The OMB blog

The OMB Blog

 

Welcome to the OMB blog. Here I post about all things OMB, including information about clients, latest news, comment and opinion.

 

 

By Owain Betts, Sep 16 2014 12:40PM

Mention the word entrepreneur to anyone and they'll most likely think of millionnaires and the the members of the BBC Dragon's Den television programme.


But how far from the truth could they be. Look up the word in the dictionary (Oxford). Entrepreneur: Person who who organizes a commercial undertaking."


So no mention of financial means or wealth.


And that's just my point. To be an entrepreneur you just have to have the idea for a commercial enterprise or be able to support an existing business that could benefit from your skills, such as mentoring. So you don't have to have millions in the bank. You just have to have the idea and inspiration to succeed.


This week the Welsh Government-backed Big Ideas Wales campaign launched the second Big Ideas Wales Challenge. Aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds, the Challenge has already proved itself just eight months into the first Challenge, with 28 young people starting or about to start their own business.


The second Challenge takes it to another level, offering 50 prized places for young people to be fast-tracked into a bootcamp and offered advice and mentoring from some of Wales' top entrepreneurs. All they have to have is a business that was formed in 2014 or be about to launch one.


This is a great opportinity for young people throughout Wales to receive a level of help that many entrepreneurs who have been there and done it could only have wished for in past years.


I'm pleased to be involved in the Big Ideas Wales campaign, promoting indiviudals, role models and the Challenge itself. It's inspirational to see young people geting to grips with their "big ideas." And I'm sure amny of these will be household names in years to come.


If you are aged between 16-24 years of age or know somebody that is and has started their own business with growth potential or is about to launch one, visit www.bigideaswales.com for more details. Applications are open and audition will be held in December before a bootcamp for 50 successful young entrepreneurs is held in Wales.


Caption: Some of the Big Ides Wales young entrepreneurs with James Taylor, Group Chief Executive of SuperStars and Big Ideas Wales Challenge Ambassador. Photo by Roger Donovan, Cardiff.




By Owain Betts, Feb 4 2014 11:44AM

While most people are today focussing on the 10th birthday of the launch of Facebook, it's almost been missed that another mainstream social media channel has undergone a little change.


Twitter has had a bit of a refresh - the web version that is. If you ever use www.twitter.com through your PC or Mac then you'll most likely have already seen the change. But if, as most people do, you only use mobile and tablet apps or Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to access Twitter, then I doubt you'll even know.


Twitter has attempted to give its web face a more fresh look. The fonts have changed and the image header has moved. To a certain extent it is much easier to view.


But how many people will actually notice as I suspect the numbers using the web access are very small in comparison to mobiles and tablets?



By Owain Betts, Jan 9 2014 04:38PM

Welcome to 2014. What will your business be doing this year and why aren't you telling existing or potential customers about these plans?


Communicating with key audiences and target markets is critical to any individual, business or organisation when it comes to its sales and marketing strategy.


Sitting back and waiting for a customer to call just doesnt happen anymore - even to the best businesses.


Become proactive. Tell people about what you do and what you're offering them. Engagement is critical in today's commercial world. Your name and brand should be out there being seen and talked about postively with endorsements from existing customers.


So what wll you be doing in 2014? Still sitting back and sticking ads in the print media, waiting for customers?


Why not think about your communications (PR, media relations and marketing) and how you can grasp new opportunities.


Give me a call and discuss ideas and inspiration for doing something different this year. It'll only cost your time.



OMB Communications
OMB Communications

By Owain Betts, Feb 3 2013 12:42PM

I’m lucky enough to occasionally escape the OMB Communications office and meet up with small businesses and sole traders in Wales and the West Midlands to talk about social media and its value within the public relations and media relations toolkit.


During these workshops I’m not only surprised at the number of businesses yet to appreciate the value of social media, but more so those that fail to realise the potential risk it has on their businesses, products and services.


At the start of each discussion I emphasise three words that they’ll hear a lot: Content, Engagement and Reputation. The latter word is the one that more than often gets the first quizzical reaction from the audience. In fact, it’s almost a look of “I’m here to learn about getting ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, not talking about my reputation.”


And there lies my point. Businesses already immersed in social media, or contemplating the jump while precariously standing at the edge of the digital precipice, are all too often looking for the instant wins from social media without considering the pitfalls as they jump off the edge and into the digital abyss. Free-falling into social media isn’t a pretty sight.


Businesses that are dismissive of it risk their reputation, as are those already embracing it. I ask delegates if they have ever undertaken an online search of their business or brand, or even their own personal names (not for egotistic reasons). The answer is generally no. But once you explain and even show what others are saying on social channels, ears prick up and eyes become a bit more focussed (that’s providing they haven’t fallen asleep already).


Setting off that little gem of “who’s talking about you” ensures a sudden shuffle of chairs and scribing of notes. Yes, people are talking about your business. Hopefully in a good way, but possibly in a negative one. But did you know that? How do you handle it?


And that’s where we go off on a jaunt into the murky side of social media that many businesses fail to appreciate in that search for the most followers and likes.


Brand reputation is a priority for any business using social media or contemplating it. You cannot ignore it. Deleting comments or blocking followers is not the answer. It’ll simply set off an unprecedented chain reaction of negative and damaging comments. It might generate more followers or likes, but for all the wrong reasons. And the reputation of the business will be laid bare for all to see as it progresses virally.


But it’s not all doom and gloom. Social media is a great PR tool for gaining great exposure and engaging with new and existing customers. But when you jump off that precipice into the great digital valley, having the knowledge and ability to control the parachute to a safe landing is a must.

By Owain Betts, Feb 1 2013 06:58PM

Today marks an important day for me and OMB Communications. It is the second anniversary of the business.


On this day in 2011 a dream came to fruition. I was finally in control of a business. The dream started many years ago. In fact it wasn’t the first time I’d run a business.


When I was 14 I started what could be considered a communications consultancy. Yes, even in 1988 I was eager to enter the commercial world. With the support of the Prince of Wales Committee, help from a local organisation that let me have a desk and cupboard in their office from where I could work after school and at weekends, I felt I had made it.


Needless to say that dream didn’t last long. Far from being unsuccessful, I was supported by a number of businesses keen to show support to a local youngster. I even made the headlines myself, being interviewed on Radio 1’s Newsbeat, appearing on HTV Wales Tonight (as it was then), BBC Wales Today, several local and regional newspapers, two nationals and the Times Education Supplement. And then I was named Young Achiever of the Year by the Development Board for Rural Wales (now defunct).


It didn’t mean much to me at the time and, to be honest, I didn’t realise it was a sign of where I would end up.


But the business lasted a year or so before at the age of 16 I was offered a job on a local newspaper as a junior reporter. And who could refuse. £6,500 was a lot of money to someone at 16.


I spent 10 great years on newspapers in Wales and the West Midlands, rising to news editor and working with some great people and news organisations. But PR was something that gave me a bit of a buzz. Having worked as a journalist with a range of in-house and agency PRs selling stories into me, it was a job I wanted. And when the opportunity came in 1999 I jumped at it.


But not just for the PR job, it was a way for me to work with an organization where I felt I could make a difference, not only to my career, but to the area I lived and worked in.


A couple of jobs later and 14 years older I decided to return to my dreams as a 14-year-old of having my own business. And two years after beginning that dream for a second time I’m fortunate enough to still be here.


I’ve been working with some great individuals, companies and organisations in that time, as well as partnering with other agencies and sole trader PRs. And it’s been great. Yes, a few more grey hairs, but I’m a firm believer that in order to play hard you must work hard.


When I was 16 I was working from 8am often until 9pm or even 10pm. That stays with you. But get the job done properly and you can take the rewards.


So here we are. OMB Communications is two. That’s a target I set for myself and it’s been met. So here goes, hopefully, for another two years. Enjoy the ride.


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