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ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ON BRAND?

ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ON BRAND?

When thinking of influencer marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is often young people attending events, showcasing the latest must-haves or raving about cosmetics and fashion in videos. However, in addition to these advertising faces on Instagram and YouTube, there is another type of influencer that may already be on your payroll and often comes across as much more authentic and credible. A company’s own employee base may be the best possible brand ambassadors on social media channels.

No matter what resources you use or how much money you spend to build your brand externally, a disgruntled employee or one customer’s interaction with an employee who can’t articulate what your company stands for, can lay all that time and money to waste.

There has been a series of instances in recent years were brands have got it totally wrong when they undervalued the power of the employee.

To ensure that brand promises, and identities are clearly communicated through every customer touch point, savvy companies MUST invest in internal communications. Smart hiring, comprehensive training and regular monitoring can help empower and motivate employees to become brand champions, whether they’re on the front lines, in middle management or behind the scenes.

Once employees are onboard, the employee handbook is an ideal place to establish the brand identity and how employees are expected to convey it. If you can distil that brand message down to a couple of sentences that employees can become interested in, grab onto and use in their own words, they will be able to communicate it e­ffectively.

Here are three easy-to-follow tips to ensure you achieve and maintain employee brand loyalty:

  1. Make sure your workplace conveys the same brand messages to staff as it does to customers;
  2. Involve your staff in major brand campaigns as it’s a great way of boosting morale and spreading the word;
  3. How do you know if your staff are living the brand? Basic signs to look out for: do staff recommend your company to others? Do they enjoy wearing company uniforms? Do employees look happy, and go the extra mile?

Take your employees on the journey! If they feel like a valued member of the team and see their ideas listened too or even implemented, then they will want to see the business thrive. The stronger the foundation, the bigger the success.

If you are unsure of how to harness the power of your employees or encourage them to embrace the brand values of the organisation, contact Rumour Mill Creative Communications for advice on 028 90682185 or email samantha@rumourmillcomms.com

PRIME CUT SECURES PRESTIGIOUS ART FUNDING

PRIME CUT SECURES PRESTIGIOUS ART FUNDING

Prime Cut Productions, one of Northern Ireland’s award-winning theatre companies is pleased to announce it has secured significant Arts funding from leading independent funder Jerwood Arts, the Funding and Development Agency and Arts Council Northern Ireland. This combined support will enable Prime Cut to continue delivering its Reveal Artist Development Programme for the next two years.

Reveal 2020 will aim to develop both individual artists and the sector through various strands of practice. In this next two-year iteration, Prime Cut is bringing on board four new practitioners in collaboration with international partners in Manchester, Paris, Sibiu, New York and Washington. It will continue to provide bespoke support to several artists developing projects independently and broader sectoral provision.

The first iteration of Reveal was delivered between 2014-18 and culminated in the Reveal-Ed Showcase in January 2019 at the MAC, Belfast where audiences had the opportunity to experience a curated variety of works created by 10 independent Northern Irish Artists including, performances in progress, rehearsed readings, short films and rare insights into artist development.

Una NicEoin, Executive Producer of Prime Cut Productions said: “Reveal was first made possible when Emma Jordan, Artistic Director of Prime Cut Productions was awarded The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award in 2014 and used it to create the Programme. The aim was to empower our artists to seek out new opportunities to develop and grow both and home and abroad. We are now excited to continue doing this with vigour as we support our passionate and talented artists. The original Reveal proved extraordinarily successful, developing as it did, internationally successful shows such as Hard To Be Soft, Scorch and Removed and we look forward to being able to continue to develop and showcase thought-provoking theatre, community engagement and artist development into the future.”

Jon Opie, Deputy Director, Jerwood Arts said: We are delighted to support Prime Cut’s Reveal programme over the next two years. The company’s track record in dedicated support for performance makers in Northern Ireland is outstanding, and these new opportunities for a theatre maker, playwright and producer will provide much-needed, sustained development for them to create exceptional work at a time when there is very little direct funding in NI for independent creatives.

Caoileann Curry Thompson from Arts Council NI adds her support by saying: “Prime Cut’s ambitious and highly specialised programme of artistic development, Reveal 2020, is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland. The programme’s reach, creative ambition and tailored nature make it an invaluable and no doubt game changing experience for any emerging artist. Prime Cut’s high artistic quality, and outward looking, progressive nature is writ large across this programme. The Arts Council Northern Ireland is proud to support this venture and look forward to see the results of its fruition.”

Established in 1992, the Prime Cut Productions ethos has been to delve into subjects that matter across various communities and isn’t afraid to shy away from Northern Ireland’s chequered past as it explores topics within society that provokes conversations about diversity, inclusion and community.

WHAT A YEAR! THANK YOU 2019 AND HELLO 2020!

WHAT A YEAR! THANK YOU 2019 AND HELLO 2020!

What a year! 2019 was a year full of fantastic milestones and projects, that even as I type this blog it is hard to recall it all.

We kicked 2019 off with our rebrand from Rumour Mill PR to Rumour Mill Creative Communications. This signalled how far we had come as an agency. Not only do we have more experience working on a wide range of consumer, corporate, public sector and charity campaigns; but we now offer a wider mix of services beyond just public relations.

Whilst our bread and butter has been a thriving public relations consultancy, many say public relations doesn’t work like it used to. That’s simply not the case. Rather, the world has changed, and we are changing with it. It’s not as simple as pitching to reporters and getting quick hits anymore. Like everything else, public relations has evolved and as a result, do did we. From how reporters communicate to leveraging social channels, it has been essential that we as an agency stay ahead of the curve in this digitally obsessed world.

Digital platforms have introduced us to new ways to communicate with target audiences and channels to pursue. As a result, PR is no longer just about communicating a message with an audience. Rather, it’s about having a conversation with audiences. And we love to talk! While it may be hard to tell what the future of PR holds, at Rumour Mill Creative Communications we are positioned to ensure we can support clients’ cross-over between public relations and the digital world.

Along with our rebrand came our move to Lisburn. We relocated to a new collaborative workspace called Cubic Co Work in Lisburn, allowing us to invest more in our team, vision and services. Cubic Co Work houses several local businesses, all sharing a collective desire to push the boundaries, create and collaborate.

And whilst we are talking about creating and collaborating…what a year we have had working with some fun and innovative brands on launches, announcements, events and social media!

From launching Gander, the world’s first real-time app to help reduce food waste; introducing the amazing six-course tasting experience, Six by Nico to Belfast; announcing the arrival of Holiday Inn Express in Derry; unveiling the new American Holidays hub in Belfast City Centre to so much more; it has been an eventful year.

We have loved working with our clients and welcoming new brands onboard, such as United Wines, Carrickfergus Enterprise, City Picnic, Prime Cut Productions and Jonzara.

In 2019 we also added to our trophy collection with two wins at the annual PRCA Dare Awards and a silver win at the CIPR Pride Awards.

  • PRCA DARE AWARDS: Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year– Six by Nico
  • PRCA DARE AWARDS: Low Budget Campaign of the Year – Abigail’s Party at the MAC

Both campaigns were truly exciting and by working with clients that allowed us to be our creative selves, this enabled us to produce activity that exceeded all expectations.

In a very competitive category, the judges remarked that our launch of Six by Nico was ‘well-executed and a clear winner”. High praise indeed! This is a campaign that we are extremely proud of and demonstrates the strength of our social-first approach. We triumphed in this award category last year for our launch of Revolucion de Cuba – another amazing and fun client.

The judges commented that our campaign for the promotion of Abigail’s Party at the MAC delivered “great results for a tiny budget” and in fact “what they did with a small budget was extremely effective.”

Towards the end of the year we picked up Silver for Best Small Consultancy at The Pride Awards. This demonstrates how far we have come and is motivating us to get Gold in 2020 and beyond.

As for 2020! Well, we have big plans in place and over the next year you will see a lot of changes and advancements with Rumour Mill Creative Communications.

As a team we extremely passionate about what we can deliver for clients; not only will we be adding to the team, our services, our channels and our skill set but our clients also have a lot of exciting new plans in place for 2020 that we are super excited to be working on and announcing to you all shortly.

So, hello 2020…lets be having you! We are ready…are you???

£1.7M BOOST FROM SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUND AIMS TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT RATES

£1.7M BOOST FROM SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUND AIMS TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT RATES

Employment initiative, Let’s Work has received just under £1.7m funding from Northern Ireland Executive’s Social Investment Fund under the Delivering Social Change framework.  The programme aims to increase employment in areas of socio-economic needs across Northern Ireland and has welcomed over 50% participation since the scheme launched in September 2019.

Carrickfergus Enterprise is project managing the scheme alongside employability specialists, Network Personnel and it is set to be completed by December 2020 as its aims to engage with up to 160 participants from the top 10% or 20% socially disadvantaged areas including: Larne, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Coleraine, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Moyle and Ballymoney.

The employment training programme will widen access to job opportunities and create meaningful pathways to employment.  The goals of the project include, reducing the number of unemployed people in the Social Investment Fund Northern zone, improve skill levels of long term unemployed, and increase personal confidence.

In just over 3 months, 53% of 160 participants are positively benefiting from “Let’s Work” and the next year will see further engagement to support people to enhance their skills, encourage training accreditation and convert work placements into full time equivalent roles.

Vice Chair of Carrickfergus Enterprise David McIlhagger said: “This significant investment and support for those who are unemployed is really encouraging. Our ethos at Carrickfergus Enterprise is to create jobs and we have already seen great success in terms of placing participants with key employers as well as developing participant skills and knowledge. Let’s Work encourages participants to strive toward a fresh start in employment as well as supporting businesses in gaining a skilled and knowledgeable work force. Through working closely with the project partners, we are seeing real change not only in attitudes but in lowering unemployment in lower socio-economic areas across Northern Ireland.

“Carrickfergus Enterprise has been responsible for a breadth of employability and business successes across the province.  This large-scale project can make positive changes to peoples lives and can go some way towards addressing some of the key barriers to employment and create positive news for the area.

Alex McKee from Network Personnel said, “We are delighted to be the Service Delivery Organisation for “Let’s Work”. The person-centred ethos of the project perfectly complements our existing suite of employability provision, bridging the gap for individuals who are furthest removed from the labour market and who will benefit most from a structured programme of support during their first few months of employment. By facilitating a perfect match between employer needs and participant aspirations, we can ensure a rewarding and mutually beneficial experience for both parties. “Let’s Work” is a fantastic grassroots stepping stone which will vastly enhance the long term employment prospects for a great number of people in our local communities”.

Dr Mark Browne – Director of Strategic Policy, Equality & Good Relations in the Executive Office added: “The Social Investment Fund was designed to find solutions to deliver real, lasting benefits for communities that need it most.  I am delighted that the £1.7m allocated to this project will assist with improving training and employment skill levels to enable access to job opportunities. It is great to see how this project is already benefiting those most in need across the SIF Northern Zone and adding to the great work already supported by SIF.”