Is vlogging the new rock ‘n’ roll?

Although the YouTube vlogger phenomenon is something us PR folk have been familiar with for years, it feels like it’s just stepped into overdrive. One vlog star, Alfie Deyes, has recently released a book addition to his YouTube channel, The Pointless Book, which shot straight to the top of the Sunday Times and Amazon bestseller charts. And, in case anyone balked at the word ‘star’, take note: his book signings were cancelled due to safety fears regarding the thousands of teenage girls trying to get to him. Another name to watch is Zoe Sugg, whose work is currently beaming out at us from moving posters on tube escalators and in Westfield shopping centre. Also hot-to-trot is vlog princess, Tanya Burr, who bagged a front row seat at London Fashion Week and is now pouting out from a Superdrug shelf trying to sell us a lipstick.

For brands, working with the top-dog vloggers can pay great dividends. Whether it’s cupcake tutorials or hard-hitting charity campaigns, companies can now reach audiences they never could before by tapping into these vloggers’ huge, established fan bases. The vloggers’ subscribers treat them like rock stars, and consider the YouTubers (as they’re affectionately known) as an authoritative, trustworthy voice. They are revered as ‘best friends’ – always eager to bestow not only honest but also undeniably hip opinions – meaning an endorsement from them can result in big sales.

The results are clear to see, but working with the ‘best of the best’ doesn’t come cheap. The top players are earning up to £20,000 a month in advertising revenue and brand partnerships!

Here’s our lowdown on the vloggers currently sitting at the top of the tree…

Zoe Sugg, Zoella 6.2million subscribers, 2.3million Twitter followers

Fashion and beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg’s debut make-up range for Superdrug sold out within minutes in September. Her first novel, Girl Online, is out next month and she’s been snapped up to work with everyone from Topshop to ASDA. Not bad considering her first vlog consisted of showing us 60 items from her bedroom, including a half-eaten advent calendar and a TV remote control.

Alfie Deyes, Pointless Blog 3.1million subscribers, 1.8million Twitter followers

Alfie, 20, is currently in full-on plug mode for his book, The Pointless Book, named after his YouTube channel. He has uploaded to his YouTube channel every day since he was 15, and worked with top brands such as Cadbury and chat app, Frankly. He also just so happens to be dating Zoella, so together they are one of the digital world’s ultimate power couples. Their ‘How well do we know each other?’ post has hit over five million views in just two months.

Caspar Lee, Caspar – 3.1million subscribers, 1.9million Twitter followers

Caspar is best known for his pranks and sketches and also finished filming a movie with John Cleese earlier this summer. He’s worked on travel videos with Turkish Airlines and proved how adept 02’s new 4G service was for taking selfies. He lives with fellow YouTuber Joe Sugg, who is Zoella’s younger brother… are you keeping up?

Tanya Burr, Tanya Burr – 2.5million subscribers, 1million Twitter followers

Tanya made her name recording videos after her shifts on a department store beauty counter, and her fashion and beauty tips now attract more than two million visitors every month. Her collaboration on a make-up range with Eye Candy prompted the largest waiting list they’d ever had. She’s also worked with Dove, Tresemme and on baking videos for ASDA with her boyfriend Jim Chapman. Unsurpringly, he’s a vlogger too…

Louise Pentland, Sprinkle of Glitter – 1.7million subscribers, 917k Twitter followers

Hitting a slightly older audience is Louise, who juggles her vlogging with being a full-time mum to her three-year old daughter. While still remaining loyal to the chatty fashion & beauty videos that built up her fan base, she’s no stranger to collaborating with brands, from baking videos for ASDA to self-harm awareness videos for Red Cross. Her star is still on the rise, and she is excitedly planning her first live show next month.

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, BuzzFeed and Snapchat – just in case you missed it!

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#1 Reddit acquires iOS reader Alien Blue – marking the site’s first official app

By The Drum

  • Reddit has acquired Alien Blue, the most popular iOS app specifically tailored to access the site on the mobile platform, for an undisclosed sum
  • Alien Blue, previously an unofficial Reddit client, has been purchased by the firm, giving it control of the most popular point of access on Apple’s iOS platform. It also marks the site’s first foray into mobile apps  with it previously relying upon third party services

#2 Facebook still freezing accounts despite apology to drag queens over ‘real names’

By Guardian

#3 Twitter: you like seeing tweets from people you don’t follow, so get ready for more

By Yahoo

  • Twitter said Friday it would start reconfiguring users’ timelines with “relevant” messages from people they haven’t bothered to follow at the service
  • Based on a positive response from its tests, the popular one-to-many messaging service is inching toward the Facebook model of using software to “curate” what users see based on their interests or activities, Twitter said in a blog post
  • “In many cases, the best tweets come from people you already know, or know of,” the San Francisco-based company said

#4 Snapchat Plunges Into Advertisements ‘To Make Money,’ Releases First Sponsored Video

By International Business Times

  • Snapchat began hosting advertisements on its service Saturday by releasing its first sponsored video, a 20-second trailer for the upcoming horror movie, “Ouija.” The Venice Beach, California-based company announced Friday that its users in the U.S. would now start receiving ads from brands
  • The trailer appeared in the “Recent Updates” section of the app, which is usually reserved for friends’ “Stories,” Huffington Post reported, adding that it is unclear how many users of the Snapchat app received the ad. The company wrote in a blog post last week that it was going to put sponsored content in that section for the first time

#5 BuzzFeed makes its German debut

By Deutsche Welle

  • In a nod to the website’s click-generating felines, BuzzFeed has gone live in Germany by hosting their launch in – where else – a cat café located in Berlin. Editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed Germany, Juliane Leopold, explained the company’s new plans there on Thursday
  • Consider the site a social experiment, much like everything BuzzFeed does. For the first eight months, readers will be exposed to what made the hub of social content the giant it is today: cat content and quirky quizzes

#6 Libel cases prompted by social media posts rise 300% in a year

By The Independent

  • The number of defamation actions brought over derogatory posts on social media has surged by more than 300 per cent in the past year
  • The increase in libel cases brought over comments made on Twitter and other “new media” platforms – including online-only news sites and mobile texting – is being attributed to a lack of understanding among social media users that they are legally responsible for what they write

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onechocolate loves… the view from the US

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s San Francisco office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events… 

#1 Apple iPads

Apple iPad

Another launch from Apple hit the headlines and, this time, the big reveal was its brand new iPads. Apple conveniently “leaked” pictures of the new devices earlier in the week, just minutes after Google’s big Nexus and Android 5.0 announcements. But let’s be honest, as Re/Code recently noted, does the iPad still matter? Especially given the new crop of phones the company released last month. Time, and the holiday season, will tell.

#2 Dreamforce

Dreamforce

The annual Dreamforce conference has taken over San Francisco again this year, with the likes of will.i.am, Hillary Clinton and Marc Benioff taking the stage. With income inequality “rising in San Francisco faster than any other city in the country,” it was nice to see the big wigs giving back to their communities through a canned food drive, and with an aim to donate some two million meals to the city’s less fortunate.

#3 Google’s Android Lollipop

lollipop

Google unveiled the new Android 5.0 Lollipop this week, with a new theft deterrent that allows users to enable a “kill switch” on their phones for the first time ever. Given how many cell phones thefts there are across the country, this is certainly a smart and welcome addition.

#4 HBO goes OTT

HBO

Looks like HBO is finally hopping on the OTT bandwagon by allowing viewers to subscribe to its service without the need for cable in 2015. The stand-alone service will initially be offered to homes in the U.S., but the company has promised that there are plans to launch the service overseas. This is great news for Game of Thrones fans everywhere – but look out Netflix! 

#5 Apple and Facebook offer egg freezing

Apple and Facebook

Facebook and Apple announced this week that both companies will now cover the cost of egg-freezing treatments for women who want to delay family plans in favor of advancing their careers. It’s certainly an interesting move from both companies, but given the incentives for new parents already in place, it will be interesting to see what employees decide to do. Or, as Forbes notes, the program might “help their women employees lean all the way in.”

#6 Selfies still going strong

Selfies

It seems we just can’t quit the ‘selfie’ and, as we’ve noted before, it’s a fad that refuses to fizzle out. Fall TV season has started in the US, and with it came the show “Selfie.” The programme is loosely based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, and features a sharp business-type trying to school a dim-witted 20-something on the ways of the world. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the show will last long. Have you been watching?

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Diary of an Intern #2

Diary image

Hi, my name is Corinne. I graduated with a BA in History and Sociology from The University of Manchester in July. I spent two months as a PR assistant at an agency in Manchester before moving to London and starting my 6-month internship with onechocolate communications at their Soho office.

Why did you want to do an internship?

It can be really daunting leaving the university lifestyle behind and heading straight into a full-time, long-term job. Whilst this didn’t faze me too much, I knew that an internship would be a way to ease myself into the working world. I also hoped it would provide me with a strong insight into the career path I wanted to continue to pursue in an industry where experience is so vital.

What do you hope to get from it?

The main thing I am hoping to come away with is what I think every intern looks for; strong experience. With the job market as competitive as it is, I firmly believe that a degree can only get you so far. What graduates really need, in my opinion, is a combination of a proactive attitude and, perhaps more importantly, a wealth of work experience.

How is your internship is structured?

I began my internship in August as a member of the B2B team. I spent my first three weeks following a training plan that included introductions to the clients, skills sessions such as how to write an effective press release and meetings with different members of the team to get an overview of how onechocolate works. Since then I have been working on different tasks across several client accounts – and I am taking on more responsibilities by the day.

What did you think working in an agency would be like?

It was hard to manage my expectations because in my previous role in PR I had worked in a B2C environment. I thought it would be a huge change stepping into B2B and, in particular, a technology focused role.

What’s been the biggest surprise so far?

How easy the adjustment has been! I really thought it would be such a huge shift in perspective that would take quite a while for me to get to grips with but it hasn’t been. I think this is largely due to the amount of support on offer from my team in everything I do.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

Aside from keeping on top of my never ending to-do list, the biggest challenge is remembering that it is okay to ask for help and to double check everything. I always want to try and do things myself, but when you are new and still learning how things work, you have to ask to make sure you are doing tasks in the right way and being time efficient.

What are most valuable things you’ve learnt so far?

I think this would be how much my time management has developed. I am pretty organised and pride myself on that but when you are dealing with several clients and so many different tasks in one day that all need specific amounts of time or attention, you really have to harness this skill… not to mention make lots of to-do lists.

What are the most important things interns need from an agency?

Support, feedback and assurances that you aren’t destroying the company from the inside out! It can be daunting for interns to come into a busy environment and feel like they are treading on people’s toes or being annoying by asking questions. I think onechocolate really understands this and everyone on the team is happy to answer your questions, no matter how incoherently you may be babbling or how busy they are.

What are your top tips for other graduates looking for internships?

Be as pro-active as you can and look outside the main streams of job advertising. I found the internship here at onechocolate because my friend tagged me in a LinkedIn post that a colleague of hers shared. We live in a digital age where our online networks are huge; it would be silly not to take advantage of this. Oh, and get a profile on LinkedIn if you haven’t got one already.

What do you most want to achieve from your internship?

By the end of my six months, I want to feel like I have gained a real insight into this kind of PR work and the role of an account executive, so that I can continue to develop my skills and pursue a career in the industry.

By Corinne Abrahams

Corinne Abrahams

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Reddit – just in case you missed it!

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#1 French bank, Twitter team up for money transfers via tweets 

By Reuters

  • One of France’s largest banks is teaming up with social network Twitter Inc. this week to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets
  • The move by Groupe BPCE, France’s second largest bank by customers, coincides with Twitter’s own push into the world of online payments as the social network seeks new sources of revenue beyond advertising

#2 Facebook ‘anonymity app’ set to launch

By Marketing

  • Facebook is reportedly building an app that will allow its users to log in anonymously, in a bid to counter the growing threat of new rival Ello
  • The standalone app will arrive in the coming weeks and enable users to interact using pseudonyms, according to a report in the New York Times
  • The idea is to foster open discussion without any repercussion, particularly around taboo or difficult subject areas
  • But this would represent a change in attitude for Facebook, which has historically pushed the idea of users keeping their real identities across the web. Facebook currently only allows a “real name” policy, meaning it’s easy to connect a user’s post or actions with their real-life identity

#3 Facebook is over for teens – and Instagram and Twitter are the most popular social networks among American children

By Daily Mail

  • Teens have abandoned Facebook in favour of Instagram and Twitter, researchers have found
  • A new survey by investment bank Piper Jaffray found that more than 9 out of 10 American teenagers regularly use social media
  • It reveals Facebook’s fall from grace has been sudden – from being used by 72% of teens in the spring to just 45% now
  • Pinterest and Tumblr each claimed a little over 20 percent
  • Another 20 percent of teens said they use ‘other’ social networks, not named in the survey but likely including some popular anonymous messaging services and the disappearing-message app Snapchat

#3 Snapchat will debut ads “soon”, CEO reveals

By The Drum

  • Ads will start to appear on Snapchat “soon”, co-founder and chief executive Evan Spiegel has said
  • Earlier this year, it was announced that Snapchat was set to launch new service Snapchat Discovery in November, which would allow users to read articles, watch TV show clips and see adverts
  • Revealing more information while speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, Spiegel said the ads will not be targeted to individual users based on their tastes

#4 Facebook’s bill for WhatsApp climbs to $21.8bn

By FT

  • Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp Messenger has ended up being even more expensive than it originally thought
  • The social network’s largest deal to date closed on Monday, after receiving regulatory approval in Europe last week
  • The final combination of cash, stock and management incentives that Facebook is paying for the wildly popular chat app now totals $21.8bn. That figure is above the $19bn stated when the deal was first announced, because Facebook’s share price has risen more than 13 per cent since mid-February to $77.29 on Monday

#6 Snappening update: Reddit reportedly bans Snapchat photos after The Fappening

By International Business Times

  • Reddit reportedly banned hundreds of thousands of Snapchat photos that were posted online, the Inquisitr reported Sunday. The scandal, which has become known as “The Snappening,” purportedly resulted in more than 200,000 photos being leaked to 4chan and Reddit
  • A message was posted to the Fappening Discussion page on Reddit about posting Snappening pictures, titled, “PSA: Do not post links to the Snappening megafile.” It continued, “Most of it is child pornography, and the whole subreddit could get in massive trouble. That is all”
  • Later, an edit added: “Don’t ask for PMs on the subreddit. The Snappening has nothing to do with the Fappening, anyway”

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