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Coverage Cup round up w/c 8 September 2014

Coverage cupWelcome to this week’s Coverage Cup round up! Smartphone security was at the top of the agenda this week with SRD Wireless commenting on the potential security risks of iOS 8 and the ICO’s report into how mobile applications are using data. Meanwhile the Elsevier team successfully placed an opinion piece on the science behind geoscience decisions with Hart E&P. In addition, it was great to see Changepoint included in a Times feature on the subject of project management.  

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Securing an Interview in PR – Advice from a University Graduate

jobGraduates tend to think that the degree you get at University dictates the industry you get into. Speaking as someone with a degree in Television and Broadcasting, I can definitely vouch against that! I made my mind up in my third year of University that I wanted to go into PR and since then, I’ve learnt a thing or two about the application process…


Do your research

The first bit of advice is ‘Do your research’. Find out about different companies in the area of PR you want to get into. Think of it like shopping for a contract phone; you wouldn’t just get the first one you see and be happy with it, would you? Each company has its own way of operating and it’s important that you look into these and find what’s best for you – it’s a career, not a job so you’d better be sure you’re going to enjoy it!


CV’s are important because they’re the first impression that an employer will have. Writing a CV for a job in PR is different to the standard ‘apply for anything’ CV filled with every bit of experience you’ve had since you were 5. Make it look stylish and tailor the CV to the company based on the job listing (if there is one) whilst trying to make your personality and interests come across. It’ll help the employer decide not only if you’re good for the role but, put bluntly, whether they’d want to work with you for an extended period of time!

There’s one word that sends shudders down the spine of every graduate – “experience”. These days it’s more about experience than qualifications alone, which is both a blessing and a curse. Most jobs say they want someone with experience but how’re you supposed to get experience if you can’t get a job? It’s a vicious cycle! One option is (usually unpaid) internships – I did a short internship at a tech start-up, which was helpful on my CV as well as giving me a taste of what the PR world is like.

It doesn’t have to be directly related as experience can come in other forms – I run a technology blog in my spare time and that was a major factor in getting interviews in tech PR. Why? Because they could see that I had a passion for technology and was a place to showcase my writing skills. You can say what you’re good at on your CV until you’re blue in the face but it’s always better to back it up with evidence!


In my experience, I researched PR companies and contacted them myself instead of going down the recruitment agency route. This will make you stand out to a lot of employers because you’ve personally sought them out and shows that you’re committed to getting a job in PR. The email can be pretty daunting as it’s the first contact that you’ll have with your potential employer and first impressions count! The most difficult thing is to try and get the right combination of being formal while still letting your personality come through. Stilted emails are a one way ticket to the recycling bin and mass emailing should be something you avoid like the plague!

The aim of the email is to get the employer interested without revealing everything about you. Keep it to the point and tease them (figuratively of course), make them want to see more of what you have to offer! Include the strongest points about why you believe you’d be an asset to their company and try to tie your reasoning in with what the company are looking for. Remember, the likelihood is that they’re getting a lot of very similar emails so you need to make it memorable enough that they want to look at your CV. 

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The importance of a tight PR sell-in process

phone-148955_1280Critical to the success of any PR announcement is a tight and persistent sell-in process.  Despite what journalists profess, unless you have a tight sell-in and follow-up process, you aren’t going to get the desired results [jumps back to avoid objects thrown at her].  It simply isn’t enough to just email an announcement to a press list and expect it to get great coverage.  Now I am not talking about the understandably hated ‘have you got my press release’ but I am talking about calling a journalist more than once to run through the news, including why it is significant and what the story is.  

So, our top tips for a tight sell-in process are as follows:

Draw angles out – Whether it is about creating news or drawing news out of a client story, it is the PR agency’s role to ensure that the angle is clear to journalists. For instance, Elastichosts was launching new container-based cloud infrastructure as a service, which would enable usage billing. Spark did a messaging session to draw out the benefits and angles.  Following the initial launch, Spark developed a media alert looking at how much is wasted each year by companies on underused cloud capacity; by using statistics we were able to get more in-depth coverage in top-tier media such as Cloud Pro and ZDNet, which helped drive further demand for the product.

Pre-selling announcements – By pre-selling announcements we enable journalists to prepare and cover the news ahead of the official time, which means you can target a wider pool of journalists. This approach enabled us to secure comprehensive enterprise IT press for HCL’s SAP cloud research, including Computer Weekly and ComputerworldUK.

Tailoring the news – With any announcement it is critical to tailor news to individual publications and their readerships, both to provide relevant news and also to ensure that you secure increased levels of coverage.

Thorough press list – A really thorough target press list is also very important, for instance, ensuring that relevant IT media, nationals, verticals and freelancers are all included on any list. This helped in securing two rounds of press coverage for an FOI request to the police forces looking at crime figures for ViaSat and meant we got pieces in Daily Telegraph as well as The Register.

Persistence – Ultimately the success of any announcement is tightly linked with the persistence of the team continuing to speak with journalists until coverage appears.

We don’t just treat client news as a way to hit our coverage targets, by leaving no stone unturned we’ve achieved excellent instead of simply good coverage for our clients.

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Coverage Cup round up w/c 1 September 2014

Coverage cupLast week saw coverage across a wide range of different media, from IT to retail to travel. The ElasticHosts team launched a research study last week, which looks at CIOs attitudes towards the service they receive from cloud providers, this resulted in top-tier coverage in the likes of ZDNet, Computing and ComputerworldUK. Elsewhere, the Compuware team placed an opinion piece with Information Age on the influence DevOps will have on the future of IT, while the iPass team secured an opinion article on Travolution on the importance of connectivity services for the modern business traveller. Below is a selection of the best coverage from the last 7 days:

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Coverage Cup round up w/c 25 August 2014

Coverage cupWelcome to this week’s Coverage Cup round up! The ViaSat UK team began the week with a news hijack on the Ministry of Justice’s fine from the ICO which resulted in coverage in Computing and Computer Weekly. In addition, there were a number of successful byline placements across several accounts – the Compuware team placed a Mainframe opinion piece on the EU Data Protection Directive with ITProPortal, while the JDA team secured an article on the challenges posed by the rise of online shopping and the convergence of digital and physical supply chains with Retail Technology. Below is a selection of some of last week’s highlights:

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