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Good images really do matter

What’s your organisation’s product photo library like? Are you leaving the worrying about the photos to your ad agency or are you, as many are, using generic stock photos? How about portraits of your key spokespeople? Images are often an afterthought when doing PR, be it announcing product news or doing interviews. But a good editorial photo can make a big difference in getting you coverage.

Zumtobel Group, one of the world’s most innovative lighting companies, really understand the power of the image. Not so surprising, as one of their target audiences are architects and designers, very visually sensitive people indeed. Zumtobel’s images are always professional, sometimes even sensational. This gives them coverage not only in design and architectural magazines, but also in your standard trade media. Because everyone loves a good photo!

 Photo: Anders Andersson

Photo: Anders Andersson

This image of a red Audi at a dealer in Halmstad, works both for marketing and editorial. Marketing images are sometimes too obvious. This one tells the story so editors are happy. And who wouldn’t want that car!?

Even something as simple (and potentially boring) as a product photo of a new mounting rail system for industrial lighting can be made interesting, one of the reasons why Sweden’s largest electrical magazine Elinstallatören picked up the news about new product range Trinos.

 

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Look after your team of “giggers”

“Gig economy” was one of the trend words in Sweden during 2017. The number of freelancers grew quickly. Delivery drivers and Uber had trouble with the unions, companies like FrilansFinans, helping freelancers invoicing without having to start their own businesses, sought funding through equity crowdfunding platform Pepins. It all made Sweden very interesting for anyone working with freelancers and independent consultants. And it’s of course not only in Sweden we see the rise of the independent worker. It’s the same across the entire Nordic region.

It makes me think of how long we’ve come since we started out in 2005. Then there was no cloud technology and the idea of a PR agency without offices and staff, working with freelancers locally based was indeed a different notion. “What, you have no offices?!” was often the comment in new business meetings. The exception was Google, unfaced by our setup, focusing on getting good people and getting things done. They went on to develop the first cloud based office solutions, Google Apps, so maybe not so strange they dared take a gamble on us, and we are forever grateful to them for it!

This past year, the idea of cloud based solutions and freelancers or independent consultants has exploded. It’s hard to think of a world without. Two of our clients are at the forefront in this space, Cornerstone OnDemand, a leader in cloud based learning and HR- solutions and CoMatch, a Berlin-based platform for independent management consultants and industry experts. Both disruptors and leaders in their field.

The new world of freelancing brings its own challenges. How can organisations ensure people are skilled in this fast moving world? How can consultants ensure they keep up so they are employable over time. How do you ensure a good working culture and climate when a large number of people aren’t actually employed by you?

We know a lot about how to manage teams without a traditional structure. Our advice is to:

  • Ensure you know each member of the team in person and truly understand what their skills are.

  • Involve them from the beginning of the project, ensure they know what the end result is supposed to look like, and listen to their input!

  • Trust them and give them a lot of freedom to do their jobs, after all they are the experts.

  • Tell them how much you value them!

  • Be very clear on money and hours upfront.

  • Always pay their invoices on time!

Happy 2018!

Hurray for Swedish national media!

Swedish media’s going through a very rough time and they’re not alone in the world. An already limited number of media in this relatively small market (Sweden has a population of 10 million) has seen readers/listeners/viewers leave for free online news or else they're downloading ad blockers. It’s estimated that around 40% of Swedes have ad blockers installed. So with lower revenue from subscriptions as well as advertising not being viewed, several media have disappeared. Those still around, have cut down or dropped print editions or cut down on editorial staff. With less journalistic content, it's even less likely for anyone to pay subscription fees, making this a vicious circle.

Fighting back

But Swedish national media is fighting back and fighting well. Over the past few years we've seen an increasing amount of impressive investigative journalism. Especially national newspaper Dagens Nyheter but also Svenska Dagbladet have uncovered many scandals in both private and public sector as well as national radio programme Kaliber, radio news and current affairs programmes Ekot and Studio 1 and many more. Swedish decision makers no longer have only feared journalist Janne Josefsson from Swedish Television’s long-running investigative programme Uppdrag Granskning to worry about.

It's the law!

Swedish media is often called third state power, where the other two are the government and the parliament> Media is there to monitor them. Worth remembering is that Sweden has the world’s oldest law regarding freedom of the press, based on legislation from 1766 and it's included in the constitution.

It’s great to see this working in practice. We’re getting a much more diverse media landscape and I’m convinced this great journalism will lead to more people willing to pay for subscriptions and turn off their ad blockers.

I’m now waiting to see if local and regional news can find it’s place in the new media landscape in the same way. Maybe learn from the US where local media increasingly own and run with local issues, engaging with local readers in a totally new way. “Not just covering communities but reaching them” as Amy O’Leary puts it in Nieman Lab's predictions for journalism 2017. An interesting read!

What is your story?

What is your story?

ow come it's so hard to get coverage in the media in the Nordic countries? We get asked that a lot, and it's true, it is harder than say for example the UK, or Germany. The simple explanation is the number of people who live here, 10 million in Sweden, 5,7 in Denmark, 5,5 in Finland and 5,3 in Norway. 

Opportunity or threat on a confused media market

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Opportunity or threat on a confused media market

Back in the day when I was a reporter at a local newspaper in Sweden there were total isolation between advertising department and editorial staff. We're talking the 80s here. Us journalists were very proud of our independence and distance from the "moneyside" of media. We could definitely not be bought. I'm not saying that today's' journalists can be bought, but the media landscape is oh, so much more confusing these days.

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The changing Nordic media landscape

The changing Nordic media landscape

2014 has been yet another year of change for all of us working in media and PR. Content marketing has become the buzz term, although there are huge differences of opinion on what it actually is and who should be doing it. And many media continue to struggle for profitability leading to mergers, scrapping print editions and moving entirely online and in many cases followed by paywalls for the online content

It's a tough PR life

It's a tough PR life

It's not easy being a PR consultant. Journalists in Sweden have offered some good advice that businesses wishing to do PR in the Nordic region really should take notice of.

Continuing to work with Google in Sweden

Continuing to work with Google in Sweden

We are very proud today. After a competitive pitch in Sweden we have retained the Google corproate and consumer account, and proving that a cloud model works really well for even the largest and most demanding customers. Believe me they don't come more challenging and fun than Google.

Is there really a Nordic region?

Is there really a Nordic region?

We often discuss PR with international companies and everyone always refers to "the Nordics" or "the Nordic region". From an international PR budget terms Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and to a lesser extent, Iceland, get bunched together and seen as one regional market.

Quality rather than Quantity

Quality rather than Quantity

Let's be honest, it's not cheap to do PR and marketing in the Nordic region. These are prosperous countries, which of course is why so many businesses want to reach target audiences here.

What does a Swedish PR agency actually cost?