Your website is the connector between you and your audience. How you present the information on the website will determine whether you’ll build trust or chase the visitors away. Every single piece of information you share will contribute to your brand’s image, and website policy is no different.
The website policy includes very important information. However, its relevance and value are often overlooked. This is why confusing and incomprehensible website policies aren’t a rarity on the web.
In order to establish trust and win over new users, you need a well-written website policy. Without an easy-to-understand website policy, the visitors will give up on trying to comprehend your writing or miss out on relevant data.
To create a comprehensible website policy for your website visitors, consider the following tips.
Use Clear and Plain Language
You never know who can stumble upon your website. People of different education, experiences, and jobs will read the policy. With that in mind, you need to use every day, simple language. Or simply put – plain language.
What does plain language refer to? Here are a few characteristics:
- Common words and phrases
- Short and uncomplicated sentences
- Concise and well-organized paragraphs
- Clear writing style
- No jargon
- Active voice (avoid passive voice as much as you can)
If you must include some technical terms, provide a brief and simple explanation.
You can test your content for readability with the help of online readability tools. For wide audiences, aim at 6th to 7th-grade reading level.
Remember that plain language is for everyone. Even if your website aims to attract experts in a certain industry or people with Ph.D. degrees, no one wants to tire their mind with overly technical website policy.
Segment the Information
An essential feature of any comprehensible content is the segmentation of information. Creating sections for different groups of information ensures that your writing is organized and understandable.
No one is a big fan of huge blocks of text. They are intimidating and overwhelming. That’s why sections present the perfect solution for digestible and understandable content.
When writing your policy, organize the information you want to share in segments. Preferably, each segment will be sectioned off with subheadings.
The benefit of subheadings is that they help users find a specific piece of information in no time. Maybe they’ll want to revise some segment of your policy later on. The sections will help them spot the information they need within seconds.
You can also use bullet points or numbering for the information within sections. This helps you to further organize information and make it more precise.
Write in a Concise Manner
Write what needs to be said. Nothing more. Website policy needs to obtain crucial information about your website, and that should be your measure.
Any sentence that isn’t sufficient should be deleted. The more concise your website policy is, the more comprehensive it will be.
Of course, you shouldn’t omit information just to shorten your policy. Writing concisely simply refers to sharing information that is necessary in the simplest way.
How to make your policy more concise, you wonder? Well, start with paying attention to your sentences. Try to spot unnecessary words or phrases that can be simplified. That’s one of the ways to make your policy more concise.
Also, be direct and stick to the point. It can be helpful if you outline the policy prior to writing. Thus, you’ll have guidance on what you need to cover, and you won’t leave yourself much room for redundant additions.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Out Writing Help
Website visitors expect a professionally written website policy. If you can’t deliver that, find someone who can.
If you are uncertain about your writing skills, or you are more of a creative type, not a “website policy writing” type, hire a writer. You can collaborate with a freelance writer or with writing services such as https://subjecto.com/ that can connect you with writing experts.
One of the reasons for the lack of quality of website policies is that website owners can’t commit to this task. However, they also don’t want to admit that they aren’t cut out for it. What they end up with, in that situation, is a poorly written, confusing policy.
If you don’t have the concentration or willpower to do it, that’s understandable. Hire a writer who will give their best and write a policy worthy of readers’ time. Website visitors won’t mind.
Proofread and Edit the Policy
There is not a piece of writing in the world that should be published without proofreading and editing. No matter how experienced you are in writing, proofreading and editing are unavoidable steps.
Edit your content and make tweaks and tweezes where needed. After you are finished with writing, step away from the policy, and come back later to revise it. Focus on the flow of the text and how understandable it is.
Getting someone to read your policy will be of huge help. Another pair of eyes can spot inconsistencies and mistakes that you can’t.
Proofreading is the cherry on top. Make the final revision of your policy and mainly focus on potential errors and misused words. There are plenty of online proofreading tools and apps that can speed up this process. However, you should always read and finalize the editing of the policy yourself, as the tools can’t know your intent and goals.
A comprehensible website policy is your path towards presenting your website as trustworthy. Once the visitors find all the information they need in your easy-to-understand policy, they’ll be more open to exploring your website.
Use these tips as a checklist for creating a comprehensible website policy. Write and rewrite the content as many times as you need until you are left with a simple, concise, segmented, and readable policy.Fintech PR case study: Generating leads using digital PR
WorldRemit, a disruptive international money transfer start-up, needed to grab market share from long-established competitors.
WorldRemit needed PR that supported its growth objectives. Specifically, the company needed:
- To increase brand awareness among the migrant / expat community
- To be known as a disruptive fintech start-up, taking on more traditional money-transfer providers
- To attract the attention of the UK investment community
We targeted the national, international, tech, expat and finance media with an aggressive campaign including:
- Media announcements to bring WorldRemit’s unique, low-cost money transfer services to potential customers around the world
- Business profiles and awards to showcase the rapid success of the WorldRemit business to potential investors
- Responding quickly to topical media stories around international money transfer to position WorldRemit’s spokespeople as thought leaders on the issue
- Harnessing WorldRemit’s own money transfer data to create interesting news stories for the media
In 9 months WorldRemit:
- Was featured in the media over 120 times, including 24 times in top national and international outlets, such as the BBC, FT, CNBC, Times, Guardian and Huffington Post.
- Owned a 9% share of voice on discussions about money transfer in the UK national media
- Achieved an 86% increase in brand awareness in its key UK target demographic.
During this time, the company’s web traffic soared by over 300%. WorldRemit caught the attention of the investment community and secured $40million in investement.
“TopLine was instrumental in building the credibility of WorldRemit as we grew from a start-up to a multi-million pound remittance company. They have excellent media relationships, both in the UK and internationally and are able to spot interesting media opportunities and manage them professionally to delivery.” – Ismail Ahmed, CEO, WorldRemit.
Find out more about our fintech PR services.The top 10 foodtech companies to watch in 2020
The food and agriculture industry is a huge business. On a fundamental level, every one of the 7.8 billion people on Earth needs to eat, so it’s a pretty solid market to be in. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the global food and agricultural business is valued at about $8 trillion.
What about the UK? The average family spends around £60.60 on their weekly food shop, and there are around 19 million families in the UK according to the ONS. So, some quick maths tells us that we spend over £1bn on food shops every week. And that’s before we’ve even considered eating out and the people who don’t fall into that ‘family’ category.
The food and agriculture industry is also, by many metrics, one of the least sustainable. Meat production requires huge amounts of grain, land, and water, and transporting food while it’s still fresh is highly polluting. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly concerned with the freshness and healthiness of their food, but food waste remains a persistent issue.
Fortunately, there are countless companies working to improve the industry.
In accordance with both the need to improve and the huge amounts of funding up for grabs, foodtech startups are booming. These companies are pursuing revolutions from meal kit delivery to vertical farming, and investors see their massive potential. According to Pitchbook, US investment in foodtech companies rocketed from around $60m in 2008 to more than $1.3 bn in just the first five months of 2018.
Here’s our list of foodtechs that look set to explode in 2020:
CEO/Founder(s): Giuseppe Scionti
What they do: Use 3D printers to produce plant-based meat.
Why they’re cool: They use 3D printers to produce plant-based meat.
You’ve probably heard of foodtech companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which make ‘realistic’ meat-substitutes from plant protein. Novameat is similar, but they take the process one step further: it uses 3D printers to create plant-based products with the shape and texture of familiar meats. Whereas competitors like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods use plant proteins to recreate ground meat like burgers and sausages, Novameat aims to recreate cuts of clean muscle meat.
At the moment, they’re working on perfecting their steak so that it looks, feels, cooks, cuts, and most importantly tastes like the real thing. The face behind this venture is Giuseppe Scionti, who (appropriately) has a PhD in Tissue Engineering. He’s a biomedical engineering expert and used to work and research at UCL, which is an impressive background. That’s why we take it seriously when Giuseppe tells TechCrunch: “…I discovered a way to bio-hack the structure of the native 3D matrix of a variety of plant-based proteins to achieve a meaty texture.”
Novameat secured investment from New Crop Capital in 2019, and we expect to see more from them in the year ahead.
Honourable mention in the category of rethinking the concept of ‘meat’ goes to Memphis Meats, a foodtech startup which is working to culture meat from animal cells. Whether lab-grown meat is still meat is something of a philosophical question, but what is clear is that their process is healthier than ‘real meat’ and significantly better for the environment.
CEO/Founder(s): Sébastien Roverso and Cyrill Hamon
What they do: Fully autonomous pizza restaurants.
Why they’re cool: Robots make your pizza.
By the year 2015 we expected to have self-tying shoes, hoverboards and flying cars. We’re not quite there yet, but Pazzi is bringing us one step closer to that imagined future with robot pizza chefs. They already have a trial branch of their automated pizza restaurant up and running in the Val d’Europe shopping centre near Paris. In June 2019, Pazzi raised €10 million in Series A funding to speed up the development of their technology and open this trial branch.
The process works like this: You order on your phone, and the robot restaurant then preps the dough, spreads the sauce, adds the cheese and toppings, cooks the pizza and serves it – all without human intervention. Although the pizzas are made by robots, humans have put extensive thought into the ingredients. Every robotically prepared pizza is made from fresh dough using local flour, organic vegetables, sustainably sourced seafood, and other conscientiously sourced toppings.
3. Growing underground
CEO/Founder(s): Richard Ballard and Steven Dring
What they do: Hydroponic systems to grow herbs and salads underground, all year round.
Why they’re cool: So many reasons.
Growing Underground is a London-based company. They use former air raid shelters, 33 metres below the city’s streets, to grow a variety of salad leaves.
All of the produce that Growing Underground grows in their hydroponic farms is zero carbon and uses 70% less water than traditional open-field farming. They’re fully powered by renewable energy and produce fresh salad leaves all year round. It’s incredible that they’re able to do this, let alone doing it in the middle of London. The foodtech startup, which has celebrity chef Michel Roux Junior on their board of directors, started a £15m Series A funding round in January of 2020. Their client list already includes M&S, Waitrose and Farmdrop.
You can even take a virtual tour of the farm online.
CEO/Founder(s): Gonzague Gru and Guillaume Fourdinier
What they do: Mini (and vertical) farms in containers – in cities.
Why they’re cool: It’s in their name… but also some more substantial reasons.
Agricool, like Growing Underground, aims to cut the environmental impact of transporting the food from the place where it’s grown to the place where it’s consumed. Growing food in cities, the two companies suggest, will result in significant reductions in the food industry’s carbon footprint. However, while Growing Underground have opted to turn bunkers into grow-rooms, Agricool has chosen to put their farms in shipping containers.
Shipping containers are already the ubiquitous unit of shipping, so they’re easy to transport. Agricool aims to use their temperature-controlled hydroponic shipping-container-based ‘farms’ to grow fresh, local, pesticide-free fruit and veg right near consumers. The container takes up barely more space than a few parking spots, and can already grow strawberries, basil, coriander, and lettuce year-round.
The company raised $28 million in funding in 2018, and aims to hire another 200 employees by 2021. They already have farms in France and Dubai, and they plan to open several more in 2020.
CEO/Founder(s): Osnat Michaeli, Erez Galonska and Guy Galonska
What they do: Local and in-store vertical farming.
Why they’re cool: In-store farms cut the distance that food has to travel to almost zero.
Similar in concept to some of the previously mentioned foodtech companies, Infarm uses hydroponic technology to grow produce year-round, but their twist on the idea is that they grow food directly in shops. That’s right, the company aims to cut out the entire transportation chain and grow the food in a store. When it’s ready, customers can simply pick the vegetables and bring them home.
This revolutionary idea uses 95% less water than traditional farming, as well as 75% less fertiliser and – unsurprisingly – 99% less transportation. The company completed a Series B funding round in 2019 which raised $100 million. They’ve partnered with huge supermarket chains like Intermarche and Auchan, and already have over 200 in-store farms in Europe and North America.
6. ResQ Club
CEO/Founder(s): Tuure Parkkinen, Janne Käki, Matias Piiparinen, Marko Rintamäki and Antti Kissaniemi
What they do: Connect users with restaurants to buy food otherwise destined for the bin at discounted prices
Why they’re cool: They’re using technology to take on food waste, which is a major problem.
Every month, tens of thousands of perfectly edible restaurant meals go straight in the bin. This is a huge tragedy, and an entirely avoidable one, according to ResQ Club. This Finnish app connects consumers with restaurants to make sure that every meal gets eaten. The app is easy to use: simply choose from the listed meals, pay, and pick them up whenever you’re ready. Consumers benefit from discounts of up to 50%, while restaurants and food vendors make money from food that would otherwise have earned them nothing.
The app is already operating in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Poland, and may expand into more countries in the coming year.
CEO/Founder(s): Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One
What they do: Community creation to encourage food sharing and waste reduction.
Why they’re cool: Cutting down food waste and building food-sharing communities.
Up to 50% of all food produced globally is never eaten. Olio is another app that was created to stop good food from going to waste. Unlike ResQ Club, it’s available in the UK, among other countries, and specialises in groceries and other goods rather than restaurant meals.
The app connects individuals and businesses, which list any spare food they have. Others can search the marketplace and then pick-up the food that would have otherwise gone in the bin. This form of hyper-local sharing is also intended to help people meet other environmentally minded people in their neighbourhood and build a stronger community around food sharing.
This foodtech startup has already facilitated the sharing of more than three million portions of food, and they’ve partnered with 270 businesses that share 70,000 meals every month on the platform. The app secured $6 million in Series A funding in 2018.
CEO/Founder(s): Timo Boldt and James Carter
What they do: Subscription-based recipe kit boxes.
Why they’re cool: They cut down on packaging and food waste by sending just what you need.
Gousto promises the ultimate in food shopping convenience. They join other companies in the meal kit delivery world by providing the exact, high-quality ingredients that you need for a given recipe right to your front door. This saves time on the weekly shop, increases the variety of your diet. Users can choose from new recipes every week and manage their subscription through an app.
One of the major benefits to meal kit delivery is that it significantly reduces food waste. Users get just the amount of ingredients that the dish requires, meaning that they don’t buy large quantities of ingredients they use infrequently and let them go to waste. In other words, you don’t need to buy a whole tub of tamarind paste just to use a teaspoon for one recipe. Gousto has a whole blog on sustainability, and it’s clearly one of the driving considerations behind their business.
In 2019, Gousto pledged to cut the plastic they use in half – and they succeeded, saving an amount equivalent to around 238 million plastic straws. The business has raised £75 million in funding and is backed by fitness influencer Joe Wicks
CEO/Founder(s): Antoine Hubert
What they do: Insect farming for premium nutrition.
Why they’re cool: They’re making insects a viable, environmentally friendly animal feed.
Ynsect is building factories that will produce mealworm beetle larvae at an industrial scale for use in animal feed and as fertiliser. Larvae are already a food source for many types of fish, and they’re packed with protein, making them ideal for animal feed. Animal feed is a $500 billion per year market, and disruptors like Ynsect are looking for a slice of it.
The company uses robotics, artificial intelligence and techniques borrowed from vertical farming to bring down costs to make this an affordable mainstream protein source for farms all over the world.
Ynsect raised $125 million in Series C funding in February 2019, and they’re using that money to build a new, 40,000 square meter vertical farm in Amiens, France. Over the next decade, the company plans to build 15 factories around the world including North America and South-East Asia as well as Europe, to produce one million tonnes of insect protein a year.
CEO/Founder(s): Matija Zulj
What they do: Farm management and analytics software.
Why they’re cool: They’re bringing farm management into the 21st Century.
Agrivi is farm management and analytics software designed to help farmers keep track of all their farm’s activities in one place. The software provides farmers with accurate data on every agricultural process, from planting to harvesting, allowing them to improve efficiency and even predict adverse weather and crop disease.
The makers of the software say that Agrivi was born out of a desire to increase crop yield to reduce global hunger. Their website observes that: “By 2050… global food production will need to increase by over 60% if we are to feed the entire population.” So far, Agrivi has helped farms from Serbia to Brazil and has raised $1.4 million in funding.
Keep an eye on these foodtech companies
That’s just ten companies that are working to revolutionise food production and delivery – and there are dozens we haven’t mentioned. It’s an incredibly exciting industry, and definitely one that we should all be keeping track of.
If you’re a foodtech business looking to plant your fields – or hydroponic grow racks, as the case may be – with the seeds of success, drop us a line today to chat about our digital PR and SEO services.
Written by: Tom Pallot, Digital Strategist
Meet Elaine Cobb, Senior Comms Consultant and STEM PR expert
Elaine Cobb is a Senior Comms Consultant here at TopLine Comms. Her engineering background makes her an incredible asset to our STEM PR team, where she deftly translates complex concepts into clear, concise messaging. But how does a mechanical engineer wind up in PR? What sorts of overlap are there between those two worlds? We sat down with Elaine to find out.
How did you first get into engineering PR?
I started my career as an engineer on a graduate programme at Thames Water. One of the good things about working for a big company is that you sometimes get opportunities to try different things in other departments through secondments. So, when a change management and culture role popped up, I went off on it. And eventually, that role turned into a PR role.
After Thames Water, I moved to a PR consultancy where we delivered public consultations for sensitive planning developments. That was challenging, but interesting – until the financial crisis hit and all the work dried up. Following that, I built some websites and took a role working with the Guide Dogs Association, where I edited their magazine and started working on social media. Finally, I joined the STEM PR team at Six Degrees, which has since become a part of TopLine Comms.
How do you find your engineering background helps you in PR?
The skill sets of engineering and PR actually complement each other more than people might think. There certainly are some engineers who keep their heads down all day, working exclusively on numbers, but there are many engineers who also use a lot of soft skills day to day. Lots of engineers work on negotiation, bidding for new business, project management or other management work, all of which are extremely useful in the PR world.
An engineering background really helps in STEM PR. It’s incredibly useful to understand the fundamental principles and to have worked in some of the areas that we focus on. Having worked on-site, been up close with industrial equipment, knowing how companies form alliances, and being familiar with just-in-time manufacturing philosophy, for example, all make it easier to talk with clients and their target audience. You don’t have to waste time defining terms, so you can get straight to asking meaningful questions. Another key skill in both engineering and PR is managing a project timeline – though it’s fair to say the scales can be quite different!
What advice would you give to somebody starting out in a STEM career tomorrow?
I would tell them to think about what the future holds. I think there’s going to be a lot of automation, a lot of smart solutions, and a lot of AI. Consider pursuing one of these areas of future growth.
Previously, there was a lot of championing of the arts as a career path. Now, there are a lot of people championing of engineering as a career for men and women, which I think this is a really positive thing. I think that it’s mostly down to the rise of internet and technology companies, but it has really boosted the whole STEM Community.
What do you love most about what you do, and why?
What I really enjoy about my job now is that it combines engineering with the comms experience. As an engineer, I worked for a long time on projects that didn’t seem to make much impact, and some were never implemented at all. It was very frustrating to go through the process of carrying out a study to see how we should implement every little detail, whereas now I have the freedom to work on projects that my clients want to show off. Every one of the projects I work on now has made it over the engineering hurdles and they want to convince someone to buy or use it. Every product is a success that somebody is really proud of, and that really makes it quite exciting.
It’s fair to say I’ve had some varied experiences, but what I really love about my job is that STEM PR is all about celebrating successful projects – and that’s not something most people get to do every day.
That’s all from Elaine for now, but we’re always happy to talk about STEM PR. To find out what TopLine’s STEM team can do for you, contact us today.Everything you need to know before pitching BBC Radio 4 and BBC Online
BBC Radio 4 is among the most illustrious news outlets in the UK – so much so, that in the event of nuclear war, Britain’s submarines are told to listen out for the broadcast of Radio 4’s flagship Today Programme, to determine if the nation has survived. In addition to submarine commanders, the show regularly reaches seven million listeners in the peak 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. hour. Listeners trend older, and the show is tuned in to religiously by government employees. So, if you’re a CEO trying to get your message in front of the right people, Radio 4 might well be the place to go.
Our media relations consultant Ben was lucky enough to hear from both Dominic O’Connell and Katie Hope about how the news gets made, and what you can do if you want to get your story on BBC Radio 4 or online.
Dominic is the Business Presenter for the Today Programme. He appears on the show Monday to Thursday at 6:15 and 7:15 am, interviewing experts and chief executives from some of the world’s leading companies. He also appears on other BBC outlets and contributes to their online business pages. Katie is the business editor for the Today Programme and BBC Business Online. She has been with the BBC for six years and runs the daily business news coverage, including deciding which topics and guests make the cut.
Decisions about what to cover are made in the central planning department for business, which determines coverage across radio, TV, and online, making it the ideal place to send your story. Katie meets with the business unit at 8:40 every morning, and the central business unit at 10:00, they review the papers and wires for stories and consider bids for guests.
If you’re thinking of making a major announcement, they can organise an appearance around 7:00 am, when most listeners are tuning in. And they’re serious about making it quick and easy to make an appearance on the show if you have news: the chief executive of Whitbread was on the show just three minutes after the company made the announcement that they were selling Costa.
Dominic says that the Today Programme mostly speaks with CEOs but will talk to anybody who knows their story inside and out, and can talk about it in an engaging way, and in terms that listeners can understand. That means business leaders, from start-ups and small businesses to the FTSE100 – no business is too large or too small. The BBC is currently undertaking a ‘50/50 initiative’ to get representation of women across its programmes up to half, so they recommend putting forward qualified female commentators whenever possible. And finally, don’t be offended if the interview gets pushed at the last minute, that’s just the nature of covering the news.
Katie always reads emails and takes phone calls, but she’s incredibly busy, so keep it to a few sentences and don’t call just to check in. She wants to know what you’re pitching right away. Do your homework before you call, she advises, because she is always persuaded by someone who knows what they’re talking about and can discuss it in a compelling way. Dominic adds that most PR people don’t know enough about the details of the business to be able to answer the types of tough questions he likes to ask. They do talk to analysts, consultants, and lawyers, but usually in the less high profile 6:15 am slot, not the high listenership 7:15 morning slot.
Dominic and Katie mentioned that they’re interested in stories and interviews about the negative interest rates, internet disruption, social rights at work, and women at work. They’re also looking for forward-looking content about central bank independence, advertising, and the city of London. However, they don’t have an overarching agenda, so if you think you have something they might be interested in, give it a go. They both advise not trying to be overly clever with your angle and emphasise the importance of an exclusive story.
The Today Programme looks for stories that will affect lots of listeners, or even the entire country. An effective story they ran was the secret gold transfer from the bank of England to Poland. Everyone had a stake, and it was an interesting story. BBC Online, meanwhile, accepts a broader range of topics and styles. The story ‘I rent one item of clothing a month’, for instance, was led by a personal narrative with a secondary discussed of the business trend of sustainability fashion. It was an enormous success, and 35% of readers were between 16 and 24, and half were women. The website typically gets more than one million readers, with spikes for stories such as Uber’s licensing troubles of up to three million.
If you make it on to the show (congratulations), they want simple, specific answers to their questions. No nonsense, no jargon, just authentic, honest responses. Dominic’s number one tip is not to overprepare: if you come across as genuine and really try to answer the questions, it doesn’t matter if you seem unpolished. He also noted that once people managed to overcome the nerves of their first appearance, they always wanted to go again.
If you’re looking to get in touch, send an email to the BBC Radio 4 address or directly to email@example.com, since she reads them and circulates them to the team – but don’t call to ask whether they received your email.TopLine Comms recognised for Excellence in Wellbeing
At TopLine Comms, our talented, hard-working people (and, of course, wonderful dogs) are the secret ingredient in our first-rate digital PR, SEO, and video production. We take care of each other and try to create a positive, compassionate environment in our offices because we know that everybody needs support to do their best work.
So you can imagine our excitement when Great Places to Work (GPTW) once again awarded us an Excellence in Wellbeing Award for 2019-2020. The award considered company culture, hiring processes, and equality measures (among many other factors) so we’re thrilled to have been recognised.
Great Places to Work initially asked us for a detailed culture audit and confidential employee Trust Index Survey to gather employee feedback and information about the programs and practices that make our workplace unique. The Trust Index aims to shed light on the employee experience by highlighting some of the core business areas that drive engagement. Some of the areas that the audit considered were the promotion of fairness and transparency, celebrating and recognising achievements, nurturing employee talents, and investing in a fun community and environment.
Our culture and values
We’re always looking to improve the experience of working here at TopLine. This involves implementing new initiatives to keep the team happy, engaged, and motivated – from wellbeing activities like yoga and laser tag to our new bonus system. We’ve found that flexibility is another key to enabling employees to flourish, and that balancing personal and professional makes it easier for teams to collaborate.
We recently updated our company values to reflect our evolving business. Our three new values are:
- Still learning, always learning.
- Creativity takes courage.
- Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not.
These values draw from art and science to remind us to find inspiration in unconventional places while helping to drive all our structures, processes, and policies.
Excellence in Wellbeing
We were incredibly proud to rank on the Great Places to Work scheme last year, and we’re equally proud to have earned the award for Excellence in Wellbeing this year. We work hard to ensure that our organisation is a positive, supportive, and successful place for employees, and we’re glad that our efforts have been recognised.
To find out more about working at TopLine check out our recruitment page.PR challenges for science companies
As a science PR agency we have a pretty good idea of what challenges our clients face when it comes to sharing their stories.
It’s a complex, but exciting field – with new developments and breakthroughs happening all the time. So how do you manage this complexity to get everyone excited about new discoveries?
Breaking it down
Explaining challenging concepts and brand-new technologies in a compelling and digestible way is no easy feat. It’s important to break it down and always link developments to the bigger picture; when producing content start with ‘why’ and focus on the problem that your company is addressing.
Clear, consistent and careful messaging is key – people are not going to get excited about something they don’t understand, so think about your audience when developing content. For example, if you are speaking to a technical trade publication then the more detail the better, but if you’re speaking to national or more generalist media it’s important to have a high-level overview at the ready and be ready for unexpected questions.
To tell scientific stories effectively and get noticed, you need more than just the facts. You need to add colour to a story a bring it to life – this where a science PR agency can really help. One story can have hundreds of different angles – you just need to discover them, for example how it could be seen through the eyes of different audiences.
It’s also worth thinking about how to ‘show’ your story with visual aids such as video or infographics. The most complicated concepts can become simple when seen in an easily accessible way. Explainer videos are perfect for demonstrating new scientific products in layman’s terms.
Balance is key when it comes to revealing science stories to the world. Although you may think your story is the best thing since sliced bread and you’re mega excited to share it, it’s important to not over-hype it. Research findings especially can evoke lots of emotions from your audience, and you want to make sure that they are as balanced as possible. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the coverage in the press can be backed up with evidence, and that statistics are presented in the right way so that the public is not misled.
Of course, you should still be confident in telling your story and if it’s a truly revolutionary piece of research or new development then go ahead and let the world know about it. Timing is also important, as even some of the greatest science stories can be overshadowed by the news agenda – so it’s important not to be discouraged and to share news regularly.
Ultimately, great science communication is about combining solid data and creativity.
If you’re looking to promote your STEM offering, we might be the science PR agency for you. Contact us to find out more.
How to Launch a Successful ICO
The cryptocurrency market is undeniably growing in popularity. According to Tokendata, one of the more comprehensive ICO trackers, over 902 Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were launched in 2017, of which 41% were regarded a success. This year got off to a similar start: the first three months of 2018 saw ICOs collectively raise $6.3. billion – well over the total for 2017. ICOs are clearly an opportunity to raise some serious funds, but the failures can also be astronomical – in 2017, the total funds raised for failed ICOs amounted to more than $100m.
If you’re looking to launch an ICO and raise funds for your business or project, you might well be wondering how to do it without imploding. “Don’t commit fraud” is obviously a good start, but it’s also worth thinking about the conditions for success – and failure.
Our upcoming panel at London Tech Week on ‘How to Launch a Successful ICO’ is for anyone who is considering launching an ICO, raising investment or just interested in learning more on the topic. We’ll be discussing ICO successes and failures, with an exclusive preview of a new report on ICO companies.
Organised by TopLine Comms, our special guests include:
- David Gerard, Unix System Administrator and author of “Attack of the 50 foot blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts”
- Davide Vicini, CEO at Maveric SA
- David White, CEO at Keybox
Details of the panel:
Date & Time
Thursday 14th June
16.30 arrival for 17.00 start, with plenty of opportunity for drinks and networking following the speakers.
New Road Hotel
103-107 New Rd
Attendance is free however the venue has limited capacity, so please register to attend here.
For more information on the panel and London Tech Week, click here.
How to Make a Personalised Video – and Boost Audience Engagement
How do you get the whole world to watch your video? Easy. You make it personal for each audience. Video and personalisation are two very effective marketing tactics. Bring them together in a personalised video and your campaign’s ROI will sky-rocket: studies show that a personalised video campaign can increase click-through and conversion rates by up to 1500%.
Sounds great. So, how do you actually make a personalised video? Well, you make the content exclusive to the viewer. This could be anything from specifically mentioning their company, congratulating them on their accomplishments, or calling the viewer by their name.
One of the most memorable (and successful) examples of a personalised video is the Coca-Cola Share a Coke campaign. The strategy was simple: replace the logo on Coca-Cola bottles and cans with people’s names. The videos went viral, created a lot of positive online media noise and helped boost sales.
Need a company video? Download the Ultimate Guide to Commissioning a Corporate Video now!
In the words of Dave Carnegie: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Personalisation is both exciting and engaging. The viewer feels directly involved in what they’re watching, like it was made just for them. This turns the entire moment into a truly memorable experience.
Make a personalised video for B2B or B2C
Personalised videos can work for a variety of different audiences and uses – it really just depends on what is being marketed. The video can showcase what a company can do for a specific viewer, and talk about the skills and assets it has that they might need. It can advertise an upcoming company event, announce new products or build better brand awareness.
Like Coca-Cola, Cadbury is a good B2C example of personalised video success. The company made a series of personalised videos matching consumers to different kinds of chocolate. This was based on personal customer data – such as profile picture, name, age and location – gathered from the Cadbury Facebook page. Thanks to this campaign, Cadbury achieved a 65% click-through rate and a 33% conversion rate of viewers who completed a subsequent promotion form after watching their own personalised video.
As a leading B2B video company, we use personalisation to attract new business. We send personalised video cards to potential clients. A great deal of research goes into this. We look for the best companies to send the cards to, identify their needs and pain points, and crucially find out who in the company is best to address the card to.
When they open the card, TopLine’s head of video production pops up on screen and says “Hi [insert viewer’s name],” and goes on to explain what TopLine can do for the viewer’s company. This is followed by three examples of videos TopLine has done in the past for similar companies.
The reaction to these personalised video cards has been overwhelmingly positive. Most people are so surprised that it says their name that they want to keep watching and find out what the video is all about. It really does work! When you do it well…
Need a company video? Download the Ultimate Guide to Commissioning a Corporate Video now!
How do you ensure your personalised video is made well?
You have to research your target audience. You can’t get personal unless you know who they are. Gather as much information as possible about the company or person you are trying to reach – this will help keep the content of on point.
The entire process of making a good personalised video – and distributing it successfully – can be an intimidating task. Production can get tricky. A personalised video production strategy really depends on:
- How many videos you’re looking to roll out
- The level of personalisation
- The content
If you’re producing on a mass scale, you’ll need to use something like Idomoo or Photospire. They deal with vast numbers of personalised video rollout (hundreds of thousands) and can manage complex databases. If you’re thinking small-scale distribution, then you can easily self-produce a direct mail campaign – we’ve seen it work!
At the end of the day, we are all pretty self-absorbed humans. We all love to feel important and personalised videos play up to that.