10 Nov Snogging Sisters – How Sister Snog PR Their Brand
I’ve been a member for Sister Snog for over five years now. It’s changed a lot during that time – a gentle reminder that to stay successful we should never stay stagnant. The Sister Snog brand is one that I really admire and thought would make a perfect subject for my “How We Did It” interviews so I spoke to Hela Wozniak-Kay, co-founder of Sister Snog.
So, Hela, tell us about the coverage you’ve had…
Column inches in the press have been a trickle. In all the cases below the journalist or editor approached Sister Snog directly.
Tell us about the promotional and PR activities that you do
Today Sister Snog’s promotional and PR activities are very much focused on social media in all it’s various guises and disguises.
Twit! Tweet! Twooh!
We first dipped our toe in the twitterverse around 18 months ago.
We tweet as:
- @sistersnog That’ll be me Hela Wozniak-Kay
- @sistersnogger That’s Annie Brooks my partner in crime at Snog Towers
- @snogthedog And that’s Jimmy Chew. The office dog. He’s got quite a following!
We use Twitter to:
- As a channel to keep in touch and with Sisters, keep up to date with what they’re doing and keep an eye out for opportunities that might be interesting and relevant to them.
- Promote the essence of brand Sister Snog and convey the brand’s core values.
- Telegraph what we get up to at Snog Towers.
- Nudge Sisters about booking forthcoming events and share interesting nuggets of information from fellow tweeters.
Link up on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the uber database. The theory of six degrees of separation states we’re all connected to each other. Which is what makes LinkedIn so potent, powerful and compelling. And as we’re in the business of connecting it’s an obvious channel to embrace.
We use LinkedIn:
- As a way to check out potential Sisters.
- A gateway to the Directors of Sister Snog.
- A place to make and receive recommendations. Nothing more powerful than a third party endorsement.
- A way to identify potential members via existing members and contacts.
Sister Snog has a Facebook page where we primarily promote events. Although we can see the potential behind Facebook from a business perspective it’s still early stages. And we realise there’s a way to go before we truly maximize it as a PR and promotional channel and build up a healthy base of raving fans.
Email marketing has been, and continues to be, our most cost effective PR and promotional, channel. It’s direct. It’s personal. It’s private. It’s trackable and enables Sister Snog to maintain brand consistency and control in terms tone of voice and creative execution.
We currently use Constant Contact to communicate with the following audiences:
- Lapsed Sisters
- Prospective Sisters
Sister Snog uses Eventbrite to manage and promote events. And as Craig from Strictly would say it’s fab.u.lous. Eventbrite enables you to customise the event to reflect your brand. Track bookers. Take payments. Make changes. In an instant.
WOM (Word of Mouth)
Marketing Sister Snog’s members are the very best source of creating buzz about the brand via word of mouth marketing. And introducing new members. And as Sister Snog always likes to say thank you, we have a box of treats they can choose from the Gorgeous Gifts referral programme.
What PR and marketing activities have you found work for you. And which ones don’t?
Channels that work:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- WOM (Word of Mouth)
Marketing Channels that don’t work:
- Press advertising (only ever did it once in a publication that flopped!)
- Traditional PR (but we haven’t actively focused on this)
- Telemarketing (of the cold calling flavour)
What do you enjoy least about PR and promoting yourself?
I don’t enjoy being misquoted, misinterpreted or mistaken for being something we’re not. For example we’re not a networking group. In fact we’re allergic to the very word.
We’re a selective business club that provides a refreshing approach to developing business contacts and creates a stage for members to connect with each other. We’re a dynamic uber cool online community. We’re a tribe of business women of a similar mind-set and make-up. And we’re building a niche brand created by women for women. A PR and promotional challenge. And a half!
Although I have written press releases in the past it was always a struggle to find the right angle that would capture the imagination of the journalist or editor. The best results occur when we are approached by the media rather than when we approach them. However – next year all that will change.
What’s been your highest point so far PR-wise?
You always feel you’ve made it if you are featured in a broadsheet. So being being featured in the Sunday Times Magazine was our highest point. However – the moment of glory was fleeting. Had we been twittering at that time it’s something we could have gained far more mileage on in terms of awareness and new members. That one article generated one new Sister! Who is still with us today. And happens to be our most prolific referrer. So if you analyse it in those terms it was a success.
And your lowest?
I was approached by the BBC who were filming a piece for a pilot 6’oclock show. It was about business or career women who’d become mothers. One (me) who worked full time and juggled this with motherhood. One who worked part time. And one who had decided not to go back to work after having children.
The interviewer was a rather famous and somewhat opinionated comedienne with a razor sharp wit and ascerbic tongue. The researcher agreed to film me at a Sister Snog event. Hmm! That’ll put us on the map I thought. They also filmed me at home. Doing the ironing. Which didn’t exactly telegraph the right message. However I found myself getting caught up with something I didn’t feel I ultimately had any control over.
Then they filmed the three women together. As far as I was concerned I’d done my bit. But then was asked to another session with the three of us baking a Victoria sponge.
Luckily fate stepped in. I was on holiday and couldn’t make it. So wasn’t included when it was shown. A lucky escape. In retrospect the whole exercise was a complete waste of time and highlighted my naivety when it comes to playing with the BBC!
What have you learnt about PR and marketing so far?
Being clear about who you are talking to means the right message reaches the right people. Every brand has multiple audiences. If you mix your message you might be mistaken for being schizophrenic.
Is key in terms of tone of voice & creative execution. Being sporadic and reactive doesn’t work.
Activity that’s trackable helps to evaluate the effectiveness of your activity and means you can work out your ROI.
- The marketing mix
A rich mix of activity pushes more buttons and rings more bells than focusing on one medium or channel.
Can you link a rise in turn over with your activities?
Twitter: Some of our members this year have discovered us on Twitter. There are others we’re getting to know. And it’s a great place to discover interesting brands that might want to dip their toe in the pond next year. So it’s a big thumbs up for Twitter from Sister Snog.
Constant Contact: Every email that’s sent out is trackable via Constant Contact. The reporting and analysis is excellent and enables us to contact warm prospects who open and click through on the links. So – yes Constant Contact has contributed to a rise in turnover.
What are your plans for the future?
Music & comedy will save the economy
Up until now we’ve been focusing on building the brand, perfecting the membership recruitment process and refining the proposition, to get it to a point where it’s deliciously irresistible. ‘Music & comedy will save the economy’ is a framework for next year’s marketing, PR and promotional activities. A snappy statement that we believe will translate into a series of headline hitting initiatives that will truly give Sister Snog a point of difference and a talking point.