When it comes to content, size matters

May 1 2019

In today’s digital world, small is beautiful. Information is delivered in nuggets and bullets, listicles and soundbites, and tweets and snaps. Notifications buzz on our devices and divert us long enough to click and perhaps even like. But what if that moment of communication is just that… a superficial moment? Can bite-size content really do the job if we want to deliver authoritative and nuanced information? Read more…

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The “Final Four” Tips for Business PR

Apr 8 2019

Whether you’re a lifelong college basketball fan or just looking to test your luck with some friendly office competition, March Madness is an exciting change-up to your daily routine. We’ve seen some unexpected upsets this year heading into the ‘Final Four,’ and I can’t help but think about how each team’s journey to reach this point reflects startups rise to the top within their industries.

While we’re in the spirit of the game, here’s a look at how PR can help businesses go from an unknown to a thriving team to reckon with in the media. Read more…

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Will your firm encourage gender equality after March?

Mar 27 2019

As women’s history month winds down in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere around the world, it’s a good time to reflect on the diversity efforts in your organization. Many companies will take advantage of the broader, even popular, recognition of the month to put in place activities, events, presentations and communications to highlight the accomplishments of women in their organization. Many take it a step further and host programs for girls, encouraging the next generation to dream as big as they wish and find early professional support. Read more…

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Full-time work and grad school: It’s possible!

Feb 11 2019

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

If you’re fortunate enough to work for an employer that genuinely encourages your professional and academic growth – take advantage of it! The business world is constantly evolving as new technologies and industries disrupt the workforce. In order to survive and thrive professionally, it’s vital to continue learning and expanding your capabilities. Taking classes to learn a new skill, obtain a certificate, or even earn a higher degree will make you more valuable to your employer and clients. According to a research study by the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of job openings will require postsecondary education or training by 2020.

With encouragement and support from the entire Paragon team, I recently began a 24-month MBA program at Montclair State University. As the new semester begins, I would like to share some tips to successfully balance graduate school and working full-time. Read more…

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A blast from the past: Nostalgia marketing is taking us back to the future

Jan 30 2019

My wife is not a fan of washing up, but for a few short weeks, she simply couldn’t resist standing at the kitchen sink, pulling on the Marigolds and plunging her hands into the hot bubbly water. Then, Procter & Gamble stopped producing its limited edition “vintage” bottle of Fairy Liquid – a white cylinder with green and red branding – and sadly, normal service resumed.

On the local high street, a new supermarket opened for business. With a new but very old logo. Intriguingly, after a root and review of its branding, the Co-operative Group has returned to the logo that adorned its stores half a century ago. Graphically, it’s fantastic – a blend of funky typography and minimalism – but it also elicits an emotional response. I almost felt like a boy again, off to buy some R White’s lemonade and a bag of Golden Wonder salt ‘n’ vinegar crisps.

Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool. It can encourage us all to remember our rose-tinted pasts and to bathe in the warm glow of the good old days when the world was simpler and the sun always shone. It creates an emotional connection between brand and consumer. And it’s beguilingly effective. A simple change in a product’s packaging can turn a daily chore like washing up – into a moment of pleasure. It can make supermarket shopping feel like a trip down memory lane. Read more…

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Who are you?

Who am I?
Jan 9 2019

FT writer Laura Noonan does a great job pointing out the culture shock that many (most?) former bankers face when joining a startup. In her article yesterday, she also mentions how the change spotlights any fissures or weaknesses in an executive’s personality as, in effect, the safety net is pulled away. While I am sure these executives – a number of whom are our clients – have spent a lot of time thinking over this, have they put as much effort into isolating the true purpose and personality of their new firm? If not, it could prove costly.

Read more…

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Brand activism – is it the future?

Nov 27 2018

How political should a company or brand be in today’s post-truth world? After backing American footballer Colin Kaepernick, who famously knelt during the national anthem before a game as a protest against racial injustice, Nike has no doubt. “Believe in something,” demands the latest version of its long-running ‘Just Do It’ campaign. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Read more…

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It’s time to think again!

Oct 24 2018

The next time someone tells me they are “thinking outside the box”, it may be more than I can do to stop myself from screaming. It’s (oxy)moronic, as are so many phrases that are intended to convey creative thinking. Most of the time, I would put “thought leadership” in this category. A good example of this was a fintech firm (I will spare them their blushes), which posted a sponsored article last week about their office expansion in Asia Pacific and then claimed it to be a “thought leadership” piece. Say no more. Read more…

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The Ryder Cup – a sporting and marketing phenomenon

Sep 27 2018

(Image: GETTY)

The four annual golf majors are fantastic sporting occasions but the Ryder Cup, which takes place at Le Golf National in France this weekend, is bigger and better, attracting millions of golf fans, sports fans and even non-fans. The three-day event dominates the headlines – both news and sports – and sends social media into a frenzy of sharing. For a competition that was once only supported by a few die-hards, it is a remarkable renaissance. What lessons can we learn from the success of this iconic contest?

Read more…

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What a 96-year Old Taught Us About Communication

Sep 20 2018

Denis Norden, left, and Frank Muir in their office in the 1950s writing scripts for the radio show Take It from Here. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Denis Norden, who died on September 19, 2018, was one of the UK’s most beloved comedic writers and broadcasters. He also lived a long and happy life that encompassed the ‘golden years’ of British broadcasting. One of his great skills was his ability to connect with his audience, which is where we can all start to pay attention.

Many efforts at communication today rely on sending out large amounts of information and hoping some of it will stick. Far less time is spent trying to actually engage – or empathise with – the audience. Most PR agencies will be guilty of this at one time or another, usually under the guise of ‘thought leadership’, a label that many reporters despise.

Read more…

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