The point is: agencies say what they want but while their incentives don’t change, their actions won’t either.
This update refines Augur’s focus further around strategy and iteration in house, while introducing new ways to create value for the tech ecosystem alongside it. A great agency does not try and do all things for all people — and Augur is being designed very intentionally for a specific purpose.
Two example programmes in particular reflect how Augur differs from other PR agencies in its actions, not just words.
Revealing Augur Edits
In trial with retail tech clients in late 2016, Augur Edits invites freelancers from Retail Week, the FT and more to pitch their best ideas to Augur’s clients. Not PR fluff — but exactly the kind of ideas they are already pitching to traditional editors.
Clients get access to the best editorial, great journalists can place more ideas (with 24 hour payment terms) and Augur manages the back and forth, providing a brief to ensure it is perfectly in sync with the rest of the strategy.
Augur Unbound subverts the idea that PR agencies are a channel to media. Great news stories are easy to pitch — so we will take any good piece of news and pitch it to the most relevant influencers for free.
Clients hire Augur to build and optimise ongoing, channel-agnostic strategies, not to spam journalists. This is about sending a message about exactly what we believe is really valuable, while helping great companies get their message out.
Of all disciplines, you should expect technology PR to change with the times.
Here’s a 10 facts about how we work, and most importantly, the actions we take to deliver a demonstrably different service.
1. ENGINEERED MORE EFFICIENTLY
Modern work can be a mess of information overload, sprawling spreadsheet plans and bureaucracy that slows action to a crawl.
We put everything in one place: Asana. Here, you can see all upcoming tasks, find every document and directly comment or ask questions. And we support it with intelligence channels in Slackand files in Google Drive.
2. MEASUREMENT MADE MEANINGFUL
Ad Value Equivalent, coverage, estimated reach are all pointless if your comms plan doesn’t relate to your sales funnel.
Augur’s measurement process is driven from Google Analytics (or better, if you’re using it). Choose from a measurement menu that asks questions like: “of every visitor last month that became a lead, how many saw content in their journey?”
3. WORKING FACE-TO-FACE
How can an agency accurately represent someone they don’t understand?
By spending time with your team in person every week, we get under the skin of the company faster. So when we tell the world what you think, it’s the truth.
4. OWN YOUR STORY, OR DIE TRYING
You are a newswire. And the opinions section of your vertical target media. And an industry commentator. And an advocate of your customers. And an educator of your users.
If you want to be.
If you want authority, you need to start authoring it. Shuffled press releases behind closed doors pale in comparison to publishing your story on a regular basis anyway and giving the right people an early peek because it’s relevant.
Don’t duplicate and add to the noise. Find your signal and amplify it.
5. AMPLIFY WITH CARE
Embrace the real cadence of your company story. Not every step you take is a moon shot, and that’s okay. A flash in the pan will always appear less natural than consistent, growing fission.
Proper amplification should push more out of a story engine that’s already working independently — not compensate for its absence.
And a word about paid social. If we can directly target the people that journalists used to, in an easily measurable manner and on a basic budget, we’re doing it.
6. EXPERIENCE BEYOND AGENCIES
We have written for Wired, Quartz, The Guardian, Telegraph, Tech.eu and more. We’ve led PR and Comms for a $750m global tech startup from Series A to C. We’ve managed communities of 3000+ tech journalists and PRs, with members from Apple to the Economist, TechCrunch and beyond. Variety of experience spices our advice.
7. RESOURCING ATTENTION
The ‘hours’ agencies sell don’t exist, they are just 8 units of abstract value. That works great if you want to sell a dozen hours of an office junior and moments of the MD.
Augur simplifies this by resourcing teams across 4 units of attention per week. By being less granular, our plans reflect the value we offer across Strategy, Creation and Engagement. You pay for our value, not just our time.
8. UNSEXY IS THE NEW SEXY
How do you persuade a trendy teenager to become an advocate of a fizzy drink brand? Honestly? We can’t see why they should.
But if you ask what a decision-maker or industry commentator has to gain by being aware of the coming wave of change in their sector, that’s something else. Our clients’ technologies help other companies grow. And that shows how good they are at their job.
9. RELATIONSHIPS COME FIRST
Every time a journalist simply copies and pastes a news announcement, the world becomes a worse place. We want key people to question and engage with why you matter, not just trot out easy coverage.
That’s what generates the kind of third party endorsement your team can use to reach new people and drive sales. If you can build understanding, then solid coverage and customers will come.
10. A BETTER PROPOSAL PROCESS
Agencies traditionally try and knock your socks off with grand pitches before they have even spent a day working on your account.
At Augur, we start with a one page strategic spec — our diagnosis, guiding strategy and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). If we agree this is along the right lines, we kick off a small proposal project, where we interview your leadership, your team, everyone we can get our hands on to help us write a full 6 – 12 month plan.
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