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Leeds PR Account Manager Job Vacancy

It’s been another exciting and busy period for us all here at Prohibition. We won Prolific North’s and the CIPR’s Agency of the year and we had a record year with a number of exciting new account wins, including several high street brands, and as a result we need to expand our growing team yet again. As you’ve probably figured out, we’re no relics when it comes to clever public relations. While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a specialist PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening,  brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video creation and seeding.

CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Pride Awards 2015. Aspire - Leeds 26.11.15 ©Steve Pope - FOTOWALES

CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Pride Awards 2015.

Here’s what we’re after:
We’re looking for someone with at least 2 year’s PR experience, with a definite interest in all things social media. You need to have solid media relations skills, have managed talented PR executives before. You need to know your blogs and Foursquare from your Snapchat, and at least pretend to understand Google spiders.

But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

So basically we want a talented, organised and motivated account manager to work across a range of enviable high street brands in an exciting PR/social media role. A minimum of 2 years’ PR experience is a must. This is an exciting position; we’re a fast-paced, innovative team, and we’re growing.  Get in touch if you think this is you!

We are looking for an experienced public relations manager to work in a growing fun team of 12 in Leeds that has been winning awards for the last five years. This exciting new role has been created due to our rapid growth and winning of new business, it includes several well known high street consumer brands as well as some interesting B2B clients.

This account manager will be responsible for managing excellent day-to-day client work, generating high quality traditional and social media coverage, and building relationships with clients and the media. An integral part of the team, you need to be passionate about the media agenda, knowing what makes a great story and delivering innovative and creative campaigns that have a commercial impact for clients. We are looking for someone who enjoys working in a fast paced environment and thrives on getting results.

As an agency we are committed to our employee’s career development and every year you will be provided off-site PRCA and CIPR training to ensure you stay up to speed with the latest developments in the industry.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
*Devise creative public relations strategies that fit the client’s profile
*Develop effective PR plans using appropriate strategies and tactics
*Organise and coordinate PR activities
*Use a variety of channels to maximise the company’s exposure
*Arrange for interviews or public speaking events and construct press releases
*Advise company on handling sensitive public issues to preserve reputation
*Assess opportunities for sponsorships and other partnerships and manage relations
*Analyse results of PR campaigns or efforts and prepare reports
* Plan and implement cohesive PR strategies.
* Working to raise the media profile of clients alongside increasing their brand reputation and displaying them as experts in their field.
*You will be directly responsible for three account executives.
* Play a supporting role in New Business.
* Maintaining the standard of press material and that any crisis are managed effectively.

REQUIREMENTS:
*Experience as public relations executive or similar role of at least two years
*Experience of managing junior team members
*Solid knowledge of social media
*Excellent communication and presentation skills;
*Ability to build strong relationships with key people or organizations
*A desire to learn and develop your career
*Strong understanding of both traditional and digital public relations
*Digitally savvy
*Curious – a desire to learn, improve, apply new knowledge and develop self
*Excellent grasp of clients’ marketplaces, audiences and routes to market
*Excellent written and verbal communication skills
*Creative thinker and problem solver
*Commercially aware and decisive
*Confident networker
*Organised with excellent time management skills
*Supportive, inspiring and motivational team player
*Personal drive and passion for the industry
*Self-aware and able to adapt personal style and approach to clients and team
*Ability to juggle multiple and changing priorities
*Ability to assimilate information quickly and recommend a practical response
*A creative mind partnered with the ability to find the best practical solutions
*BSc/BA in PR, marketing or similar field

We’re growing fast, so if you’re interested in growing with us, and rolling up your sleeves to get involved in all aspects of our client work then get in touch.

Send your CV to hireme@prohibitionpr.co.uk  along with a brief overview of your favourite campaign of the last 12 months.

No agencies please.

Leeds PR Agency Prohibition PR is looking for a PR Executive – is it you?

It’s been an exciting time at Prohibition PR. What with new offices in Chapel Allerton and a raft of new account wins, we need to expand the team.

PR Job VacanciesAs you’ve probably figured out, we’re not old fashioned when it comes to PR. While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening,  brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Job details:
In this Account Executive graduate job, your role will include:
• Establishing an understanding of clients’ business objectives and relevant wider industry issues
• Coordinating PR programmes to support clients’ business objectives
• Developing working relationships with clients, media, and other advisers
• Drafting and editing press releases and articles
• Promoting news stories both over the phone and in person to relevant media
• Liaising with advisers to discuss PR and social strategies
• Dealing with new business activities
• Collating and analysing media coverage
• Organising meetings and conference calls
• Attending press launches
• Researching the media and conducting background research

While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening, brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Role responsibilities
• Be responsible for the day to day tactical activities and delivery of press office items i.e. press releases/case studies/features tracking
• Be responsible for admin issues on the account and employ good filing systems
• Stay on top of coverage at all times (scanning, filing, sending and analysing)
• Demonstrate your ability to identify coverage opportunities and target successfully
• Support your account manager on day to day account activity
• Report back to your team effectively, esp if any delays or problems occur
• Ensure you have excellent time management skills
• Be a ‘news junkie’ – regularly monitor key publications across all clients
• Seek opportunities to build relationships with key media
• Stay on top of core media features tracking
• Demonstrate/develop excellent writing skills
• Demonstrate ability to work effectively across multiple accounts

Person specification
We’re looking for someone with a definite interest in all things social media and PR. But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

Skills & experience
All applicants must have a degree.
Degree: • At least a degree with a 2:1
• Prior knowledge of public relations and social media is desirable
• The ability to develop a network of contacts with journalists and influencers
• Fantastic presentation skills, both written and verbal
• Great analytical and administrative capabilities
• Good knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)

Here’s what we’re after:
Preferably we’re looking for someone with at least 6-12 month’s PR experience, with a definite interest in all things social media but if you don’t have any don’t worry. Someone who blogs, knows their Foursquare from their flickr, and at least pretends to understand Google’s spiders.

But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

We’re a small team but growing. If you’re interested in growing with us, and rolling up your sleeves to get involved in all aspects of our client work then get in touch.

Send your CV to hireme @prohibitionpr.co.uk along with a brief overview of why you think we should hire you.

No agencies please.

The ‘Micky Mouse’ degree. Are qualifications holding back communicators?

The importance of a university degree and demonstrating a certain level of learning, has long been spearheaded as an ideal route into the PR industry. Whilst some have wrongly deemed it a ‘Micky Mouse degree’, the need or preference for a degree when applying for roles isn’t uncommon, with many industries offering non-graduate roles with a glass ceiling guaranteed – this is particularly notable, quiet ironically, in the public sector.

But is a degree really an absolute must when it comes to being an effective communicator? In my experience this answer tends to be no. I have worked with a number of highly professional and skilled people over the years that offer real insight and life experience when it comes to the industry, similarly I’ve worked with a lot of young, fresh faced graduates that can talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk. Which raises the question – is a degree really required, and if so, what could be done to make such courses more effective?

I didn’t study PR at university. I undertook a joint honors degree in English Literature and Art; it’s arguably relevant… the art represents the creativity and a certain level of understanding on how political movements can impact on consumerism and society as a whole, whilst the English element of my degree taught me how to become more eloquent in my writing. But these are just two very small traits required to be an effective communicator.

The above didn’t teach me common sense, it didn’t expose me to a fast paced, deadline driven environment, it didn’t show me how to handle clients, manage a team, get under the skin of business management or generate an eye for a news story. Arguably a PR degree would have offered me some of these distinctive skills – but from my experience of graduates leaving university following a PR degree, I’d beg to differ.

In fact I have a couple of examples of truly inspiring communicators that didn’t go to university. And, I’ve got to say, the majority of my colleagues that did go to university, certainly didn’t study PR as a discipline. So, for me, this raises an interesting question. Should we be doing more on the ground to entice young blood into the industry at an earlier age? Pre-university, perhaps even pre-college? And if so, how would this shape the way we approach the industry as a whole? How we connect with our audiences and how we embrace new technology?

There’s a skills shortage. This is apparent across a whole range of different industries, and PR is no exception. The shortage in PR however sits in the middle ground. Good quality execs are not hard to come by, good quality managers however are. So consider this. If the majority of practitioners are heading to university, we don’t receive the bulk of new blood until they’re around 21 to 23 – meaning it will take another three to four years for them to fulfill the roles we so desperately need to in management positions. However, if we were to engage with a younger generation of potential communicators, we could have them at management level by the time they hit their 20s. That’s a time saving of at least three years.

But it’s not just youngsters we should be encouraging into the industry. From journalists, to other creative sectors, there are plenty of people; skilled and talented professionals that can help shape our industry in a more effective way. Degree or no degree. It’s time we invested more in vertical sector outreach to ensure we’re attracting people into the sector at all ages, up-skilling them and providing our businesses with the skilled labour we desperately need.

To conclude, being an effective PR practitioner is less about the certificates you keep under your bed, and more about your real life experiences – your ability to connect and relate with your audience. As a successful PR, you need an eclectic skill set – if that includes a degree then great. If it doesn’t… I personally don’t see the problem. Regardless, one thing is clear. In order to really spearhead industry development we need to focus less on the traditional and more on the upcoming – surely this is something that fresh faced school leavers, combined with a healthy mix of experience from sister sectors can provide in abundance?

Prohibition helps Interflora celebrate the best birthday ever! (video)

This week has been really rather busy at Prohibition HQ, with the phones ringing off the hook. Following on from our integrated campaign late last year with Interflora in which we discovered the best and worst times of year to celebrate your birthday (Daily Mail), we used the trusty Birthday calculator app we created to help identify the very best date, which was found to be today! (July 28th)

Tasked by the client with highlighting this special day in July, we commissioned some social media listening to identify insights and decided to deliver an experiential stunt to raise awareness and share the love. We identified one lucky Interflora customer from their database whose birthday actually fell today, before planning a very special birthday celebration which took military style organisation.  Interflora Surprise Bir

Katy, who turns 29 today, was given a surprise of epic proportions in her hometown of Southampton. A surprise dance and fairy tale themed flash mob greeted her with a specially designed routine. This was followed with her fiancé, a serving marine who had been away on active duty, appearing in a stunning fairy-tale style horse-drawn carriage. Her fiancee presented her with a beautiful bouquet and then whisked her away for a special Birthday afternoon tea with thirty of her friends to celebrate properly.

You can find the full video of our stunt below or read more about it on our campaign microsite. Here’s a mention of it in The Metro, it’s also been in today’s The Sun, Telegraph, Irish World and loads of more media we are just glad it all went smoothly.

A very happy birthday to Katy from all of us here in the Prohibition team. I hope everyone involved had a brilliant day and it was brilliant to see months of planning in action.

I have cross posted this on my own blog too here.

Five ways Snapchat can benefit brands…

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is one of the relatively new kids on the block when it comes to social media platforms, although this does not mean it is any less popular. The channel sees 100 million daily active users all across the world, meaning that an average 8.8 photos are shared on Snapchat every single second.

Snapchat_Logo (1)

Although it started out as a somewhat obscure digital experiment, it has now captured the attention of countless international brands and rival social media platforms, even attracting interest from social media magnate, Facebook, which reportedly offered to buy the up-and-coming channel for the hefty sum of $3 billion.

Facebook isn’t the only conglomerate to see the perks of Snapchat though; countless brands are now beginning to use the channel to reach a large and varied audience. And it seems to be working, with the majority of its user database being connected, not only to their friends, but also to their favourite brands and corporations. More and more people are beginning to use Snapchat to follow their favourite designers, teams and manufacturers in order to keep up to date on their day to day lives and important updates.

Discover

In addition to this, in January 2015, Snapchat launched its ‘Discover’ capability to enablemaxresdefault its users to catch up on the latest news and developments from popular channels such as Sky News and the Mail Online. Snapchat claims it is the ‘result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.’ Basically, it’s a new way of exploring ‘Stories’ from different perspectives and editorial teams all combined into the same channel – a great way of experiencing different viewpoints in a more relaxed and informal way.

How can brands use Snapchat?

There’s a variety of ways that brands can use Snapchat profiles to increase engagement from their target community, in addition to their existing social platforms, in order to achieve general brand awareness and resonance with the company. Some of our favourites are listed below.

  1. Providing access to live events is one of the key ways in which brands are captivating audiences around the world. Making people feel as though they are a part of a major event is a great way of engaging audiences through offering them an insight in a different, more authentic way. Events like the Victoria Secret fashion show, Bastille Day in Paris and NFL games are always popular, and allow the average Joe the opportunity to see what goes on at occasions they’d only be able to dream of attending, causing high volumes of engagement in addition to on and offline buzz.
  1. Delivering ‘private content’ is another way of engaging with audiences and gives them access to special content that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive on other platforms. An excellent example of this is when very highly esteemed fashion designers, like Michael Kors and Burberry, choose to debut their new collections to the world via Snapchat. This allows their audience to feel valued and included in such an exclusive event, making them more likely to engage with the brand – through a variety of channels.
  1. As with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offers and competitions are a sure fire way of boosting engagement and awareness of a brand. An extremely clever example of this was seen through GrubHub in the US. GrubHub was the first ever brand to successfully execute a Snapchat scavenger hunt – asking their followers to reply with a snap to GrubHub’s new Story, which was posted every day. This campaign was the perfect example of creating two-way communication between the brand and its consumers, allowing it to capture user-generated content, whilst increasing loyalty through an innovative idea.
  1. Another way that brands could use Snapchat to their full potential is by showing them behind the scenes of their company. This type of pared-down content really appeals to the self-confessed nosy parker (which happens to be more of us than you’d think) and causes the audience to want to know more about the brand and what happens behind its’ closed doors. McDonald’s is a brand that uses the behind the scenes element to its advantage, by posting pictures and videos of its adverts being filmed, as well as well-known celebrities.
  2. A simple way of making the most of your presence on Snapchat is to partner with influencers on social media. Just as with YouTube and Instagram, the perks of teaming up with a well-known face are phenomenal, (just like some of the costs!) If you have the budget, working with an influential figure on social can bring endless benefits to your business, providing they are on-brand and convey your key messages appropriately. Some of our favourite top influencers are Jenna Marbles of YouTube fame and Fuck Jerry – the notorious Instagram account, which has turned its influence to the world of Snapchat.

What are your thoughts on using Snapchat as a brand? Do you believe in the benefits, or is it just a passing craze that will fade away in time? We’d love to know what you think!

Top 10 Street Food Blogs

The revolution of street food has burst onto the scene in the last couple of years with its alluring combination of affordability and taste. It’s quick, easy, cheap and freshly made. The concept of street food is broadening the horizons of our taste-buds, and matching this revolution is a raft of new blogs, chronicling every development in this area. Here’s a pick of some of our favourite street food blogs from all over the world:

1.B-Kyu.

A cool blog run by a couple from Australia who have an honest passion for good, tasty food. They eat as the locals do wherever they travel and are well connected on other forms of social media. The blog’s name is a Japanese B-Kyu Gurume which translates as ‘B Grade Gourmet’, which reflects affordability and real life enjoyable food.

2. The very hungry Londoner on the road. 

‘The very hungry Londoner on the road’ is another combined food and travel blog with a large section dedicated to street food. Fiona left her job in 2015 to do a bit of living and luckily this well-informed and up-to-date blog is a result of that act of freedom.

Bun Thit from Hanoi Kitchen at Kerb Kings Cross

The Very Hungry Londoner

3. London Street Foodie. 

A fun and insightful blog into London’s street food scene written by Victoria Stewart, who previously worked as the ‘food editor’ at the Evening Standard. This blog covers all areas of street food, from price to taste, simplicity and geographical location, with an interesting section titled ‘London Street Food on Tour’, where Victoria has shared her international experiences of street food.

4. British Street Food. 

A well-established blog run by Richard Johnson, an award winning food journalist and broadcaster. He was also heavily involved in the opening of the Trinity Kitchen in Leeds’ biggest shopping centre. The blog also features a useful app that showcases the top spots in Britain for good street food. Richard keeps his blog well up to date with diverse posts about things, people and events.

rsz_the_burgers

British Street Food

5. Street Food Galore. 

Like many food bloggers, Tina Aboutaan seemingly has an equally strong passion for travelling as she does for food, which makes this blog well-informed and full of a variety of food culture. The blog is well kept and up to date, with active communities on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.

6. Migrationology, Travel for Food. 

Mark Wiens has created his website and blog for ‘people who travel to eat’. He shares, very regularly, meals that he has had and enjoyed and reviews them, focusing on quality, location and price.

7. Streats. 

Written by ‘Olivianoramark’ dedicated to ‘recreating street food from all over the world’, ‘Streats’ is a slightly more hands-on blog, meaning, the author has brought her experiences of street food to the blog to share them with her audience with the intention to promote the recipes to the readers for them to experience themselves. The blog was inspired by a year in China and the cuisine that went with it, and shares some intriguing street food ideas such as dried fish, tea eggs and rice burgers.

Lamian Broth Boiling

Streats

8. Two Peas Street Food. 

Two Peas is a fairly new blog, run by a couple who decided to open a street food truck after returning from travelling the world, both with experience in hospitality and catering. The blog broadcasts the launch and success of the company so far and makes for interesting reading.

9. Super Happy Street Food Love Story. 

Super Happy Street food Love Story follows two ‘foodies’ on their travels through South-East Asia and the food they had. This diary-style blog captures the reader’s attention with vibrant photos of their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Less informative than other blogs listed but every bit as interesting.

10. Street food. 

‘Street food’ is an organisation run and maintained by NCASS (Nationwide Caterers Association). The blog itself is more commercial and informative than others listed including events, reviews and discussions. The focus still remains on a love of street food, its uniqueness, ease and price.

Picture

Street Food

Do you know of any other blogs that are as passionate about street food as the list above? Let us know, we’d love to hear your comments.

 

Top Ten Instagram Tools

Top Ten Tools – Instagram

Instagram is one of the newer social media platforms on the block, when compared to digital veterans like Facebook and Twitter. However, it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular, with the site reaching the 10 million user landmark within 10 weeks of its launch. The photo-sharing site now has more than 150 million active users, with 55 million images being shared around the globe each and every day.

Increasingly, brands are beginning to recognise the benefits of being active on Instagram, and to aid marketers and PRs, there are a growing number of tools available to help ensure that your account is as engaging and appealing as possible. Here’s my roundup of the very best.

  1. Gram Feed

Gram Feed is Prohibition’s personal favourite; an incredibly handy tool providing the only aspect that Instagram’s creators seem to have overlooked, a fully-functioning website. The tool not only makes it much easier to browse your own feed, but also to share friends’ images on other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. The clever part, and undoubtedly the most useful for social marketers, is its’ location visualisation capability. You can identify exactly where an image was posted, and when. If you enter a specific location, you are able to see posts made within a specific distance and the people who’ve posted them – allowing you to identify your target audience and interact with them on a channel where they’re already active.

  1. Iconosquare

Iconosquare, formerly Statigram, is an extremely helpful programme which provides really detailed analytics of your account, demonstrating in-depth statistics such as follower growth, how engaging content is and the most popular types of content. This allows you to better tailor you future content to ensure it is as successful as possible and in turn, creates better results. Another interesting feature is its ability to promote posts across other platforms. For example, if you haven’t yet joined the Instagram hype, you can easily install the app which enables you to share Instagram content onto your Facebook page.

  1. Postso

Postso is an Instagram scheduling tool. If you’re managing an Instagram account on behalf of a client, and want your content to reach the maximum amount of people, you may want to wait to post something until your audience’s peak activity time. This may well be 2am, and in these cases, a scheduling tool is pivotal. It may not offer much else in the way of tricks, but you cannot beat its functionality and helpfulness!

  1. Twtrland

Twtrland may well have started out as an analytics tool for Twitter, but it has now branched out into the Instagram arena too. It is key for conducting online competitor analysis, as well as analysing your own data and audiences. Not only can you examine what kinds of content your competitor is using, but you can also access a competitor’s network – meaning that you can compare follower statistics and how much engagement they get on a standard basis.

  1. Simply Measured

Simply Measured is the ultimate tool when it comes to Instagram analytics. It allows you to analyse your brands not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, Twitter and even new(ish) kid on the block, Google+. This tool allows you to extract data from your account and even run individual reports which can be downloaded into an Excel format, allowing you to analyse the data you choose more closely. It analyses most of the same statistics as the majority of other tools, but it also includes some more obscure information like your most engaging filter, location and engagement outside of Instagram – i.e Tweets and Facebook likes, comments and shares on your photos.

  1. Piqora

Piqora is a popular tool and it provides an extensive analysis of both Instagram and Pinterest accounts. For Instagram, it allows you to find and track your most popular hashtags and successful images – enabling you to share them on your other social media platforms. It also boasts another useful advantage: monitoring conversation. As all PRs and marketers will know, reliable tools for monitoring brand conversation are hard to come by, and when monitoring key influencers and competitors, with Piqora, you can also track brand images shared by particular users.

  1. SnapWidget

SnapWidget allows you to easily embed a photo gallery into your website or blog, and you can even customise its appearance. You can choose whether to display the gallery based on either a username or a hashtag, depending on what you want to track.

  1. Picdeck

Picdeck is an extremely useful tool that can be used to organise accounts. It is the Instagram equivalent of Tweetdeck, and it aims to organise Instagram in the same way that Tweetdeck organises Twitter feeds. When you log in, the app creates a column of the Instagram feed, and like Tweetdeck, you can set up other columns for individual users or specific hashtags that you want to monitor – be this competitors or key influencers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same functionality as Tweetdeck as of yet, as you can’t create new Instagram posts through the programme, or use it for multiple accounts.

  1. Totems

Totems describes itself as ‘the most complete marketing suite for brands on Instagram’, and is undoubtedly an extremely useful tool for marketers whose clients are active on Instagram. It offers an array of advanced social analytics for Instagram accounts – invaluable for reporting back to clients on progress of social accounts. This tool allows you to analyse your audience, track all campaigns, and monitor your competitors all in one easy and simple to use programme.

10. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is a really useful Instagram tool for when you want to try out different stylistic features on your images. It also allows you to combine a number of pictures into one portrait. There are also 32 varieties of layout and nine photo aspect ratios to choose from, enabling you to customise your image to exactly how you want it, and to have the correct format for each specific platform – creating a really premium image. Pic Stitch also allows you to apply artistic finishes to your photos, from rounded corners to shadows, numerous patterns and filters. This aspect is particularly useful when making a client’s product or venue look more appealing, and which can be tailored, depending on its audience.

 

Are you active on any of the tools above? Which ones do you use or swear by? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

Prohibition launch Blackstreet and Lily Vamos collaboration

4It’s not just brands we work with here at Prohibition. To demonstrate the breadth and depth of work we carry out, we’ve just been appointed by Lily Vamosa Sydney-based unsigned singer songwriter, who is set to be the next big thing in RnB and hip-hop.

She is working alongside the legendary Chauncey Black of BLACKstreet (No Diggity – remember that?) and has just been confirmed as the support act for the band’s December tour in Australia. The 17-year old has recorded her own array of tracks and is set to take Oz by storm. Her debut single, Tattoos, has seen her compared to Rihanna and Charlie XCX.

Prohibition delivered a highly targeted outreach strategy, aiming to get Lily featured on the Hype Machine chart – the music industry’s barometer of what’s hot. Supporting this, we developed a high-impact social media presence for Lily, communicating her unique urban style and attitude. Watch this space!

How mobile is paving the way for social media developments

Worldwide mobile phone sales are on fire. Currently, over one billion mobile web users are scrolling through the 1-4G universes, and their massive influence over social networks is becoming increasingly more apparent. If you’re after a good example, look no further than the new Facebook new Messenger app and how hard they’re pushing it on consumers, or how popular the Vine app is among brands for creating simple, snappy video content.

4183229960_edcbb4dd6bSo what does this mean for the PR industry? It means get mobile, quick. Communities online are only going to get more connected via mobile apps such as Snapchat and Jelly, so focusing purely on digital PR that fits computer monitors is no longer the’ be all and end all’, as it’s just no longer enough.

Assessing mobile habits is a good start. Knowing which apps are popular and what makes them so in demand can be done through a quick browse of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; once you’re aware you can begin applying this to your own strategies on social media, such as what type of content to use for your brand in terms of video, visual, interactive and when to upload it.

It’s also wise to be aware of which apps are useful to use to your advantage for your respective communities, whether they will have a maximum outreach and generate leads and whether it’s worth having a presence on them at all.

Thanks to its global appeal, it’s likely that smartphone use will keep growing in the near future, so keeping an eye out for the latest developments is a must for any PR professional.

Now, go back to checking Facebook on your smartphone.

Photo Credit: 27147 via Compfight cc

5 tips to keeping your Facebook content fresh

downloadHow often do you post an update on your Facebook brand page? Weekly, every other day, daily, more often than that even? There’s not necessarily a right or wrong number of times to post updates, and your appropriate post frequency depends heavily on your brand, the purpose and broader strategy of your page and how interested or engaged your audience is.

Clearly a Gen Y mobile operator or fashion retailer will do things differently to an engineering company or a law firm, but regardless of sector, it’s always worth asking yourself some serious questions to make sure your content is as fresh, engaging and hard-working as possible. Here’s a few pointers to achieving this –

1)     What does your Facebook insights tell you?

Every community manager should spend as much time in the back-end of Facebook as in the front end. That means getting to understand your audience; what day and time are they online, and what content do they engage with most? Act on the insights, even if it means chopping out a day’s content here or there. And be prepared for some surprises: maybe your audience is most active at 11pm on a Sunday night, not at 9am on a Monday morning as you previously thought.

2)     (As tempting as it might be) avoid straying into spam territory

Ok, so we’re not talking spam in the conventional sense, but avoid ‘shouting’ at your audience. Try to keep explicit brand messages to an approximate 1:10 ratio, unless you have good reason to do otherwise. Similarly, if you see your engagement dropping right off, then maybe you’re over-posting (or indeed, under-posting) or just not hitting the mark with your content. Less is often more.

3)     Are you ever scraping the barrel when it comes to content?

You know what I’m talking about here, but don’t try to link your brand to every damn world event or public holiday that’s happening. Obviously if you’re a greeting’s card company then Christmas is perfect for you, but if you’re a wood stain company, then it might not be such a good idea. It’s worth following Condescending Corporate Brand Page for some of the very worst examples of this.      

4)     An image (or video) tells a thousand words

Social media has been hurtling towards rich media content for a while, but only now are we truly reaching tipping point. So that means telling your brand story though imagery, not endless text updates. Think about what imagery you could use as a brand and invest properly in quality photography and design, not tired stock shots.

5)     Embrace Facebook’s new promotional guidelines (sparingly)

As you no doubt know, Facebook now allows you to directly run promotions or competitions on your brand wall, rather than via a third-party app. This can be a double-edged sword; don’t fall into the trap of running competitions or giveaways too frequency, or you risk attracting the ‘compers’, who are only interested in freebies, not what you’ve got to say. But that said, a well-timed promotion or competition can do wonders for your post reach and engagement. Also think of creative mechanisms, such sharing a branded photo or a website treasure hunt – not just a ‘like to enter’.

It takes a brave social media executive to suggest to their client that maybe they shouldn’t be doing social media updates every day, especially when that client pays for said agency’s time, or that there needs to be a dramatic content focus shift. However, Facebook brand pages should be fun, engaging, living, breathing communities, not just a one way conversation. Ask yourself, is your brand page reaching its potential?