At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.


We spoke with James Spinks the Sales Director at Grapevine about the incoming 5G technology, and how you get into the industry at hand.

 

RISE: How has telecoms advanced over the last 5-10 years with such a huge boom in the technology industry?

James: 10 years ago, IT and telecommunications were fundamentally separate.  As telecoms technology evolved, IT did the same and there was no doubt about the coming merger of the two. We now have lots of new integrated computer / phone / internet of things (IOT) solutions changing business and consumer landscapes, driven by the IT and telecoms convergence and the decreasing margins on traditional single product solutions

RISE: With the promise of 5G on the horizon, have you had any insight as to how this will change your business and the world of telecoms?

James: From a user’s perspective, 5G will fundamentally change how connectivity, applications and content are consumed, whilst from a provider’s perspective, 5G presents enormous opportunities for network efficiency to deliver innovative services.

RISE: Have you found that you have had to instil more security features as data breaches become more and more apparent it would seem?

James: Whilst we have always been security focused in our core specialities, the GDPR mandate has driven us to streamline the data we use and store, find more efficient ways to communicate with our clients, and help our client base with their own security challenges, through the proactive offering of cost-efficient subscription based security software and innovative hardware solutions.

RISE: Regarding the above have you seen a decline in trust with your clients and how have you mitigated this?

James: As a provider of solutions to our client base for over 25 years trust has never been an issue and we have used this platform to reassure our clients wariness through the provision of appropriate solutions for their requirements, rather than profiteering from the scaremongering in the wider press.

RISE: Do you find marketing campaigns useful in managing and retaining this trust and also to engage and inform your clients?

James: Marketing communications has been key through the transformation of our business, from a reseller of mobile contracts to a fully integrated IT and telecoms service provider. The focus of our marketing communications has been to educate. This has allowed us to both reassure our clients that we are ahead of emerging trends in technology and showcase the benefits of new solutions available to their business.

RISE: Within the world of telecoms, is there ever an easier route in, for example having specific qualifications or is it a case of working your way up?

James: Because the majority of our solutions are bespoke, experience and qualifications are never mandatory.  However, achieving good qualifications is proof of a commitment to a target. Application of both intelligence and hard work and will always be a yardstick by which to compare candidates.  Honesty, integrity and common sense are more valuable commodities in employees than ever before and the challenge is for an individual to convey these strengths in a CV or interview environment.

RISE: Is there any new technologies that we should be aware of that is going to ‘change the game’ like the Cloud did?

James: Given the superior specification of the forthcoming 5G platform, this new technology will change the game for both mobile and fixed communications.  The promise of faster, more agile and secure wireless technology provides the opportunity to bring scalability, security and universal mobility across the telecommunications industry, with expected benefits to all industries from improved broadcasting to automation through IOT.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

We asked Justin Cohen, the Commercial Manager of Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa a little bit events and PR. We wanted to know a little bit about what he thought about it, and how he got into it!

 

 

RISE: PR has made a complete U-turn since the introduction of social media, do you think there is still room for the old methods that we used to use in PR?

 

Justin: I think that conventional PR has been accentuated by the addition of social channels. However, this is a double-edged sword. As a PR professional, your job is to manage the public reputation of your client’s business. If there are now 5-10 more channels available for your client to promote themselves, there are 5-10 sites for your client’s detractors to pan their products or services online. PR’s need to stay sharp and utilise up to date social listening tools to truly stay ahead of the game and maintain their client’s reputation. But it’s not all doom and gloom… PR is, and always has been, about relationships. The Editor of any given publication will still thank you for a good story – they’ll now just be able to share it online as well as in print/radio/tv.

 

RISE: As a business is having someone that takes charge of PR, events and marketing is key to the success and continuous positive change of a company?

 

Justin: It all depends of the allocation of company resources. There is often an argument that having an internal personal take the lead on PR, events and marketing will make for more consistent, cohesive communications. That may well be the case. However, from the opposite side of things, there is also the argument that company directors and employees are often so close to the subject that they’re trying to communicate, they may fail to see other opportunities or fresh angles. A “happy-medium” would be a strong internal coordinator (who genuinely gets “it”) who could liaise with equally strong external expert consultants.

 

RISE: The saying goes, ‘Any PR is good PR’, but is this really true?

 

Justin: I used to think this was true. I’m not so sure anymore. Some brands think that they are untouchable. I’m sure Miramax would argue the contrary now with the cloud over Harvey Weinstein and co…

But then again, look at what Nike have managed to accomplish with the Colin Kaepernick story. Some said it was a foolish move (resulting in customers burning their Nikes online, etc), but in real terms, they’ve capitalised massively on strong public empathy. That was a well-managed situation.

 

RISE: Events nowadays aren’t just about putting on some food and drink, it’s about providing an experience. Is there any tips or tricks you would tell companies that are thinking of hosting their own event?

 

Justin: I agree. People now need a reason to turn up. Gone are the days where a few vol Au vents and some bubbly would be a good enough reason to motivate guests to attend an event. Now it’s far more about the overall experience. For example when we hosted the launch of the Dorset Business Awards last year, we looked at the overall theme of the event, and tied the welcome cocktail and canape selection to that specific theme, which made the event much more memorable.

Another example… we recently launched our FOODIE club which, again, was about the experience. Yes, guests enjoyed eight courses of amazing food. Yes, every course was matched with superb wines and other drinks. Yes, the service was five star. But what guests will remember most of all was the element of theatre surrounding the evening. The al fresco setting in The Italian Garden; the Iberico ham being carved in front of them; the smell of the scallops being barbecued right in front of them; the floating candles on the pond; the expert guest speaker. I could go on. The point is that, when planning any event, you need to think “what is the REASON that I’m giving for my guests to want to turn up?”

RISE: As an individual trying to get into the industry of events and PR, do you have any words of advice? Do you think experience outweighs education in this case?

 

Justin: I studied marketing, but never even touched PR or events really. It was only later in my career, working for Darren Northeast PR, that I honed my PR and media skills. I’d always enjoyed writing (I still do!), so PR became another great outlet for that. I think that getting the right sort of experience will always trump educational qualifications. We always take on a number of work placement students from Bournemouth University’s Event Management programme, because we believe that the right experience will accelerate any classroom learning. Like they say: “Everything works in theory. Even communism.” It’s getting things to work in practice that is the kicker!

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

Clare Groombridge

Owner & Founder of South Coast Social 

 

 

We asked the fantastically knowledgeable Clare Groombridge a little bit about social media now, the freedom it’s given companies and what works best for who.

 

 

Rise: Social Media has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, what would you say have been the highlights and best things to come off the back of this?

 

Clare: I would say the opportunities for brands to engage and interact with their audience. As social media has evolved, so has the need for brands to become more clever with their social media marketing and ‘think outside the box’ to attract valuable followers.  Consumers are definitely increasingly social media savvy, so businesses need to follow suit or get left behind.

 

Rise: Being a part of social media has given companies more free reign on where, when and what they can post. Do you think this freedom has given smaller companies a chance that they wouldn’t have had if all marketing and advertising was still just in print?

 

Clare: Oh 100%!! We work with small businesses who exclusively market and sell through social media. It’s ALL about engagement and being part of a conversation – brands can’t just say ‘here we are! buy our stuff!’ in the same way they used to via print or TV – that just doesn’t cut it any more. It’s given incredible opportunities for those businesses who capitalised on the opportunities social media can offer.

 

Rise: In terms of job roles, there are lots of jobs that exist now because of social media that ten years ago did not exist. What do you think is next in terms of new jobs roles in the social media industry?

 

Clare: Definitely! (our business, for example!) We’ve seen a huge rise in Influencers (e.g. those who make their vlogging / blogging life their full time career – yes, it definitely is a thing!) However, with growing industry concern about authenticity, even this niche is constantly adapting. The huge rise of social media advertising, especially on Facebook has led to dedicated Social Media Advertising Specialist roles, often working hand in hand with a Content Creation Specialist and Data Analyst.

 

Rise: How as an individual can you prepare yourself for the future of the social media revolution, is there any training or platforms for useful information moving forwards?

 

Clare: I think if you’re using social media in your role, try and stay up to date with the latest developments by reading good social media blogs such as Hootsuite, Social Media Today (or, you know, our company blog!). Facebook offers free training for Business users including their advertising platform which could be invaluable if you haven’t had much experience.

 

Rise: What is the best social media platforms to use or does this depend on the sector you work in? For example if you run a creative agency what would be the best platform? Or as an insurance company where would be best to post?

 

Clare: We have a mantra we always roll out to our clients – ‘pick your networks wisely and do them well’! Rather than specifically your sector, it depends where your audience is, and what you want to achieve from your social media networks – is it website traffic, brand awareness, follower growth…

We work with niche, luxury brands that simply have an Instagram profile and we ensure this is beautifully crafted with stunning, impactful imagery and carefully constructed captions. However, if you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn might be the perfect place to be to engage with supplier and potential clients. Whatever you choose, if you’re going to manage your social media profiles in-house, ensure you have the time to post frequent, relevant content.