Transforming a brand: what’s the point?

Transforming a brand: what’s the point?

If you missed our exciting news last month, Franklin Rae recently acquired media and marketing sector specialist, The Media Foundry (TMF). To celebrate, we’re excited to introduce you to Lisa Williams, Client Services Director at TMF as she discusses how purpose can play a role in transforming a brand.

Purpose. It’s one of those topics that I’ve been to numerous events on and read reams about since day one of my PR career. It’s something that almost every brand/business we work with is keen to define – especially to attract the millennials, who we are constantly reminded will only work with companies that have a solid, higher purpose beyond making profit. However, putting aside for now the fact that all consumers will ultimately think brands are out to make money, I can’t help but think that many brands are missing the point when it comes to purpose.

As Russell Parsons eloquently put it in his Stop mistaking purpose for differentiation article, when most people are asked to define purpose, their response is typically closer to a description of differentiation. In this context Parsons argues “if you can credibly differentiate because of practices that add value to society, fine; otherwise find another point of difference that sets you apart and makes you appreciated – don’t go searching for one”. After over a decade working with brands and agencies within the media and marketing world, I heartily agree with him.

For me, purpose is all about how you can – and do – add value to customers’ lives. It shouldn’t just be some lofty – and often empty – statement that is bandied around or painted on walls. Purpose needs to be ingrained into the everyday and should inform every decision and action made by the team. Of course, this can’t happen overnight. However, having been fortunate enough to work with the marketing team at Direct Line Group over the past three years, I’ve seen first-hand how purpose can play a role in transforming a brand and its propositions, delivering revenue growth through successful innovation.

So why my focus on purpose today? What’s the point?

One month on since TMF was acquired by Franklin Rae, we’re taking a closer look at how we differ from our competitors and the additional value we offer (according to my definition, our purpose). Having a similar ethos and shared ambitions is a great starting point, but we know that to reap the benefits of coming together we need to ensure that our purpose / value is apparent throughout our services and company culture each and every day. And who knows, we may end up with a rallying cry like Star Trek’s “to boldly go where no one has gone before” – which Giles Lury understandably pulls out as a great example of brand purpose in his book The Marketing Complex.

Franklin Rae PR acquires The Media Foundry

Franklin Rae PR acquires The Media Foundry

Content and creative sector PR experts acquire the marketing and media sector specialist

Franklin Rae PR today announces that it has acquired The Media Foundry, a PR agency that focuses on businesses working within the media and marketing industries.

The acquisition will see the agency move from its current home at The Cubo Group and brought under the Franklin Rae umbrella, allowing the company to expand its current offering in the marketing sector as well as further grow its footprint with media and brands.

Set up in 1998, The Media Foundry has a heritage in working with the great and the good of adland including Karen Blackett OBE, Annette King, Ian Pearman and Laurence Green. In recent years the agency has expanded its offering to become the PR agency for all media & marketing professionals – working with brand-side CMOs including Mark Evans at Direct Line Group, and adtech/martech companies.

Franklin Rae, a leading name in the content sector offers PR services to the production, distribution and creative industries, raising the profile of both businesses and the content they produce. Established in 2003, the company works with world leaders in TV, Film and the creative industries, including producers of BAFTA winning ‘People Just Do Nothing’, Roughcut TV, global content distributor, Keshet International, creative company Gravity Road and award winning creators of sporting content, Noah Media Group.

Franklin Rae CEO Tessa Laws commented, “TMF have a fantastic reputation in the industry, a great team and a host of exciting clients that align perfectly with our own strategy and ambitions for the future of Franklin Rae.”

Cubo Group CEO, Kerry Simpson added, “This is a great strategic move for both parties. TMF’s specialism is a perfect fit for Franklin Rae and they can be a formidable combination in their sector”

Following the acquisition the TMF team will continue to work in partnership with its current clients as well as developing a wider offering in conjunction with Franklin Rae.

The Press Room: Molly Flemming, Marketing Week

The Press Room: Molly Flemming, Marketing Week

We welcomed Molly Flemming, news reporter at Marketing Week, to our Press Room this month. Covering FMCG, food and drink, charities, energy, gambling, travel and leisure, Molly has a keen eye for a story in the marketing and creative industries. She tells us all about the top campaign topics of the moment and what brands are looking out for.


What are you writing about at the moment?

At the moment I am writing quite a bit about brand purpose. With the plastic debate and #metoo movement I think brands are starting to realise the importance of being socially responsible – be that about the environment, mental health or other important issues.

What are the headlines everyone’s talking about at the moment?

For some time brands have been talking about how to make the most of data with the rise of digital. But the Cambridge Analytica scandal and GDPR mean there’s even more interest around how companies are using data. It’s a huge talking point.

What is your biggest frustration as a journalist?

I think that from a personal perspective you always feel as though you could be doing more or writing more and you have to learn to switch off. Professionally? When people are so media trained that they lose any ability to speak naturally, which makes it harder to interview them and get a good quote.

What are you watching at the moment?

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 has started, so my Friday nights are devoted to that until it ends.

How can you harness the power of the influencer? 

How can you harness the power of the influencer? 

There’s no doubt. We’re in the age of the ‘influencer’. So how can you make the most of these profiles in your PR and marketing campaign? Marketing and Influencer Consultant, Freya Lifely offers her expert insights in our latest ‘Connections’ blog.


Snap felt the power of ‘the influencer’ in full force last month. An 18-word tweet by Kylie Jenner to her 24.5m followers about the Snapchat messaging app was all it took to wipe $1.3 billion off its market value.

The tweet followed the much-criticised Snapchat redesign and the platform’s infamously slow reaction to influencers and brand opportunities; only recently opening up its Marketing API and insights for creators. A function that has been available on competing sites for years.

Influencer power is something that brands are becoming keen to harness as part of their publicity and marketing mix. While there are only a few who can afford to work with influencer superstars like Jenner and her Kardashian sisters, there is a raft of online influencers who fill the same space as opinion leaders and decision makers for modern, digital audiences.

Running influencer marketing campaigns is notoriously complex. A lack of industry-wide measurement or standards mean that it can be hard to know where to start. These are some tips for a successful campaign:

Know your goal

Set the KPIs for your campaign before you start. Whether it’s brand awareness, click throughs to a website or event attendance, know what you want to achieve before you reach out to influencers. Using a defined objective to inform your creative, messaging and call to action will provide a useful benchmark against which to measure the performance of your campaign.

Select the right people

Bigger isn’t always better, and choosing influencers based on reach alone won’t ensure you have an impactful campaign. Analysing engagements on posts to get an idea of the influencer’s audience and engagement will help focus your campaign.

Be sure to request the audience age, gender and location demographics. This information is available on all main social channels for influencers to access, and doing the right research will help you to know what of their audience is made up of the people that you want to reach. Some male 25-year-old influencers have an audience made up mostly of 15-year-old girls – not ideal if your target is young adult men.

Authenticity is key

Influencer power comes from their authenticity. So, work with influencers who like your product or brand and aren’t just in it for the fee. Collaborate on creative routes and listen to the influencers’ ideas on how best to resonate with their audience.

Think outside the box

Leverage the strengths or USPs of your brand to inform the type of content you create. Some of the best influencer campaigns with influencers go beyond the obvious and come up with fun, sharable content which will achieve much better penetration than just a straight sales pitch.


There are legal requirements for disclosing branded content on social channels. Previously a grey area, rules are much stricter now. Be aware of them internally and make sure your influencer is willing to use full disclosure or it could cause trouble for your brand.

Freya Lifely is an independent marketing and influencer consultant, specialising in the media and entertainment industries

The Press Room: John Elmes, C21

The Press Room: John Elmes, C21

This month, we’re turning the press spotlight on John Elmes, Senior Reporter at C21Media to hear more about what’s making waves in the TV industry.


What are you writing about at the moment?

“I’m in the middle of writing some pieces on the technological developments which may (or may not) revolutionise the TV industry. VR and AR are a significant part of this conversation, so if you have insight into either, drop me a line.”

What are the headlines everyone’s talking about at the moment?

“It seems like the whole TV world has been writing about ‘consolidation’ in recent months, thanks to the Disney-21st Century Fox deal at the end of 2017 and the Viacom-CBS talks this year. Elsewhere, column inches tend to be filled by the latest movement in the digital players’ arms race to be the global superpower – which, ironically, tends to lead to stories about consolidation. Who of the FAANGs is going to be top of the pile, and who will be left behind are the questions on a lot of people’s lips.”

What is your biggest frustration as a journalist?

“It depends on the audience I guess! Most of my frustrations stem from being scooped or not being able to stand a story up. Thankfully I work with a great bunch internally and externally, which means these irritations are few and far between. People not getting back to me with journalistic requests is another bugbear, but I’m guilty of that, so am painfully aware of my own hypocrisy…”What are you watching at the moment?

What are you watching at the moment?

“I’m just about to delve into season 2 of Marcella on ITV. I caught season 1 on catch-up and it was brilliant, so am planning to watch the second run linearly. Elsewhere, Mindhunter, Suburra – La Serie and Fargo have been compulsive viewing on Netflix. I’m also eagerly awaiting the documentary series Flint Town on Netflix too. It drops on March 2nd, so not long to go now.”

Content, communication & connections

Content, communication & connections

It’s not every day you make the decision to return to a job you left more than four years ago but that’s exactly what I did, returning to Franklin Rae at the tail end of last year. So why did I come back? Well, that’s an easy one.


Franklin Rae has a long legacy in working with media and entertainment companies, helping them to communicate their messages to the industry as well as promoting their content to consumer audiences.  Working with creative companies has always been something I’ve loved and getting to do it at an agency with such a unique offering was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.


The team here at Franklin Rae have such a wide range of experience, they all bring something unique to the table. Whether it’s a heritage in working with brands and/or producers, a passion for factual programming, a somewhat unnerving love of Rob Brydon, experience working in-house for distributors, a history of working for the trade press, or a love of all things TOWIE, everyone brings something to the company which helps to build our effectiveness and deliver for our clients.


Not only does Franklin Rae pride itself on its communication strategies, it also looks to bring added value to clients in a range of different ways. Connecting people is an important part of trying to bring that added value and as you can see from this month’s newsletter we’ve spent the past few weeks working with Edge Investments, setting up opportunities for production companies/content producers to meet with a VC and hear all about what they are looking for and how to be investment ready. Our feedback showed that those who attended found the event really useful and that’s what’s important to us.

Our plan for 2018 is to continue working with creative companies, connecting those in our network and adding value wherever we can. If Rob Brydon also wanted to stop by that would be a bonus.

By Leigh Turnbull, Managing Director, Franklin Rae