RKH Deliver Easter Eggs To All At LOROS

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With Easter bank holiday weekend on the horizon we wanted to do something a little special for LOROS, our charity of the year. So the whole RKH team set out to clear the chocolate egg aisles of local supermarkets and help patients and nurses get into the Easter spirit.

Steph, Katie M, and Alanta delivered 240 Easter eggs in total to Magda Korytkowska, Partnership Development Lead, and the team at the Groby Road hospice. Such a huge number of eggs meant there was enough for all of the day-therapy patients, those on the ward, and the nurses; with a number also left over for children who will be visiting relatives across the Easter weekend.

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Magda told us “It means so much to the patients. A little surprise treat can make such a big difference and really help to brighten their day.”.

If you’d like to find out more about LOROS and how you can offer your support, head over to their donation page or take a look at the ways you can get involved this year.

The benefits of SEO and why you still need to be investing in it

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What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a complex process that encapsulates an ever expanding range of skills and techniques. Increasingly, it also has deeper crossovers into web development, content marketing, user experience and other marketing channels.

That makes it very tricky to give a simple definition, but essentially SEO is the link between web development and content and the search engines and their users. Its aim is to increase visibility, traffic and conversions, primarily from organic traffic sources.

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As SEO has matured as a marketing discipline, the list of activities and responsibilities under the umbrella of SEO has not only grown but also increased in complexity too. Gone are the days of simply stuffing keywords into the page content and building a handful of directory or blog network links.

It’s no longer about trying to trick search engines, or finding loopholes in their algorithms to exploit. SEO today is about proactively marketing your website and adding value for both users and search engines. This means it needs to be far more strategic, creative and considered in its approach. However, when done effectively, the benefits of search optimisation can have a significant positive impact for a business.

Is SEO still relevant in 2019?

Barely a week goes by without someone declaring the death of SEO as a marketing channel. So far though no one has proven themself to be the Nostradamus they believe, and SEO is still very much thriving as a marketing channel. It has continued to grow in importance as search engines have evolved, with new search results page features offering even more opportunities for increased organic exposure.

Local packs, knowledge panels and news features are now commonplace for a large variety of searches these days. And the emergence of featured snippets has given rise to a whole new SEO battle ground. We’re also only just beginning to see how voice search and home assistant devices could change the search landscape. All of these evolutions offer the chance to increase organic visibility and drive more targeted traffic.

Although search engines, and Google in particular, continue to increase the number of adverts they display and give them greater prominence on search results pages, users still have an inherent distrust of ads, and especially those from brands they don’t recognise. As long as search engines serve organic results, and users continue to prefer to click on these rather than paid ads, then SEO will remain worthy of investment.

The Benefits of SEO

Due to the complexity and often technical nature of SEO, it can be difficult to understand why time and resources need to be dedicated to certain aspects of the project, and what activities will have the greatest impact. There’s always the barrier of SEO generally not having an instant impact too. However, with the right strategy, exceptional implementation and given time, there are many benefits to SEO.

1. SEO gets more clicks than PPC

A recent study by SparkToro showed that in the UK, more than 32% of all searches on a mobile device saw a user click on an organic result, whilst just under 11% of users clicked on a paid result. On a desktop device, the clicks on organic results jump up to over 61%, with paid results receiving less than 7%.

Given the increase in the number of ads that are being displayed both above and below organic results, this data reinforces the belief that users still have a distrust of ads and choose to seek out organic results. If organic results are where users are clicking, that’s where you want to feature. It’s not to say pay-per-click ads don’t have their place in a digital strategy, but if you’re relying on these you’re missing out on a huge proportion of user clicks.

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2. The top organic results get most of the clicks

Figures for click-through rates on organic results by position vary greatly depending on the search intent, the features that appear on the search results pages and device type. However, recent studies from Advanced Web Solutions have shown that on average, 71% of all Google searches saw a user click on an organic result on page one, with the top five positions accounting for more than 60% of all clicks.

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With such a high proportion of clicks going to organic results, and the majority of those clicking on a result in the top five, businesses occupying those spots are reaping huge benefits from investing in the SEO campaigns that have helped to deliver this visibility.

3. Lower cost and better ROI in comparison to PPC

SEO generally delivers better ROI compared to PPC, especially if you’re engaging an agency to manage these channels for you. PPC is a pay to play environment and cost-per-click prices are continually rising, driving up ad spend budgets and offering a lower return on investment. Add in a management fee on top and some businesses are now being priced out of PPC as they’re unable to return a profit with this channel.

SEO, whilst not necessarily cheap, generally offers a better ROI. Investment in an agency or team is still needed, but there is no additional ad spend on top. Additionally, organic results tend not to wildly fluctuate day to day. This means that if you hold one of those top organic spots for relevant searches, that result is shown to users around the clock day after day. With PPC, budgets often don’t allow for your ads to be shown throughout the day, meaning you miss out on potential business.

4. SEO delivers long-term results

With PPC, your ads may be given greater prominence, but once your budget hits zero so does your search visibility. That is unless you also have an organic presence. SEO may take time to deliver this same level of visibility, and PPC can be a great tool to fill the gap whilst you establish an organic presence, but the results of an effective SEO campaign have a much longer term impact.

Sure, just because you get that coveted top three spot for a highly relevant commercial term doesn’t mean you’ll always hold that spot. But the chances of wild fluctuations are small if you continue to work at your SEO. However, we are all at the mercy of the changes search engines may make and how they choose to rank sites or serve results, so you can’t just sit back and rest on your laurels.

5. SEO is always evolving

As SEO evolves it opens up new opportunities to further increase organic visibility. For example, local packs have been great for smaller local businesses that had previously struggled to compete with larger businesses. With their introduction, these smaller businesses with a physical location now have the opportunity to be seen by users in their local areas.

With Google particularly, the algorithm changes that have been implemented over the past few years has also put paid to a lot of the underhand, black-hat tactics that made some sites so successful. These changes have levelled the playing field and changed the way success is achieved.

6. Organic is often the primary and best performing traffic channel

More often than not you’ll see organic traffic is not only the primary channel driving traffic, but it also delivers the most engaged users and the best conversions rates too. That’s because the users finding you through organic search are seeking you out, looking for those products and services you offer.

Sites that rely too heavily on PPC traffic or paid social traffic run the risk of eventually being priced out of bidding auctions, or having this cost eat into their margins, as they desperately try to keep up. And we know users don’t like clicking ads anyway.

Sites that were too reliant on social platforms like Facebook to drive their traffic have been decimated by Facebook continually decreasing organic reach for business pages. This means many are now having to revise their entire marketing approach as a result.

7. Builds trust and credibility

People have, rightly or wrongly, come to place huge trust in search engines and their search results. Sites that come up at the top of Google are automatically perceived to have the best information, or be the best provider, because they’ve earned the right to be shown there. Whilst that isn’t always the case that perception is fast becoming engrained in users.

So, having strong organic visibility helps to increase brand credibility, and ultimately trust in the brand, as people believe Google wouldn’t be giving your site such prominence if it didn’t deserve it. Additionally, think about how Google now delivers users answers to their questions directly in the search results through their featured snippets feature. Those answers appear to be a recommendation from Google as to which site contains the best answer to a users question, so why would users need to look any further than the site that holds that position?

8. Maximise investment made building your website

Great websites aren’t cheap. And cheap self-build websites rarely take SEO fully into consideration, no matter what the TV adverts for GoDaddy or Wix tell you. Your website is a marketing tool for your business but it’s of limited use if no one can find it when searching for the products or services you provide.

SEO practitioners, web designers and developers can often butt heads when their priorities misalign but that needn't be the case. SEO is about maximising the visibility of the website, and that’s why it’s crucial it’s considered during the design and development phase. Good SEO can also result in a better user experience, helping to drive a higher volume of conversions from the traffic that’s currently visiting the site.

9. SEO supports other channels

SEO continually crosses over into other channels. We’ve already discussed how it crosses into web design, web development and UX but it also crosses over with PPC, content marketing, social media and PR.

For example, well optimised landing pages with detailed or creatively written copy, that are structured to make it easy for users to consume the information, also help to increase Quality Score for PPC campaigns that are directing traffic to those pages. This helps reduce the cost per click and improve ad positions, benefitting the ROI on those paid campaigns.

Understanding SEO principles, keyphrase data and what it is that search engines are looking for in your content marketing also helps you to develop higher quality content that addresses known user needs. The SEO considerations and optimisation techniques help to drive increased visibility for that content, and especially for those content pieces targeting the coveted featured snippet positions.

To summarise

If these benefits aren’t convincing enough there’s one final thing that may persuade you that SEO is worthy of your investment. Given all the benefits highlighted, there’s a very good chance that your competitors are investing heavily in this marketing channel. Go on, test it. Try a couple of searches for products or services that you provide and see which competitors are currently occupying those highly desired top organic positions. Now imagine all the benefit they are seeing from that level of visibility.

SEO is not easy, it’s not quick and it’s not cheap, but search engines are where your audience is, actively seeking out your products and services, potentially 24 hours a day. Can you afford to not be at the front and centre of those results that users want to click on?

Can Twitter really save your life?

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Can a social media platform where people blurt out their random thoughts in a limited amount of characters really be a tool for saving people’s lives?

Well, Twitter actually has saved lives. Surprisingly, this celebrity hub and hype machine is actually an integral communications tool for reaching out to individuals during incidents, disasters and events.

It may seem like a strange reaction to load Twitter in a potentially life-threatening situation. However, during my stay in Bali this August I experienced countless earthquakes. In fact, I arrived on the morning of the first major earthquake in Lombok which led to tsunami warnings being issued across Indonesia. I was woken up a number of times at around 1:00am by the building shaking, and with little understanding of the severity. Immediately, I would reach for my phone. Searching the internet for breaking news proved pointless, but Twitter always delivered.

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During natural disasters like this it can be difficult to find out exactly what is going on in real time. However, Twitter’s capacity for instant dialogue ensures that all crucial information flows seamlessly. In order to quickly find out what was going on, all I had to do was enter #earthquake into the search bar and click latest posts. Instantly I could see the news about the severity of the earthquake, which helped me decide on my next steps. This tool became extremely important to me as at times I was staying in remote areas by the sea (some only accessible by foot), that would be badly affected by any tsunami. Whilst I was lucky, and Twitter didn’t need to save my life, it helped to put my mind at ease knowing that I was able to get hold of this information instantly.

But, there have been cases where Twitter actually has saved lives:

  • Kidnapping in Johannesburg -  A tweet of the license plate was circulated on Twitter and as a result the police were able to track down the car and save the victims life.

  • Hurricane Sandy hits the shores – Many people were missing so they used Twitter as a tool to share the victims exact locations. The Red Cross was then able to track where the victims were, and a lot of lives were saved.

  • Missing in the Swiss Alps – A member of a skiing group got completely lost during a snowstorm. The group utilised Twitter to ask for the victim’s phone number so that they could use location tracker on his mobile and was quickly found.

So, now you know. Twitter is more than just a way to express your views and keep up to date with the latest trends. It might even save your life.

Toy camera photography with the La Sardina

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One of the wonderful things about film is that it is incredibly unpredictable. It won’t always turn out the way you expected it to.

During my years studying photography, I discovered the wonders of developing film and how different household products could affect the film and create different patterns and colours. However, now I work in User Research, it has been years since I last touched a camera. I wanted to go back and rediscover what I loved about film photography, and a recent weekend in Budapest seemed like the perfect excuse.

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To develop your own film you don’t need a darkroom, and you don’t need crazy expensive equipment either. I always thought that developing film at home was an expensive and complicated process - but this really isn’t the case! Developing your own film is not only very easy to do, but it’s also really rewarding when you see your strip of film come out of the tank full of images.

To get back to the basics of shooting and developing film, I decided to head off to Budapest with a camera that is easy to use and film that I knew well from using it in the past. The La Sardina is a toy camera (which basically means inexpensive and plastic) that looks like a sardine can - how cute! All you need to do is snap a photo with the shutter button and wind the film on. As for the film, I needed something that I didn’t need to think about too much. The Ilford HP5 Plus was perfect for this as it usually produces quality negatives under all lighting conditions.

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I spent the weekend happily capturing the atmosphere and culture of Budapest with my little sardine can. Back at home and armed will all the equipment and chemicals, I was excited to develop my rolls of film and see what I’d captured!

...and then I panicked.

After looking up how to develop film, everything was fine until I checked out all of the numbers about timings and milliliters. My brain just could not figure it out and I really didn’t want to ruin the photographs that I had taken.

With the help of Dan and Daryl and the lovely people of Leicester Lo-Fi, I was able to develop my rolls of film, and even printed a contact sheet of the photographs. They were super helpful and answered all my pedantic questions about how stuff works and why.

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Not all of the photographs turned out as well as expected, but the experience of being part of a community of like minded people and rediscovering what I loved about photography has been amazing. It’s definitely given me the confidence to keep learning about film and developing my techniques.

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The demanding pigeon, writer's block and useless websites

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As soon as the blog pigeon alighted on my desk it quickly became clear that I was in trouble. The feathered visitation heralded the beginning of my RKH blog entry. My mind was blank and I had no idea what to write about. The pigeon demands blog post satisfaction and I am bereft of any such material.

The days have now turned into weeks and the numbing blankness continues. With each passing day, from the corner of my desk, the pigeon’s beady gaze burns ever deeper into the side of my head, serving as a constant, nagging reminder. My mind starts to wonder from the job at hand, and I soon find myself browsing the web in search of anything to take my mind off my current dilemma.

Then it struck me, maybe I could write a little something about the utterly useless stuff one can find online. I’ve never been a big fan of social media, so I don’t spend hours a day doing that, and there’s only so much high-brow cultural stuff one can partake in or hobbies to indulge. So, more often than not, I find myself veering off the beaten track in search of the strange, weird and downright pointless, all in an attempt to perhaps have a laugh or two.

Take for instance eelslap.com - an oldie but a goodie. There is still something so addictively satisfying about scrubbing this video backwards and forwards finding that glorious point of contact between face and eel. Apart from that, it’s totally pointless.

There are, however, far more pointless places to visit if you wish, like crouton.net or republiquedesmangues.fr - two food based wastes of time, although the mango is rather well presented I must say.

The internet is a truly wonderful place which has, for better or worse, permeated every aspect of our lives. It caters for all our needs, our social lives, entertainment, financial matters, shopping, knowledge, and the list goes on. So it’s no surprise that the useless web also reflects this. You can use it to do the strangest shopping at weirdorconfusing.com, read uninspired blogs over on dullestblog.com, or even vent your political spleen in a way which is far from productive at trumpdonald.org.

And that’s before you even get onto all the cat and dog content, the internet is awash with cats and dogs, so here’s a selection of time wasters for all you animal enthusiasts: cat-bounce.com omfgdogs.com procatinator.com doughnutkitten.com corgiorgy.com

Other useless websites really get the bit between their teeth and go for it. I mean, if like me, you’ve always wanted a comprehensive database of airport carpets then you’ve just got to visit carpetsforairports.com. Hats off to everyone involved, an idea grandiose in scope and ambitiously realised, I’m sure you’ll agree.

These sites can also be surprisingly engaging, inviting you to mess about and interact with them, wasting minutes and hours of your precious time. chrismckenzie.com, staggeringbeauty.com, zenphoton.com and koalastothemax.com are some of the best examples. Others employ more hypnotic tactics to keep you hanging around like somethingopen.com, zoomquilt.org and crossdivisions.com.

The examples I have subjected you to are just a tiny slice of the nonsense available once you start looking. You may have seen a lot of these sites before, but that’s testament to their ability to permeate people’s everyday lives, whether actively looking or not. Some have also gained significant social media coverage, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by advertisers and creatives alike. They can be stupidly addictive, and they have the ability to make you laugh or hook you in with an engaging way to interact.

Stupid, useless and weird they are, and a great way to waste time, but next time you’re stuck for ideas and need inspiration, looking for something useless on the internet might just be the unusual and unexpected kickstart you need. So maybe they aren’t quite as useless as they first appear, and perhaps we could all learn something from this type of content.

Conversely, if the useless web doesn’t manage to inspire you (which is a very real possibility) maybe it can just give you that little bit of emotional support you need to get you through that tough time - make-everything-ok.com.

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RKH Macmillan Coffee Morning

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Last week we held our RKH Cake and Coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support’s National Coffee Morning on 28th September. What could be better than raising lots of money for a great cause, all whilst getting to eat homemade cake and treats? It’s every RKH’ers dream - we’re pretty well known for our love of both making, and eating, delicious food!

Many of us have been touched by the care Macmillan provides and wanted to help give something back to the charity. After a morning of eating cake, playing themed games and enjoying a hot drink or two, we managed to raise an amazing £400 for Macmillan.

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Rachel and Georgia from PR organised the whole thing, getting each department involved in baking some delicious cakes and snacks, including homemade chocolate truffles, an unusual grapefruit drizzle cake, freshly-made bread (baked right here in the office!) and a whole host of other treats. The girls also made the entire office a special round of hot drinks, including tea, coffee and their signature hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and flake chunks.

During lunch break we all headed upstairs to our break-out area to play silly games including ‘place the cherry on the gateau’ and ‘guess the length of the veggie role’. And what’s a coffee morning without a bake off? Each baker was scored on their bake and given points out of 5 by our panel of judges. Prizes were given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, with the top prize being a cake stand and winners badge. PR Account Manager, Alanna scooped 1st prize, Account Manager Katie was awarded 2nd prize and PR and Social Media Executive Conor took home 3rd prize.

We all had such a great morning and headed off home feeling full to bursting with incredible homemade food. We hope the money raised will help make a real difference to Macmillan and the people they support.

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RKH get hands-on with LE Solidarity

Over the past few weeks we’ve been doing our best to help out local refugee fundraising group LE Solidarity. We ran an office collection for toiletries to donate, and last week several of team RKH headed down to help load up a truck full of sleeping bags, tents, toiletries, clothes, shoes and other essentials destined for Paris to be distributed to refugees across the city.

Along with LE Solidarity and a team of volunteers from DMU, we lugged sacks, boxes and sleeping bags full of items from their first floor storage space into the old-style lifts, and down into the loading bay. As we looked at the piles upon piles of items slowly taking over the bay, and spilling out into the corridors, it was hard to imagine it all fitting into a single truck. Half an hour later our truck arrived and it was all hands on deck taking it in turns to play real-life Tetris to fit as much of it in as we possibly could. We stacked tonne sacks and boxes up like bricks, squeezed sleeping bags into each and every tiny space, and slotted folded tents wherever we could fit them. By the end, we were sweaty (some more so than others!) and exhausted, but had managed to tightly pack every single item onto the truck.

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It was really incredible to see the sheer amount of stuff that had been donated and the scale of people’s generosity. These much needed items will make a huge difference to a lot of people, and hopefully help to provide a little comfort to those who are in such a dire situation at this difficult time of year.

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If you’d like to get involved with the amazing work LE Solidarity do, join the LE Solidarity Facebook page to keep up to date with collections and find out more about how you can help.

Wolf Run for One Roof

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Matt and Alex are counting their bruises this week after taking part in the Wolf Run, a 10km ‘wild running’ race through the Warwickshire countryside.

Along with Salma and Karyn, from Leicester homeless charity One Roof, they climbed over, crawled under and swam through a variety of daunting obstacles alongside almost 10,000 other runners. Together the team crossed the finish line tired, covered in mud but smiling and proud to have finished the course.

The aim was to raise as much money as possible for One Roof, and thanks to generous donations from friends, family and colleagues the fundraising total for the team currently stands at an impressive £2,000.

Matt has been volunteering for One Roof since December 2016, helping out at the winter night shelter. The charity runs a number of projects but the aim of the night shelter is to provide beds, an evening meal and breakfast to 10 guests who otherwise would have been sleeping rough throughout the winter months.

Matt said: “I typically did the evening shifts, serving food, making beds and generally helping the guests feel at home – chatting, playing chess or cards with them and so on. There’s a great emphasis on social interaction, equality and dignity – it’s really important that the guests and volunteers all feel like equals to each other.

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“It’s been an incredibly heartwarming experience to see how much difference One Roof makes to individual lives – guests and volunteers alike – and that they do this with so few resources. I’ve also met some amazing people in the two winters I’ve been volunteering, and while I hope that one day the night shelter won’t be necessary, it’s something I intend to be involved with as long as it is.”

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You can still donate to the team at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/orlwolfrun/464915.

To find out more about One Roof and learn how you can get involved, visit www.oneroof.org.uk.

Crisis communications: PR’s role in preparing for the worst-case scenario

Image credit: PRWeek

Image credit: PRWeek

Having spent seven years as a news reporter before making the leap to PR and joining Rock Kitchen Harris, I’ve seen plenty of emergencies and crises unfold. Covering these breaking stories usually involves trying to get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, from busy press officers who often seem reluctant to give out even the most basic details.

What I’d rarely stopped to consider was the process that goes into putting out a statement or preparing someone to be interviewed about a crisis. It’s rarely as straightforward as making a single phone call to establish the facts before quickly phoning a journalist back. Particularly when dealing with large organisations, there are often important layers of approval with a number of departments and individuals who all need to give their input before a comment is released. The process can take time, but is essential to give key people the chance to consider and comment while ensuring any information that is released publicly is both correct and answers questions clearly and appropriately.

We see this on a regular basis with our larger clients, so it was fascinating and useful to hear more on how best to deal with these issues from a range of speakers representing global companies and organisations at PRWeek’s recent Crisis Communications conference, held on 13th June at etc.venues in Victoria, London.

Image credit: PRWeek

Image credit: PRWeek

From breaking emergencies such as the Manchester Arena bombing to reputational damage and recovery via KFC’s chicken shortage, the topics covered were diverse but were all tied together by a similar thread - plan for any eventuality and prepare to deal with it if it happens.

Carol McCall, the head of civil contingency communications in the Cabinet Office, set the tone for the day by explaining how a recent review of Government emergency communications has led to the development of the ‘Primer’ system - Plan, Rehearse, Implement, Maintain, Evaluate and Recover - and this was built upon by most speakers, with an emphasis on planning and preparation.

In a panel discussion on building a crisis team, the role of in-house and agency PR teams was made clear. It is our job to encourage, and sometimes compel, clients to consider the worst scenarios they could face and, more importantly, how they would react. Preparation includes putting together teams of decision-makers who know their roles when crisis strikes, building relationships within and between these teams and ensuring the communications procedure is clear to anyone who might be involved in a crisis. Understanding the needs of the client, the media but also other stakeholders such as customers and regulators is equally important.

Image credit: PRWeek

Image credit: PRWeek

However, there are some circumstances that not even the most thought-through and rehearsed action plan can predict, as explained by Samsung Electronics UK’s head of PR James Coyle when talking about the lessons learned from the Galaxy Note 7 ‘exploding phone’ crisis. Being calm and informed, releasing information only when there is something new to say and being at the ‘heart of the storm’ at all times were some of the key takeaways - as was the warning that a communications plan may not hold all the answers.

Speakers from Sky, Virgin Trains, KFC and others had further lessons on preparedness and recovery from a crisis, while Hanover Communications corporate and brand managing director Gavin Megaw’s insistence that communications professionals should be the ones to guide crisis operations was a valuable lesson, acting as a reminder that we are relied upon for our experience in this field by others who rely on our help.

But perhaps the most important lesson, and certainly the most poignant, came from Amanda Coleman, head of corporate communications at Greater Manchester Police. Her heartfelt account of how her team worked with the wider force, the media and families of the victims during and following the terrorist attack on fans leaving an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017 again focused on preparation but also covered ‘the one thing we don’t talk about’ - people. Whether you work in corporate, civic or charity communications it’s highly likely that the organisation you represent impacts on people’s lives in one way or another and it’s vital this isn’t forgotten, both when putting together a communications plan and reacting to a crisis.

A day at the races

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Getting dressed up on a beautiful summers day to try our luck at the races has become a bit of an annual tradition here at RKH. Heading down straight from work on a sunny Wednesday we claimed our spot, grabbed some food and drinks, and quickly placed our bets just in time for the second race of the evening.

With Faye (and her knack for picking winners) unable to make it this time, Steph asked her to pick a lucky colour before we left. Faye chose yellow, and as we looked over the race guide we noticed Foxangel’s jockey had a yellow hat. This was enough of a sign for Steph, who ran to put a bet on, but everyone else remained skeptical of Faye’s obvious horse-related sixth sense. Things were not looking good at the start of the race with the horse trailing behind, but Foxangel pulled ahead of the pack on the final stretch and effortlessly took first place. It didn’t take long before the rest of us were betting on yellow too!

We also discovered Léon was a secret horse whisperer, after he correctly picked out every winner. His technique was to go down to see the horses beforehand, and then choose the one that he thought walked with the most swagger. Everyone else took the far less scientific approach of choosing their lucky horse based on which one had the best name or colours, with very mixed results. Well, until some of us noticed Léon’s winning streak and then just copied him!

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We all had such a nice evening, and thankfully the weather stayed perfect for it too. The girls came out on top this time, with all of them taking home some winnings, whilst the boys bet hard and mostly went home empty handed - better luck next time boys!