PR Interview with Alisa Murphy & Emma Murphy, Directors, Life Size Media

Life Size Media, an agency for the low carbon sector, celebrates its one year birthday this Wednesday 3 August. Life Size Media’s directors, Alisa Murphy and Emma Murphy, talk about the challenges of promoting the low carbon sector, making the latest innovations interesting to the man or woman on the street, and practising what you PR.

About the agency

What areas of PR does Life Size Media specialise in?

Alisa: At Life Size Media we work exclusively in the low-carbon, clean tech and sustainable development sectors because it’s what we are passionate about.

Emma: We specialise in turning complex concepts, technologies and innovations into engaging and accessible messaging. We’re always up for a challenge!

What is different about the agency’s approach to PR?

Alisa: Our campaigns are founded in storytelling; we focus on painting the bigger picture and then placing our clients at the heart of that story. We start from the audience: what does a client’s innovation mean to the man or woman on the street; why should investors choose their technology/service; why does government or industry need to know about what they are doing?

Emma: Life Size Media also offers a very holistic approach to PR. We believe that successful communication needs to be consistent and effective across all materials, be it a press release, company presentation, website, video or logo; which is why we offer both project and campaign services.

What do you look for in new recruits?

Emma: Life Size Media chooses to work exclusively with companies that aim to make a positive difference in the world, and that’s something we seek in our employees too. We’re big believers in practising what you PR!

Alisa: Each of our employees brings different strengths; but what they have in common is creativity, passion, and dedication to Life Size and our clients. As we grow I’d like to see those core attributes in new recruits.

What are the latest trends or issues in the clean-tech industry right now the agency finds it is managing?

Alisa: At Life Size Media we are developing a speciality in the transitional technology market. The technologies that are going to bridge the gap between yesterday’s dirty fossil fuels and tomorrow’s low carbon economy are fundamental to our future. There are some really interesting communication challenges for companies pioneering fuel cells, underground coal gasification, biomass, waste to energy, to name a few. We’re very much enjoying embracing that challenge.

About clients

Tell us about one of your clients you are working with at the moment. How is the campaign for them going?

Emma: One of our most exciting clients at the moment is AFC Energy, the world’s leading developer of low cost alkaline fuel cells. AFC Energy wanted to take a leading role in the clean energy conversation; we have worked with them not only to dramatically raise their company profile, but also to promote general awareness of fuel cells and the role they have to play in a low carbon future.

Alisa: The ‘Power of the Future’ campaign we designed and executed has achieved mainstream and industry press, as well as a strong online following. So far, the campaign has involved production of a promotional video, company presentations, a new website, rebranding and on-going traditional PR and social media. By communicating the central message in a simple, engaging and informative way, AFC Energy has become more accessible to consumers, shareholders, the Government, regulators and industry alike.

How do you ensure your clients get the right coverage in the press?

Alisa: Life Size Media’s campaigns team have strong relationships with journalists who specialise in the clean tech arena. We are building a reputation for expertise in our domain.

Emma: We work to get our clients exposure at every possible opportunity; be it through traditional print press, online, on the blogosphere, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. It’s about being part of the conversation, at whatever level the conversation is taking place.

Is there a potential client you’d love to work for?

Emma: We’re most excited by profile-raising, so you probably won’t have heard of the ideal client!

About you

How did you get into PR?

Emma: For me it has been a rather unconventional route; I’m a scientist by training. The thing about scientists is that they working tirelessly towards these amazing discoveries, but they are phenomenally bad at communicating to the outside world about what those discoveries actually mean. It’s important to understand the science, but also to understand how to engage with the broader public on the issues, and that’s the part I’m really interested in.

Alisa: I have quite a varied background, starting in the arts, then film production, then PR. I wanted a career that allowed me to use the skills I developed in these fields to raise awareness about the issues that matter most to me. My time in industry (I was previously CEO of a clean coal company) reinforced my strong suspicion that there is a gap between the fantastic work being done and the general publics’ understanding, and that’s where Life Size is really focused.

How useful do you find social media?

Alisa: The online conversation is happening whether you are a part of it or not. The choice isn’t about whether or not to do social media; it’s about deciding to use it to your advantage. And you can’t underestimate what a powerful tool it can be when you get it right.

What is the best bit of business advice you’ve ever been given?

Alisa: Feel the fear and do it anyway!

[img|jpg|Emma Murphy and Alisa Murphy, directors]
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