The Tour de France is a mug’s game

Yorkshire

The impending arrival of the Tour de France in London today was celebrated in true British style with 1000s of boxes of Yorkshire Tea (the official supporters) being handed out at Waterloo station at rush hour this morning. Yorkshire Tea’s #teaonletour is one of many marketing campaigns surrounding the race that deserve a yellow vest for true grit.

The final English leg of the Tour de France is well underway with nearly 200 cyclists racing along the 96-mile (155km) route from Cambridge to London and due to arrive at the Mall at 4pm.

Campaigns were well underway even before the tour started.  Yorkshire got off to a great start. One observer said: ‘When Gary Verity (chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire) decided to bid and bring the event to Yorkshire, he did it to put Yorkshire on the world map.’

And the event will bring fortune as well as fame to the region. The economic impact of hosting the world’s greatest cycling race has been conservatively estimated to be worth £100 million to the Yorkshire economy. The marketing campaign surrounding it has included fun digital campaigns such as the interactive Plan Your Experience tool to name just a few.

Yorkshire based, Sheffield Hallam University also used its official sponsorship of the Tour de France to flex its marketing muscles -  boasting its credentials as the third largest university in the UK and a world leader in business sports with a new Sports Park and some of the best courses available in the UK.

Haribo,with its UK base in Yorkshire, also got behind the event, taking part in the Grand Depart Caravan procession and passing out 60,000 packets of its sweets to spectators along with YorkshireTea tea bags.

VisitEngland has also jumped on the bandwagon with its cycling themed marketing campaign which is running throughout the summer, and covering England’s beauty spots north and south.

These are just a few of the campaigns that have made their mark thus far, and we look forward to seeing the next round of clever campaigns evolve during the rest of Le Tour.

 

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onechocolate loves…

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR campaigns, smart new apps, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 World Cup Unifies Social Platforms

Worldcup

With the World Cup one month away, official FIFA partner, Sony, has just launched their ‘One Stadium Live’ social network which will link social media content from Twitter, Facebook and Google+ on a single platform. Tapping into original content in six languages, the network is based on lots of clever technology and is being curated by a 32-strong editorial team. Users will be able to see and join conversations with anyone on the global network. Plus there are lots of profiles, team info and the all important schedules, stats and results. A must for all globally-oriented footie fans.

#2 Crowd Sourced Gig

Audience participation took on a new meaning as the first ever app to help audiences interact at gigs was trialled by Booka Shade and Vodafone. It’s a pretty awesome concept – leveraging a super connected audience who always have phones and allowing them to be part of the show (both musically and with the light display).

#3 Hacking Google and the online world

google

Buzzfeed, land of making the internet as insightful and irreverent as possible, has presented us with some light, useful entertainment in the form of 18 Cool Internet Tricks You Didn’t Know About.

Offering up some helpful advice (Ctrl+Alt+T to open up an accidentally closed tab being a lifesaver!), as well some rather more interesting tricks to try in your lunch hour (because everyone wants dinosaur and cat pop ups), this cheery slice of info on the world wide web offers readers the chance to make their online activity more efficient… as well as providing some marvellous distractions.

#4 Hitting the Headlines – Brit Style

news

This compilation of hilarious British headlines provides great inspiration for us as PRs and marketers as to what will make the papers and what won’t. While it’s crucial that the subject matter of our content must always be thought-provoking, interesting and new, we mustn’t forget that journalists do enjoy a good laugh when it comes to a headline. Do’s = toilet humour, animals loose in various food outlets and seagulls in general. Don’ts = any teeth visiting Malvern which don’t belong to Elvis Presley.

#5 #It’sADogsLife

dog

A cool new invention called the #SnackBall uses beacons to create an automated outdoor game for dogs, where they fetch a ball and bring it back to the throwing machine in exchange for a nutritious, dog-friendly snack. Check out the video of the machine in action at a dog park here.

#6  London Street Food

pizza

Street food vendors are revolutionising the capital’s dining scene. We love this insider’s list of the top spots to grab a quick bite in London! Proud to say I’ve snacked at the ‘Big Apple Hot Dogs’ and it lives up to its reputation, as well as seeing one of our neighbours on the list (Pizza Pilgrim). This list will give you the best of London’s food markets, from burgers and pizzas to yummy dishes from across the globe. We’re now looking forward to ticking off the rest of the list!

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Happy 10th Birthday, Facebook

Happy Birthday Facebook

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or, umm… aren’t on Facebook, you’ll probably know that Facebook turned 10 last week. It has changed our lives insurmountably, but also the face of consumer PR. What were once campaigns limited to traditional media and public stunts, are now a myriad of social media strategies, a dash for likes, fans and engagement, and making sure your social apps are tweaked to user-friendly perfection.

As part of the celebrations, Facebook offered users a chance to look back at their social media highlights, and compile this into a video. Tapping into nostalgia, particularly from a consumer angle, is an effective PR strategy, as this mirrors the activity and content users are creating themselves.

Entering its 11th year, Facebook is at an interesting stage. Much discussion is currently taking place about its decline- particularly with the teen market. However, many claim the older generation entering the Facebook world is providing it even greater opportunities for targeted consumer PR campaigns.

However you look at it, over the 10 years Facebook has developed, consumer PR has done so alongside it, bringing about more sophisticated ways of getting a product or company into the public domain. Some companies actually shun the traditional website in favour of a Facebook page, and while this is a bugbear for some, it speaks volumes as to how brands perceive the value of Facebook in attracting their audience.

With that in mind, please join us in raising a glass to Facebook on its 10th birthday. Even if it grows old disgracefully, Facebook will continue to impact the way we interact with brands and one another; inspiring creative campaigns, and some good laughs on the way.

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Food & drink PR takes a walk on the wild side

Food & Drink PR

An effective PR stunt caught my attention this week. Rentokil’s ‘Pop-Up Pestaurant’ was created to celebrate the brand’s 85years in pest control. The Pestaurant served up edible insects including wasabi weaver ants, BBQ grasshoppers and chocolate dipped bugs, as well as sweet chilli pigeon burgers, to thousands of City workers and hungry tourists.  This got me thinking about other PR campaigns which have used unusual food offerings to get us all talking.

With edible insect sales surging at Selfridges and a colleague who drank a cocktail infused with bacon fat because he fancied a change, perhaps we shouldn’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. Perhaps the more traditional food and drink PR approach of waxing lyrical about a product’s delicious taste is on the way out? Who can forget the notorious breast milk ice cream stunt from The Icecreamists, which trended globally on Twitter for two days and sparked over 1,200 pieces of coverage? Or the widespread coverage for the Eat Your Heart Out exhibition, which showcased STD cupcakes and a diseased lung gateau, amongst other anatomical amazements?

Unusual foodstuffs have an unparalleled ability to achieve blanket coverage with their yuck factor. So while not all of us will be keen to sample Rentokil’s pest delicacies, the brand has certainly still achieved its goal and then some. Its name is out there for all to see in national newspapers and the stunt is going down a storm on social media. When it comes to effective PR, it seems there’s a lot to be said for being, quite literally, on the tip of people’s tongues.

 

 

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Using shifts in Social Media usage for Consumer PR

Social Media Icons

 

As Gorkana revealed this week, A Social Media Agency has created a definitive list of the world’s 238 most used social networks. Although we all knew there were a fair amount of networks available, the sheer size and depth of this list suggests that brands could be exploring far more avenues to connect with consumers.

All good Consumer PR plans try to incorporate all or a selection of the big five Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and Pintrest.  However, campaigns could benefit hugely from taking time to determine whether there is a ready-made audience for their product on an overlooked Social Media outlet.  For example:  ever thought about buying a Happy Hour for everyone on Fubar to celebrate a new drink launch?

As well as exploring lesser-known sites, It is also worth thinking about how people use one form of Social Media in a different way to intended, and whether this is something that could benefit a consumer PR campaign. Buzzfeed recently reported that as teenagers are beginning to leave Facebook, they are structuring their use of Instagram as if it were Facebook, uploading primarily text based images in lieu of status updates, and creating conversation through the comments section. As opposed to an artsy image of a product, PRs could be mirroring this strategy, using the upload opportunity to create polls and conversation with a young, visual audience. This rounds out a campaign and gives a brand more personality.

Similarly, using one form of Social Media to gain popularity on another up and coming one is always a smart move. When Techcrunch pointed out early last month that Taco Bell had been driving its Twitter followers to follow them on Snapchat, they showed they had the tenacity to be flexible with Social Media opportunities.  Now they are sending mouth watering food pictures and fun doodled images to an idea consumer audience, engaging with them through a Social Media form currently enjoying a meteoric rise.

So the questions to consider are:

Which Social Media tools target your desired consumers?

How do your consumers use them?

What route can you take to build an audience on a new social media platform?

Making sure these three key questions are addressed at the beginning of any Consumer PR Campaign will help to create a good starting point for any Social Media strategy to develop.

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