Social Media

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Prohibition Pirate Takeover

Here at Prohibition HQ, we love creative social campaigns of all natures, and video content is no exception. So when our lovely city centre client, The Light, informed us that they would be hosting another pop-up bar – after the success of the Game of Thrones-themed Stark’s Tavern – we couldn’t wait to get creative. The theme this time? Pirates.

The launch of the bar was set to coincide with the release of the much-anticipated fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales. The bar itself was to feature Caribbean cocktails from in-house mixologists Turtle Bay, pirate props and a steel band playing everything from Caribbean calypso to traditional sea shanties.

Our response was simple: create an engaging and humorous video. In order to encourage excitement and buzz around the bar and drive footfall to its launch, we called on ultimate Jack Sparrow lookalike, Simon Newton, to create (a lot of) mischief in and around Leeds city centre on one particularly gloomy Monday evening.

Our strategy was to release three micro videos over the weekend, teasing the people of Leeds about what was to come, and one full length video afterwards, driving people to the bar’s opening on May 26th.

The results were incredible, with the video achieving a reach of almost half a million people, all in Leeds, drove 128,000 video views and encouraged a total of 13,000 likes, comments and shares.

Did you see the video? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Check it out here.

Influencer relations – the do’s and the don’ts 

Just over a year ago I started a blog. It was more of a cathartic exercise than anything work related, but it has provided me an invaluable insight into what works for influencers and what’s an absolute turn off. With this in mind I’ve put together my top tips for more engaging influencer relations.

The do’s

  • As with any media, building a relationship first and foremost is paramount to your brands success in being advocated by a influential blogger or Instagrammer. With this in mind, focus on quality over quantity. Identify your key targets from the offset and focus on building really valuable relationships with these influencers.
  • Be prepared to offer value in kind or even payment for features. An influencers time is valuable, not least as many blog, whilst working full time or juggling a full family life. If you value your influencer’s time, you’ll receive more traction when pitching.
  • Make sure your targets are truly relevant and personalise your pitch. If you mention family names or similar it goes a long way to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and you genuinely feel like their platform is the perfect fit for your brand.
  • Use your engaged network as more than just influencers, help them to help you by including phrases like; ‘if you or any of your influencer friends want to come along, just shout.” Or; “As a valued influencer, I wondered if you could recommend any food bloggers too me? Naturally we can send you some cheeky samples for your mummy blog too”. This way you can build an engaged audience that is more likely to really buy into the brand you’re looking to promote.
  • Remind your influencers that you’re available for review opportunities. Make sure you drop them a line from time to time to keep in touch and promote new products etc.


  • Don’t send out generic emails promoting something irrelevant. I receive at least ten random emails per day from PRs that haven’t done their research. This makes me less likely to engage with them when they are promoting a brand that I could be interested in.
  • Avoid saying ‘Hey there’ when emailing en masse, it becomes very obvious that you’re one of many and the PR hasn’t done the research into what type of content will work for your blog.
  • Being afraid to step outside of the box is a no no. Take time to look at what your influencer is promoting and how you could work together on something exciting and new.
  • Don’t focus too much on your own products and lose sight of why you’re contacting your influencer. Consider instead what your influencer is trying to achieve and how they’re audience will feel excited and engaged by a partnership with your brand.
  • Don’t be too formal. The majority of influencers have a relaxed tone, and so respond to a more personalised and tailored approach. Ask how they are, how their family are. Tell them how much you adored their recent post and why.

Have I missed anything?

The Top 10 Sports Stars on Social Media – and Who You Should Be Following

There’s no doubt that the impact of social media on the sporting industry has been huge, with sponsors clambering to strike a deal with the latest hot property from all sporting professions. The top two football teams on social media, Barcelona and Real Madrid, boast a combined media value of $42.5million alone and command an audience of 286million, as fans from across the globe not only support their heroes from the side lines, but from their laptops too.

But how influential are these sporting heroes? And how do they match up to our favourite pop and movie icons, who dominate Twitter and Instagram? Let’s look at the top ten and what makes them so desirable to the world’s biggest brands…

10) Zlatan Ibrahimović (@ibra_official) – Twitter: 4.44m /Instagram: 24.7m

Hailed as the most successful Swedish footballer ever, Ibrahimović is an infrequent tweeter but when he does decide to share he likes to make an impact. When transferring from Paris Saint Germain to Manchester United (for an eye watering £260,000 a week) the striker shared his news with a simple tweet – amassing 222k retweets, 265k favourites and 11k replies from surprised fans. No wonder it’s well known that he “does what he wants”!

9) Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) Twitter: 9.16m/ Instagram: 21.9m

Barcelona star Suarez is as infamous for his culinary habits off the pitch as he is for his impressive soccer skills, but no matter which way you look at it, the forward from Uruguay is social media gold. Just moments after the shocking biting incident in the 2014 World Cup, social media was abuzz with memes and brands jumping on the news from Snickers, to Listerine. Perhaps Luis’s avid followers can’t wait to see what the star does next?

8) Andres Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) Twitter: 15.9m/Instagram: 17.7m

You may need to use the translator function on Barcelona alumni, Andreas Iniesta’s Twitter account, but that doesn’t stop the Spanish midfielder from becoming one of the most followed sports stars on social media. Recently, Iniesta was left red faced as his social media team accidently shared a post of Blanco’s basketball team star Sergio Llull followed by the hashtag #HalaMadrid. The hashtag commonly used by Barcelona’s footie rivals (Real Madrid) was swiftly deleted – but not before a few screen shots were taking by amused fans!

7) Ronaldinho (@10Ronaldinho) Twitter: 14.6m

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is just as popular off the pitch as he in on and makes number 7 on our top 10 most influential sports stars on social media. Back in December 2016, football was hit with the tragic news that the plane carrying Brazilian club Chapecoense crashed on its way to the Copa Sudamericana final, killing 71 and injuring 6 others. Fans of the semi-retired star created a campaign with the hashtag #ronaldinhonachape calling for him to play for the side. However, plans to involve the famous footballer were down played by the club who chose to find younger players to rebuild the devastated team.

6) Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) Twitter: 11.8m Instagram: 28.8m

Wales and Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale is a prolific tweeter, often sharing his online support for his fellow team mates. Back in 2016, Bale joined over 150 fellow players in joining a new football related social media network,, a site dedicated to offering exclusive content, interviews and behind the scenes footage to news hungry fans. The company has hired former AOL, Buzzfeed and Google executive, Kate Burns, as executive vice-president – who has said that the first of its kind website has been designed to “attract millennials from across the globe“, a critical audience for advertisers to reach.

5) James Rodriguez (@jamesdrodriguez) Twitter: 12.2m/Instagram: 30.7m

He may be a star on the pitch and on social media, but that didn’t stop James Rodriguez receiving death threats last year, after pulling out of the Columbia squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifying match. An online group of trolls called ‘Legion Holk’ sent the player and his family terrifying messages alongside pictures of guns and other weaponry but thankfully, nothing came of the threats.

4) Lionel Messi (Twitter: Zero /Instagram: 70.7m

He may only post occasionally on Instagram, but that doesn’t stop Lionel Messi from safely sitting in the top 5 most influential sporting stars in the world. Arguably one of the greatest players in the world today, Messi has recently struck up a ‘lifetime’ deal with Adidas which will see him wear the brand on the pitch, until the end of his playing career which no doubt will rocket sales for the popular sporting brand.

3) LeBron James (@kingjames) Twitter: 34.6m/Instagram: 29.9m

The only star on this list that doesn’t play football, basketball hero LeBron James just misses out on the runner up spot. Don’t expect him to be posting much recently however, as James is avoiding social media until he leads his team to a second consecutive NBA title (he hopes!).

2) Neymar (@neymarjr) Twitter: 28.6m/Instagram: 79.3m

Barcelona superstar Neymar is our runner up, with a whopping 73.9m followers. Sharing updates from his personal life and off pitch antics as well as football related updates, Neymar was the one to beat in the social media numbers until a certain Portuguese icon took his place…

1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Cristiano) Twitter: 50.9m/Instagram: 95.6m

Ambassador, model, fashion icon and arguably one of the greatest footballers of his generation, Cristiano Ronaldo has recently added another notch to his designer belt – King of social media. Enjoying a combined online audience of over 200million the three-time FIFA player of the year’s popularity has continued to rise to such an extent that this Portuguese superstar is bringing in the big bucks – all $88 million of them.





Image Credits: Wikimedia, WikimediaFlickr, Flickr, 

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 along with a brief overview of why you think we should hire you.

No agencies please.

Why we can’t rest on our laurels when it comes to PR?

The PR industry, much like the advertising industry, has been challenged no end over recent years. At first the rise of internet, computers and connectivity helped to streamline admin, create new and measurable mechanisms and provide communicators with a more coherent way of working. Think emails, building journo relationships, doubling the number of press outlets via online press.

But, with any change comes challenge. Whilst the day’s of faxing journalists may seem like ancient history, and thankfully something I don’t personally remember (I’m still young I promise), it was the start of the PR revolution, much as it was the start of the consumer revolution. The control of the brand became diluted as the consumer grew its share of voice. And so, now we are presented with a new market, a new landscape whereby brands are at the beck and call of the demanding consumer. The consumer that can and will scrutinise a brands moves – be it their CSR or principles.

And with that comes a need for change. A need to embrace the new and perhaps most importantly the need to integrate. Advertising agencies no longer stand in isolation, and with that neither should PR companies. Whilst the phrase integration has become a little over used, it is essential that we truly get under the skin of what it represents, and how that impacts on our role as communicators.

In short people consume their content in new and different ways. The press release and boozy lunches no longer define what it means to be a PR. In fact, as many of you already appreciate, that never truly represented what communications was all about. Yes it’s important to build and sustain relationships, but this shouldn’t be as a result of a fancy lunch and a lavish Christmas gift. It should be as a result of proven and effective communications that delivers results.

The industry changes at a fast pace, so it’s our responsibility as communicators to maintain a level head when it comes to change. When VR surfaced, who jumped on it and used it effectively? How did they make it work for them? And did you miss the boat? If so, why? This is just one example of how a new trend and technology can pass you by without cause if you fail to engage in it fast enough. It’s not about being a ‘me too’ brand, it’s about being a true innovator, and if you want to deliver comms with real impact, it’s your job as a communicator to embrace change, identify relevant opportunities for your clients, and more often than not take a step into the unknown.

If you’re forever playing catch up, you will forever work with brands that don’t truly appreciate the impact PR and communications can have on its brand. In short, this means you’re forever going to be seen as old hat and out of touch. So, don’t rest on your laurels, look at how you can innovate and really make an impact for your clients. Bespoke communications is about tailoring your skills to best suit your client’s audience – don’t be me too, be the communicator that helps to shape the change.

Baselworld is coming… and Prohibition will be there

It’s full steam ahead in the office this week as we prepare to attend the world’s largest watch and jewellery fair, Baselworld, later this month.

We’re heading to Basel, Switzerland from 22nd – 25th March and will be bringing the show to life online, for our clients Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths.

Baselworld has earned its reputation as a globally trendsetting show for the year ahead, and is renowned for its showcase of innovations, creations and brand new collections from the world’s leading luxury watch and jewellery brands.

We’ll be meeting with some of the most prestigious players including Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and Audemars Piguet to gather exclusive information on the latest launches, as well as spotting celebrities (Ryan Reynolds is a Piaget brand ambassador and firmly on the top of the girl’s ‘shot list’) and reporting on the biggest show news throughout the day.

We are super excited that Watches of Switzerland is also partnering with British GQ throughout the show and we’ll be bringing you LIVE Facebook show reviews on Thursday (23rd) and Friday (24th) evening, with a panel of experts giving you their thoughts and views on the day’s biggest stories.

Keep on top of our Baselworld news by following Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’ll see you there!

New kid on the block – Prohibition reveals all about its newest recruit…

Name: Ella Sykes

Position: Account Director

Professional insight:

  1. Ella, you’ve worked in the industry for seven years. Tell us a little about your journey…

I started out as a volunteer at a small food PR and marketing agency. It was a three man team so I was thrown in the deep end, which allowed me to work my way up quickly. It gave me invaluable insight into how a business functions, whilst teaching the importance of organisation from the off. I also worked on a TV project as a home economist at this time, which also gave me a wider perspective of the industry. After two years at Absolutely Food, I made the switch to ilk, then known as Manifest. The business was at a really pinnacle stage in its growth, so it felt great to be a part of something new and exciting. I worked my way up through the company over four and a half years… and then I was introduced to the guys at Prohibition and fell in love with their approach and passion.

  1. What do you love about the industry?

It’s ever changing nature keeps you on your toes, there is always room to learn more and be at the brink of something really innovative and fresh. I also love the way PR and comms has become far more measurable, being in a position to demonstrate the strength of your work to your clients is so satisfying, not least when there’s direct engagement with consumers.


  1. Where do you see the industry in 10 years time?

I think things will become far more targeted. The way we reach the consumer these days is so different to five years ago. Naturally we’ll also be shaped by technology, I think the rise in virtual reality and our online profiles will become even more significant. I also think we’ll become more governed by the consumer, which in turn means a focus on integrity and emotion focused comms will become even more popular. The lines between marketing, advertising, PR and sales will also become even more blurred as a result of technological advances in the industry.


Personal insight:

  1. What are your passions and how do you spend your free time?

I’m a very artistic person, so I really enjoy spending time being creative; this can involve anything from attending life drawing classes and doing up old piece of furniture, to jumping on my sewing machine or blogging. I guess my main hobby is blogging, but I also spend a lot of time with friends eating out and having a good time. I’m also obsessed with traveling and spreading my wings.


  1. If you could take three items to a desert island, what would they be?

I’d take the September edition of Vogue, because the images inspire me so much that I’d never feel lost. I’d also take a big batch of material, so I can fashion up outfits and create a comfy sleeping environment, and finally I’d take a survival guide, because without one there would be a major case of trial and error, and I don’t really fancy that.


  1. Finally, if you were invisible for a day, what would you do?

I’d bob into Number 10 and discover all the state secrets, then fly to Russia, and then America to do the same. I’d work it so the time zones worked in my favour. After that I’d set up an incognito blog and reveal things I thought would benefit the people. Either that or I’d sneak into Vogue House and steal all the shoes… either or would set me up for life.

Live stream revolution: Twitter embeds periscope – what will it mean?

2016 can be seen as the year live video was pushed into the mainstream. Facebook’s monumental roll out of Facebook live is a testament to just how serious tech giants are taking the live stream movement. Cisco estimate that by 2020, 75% of mobile data usage will be video. Twitter and their subsidiary Periscope have been pioneers of the livestream, and they recently announced that the app would become embedded into Twitter itself—a prediction that many have held for a while. But what will this mean for the app and the industry?

Twitter live

Twitter boost

The embedding of periscope directly into Twitter is a boost for the site’s general functionality. It’s no secret that the firm has struggled with its valuation for a while, and a lot of this is due to the inability to attract new younger users. Live stream embedding which can be retweeted like a traditional tweet could help spread interest in the app, and give it a vital dose of innovation.


Opportunities for those who deal with social is huge. Businesses can use this new form of content to provide commercial communications like interesting Q&As with influencers and behind the scenes content for hardly any budget at all. Although it’s been around a while now it’s still a fresh and exciting way to communicate for brands and influencers alike, and while this is unanimously true for all live streaming platforms, twitter live has the vital retweet component, meaning the right content will spread, and spread fast. Twitter is about news and about the now – much more than any other platform – it’s one reason so many PR people use it.

Spontaneous revolution

The overriding reason for excitement in live streaming is due to its spontaneous nature. Any user can pull out their phone and stream all around the world instantly although for our more luxury clients this isn’t how we would do it. This raises great opportunities for small firms looking to use social, but also major issues. For example, a PR disaster could be spawned when something isn’t going quite right and there’s a user on hand to capture it all live. Livestreaming is revolutionising social PR, both for better and for worse, and firms must be ready for it but personally I love it. I mean who didn’t enjoy watching the puddle in Newcastle being live streamed last January.

Examples so far

An exciting snapshot of how Twitter live could function came in the form of the US debates earlier in the year. Live coverage was combined with relevant tweets and it was by all accounts a slick experience – one which could well become the industry standard. Furthermore, they are set to do the same for the Golden Globes. Watch this space in the New Year, where we will expect to see huge increases in usage in Twitter’s new offering, and live streaming as a whole. I will certainly be using it for some of our bigger brands next year.

Prohibition PR – Best consumer relations campaign

CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Pride Awards 2016. The Queens Hotel - Leeds 17.11.16 ©Steve Pope - Fotowales


If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed that this week was the CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards.

This is a night that the staff always look forward to and use as an excuse to get dressed up and drink lots of wine (it is a bonus when the boss pays!) It’s nice to win awards, and we were particularly thrilled to scoop one of the most prestigious awards of the night. Best Consumer Relations for our Worst Birthday’s’ campaign with Interflora at the end of last year.

The CIPR said “The team took a challenging brief, undertook some important research, such as social media listening and conversations with influencers, and devised a clear strategy, underpinned by a novel plan. The team used a variety of tactics, including an innovative interactive calendar combined with utilising online influencers. It clearly delivered tangible results for the client who was very pleased with the work.”

What began as a Christmas time brief quickly led to not focusing on Christmas at all. As most of the media were talking about Christmas throughout December, brands follow suit. To stand out from this we looked into the other time of year that focuses on celebration… Birthday’s.

We looked into what makes a good birthday and what makes a bad one. Working with professional party planner, Steve Duggan, we developed an app that allowed people to find out how their birthday date rated amongst their friends. Users could then share their scores on their social networks and challenge their friends.

As predicted, the worst birthday was in December (16th December to be exact). In the run up to this date we had a constant dialogue with media to ensure that the worst birthday wouldn’t go missed.

We started talking with media about two weeks before the date and there is always a sense of fear that the hard work hasn’t paid off when there isn’t many results in the run up to the day. However, we were rewarded in abundance with over 200 pieces of coverage, a reach of 331 million in print and online media and 355 million opportunities to hear for radio.

In short, Interflora’s campaign dominated conversation on the 16th December.

The aim was to secure at least 25% share of voice around Mother’s Day. The result led to Interflora having a share of voice of 71%, beating brands like Moonpig and M&S.

We specialise in integrated campaigns – but creative ideas and strategic insight also need to be rooted in campaigns for them to be successful and we are thrilled that our work has achieved such prestigious recognition.

Thanks to our wonderful team for their hard work over the past year and we look forward to creating even more award winning campaigns in 2017.

Some of us had too much fun

Some of us had too much fun

A new social media timeline for 2017

As social media continues to grow and become increasingly critical to our day to day lives, the number of niche platforms available for us to express our likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams is at an all-time high. No matter what you need to talk about – be it a new TV programme or a new girlfriend/boyfriend – there is always an app to help you get chatting and connecting. From eBay to Tinder and Instagram to Snapchat, our social platforms continue to adapt and develop the PR and marketing landscape. We all seem addicted to checking for WiFi everywhere we stop, and that compulsive need to be connected to those around us is stronger than ever.

I lecture at universities and at various social media conferences and I was acutely aware that I was often talking off a poorly designed timeline and I felt I could do a better version which included the main channels. So I had one created back a couple of years ago and I called it the top 10 game changers in social media. However, that included a lot of sites such as Friends Reuntied – remember them? So now we are back with a new and improved timeline that includes a few more recent additions. We welcome the inclusion of Vine, YikYak, and Instagram – demonstrating how visual, and easy to use platforms, are the perfect channels for connecting not just friends but brands to almost all demographics.

But all is not well in social right now, many brands have tried to create social platforms have failed such as Apple’s Ping and Google’s many platforms and Twitter is struggling with an identity crisis right now as the millenuals and the next generation move to anonymous a more fun networks.

Here is my timeline for social media.



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