‘The Cocktail Party Effect’ is Serious PR’s proprietary methodology for getting our clients’ voices heard above the marketing babble.

Be heard by all the right people

If you’ve ever been to a noisy party or busy event you’ve probably experienced the uncanny ability we all have to zone out background hubbub so that we can hear and talk to just one person. It’s a phenomenon known as The Cocktail Party Effect and we believe it’s the perfect description for what we achieve for our clients – clarity of voice and message among the media noise.

Be seen in all the right places

But like every partygoer, it pays to pick and choose when are where you’re seen. Become too familiar and your presence eventually goes unnoticed. Be too elusive and people will forget who you are, let alone what you have to say. That’s why our Cocktail Party Effect also balances the perfect amount of exposure on only the most relevant platforms. It’s efficient too, limiting expenditure to opportunities that are guaranteed to have impact.

Don’t turn up in the same outfit and never be the last to leave

You know the story: you’ve spent ages choosing the perfect outfit to create a unique first impression, only to find that someone at the party has had exactly the same idea. How embarrassing. Worse still to have carefully crafted what you thought was a unique brand position for your organisation only to find you’re replicating what a competitor has already claimed as their own. That’s where our market knowledge and creativity combine to ensure our clients always stand out for all the right reasons – unique and compelling positioning with a fresh perspective. It’s also why we always aim to be the first to arrive and are never the last to leave. By the time one party – or sector theme – is drawing to an end we’ve already moved your brand on to the next one that’s just beginning.

Be yourself

There’s nothing more tiresome than someone pretending to be something they aren’t, or worse still, changing their tune every five minutes in an attempt to please everyone. So once we’ve established your tone of voice – your personality – we stick consistently to it. That way, people know where you stand and what to expect from you. It breeds familiarity and trust in what you do. Imagine you got talking to someone at a party one week and then, upon meeting them at subsequent events they behaved differently on each occasion. Not only would you lose faith in them, eventually you’d actively avoid their company. The same is true of brands and their messaging.

Tell your story one peanut at a time

We believe that the most effective way to tell a brand’s story is one core message at a time. It makes it easy for people to remember what you’ve said and over time it builds a logical yet richly layered picture of who you are and what your competitive advantage is. Think of it like this: if you picked one peanut from a bowl at a party and threw it at the person in front of you, chances are they’d catch it. Lift the bowl and pitch all the peanuts inside it at them and they’d probably catch none of them. Those peanuts are your brand’s messages and what we’ve just described is the difference between an effective PR strategy and one that has little if any impact.

You’ve spilled red wine on the white rug: what to do in a crisis.

Accidents, unfortunate events and misguided statements can have a devastating impact on your business, both from a customer and employee perspective. If not handled effectively with a pre-emptive plan, what started out as a minor mishap can quickly spiral into a full-on hurricane of negative press. That’s why crisis management is one of the first strategies we plan for all our clients, not because we expect the worst to happen, but because we want you to be reassured in case it does. The plan identifies a core team to handle the crisis, puts facts at the heart of the process and goes out of its way to provide guidance on honesty and accessibility. So if it was you who spilled red wine on the white rug, we’d recommend you hold your hand up, say you’re sorry and offer a remedy. In our experience a liberal sprinkling of crushed sea salt over the affected area does the trick.

What we bring to the party

For all this talk of outfits, peanuts and parties, we’re a fairly sober bunch. As our name implies, we have a thorough approach to what we do. We’ve been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t; what is fanciful and what has resonance. Our core team has a background of over 60 years in local journalism, both trade and consumer, print and broadcast, so we know what makes a good story and who best to tell it to. We’re a lean and agile outfit supported by a large freelance partner network so our clients get the best talent based on their requirements, not on our recruitment capability. It means you get the most experienced people working on your behalf delivering insight in an efficient, concentrated way.