2010 – The Year of the Virtual PR Team?

6 05 2010

The concept of the virtual PR team is not a new one but it’s one that seems to be resonating within the client community at the moment. This week, Paratus Communications won Vodafone’s £500,000 B2B and social media account based, in part, on a mix of core in-agency experience and specialist skills picked from the UK’s freelance network.

The Virtual Team

The move is indicative of a move towards a more tailored, skills-centric approach to communications. In the last six months, myself and my freelance / virtual colleagues have spoken to a number of large organisations looking to rationalise their approach and choose support from companies and individuals with the right skills, rather than settle for the team that their agencies provide.

For many organisations this might be a step too far – many still prefer the ‘safety’ of a traditional agency set-up but,  for an increasing number, it’s more important to ensure that the team is right and fit for purpose. In Paratus’ case, they have provided Vodafone with a team that perfectly fits its needs and won the business as a result.

This is good news for a growing number of ‘virtual agencies’ both old and new and the growing number of, what I call, IVANs (International Virtual Agency Networks). It’s also good news for freelancers who have something to offer big corporate accounts but have, until now, perhaps not been considered. There’s such a wealth of quality support and experience out there that there’s no longer any reason for pitch teams not to involve external parties – especially if the skills fit the brief.





Nokia kinda didn’t come with music….

2 11 2009

I’ve been on about this on Twitter a bit lately as it’s something that is really mystifying me.  We bought a Nokia ‘Comes With Music’ phone a little while ago now, having seen it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.  When we got it home we found out that, because we’d bought the phone a week before the advertising campaign started, we weren’t entitled to our free tunes.  And we’re not the only ones.

Nokia fails to come up with much

Tune-free zone

I have spoken to a few people, mainly by accosting people on the street, who tell the same story.  There are others that claim the service is tough to use and increases in price the more you use it.  I don’t know how representative those views are but the figures speak for themselves.  A recent article claims that, although Nokia says it sold 3 million units by end April, only 32,728 had used the service in the UK by the end of July.

It strikes me that a great many of the millions of us that bought a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Nokia N96 may have fallen the victim to the ‘ad campaign’ loophole.  The public new about Comes With Music a long while before the ad campaign started, in fact many of us had been waiting impatiently after Mobile World Congress.

The XpressMusic phone was sold on the basis of Comes With Music, regardless of when the marketing campaign began – removing this privilege negates the reason for buying it in the first place.  Or am I being naive?

I’d be very interested to know how many others have been affected in this way!





Welcome to Fierce PR

1 11 2009

I’m Caroline Tarbett, I am a freelance corporate and technology PR specialist living in London.  I help in-house and agency PR teams manage their busy workloads, manage their client portfolios, grow and attract new business.  Having worked in PR agencies for nearly 15 years, I decided to set up my own small but perfectly formed PR consultancy, Fierce PR – and here’s my blog.

I’m forever enthusing about other people’s blogs and, some would argue, have plenty to say for myself.  This is a place for me to share some of the stuff I find interesting, both techy and not, and that I hope you find interesting, too.  I look forward to reading your comments!

What makes Fierce different?  Well, I offer simple but effective, results-driven consultancy and flexibility where many bigger agencies sometimes make things..well…more complicated.  I believe that a company’s requirements change all the time and so I offer a flexible service, based on individual need, at a time that suits my clients.

I offer a range of services designed to help companies and agencies of all shapes and sizes – everything from press release writing to advice on winning new business.  There’s more information about my experience over on the ‘about me’ page and, if you’d rather know what other people think about me then click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Caroline.