Education PR and marketing expert Zeus PR capture image at school

Top-Tips for Securing Strong Education Coverage

Carefully targeted education PR and marketing can greatly help to raise awareness, driving pupil recruitment in an ever-competitive market place. With many state schools producing results equally as good as independent schools, the choice of education provider between private and state is no longer as black and white. Similarly, the competition is heating up between state schools, offering parents increased choice. It now all comes down to who shouts the loudest.

Promoting a school or colleges key achievements whilst relaying the core values, is an integral part of the media relations work that we do. It is these USPs that we build into campaigns to generate engagement across a number of platforms including local press, glossy lifestyle magazines, blogs, social media and broadcast. Whether you want to strengthen your reputation, demonstrate your expertise or expand into a new market, it can come at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing and advertising.

We have put together some top-tips for securing strong editorial coverage in the education sector.

Think about your Story

The press receives an influx of varying new pieces on a daily basis, with any one journalist receiving up to 1,00 emails a day so, it’s always important to make your story stand out. Focusing on unique initiatives and achievements works well, but these do not always come about so, when they don’t write about key events throughout the year. Whilst your small bake-sale may not be a top-priority for the weekly newspaper, tagging the story onto topical events such as Mother’s Day or Christmas can be successful.

Focus on key education topics too, other schools and colleges will be shouting about their GCSE or A-Level results and World Book Day costumes so ensure that you’re included in the media round-ups.

Personalised Press Targeting

When issuing a press release personalisation is key – address the journalist directly, build a working relationship with them.

Think about the publication which you are sending the press release to. It’s key to consider editorial lead times - if you’re issuing a Father’s Day fundraising story to a glossy, local lifestyle magazine that you know has quarterly issues, perhaps suggest to the editor that the story may be more suited to feature online.

Branching Out

Supporting schools around the country we know just how easy it is to travel and so, parents and pupils will do this for a quality education too.

We always recommend to our education clients to extend out of their target catchment area with localised press releases. If you are hosting an art competition or talent show don’t just shout about it in the school’s local press and national education titles, extend your reach to a new area and tell the winning pupils local press too.


The welfare and safety of children in schools is paramount and understandably, parents may not want their children’s name, age or address featured in the press. An easy way to overcome any safeguarding issues is to use images with more than six pupils in the shot, this way the journalists will not need to name each individual child.

Additional Coverage

We like to get our clients talking! When it comes to current events such as result’s day and exam season, contact local TV and radio stations offering expert opinion on revision tips and next steps. These ideas can also be put forward for thought leadership pieces in national education publications.

If you need any help raising awareness of your school and college with specifically targeted education PR and marketing, get in touch!

Maximising your Social Media Strategy

Social media is probably the most important tool in the modern era to grow your business and expand your reach. According to Pew Research Centre, with a global population of over 7 billion people, there are 3.03 billion active social media users. With the click of a button, you can instantly interact with thousands or even millions of people worldwide on behalf of your business.

Let’s consider 5 key ways in which social media can maximise your business.


Influencer marketing to help public relations

One particular way to enhance your company’s PR is to integrate influencer marketing. This is definitely one of the most influential tools a business can use when their main aim is to sell their product or service to the consumer.

Influencers can be anyone from a celebrity with a high amount of social media followers, a person who has a lot of sway in your particular industry or anyone relevant with a substantial number of followers that can capture the consumer’s imagination.

Small to averagely sized influencers, in terms of following and status will commonly accept the product or service free of charge, in exchange for an honest and hopefully positive review. Smaller sized influencers can potentially be more resourceful to use than a massive celebrity personality, as they can be quite enthusiastic and driven to also make a name for themselves in partnership with a brand.

However, particularly with emerging and established celebrities they will look to charge companies to post on their personal social media feeds. This can be quite a difficult option for a brand starting out with limited funding; however, for already largely recognised brands it can often benefit their company’s perceived status dependant on the reputation of the particular celebrity and their relevance to the target audience.

If your company can make a coup of an influencer, it can really kick-start a following on social media and be used to add fuel to the tank of your business’ journey.

There has however been some controversy about paid endorsements of social media tweets. An example most recently was when a hit soap banned their star actors from posting any type of endorsement from businesses.

Therefore, some key public figures may be off limits due to more commitments or sanctions, so it is important for a business to find the right name to align with.  A common theme amongst celebrities is that they will be asked by a commission regulations board to Hashtag #spon for sponsor or #promo for promotion. In the age of the savvy consumer, this does not necessarily have the desired effects, as tweets look staged and manufactured just for a paid promotion, limiting the authenticity of the post.

Consumer protection company Trust In Advertising INC recently sent celebrity Kylie Jenner a legal letter, threatening to report the icon to the US Federal Trade Commission about “deceptive marketing techniques’’, after the star had discretely placed products on show in her pictures. Truth In Advertising told Jenner that any marketing posts must be marked with #spon or #promo.


Be sure to have social media incorporated into your press releases

This is probably one of the most simple but effective methods for increasing your brand’s reach to the consumer. Are you a business that publishes a standard press release and waits for the media to make contact? When delivering news or making a statement via a press release on the company’s website, it is a necessity to have your social media linked in so that the press release can be shared and distributed by media outlets and users. Even better, using social media itself to publish press releases is a great way to make sure your posts can be shared immediately by the masses.


Responding to negative press

Social media is a breeding ground for the consumer to voice their opinions, both good and bad. When a consumer or stakeholder has a complaint about your business on social media, it is within your best interest to respond to the issue and try to resolve any problems before they escalate. Sometimes a user may not directly mention your business profile to voice their concern, so it would be beneficial to have a member of the team using the search tool on each particular social media platform to vet and respond to all negative press.

In order to keep the negative publicised messages about your business to a minimum, it would be highly recommended to ask the user with the problem to send you a direct message, in order to resolve the matter discreetly, and most importantly, ‘offline’. This would hopefully stop more than one negative message being posted in the public eye at once.


Use social media campaigns to increase brand awareness

A social media campaign can gain you massive recognition if you target a vast enough market. If we look at an example from charity ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Research who started the #IceBucketChallenge campaign. In order to increase awareness of the disease and raise money, people would throw a bucket of ice-cold water over themselves and then donate to the cause. With celebrities like Justin Bieber participating, the campaign was a massive success and raised over $100m dollars, as well as receiving 1.3 million mentions on social media in just 24 hours after Bieber completed the challenge. With the right campaign and target audience, the outcome can be phenomenal.


Interact with journalists on social media

Journalists have great power and a massive say in how a business is perceived in the public eye. By interacting and keeping journalists on your side will, in turn, allow your business to thrive. Journalists have the authority to publish both good and bad stories on your brand, so it is essential to open up honest dialogue with the media. If any social media posts created by your brand are relevant to a news outlet or journalist, you should tag their profile handle, so they can retweet or share the post with their followers. A key tip when building an online relationship with the press would be to keep the conversation genuine, informal and not robotic-like. It is essential to go above and beyond your professional side when trying to form strong humane bonds with the media. By making positive relations with the press can only benefit how your business is viewed upon.


Good luck and get social!




Social Media Evolvement: What Will 2018 Bring?


As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to start looking forward to 2018 and how social media will continue to evolve.

Social media is a fast-moving platform, that is ever changing and developing. Just this year, Twitter doubled its 140-character limit to 280, whilst Facebook created the ability to upload stories to your profile.

With some of the most popular social media channels making significant changes to their platforms, what else can we expect from 2018?



Even though it has been around for a while, video content on Facebook and Twitter continues to rise in popularity. One element that is expected in 2018 is the use of subtitles, which will encourage users to watch anytime, anywhere, even in a public place. It is important to develop video content which can be viewed this way to engage a wider audience.


Short-Lived Content

In today’s society, time is short and speed is key when trying to get messages across using social media. This year, we have seen Facebook and Instagram following in Snapchats footsteps and introduced video stories which allow short video clips to be viewed for a limited period of time.

Instagram stories are popular amongst young people and will continue to increase in popularity in 2018 as other audiences start using the social media site. This means if you want to start connecting with Instagram users, your brand must invest time in creating stories.


Influencer Marketing

Using social media influencers is big business and it has exploded in recent years and looks like it will continue in 2018. However, the key trend for next year will be moving towards authenticity, rather than working with the ‘biggest’ influencers or celebrities. It will be far more beneficial working with influencers that want to endorse your product than someone with a larger following who has no interest. This is because the audience can distinguish when a celebrity is being genuine with the product.


Rethinking Twitter

Twitter has failed to grow followers significantly this year, with Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn acquiring more year on year. Twitter is the slowest of all the major platforms, despite making key changes such as increasing its character limit. In 2018, Twitter needs to make big changes to stay relevant and interesting to users.


Following these social media trends will ensure audience engagement with your brand.

We look forward to seeing any new editions to the social media world for the new year. If you need any help with your business’ social media pages, just get in touch!

Top Tips to Secure Media Coverage

PR can be an enjoyable and rewarding job. Sending press releases to the media is an important element that needs to be done to gain media coverage for clients.

We’ve put together a few top tips for selling-in to the press and how to maintain relationships with journalists.


Before contacting the press, research the person you need to speak to and which department they are in. This is a great way to minimise the time you spend on the phone and maximise your chances of getting through to the right contact.

The publication that you are contacting has to have a reason to cover your news story or product, so make sure that it is relevant to the title you are selling-in to. Don’t contact the business press if your news story has nothing to do with business!

Short and Sweet

Journalists are inundated with press releases on a daily basis so whether you are pitching via the phone or email, it is important to keep it concise as the phone call will probably only last between 30 seconds to a minute. They will know if a story is relevant to their publication within a few sentences, so include keywords and a brief outline.

Don’t forget when sending further information by email to include your contact information so they can get back to you if they have any questions.


Be Patient

Once you have sent an email to a journalist, it can sometimes take a while for them to get back to you. Don’t phone them back half an hour later, they probably haven’t seen it yet! Follow it up the next day or two days after to make sure they received the information and any attached images. This follow up will give the journalist a reminder if they haven’t had a chance to look through the release but also will ensure you have done everything to get potential coverage for a client.


Building Relationships with Journalists

Part of working in the PR industry involves working with journalists so building relationships with them is useful. Having a list of contacts that you have consistently spoken to can put you in a good position to secure coverage for your clients.

How to gain more followers on social media!

Gaining followers on social media can be difficult, especially if it is for a client who is new to the Twittersphere and Facebook world. Increasing their follower base can be a great advantage as it can expose them to new customers and help establish them as a well-known brand.

Here are a few quick pointers that we have put together to help you gain followers for all social media accounts.


Tweeting or posting a couple times a day lets your audience know that you are active on social media, which will make them more inclined to follow you. New and old customers want to be updated with news on the regular, so this is a great way to do it.

Make sure you engage with your followers by simply retweeting or replying to any mentions or queries. This shows potential followers and customers that you are making the effort to connect with your audience and that you are available to assist or respond to them instantly.

Actively Find and Follow Others

A good way to increase your followers is to actively find other accounts that are related to the target demographic. You should follow and engage with as many accounts as possible.  This again lets them know that the service exists on social media platforms. Even if they don’t follow back, engaging with them will increase exposure and if people like what is being posted, they will follow.

Timing of Posts

When possible, try to tweet during peak times or when Twitter activity is high as this will give your posts greater visibility. We recommend middays and evenings as most people will be either on a break or have finished work. It is also worth noting to avoid tweeting and posting too much, this can drive people away from your account if they are not interested in the content.

Hold Competitions and Giveaways

Offer freebies or rewards for followers, this will give people an incentive to follow the account if they are interested in the prize. If you hold competitions, make sure that sharing and liking the Facebook page or following the Twitter account is a requirement for entry, as this will boost the account's activity and followers.

Make People Aware

Don’t be shy about linking your social media accounts everywhere. Link it to your blog, email signature, website and anywhere else you have an online presence.  This will let people know that you actively engage with social media.

Share the media coverage that your client has been featured in and tag the publication. This is a way to show appreciation for the feature but also it highlights your latest news and shows that there is something interesting to take notice of.

If you need help with your business’ social media profiles, then just get in touch!

What makes a great press release

A press release is one of the key elements to any public relations strategy. They are a standardised way to communicate with journalists and usually entail details regarding product releases, event announcements and other newsworthy items a company produces.

Creating a great press release often helps to secure a magazine feature, which in turn will attract new customers. However, considering journalists are bomb-barded with potential stories and pitches on a daily basis, it is crucial to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.


A headline is the first thing that people see, whether it be a magazine article, book or leaflet. Therefore, it is no different when a journalist reads a press release, if it doesn’t catch their attention it is unlikely that they will read the rest of the piece. The headline needs to pull the journalist in, so make sure it is engaging as well as accurate.


Another important aspect of a press release is, of course, the content. What you write about must be of interest to the journalist in some way, otherwise, they may not take any notice. Make sure the topic is newsworthy, this doesn’t mean that you should only send out press releases that would make the front page of a newspaper. It means that the topic needs to be current, it is either happening now or is about to happen. There is no point publicising an event that has been and gone.

The overall tone of a press release should not come across as promotional. It isn’t an advert to sell a product or an event to a journalist. It is a way of informing them about the company or brands latest exciting news and to provide them with the information they need to write a newsworthy story.
As well as keeping the content relevant, it needs to be straight to the point. Journalists are busy people, they don’t have time to read every single press release they receive. Therefore, make sure that the first couple of sentences of the release inform them on the message you want to get across. Then the rest of the paragraphs should be information supporting this.


Adding quotes to a press release adds a human element to it, whether it be a comment from someone in the company or close to the product. They provide insight and opinion and they should sound like a real person has said them. Journalists will want to pull key parts from the press release to use in their own stories and including quotes gives them something extra to use in addition to the information provided.

Contact Information

It may seem obvious but it can be a common mistake to forget to include contact information for journalists to follow up with. If this happens, it looks unprofessional and you may lose the secure space in that title as the journalist will not know who to contact if they want more information. Whether it is you or someone else at the company who is the point of contact, be sure to include an email address and phone number.


Why you should embrace social media

Social media has become a worldwide phenomenon since the outburst of Web 2.0; it changed the way that people used the internet. Users now look online to share and connect with others around the world. Businesses may have been reluctant to this new wave of technology in the beginning; however, they are now jumping on the social media bandwagon and taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities it offers.


The list of benefits social media can offer goes on and on, so to make it easier for you, we have summed up just a few of the key advantages.


Increasing brand awareness

Social media is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods that can be used by any brand, not only is it (mostly) free, but it gives you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and increase your brands visibility.


Engage with others, by simply ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ content. This instantly gets your brand name recognised by others. Once they begin to share your content, you are opening up to a whole new network of potential clients. Your boundaries are limitless.


Engagement and building consumer loyalty

One major beneficiary of social media, is the ability to engage with your consumers. When a brand is commenting, liking and sharing, it personifies the brand as consumers tend to prefer to communicate with people rather can businesses.


Developing a loyal customer base is a vital component for any business and by engaging with your consumers you are showing you care about customer service, which in turn generates loyalty.


Provide a better customer service experience –

Consumers now look to social media to find out information about a business and by having social media accounts for your brand, you are giving customers the opportunity to contact you instantly. People expect fast response times and social media enables you to respond to them 24/7.



With the world of social media, along came the hashtag. This can be one of the most useful tools to incorporate into your social media strategy, if used correctly. By providing a relevant hashtag to your post it will send your message further, it can be seen by thousands of people across the world in a matter of seconds.


Gain marketplace insight

What better way to find out what your consumers want than by directly talking to them? Through social media you can communicate with your target audience and monitor their interests and opinions. All social media platforms give you the chance to see what is ‘trending’, allowing you to understand what people are currently interested in, how can you get involved and get a step ahead of your competitors.


Find out what your competitors are doing

One quick and easy way to find out how your main competition is doing, is to check their social media. All businesses tend to share their latest venture on their social media site, giving you a heads-up on what is happening.


Drive traffic to your website –

All of your social media accounts link to your website, so anything you post can persuade a potential customer to view your site. If you are using social media to promote products/services, attach a link to the post so your followers can be directed to the website, making a better user experience overall.





Newsjacking – The ‘Copy-Cat’ Revolution

For those of you who work in the media, you’ll likely be aware of the term ‘Newsjacking’. If not you’ve probably been exposed to it.


‘Newsjacking’ is the process of taking advantage of a piece of news to increase awareness of your brand and/or product. It is an opportunity to increase brand awareness, at low cost. Newsjacking relies on the continued influence of social media, and the age that we live in. This digital forum is one of the most potent tools in increasing brand awareness.


This has been a fairly popular process, synonymous with increased sales and success since its popularity spike in the wake of the blackout at the 2013 Superbowl, in which Oreo jumped on the opportunity with this effort.


This initiative is not always effective and companies must be careful about how they approach it. There are many cases of ‘Newsjacking’ that have back-fired, for instance, this effort from ‘Spaghetti-O’s’.


The advert shows a virtual ‘O’ shaped character holding an American flag high in the air, the text above stating ‘Take a moment to remember #Pearlharbour with us’, which is not only inappropriate but completely disproportionate with the brand image.


Despite this, the practice of ‘Newsjacking’ is widely regarded as a ‘breakthrough’ in social media marketing, and here are three of our favourite examples on social media from the last five years.




MINI may only produce small cars, but company employees have shown themselves to be ‘big-hitters’ when it comes to seizing news-based opportunities. Their quick-witted slogans appeal to the average consumer’s concentration time, as well as their humour. The use of a national scandal as an opportunity to light-heartedly advertise the new car was brilliant.


It came at a time when the Tesco horsemeat scandal was prominent in the media. Tesco was found to be labelling ‘meat of horses’ as beef mince, and there was an uproar at the eventuality.



Kit-Kat –

Upon the launch of the Iphone 6+, the people at Apple found themselves in a rather ‘fruity’ situation. Its new flagship phone was once again being talked about by almost everyone on the planet, but not for the reasons the company would have hoped. There were widespread reports of the device bending under pressure, something which isn’t sought after when consumers are spending upwards of £500 on it.


Whilst this was clearly a huge problem for Apple (not that huge, they were recently announced as the first company to be worth $800bn), it did present an opportunity to the social media gurus at KitKat. The brand’s catchphrase has for a long time been ‘Have a break. Have a KitKat.’ The bending iPhone pandemic gave the company a much-needed opportunity for a resurgence, allowing them to prey on the misfortune of a global giant, for a spike in sales. A recurring theme throughout all the examples shown is not only the simplicity of them but the irony they provide. KitKat takes the biscuit with this one.



 Dunkin’ Donuts –

Cast yourself back to the days of February 2015 and you’ll recall a certain stripy-dress sending the world into a frenzy of furious debate. Whether you were team #blueblack or #whitegold, you’ll no doubt remember the way ‘The Dress’ took over the world. Whatever your views on the debacle, there’s no doubting that this ‘colour anomaly’ was screaming out to be ‘jacked’. Dunkin’ Donuts took the opportunity and produced an effort that increased its twitter followers by 3% in 24 hours. All ‘newsjacking’ has the potential to be a disaster if done wrong, but DD ‘dressed’ it up well.

The continued progression of Newsjacking shows that this is an effective way of attracting brand support. The use of up-to-date stories is a successful tool in many PR campaigns, and the most popular ones are generally associated with humour and wit. There’s no doubt it’s becoming more popular, and we can’t wait to see the next ingenious attempt.

Graduates: How to Stand Out to PR Employers


Graduation season is upon us and that means one thing for employers; intelligent and enthusiastic individuals are about to make their way into the competitive world of work with refreshing and innovative ideas. There’s only one problem – there are thousands of graduates, which means sifting through countless CVs and dissecting numerous cover letters to determine who’s the right person for the company. The job market is more competitive than ever for graduates, and if public relations is your choice of industry, standing out is essential. Therefore, here at Zeus, we have rounded up our best tips to help graduates get noticed.


  1. Be RelentlessWhen it comes to that initial after-graduation job search, you have to be persistent. Successful job searching is often about timing, so don’t expect to find your ideal opportunity immediately. Check job websites daily to ensure that you never miss an opening but remember that not all companies will advertise on these sites - use social media as a searching tool and research PR companies in your area (they often post vacancies on their websites), send across CVs and cover letters if possible. Job sites such as Indeed, Reed etc. are great but exploring other avenues will increase your chances of success.


  1. Perfect that Cover Letter – Graduates often do their best to perfect their CV but then accompany it with a very generic cover letter that does nothing to sell themselves. Employers who ask for a cover letter are doing so because they want to know more about you and why you are interested in their company. The PR industry is about personality and creativity so don’t be afraid to show who you are. Also remember to always include a section focusing on the business you are applying to; why that company? Why that role? What can you bring to the table that they don’t already have? One of the worst mistakes made by graduates is sending the same CV and covering letter to hundreds of potential employers who can tell. They need to be personal.


  1. Find your unique selling point and use it – When you leave university, you are in the same position as many others up and down the country. Find something unique and use it to sell yourself to potential employers. Are you an English graduate with incredible writing skills? Are you a marketing graduate with an extensive range of experience? Are you a journalism graduate with a portfolio of published work? Are you a blogger with a huge social media presence? Whatever your USP is, sell it!


  1. Don’t Oversell Yourself – Following on from the previous point, selling yourself is essential but so is honesty. Don’t oversell yourself or your experience because the employer will know straight away. Instead talk truthfully about the things that you have done and express a desire to learn more – this will show ambition and a passion for the industry; two things employers love to see. Further to this, applying for the right level is essential. Unless you have exceptional circumstances, most graduates will only be considered for entry level positions and applying for jobs above your station is a waste of everyone’s time.


  1. Experience speaks volumes – In order to stand out from the thousands of other job seekers who have also attained degrees, you need some relevant experience in the PR field. This is not always easy to come by and so, by having that experience, you have already showcased to potential employers that you are hard-working, determined and have a passion for the industry. Here at Zeus, we prioritise relevant experience above anything else when recruiting. In the PR industry, no relevant experience can often mean no interview.


  1. Use social media carefully – Excellent knowledge of social media is essential in this industry because digital marketing is the future. However, the way in which you use social media will be checked by employers. Blogs are a fantastic way to show off your work, and having an online portfolio makes it easier for employers to see samples. Sites such as LinkedIn are also great for networking. However, your personal use of social media is often checked by your future boss who is looking to gain an accurate perspective on your character. Therefore, it is imperative to keep your social media free from anything that you would not want potential employers to see.


There is no use in pretending that making your way in this industry after university is easy; it’s not. It takes commitment, determination and a desire to succeed in public relations. But with this (and our top tips) there’s every chance you will be successful.



What is SEO and why is it so important to your business?

It must be said – we admire anyone’s bravery at pushing themselves to understand the curious three-letter acronym that is SEO. So, we extend an approving handshake and encouraging nod for getting yourself to this article.
Now that you’re here, you’re in tremendous luck. At Zeus HQ, we’ve taken the time to dissect the inter-web’s various sources to come up with the most straightforward explanation of the dreaded “Search Engine Optimisation”.
To get our bearings, let’s take a look at the official definition of SEO as quoted on the What Is SEO website:


“Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic ("natural" or un-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website.”



And breathe in. It’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it? Let’s break it down in simpler terms.

Our definition of SEO:

SEO is all about where you rank on the pages of search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. For example, if you were to Google “Best restaurants Manchester” you would find that the website ranked the highest in that search is Similarly, if you Googled “Interior design company Manchester” you would see is top of the list.

Why it's so important to your business:

And the significance of being top of any search result on Google doesn’t warrant explanation. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, which is around 40,000 searches per second. Per second. It’s fair to say being in Google’s SEO good books has its perks.
Of course, aiming for your business to be top of Google’s search result – while an admirable aim nonetheless – isn’t always feasible. At least not when you’re just starting out. Increasing your ranking takes a lot of time and effort; something many business owners don’t see the value in investing in.
As an agency with specialisations in content and digital marketing, we’ve seen first-hand what putting time and effort into SEO can do for a business’s results. So, maybe it’s worth dedicating that Wednesday morning slot to brainstorming blog post ideas after all.