MF Communication is a Belfast PR & Marketing Communications agency that provides corporate and brand PR and Marketing solutions to clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Services range from proactive marketing, PR and stakeholder relations to crisis communications and corporate reputation management.

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MF Communication is delighted to welcome Stephanie Doyle. Stephanie is from East Belfast and holds a Masters Degree in Communications, Marketing & PR from the Ulster University as well as a BA Hons. Degree in English and Linguistics from Queen's. She was previously Marketing Assistant with the global insurance & wealth management company Heritage Group.

Stephanie's particular interests lie in the area of digital marketing and online PR so she is combining her work at MF Communication with studying part-time towards a CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing. Hitting the ground running, she has already shot and produced a youtube video for one of MF Communication's clients and is now preparing the groundwork for an exciting new product launch in the health & fitness market.  She is has been trained in Adobe InDesign for Print and Digital Media Publication as well as utilising web analytics for SEO and email marketing campaigns.

2015 is shaping up to be another good year for Northern Ireland's agri-food companies. 'Great Taste' awards and restaurant accolades pile up. But just over two years on from the horsemeat scandal, consumer and media scrutiny on food safety and food provenance remains at an all time high. This was demonstrated once again last Christmas by the national broadcast coverage for the FSA's study into Campylobacter on fresh chickens. The first-time 'naming and shaming' of well-known retailers in an attempt to improve standards generated sensational headlines for the media and some undesirable PR exposure for certain retailers. This can be what sticks in the consumer's mind and lead to misperceptions or, worse still, 'food scares'.

Combine that level of scrutiny with the viral power of social media, when anyone with a smartphone can have an impact your reputation, and you have the conditions for a 'perfect storm' in the food sector. The Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet, once said, "It takes years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." Never has this been more evident than in the digital age:
•    Everything is public
'There is no such thing as a regional crisis as no matter where the crisis strikes today it can be written about, shared and discussed or even emerge online.'
•    Today’s news cycle is 24/7
'With today’s news cycle being 24/7 real-time, a business doesn’t have time on its side to respond with a statement. But this also presents an opportunity to become the lead narrator in the crisis'
•    Not everyone fact checks
'The rush for immediacy and to be the first to report on a story, and the fact that the news cycle is no longer solely comprised of journalists and reporters who work by the journalism code of ethics, but is also made up of citizen journalists, bloggers and the general public, means that facts don’t always get checked before they’re published (and potentially go viral).'
•    Everything has viral potential
'If the crisis is...

Professor Mark Ritson of Melbourne University and a leading marketing brand consultant recently delivered a blistering attack on the way some marketing and business publications are presenting the power of social media for brand communications. In his presentation at the World Sales Forum in Australia he digs into the data and analytics to provide some convincing comparisons that suggest that social media is of limited use to brands when compared to traditional advertising platforms of TV and radio. Traditional platforms are thriving despite what the myths around the 'death of TV' would suggest. His argument is a powerful one. He explores how some of the biggest brands and businesses in Australia have a fraction of the followers online than individuals and a reaching a miniscule number of their customers even if they do have social media presences. He concludes that social media is a social network and not for brands. He points out that whilst the hype would have us believe that marketing spend is or should be going into social, the reality is far from the case. When considering how much resource to place on social media  it may not the 'be all and end all' that some would have you believe.  (Source: Marketing Week http://bcove.me/cso4y2jw.)

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