Bitcoin demonstrates power of brand currency

Hardly a day passes without Bitcoin hitting the headlines. Whether it’s regulators warning over the risks entailed with buying, holding or trading virtual currencies, or Bitcoin’s volatility problem, or its alleged use in the trade of illegal drugs, the one […]


17 Jan
by Aspectus PR

BitcoinHardly a day passes without Bitcoin hitting the headlines. Whether it’s regulators warning over the risks entailed with buying, holding or trading virtual currencies, or Bitcoin’s volatility problem, or its alleged use in the trade of illegal drugs, the one aspect that shines through the drama is the power of Bitcoin as a brand.

The virtual or ‘crypto’ currency already has its own PR machinery in place on the Bitcoin wiki, where there is a handy list of dos and don’ts when it comes to writing about it, accompanied by some compelling arguments for the types of terminology that are deemed appropriate, and those that are to be avoided and why.

From a PR perspective, the point that stands out most is this: “…for anyone who isn’t interested in cryptography, the strength of the Bitcoin brand is more important.”

Certainly, this statement serves as a timely reminder to anyone involved in b2b tech PR that no matter how pioneering, technically advanced and downright clever a solution is, it is essential to convey the story (or in this case, the brand) behind it in a clear, compelling and persuasive way.

The wiki itself provides some excellent information on the system underpinning Bitcoin, which has fast established itself as a crypto currency phenomenon. However, with central banks and regulators still getting to grips with the concept and what it means both for conventional forms of currency and the financial markets, it is unsurprising that many ordinary punters can neither make head nor tail of it. [Click here if you still can’t figure out what a Bitcoin is.]

With the discussion over Bitcoin’s legitimacy as a currency set to continue for some time, it has provided plenty of opportunity for Aspectus PR’s clients to mine some PR gold from the virtual currency debate, while the addition of Bitcoin to eToro’s social investment network secured some great coverage.

At the same time, forward-thinking businesses and retailers (and even a PR company in Manchester) are now accepting Bitcoin as payment.

Some frivolous anonymous coders recently got in on the act with the creation of Coinye, a new digital currency that bore an uncanny resemblance to the name and face of a well-known rap artist. The latter was not impressed by such tomfoolery, and his lawyers issued cease-and-desist papers against Coinye’s creators, who subsequently canned the project. Norris Coin was kicked into touch in a similar manner.

However, others such as Devcoin and Peercoin are making progress. Indeed, some industry commentators believe that we are moving into a world whereby the currency we use becomes a ‘statement crypto currency’ – a conscious value statement based on who we are and what we need.

Indeed, it seems we may all now have the opportunity to bank on our own brand.


Powering through 2013 with the Aspectus PR energy team

We’ve been deeply involved with the energy sector for many years, helping our clients to promote their services, knowledge and expertise across a wide variety of disciplines and sectors – from planning, generation and transmission, through to supply, consumption, and […]


07 Jan
by Aspectus PR

We’ve been deeply involved with the energy sector for many years, helping our clients to promote their services, knowledge and expertise across a wide variety of disciplines and sectors – from planning, generation and transmission, through to supply, consumption, and trading.

But 2013 was truly a fantastic year for Aspectus PR’s energy practice. We more than doubled our client base and expanded the team significantly, bringing in new talent with direct experience of the oil and gas services sector.

Most importantly, we consistently achieved excellent results for our clients. Here’s a quick rundown of our personal favourites of 2013 from each of our five specialist verticals:

Renewables
Baringa in Bioenergy Insight
Bioenergy: the RO vs CfD regimes

Bioenergy Insight – the RO vs CfD

This feature assessed regulatory reforms within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) concerning 2012’s Renewables Obligation in comparison to last year’s Contracts for Difference. It not only made the front cover of the publication, but demonstrated thought leadership at the highest level.

Consultancy and Analytics
Baringa/Redpoint in the Telegraph
Rejecting gas storage subsidies could cost consumers £1bn

Telegraph_Rejecting gas storage subsidies could cost consumers 1 bn

The Telegraph’s Emily Gosden turned to Redpoint’s cost-benefit analysis report when covering Energy Minister, Michael Fallon’s decision to cease gas storage subsidies for the UK. Instances such as these show how the energy team’s instinctive reaction to breaking news delivers coverage with national tier-one media.

Smart Grid
Elster in Bloomberg
‘Sexy’ Smart Metering’s Driving Revenue: Elster

Bloomberg_Clean Energy and Carbon

Despite being at the forefront of current metering technology, Richard Sinclair’s interview with Bloomberg also re-affirmed Elster’s origins as a meter manufacturer that date back to 1836. By targeting a global publication with Elster’s story of its transatlantic crossover, Aspectus reinforced the presence of the company in two vastly different markets with one piece of coverage.

Energy Trading
TPT in Scandinavian Oil and Gas
Making Purity Profits from Y-grade

Scandinavian Oil and Gas

Peter Cooperman’s article shedding light on the opportunities for the successful trading of y-grade yields supported a key area of TPT’s business in a top-tier publication. By highlighting this lucrative mid-stream area, Aspectus communicated the importance of TPT’s solutions to fundamental decision-makers.

Oil and Gas
Intetech in Oil and Gas Connect
Extending the Life of Ageing Oil & Gas Assets

Oil & Gas Connect

Wood Group Intetech’s Dr Liane Smith penned a compelling article on how integrity management and corrosion modelling tools provide a systemic approach to ensuring the safe and reliable operation of ageing assets. This chimed perfectly for oil and gas operators looking to squeeze more from mature reservoirs and facilities.


The three wise men of Public Relations: what today’s professionals can learn from PR’s founding fathers

The PR industry is constantly evolving and as experts in public perception, it’s our job as PR practitioners to be equipped to take advantage of all the new tools and technologies to produce meaningful results for our clients.


18 Dec
by Aspectus PR

Lucky Strike PR advertising campaignThe PR industry is constantly evolving and as experts in public perception, it’s our job as PR practitioners to be equipped to take advantage of all the new tools and technologies to produce meaningful results for our clients.

However, as we head into the holiday season, we thought it worthwhile to take a few moments for reflection – away from the flurry of our coffee drinking, Twitter posting, and reporter pitching – to think about what made the founding fathers of PR so great and what principles they instilled that continue to hold true for our industry today.

Ivy Lee – Crisis Communications
Lee was the first to articulate the concept that PR practitioners have a public responsibility to reveal truth that extends beyond an agency’s obligations to its clients. An early example of this was when Lee issued a press release after the 1906 Atlantic City train wreck openly disclosing information to journalists before they could hear information about the accident elsewhere. This proactive approach to delivering factual information in a potentially damaging situation makes Lee the founder of crisis communications.

Why is this still relevant today? Proactively sharing a truthful and supportive message in the midst of negative events gives you and the client more control over what is being portrayed by the media. Sitting back and taking a reactionary stance could be misinterpreted.

Edward Bernays – News vs. Advertising
Following the success of Lee’s communication tactics after the Atlantic City train crash, Bernays recognized the power of proactive communications and how it could help shape the news. Testing his hypothesis, Bernays undertook one of the most controversial PR campaigns of his time (the 1920s), hosting an event that showcased women smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes in public. Calling the cigarettes “torches of freedom” in a press release, Bernays was able to persuade the media that women smoking in public marked a positive shift in women’s rights.

Why is this still relevant today? With his Lucky Strike campaign, Bernays proved that the media could be influenced by channels other than advertising, and thus the term “free press” was born. Formal press releases live on today, and remain a staple of most PR campaigns.

Arthur Page – Strategic Communications
Arthur Page emerged as a master in successfully positioning companies in a positive light despite the public’s general feelings of distrust. Page is most noted for his work with AT&T, where he became the first person to hold the title of vice president of public relations in 1927, and combatted the public’s negative sentiment toward the company having a monopoly over the communications network. Through a strategic corporate communications plan that incorporated frequent bylines, Page reduced negative press coverage of AT&T by 30 per cent, while increasing the public’s appreciation for the company’s contributions to society.

Why is this still relevant today? Page’s strategy is a prime example of the powerful impact bylined articles can have on the industry and the public’s perception of a company. Bylines offer mutual benefits for publications looking to generate relevant content and for companies who want to increase their visibility.


The Financial Services team is recruiting

It’s been an outstanding year for Aspectus PR’s financial services group. We are working with some of the BIGGEST names in the financial markets (watch this space for an update) as well as expanding into pure financial services and the […]


18 Dec
by Aspectus PR

Aspectus PR - PR logoIt’s been an outstanding year for Aspectus PR’s financial services group. We are working with some of the BIGGEST names in the financial markets (watch this space for an update) as well as expanding into pure financial services and the B2C market.

We’re currently recruiting for two positions in our London office – we’re looking for a power house pitcher (with approximately 1-2 years’ PR experience) and a senior person with the prowess, presence and pizzazz to run some key accounts, manage some of the brightest talent in financial services PR and bring in (even more) new business.

If you want to see some of the work we have done, check out our latest blog on our top 13 pieces of coverage for 2013. As well as media relations, we help our clients with branding, messaging, website design and build and social media. We also have an integrated SEO and PR programme called SINCOM which has been flying off Aspectus’ shelves this year.

If you have vision and are committed, connected and excellent then we look forward to hearing from you. Please send your CV and covering letter to info@aspectuspr.com.


Financial Services – Top 13 in 2013

What a year it has been here at Aspectus PR. The financial services team has doubled in size and we are working with 14 new clients. Taking a look back at the year you can see how we have run […]


17 Dec
by Aspectus PR

What a year it has been here at Aspectus PR. The financial services team has doubled in size and we are working with 14 new clients.

Taking a look back at the year you can see how we have run killer campaigns and won over the hearts of new ones (yes PR does work).

Here is a selection of some of the top 13 pieces of coverage for 2013:

FT_US-EU accord swaps uncertainty for pragmatism Baringa in the Financial Times
An example of when our clients get to write for some of the biggest publications in the world. We’ve got the contacts to make it happen.
WSJ_Firms Hold Off on Registering as AIFMD Takes Effect Cordium in the Wall Street Journal
Even a quick survey of clients at a breakfast briefing can lead to coverage in the international business press.
Client: DCM in Fox Business TV, After the Bell
Was this the 4th or 5th piece of broadcast coverage for this launch campaign? It’s rare for product launches to get that sort of attention – unless you know how…
Forbes_How Twitter's 'Tweets' Can Inform Investors About Twitter, And Other IPOs_small Eagle Alpha in Forbes
It’s not just journalists that write stories. If you know how, you can write for some of the biggest publications in the world.
The GIIN in Forbes TV
And if you have the right contacts you can land them on Forbes TV too.
Dow Jones_Private Equity Firms and Limited Partners Unite To Launch Reporting Platform eFront in Dow Jones
Our PR campaign helped a trade group in the alternative investment market, AltExchange, grow by over 50% in two months.
The Sunday Times_Follow my trades and earn 200% eToro in the Sunday Times
eToro passed their 3 million user mark this year. This piece alone generated a 300% increase in UK users the week after publication.
Telegraph_FIG backs fitness plan with financial muscle_small Find Invest Grow (FIG) in the Daily Telegraph
FIG saw a £50,000 investment into one of their portfolio companies, MuJo, off the back of this article.
The Times - The benefit of working in the dark Fidessa in The Times
Times columnist dedicates a whole column to Fidessa’s thinking. Fidessa was looking to educate the market on a misunderstood concept. This will do the trick.
FT_European dark pool equity trading jumps 45% ITG in the Financial Times
Within the first week of working together, ITG appeared in the Financial Times.
The Moscow News_Avoidance - symptom of cracks in world tax system Maitland in Moscow News
We run successful EMEA campaigns from our London office. Here’s one example.
Milestone AGEFI Milestone in AGEFI Luxembourg
And here’s another.
The Economist_Regulating Mobility NICE Actimize in The Economist
The Economist rarely quotes individuals or companies in its articles, but we’ve got ways and means at Aspectus.

And let’s not forget the one and only Katy Galasinski, Head of Financial Services, who has guided the team through an unforgettable year of success landing her in this year’s PRWeek Top 30 under 30:

PR Week_small


Movember week 4: Aspectus team shaves face beating last year’s fund-raising total

For many of those taking part in Movember, it has been a long month. Aside from having to deal with an itchy addition to our faces, we’ve had to endure all manner of slings and arrows from friends and loved […]


03 Dec
by Aspectus PR

For many of those taking part in Movember, it has been a long month. Aside from having to deal with an itchy addition to our faces, we’ve had to endure all manner of slings and arrows from friends and loved ones who have been less than impressed with our efforts. The women in our lives have been especially cruel, with the mother of one American Aspectee commenting “I always believed you could do anything, until you tried to grow a moustache.”

However, as the weeks wore on and the moustaches took shape, some Aspectus WAGs even started approving of their partner’s facial hair, with one Aspectee garnering comparisons to legendary TV presenter and moustache icon Des Lynam. Another girlfriend, noting the bushy nature of her boyfriend’s moustache exclaimed, ‘You could clean your shoes with that,’ a statement that he chose to take as a compliment.

Movember does seem to bring out the backhanded compliment in people and the three-and-a-half year old daughter of our Global Group Director came up with the pick of the bunch when she said, “I like your hair daddy, can you put some on your head?”

Despite faint praise from some quarters, none of the team won ‘best moustache’ at the inter-agency Movember pub quiz at The White Hart last Wednesday. Nevertheless, we did win the jackpot round and £100 towards the Movember cause. Thanks to FleishmanHillard for organising the event, a good night was had by all.

Thanks also to everyone that has donated to the Aspectus team over the course of the last month. Your generosity is appreciated, and we’re delighted to announce that we have beaten last year’s total. But if you are yet to donate to our team, there is still time, as the deadline for fundraising is 9th December.

With the first chocolates being prised from the office advent calendars, the time has come to bid farewell to Movember and after a swift Sunday shave, all that we have left of our moustaches are our memories (well most of us anyways…)

And, of course, the final round of progress shots:

Movember 2013 Week 4


And if I had a million Bitcoins… turning virtual currency into PR gold

Historically, global economies have had multiple forms of currency. Beyond traditional money or cold hard cash, we’ve had the barter system, commodity-backed currencies, and now we have virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin. One of the most frequently asked questions about […]


25 Nov
by Aspectus PR

Bitcoin

Historically, global economies have had multiple forms of currency. Beyond traditional money or cold hard cash, we’ve had the barter system, commodity-backed currencies, and now we have virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin.

One of the most frequently asked questions about Bitcoin is, “What exactly is it?” Bitcoins are essentially bundles of data that can be bought on specific exchanges like Bitstamp, making the currency 100 per cent virtual. People looking to play it “safe” and avoid direct ownership of the currency will soon be able to invest in Exchange-traded Funds. This doesn’t entail “physically” owning the Bitcoin, thus avoiding some of the risk.

Seems like an excellent, fool-proof idea? Well, not so fast. Virtual currencies, especially Bitcoin, have come under much scrutiny for their tendency to attract two types of people. One being speculative investors who want to see where this entire experiment is going and the other being criminals. Bitcoins appeal to these types due to its anonymity, lack of central backing, and the fact that Bitcoin transactions are barely traceable.

This notoriety has established Bitcoin as the poster-child of virtual currencies with the media.

At the same time, Bitcoin has created a significant opportunity for Aspectus PR to position our clients as thought leaders in this ground-breaking area. We have several financial clients that can provide insight and commentary on tricky aspects such as Bitcoin’s legitimacy. This has led to much activity in terms of media opportunities, which we have also maximized by diligently keeping abreast of the news and staying on top of stories developing as a result of the debate.

As Bitcoin becomes increasingly popular, it will be interesting to see how this latest iteration of virtual money will be used, and whether or not the general public accepts it as a legitimate currency.


Movember 2013 Week 3: Movember pays more than just [top] lip service to a good cause

Movember is an astonishing phenomenon. It was started in a pub (where else?) in Melbourne, Australia and, in its relatively short lifespan (10 years) has not only raised millions, but had a profound cultural and sociological impact. Every man has […]


22 Nov
by Aspectus PR

Movember is an astonishing phenomenon. It was started in a pub (where else?) in Melbourne, Australia and, in its relatively short lifespan (10 years) has not only raised millions, but had a profound cultural and sociological impact.

Every man has probably asked himself the question, ‘Can I grow a moustache?’ and now they have an event that gives them a perfectly valid excuse to try. Last year, in the UK alone, an estimated 363,000 people took part, raising £26.9 million. In addition, men and women in 21 countries across the globe raised over £65 million for charities associated with men’s health.

A less important, but still impressive impact is the role Movember has played in bringing the moustache back into fashion. Many men start in November and continue to sport their moustaches well into December and beyond. What’s more, we are now also surrounded by Movember memorabilia, the event having spawned a whole new market, which appears to be booming.

Aside from the impact of donations, one of the most significant aspects of Movember is how it has altered the mindset of men regarding their personal health. Again, last year’s statistics show the extent of this change: of the participants surveyed, 69% had a general check up with their doctor; 79% discussed their health with friends, family, and colleagues; and 70% talked about specific men’s health issues.

If you’re not convinced by Movember’s own statistics, the incredible story of Dr Bill Blazey is a fantastic personal account of just how important the charity is.

Movember is a great example of how humour can be used to tackle a tricky, taboo subject and although here at Aspectus PR we are having a lot of fun taking part, we would also like to raise money for this great cause. We would therefore really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to donate to our team.

And now… to the all important photos charting the progress of the Aspectus men:

Movember Aspectus PR


Big Investment in Tech for Good

Back in October, Aspectus PR joined Big Issue Invest to celebrate the successful conclusion of its ‘Tech for Good Challenge’. For Big Issue Invest, the moment marked the completion of the first of a planned series of Corporate Social Venture […]


21 Nov
by Aspectus PR

Tech for Good ChellengeBack in October, Aspectus PR joined Big Issue Invest to celebrate the successful conclusion of its ‘Tech for Good Challenge’. For Big Issue Invest, the moment marked the completion of the first of a planned series of Corporate Social Venture initiatives where big businesses invest time and money to guide entrepreneurs through an investment competition. For Aspectus it represented the latest step in our commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs. With the dust settled, Aspectus met Big Issue Invest for a drink last week to reminisce on the Tech for Good Challenge and its PR successes.

Aspectus got involved with Big Issue Invest earlier this year. Our first task was to promote the Tech for Good Challenge and in a welcome but unusual step for Aspectus, we worked alongside a number of other agencies. Taking a coordinating role, Aspectus was tasked with organising media outreach across the multi-agency team and liaising with Big Issue Invest and a number of the winning ventures to tease out a great story.

As well as coordinating energies across the agencies, we secured a number of key media hits including Wired, IT Pro and an interview with Big Issue Invest’s CEO Nigel Kershaw in London Loves Business.

Mayhul Gondhea, Programme Manager at Big Issue Invest said: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Aspectus. The quality of work produced was of an extremely high standard, they showed professionalism throughout the engagement and were very flexible in their approach to dealing with changes in the project. I would be delighted to work with them again.’

Working with entrepreneurs is always exciting, and always something we value at Aspectus, having worked in the past with the likes of eToro, Knowsis, Eagle Alpha and Simeio. Not only does their energy and strength of vision make the entrepreneurs behind these companies great to work with from a PR perspective, but they also represent our future (and current) business leaders and are making a real difference to the business landscape.

Congratulations are in order to both Big Issue Invest for the success of the Tech for Good Challenge, and to the ventures who won mentorship and investment as a result. Based on the success of the Tech for Good Challenge, fingers are crossed that Big Issue Invest will be back in the future with further CSV initiatives, and Aspectus PR would be thrilled to work with them again.


Movember 2013 week 2: The mo’ not to grow

If there is one thing we’ve learnt from Movember here at Aspectus it’s that few people can carry off a moustache. This is largely because they are so unpredictable. Even the most barrel-chested alpha male may struggle to grow more […]


14 Nov
by Aspectus PR

If there is one thing we’ve learnt from Movember here at Aspectus it’s that few people can carry off a moustache. This is largely because they are so unpredictable. Even the most barrel-chested alpha male may struggle to grow more than a few sparse bristles and even the raven haired may find evidence of their Scottish heritage sprouting from their facial follicles.

Having said that, there are steps men can take to tame their facial hair and keep it in check. With this is mind we have compiled a handy guide of what not to do this Movember…

Movember tips moustache 2 DON’T feel the need to match your hair to your moustache
Movember tips moustache 3 The same applies to body hair…
Movember tips moustache 4 DON’T copy the style of a teen sensation, even if he does have 46 million+ Twitter followers
Movember tips moustache 5 DON’T spend too much time on it
Movember tips moustache 1 DON’T apply Miracle Grow

The Aspectus men may have already committed some face crimes themselves, judge for yourselves below…

Aspectus PR Movember 2013 Week 2

Tags: Movember,

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