I remember well the time when I worked with my family in our business. We had two shops at one point and the build up to Christmas included the task of building the festive window displays. These had to showcase a wide range of products to appeal to as many window shoppers as possible. Making sure the product was displayed to its best potential and clearly priced was crucial too. There was the temptation to cram as much in as possible but I soon learnt that the old saying ‘Less is more’ was a good mantra to work to, as an overcrowded window means products are often not shown to their best and products can be lost to the eye.
What's in a name?
I'm often asked "Why Howling Moon?" so here's an explanation...
When setting up my own business I wanted a name that was that little bit different - something that was memorable with a bit of personality.
So many PR companies are the founder's name or initials (and there already was an RMPR!) - add to that the problems of people spelling my first name correctly (who thought three letters could morph into so many variations!) and then don't even get me started on my surname!
Whilst using your own name works for lots of businesses and brands I didn't feel it was the right thing for me - and I was also thinking I could continue to use Howling Moon if at some point in the future I decide on a change of business. That all said, I did at one point consider Oi Soy Roy Boy!
Looking through the directory of PRs, there are lots of 'fruits' and colours - particularly in the lifestyle PR sector - so I set out to come up with something a bit more unique.
As I'm strangely drawn to the moon - particularly a full one which I find mesmerising (I had images of the full moon projected onto the backdrop of the catwalk for my degree collection presentation many moons ago) - I thought something suitably lunar might be fitting.
This, coupled with a love of the canine species was followed by lots of scribbling down of words associated with talking, shouting, broadcasting, spreading the word etc.
After a few false starts and some pretending to answer the phone to see if the name sounded OK out loud, I decided on Howling Moon.
Last year through a series of scandals social media lost some of its appeal to users. Some people deleted their accounts or are using it much less and a few high-profile companies abandoned it altogether. Despite this, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all increased the number of their global users and remain key to most small and medium-sized businesses in reaching a wider audience.
Working with niche brands, it's always great to see new initiatives that support artisans, designers and smaller businesses.
This year, in response to the commercial behemoth of Black Friday, the Just A Card campaign is running an alternative in the form of Indie Week.
Running from the 19th through to the 23rd of November, Indie Week is a celebratory week of fun and noise with a particular focus on social media to encourage people to shop independent for Christmas:-
"In a world where people go mad and panic buy like crazy in the superstores on Black Friday, we want to redress the balance for small and independent businesses. We want to remind everyone that shopping small is a must this Christmas!"
Everyone passionate about creativity and independents is invited to share their stories on social media during the Indie Week 5-day Instagram Challenge. People are asked to celebrate the contribution independent shops and creatives make, plus post images of their JUST A CARD stickers, encouraging people to support independents.
Our work to place products into the media relies on great pictures so carrying on from our blog ‘They say a picture paints a thousand words’ we look at some tips for producing your own product photography.
Richard Jackson from Forever Creative Photography & Design explains, from his experience in product placement photography, some of the essentials worth considering.
As a product placement PR agency we rely on clients having good images to promote their products. Be it a lifestyle product or a beauty product a great image sells.
Your products may be great but does your photography reflect their quality? As many as 67% of consumers consider image quality to be ‘very important’ and when it comes to product placement PR, journalists are looking for eye-catching and engaging images to grab the attention of their readers.
Product placement in a nutshell
Many people outside the world of PR may be unfamiliar with the term ‘product placement’ so in a nutshell it is the appearance of a particular product usually including pricing details and your brand/company details in the pages of a media publication, online title, blog and TV etc.
In this magazine our client NHP haircare features in a 'Hot List' of new season's products.
Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest market trader to the largest multi-national corporation.
However, only a minority of those businesses have what could be classed as a ‘brand’ or a ‘brand name’.
Branding is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people, but what does it actually mean? and most importantly; how will it benefit your business?
For some in Australia Christmas really does come in July!
No one seems to know for sure where the concept of 'Christmas in July' came from, but it's rumoured to have originated with a small group of people celebrating with Christmas-like celebrations in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
It can be hot and humid during December, which is in the middle of summer in Australia, so Christmas is celebrated differently by some compared to the northern hemisphere, where it's the middle of winter. It's more likely the Australia’s will have a beer on the beach, rather than mulled wine and the food eaten will often also be lighter, with seafood or a barbie a popular choice.