Moving office – behind the scenes

Moving office – behind the scenes

Near the end of 2019, we decided that it was time to find TopLine Comms and TopLine Film a new home. The decision was partly due to company growth, but also because our flexible working policy (which allows our employees to work from home up to twice a week, or to work flexible hours) meant that we weren’t making use of all the desks and space we had. It made sense to rethink our space, so that’s exactly what we did.

As a B2B PR agency in London, we think it’s important to be around other creative companies, in both a flexible and quirky work environment. We didn’t want to add extra time to everyone’s daily commute, so the location was crucial. Plus, the space needed to be dog-friendly and have a really good coffee machine!

Of course, moving office isn’t all glamour and we certainly faced some bumps in the road. This included things like making sure the internet speed was up to scratch in our new serviced office; adjusting to flexible desk spaces; moving furniture and equipment from one office to the other and of course, making sure it felt like home. But we got there in the end and can now safely say that we feel right at home in our new space.

Helpful tips when considering an office move

Before starting the process of moving office, it’s worth making sure that you understand how the IT system works in all the potential new office spaces you look at. This means that once you do make the move, you won’t have any delays or issues and you can be up and running straight away.

Finding a space that fit our criteria was proving to be a bit of a task, so we decided to look into the proptech market (particularly proptech in London) to find a platform that could help us. We found that the company KONTOR was well-suited to finding us a new office space. They asked for our requirements, such as the number of people in our team; how many desks we needed; what our IT requirements were and then went to work on finding us some potential new office spaces.

There are also other proptech companies, such as Hubble, which can provide help when you’re considering making the move. Have a look online at the different proptech apps and services to find what’s best for you – you don’t need to face moving office on your own!

Also, it may really help to use apps such as Citymapper when you’re trying to work out the possible new commute times for your team. It’s downloadable on most smartphones and is super easy to use and very accurate.

TopLine has now settled in at The Office Group, and we LOVE our new office. We have great views of Tottenham Court Road and Russel Square, and it’s also allowed the team to work and collaborate with people they wouldn’t usually get the chance to.

All of us here at TopLine look forward to welcoming you at our new office soon!

 

Written by: Michaela Lee, Office Manager 

Four Pillars of Design in PR

The rise of digital platforms has put even more emphasis on the role that design plays in PR. As a B2B PR agency, we have learned over the years that many successful campaigns rely heavily on a strategic design process. So, what are the key aspects to making design work for you? Let’s take a look at some great design examples and some key aspects to apply to your next campaign.

Make it user friendly

Create a seamless experience that does not confuse or mislead your audience. Design can influence trust so you should create elements that are visually friendly and inclusive. Also think about where your customers are and make you design geo-specific, as this will also contribute to the overall user experience. A recent example of this in action comes from AirBnB, which redesigned its visual identity by updating its illustrations of its community to portray a more diverse group of people.

Ensure it makes an emotional impact

There are two key questions to ask when measuring your PR campaign’s creative impact:

  1. How does the overall design make viewers feel?
  2. Does it enhance your campaign’s core message and objective?

Using certain design styles, images and colours can evoke emotion and raise awareness. Consider these design choices you make when building your campaign. A quirky illustrative style may bring across a friendly and youthful feel or you may opt for something more real and honest for greater impact. Metro Trains Melbourne recently launched a railway safety public service announcement ‘Dumb ways to die’ which captured the world both kids and adults alike by creating a catchy jingle and animated video to generate awareness.

Create content with a purpose

Your audience is receiving content at a rapid pace and through multiple online platforms, so you need to be extra creative to catch their attention. Netgear recently created a cool infographic on The History and Future of WIFI to help promote its products. If you are sharing results from a research campaign, an infographic could do the trick. Check out our video on How To Make An Infographic The Right Way.

Use a combination of mediums

New technologies and design mediums allow us to create campaigns that can be both visually engaging and subversive. Your company’s core values can spring to life through new ways of showcasing its visual identity and design. Engage your audience and take them on a journey where they are allowed to make up their own minds along the way. EXAMPLE Take a note from Sonos, which created a sound and visual experience to create awareness around the launch of Google assistant on Sonos, and use a combination of design mediums to create a more dynamic approach to your campaign idea.

Want to have a strategic design process for your next campaign? Contact us to find out how we can help.

 

Written by: Brent Peters, Graphic Designer

Grammarly: A content writer’s verdict

Like the man in the Grammarly YouTube ad that seems to play more than any other for me, “I write pretty much all day, every day.” As part of TopLine Comms’ content writing team, I write blogs, press releases, video scripts, white papers, and all manner of other content for our clients, and I’m open to any copywriting tools that could improve my work. That’s why I tried Grammarly. Here’s what it’s good at, what it’s bad at, and how it measures up against a human proofreader.

Grammarly and the copywriting process

First off, what does Grammarly do? It’s a grammar and spelling checker which uses machine learning to catch errors that other, simpler software may miss. Think of it like a smarter version of Word’s spell checker. It’s available as a plugin pretty much everywhere – Word, browsers like Chrome and Firefox, and Google Docs – and as a standalone app for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Grammarly is available in both a free and more capable paid (premium) version, and at TopLine we use Grammarly Premium.

Grammarly offers real-time grammar checking, but I’ve opted not to use it for a few reasons. Primarily, the plugin noticeably slows down Word, and considering that I use Word for countless hours every day, I want it to run as smoothly as possible. The other main reason that I don’t use Grammarly’s Word plugin is that I personally prefer to write uninterrupted and then edit after. Constant badgering to change the word ‘great’ to ‘significant’ feels like a distraction rather than sage advice.

Once I’ve written the first draft, I invite Grammarly to look it over. This means launching the standalone app and copying and pasting over whatever I’ve just finished writing. Grammarly churns through it, usually for no longer than ten seconds, and highlights potential errors and recommended changes.

Does Grammarly work?

In short, yes. Grammarly does correctly identify errors that Word’s spellcheck overlooks and brings attention to potential succinctness – for instance ‘can’ rather than ‘is able to’ – and structural improvements – such as split infinitives and otherwise misplaced adverbs. Through sheer repetition of Grammarly pointing these things out, I’ve internalised some of these tips and managed to eliminate some bad habits.

I’m also impressed by Grammarly’s content writing range: it doesn’t have any problem taking on a variety of formal and informal pieces, it works for both American and British English, and even has settings to adjust formality, domain, and tone.

However, Grammarly is not without shortcomings. It’s very poor about maintaining formatting such as bulleted lists and hierarchies, for instance, because it just copies unformatted Unicode text. It also struggles with comments in Word, dumping them right into the body of the text rather than simply ignoring them. This is a problem as comments form a critical part of our review process, and I’m always concerned I’ll forget to remove them and leave a comment floating in the body of the text. These are avoidable problems if you use the Word plugin, but as I previously mentioned, it slows Word down.

Who needs human proofreaders?

Grammarly can certainly reduce grammar issues, catch misspellings, and even advise against trite constructions and clichés, but it isn’t a magic solution to bad writing. I think of it like a more powerful spellcheck, because it can’t take on broader structural issues which require a fundamental understanding of the piece of writing and what it hopes to achieve. In other words, you can easily get Grammarly to give a perfect ‘text score’ to incoherent nonsense, so long as it fits the grammatical structure that the app is looking for.

At least for the time being, no copywriting tools are a substitute for having a colleague read through your writing. At TopLine, everything we write is proofed by multiple people to make sure that we’re only sending out the best possible content. Grammarly is a nice addition to this process, but it’s not a replacement.

In other words, Grammarly is a useful tool, but only for catching mistakes. It’s still the writer’s responsibility to provide the thoughts, tone and structure. If your business publishes articles, blogs, or any other type of PR content and is satisfied with the skills of its in-house writers, Grammarly can be a great addition. If you simply don’t have time to do all that writing, consider turning to a B2B PR agency like TopLine Comms.

To find out where and how content marketing can fit in your PR strategy, contact us today

TopLine’s top tips for working from home

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that people are working from home wherever possible to limit the spread of the pandemic. At TopLine Comms, our digital PR agency, we work from home two days a week. This policy has been in place for years, so we’re old hands at working from home effectively. For many people, though, this is their first experience with working from home, so we asked the team for some top tips on staying focused, and taking care of yourself while working from home.

Maintain your routine

Katy B’s advice is to get up, get breakfast and get ready at the same time as you would if you were going into the office. Jack added that it’s worth getting dressed before you start work, even if it’s just putting on a different set of comfortable home clothes. Staying in your pyjamas signals ‘relaxation’ and ‘weekend’ to your brain, which doesn’t set you off to a good start to the workday. Getting dressed puts you in the same frame of mind that you get into when you’re going into the office.

Dana recommended planning out your daily schedule – and being strict with it. That means deciding what time you’re starting your day, when your lunch break is, and when you’ll log off. By setting a clear boundary between time on and off the clock, you’ll avoid getting distracted by home chores, and won’t end up overworking into your personal time in the evening. Jack added that eating is for mealtimes only. Snacking to pass the time is a terrible idea, have a coffee or tea or some fruit instead.

Pick a productive workspace

Rob mentioned the importance of having a dedicated workspace, and ideally arranging it to match your office desk – couches are a no-no! Katie S concurred: having a designated workspace outside of your bedroom is an effective way to get into ‘work mode’ and minimise distractions. Brent added that it may be worth creating a few different spaces in your home to work from, since working from the same spot can cause a bit of a creative block after a while. Elaine endorsed a change of scenery in the afternoon if you’re feeling restless. This can be a walk at lunchtime, planning to work from an alternative location, or even taking the time to give a friend a call.

Dan suggested working with the windows open to get some fresh air and keeping the radio on for some friendly background chatter. Katie C recommended podcasts for the same reason. If you find podcasts too distracting, Sian and Jack are fans of classical or instrumental music instead. Jenna recommended taking some quiet time alone at home to try meditation, which can help with creative ideas and keeping the mind calm.

Staying social

It’s easy to start to go a little crazy all by yourself, which is why Tom and Tim both emphasised the importance of talking to people at least once a day, even if you don’t have any formal meetings. Ben pointed out that keeping up your social life outside of work – remotely, of course – and working out during lunch are also great ways to make sure you aren’t living like a hermit.

Jenna echoed the suggestion that we should check in on our colleagues and recommended that if you find yourself working from home for an extended period of time, you should consider choosing a buddy and making sure that they are doing okay. Be open and honest of how you are doing with your team – we’re all in this together and we all want to support each other.

Get some exercise

Fleur, Jodie and Sian advocated for getting outside at lunchtime to walk the dog or go for a walk or a run, since this can help you to clear your head. If it’s horrible weather outside, you can still walk around your house to get your legs moving. Katy B also suggested making a list of all of the miscellaneous pieces of admin and chores you perpetually put off and using breaks to tick them off – she will be clearing out her spice cupboard this weekend.

Katie S pointed out a study from Bristol University which shows that moving your body for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps keep impulses in check. Stepping out for fresh air and getting up and taking regular breaks are easy ways to boost productivity.

Luke preached the gospel of good posture, pointing out that core strengthening exercises can help your back. His latest tip is to imagine holding an orange between your shoulder blades and to bring them back as if you’re squeezing it. Bronwen likes a standing desk, which can help keep the blood flowing.

Choose the right technology

Without seamlessly syncing cloud services, we wouldn’t be able to work from home the way we do. It’s critical that your business chooses the right technologies to enable working from home. At TopLine, we use Dropbox for documents, Teams for instant messaging, Zoom for video calls, and Asana to help keep the day focused, all of which are easy to access from anywhere in the world.

Our team does more than just offer tips about working from home; we’re a leading B2B PR agency. To find out what we can do for your business, get in contact today.

How to use reddit for marketing and PR

Most marketers nowadays use social media as a part of their strategy, but many still exclude reddit. This is a shame, to say the least – it’s one of the most visited websites in the world, it’s patient zero for nearly all viral content (meaning journalists are scouring it all the time), it has an audience for every niche, and it holds more data than any other platform. It truly is the front page of the internet. So, if you want to know what’s happening on the web (which, as a B2B PR Agency, we certainly do), then you need to be on reddit.

Reddit doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, and it isn’t built for marketers. But if you can get it right, it’s worth incorporating into your marketing and PR strategy. Here’s a short guide on how to use reddit for marketing, complete with tips on the best subreddits to join for marketing tips and guidance.

Get to know subreddits

Reddit is made up of subreddits (or subs). These are dedicated channels on topics where you can post links, images or create a self-post to discuss whatever you like. You can subscribe to subs if you like the topic, and all posts from that sub will show up on your homepage. If you’re unsure what subreddit you’re looking at, look at the part that comes immediately after the r/ at the end of the URL (for example, https://www.reddit.com/r/books/ is a sub on everything related to books). Anyone (with an old enough account) can create a sub on any topic they like.

The best way to identify whether a sub is worth joining is to look at the following:

  • Member count: A large sub doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best one (smaller subs can have higher engagement), but it’s a good sign of whether the content posted is relevant.
  • Engagement level: You can measure how engaged members are in a sub by looking at the number of upvotes and comments on the top posts from the past year.
  • Whether it’s international: Reddit is a global website, but some subs are very US-centric (which is fine, depending on the subject and what you’re looking to get out of it).
  • Active moderators: Active moderators (or mods) keep the subreddit on-topic and rule-abiding. Weekly updates/sticky posts are usually a sign of an active mod team.
  • Rules: There are rules laid out in reddit’s rediquette that all subreddits have to obey, but mods can also impose their own rules. Higher quality subreddits tend to have stricter rules regarding the quality of posts and replies, which help keep the sub on topic.

Some rules for reddit marketing

Reddit marketing works a little differently to other platforms, mainly because it has been built to thwart overt marketing and advertising posts, rather than welcome them. It has a particular etiquette (outlined in more detail in its Rediquette, as mentioned above) that abhors direct advertising but rewards conversation. Outside of sponsored posts, you have to make sure that what you’re posting is authentic, exciting and rule-abiding. If you push a product or service, you will be thrown out or downvoted into oblivion. Some rules to follow include:

1. Sign up as a member and lurk. The best way to get used to reddit is to use it! Sign up using your brand name and your first name (or another human name, if you don’t want to use your own). This adds legitimacy that you are, in fact, a real human being, which will be helpful when it comes to posting.

2. Find relevant subs and follow them. As mentioned, reddit is full of subs on all subjects, so start searching for those that are relevant to you. And remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small sub, as they can be some of the most engaged groups. It is worth noting that you need to read the posts on the sub to make sure they’re what you think they are – for example, those looking for news about the Superbowl might be disappointed by r/superbowl, which is a sub for pictures of superb owls.

3. Start up and downvoting and commenting. Just like any other platform, reddit will reward you for being an active contributor. Commenting will also increase your karma score, which will come in handy once you start creating your own posts.

4. Abide by the rules of each sub. As mentioned, the best subs have active mods, and said mods will remove your post if you don’t stick by the rules. Rules can be particular (see r/BreadStapledToTrees for reference) so take the time to read them before you post anything.

5. Share unique content that starts conversations. After lurking for an appropriate amount of time, you’ll notice that the following content tends to perform well:

  • First-person stories (but only if they’re interesting and authentic – you willmget called out of it’s a thinly-veiled ad)
  • Videos (bonus points if your brand appears in it)
  • Gifs (as above)
  • Memes (as above)
  • Images (bonus points if it’s a cute animal)
  • News (similar to Twitter and Facebook, being the first to share a piece of news can get you a lot of upvotes)

Start with one of these if possible to give your post a chance to perform well. But don’t panic if it doesn’t get much traction – practice makes perfect.

6. Respond to every comment on everything you post. Even if you only get one or two comments on your post, take the time to reply to all of them.

7. Don’t just post a link to your blog. Redditors do not like this – as mentioned before, they don’t want to be advertised to or used for traffic. You can instead paste the text from a blog into a post (if it’s genuinely good content).

8. Consider hosting an AskMeAnything (AMA). An AMA is a reddit-hosted Q&A that is open to anyone with an interesting story to tell. You’d be in good company if you did one – Barack ObamaBill Gates and, erm, Cookie Monster (who, just so happened to be involved in a charitable competition at the time). The r/IAmA sub is dedicated to them, but smaller, more specific subs will often host them with relevant people, too. You’ll have to prove to the mods that you are who you say you are and you’ll need to be prepared to answer anything.  

Pro-tip: Download the Boost app if you use Android or the Apollo app if you use iOS – they’re much better than the official reddit app.

Using reddit for research

One of the best ways to use reddit is as a market research tool. At TopLine Comms, we like to keep an eye on subs that are relevant to our clients so that we can remain up to date with what their potential customers are talking about. This helps to inform thought leadership, survey questions and our overall strategy. We also keep tabs on marketing and PR subs (some of which are listed below) to stay on top of trends in our industry.

Examples of brands on reddit

There are lots of brands doing great things on reddit. Xbox One game developers began to regularly host AMAs on the r/XboxOne sub (which isn’t owned by the brand); insurance app Lemonade promoted a video on a fast-food sub, showing insurance payments which cost as much as fast food items; and Elon Musk hosted an AMA on the r/space sub, to provide eager fans with more details following SpaceX’s BFR announcement. The common thread between all successful reddit promotions is that they’re interesting, entertaining, useful and encourage conversations.

Some of the top subreddits for marketers

As mentioned, we like to use reddit for our research, too. Here are some of the best marketing-related subreddits to get you started:

r/analytics

If you’re looking for support with web and data analytics, r/analytics is the sub for you. It’s a great place to go and ask questions if you get stuck or if you’re looking for career advice.

r/AskMarketing

Similar to r/Analytics, r/AskMarketing is a great resource to turn to if you’re stuck. It’s also worth joining if you’d like to give out advice and, in turn, boost your karma.

r/bigseo

Unsurprisingly, the r/bigseo sub is for all things SEO (and ‘all disciplines of inbound marketing that get shuffled under the title, SEO’, according to the sub’s description). You can ask questions, pick up tips about new resources and generally keep up to date with SEO trends.

r/content_marketing

The r/content_marketing sub is a wonderful community of content marketers who give feedback, advice and share tools of the trade with each other. The mods are active and stop promotional posts, and there’s a real community feel to the sub.

r/copywriting

Got writer’s block? Head to r/copywriting. It’s full of tips, tricks and advice on copywriting to help get you started.

If you’re looking for B2B PR Agency that knows social, get in touch today.

 

Written by: Katie Chodosh – Content Consultant at TopLine Comms

Journo intel: meet Lucy Warwick-Ching – the FT’s personal finance digital and communities editor

TopLine met with Lucy Warwick-Ching of the Financial Times to find out what works when it comes to pitches, what life is like at the paper, and how to get published.

A typical, frenzied week in the FT office involves daily huddles to discuss ideas and plan out the day. Lucy works closely alongside the editors Claer Barrett and James Pickford. If you want to get her attention, reach out on a Tuesday, since that’s when she collects all of her social media and digital outreach. Wednesday is podcast day, so Lucy is busy recording, and the podcast goes live on Thursday. The various FT podcasts get an impressive 130,000 downloads every week, with as many as 40,000 listeners for an individual show.

As the personal finance digital and communities editor, Lucy covers a variety of topics. She writes a monthly column called Family Money about the intersection of life and finance. Lucy is always open to receiving ideas and pitches regarding pensions, joint finances, or saving for retirement, among other topics. The paper’s online audience average age is between 30 and 50, with an annual income of around £50,000, while the print edition’s audience is older. Lucy has young kids herself, and some of the most successful Family Money stories have been about caregiving, such as ‘1 in 5 have to leave work to look after relatives’. Really, according to Lucy, anything that hits a nerve for lots of people can be the foundation for an interesting article.

Lucy is also on constant lookout for new video ideas, because video content is what people pay most attention to right now. She does a video series called Money Spinners, and is always searching for simple, fun ideas and fun props. Lucy also writes for FT Wealth regarding the ultra-wealthy and is open to pitches about how the super-rich handle their money. The FT is also looking for investment articles, since they don’t have a dedicated team focused on the topic.

When people ask why the FT isn’t covering a topic, the answer is that she’s part of  a very small team – just six people. As a result, their doors are always open to people with novel pitches. When it comes to the substance of pitches, Lucy says the FT accepts case studies if there are pictures and they can be on the record. For research-based stories, they look for a minimum sample size of 1,000 unless it is a particularly niche group such as UHNWIs, in which case they will accept a smaller size. She cautions against quirky company names, since editors are liable to disregard them, regardless of data quality.

Like many journalists, Lucy receives hundreds of emails every day – she has 92,000 unread messages in her inbox at this moment. She skim-reads most emails, so remain calm if she doesn’t get back to you right away. It might be that there’s no room for the story at that moment, or that she’s holding it for a later date. If you’re meeting with a member of the FT team, keep things concise and to the point, since they’re very busy. Lucy also points out that she’s willing to speak to experts from anywhere, not just CEOs. Recently, she has been meeting with a lot of specialists and lawyers.

Lucy works nine to five, Tuesday to Friday, and she doesn’t answer her phone, so if you are looking to pitch to her, reach out via email.

The 10 best HR podcasts for 2020 (and how to pitch them)

As an agency that takes HR seriously, we’ve researched the best HR podcasts for 2020. And if you’re a brand looking to get in front of the HR community, we’ve suggested how best to pitch these podcasts too.

HR Happy Hour@HRHappyHour

HR Happy Hour Show is the longest running and top downloaded HR podcast. The show is part of a network focused on human resources, workforce technology, and leadership.

The short, snappy episodes allow you to fit it into your daily routine effortlessly, while you can catch up on news from the latest HR technology events and conferences whenever it suits you.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want something short and conversational – between 20-45 mins per episode.
  • You want a podcast that will make you think.
  • You want some actionable and inspiring advice.

How to get on it

 HR Happy Hour has a wide array of guests – HR leaders, academics, practitioners, consultants, and authors – to talk about the most relevant and challenging issues impacting work and workplaces today. To pitch them, fill in this application form – https://www.hrhappyhour.net/contact/ .

GoodPractice Podcast@GoodPractice

Aimed at the learning and development and HR communities, the weekly podcast show offers critical insights into the world of work, learning and performance. Featuring special guests and regular appearances from the GoodPractice team, they tackle topics such as the effect of technology on the work environment, training needs analyses, and evidence-based practice.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want something short – between 30-45 mins per episode.
  • You want to find out more about a broad range of subjects in L&D.

How to get on it

Guests include authors, performance consultants and learning designers. To pitch the GoodPractice crowd, visit their website  https://podcast.goodpractice.com/# or reach out on Twitter.

CIPD Podcast@CIPD

The CIPD is a professional body for HR and people development representing some 150,000 members across the world. The body has access to some of the biggest, best and brightest minds in HR and L&D.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want to follow a well-established podcast – this one has over 160 episodes!
  • You’re interested in a wide range of subjects – such as the future of flexible working, menopause, unconscious bias, and neurodiversity.

How to get on it

That HR Podcast@PeopleMgt

The UK’s leading magazine for HR and L&D professionals, People Management, is the host for That HR Podcast. The monthly podcast covers a wide range of topics.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in topics like recruitment and retention, future of work, HR transformation, diversity and inclusion, and leadership.

How to get on it

It’s a little unclear how to get on this one, but we’d suggest pitching to the editorial team of the magazine: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/contact/editorial

The Future of Work@jacobm

In these podcasts, futurist and author Jacob Morgan engages with some of the world’s top business leaders to explore their perceptions of leadership, the future of work, the 4th industrial revolution, employee experience, and more.

Jacob’s work has been endorsed by some of the world’s most prominent CEOs.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want to hear insights from some of the world’s biggest brands on a weekly basis.
  • You want a US-focused podcast.

How to get on it

DriveThruHR

DriveThruHR is a series of laid-back, yet fascinating lunchtime conversations that cover a range of topics applicable to HR professionals. They broadcast three times per week (Tuesdays – Thursdays, 12 PM, Central Time) for 30-minutes per session. Their podcasts have been running continuously since February 2010.

Example episodes they publish are:

  • ‘When the Tables are Turned: Hiring For HR’
  • ‘An HR Leader’s Roadmap with Kindrick’
  • ‘HR Tech & Recruiting Automation with Jonathan Duarte of GoHire’
  • ‘Putting People First with HR Leader Erin Miller’

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re not looking for anything too heavy, but rather bite-sized chunks of information.
  • You’re interested in a variety of HR topics.
  • You’re interested in hearing from new guest speakers every week who share their knowledge and experience within different areas of HR.

How to get on it

Nine to Thrive HR@NinetoThriveHR

These podcasts offer fresh content for professionals who are looking to solve their human capital issues but have limited time available. The podcasts tend to be between 9-30mins each and provide access to leading HR practitioners from Fortune 1000 companies, together with thought leaders, academics, and authors.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in hearing advice from members of the largest companies in America and other industry professionals.
  • You’re interested in a variety of HR topics, including talent acquisition and analytics.

Typical episodes include:

  • When Employees are Stressed Out: Social Science Solutions for Better Productivity & Engagement‘ – Robert Stewart, HR Administrator, Brigham Young University
  • ‘The Best Way to Boost Well-being for Women in the Workplace’ – Sarah Devereaux, Google
  • ‘Including the Employee in Employee Engagement’ – Scott Rigby, PHD, MotivationWorks

How to get on it

HR Leaders

This is a daily show is anchored by Chris Rainey and features detailed conversations with senior HR executives and thought leaders who share lessons and insights gained along their respective journeys.  Each episode of the podcast explores a new topic, such as the future of work, why it’s changing, and how leading organisations are approaching the matter.

Good to listen to if…

  • You like to listen to daily podcasts.
  • You’re interested in hearing valuable insights from experienced HR execs.
  • You’d like to keep up with a broad range of current HR topics.
  • You’re interested in how big global brands handle their HR.

Typical episodes include:

  • ‘How Siemens Empower their Employees to Take Ownership of their Careers‘ – Interview with Robert Neuhauser, EVP & Global Head of Siemens People & Leadership.
  • ‘Shell’s Journey into Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning’. – Guest speaker, David Doe, Vice President HR Talent Excellence, Shell.

How to get on it

  • Most of the guests are approached by Chris or the show’s producers, but it’s worth reaching out through the show’s LinkedIn
  • Guests usually include senior HR executives, thought leaders, and HR leaders from global brands like Shell & Siemens (see above examples of speakers).

Hiring On All Cylinders

Hosted by Entelo, the quirkily named Hiring On All Cylinders is joined each week by HR professionals at the forefront of talent acquisition and recruitment.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in hearing weekly content purely focused on recruitment.
  • You’re interested in topics such as employee engagement, automation tools, the future of talent acquisition, recruiting, onboarding, and sourcing for diversity.

Examples of typical episodes are:

  • ‘Talking HR Technology: Gaps in the current landscape and consolidation’ – Proactive Talent Founder & CEO, Will Staney
  • ‘The Economic Influence in Talent’ – Josh Wright, iCIMS Chief Economist
  • ‘A Different Take on Recruiting’s Future’ – Erik Kostelnik, Founder / CEO, TextRecruit

How to get on it

  • To pitch, contact Entelo on Twitter
  • Guests are normally professional HR specialists, talent founders, and CEOs who are well acquainted with recruiting (see above examples).

Hire Up

Hosted by John Beck, the show is dedicated to the latest news, interviews and updates on all aspects of human resources. John has 25 years’ experience in management, HR, and the employee assessment industry.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’d like to keep up to date with the latest HR-related topics from an industry veteran.
  • You’d like to listen to a broad range of HR related topics.
  • You’d like to hear advice and guidance from a variety of guest speakers, for example:
    • Lee Caraher (Author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work and CEO/ Founder of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing).
    • Stephen Pacinelli (co-author of Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience and CMO of BombBomb).
    • Jamie Serino (Corporate social responsibility expert and Director of Marketing for Blackbaud’s Corporations & Foundations division)

How to get on it

  • Reach out to John via LinkedIn: or on Twitter.
  • Website: https://hrhireup.com/
  • Guests are typically authors, CEOs/ CMOs and Directors of marketing companies, as well as business leaders and experts in corporate social responsibility (see above examples)

Looking to reach the HR community with a cracking campaign? Read more about our B2B PR services. Or keep browsing our blog:

 

Top 20 Marketing KPI examples

In an effort to build a list of the top marketing KPI examples, we asked 259 marketing executives, directors, officers and specialists to tell us about how they approach marketing KPIs.

52% of marketers hit their 2019 KPIs

More than half (52%) of the marketers in our sample claimed that their marketing strategy has met or exceeded its KPIs in the last year. However, 35% reported that their marketing strategy had been unsuccessful, hitting only some (32%) or none (3%) of its KPIs. A further 7% reported that their company does not have a formal marketing strategy (we think those people need a good B2B PR agency or some solid SEO services.

Sales growth is the top KPI for marketers

36% of the marketers we surveyed are measured on sales growth, with leads generated (28%), lifetime customer value (27%), cost of customer acquisition (24%) and media hits generated (23%) also noted as significant measures of success.

And the top 20 marketing KPI examples used by our sample were:

  • Sales growth
  • Leads generated
  • Lifetime customer value
  • Cost of customer acquisition
  • Media hits generated
  • Website traffic to lead ratio
  • Pitch / quote conversion rate
  • Social media engagement rate
  • Social media reach
  • Sales qualified lead to quote ratio
  • Marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead ratio
  • Cost per lead
  • Email marketing performance
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Share of voice
  • Organic website traffic
  • Inbound links built
  • Time spent on site
  • Audience brand recognition survey data
  • Social website traffic

Team skills biggest driver of success

We also asked our sample what had the biggest impact on success. They reported that team skills (28%), budget (26%) and strategy design are the most significant drivers of success, with luck playing a role for 10%.

At TopLine, we believe KPIs matter. Contact our head of digital PR and SEO to find out how we can help you drive sales growth, generate leads and decrease your cost of customer acquisition.   

Global Entrepreneurship Week: 10 online side hustles for the internet generation

Technology has truly transformed the world of business. It has enabled a new generation of online entrepreneurs who are tapping into the vast number of opportunities that cyberspace has to offer. And they’re changing the world with their innovative ideas.

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019, we’ve highlighted some of the world’s most popular platforms for online side hustles, from which the online entrepreneurs of the future are launching their careers.

Instagram

Brand marketing is probably the most lucrative way people can make money on the Instagram app. However, you need a large following – perhaps around 10k as a starting point – to begin bringing in the pounds. Kylie Jenner and Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, earn millions through this app. The Juventus forward reportedly earns more through social media than he does playing football!

Affiliate marketing is another tactic that people on Instagram use to earn money. It’s all about making sales: you are paid a percentage, if your followers buy the product.

Depop

This is one of the most popular online side hustles among the student population in the UK to earn money. Depop is a combination of eBay and Instagram. It’s aesthetically pleasing and straightforward to use. Whether you’re a thrifty shopper, a designer lover, a fan of all things vintage, or even want to buy new pieces of clothing or accessories, Depop has it all. It’s also a very sustainable way to shop, so it’s only likely to get bigger, and more popular.

There are several ways to earn money on Depop, but reselling is one of the most popular. Some people will troll charity shops to find the waviest vintage garments (often designer), then sell them on for a profit. Some shoppers even sign up to get exclusive access to ‘drops’ from much-hyped brands like Supreme. It may involve queuing for hours – if you’re even lucky enough to get a place – but once you’re in the store, you’re able to buy some exclusive clothes and resell them at a mark-up on Depop.

Gaming

There is serious money to be made from gaming, and winning tournaments online. And while the competition is fierce, the rewards can be substantial for simply playing your favourite video game. Competitions take place across the world, so there can be an excessive cost in terms of travel and accommodation. However, no risk, no reward, and winners can get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds!

Taking your gaming to platforms such as YouTube is one of the top online side hustles. The market for this is incredibly saturated, so it’s crucial to find a niche or have something about you that people love and embrace. The more viewers you get, the higher your earning potential – YouTube pays out a share of the money it collects from advertising and you can also benefit from lucrative sponsorship deals.

Ecommerce

Anybody can now build a website and instantly start selling a product online. There are tons of web building apps out there to get you started, and with the likes of Alibaba, for instance, you can find new suppliers and products continuously. There are a variety of models you can use to automate and manage your e-commerce business, as well as numerous platforms to sell your goods and services. With drop shipping models and third-party logistics options, you can set up an entire business at home. You don’t have to worry about storage, or to ship any of your products to your customers.

TikTok

This app is primarily aimed at a younger demographic. It enables people to watch short videos that feature people lip-syncing to songs, comedy routines, and other moments from pop culture — including TV shows and movies. People also film themselves doing stupid, funny, or cool things from dance routines to trick shots. You can’t make money from TikTok directly, but once you amass a following, you can migrate them to other sites like YouTube and make sponsorship deals.

Surveys

There’s a variety of different survey sites that will pay you to fill in and submit questionnaires. Populus is one of the more popular websites, paying around £2-£5 per survey depending on the length of time it takes to complete. It’s not the most lucrative of the online side hustles, but it is consistent. All you have to do is enter a few personal details, and the company will email you as and when surveys are available. Sometimes you may get multiple surveys in a matter of days, while other times you might only get a few each week – it all depends.

OnlyFans

One of the more innovative concepts, OnlyFans bills itself as a ‘subscription content service’ that allows users to pay a monthly fee to view exclusive pictures, videos or tutorials from their favourite creators. The creator gets 80 percent and OnlyFans gets 20 percent, and people can earn hundreds of thousands a year from it. Jem Wolfie, for example, is an influencer who has loads of followers on Instagram, and she currently has around 10,000 fans paying $15 every month to view her content. The content is exclusive compared to that on her Instagram profile, and she has already earned over £2 million.

Trading

If you enjoy following forex or stock markets, then you might have what it takes to trade. You’ll need to know how to use a broker platform to place your trades. After that, you’ll have to spend some time trading with a demo account where you don’t risk any real money. You can then progress from there. The beauty of this side hustle is that the markets are open in FX, so you can trade whenever from wherever. There is no cap on earnings either, and the spoils are huge. All you need is a mobile phone or laptop and an internet connection to get underway, meaning you can work from many different places around the world.

Running online courses

If you’re an experienced professional looking to teach your skills and share your expertise to the masses, you’re in luck – it can be one of the most valuable online side hustles. For example, one of author Suzy Ashworth’s online courses – The Limitless Life Experience, which helped business owners to thrive at home and work – generated £261,000 in sales in 2018. The success of the course prompted Suzy to move to Mexico with her husband and their three kids.

Travel blog/writing

Most people love travelling and exploring new places, so why not turn this hobby/passion into an income-generating lifestyle? Writing your stories and experiences can be rather enjoyable, plus you’ll be able to travel far and wide while potentially earning really good money. That said, it isn’t easy, as competition is fierce, and you’ll have to be able to sell your articles or run a revenue-generating blog.

When it comes to running an online business, there are a lot of moving pieces to think about. But if you want to succeed and create a sustainable business for years to come, you need to become a master at something. And once you’ve found that niche, cyberspace becomes infinite.

If you’re thinking about going beyond online side hustles, check out our list of 10 vibrant tech start-ups to get some inspiration