Digital PR

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Our pick of the best food and drinks blogs in Leeds

Our outreach team here at Prohibition spend a lot of time identifying and engaging with online influencers across a wide variety of fields. Regardless of whether it’s a brilliant product or a less-tangible idea or issue, the end result is organic word of mouth for our clients, a powerful thing with today’s media-jaded consumers.

This month we’ve been busy speaking to food and drinks bloggers in Leeds for a new bar/restaurant we are launching next month. As anyone who’s visited the city in recent months will know, food and drink is now a major draw in Leeds, with more pop up bars, street food vendors and hipster eateries than you can shake a stick at.Guacamole_Pepper-Jack_Burger

As such, Leeds now boasts a huge number of brilliant food bloggers, catering to this exciting scene and giving the latest tips, advice and inside track on what’s happening in the city when it comes to food and drink. Here’s our pick of some of the best:

  1. Gourmet Times Leeds is a digital food magazine that focuses on fine-dining in the Leeds area as well as in your home. The blog is great for a number of reasons, not least because they encourage everyone to be a part of it by using their user-generated-content gateway, allowing readers to add their own recipes, articles and reviews. Their restaurant guide is definitely one not to be missed and is home to all the information you need when it comes to finding a restaurant.
  1. Whip Until Fluffy is written by Lil, a Leeds food blogger with diabetes living in the city. Her blog is a haven for finding yummy recipes and fabulous bar/restaurant reviews and recommendations. Her blog has really simple navigation, and easy cooking tutorials, and is a favourite among those seeking home cooking inspiration or anyone looking for great restaurants around Yorkshire.
  1. Big Spoon Little Spoon is a food and lifestyle blog by Becca, featuring posts on recipes, reviews and diets. If you are looking for inspiration on where to eat out in the city of Leeds then look no further, with reviews of the latest restaurants. I especially like her honesty and candid views.
  1. Jo Blogs. Part of the Leeds food & drink association, this Leeds lifestyle blog specialises in food and restaurant reviews, while Jo’s lifestyle posts make this blog more than just one for the average foodie.
  1. Breadsticklers – “For the love of food”. As well as restaurant reviews, this great blog also features delicious homemade recipes that will inspire you to become a master in the kitchen. Written by Claire, she has been sharing her love of food since 2011, and prides herself on writing about only her own experiences and honest opinions when it comes to reviewing great places to eat.
  1. Amy Liz is a food blogger based in Leeds posting about recipes and restaurant reviews. However, aside from writing exclusively about food, she also likes to blog about fashion and her lifestyle in Leeds, categorising her posts into; Leeds life, recipes, outfits, book club and restaurants, meaning there’s something for everyone.
  1. Eating Owt. It is exactly what it says on the tin… reviews, recipes and ramblings about Yorkshire food. This should be your go-to-guide when it comes to finding hidden Yorkshire treasures and reviews of some of the newest restaurants. If that all doesn’t take your fancy, check out her “All things cheese section” which covers, as you can guess, cheese reviews. Yum!
  1. Angel In The North may predominantly be a Yorkshire lifestyle blog, but her food and drink section is a great place to find reviews of restaurants not only in Leeds City Centre, but in the wider county, with the likes of Le Chalet Tearooms, Cielo Blanco, Bird and Beast, Cafe Rouge and Roxy Lanes reviewed.
  1. Them Apples is a blog about the food adventures of Rich. With absolutely no training when it comes to cooking, Rich takes inspiration from family and friends to create his masterpieces in the kitchen, something he shares with all his readers. His blog covers a variety of issues including eating out, food politics, books and kitchen gear.
  2. A tale of two sittings is written by a passionate Leeds food blogger who is also keen on photography. Originally from Wales, Diane‘s blog posts are a mix of food and drink, restaurant reviews and general lifestyle adventure posts. It’s one to be enjoyed by those who not only have a passion for food, but by those who enjoy finding out more about what Yorkshire has to offer in the way of food and culture.

We know this list isn’t exhaustive, so if you’re not included, please let us know about your blog in the comments and explain why we should all read it.

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!

 

 

The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.

 

  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.

 

Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

Prohibition delivers innovative social media ‘tweet shop’ for national housing organisation Keepmoat

Last month, we were lucky enough to work alongside Keepmoat, one of the national market leaders in sustainable community regeneration and housing, to help them to stand out at key industry trade show, CIH, held at Manchester Central.

Briefed by Keepmoat to make its presence at the conference stand out amongst the crowd, we were tasked with creating something to differentiate their event stand from competitors at the event, and achieve a measure of event amplification which would make the organisation stand out in terms of visibility.

Through taking a strategic approach to social media, we created a blend of exciting stand themes, and event commentary which increased the footprint of Keepmoat’s stand, in turn driving footfall and creating a real buzz around the company’s offering.

The strategy we undertook centred around a ‘Tweet-Shop’ on the Keepmoat stand, which gave CIH visitors the opportunity to pay for multiple food and drink items by simply tweeting. Creating a large presence in the social media sphere, the stunt succeeded in providing online visibility of Keepmoat’s presence at the event, prompting social media users to head to the stand and promote it.

In addition to encouraging guest participation in the tweet shop, we worked throughout the event to provide a live commentary of goings on inside Manchester Central, letting interested followers on Twitter know of keynote speakers and demonstrations taking place at the Keepmoat stand.

More success for Prohibition!

Will Ockenden (L) and Chris Norton (R)Blog Will Ockenden (L) and Chris Norton (R)Blog Rebecca Wharmby (L), Will Ockenden, Vicki Murphy, Blog Adam Worrall, Chris Norton, Emily Moult (R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After celebrating a record year that has seen us double in size and move to larger office we’re now happy to announce the appointment of our new board director.

Following a number of new high profile business wins, including the UK’s largest wholesaler of floristry supplies and artificial flowers, Country Baskets, and national market leader in sustainable housing, Keepmoat Homes, our team has doubled in size to eight.

This includes the appointment of Will Ockenden as board director. Will previously ran the Sydney office of Leeds-based PR and social media agency, Lucre, and prior to that worked at a senior agency level in Leeds. He will be responsible for developing our professional services and B2B offering.

Will is also set to work on commercialising our self-published online student magazine, Student Wire, which is currently the third-largest magazine of its kind in the UK, with more than 60,000 readers. The magazine forms the core of our growing student and youth marketing division.

Other key hires to our team include Rebecca Wharmby, former PR executive at Disney who joins as account executive and Adam Worrall, a professional journalist, as content manager. This month has also seen us relocate to our new, larger office, based in Chapel Allerton.

Our managing director Chris Norton, said of the growth: “The last 12-months have been extremely eventful; we have achieved real success when it comes to delivering non-traditional PR services such as content marketing, online influencer engagement and social media eCommerce services. As such we have experienced strong growth, and have invested heavily in people and technology to ensure we continue to deliver outstanding work. We won the Best Use of Digital Award in November and we plan to enter several of our campaigns this year too. Working jointly with Will, I’m confident we will continue to grow, and offer something genuinely different in a busy market.”

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

What online PR campaigns can teach us about measurement and ROI

It’s no secret that the traditional PR measurement model is woefully ill-equipped to deal with today’s integrated online PR campaigns, and new, data-driven methodologies have emerged to effectively tackle social media PR.

However, while traditional agencies may still judge the success of a campaign on ‘equivalent advertising value’ or a nebulous ‘PR value’, an understanding of digital PR gives us the opportunity to measure almost every facet of a campaign, and crucially, start making that all important link to ROI.

Not only that, but social media measurement techniques give us the opportunity to apply a new analysis framework to traditional PR campaigns, in doing helping drive forward the industry as a whole. Online PR

This debate is not unique to PR; in every marketing discipline, there exists a lively hotbed of opinions and views into how to best measure a campaign, and more importantly, how to effectively demonstrate ROI. And rightly so. We also like a good debate here at Prohibition PR, so it’s really music to our ears.


Analytics

A starting point should be a good working understanding of Google analytics. If your team doesn’t know what this is then they’re in the wrong job. Set up goals so that you can track conversations, whether that’s a sale, a sign-up or some other strategic imperative. Each piece of media coverage you generate should contain a link, if it doesn’t then ask yourself is it really benefiting the client? A half page in a national might do wonders for brand awareness (and probably will result in some sales you can never prove to your client) but chances are a blog post with a useful link will drive far more conversions for you and you can then track these.

Conversions to sales

Also get a good understanding of your client’s conversion rates. Based on average conversions and basket size, how much of the traffic you’re directing to the site could be resulting in a sale? What’s the value of this and how does it compare with the investment your client’s made in PR?

Similarly, find out how much your client is investing in online media spend and PPC. Calculate an average CPC and cross reference with the traffic you’re driving their way.  Suddenly you’re in a position when you can attribute a monetary value to your activity. Cost per Click is great but cost per acquisition is even better.

This is only scratching the surface, and we’re not going to reveal all of our techniques here (you have you be a client or a friend to benefit from that). But as an industry we need to be more honest with ourselves, especially when it comes to working with brands that are prominent online – are we getting media coverage for the sake of getting media coverage because it has always been our currency, or are we helping them achieve real business results?

While of course, PR and social media is not usually a direct response mechanism in the way that e-commerce or direct mail is, that’s not to say we can’t still be accountable for the services we deliver. In fact as an industry we should strive for this, for the benefit of our whole industry otherwise we could be left behind the digital and SEO Agencies.

Image credited to Stuart Miles, thanks very much via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Top 10 PR Campaigns in 2013

Time is ticking away and we are now five months into 2013 and after several stonking PR campaigns in 2012 which we shared with you lovely people in our lengthy review last year, we felt it was only right to analyse some of the best of 2013.

Feel free to have a look through our list, we hope that some of these ideas might help inspire you when creating your own campaigns. This is all about sharing best practice.

1. Three ‘#DancePonyDance’

Advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy, launched #DancePonyDance on behalf of mobile network Three. It featured five year old Shetland pony ‘Socks’ moon walking in a field. The video went viral online and proved to be a raging success. The tagline ‘Silly stuff, it matters’ and ‘Keep on intereneting’ was to encourage people to have fun and also to make their own videos via the PonyMixer to revive the nations love of sharing funny things on the internet.

2. Carlsberg ‘Standing up for a friend’Brewery group Carlsberg created an online video, twisting original tag line ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’ to ‘Standing up for a friend, that calls for a Carlsberg’. The video features a few different people, all in the same situation at a very dodgy poker table and the scenario set is that they desperately need bailing out. So the participants call unaware friends in the middle of the night and ask them to come over and bail them out of €300. The sacrificial friends come to the place and it is made to look a little like fight club, boxing going outside, chickens flying about and a scary looking security guard on the door. The moment they get into the poker room, the curtains go down and a crown cheers, the contestant is rewarded with a Carlsberg.  This is a really feel good ad that makes you warm a little bit to Carlsberg intention of building friendship through the drink.

3.Evian ‘Baby and Me’

Following the success of the previous Evian babies on roller skates ad, they have now come back to our screens, a little older and a little cuter. This campaign will work a second time round because the last advert was so well known and focuses on making people laugh. The tag line ‘Evian, live young’ fits the advert and will again stay implanted in our head.

 

4. Renault ‘The first car carried by Likes’

Renault’s PR department came up with a great interactive and creative way of getting people involved in live, real time social media. They put a new Clio on one end of large weighing scales, and a big box on the other. They put up a live stream from Facebook to the car and box, and people could watch and click ‘Like’ and a cardboard Like would be placed in the box until it shifted the weight of the car. The live stream went on for a two week time limit and got around 60k views. One lucky liker was lucky enough to win the car.

5. Durex ‘Durexperiment’

Durex has taken an experiment to a new level. They have created vibrating underwear ‘funderwear’ – bra and pants for girls, boxers for guys. By downloading the Smartphone app, you have the control to the vibrators on your partner. The ad features a couple modelling a long distance relationship and using the new ‘Funderwear’. Because of the nature of the ad and the product, it has attracted a lot of well needed media attention, to show that Durex is still innovating their products and not just a condom brand.  The advert has been banned on television; however it is still being spoken about.

6. Talisker Storm ‘The first interactive storm’

For the launch of Talisker Storm malt whisky, the first ever interactive storm was created to promote the new drink. The 25ft interactive storm was open for people to try out; they were also able to decide on the intensity of the storm. The campaign was focused on younger people as break out of the older age image the brand usually attracts. They used celebrity endorsement using former weatherman Michael Fish to promote the event. It built awareness of the brand by using creativity and making it interactive and free.

7. Air New Zealand ‘Blind Gate’

A good Valentine’s Day stunt this year was made by Air New Zealand and shown on live TV and hosted by Claudia Winkleman. The aim was to attract media attention by hosting a blind date type game show  in Heathrow Airport, whereby singletons were to choose their date and then get on a plane to LA to further carry out the date and basically then have a nice holiday in LA.

8. The Corner Shop PR ‘Chocolate Memory stick’

To promote the New Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical, The Corner Shop PR created a memory stick in the shape of a yummy looking Chocolate Wonka Bar to send out to journalists with a press release on with information on the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre. This was a imaginative and personal way to send content to journalists to persuade them to write a story.

9. Doingsomething ‘Wheel of date’

Another Valentine’s Day event was ‘The Wheel of Date’ by Frank PR. The client Doingsomething is a online creative dating agency, so to raise awareness, they sold a limited number of tickets for ‘fun’ speed dating whilst being on in one of the pods on the London Eye.

10. First Choice ‘The best job in the world’

Following the last “Best job in the world” by Queensland tourism in 2009, a competition to be the caretaker to a dessert island, there is now the new “Best job in the world” by First Choice, a water ride tester. Seb Smith, ex Leeds University student is the lucky candidate who won this year. The campaign did work second time round, but didn’t attract quite as much media attention.

Do you think you have a campaign worth sharing? If you do drop it in the comments and let us know about it?

 

This was a guest post from our friendly intern Holly Guest.

The PR benefits of Google Hangouts

We are all aware of the Skype and FaceBook video call, but the latest of social networking platformsGoogle+ has recently released its own version of video calling “Google Hangouts“.

Facebook’s video calling is only one-to-one calling, with limits on the other activity that you can do on the site once on a call, and on Skype you have to be a paying user to use group video chat. However with Google Hangouts the video chats are free, and up to 10 people can take part, with lots of different apps available (free) to have fun with during your calls, from poker to quizzes.

For purely social uses hangouts are great, they are free and simple to use, you just need to have a Google+ account (is it time to really jump on the Google+ bandwagon?). Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has written a great piece, that really gets into the social benefits of Google hangouts, compared to the other options available.

As well as the personal benefits of hangouts the option to stream your session live on YouTube, personal websites and blogs (all at the same time) means that Google Hangouts has got some great possibilities for small businesses. At this stage live hangouts are being tested by large corporations and organisations. From live hangouts with President Obama to live gigs the possibilities with hangouts are endless; and from a PR and social media point of view this could be a really interesting channel to get your message across.

For the world of PR, this could mean live interviews with CEO’s and key spokespeople from your clients, live product reviews from bloggers all around the world, live instruction sessions showing customers how to use clever products, constant streaming of shops, businesses, and events that people all around the world can join in with. Google hangouts could also really help with crisis management, as you will have the ability to reach your public almost immediately and most importantly affordably.

With Google Hangouts in its infancy it will be interesting to see how it is going to be adapted and utilised by business, especially in the PR world.

Has anyone used Google hangouts already? It would be great to hear what you thought of it.


BEING TRENDY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter has made it all too easy to start an argument. Previously, you woke up, read the newspaper or watched the news, then you’d get to work and discuss a story in a relatively calm and reasonable manner. Now, thanks to Twitter, instead of reading a story and thinking about it and formulating a reasonable stance, we instead have to say the first thing that comes to mind. Whether it’s the pasty tax or teenagers screaming at adults for not being ‘Beliebers’ there is always something to get us riled.

There is one thing that drives this debate: trending. Trending has now made it so easy to get involved in debates. Instead of simply having these discussions with your friends, now with the simple use of a ‘#’ you can now debate with anyone who is also looking.

One issue I have with trending topics is that given the limited use of characters it’s quite hard to have a sincere discussion without flooding someone’s feed. Already having just 140 characters to express your opinion, this is further reduced by the hashtag topic itself which can often take up another 20 characters. It’s also a spur of the moment thing. You can’t really plan to start something that will trend.

One area where I believe #hashtagging comes in to its own is promotion. It takes big or unusual events to get something trending. But with Twitter’s advertising platform promoted trends, it becomes easier to direct what people are actively talking about. This has worked well with a number of films, especially comedy, where the aim becomes to start ‘banter’ and to make it fun to talk about that particular film. However, once you’ve paid your money there is no control over how others with use your promoted trend or what it will show up with.

It is more difficult to trend with other products. Even with product giveaways for quality prizes it difficult to get enough tweets to get the product or brand name trending. EA Sports FIFA, for example, give away tickets for most Premier League games every weekend, and other companies have been known to offer prizes such as tablets or phones, yet they find that their name or product is not being seen as often as they’d like.

Trending is something that works best in real time. It helps drive conversations for events that are unfolding whether it is about government policy or what is happening on Geordie Shore. More organisations might be better instead of pushing products to join in the conversation and the associated with a trend. By getting involved they could find themselves becoming experts on a topic, giving them a more lasting presence.

Why not follow Prohibition PR on Twitter here or go crazy and add us on Facebook.