This year we took to the waters and skippered our own boat down the River Thames in Oxford. Heading out from the Salter’s Steamers jetty we cruised down the Thames past some of Oxford’s best known sights to the beautiful Port Meadow. A slightly tricky lock ensured we were kept on our toes but we enjoyed an otherwise leisurely journey compete with homemade cake from our resident baker Siobhan, and lots of laughter.
After mooring up, slightly soggy, we headed into Oxford to the spectacular Dining Room at the top of the Ashmolean museum. It’s an amazing space – with a very modern feel in such an historic building. The food was delicious and the view from the terrace was stunning – highly recommended if you’re ever in the area. All in all a great day out!
By Annabel 24th May 2013]]>
For the first time this year, the PRCA have created a new breed of countrywide PR awards ceremonies which in their words “aim to bring a more senior level of appraisal than previously seen at regional PR Awards.”
Categories and clients we have been shortlisted for include:
As always with these awards is great to receive industry recognition for our work…which in relation to all of these entries is testament to the collaborative approach that we have with our clients and all the hard work paying off from the teams.
By Sian 21st May 2013]]>
Charlotte and Jo have joined the team as we continue to grow and expand, and bring with them a huge amount of experience in the PR industry.
What were you doing before you joined CubanEight?
Charlotte: I ran my own PR agency in London for 11 years and then I decided to give myself a gap year
Jo: I was an Account Director at London agency Kilpatrick PR
Best PR achievement ever?
Charlotte: The one that stands out was getting the new Walkers Crisps ad previewed on News at Ten. Unfortunately the client started to think that was normal.
Jo: Getting the cover and a 3 page feature on my client in FT How To Spend It Magazine – my heart still beats faster every time I think about it!
What are you most excited about in your new role?
Charlotte: Learning new things, particularly about new sectors and industries
Jo: A new challenge, a new direction and combining my approach with Cuban Eight’s – to hopefully create some great campaigns!
Favourite campaign you have ever worked on?
Charlotte: There have been many, but most recently it would be the campaign I ran to launch Sharwood’s Kashmiri Chilli chutney – we persuaded Joanna Lumley to put her name to the product and gave profits from each bottle to the Gurkha Welfare Trust. At the risk of sounding like a gushing school girl, Joanna Lumley was easily the nicest celeb I have ever worked with. She was contracted to do a couple of magazine interviews at the launch and in the end did over 20. She phoned the next day to thank us for organising such a great event – a lesson in charm!
Jo: Too many to say, as a fashion and beauty addict I have had the luck to work on countless amazing brands… John Smedley is very close to my heart as we did a huge amount of brand progression work with them
What area of the industry are you most excited about at the moment?
Charlotte: All the new ways to get good stories out there
Jo: I am continually impressed with the growth of digital media and wonder what its future will hold
And finally, so we all know, how do you take your tea?
Charlotte: Well stewed, lots of milk, no sugar – I don’t know the pantone reference but American Tan is probably quite close
Jo: Milk (skimmed please!) and no sugar, thank you…
By Annabel April 2013]]>
Here in the CubanEight office we all love good food, so we decided to set up our own lunch club. Every Monday one member of the team cooks up a feast for the rest of us. This means a load of free lunches, plus endless lunch time inspiration from our colleagues.
So, in the spirit of foodie bloggers we thought we’d share a round-up of the first few lunches this year…
Annabel’s rice salad with feta, apricots and rocket
I went for a cold rice salad with a mixture of brown rice and risotto rice, topped with a dressing made of balsamic vinegar, and added feta cheese, sunflower seeds, apricots and rocket.
Siobhan’s gluten free pasta salad with home-made bread and chocolate brownies
Siobhan impressed up all with her delicious pasta salad with chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes and feta along with possibly the nicest bread I have ever eaten – a home-made sundried tomato loaf. Plus she really spoiled up with chocolate brownies – perfect with an afternoon cup of tea!
Sian’s spicy veggie soup
Sian whipped up a divine spicy veggie soup with butternut squash, carrots, celery and lots of other healthy goodness. It was set of with cardamom and coriander seeds which gave it a perfect spicy kick. Full recipe available here: http://www3.sainsburys.co.uk/littleones/pregnant-mums/recipes/item/spiced-sweet-potato-and-lentil-soup
Rachel B’s spinach, feta and sweet potato frittata
A lovely low-carb lunch which came with a green bean and garlic salad. I loved the combination of chunks of feta with tasty veggies.
Can’t wait for next week!
By Annabel 8th April 2013]]>
For our take on the story read Annabel’s guest post over on the B2B PR Blog – http://b2bprblog.com/blog/2013/04/an-app-ealing-take-on-the-acquisition-story-summly-and-yahoo
By Annabel 2nd April 2013]]>
The evening started well, with CubanEight’s First Utility team scooping the silver award for Best Use of Media Relations for our campaign entitled ‘David takes on Goliath in energy debate’, a campaign which saw the UK’s largest independent energy company challenge the lack of competition in the UK’s energy market.
Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky in the Corporate and Business Communications and Outstanding Young Communicator categories, but we finished the evening on a high, scooping one of the most prestigious awards of the evening as we were named Outstanding Small Consultancy for the second year running!
The CIPR noted, “CubanEight is clearly an ambitious and hard-working agency that dares to think big. It is good to see their strategic approach is balanced with tangible deliverables and a lot of great coverage. This was a well-presented entry, with a great example of a campaign they are proud of.”
Add to this the excitement over the fabulously indulgent dessert and, all in all, a great evening was had by all. Our thanks go to the CIPR for organising such a great event.
By Annabel November 2012]]>
The case study piece showcased our current campaign which was launched earlier this year to raise the DSA’s profile and modernise perceptions of the UK’s direct selling industry whilst supporting the Association’s member recruitment and retention strategy.
Using the DSA’s latest data and through leveraging various ‘bigger picture’ news topics such as an increasing focus on entrepreneurialism and the challenge of the traditional jobs market, the campaign uses a variety of stories in order to appeal to a broad range of media. Another key success factor is the use of the DSA’s ‘virtual PR group’, through which we’re able to gather numerous case studies and opinions from the Association’s members, providing the press with relevant information and spokespeople. This allows us to highlight key trends in the industry such as the growing number of people joining the industry through the recession as well as specific trends such as growth in over 50s and men within the sector.
The campaign has achieved more than 100 pieces of coverage to date, including articles in The Financial Times, the Sun and on BBC Breakfast, all prompting improvement in key metrics such as the DSA’s web traffic, which increased by 92 per cent, demonstrating the campaign’s successful delivery of its objectives with clear, tangible results. Watch this space for more on this campaign over the coming months!
By Rachel, 9th November 2012]]>
Many of you may have noticed changes to the business news on ITV recently, with both Laura and Richard joining the team in the past year, they describe it as a new era for the company. One significant change has been the developments to the online site, which launched in March. It has now achieved triple digit growth, with a third of readers now accessing the site via mobile devices.
It is not only the public accessing information through mobile and social networks though. Laura described the developments she has seen on twitter, having joined up to the service in 2009. Her account has now developed and she often uses it to reach out to businesses and the public to develop stories, even commenting that many journalists keep an eye on twitter as opposed to the newswires.
Laura and Richard can be found on Twitter @ITVLauraK and @ITVRichard – I know Richard is keen to challenge Laura’s 80,000 followers, so let’s help him out!
By Siobhan, 27th September 2012]]>
The PRCA Awards are open to all UK PR consultancies and in-house teams, recognising best practice in campaign work, PR teams and individuals. The category we have been shortlisted in is open to all UK agencies with a fee income below £1 million.
Our entry focused on the company’s growth over the last twelve months, which took place both through expansion of our existing client work and a number of new business wins.
CubanEight is shortlisted alongside five other agencies and the winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton on 13th November. Fingers crossed!
By Rachel, 26th September 2012]]>
Advertising value equivalent (AVE), long seen as one of the key quantitative metrics in PR is becoming increasingly disregarded by the industry. AVEs worked for a long time because they provided a metric that was generally easy to calculate and provided a monetary figure that could be easily understood, and perhaps most importantly, spoke in a language that resonated with the Board.
But the fundamental problem, and the reason that AVE is no longer quite so popular, is that it doesn’t reflect the real value of PR efforts. Put simply, PR isn’t advertising, and therefore can’t be measured as such. Securing editorial in a magazine is completely different to paying to place an advertisement; PR is independent endorsement, whereas an ad is a direct message to the consumer about that brand from the company itself. Plus AVEs work on rate card rates, which as anyone who works in media buying will tell you, nobody pays.
In addition, AVE has no bearing on the sentiment, strength of feeling, key messages or tone of voice, all critical elements to the value of a piece of PR coverage. Furthermore, what an AVE could never hope to measure is the value of PR in crisis situations, or when a communication team prevents or reduces the impact of potentially negative coverage.
Plus, we’re now in a world where PR is increasingly about digital and social activity as well as ‘traditional’ media relations. Social media is more about conversation and engagement rather than broadcast – how can AVE measure the value or impact of likes, trending topics or blog mentions?
Post-AVE, we’re seeing a number of new measurement metrics that can help us to measure activity, outputs and outcomes. We’re using a variety of methods at CubanEight, depending on client needs and objectives. These include measuring the correlation of website traffic against press coverage, identifying tier ‘A’ media targets and influencers and agreeing with clients a percentage of coverage in this target group, share of voice, measuring reach and opportunities to see, and recording key messages and sentiment.
It’s a fascinating area, and really interesting to see what methods the industry is implementing at the moment, and also how measurement will evolve in the future. A great idea we heard about recently was a point scoring system for each piece of coverage incorporating a scoring system for criteria such as size, publication, sentiment, key messages and images.
What is critical however is that any methods for measurements are personalised and tailored to individual campaigns and clients. AVE didn’t work because it assumed all PR coverage was of the same value, so it’s vital that any new metrics are tailored to individual campaign objectives, whatever they may be.
By Annabel September 2013]]>