exercise more, which means gyms and fitness classes often see a spike in membership sales throughout January. But often by March these numbers decrease, with members deciding to cancel their fitness dreams, leaving business owners pondering the same question they were last year ‘How can we keep our members long-term’.

For many fitness centres maintaining a membership drive consistently throughout the year can be a challenge. With some strategic planning, the right tools, and a continued approach to member engagement the revenue inconsistency can become less of an issue.

Reach out

Are you contacting and keeping your customers updated with the latest news about the gym especially when New Year resolution gym enthusiasm begins to drop off? LA Fitness needed a new way to keep their members’ attendance up and previous methods of calling weren’t cutting it. They decided to create an email marketing campaign which targeted people whose memberships were close to expiring. LA Fitness created a friendly offer-based email, with a clear and simple message linking to the renewals page of the site. The results, LA Fitness received a significant boost in open rates from 20% to 33% and upped their renewals.

Gather and monitor member reviews

According to an article published by The Drum, as much as 93% of consumers let online reviews impact purchasing decisions. This can have an effect on sales and will inform prospective members about your gym’s services, staff, facility and culture when they’re searching for a new gym to join. Reviews don’t only build trust, but they also play a major role in SEO performance, which is how Google calculates where you sit on the search engine. Brands have begun to use trusted independent review platforms such as Feefo, which allows consumers the opportunity to give a more authentic review, meaning that as a business you can judge far better what your members are happy and unhappy with.

Member challenges

Think about offering individuals or group challenges to your members. Not only will you be motivating them to exercise, but you’ll be encouraging them to engage with other members at the same time. Pure Gym challenged its members in May l, to find out who could do the most repetitions of three bodyweight exercises in just 30 seconds. The winners from each gym received a free month gym membership.

  • Availability

News breaks out of nowhere and you are the guest booker for a show that goes on air in four hours. Your boss and executive producer have given you only a couple of hours to find the perfect expert and analyst to fill five minutes of airtime. You look at the list of “Go-To” guests you usually have on but all of them are travelling for work, skiing in Zermatt or at their daughter’s 18th birthday party. All you want is a solution and the perfect person who is happy to come in at 9 pm on a Friday. If you are the analyst or expert who can be called on at short notice to hop in a car to the studio, the producers will love you and the more appearances you can make the more positive PR for you and your company. 

  • Presentation

Are you TV ready? Being available and making it to the studio is half the battle but looking good when you go on air is the other half. Everyone wants to look and sound their best when they go on television so try and take pride in your appearance and have a tie, suit jacket or a dress in the office ready. Under the harsh studio lights and on the glossy set, it is always best to try and over-dress to mirror the anchor asking the questions who will be dressed to the nines. Oh, and don’t forget a blow-dry and make-up are always a good idea on arrival! 

  • Messaging

If you can get your foot in the door for that TV appearance and manage to lock in a prime-time studio interview, you have a brilliant platform to get your key messages across for your business. What brand messages do you want to communicate to the audience? Who is your audience? What can you say to get prospective clients and customers to pick up the phone or send that initial enquiry email? Going into a TV studio knowing what you want to say and who it is directed at is key.

  •  Avoid interview traps

We all know a car-crash TV appearance when we see one. Whether the guest doesn’t look relaxed, is not appropriately read in on the subject or simply comes across as rude, there are ways of making sure this doesn’t happen. Each interviewer will want the guest to put their best foot forward and deliver an engaging and interesting on-camera interview. The worst scenario for the anchor is to have a guest who doesn’t want to be there and must fill the airtime on their own.

  • Trust

It may not seem it from the output, but TV is a team game. From the anchor, to the producer running the show from the control room, to the guest booker setting up the interviews, the cameramen, the directors and the make-up artists, each person must do their job to make sure a show goes to air without fault. As a guest, you have to trust in those around you to do their jobs and of course your communications pros to brief you beforehand. If each cog turns as it is meant to, you will have an appearance that could move the bottom line!

Interested in hearing how you can improve getting your key messages across and dealing with those tricky questions? Speak to a member of our award-winning media training team today to find out how we can support you.

5 Tips for your TV appearance

At The PHA Group, we specialise in providing PR support for multiple mass participation events.

Most recently we have worked with a number of brands including UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) – the world’s largest and highest mixed martial arts promotion, as well as successfully launching the endurance event ToughMudder to the UK, and for the last four years, we have worked closely with the Royal Parks Half Marathon.

The 11th edition of the Royal Parks Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 14 October where we will see 16,000 runners go through four of London’s eight Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

It is still the only race of its kind that takes place in the major parks of central London, and whilst there have been some small changes to the route over the years, the race continues to celebrate London’s most iconic green landscapes.

In order to create as much noise as possible ahead of the event, and to ensure The Royal Parks Half Marathon is continually positioned as one of the most iconic events in London, we have worked tirelessly to deliver a successful communications campaign over the last four years. We’ve regularly delivered over 200 pieces of coverage around the race and employed excellent tactics to achieve our client’s objectives.

This year we have achieved over 80 pieces of coverage alone in outlets such as the Evening Standard, Women’s Health, Daily Express, Metro and Independent.co.uk.

Working with charity partners
The Royal Parks Half has remained focused on its charitable aims which is a credit too much of its success with their many charity partnerships. The race has now raised in excess of £36 million since 2008 for its participating charities. Working closely with the races charity partners, we have been very successful at placing runner case studies of individuals who are taking part in the event to raise money for their respective charities. Last year, we placed 40+ case studies for charities including GOSH, Cancer Research UK, Mind, and MacMillan. Helping to increase their fundraising efforts.

royal parks charityroyal parks charity 2royal parks charity 3

Maximising sponsorship opportunities
The Royal Parks Half Marathon work has different sponsors each year and we work closely with them to maximise coverage around the race. Whether that’s inviting journalists to do a gait analysis at Runners Need, to placing expert comment from coaches at TruBe, to announcing corporate sponsorship deals with Royal Bank of Canada, our campaigns always maximise opportunities.

Engaging with celebrities
Over the course of the last four years, we’ve had a number of celebrities take part in the race including TV personality Ben Fogle, Olympian Rebecca Adlington, actor Adam Woodyatt, radio presenter and DJ Chris Evans and TV presenters Jenni Falconer, Emily Maitlis and Jo Whiley.

Royal Parks - Mail online celeb

Media engagement
Every year we have secured attendance from at least 30+ journalists including London Evening Standard, Mail Online, Daily Express, Mirror Online, Metro, ITV London, The Telegraph, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health and Women’s Fitness have all taken part in the event in the last few years.

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We pride ourselves on delivering impactful, measurable campaigns for our clients and don’t stop working until the job is done. As a team, we are hugely passionate about sport and fitness and love what we do. You can expect that enthusiasm to shine through in every aspect of our work.

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your mass participation event? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can support your event.

How to promote your sporting event

As the obesity problem grows, so too does the weight loss market. From protein shakes and snacks to fitness regimes, weight loss retreats and calorie counting, the choices are endless. The industry has seen huge changes in recent years and there is now a multitude of choice for people wanting to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Changes don’t just include the diet itself, it’s also about the way companies can advertise their products and the channels they’re using. Brands now have to take into consideration an important target market, Millennials. An audience who is far more demanding and harder to capture and it’s not just about the before/after imagery anymore.

We look at some of the digital tools that will help your brand stand out.

Youtube

You might have noticed that food videos on Youtube are very popular. Take Tasty for example, Buzzfeed’s popular cooking brand, who deliver both comforting and healthy weeknight dinners for meat-lovers, vegetarians, and vegans alike. The videos are short and very easy to reproduce at home, with 10 million subscribers, and an average of 1M views per video. As a brand, it’s important to use channels and influencers to make sure you are recognised by a wider audience. Why not try and create some short and easy food recipe videos as well to showcase your products and give people some meal-spiration?

If you don’t know how to produce videos yourself, you can always partner with a YouTube influencer to show how to use your products. Take for example Joe Wicks, the famous Body Coach, who works with famous chefs to create some healthy foods or showcase his healthy snacks using different brands. Partnering with influencers like Joe, will help promote your products and show that healthy Gurus trust your brand.

Thought Leadership

There are some amazing opportunities to get an opinion out there across print and online media – from long-form bylines that give you the freedom to discuss your thoughts in detail, to short and snappy letters to editors that we can turn around within hours. The key thing to remember is to offer something interesting and authentic – grounded in your experience – and it must be relevant.

Before you begin producing content ask yourself these questions: who’s your target audience? What’s your place within the market? And where does your company’s skills sit? Once you answer all of these  questions, you will be able to start your campaign. Your thought leadership content could then be hosted on your website if you have a blog section, as well as LinkedIn using their blog platform, LinkedIn Pulse.

Podcast

Think about where your audience is and don’t be scared to try things that you’ve never done before. Podcasts can be a great way to approach those interested in wellness and weight loss as well as food. From creating your own podcast about wellness or diets to becoming a guest on a specialised show – the choice is all yours.

Remember this form of content is attracting a great audience. Be true to yourself. A podcast will help drive loyalty as it communicates how passionate you and the brand is. Podcasts are all about learning, it might take you a while to get it right. Don’t be scared to try new things, it isn’t a polished medium, but it is a truthful one and people really engage with that spontaneous feeling.

There are plenty of weight loss podcasts around, but a great example is “Smile there’s food” interviewed a Slimming World member called Emma. In this podcast you can hear about her reasons for joining Slimming World and how it’s helped her self-confidence. She also gives tips, recipes and how you too can become motivated to eat healthily. A great example of how brands can use podcasts to get a little bit of fame. Having some real feedback from someone could help people take the plunge and decide to join a program or start living a healthier life.

Pinterest:

With 200 million monthly users, Pinterest may not be a social media behemoth like Facebook, but it’s an important social platform with deep penetration in valuable demographics. Half of U.S. millennials use Pinterest, for instance. Behind those snazzy pics are everything including killer healthy recipes, fitness tips, motivational quotes, and workout ideas. All you need to do is create eye-catching assets such as infographics, food photos or short videos to get people to save your pin and visit your website to learn more. Pinterest has proven very efficient in converting people. Below are some examples that we think work well:

Deli snack box - Weight loss: Surfing on the digital wave

Using attractive visuals as well as ingredients lists is a great way to show how to easily get your snack box ready in just one image.

Diet tips - Weight loss: Surfing on the digital wave

Mixing simple tips and catchy designs.

Healthy tips - Weight loss: Surfing on the digital wave

Food tips, using good looking food as well as interesting content will make you ready to click on the link to know more

An important thing to remember is to always make sure the mediums you’re using are aligned with your strategy. Make sure you create some interesting content to help promote your brand and its values

Do you need help building your PR strategy? Make sure you get in touch with our team of experts who will be happy to discuss your strategy further

Weight loss: Surfing on the digital wave