A Round Up of the PR Stories You May Have Missed

Although short but sweet (due to the Easter break) there have been some interesting stories this week – I’m sure you’ve been reading about the continued panic over the Heartbleed security breach and Amazon’s 3D phone announcement. However, I’ve highlighted a few PR related stories you may have missed, including the announcement of the finalists of the EMEA SABRE Awards, Google’s struggle with mobile, another high profile social media fail and, controversial to some, Facebook triumphing over Twitter in marketing friendliness.

We had very exciting news in the onechocolate camp this week as the finalists for the prestigious EMEA SABRE Awards were announced and we were delighted to find out that we’ve been shortlisted in the telecommunications category! Our entry, entitled: Amdocs – Unsung Hero Behind Making Telecoms Fit for the Millennial Digital Generation” outlined our work with the company to demonstrate how ‘behind the scenes’ customer experience management systems enable telecom operators to meet the demands of the Millennial generation and address the big data deluge. Congratulations to all the other nominees, and we look forward to the awards ceremony on May 20th!

SABRE

In other, non-onechocolate, news it was announced today that Google’s shares dropped by 5% despite a 19% quarterly profit increase year-on-year to $15.4bn. The reason attributed to this drop is Google’s struggle to keep up with those such as Facebook in adapting to mobile marketing. We’ve previously written about the shift to mobile and the importance of adapting PR strategy to incorporate mobile and it’s clearly important, even for giants like Google, to be adapting to the new generation of ‘always connected’ consumers.

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Another week, another social media fail. This time it was US Airways who were forced to apologise for an obscene photo which was tweeted from their account, in response to a woman making a complaint. They claimed they had tried to flag the image as indecent but instead managed to attach it to another tweet. US Airways have issued an apology and are investigating the incident.

US AIRWAYS

However the damage was already done for US Airways as the picture, which was left up for over an hour, went viral, being re-tweeted thousands of times. It’s now essential that US Airways handle the controversy in the right manner to turn it around; like O2 did when their network went down last year. They responded to complaints in a manner in-line with their target market and cleverly managed to turn negative feelings towards the brand positive.

Another social media story which caught my eye this week was that, according to research by DMA, Facebook has beaten Twitter as the most ‘marketing friendly’ social media site. The research was compiled by asking 171 UK-based marketers to rate social media platforms in the areas of campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. Facebook came top in all three categories while LinkedIn came second, Twitter third, and YouTube and Google+ were fourth and fifth. However, within the categories, Twitter emerged as the marketer’s preferred platform for its effectiveness in building brand awareness and LinkedIn as the best platform for its user targeting tools. Interestingly, image and video based platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Vimeo and Snapchat were only being used by a handful of the marketers and therefore, were not included in the results. However, this is something which is projected to change as marketers increasingly incorporate visual’s into their social media strategy.

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What does Facebook’s latest purchase mean for social media PR?

You can’t really miss the news that social media giant Facebook has now bought the uber-popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp. The move has shocked many, mainly due to its jaw-dropping $19 billion dollar price tag, and critics have been left questioning Mark Zuckerberg’s motives.

It echoes a similar sort of sentiment from April 2012 when Facebook announced it was forking out £1 billion to buy Instagram – needless to say this has been massively overshadowed by the company’s latest bid.

WhatsApp has seen a stratospheric rise in popularity since its launch in 2009 and now counts 400 million people across the globe as active users. In fact, Jim Goetz from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital calls this growth “faster than any other company in history.”  This is particularly interesting when you bear in mind Facebook’s earning announcement in November that the company has seen a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens,” which has been attributed to the younger generation switching to messaging apps to stay connected.

Facebook buys WhatsApp

Taking all this into consideration, Facebook’s decision to add WhatsApp to the mix isn’t really all that surprising. Especially when you think that it recently tried (and failed) to buy popular vanishing messenger service, Snapchat, for $3 billion.

As well as the need to get down with the kids, Futurescape has pinpointed a further five strategic reasons to explain the deal, one of which is Zuckerberg’s target to reach the predicted 5.6 billion smartphone users by 2019. In the words of the man himself: “Our mission (at Facebook) is to make the world more open and connected,” and it’s mobile that forms the basis of his strategy.

This move is indicative of a shift in attitudes, which is being driven by the always-on Millennial Generation of tech savvy, digital aficionados who consider mobile to be fundamental to both their work and personal life. It’s vital that PR professionals are attuned to this generational change in order to advise brands on adapting their approach to best address how people want to be communicated with these days.

From a B2B perspective, we’ve blogged before about the rise of OTT players and this does beg the question of whether this will be the OTT service that really does disrupt the traditional carrier model? Following the news announced at MWC that WhatsApp will soon be adding voice calls, Charles Arthur thinks “Carriers, especially those that make lots of money from international calls, have every reason to be worried.” It seems we’ll have to wait and see just what kind of impact this acquisition will have on the mobile industry.

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Consumer PR through a fashion looking glass… Working with fashion bloggers

So only a few days ago London was taken over by a flurry of fashion media, buyers, bloggers and social influencers.  So what happened at the Autumn/Winter 14 catwalk shows (A/W14) taking place during London Fashion Week?  Some of the best UK and international design talent were out in force showing the world what next season’s fashion trends will be.

And of course fashion bloggers were blogging and updating their social media channels on everything fashion.

Here is your behind the scenes of Fashion Scout London’s A/W14 catwalk shows and our top  tips on how to engage with fashion bloggers…….

Exclusive access and VIP status to events, catwalk shows and parties is something that a fabulous fashion blogger will always thank you for…

Fashion Bloggers 1Fashion bloggers 2

Capturing fashion Street Style is a firm favourite with fashion & lifestyle bloggers.  They love to find out ‘what are people wearing’ and blog about it.  Give them the tools, the exciting and topical opportunity to capture this type of content and they will love you for it.

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Relevant gifts and product that they can use to blog with and/or about as part of their blog lifestyle is something that fashion bloggers really appreciate.  Although a great top tip is to always read their blog first to make sure you are offering things that are relevant to what they write about and use etc.

FAshion bloggers 6Fashion blogger 7

So what social media do fashion bloggers use the most? Instagram Instagram Instagram!  It is the key social media used by fashion bloggers with Twitter a close second.  And they love nothing more than snapping themselves at fashion shows/parties tagging and #hashtagging of course.

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Treat them with the status they deserve.  These are very influential people and have a community of people that follow what they say and do.  They are all an extremely lovely group of people and a lot of fun to work with – and we can say that from personal experience…

Here are some of our favourite fashion bloggers right now

http://www.littlebirdfashion.com/

http://www.culturecompass.co.uk/

http://www.sarahbetty.co.uk/

http://www.tinytwisst.com/

http://www.laurenella.net/

http://www.thefashionscout.com/

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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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The onechocolate consumer PR cake mix

The world of PR communication is forever changing, especially in the consumer field.  And with the increasing influence of social media it has become a big game changer for everyone in media.  However one thing still remains; journalists, bloggers and social influencers alike still want a good mix of a story, something unique and something new.

So how do you go from a flat sponge mix to a rich chocolate truffle cake where every mouthful feels like an indulgence?  Creating a good mix of above can be the perfect jam to gel it all together!

Our onechocolate recipe mix is here to inspire and guide.  Although, remember each and every cake needs different flavours and colours to make a different type of sponge mix, base and icing, depending whether it is for your darling first born, your great granny, your tearaway teenager or your hipster 20-something.  Hopefully this may help to inspire your next episode in the marketing kitchen.

Ingredients

1 litre new story / product / unique angle

Good few glugs of creative inspiration

Generous sprinkle of innovative-thinking consumer PR professionals

1-2 Spokespeople / experts

400g Bespoke target media and social media list

500g Bespoke pitch angles for different journalists / bloggers

1-2 ambassadors / celebrities (optional depending on richness of the cake)

Method

  1. Combine the new story/product/angle, creative inspiration and innovative-thinking consumer PR professionals in a large mixing bowl with lots of colour and sparkle
  2. In a separate tub, pull out and identify the target media and social media list
  3. Add spokesperson / expert into the mix
  4. Drizzle in 1-2 ambassadors/celebrities to add a new dimension to the mix (if required)
  5. Take step 1, 2, 3 (and 4 if required) – mix together to create bespoke pitch angles for different journalists/bloggers
  6. Bake in the oven for length of campaign

cake

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