When a star footballer admitted what many people think, namely that Premiership salaries are obscene, it set us thinking. Our construction training client DTL had told us how a chronic skills shortage was leading to spiraling wage inflation in the utilities. We wondered if the problem wasn’t tackled, would construction workers one day earn footballer salaries.

The idea captured the attention of the media. Our release earned coverage for DTL in influential national titles including Recruitment International, HR Director and FM World where it ranked in the top ten ‘most read’ league table.

In total, the story was used by 20 media outlets with a combined readership of more than 300,000 prime target audience members for our client.

The goal of the month award goes to the Derby Telegraph for its mock-up of England captain Wayne Rooney as a construction worker.

Of course, in football, you don’t always get what you pay for. There is still a warm glow in our Leicester office after the rags to riches story of Leicester City. Manchester United has spent more on players in the last two years than Leicester has in its entire 132-year history.


dtl football coverage 1


How to use LinkedIn for business

We see LinkedIn as a natural extension of the face-to-face networking that property professionals do so well. But most people are barely scratching the surface of what it has to offer. To help you make the most of this powerful business-to-business channel, here are a few ideas.

  • Connect to your company – Ensure that you link your personal profile to your company page (you do have a company page right?) and encourage as many staff as possible to do the same. The more employees link their profiles to your company page, the more visible it will be online, boosting your chances of attracting new readers and prospects.
  • Join 50 groups – Many people only join a couple of groups or none at all. With more than 1.8 million groups on offer, you can do much better. Once you’re in a group, the number of prospects you can contact via LinkedIn increases so you can send direct messages to potentially hundreds of people who are not in your direct network.
  • Connect with your current clients and contacts – LinkedIn is an unobtrusive way to keep in touch so you are front of mind when clients and prospects are developing new opportunities. Just a brief note, preferably personalised, and a request to connect will suffice. These connections could well be your best source of referrals, so keep in touch online sufficiently frequently and with fresh content.
  • Share a status update between 11 AM and 3 PM each workday – Don’t miss this easy opportunity to share helpful information and remain front of mind within your network during the hours when they are most likely to be active on LinkedIn.
  • Find your most relevant group and get involved – Choose one group that is the visited most frequently by clients and prospects, and focus your efforts on that one. Post your own discussion or get involved in one that is generating good interest.
  • Download your network database – It’s wise to safeguard information, and this list of names, titles, companies, and email addresses may also prove to be helpful for your marketing efforts outside of LinkedIn.
  • Save your best advanced people searches – LinkedIn will send you a periodic email containing a list of people who meet your specific search criteria.
  • Maximize your professional gallery – This is a great place to showcase your best work but very few users use it to its full potential or even at all. You can make your profile stand out with video, audio, presentations, documents and links to your marketing collateral.
  • Pursue recommendations – While the endorsements feature is easy to use, well-written recommendations are probably a better way to build your reputation for expertise and ability. Don’t be afraid to ask clients for them.

Discover how digital content, PR and marketing communications work together to increase your visibility. Call a member of our team on 0116 204 4862.


How to prepare for London MIPIM

MIPIM UK – a spin-off from MIPIM, the largest property event in Europe, which descends on Cannes in the south of France every March – was held for the first time in 2014. Ahead of this year’s event on 19th-21st October at London Olympia, here’s our quick guide to getting the most of your time at this or indeed any other property event or trade show.

Plan your time
If you’re already in the habit of planning ahead of attending a show or conference, this will seem like an obvious one but you’re probably in a minority. It’s a crucial element to be able to make the most of your attendance. Check the MIPIM online database to see who’s going to be attending and don’t delay in setting up networking opportunities. Book meetings well in advance, and be sure to confirm exactly when and where your meetings will take place. Highlight any workshops or talks you want to attend, and plan your time around those. The programme schedule can be downloaded on the MIPIM UK website so you can find out exactly when everything will be going on. This will help you decide how many days you will attend and how much time you will spend at the show on each day. Be sure to leave plenty of time for organic networking.

Business cards
…and plenty of them! Again it may sound like an obvious thing to bring with you to a networking event but you want to make sure that you’re going to have them to hand at all times to be able to successfully make as many new connections as possible. When you’re there, don’t just give them out but collect them from new contacts. As soon as possible, scribble a note on the business card or in the show guide to remind you about the discussion you had and any ideas you have to follow up later.

If you have any meetings with journalists scheduled, make sure you have an exact plan of what you want to say and what you’re promoting. Consider putting together some press packs to give out to media. A specialist PR consultancy such as Hopwood PR can set up meetings with journalists as well as making sure your media messages and collateral are in top shape.

Check everything is in order
From your accommodation to your badges, check that everything is set to run smoothly. If you’re in need of accommodation while at this London based event, the MIPIM UK website has a link to hundreds of hotels as well as information on how to get there based on the form of transport you’ll be taking.

Make sure your registration is fully completed ahead of time to avoid any complications upon arrival, and make sure you know how you’re receiving your badge. You can choose to get your badge via post, as an e-ticket (both should get to you approximately one week before the event) or upon arrival at the registration area (you’ll need to have a valid photo ID with you for this).

Get to know your surroundings
This includes both inside and outside of the venue, especially if you’re exhibiting at the show. Before you arrive at the venue, be sure to know where your stand is to make setting up an easier and less stressful process. Find out where your key clients and any potential new business targets are exhibiting. Being in London means there are a multitude of restaurants and other locations available for meeting contacts so networking doesn’t have to be confined to the show venue. See when you can schedule some off-site coffee, lunches, drinks or dinners into your days.

As soon as possible, plan what your agendas will be while at the event. You can the post them on the ‘exhibit’ section on the official MIPIM website, so that other attendees can see them. This will help to help promote your projects.

If you’re a Twitter user, find out what hashtags are being used for the event and when you should be using them, and raise your visibility before, during and after the show with plenty of online activity and interactions. You can schedule a lot of this in advance. Your PR agency or in-house marketing communications team can help.

Put in place a plan for following up with the new contacts you’ve made during the event. Invite people to meet for a coffee and make sure you have something interesting and compelling to show them. At Hopwood PR, we can help you put together a presentation. Not everyone will take you up on this offer straight away of course. So put in place a programme of communications with all your new contacts. We’ll help you to produce interesting content such as e newsletters and white papers as a means of maintaining contact and keeping you in the minds of prospects and intermediaries you’ve met at the show.

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From multicultural Leicester to cosmopolitan London this morning where the latest Capital 500 survey of business confidence was unveiled. The mood is angry.

In the wake of England’s humiliating exit from the Euro 2016 football championships, the economic goalposts have been moved, and no-one knows where.

What we do know, as Vicky Pryce from the Centre for Economics and Business Research put it, is that uncertainty is bad news for foreign direct investment. In a post-Brexit Britain, local authorities, LEPs and other organisations with a role to play in attracting investors to the UK are going to have to work harder. And for those that do, there could be rewards.

The survey, taken before the referendum, showed business confidence in the capital at its lowest ebb since the survey began in 2014.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber which published the report, said: “Government must move quickly to maintain confidence and minimise economic uncertainty.”

But that seems unlikely to happen in the current political vacuum. All the more reason for local authorities and everyone with a stake in regeneration to step up to the penalty spot in our hour of need. One reason to make plans to market local areas now is that the funding scenario is likely to change when the Government gets its act together and puts cash behind a concerted effort to avert an exodus of investors and international businesses. Organisations with effective marketing communications and PR plans built on strong inward investment strategies – such as our client Melton Borough Council’s Food Enterprise Zone – ought to be be well placed to gain funding from any new Government initiatives as well as winning a share of the likely boosted coffers in existing ones.

As firms ponder their future, business support organisations have an opportunity to show leadership and remind their catchment areas of the portfolios of help available. There is a communications job to be done right now to explain how they can help businesses to adapt to change, and there is an urgent requirement to develop arguments for overseas investment in local areas – building a compelling case for local areas that can survive doubts about the future of Britain outside the EU. It is important for organisations to act now to provide certainty and confidence. Delaying campaigns and putting decisions on hold will make things worse. Waiting for the Government and the EU to come to a settlement will only create a vacuum of uncertainty.

What can local areas learn from the reaction of London’s economic powerhouse? Colin Stanbridge again: “As Ministers now contemplate the UK’s future outside the EU, London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, needs to be involved in that planning – to help harness the resources necessary to sustain long-term economic growth.

“Government must look to maintain the capital’s position as world-leading place to do business. That means having the pull factors that will attract global companies to invest and locate in London whether that is around business environment, strategic infrastructure or skilled staff. We need to turn the result of the referendum into a time of opportunity for Britain.”

Vicky Pryce added: “The results of the survey certainly chime with what we have seen for the economy as a whole. The vote to leave in the referendum unsettled markets. Although a lower sterling may be good for exports it also raises manufacturers’ costs and the prices of consumer goods. There is no clarity on what trade deal may be agreed and whether tariffs may be imposed on UK exports. Or whether Scotland remains part of the UK in the longer term. Uncertainty is bad news for growth and for FDI, and the political vacuum created by the Prime Minister’s resignation adds to this. More monetary and fiscal support to the economy will be essential.”