Think small to get really big results – how PR can help turn perceptions on their head

by Kenny Murray

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Imagination and storytelling skills can turn a small budget and a local audience into a business success

Camera man shooting video


CHANGE can seem a scary thing. So it can be helpful for businesses to take small steps when getting used to something new.

Take Bield, for instance, the respected care and housing provider, It has slowly but surely embraced new technologies while working with the team here at Holyrood PR.

As part of that partnership we have gone at Bield’s pace and taken things slowly. That helped the team at Bield stay in their comfort zone while experimenting with video and social media – both of which they now use enthusiastically.

For our latest project we showed them how creative thinking coupled with a budget of just £150 could help them reach an incredibly targeted audience and deliver real, impressive business results.

A softly-softly approach has helped establish confidence, not least so that a business like Bield (or a business like yours) knows that change is only being implemented for solid business reasons and not for change’s sake.

With those ground rules established we were able to help introduce Bield to something else new – a first foray into social media advertising. And once again we wanted to take baby steps,  keeping the outlay (and therefore the risks), extremely small.

It’s the kind of approach which can benefit any business. We want our clients to enjoy 360 degrees of PR success, which is why use the PESO model of communications, making sure each business extracts every possible ounce of value from Paid media, Earned media, Shared media and Owned media.


PR Agency explains the PESO model of communicationFind out how the PESO model of communications helps you earn a powerful media profile, shine on social media, become an online authority and make the most of ad opportunities. A free and essential guide for businesses.

How did we do it?

Bield has already seen the benefits of a greatly  enhanced media profile, discovered the power of video to make shareable content and seen the value such steps bring to its website. All that was left was to experiment in tying it all together with some social media advertising budget.

So, when the Bield team let us know they had retirement living properties available in Motherwell and were keen to promote them to people over 50 and their families, we knew exactly what to do: by showcasing the properties in a short video backed up with Facebook advertising budget.

While we have worked on dozens of video projects with Bield over the past three years, this time we decided to try something different – producing a video of less than a minute and featuring a slideshow of existing images from the Bield development in Motherwell. This kept the production costs low.

Research shows Facebook users will watch the videos which autoplay in their news feed without accompanying audio. To make them more compelling to such viewers, we included overlaid text to tell the story visually, rather than relying on a voiceover. The short video also included a clear call to action with contact details for interested people to get in touch.

We then persuaded Bield to provide a small budget to promote the video on Facebook to the target demographic – people over 50 in Lanarkshire – then sat back and watched as the views rolled in.


The results were impressive

At the time of writing the video has been viewed on Facebook more than 13,500 times. However, we know that the top line number is almost irrelevant– and what really counts is whether it is reaching the right people. Suffice to say that Bield has been delighted with the number of serious enquiries received about the vacant properties.

So much so that it is now repeating the campaign in  three other areas in Scotland where Bield is keen to promote available properties, to reach families of older people in local communities.

Meanwhile the statistics for the video have also been impressive, not only the number of views, but the percentage of those watching all the way to the end. In fact, people liked the video so much they were sharing it with their friends who may have been considering retirement housing for loved ones.

What does this mean for a business like yours?

Too often businesses chase big numbers on social media. This is proof that thinking small to reach the right people can be far more effective.

It also shows how any size of business, even those with a relatively small user or operating  in  niche or specialist areas,  can use creative storytelling to reach the right people based on demographics, behaviour offline and behaviour online and past interactions with your website.

What it also shows is that all of these tools can be used to make the biggest and most valuable change of all – by influencing the behaviour of your target customers.

For instance, it meants you can target people in a certain area, with a declared passion for Italian food who currently eat at a competing restaurant with some special offers to tempt them away. That is something difficult to do with traditional advertising.

Work with an award-winning PR agency to help you cover all your communication needs.

 We’d love the chance to work with your business on a developing a strategy to make the most of your Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned media – delivering success across a 360 degree campaign.

We’ve have helped businesses of all sizes – from the smallest independents to billion pound a year utility giants – to improve their communications across many different platforms. We could help you do the same.

To find out more, phone us on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you.

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