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From the Blog

Our services: public relations

01. 08. 2023

Our services: public relations

Public relations (PR) is the bedrock of what Clearbox does for its clients.

Whether it’s launching a new product, hosting a press conference, managing a press office or creating a campaign to catch the eye of the media, our specialism in PR has been grown from decades of industry experience, working for some of the biggest brands not only in Ireland and Northern Ireland, but around the world.

We are highly experienced in all PR disciplines and our team currently works with clients and on campaigns in the UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland and in countries like the US and Sweden.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the PR services we provide for our clients.

Media relations

This is the process of linking brands and organisations with the media. We monitor the news every day, looking for opportunities for our clients to provide commentary on trends, breaking stories and industry issues. Having a good media relations process is essential to maintaining visibility for brands and organisations in the media. It’s also the best way to make sure content we’re sharing with the media is relevant to them. At Clearbox, we have a craft approach to everything we do, and this includes media relations.

Everything we do is highly targeted and tailored to each journalist or influencer we work with. We don’t do the spray and pray method – that’s when agencies send a press release to a huge, out of date and irrelevant list of contacts. Not our vibe.

The media we’re in contact with daily spans the UK and Ireland – from local media here in Belfast and national publications in Dublin to regional titles across the UK. We know what’s being written about, and who’s doing the writing.

This is something we’ve done for 10 years with brands like Amazon, Room, 3EN, Synergy Learning, Morelli’s Ice Cream, Kraken Black Spiced Rum and Oatly.

Crisis management

We hope our clients never face a crisis, but if they do, we’re well equipped to help them navigate negative issues with the media.

We are vastly experienced at dealing with negative news cycles, product recalls, disaster response and more. Our team has the expertise to guide clients through issues in the media through a clear and concise process that quickly addresses issues of all shapes and sizes. We also offer a 24/7 on call service with our senior team to any clients who are experiencing difficulties with the media.

From fielding media calls to drafting and issuing statements, we’ve been involved at every stage of the crisis management process, including intervening at board level to help guide brands and organisations away from issues that will negatively impact them or their customers/stakeholders in the media.

Communications strategy

We develop strategies for clients to make their communications more effective. Communications doesn’t just cover the media – it’s also important to focus on how organisations communicate with their employees, key stakeholders, communities and social platforms.

We create communications strategies that build consistent key messages across each touchpoint, ensuring consistent tone of voice regardless of the platform. We’re also experts in engaging staff in organisations of all shapes and sizes – from global to local. This includes everything from communicating their news internally to creating platforms for employees to share good news and learn about company initiatives.

As part of our strategic planning, we also work with clients to create and define their key messages. We do this through a series of workshops that engage employees to tell us what their business means to them, and then we build messaging around that.

Creative campaigns

While process and consistency are the bedrock of any PR campaign, there’s also room to have a little fun. Our team has been responsible for many creative, award-winning campaigns in the last 10 years for brands like Amazon, Universal Pictures, Morelli’s Ice Cream, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Sony and more.

Our approach to creating news is always research-based. We don’t think about what will make a good headline – we carry out research among the client’s target audiences and tailor our creative campaigns to what will engage them.

Press office management

This service is used predominantly by clients who don’t have large in-house teams. We provide a press office team for them, acting as a first point of contact for the media. We do this on a proactive and reactive basis.

From a reactive perspective, we have a simple process that involves setting up a dedicated phone number and email address where journalists can reach us. We take press enquiries and draft responses to any media queries, which are approved by our clients before being sent to the press. This service is available round the clock to our clients who use it and there’s always one member of our team on call.

From a proactive perspective, we create a steady stream of content for the media to keep our clients front of mind for journalists. This can include everything from turning a spreadsheet of sales data into a trend story and creating news around calendar events to securing comment opportunities for experts and profiling community and employee milestones.

This part of our work generates in excess of 1,000 targeted, high quality media clips per year for our clients.

New market launches

We support clients who are launching in new markets. Typically, our work in this area involves launching a market-leading brand from another country in the UK and Ireland. We create region-specific media materials, photography and launch plans, while also briefing c-suite leaders ahead of media interviews or press conferences.

In the last two years alone, we’ve worked with clients from the US, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland to launch in the UK and Ireland. Clients we’ve worked with in this space include Toast, Room, Tomorrow’s Education and Neptune Software.

Global and European communications toolkits

When a campaign is a roaring success in one country, brands will sometimes roll that campaign out in other markets. That’s where a communications toolkit comes in. The nucleus of the idea should work across different territories, but it’s important to be aware of cultural or political differences that could impact the idea’s success in another country.

We work with clients to create toolkits that provide guidance on campaigns on stories, with advice on regional differences to ensure the work is successful. For example, we’ve worked with an alcohol brand in the past on a global toolkit which involved a UK-based idea being rolled out around the world. The toolkit, created by Clearbox, featured key messages, brand assets and guidelines that were then adapted locally in each market to make sure they were relevant to local audiences. Toolkits aren’t solely for communications campaigns – it also works well when it comes to recreating events in different markets.

Q&A documents

Last, but by no means least, is the Q&A document. This is something the Clearbox PR team works on a lot. Before a media interview or new product launch, we will work with our clients to create a book of questions and answers for senior spokespeople. This acts as a source of information for any questions a spokesperson might get from the media, during a social announcement, from a stakeholder and more.

Q&A documents are created well in advance of any news being released to ensure the information being provided during a campaign launch or media briefing is accurate and up to date.

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