Today we wrap up the Magnificent U.K. Seven series by talking with Timothy Gibbons, entrepreneur and public relations specialist, and Simon Bailey, a copywriter.
Seizing PR Opportunities
Tim Gibbons recently founded Elemental PR after serving as a public relations manager at an Internet marketing agency. Elemental PR offers online and offline digital PR and marketing communications services. Current clients include e-command, Planeteria, and Huntahead.
Tim started his own PR business after growing frustrated with fighting all the red tape at the big companies. “I saw far too many amazing opportunities slip through my fingers,” he said, “because communications were being run through too many chains of management before any decisions could be made.” He’s learned a lot and has some tips to share.
PR Tips That Get You Going in the U.K.
- Build lasting relationships. Everyone says this, but how do you actually go about doing it? Quality is key: Give media professionals information that’s relevant to them, information they can actually use.
- Turn current PR practices on their head.
- “Rather than chasing media professionals and initiating pointless communications, we will have them contact us.”
- Provide strategies that address a client’s core issues.
- “We blend traditional and evolving technologies and practices that interact with clients on a personal, one-to-one basis.”
- Be honest.
- “If we think the client is doing great, then we will tell them so, but we aren’t afraid of saying when things are not going so great.”
- Keep your finger on the customer’s pulse.
- Don’t lose touch with the customer or lose sight of the direction in which the business is developing. In Elemental PR’s case, this goal is supported by a thirst for research and development.Savvy Words From the Writer
It takes a master communicator to set the record straight on doing business in the U.K. Meet Simon Bailey, a commercial writer who specializes in copywriting, Web site content, business articles, reports, advertorials, press releases, and more.
Simon immediately points out cultural differences between the British and the Americans. “Americans are great entrepreneurs,” he says. “They will see opportunity wherever they look, and if profits don’t come quickly, they will pull out and try something else. The British, on the other hand, are in it for the long term. If they like your attitude and if they see your heart is in the right place, they’ll buy from you, sometimes even at a higher price.”
So all Americans need to do to set up their winning email marketing campaign in the U.K. is find the right partner and show a little sincerity in their dealings?
Not so fast, Simon says. There’s a lot more to winning over the Brits than just that.
What It Takes to Win in the U.K.
- Do your research. It’s the key to avoiding expensive mistakes later on.
- Realize the British value trust over low prices.
- “If you can supply value with trustworthiness, then you probably have a winning formula for success.”
- Pay attention to attitude.
- “Some things work the same as in the U.S.A., but your attitude is a key factor that determines whether you succeed or fail in the U.K. market.”
- Team up with another company.
- “Even taking them over will gain you acceptance, but don’t do it aggressively. Be low-key and sincere rather than bold, brash, and in-your-face.”
- Build trust.
- “Starting an e-zine that offers useful information on a timely basis is a great way to build trust.”Whether it’s learning about the culture, establishing trust, or just taking that first step toward doing business in the U.K., I hope our featured specialists have provided you with a good starting point for launching your email marketing campaign in the U.K. If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to email the cast or me. Until we meet again, happy cybertrails.