Peak Communicators
January 9, 2017

4 Unavoidable PR Trends for 2017

As we usher in 2017, the impact of digital and social media is only going to continue to grow. As digital news is more instant, searchable and accessible, more and more people are gravitating to the online world and using social channels to find content specific to their interests. Newsrooms also shrank in 2016, allowing for less specialized journalists and the rise of influencers. So what do we foresee coming ahead for 2017? Below is a list of what to look for and how to prepare for it.

Influencers continue to be King

Since more people are choosing to read online news that is filtered to meet their interests, influencers have become instrumental to brand marketing and PR efforts. A Nielsen survey found in 2013 that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from family and friends. While this may not seem surprising, Twitter revealed, in a similar study in 2016, that their users trust online influencers nearly as much as their friends and family.

Finding authentic advocates who already connect with your followers, and who are within your brand’s target audience, will increasingly become the best option for earned media. How do we prepare for this? Start doing some research into which influencers reach your target audience, and reach out to them. Figure out what they like and what they post, and tailor pitches to meet their needs.

Contributor marketing and thought leadership will grow

As audiences trust influencers more and more, it will be integral to build thought leadership for your brand, positioning yourself as an influencer in your field. If the audience feels that your brand/spokesperson is a subject matter expert in the product/service you are offering, you will remain top of mind.

Further, as newsrooms continue to shrink, a trend we have seen for the past few years, more content will be created by contributors who are thought leaders in their field. With less staff to conduct research and dedicate time to individual stories, many news teams are also looking for expert advice in their pieces. Positioning yourself as a thought leader will not only allow for earned media coverage and brand recognition, it will allow you to influence how the story is told.

Visuals will become a necessity

Over the past year we saw a rise not only in social media, but in live video. Snapchat (or Snap Inc. as it’s now referred to) became a force to be reckoned with and Facebook Live and Instagram Stories were born. As live video exploded in 2016, we can only see it continuing to dominate conversations this year as more news moves to the Internet. In an era of information overload, brands will have to provide content that is simple to grasp, personable and compelling enough to capture the short attention span of the audience today. That can be done most efficiently through strong visuals and live video. Videos and visuals are also easily shared through social media, allowing for a wider reach.

Facts and case studies are a must

If there was one lesson learned in 2016, it was that fake news will not be tolerated. With the many fake news scandals this past year, news outlets are going to be much more diligent about the information they put out. News stories are going to now be backed up by industry specialists, and articles are going to be written by contributors with knowledge in the specific area. Additionally, pitch notes are going to have to be supported by solid facts, and new products accompanied by user reviews and well researched case studies.

In 2017, news and online content will only become further curated for individual audiences. As a result, influencers will be the gatekeepers for brands, and content must be engaging and factual. Our advice? Brush up those social profiles, build strong relationships with influencers, establish a thought leadership program and create engaging, thoughtful and compelling content.

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May 3, 2016

Looking Back (and Ahead) at the Canadian Media Landscape

In just a handful of years, the Canadian media landscape has evolved by leaps and bounds. Traditional media outlets like print and television are beginning to give way to digital media, resulting in a significant and dramatic shift in the way media is produced and consumed. Newsrooms have consolidated as digital media continues to change and develop at a faster pace than ever. As more millennials enter the workforce, we’re starting to see brands rely more and more on social media tactics right alongside traditional media.

So, let’s take a look back at a brief timeline of the Canadian media landscape:

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This blog post was contributed by our 2016 Peak Communicators Practicum Scholarship winner and intern, Thomas Miller. Connect with Thomas here!

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April 19, 2016

Creating a Strong Brand: How Ladurée Did It

Almost every day for the past month, as we walk to and from the Peak office on Robson Street in Vancouver, we are greeted by long line ups of people excitedly waiting to get a taste of our newest neighbor, Ladurée Paris. This is not new to us Robson Street dwellers, as we have also recently witnessed the overnight Tesla line ups as well as the many line ups for Kanye West shoes. But, never have we seen it for a month straight. So, what makes Ladurée so appealing that people are willing to wait for hours day after day?

Consider these four reasons:

It starts with a story

It all starts with a strong story: one which not only shares the vision of the brand but is relatable to the audience. This is followed by a commitment to maintain and enhance that story with all other public relations efforts. The Ladurée brand story is intertwined with Parisian history and refinement, and through that story they invite the audience into their world of French luxury and elegance.

The ‘je ne sais quoi’ factor

An important question to ask once the story is defined is, “what makes your product more unique than similar products also on the market?”  Ladurée has been able to differentiate themselves through the idea of authenticity, elegance and sophistication, and by being an active part of the definition of Parisian haute couture over the years through partnerships with high fashion houses and like-minded celebrities.

Old world meets new world

For any brand to be strong, it must be an important part of modern culture while still holding true to its own story and uniqueness. This is done in different ways, but most commonly through celebrity endorsement, social media, word of mouth reviews and of course, PR. From a brief sweep of the 20+ official Ladurée Instagram accounts, it is apparent that they have managed to keep the old French sophistication at the forefront, while still being culturally relevant – from creating decadent macarons based on Disney’s Frozen, to featuring celebrities such as Pharrell and Blake Lively, to partnering with Vogue magazine.

Ladurée is also the first of its kind to open in Canada, and with its choice to be on Robson Street, a street known for having high class designer shops and restaurants, it is also culturally positioning itself in Canada as being more than just another macaron shop, but a standalone designer store.

Personality always wins

The product has to appeal to their target audience and allow them to be drawn into the world the brand has created. At this point three questions must be answered – Is the brand appealing? Will I purchase it? And if so, why? In addition to a strong product, Ladurée has surpassed all expectations on this by answering all three questions. Ladurée has created an experience that is not only appealing to a wide range of people, but is an experience people are willing to pay money for in order to gain something they cannot get anywhere else. Macarons can be bought in many places, but curated Parisian culture and art cannot.

From the pretty pastels, fine china and floral patterns to the visually appealing deserts, the brand has curated a story that the public wants to not only buy into, but to share with their friends and on social media. As a result, Ladurée and other brands with similar buzz are not only accessible, but they create an experience worth coming back to, again and again.

 

 

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March 3, 2016

It’s Peak’s Lucky Number 13!

Today is our 13 year anniversary at Peak Communicators! Yesterday night, we hosted a wonderful celebration of our 13-year milestone and celebrated with clients – past, present and potential – as well as our media friends.

Stories were told, laughs were had, sushi and cheese were devoured and wine and beer were flowing!

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate ‘#Peak13’ with us. Your support is what got us through the first 13 years and we’re excited to see what the next 13 have in store!

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June 29, 2015

Clients in the Media: MR MIKES SteakhouseCasual

MR MIKES SteakhouseCasual launched a brand awareness campaign called ‘Mikes Unite’ to gather a record number of Mikes and Michaels in Regina. The campaign raised $30,550 in support of KidSport. Donations went back to kids in all 26 MR MIKES communities in Western Canada.

Leader-Post, Mr Mikes, sponsorship, kidsport

 

Please visit the MR MIKES case study page for more information on the previous work we’ve done for this client.

 

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May 15, 2015

Clients in the Media: The Nature Trust of British Columbia

The Nature Trust of British Columbia, a leading land conservation organization based in BC, recently called for donations to acquire and protect the Salmon Estuary River on Vancouver Island. Here lies a critical land that provides a year-round habitat for some of BC’s rarest wildlife and fish species, including Great Blue Heron, Marbled Murrelet, Northern Pygmy Owl, Roosevelt Elk, and eight species of salmonids.

Nature Trust of British Columbia, Vancouver, conservation, media coverage

 

Nature Trust of British Columbia, Alyn Edwards, conservation

Please visit the Nature Trust of British Columbia case study page for more information on the previous work we’ve done for this client.

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May 4, 2015

Clients in the Media: F-Pacific Optical Communications Co. Ltd.

F-Pacific Optical Communications Co. Ltd. announced the establishment of their North American headquarters in Vancouver and plans to open a new manufacturing plant in Surrey that would create 200 jobs. The campaign resulted in over 50 pieces of coverage, equating to over 47 million impressions.

Vancouver Sun, F-Pacific, optical communications

Please visit the F-Pacific case study page for more information on the previous work we’ve done for this client.

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April 22, 2015

How Peak Goes Green

Peak Communicators is a green office, and I mean that in both the literal and figurative sense.

The walls are green, the carpet is green, our logo has green in it, as does some of our office supplies, and there are a few pieces of greenery around the office.

Sometimes we also wear green.

But green isn’t just one of Peak’s brand colours. When it comes to environmental practices, green is our mantra.

While we work hard all year to be environmentally sustainable, here’s a look at what makes the Peak offices green and eco-friendly in the spirit of Earth Day:

1) Car-free commute: Whether it’s by foot, bike or transit (shout out to bus 241!), the overwhelming majority of us Peakers saunter in via an Earth-friendly mode of transportation. We forgive Alyn for driving because he’s kind of a notorious ‘car guy,’ and because Chris offsets Alyn’s drive by telecommuting in from Kelowna.

2) Organic waste recycling: We received our compost bin a few weeks ago and the announcement raised a round of email cheers from the staff. Clearly we’re all about composting because we fill that bin up every single day.

3) Paper recycling: We’re media people and therefore we read all of the daily local and national newspapers. But with great power comes great responsibility, so we happily turn around and recycle them (almost) as quickly as we read them

4) Reusable dishes and containers: Those of us who cook at home bring our lunches in reusable containers and will use the office dishes to chow down. Also, Peak generously provides us with our morning coffee and tea (that doesn’t come from k-cups, and which gets recycled after brewing/steeping), so we keep some of those disposable cups from the local coffee shops out of the landfill by using our ceramics.

We also represent a number of amazing clients who are making huge strides in environmental sustainability and eco-friendly workplaces.

Tell us in the comments what does your company do to go green year-round.

Happy Earth Day from Peak!

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April 21, 2015

Clients in the Media: Evolve Condominiums

Hundreds of buyers lined-up at the WestStone Properties Evolve sales centre for an opportunity to buy a home in the 35-storey concrete condo tower in Surrey, which boasts prices starting at $93,900 during pre-construction.

Evolve Condominiums, public relations, real estate PR

Evolve Condominiums, public relations, real estate PR
Please visit the Evolve Condominiums case study page for more information on the previous work we’ve done for this client.

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