Mr Nutcase – review

I recently had the opportunity to do some work for mrnutcase.com whilst on placement at Atelier Studios and was then offered the opportunity to design a phone case on the website and to then review the process and final product.

Mr Nutcase is a phone case design website that offers a range of cases for a massive range of phone models with existing design patterns or a ‘create your own’ feature. Mr Nutcase has 3 different case styles (Ultra Light Weight Slimline case, Executive Leather Flip style, and Full Wrap-around Premium Edition)  for a large range of phone models. There are set designs that you can choose from, which are bright and fun. The best feature on the site, however, is the ‘create you own’ option where you can upload any photo you want and it’ll be printed onto either of the three case designs. I chose the Ultra Light Weight Slimline case and uploading and designing the case was easy enough. All you need to do is pick a photo you want on the case, upload the photo from your desktop onto the site, and then position the picture how you want to fit onto the case. This process was easy enough, however, the zoom buttons are a bit temperamental so be careful as to do not crop any of the image off by accident. You are given the option to preview the case before ordering so you can make sure at that point that all is fine with your design. When ordering your case you will get the option to like their Facebook page and in return get a free screen protector, which is a great bonus.

The site states that they dispatch the next day and they definitely lived up to that. I placed my order and received a confirmation email straight away, albeit to my spam box so watch out for that, and then an email the following  day to say that my case had been dispatched. Quick and easy service is a massive plus and I was impressed when my case arrived the next day. The printing quality of the photo is great and the matt finish makes it look smart and not so plastic-like or cheap. The surface of the case gives a good amount of grip, which is perfect for all those clumsy people out there, myself included. The see-through edges of the Slimline case is a great design feature as the phone doesn’t look bulky or even like it has a case on at all. The design fits perfectly with none of the edges sticking out or covering any vital buttons. I must admit that the very first day I had the case on, I dropped my phone onto my dinner plate but the case just easily wiped clean.

As it goes for pricing.. It’s surprisingly good for value. Starting at £14.95 for the Ultra Light Weight Slimline case, and yes, that’s for the ‘create your own’ feature, which is amazingly cheap compared to other services that offer your own designs.

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Here is my Ultra Light Weight Slimline case that I ordered through the ‘create your own’ feature on the Mr Nutcase website. I uploaded the photo of myself and my boyfriend (cute, right), which I was a bit wary about as the original photo was a bit dark and dull but the printed image is really vivid. (Please forgive the poor image quality. I quickly snapped them at my office desk)

Overall, I am very happy with the process and the final case.
– Quick
– Easy
– Good design
– Vivid printing
– Light weight
– Brilliant

The amazing part about Mr Nutcase, minus the great phone cases, is that it’s also an app! Download the app from the App Store and start creating your own phone cases from the snaps on your device.

Design your own here

The gift of GIFs

A great way to make you smile on a Monday is to remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing and that you’re not the only one struggling through the day.

Here’s a great tumblr site that is filled to the brim with GIFs that all PR folks will completely relate to. Many will make you nod in agreement or laugh at how sad but true some of them are.

Click the photo to have a look through to brighten up your Monday afternoon in the office:

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The middle point of my Maitland placement

I have been working in London at Maitland PR Consultancy for 2 weeks now and it has been a massive eye-opener to say the least. Working for a large corporate firm with an added experience of commuting into London every morning has made the ‘PR dream’ a reality.

The first two weeks of my placement have flown by but have presented me with many new opportunities. Within the first week I became familiar with Gorkana, Reuters, and Bloomberg and began to work on briefing notes and coverage monitoring. I had heard of Gorkana before from a lecture at university, however, I had never used the database before. Gorkana is an industry-wide used database meaning this will be a useful skill to take with me through the final year of university and into my career. Within the first few days in the Covent Garden based office I was given the task of running an errand to a nearby clients office and having only visited London a few times prior to starting my placement I was clueless as to where I was going. With some rough directions scribbled on a scrap piece of paper and an umbrella at the ready, I ventured out and some how ended up in the right place. I may have ruined my new suede pumps in the rain, but I now know the surrounding area a bit better.

The second week was spent working on more briefing notes and coverage monitoring and started to work on research documents for clients. The research documents would consist of coverage relating to the clients interest, journalists within that sector, and possible angles to reach these journalists. A second errand to find camcorder cables and a memory card was a bit more of a challenge during the week as Oxford Street was quite hard to find with minimal directions. Hurray for GPS on phones, right!

I am enjoying the placement so far, especially seeing the difference between the work I am familiar with to the new financial and corporate projects I’ve been given. I must admit, I don’t understand much of the financial language that the partners and consultants speak here, but I hope that I am contributing through other ways, like creative ideas for reaching new markets. As for commuting, that was fun for the first five minutes… Delayed or cancelled trains are always a treat at the end of the day. Having said that, I am grateful as experiencing what it’s like to live and work in London has smacked the reality into the PR dream that I had of doing it after graduating. I will hopefully be set some new tasks during the last two weeks of my time with Maitland that will give me more experiences to learn from.

The best of the beautiful game campaigns

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you wouldn’t have been able to escape the lead up to the 2014 World Cup. Having said that, there’s been so much hype about the 20th World Cup that it would probably find its way under the rock anyway.

(I must say that I have never watched a football game before so I can’t say that I’m not a fan of the sport. I do like watching sports so perhaps I would enjoy it, however, my only dislike with the game is the over-the-top hooligan fans that come with it. The ones that get into fights when their adored team loses or starts riots in a town centre pub when they disagree with a refs decision.. This type of football crazy fan makes me think negatively about the sport and therefore have steered clear. But what I have been interested in is the overload of football themed campaigns that have been released this summer.)

Many companies have jumped on the opportunity to release a timely campaign that fits in with the build up to the World Cup. Brands like Nike and Pepsi have pushed the boat out, so to speak, and have created some extravagant campaigns, whilst others have simply paddled in the shallow waters with a more simple approach.

Here’s a look into some of the campaigns that have launched to coincide with the 2014 World Cup:

Pepsi

Kristin Patrick, Pepsi’s global chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg in April: “It’s the first time we’ve rolled out a global football campaign to this magnitude. It’s in 130 countries, and we have a large body of content from television, short films and digital content. We have events happening every single month leading to up to the summer.”

Nike

Nike’s ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits so far.

Beats by Dre

Adidas

Adidas, an official partner of FIFA has 17 million Facebook likes and one million Twitter followers.

The advert creation isn’t the only element of the campaign as Adidas promises to have 50 people in its Rio ‘war room’ located at the home of Flamengo FC. “Our target is to be the most talked about brand at the World Cup,” says Rob Hughes, senior global football PR manager, adidas global football. “We will have our legal, marketing and FIFA teams to help expedite approvals, to ensure we are best placed to publish content and drive media spend, no matter what the time, day or time zone.”

It is clear, however, that a company doesn’t need to be an official partner or sponser with FIFA. Coca Cola’s campaign has been over-shadowed by Pepsi even though Coca-Cola is an official partner and sponsor.

CocaCola


Twitter also got involved by creating ‘hashflags’. This new feature turns a hashtag and 3 letter abbreviation into a colour icon of the countries flag.

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So to sum up the campaigns, it is clear that a visual and interactive approach has been used by many big-name brands as way of establishing themselves within the World Cup. Social media has, of course, hit the ground running with new features and engaging ways for fans to communicate throughout the World Cup. There is a lot more that could be said about new campaigns and features but I feel like this post is now rather long, so here are a couple of links for you to use if you wish to read more about this.

Tech Giants Play The Game

War Rooms

Paddy Power PR stunt that was hated by everyone is now loved by Greenpeace

Paddy Power posted an image of what appeared to be the Amazon Rainforest with the words ‘C’MON ENGLAND PP’ hacked out of the trees, which later caused chaos and outrage on social media, in particular Twitter. The PR stunt is now being praised by Greenpeace, the well-known environmental activist group that uses similar controversial tactics to get publicity.

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People took to Twitter to share their ‘disgusted’ views on the PR stunt that at the time seemed very real and very ‘shameful’. One tweeter saying ‘think your PR person will get sacked in the morning’ (@richbyronbyles), which in fact is the complete opposite of what happened next.

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The stunt had many people fooled and gained a lot of publicity from across all platforms, including national publications like the Mirror. Paddy Power reportedly lost hundreds of followers within the following hours of the original photo being released but has seen a larger increase of followers now that truth has come out and they’re actually ‘the good guys’.

Paddy Power let the drama play out for a little while before releasing another photo that showed the original was a fake and it was all a PR stunt to gain awareness of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

ppl

The new photo humorously played with the word ‘Brazilian’ and also showed a green banner at the bottom promoting the statistics of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The banner was aimed at football fans who otherwise might not be seen as a large market for an environmental campaign.

Paddy Power confessed all in a blog post that stated, “Greenpeace told us that in the Amazon an area the size of 122 football pitches is chopped down every 90 minutes, which is shocking. Paddy Power’s #Shavetherainforest stunt helps to haul this issue into the public light, with our own little mischievous twist.” Greenpeace have said that they had no involvement in the campaign but are praising the stunt by saying,  “It’s very reassuring that people were outraged when they thought Paddy Power had destroyed tropical rainforest for advertising – but it’s just as outrageous to chop it down for garden decking or flooring.

“Efforts to help raise awareness of the crisis facing our rainforests are always welcome, and we hope that the World Cup bringing the eyes of the world to Brazil will lead to a lot more attention being paid to this issue.”

A lot of companies are using The World Cup to their advantage and creating campaigns to fit in with the event, however, it’s safe to say the Paddy Power’s stunt may be one of the most memorable. A statement by the creators of the stunt said: “We knew we’d drop off a fair few Christmas card lists yesterday, but we couldn’t resist a bit of fake Twitter mischief to highlight an important issue to football fans as our World Cup warm-up.”

I personally think that the stunt was a brilliant PR tactic. No trees were actually cut down but the campaign generated a lot of publicity and awareness for the issue. Controversial (but legal, I must emphasise) tactics are known for getting people talking and this is a great example of how to do so without actually doing anything wrong. I’m sure the PR pro(s) behind this stunt had a little giggle at some of the reactions.

Quotes and images found here

BirdsEye should be ‘inspiration’ to other businesses for Instagram campaigns

Instagram took off as ‘THE’ platform for sharing your visual insights through everyday life and companies are wising up to it’s potential for businesses. BirdsEye recently launched a new creative Instagram campaign as part of a multi-media campaign including TV, digital, POS and a three month sampling campaign for its new ‘Inspiration’ range.

Lemon-packetA pop-up restaurant called ‘The Picture House’ appeared at the Ice Tank in Soho, London and opened its doors to hungry diners who were eager to sample BirdsEye’s new ‘Inspiration’ range. The creative part of this sampling event was that the diners were able to dine for free permitting they uploaded a photo of their meal with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations onto their Instagram profiles. Lets be honest, a free meal in exchange for a photo upload.. Who would say no?

Research by BirdsEye showed 52% of people ‘regularly’ take pictures of their meals and 11% take at least one picture of their food a week. The hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations generated more than 400 photos on Instagram just two days after the pop-up restaurant opened. This measurement early on in the campaign allows the PR team behind the campaign to get their hopes up that the strategy will generate interest in the new range.

Taking photo of meals quickly became a popular trend on Instagram with the hashtag #instafood currently having 24,873,080 photo or video posts (11.52:11/06/14). BirdsEye marketing director, Margaret Jobling commented: “Taking photos of food enables people to show off and to share their mealtime moments – from the every day to the very special. We wanted to tap into this trend and create a new reason for people to talk about and sample our newest additions to the Inspirations range.”

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The Picture House will visit Manchester and Leeds during June 2014 to continue the sampling events.

As I said before, who wouldn’t want to settle the bill by uploading a photo to Instagram? The tactic is very creative and shows how businesses can use visual social media effectively to generate awareness. There has only been one sampling event so far and there has already been a lot of interest in the hashtag tactic and the next pop-up restaurant is set to be even busier later in the month.

This use of social media as a way of generating interest in a product should be seen by other businesses as an example of how they can use Instagram in a similar way. ‘Visual’ is becoming more and more important and Instagram, being one of the most popular social media platforms around at the moment, gives many opportunities to reach out to existing and potentially new markets.

WSPA who?

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched a rebranding in an attempt to stop confusion over the charities name and to increase awareness, globally.

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Despite 50 years of charitable experience with animal protection, research involving nearly 6,800 people revealed fewer than 7% thought of the charity when asked to think of an animal protection organisation. The rebranding efforts consist of the charities name being changed to World Animal Protection.  International director of comms at World Animal Protection, Pippa Rodger said the purpose of the charity, which worked with consultancy Wolff Olins for the rebrand, was “not clear” and the acronym WSPA “was meaningless in many languages”. Rodger added, “World Animal Protection is clear, distinct and memorable. Changing the name to World Animal Protection brings our name in line with what we are trying to achieve – protecting the world’s animals.”

The aim of the rebranding is to create a clear and easily-understood strategy worldwide that allows people anywhere in the world to understand the charities core aims. The rebrand will roll out across the organisation’s 15 offices worldwide by the end of June.

0_414_0_http___offlinehbpl_hbpl_co_uk_galleries_ORP_WPA_picWhilst reading through the latest news this morning on prweek.com, I found the article ‘The World Society for the Protection of Animals tackles “great confusion” with rebrand’ quite engaging; as I am a PR student who is interested in environmental charity work and campaigns. I personally think that the new name for the charity works a lot better and as the saying goes, it rolls of the tongue a lot better. I also like the logo change (pictured above) that incorporates the brands iconic orange colour but also introduces a compass style design that embeds the charities global strategies. The statistics mentioned above show the lack of awareness that people have of WSPA making it clear that change needed to happen. The new design gives a more confident and globally-appealing theme to the charity, making their presence within animal protection charities stronger and smarter. There are currently two separate websites running throughout the transition but World Animal Protection should be in full swing by the end of June.

Images found here

Why I love being in PR

Sihle Bolani Communications blog

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A lot of us have read and heard how the PR industry is fast-paced, competitive and often lands on “most stressful” lists.

I’ve learnt that this business is not for the faint-hearted nor those who don’t adapt/handle rejection well, nor those who cower at the sound of ‘no.’ If you’re lazy, this isn’t the industry for you, and flying under the radar? Good luck with that! Maybe at a big firm, but not for long because the radar identifies slacker-ific tendencies rather quickly.

Like any other job, there are going to be challenges – ups, downs, crazy colleagues, long nights, hiring, firing, crappy clients, unpaid bills and moments where #@$%! hits the fan. In my humble opinion, think we’re just more creative about our challenges, making what we do a lot more fun.

Although there are a gazillion reasons why I love PR, I’m only going to share a few…

View original post 333 more words

Nescafe puts on its [3D printed] thinking cap

Nescafe have taken a creative approach at a new design for their signature jar lids by turning them into alarm clocks. However, that isn’t the only cool thing about it; The lids have been 3D printed.

I came across this new design by Nescafe a few weeks ago whilst doing some Social Media work for a 3D printing company called Isodo3D, in Southampton. The idea behind the alarm clock lid is that you have to get out of bed and unscrew the cap in order for the alarm to stop. This is an attempt from Nescafe to encourage people to start their day with a cup of Nescafe coffee. The 3D printed lid emits flashes of lights and a choice of 7 different alarm tones.

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With the help of Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab, NOTlabs, the creative studio of Los Angeles based, design inspiration company, NOTCOT Inc. and illustrator Charmaine Choi, Nescafe was able to creatively rebrand their signature jars whilst using innovative technology.

After looking into what 3D printers are capable of, I was amazed at the developments that have already been made and the possibilities it could bring in the future. Some developments are life changing where as others are simply sparks of creativity. Have a look at some amazing 3D printing Pinterest pins here

Nescafes’ creativeness:

Images found here

 

‘Should I do Digital?’ – Justin Wilson Perspective

I recently had the opportunity to pitch a 6-month social media strategy plan to a live client whilst on placement at Atelier Studios. The client was Varissa, a car-sourcing website. I pitched my ideas to the client, along with fellow intern Sangeeth, and what was noticeable at the end of the pitch was the lack of knowledge about the power of ‘digital’. The client began asking questions such as, ‘What is Pinterest?’, ‘How can LinkedIn help my business?’, and ‘How will a digital strategy help me gain more customers?’ Justin Wilson, a Digital Marketing Manager working in the automotive industry, blogged about the key elements that business owners should know when it comes to a digital approach, which I found very useful. Here is what he had to say.

6th June 2014 – Should I do Digital?

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Justin Wilson

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When people ask what I do for a living, my answer is normally followed by ‘so what is digital and why do people do it?’ Good question eh? So, what if you own a business that does not sell their product or service online – do you need to invest in a digital presence?

Let’s take a company where you would traditionally think that no digital presence was required. What about a company that makes specialist parts for aeroplanes and sells business to business on a face-to-face level. Why should they invest in digital and what should they do?

The conversation needs to be moved away from price: Many companies fall into the trap of leading conversations with price – I have worked with some culprits of this, and when you are the cheapest product, this works great. However, you are training the customer to shop by price, so when you are not the cheapest offering, the customer will buy elsewhere.

Building up the value proposition and moving away from price (a race to the bottom) is not easy, but discussing the value of your products and why you should be the first choice are sections that should be on your website. And these should be the messages that you take out to your audience.

Your reach will grow and (fairly) cheaply: If you think that your audience does not spend time online, there is a 95% chance of you being wrong. That’s not to say that they are easy to find. Maybe LinkedIn would be a good starting point for a specialist B2B product. A simple search for groups linked to the airplane industry shows hundreds of results – or try LinkedIn advertising for a very specific message to an audience that you can segment yourself. The cost of this sort of advertising is very low considering the audience. Or run some small scale advertising on an industry website where your audience spent their time learning about the market place. Or send a communication out to the industry website subscribers?

Differentiate: There are a number of ways in which digital allows you to differentiate your company from the competition. Your tone of voice on your website; running some interesting content of the website which is not just B2B facing, as B2B buyers are consumers too (e.g. videos of planes using your parts); writing about the issues that your customers are facing (e.g. our specialist parts are 20% lighter than they were two years ago, which drives fuel efficiency).

You can tell if it’s working: Traditional methods of reaching out to audiences like these has been a little hit and miss – a mail drop here, attending a conference there, etc. All of these are really hard to measure. But digital is on the whole very transparent – if you have spent money, you will be able to see how many people have viewed that communication, and even if this has resulted in enquiries.

Now, I must confess that I am bias…..I think that digital should play a role in whatever type of marketing your are planning – and don’t let the industry that you operate in be a limiting factor – you may just have to think a little further outside the box.

Image via thesocialmediamonthly.com