Social media war -which platform comes out on top?

On Thursday it was #SocialMediaDay (not as exciting as #NationalCheeseDay if you ask me) and it stirred up quite a bit of excitement on Twitter. Social Media isn’t a new concept anymore and it’s come a long way in a very short amount of time.

@buffer made an eye-opening point when they tweeted about the origin of #SocialMediaDay:

fh

So, we’ve gone from social media being seen as ‘too techy’ to something most of us can’t live without. I mean, what else are you going to do as soon as you wake up, whilst you’re on your lunch break, and right before you go to bed?

Thinking about the evolution of social media, I found myself wondering what the most favoured social media platform is. Once upon a time is was Myspace and Bebo, so now what? I did a little digging into some research to determine a potential winner.

A number of organizations have done research into this, one of which being Age UK who posted a poll on their Twitter during the excitement of Thursday. ‘What was the verdict?’, I hear you ask…

ageuk poll

So, Twitter won Age UK’s poll (potentially because it was run on Twitter), however Snapchat was not included in this. Many social media experts would be in uproar, I’m sure. Especially considering how a number of reports show that in June Snapchat beat Twitter in daily usage figures. Snapchat reached a cool 150 million daily users, whilst Twitter is running at 140 million daily tweeters. You could argue that 10 million people favour Snapchat over Twitter…

Interestingly, another study from this year suggests that Snapchat might not be the favourite. Portsmouth Together ran a local survey to find out what the most popular social media platforms are. This came after they repeatedly heard that the young generation didn’t use Facebook (maybe it was that little blue birdy telling them fibs? *tweep tweet tweep*).

Their study revealed that it isn’t in fact a fight between Twitter and Snapchat for 1st place. Facebook was in fact the most regularly used social media platform (71%). Twitter came in second with 23.7% whilst Snapchat didn’t even make the podium! Instagram came in third with 21.3% leaving Snapchat out of the camera shot (get it) with 16% regular users.

Even more research suggests that Facebook is still the king of social media:

iehrh

Smart Insights reported that Facebook is a considerable distance ahead whilst 2nd and 3rd place are also owned by Facebook. 63% of participants have access to the Facebook app with an average of 15 days a month online. What is perhaps the most interesting stat is that the Facebook app is on average accessed 8 times a day. And again, similar to Age UK, Snapchat was not included. I wonder why that might be, especially considering the daily usage figures…

But what about age groups? Age plays a big role in which social media platforms are used. Take a look at Smart Insights results, it speaks for itself:

Demographic-use-of-social-networks-age-and-gender-700x414

So, it would seem that Facebook is the current winner (from this brief look into some research) with Twitter following beyond. The question I’m left with is,

‘where does Snapchat fit in and why is the research conflicting with daily usage figures?’.

What do you think? Have your say:

 

 

‘Aldi win every time’… except for this time

This morning the Guardian wrote about Aldi’s slip-up in their recent ‘price-slash’ campaign and it caught my eye. Aldi’s campaign shows a comparison between the price of a basket of goods from the ‘big four’ supermarket, Morrisons,  to a basket of ‘equivalent’ goods from Aldi, saying ‘Aldi win every time’. However, this series of ads has been banned. This comes after Morrisons complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), calling the campaign ‘misleading’.

What caught my eye is the fact that they are indeed misleading and recklessly so. When it comes to the price war between supermarkets all of us know that you have to be very careful with the wording, pricing, and products shown; especially if you’re going to compare yourself with another!

1231

Aldi’s basket of goods came to an impressive £11.42, whilst Morrison’s basket came to a less appealling £18.19.

At first glance, you might ask yourself…

‘Why would I shop anywhere else?’

However, the eagle eyed folk at Morrisons spotted that Aldi’s basket contained predominately own-branded products in comparison to Morrisons’ basket that was full of branded items.

Aldi’s (very) small print disclaimer informing consumers that Morrisons might sell own-branded products at different prices didn’t cut it with The ASA, with The ASA saying that ‘consumers would expect the products that Aldi selected to be a “fair and representative” selection.’

Aldi UK and Ireland’s Chief Executive, Matthew Barnes, responded by saying ‘the company was “extremely disappointed” with The ASA’s “ambiguous and inconsistent” decision.’

A sloppy error from an otherwise admirable retailer. Perhaps they thought they’d get away with it, but Aldi need to remember that the price war is exactly that and the ‘big four’ won’t accept poor communications.

Photo and quotes from The Guardian

 

Lidl don’t waste any time, especially when it can make great PR

Zayn Maliks shock exit from One Direction caused outcry (and a lot of jokes) on Twitter, however, Lidl seem to have responded with the winning punch line. I often post blogs about creative PR, but I especially appreciate PR teams that handle situations with quick and witty responses. Lidl, upon hearing the news, tweeted a photo of the One Direction Easter Egg for sale in stores with the tweet reading, ‘#Awkward – looks like we’ll just have to knock a 1/5 off too. #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #ByeZayn‘  Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 18.27.08

People’s tweets back to Lidl showed their support for the humorous reduction with one person tweeting, ‘Lidl are now offering 1/5th of their one direction Easter egg. That’s some genius marketing right there.’

Lidl Ireland even went on to make a hashtag #lidllaughs and tweet with it a photo of the easter egg with writing ‘*still featuring Zayn’

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 18.37.12

The funny tactic has brought a lot of awareness to the brand over social media and potentially brought in new customers with one tweet in response saying, ‘This is hilarious, makes me want to shop at Lidl now.’

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 19.00.18I always think that timing is very important when planning PR and marketing tactics and the can be very effective for gaining awareness. A similar case was in 2013 when Oreo tweeted in response to the Superbowl blackout as shown to the left.

Oreos clever and witty post received 10’000 retweets in the first hour alone and became one of the most rememberable ads from the 2013 Superbowl. It just shows how effective it can be to have a PR team on standby for whenever something happens that can be used as an opportunity.

 
 

Lidl used a similar tactic in response to Sainsbury’s slip up over internal communication:

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 19.19.30Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 19.18.47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think?

“Are you lost from your ball pit?” – 3 PR industry health and safety tips

Are you lost from your ball pit?” I was asked this question by a PR professional (I won’t name and shame) after they pointed out how young I am. It didn’t really affect me at the time but it got me thinking about how young PR pros can stand out when entering the industry. Here’s my advice when breaking into the world of working in PR:

found: http://pixgood.com/path-cartoon.html

1. Know what sector you want to work in: Having completed two PR placements in two different sectors last summer I have noticed a considerable difference between how day-to-day PR processes are handled. My first placement, being a creative digital marketing agency, was very laid back and the office was often filled with jokes and banter. In contrast, my second placement, being a corporate and financial consultancy, was more formal and conversations about the news or business scandals were the topic of choice over lunch break. This isn’t to say that one is better than the other, but to highlight the importance of knowing what sector you want to enter as a PR junior as each is suited for different types of people.

plan-guy

2. Plan and plan and plan again: Planning your career path is the easiest way to work out what your PR dream really is. I created one for my Employability and Work Placement unit last year and what I have realised is that nothing is set. Your plan is yours. It can change at anytime to coincide with your ever-changing dreams. I also realised that even though your plan will most likely change as you grow within the PR industry it is still important to write down your career aims. By doing this you can position yourself within a certain sector or even with a specific organisation and you can prepare yourself for working within that environment.

images_resized

3. Dress for the job you want: This may sound a bit obvious but looking presentable is so important when making first impression in the industry. You won’t be taken seriously as a PR professional if you turn up to an interview or networking event in jeans and trainers. I recommend finding out what the dress code is before attending as digital agencies are often laid back have a more smart casual dress code compared to corporate where a suit is necessary.

 

If you’re a student trying to break into the industry then I’m sure you’ve already been told to do these things but I hope I can highlight how important they really are.

Key thing to remember: It might be intimidating to begin with but PR juniors are the future of the industry. Shake off negativity, learn from rejections and make your career the one you want it to be. 

Resolution in Communication: 5 steps to effective negotation resolution

I recently attended a police hostage negotiation workshop that shed light on the extreme circumstances that could require effective negotiation. Two representatives from Hampshire Police gave a talk on their experiences with negotiating in dangerous situations with vulnervable people. The main ‘take-away’ from the workshop was the skill to listen.

A 5 step process was given by the representatives to help understand the key factors that make up effective negotiation.

5 step processThe first step is ‘Emotional Intelligence’, which means understanding the circumstances of the situation you are trying to negotiate.
The second step is ‘Intitial contact’. It is important to use warm welcoming open lines to introduce yourself.
The third step is to build raport with the person through ‘Empathy’.
Fourthly, ‘Trust’ needs to be gained through continuation of the third step.
And finally, the fifth step is to effectively ‘persuade to solve the problem’. Through all the steps listening should be the number one skill used.

This five step process contrasts Saner’s key factors of negotiation (2000), which takes a more aggressive approach:
Coercion: using force, or the threat of force to wrestle concessions from an opponent.
Opening strong: starting out with a position that is higher than what you realistically estimate you can achieve.
Salami tactics: prolonging a negotiation to a painstakingly slow pace, only giving a very small concession to the other side when it can no longer be avoided in order to placate the other side for a little while longer.

Do you think these steps are useful?

What other factors are important for resolving conflict through negotiation?

Negotiation in practice:

Heineken set up a challenge where guys had to convince their girlfriends to purchase stadium seats using the power of negotiation. The result is humorous and show how difficult negotiation can be at times. Have a look and find out if they managed to or not:

What do you think of the video?

‘Look at me’… as I look at you: Facial Recognition Billboards

A campaign that launched yesterday in Canary Warf, London used creative billboards to raise awareness of the fight against domestic violence. The campaign was created by London agency WCRS who teamed up with Women’s Aid and Ocean Outdoor to coincide with International Women’s Day this Sunday. 



What’s so amazing about the billboards?

As a way of taking digital advertisements to a new level of creativity facial recognition is being used to recognize when people are paying attention to the ad. As more people look at the billboard, the bruises and cuts displayed on a models face heal faster. The aim of this is to communicate the benefit of not turning a blind eye to the problem and recognising the importance of doing something to stop domestic violence when you can see it happening. . 

Despite the campaign only premiering yesterday the advertisment has already won an Interactive Award in Ocean’s annual Art of Outdoor competition 2014. 

Women’s Aid and Ocean Amplify the Violent Face of Abuse from Ocean Outdoor on Vimeo.

I think this is a great way of using this technology for raising awareness of an important issue, rather than just targeting us with the right products. I often write blog posts about creative campaigns that I think shine within the industry and this is definitely one of them. A conventional billboard would have gained awareness but this digital communication takes it to the next level and will really make people think. 

What do you think?

Story found at adweek.com 

Negotiation in Communication – Good vs. Bad

—Negotiation is an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objective single-handily’ (Thompson, 2005). This post compares two case studies of negotiation and analyses how one has managed negotiation effectively and the other ineffectively.

GOOD

909c4a2d-776a-404d-a750-8726ab8d33c3-460x276

WHO: Scottish Referendum

WHAT: ‘If you don’t know, then you have to vote No’.

WHEN: Thursday 18 September 2014

RESULT: Scotland remains part of the UK because more people voted No. 55.3% voted No and 44.7% voted Yes. It is said that Gordon Browns speech at the “Love Scotland Vote No” rally in Glasgow swayed the votes towards No to independence. Brown spoke of choosing No because of love for Scotland and love for the future and one point that stood out to many was ‘If you don’t know, then you have to say No.’ The majority of campaigns were targeted at the No or Yes camps and little attention was given for the people who were unsure or had unanswered questions and Brown reaching out to these people is said to have been the tipping point in votes towards No. Political speeches are a great way to negotiate and if done effectively they can make a massive difference, proven by this case study.

VS

BAD

apple-samsung-patent-dispute-300x192-11390244

WHO: Apple and Samsung

WHAT: Samsung in patent violations of Apple IPhone trial

WHEN: 2012

RESULT: A California jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages for patent violations of Apple products, particularly its iPhone. However, the negotiation was not handled well and the cost would be further argued until the judge dropped the charge to $600 million. After this the negotiation had still not been settled and in November 2013, another jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple $290 million of the amount overruled by the judge in the 2012 case. Despite the pay-out finally being settled this didn’t resolve the conflict as a court-ordered mediation between the CEOs of the two companies in 2012 ended in impasse and the disputants continue to fight in courts worldwide.

RECCOMMENDATIONS: In terms of Samsung managing to negotiate the cost of the pay-out down lower, there was still the issue that the original negotiation was unsuccessful resulting in the trial lasting longer than necessary. The cost should have been negotiated at the first trial and agreed to by both parties with a coinciding agreement to end the conflict between the organisations to prevent future court cases.

What do you think of these two examples?

What do you think could have been done better to resolve the Samsung vs. Apple negotiation quicker?

Can you think of any examples of negotiation that stand out for being good or bad?

 

References
THOMPSON, L. 2005. The mind and heart of the negotiator. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.—
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, 2015. Top Business Negotiations of 2013: Apple versus Samsung [online] [viewd on 24th February 2015] [Available at: http://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/business-negotiations/top-business-negotiations-of-2013-apple-versus-samsung/%5D
GOV.UK, 2015. Scottish Independence Referendum Archived [online] [viewd on 24th February 2015] [available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/scottish-independence-referendum/about%5D
BROWN, G, 2015. Gordon Brown’s speech at the “Love Scotland Vote No” rally in Glasgow [online] [viewed on 24th February 2015] [available at: http://gordonandsarahbrown.com/2014/09/gordon-browns-speech-at-the-love-scotland-vote-no-rally-in-glasgow/%5D
Photo credits:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/261285/apple_v_samsung_five_experts_five_questions.html
http://gordonandsarahbrown.com/2014/09/gordon-browns-speech-at-the-love-scotland-vote-no-rally-in-glasgow/

Conflict in Communication – Media Misrepresentation

‘Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.’  

This quote is taken from the Code of Conduct for journalists as set out by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), however is this a set rule or simply a guideline that is often over looked?

Christopher-Jefferies-007Bearing this in mind I want to raise the case study of Christopher Jefferies, an innocent man wrongly accused for involvement in Joanna Yeates’ murder. Not only was Jefferies accused of murder but was also vilified by the press through harassment, false accusations, and out-right lies.

Even after Jefferies was released on bail the media continued to publish articles that included ‘‘seriously defamatory” allegations and persuaded the audience to doubt his innocence, with articles using ill-gained quotes such as, ‘weird’, ‘strange’, and ‘peeping tom.’ Journalists and paparazzi camped outside his home and followed him around whenever he would try to leave to the point where Jefferies accused them of harassment chris_jefferies_sun_mirrorand invasion of privacy. Jefferies was later released from bail and the police released a statement that he was no longer a suspect, however the tormenting didn’t end there. Jefferies had been accused of many things within the misleading articles and many of his close friends had been persuaded by the press not to trust him. Jefferies was told about how he could sue the press for their witch-hunt and by taking up a legal battle against 8 newspapers, Jefferies won an undisclosed libel pay-out that is said to be ‘substantial’ and received an official apology from the police and the press industry. In July, the Daily Mirror was fined £50,000 and the Sun £18,000 for contempt of court over their coverage of Jefferies.

What price do you put on a person’s reputation? Jefferies speaking after the ordeal said, ‘It was like having your personality left in ruins.’

How is it fair to make an innocent person feel like this? Especially when it is said that you are innocent until proven guilty…

What do you think?

A two-part TV series was produced that would show the case from start to finish and would highlight the ‘destructive nature’ of the press. I recommend watching the series as I found it very eye-opening. Part 1 and Part 2.

All the quotes and facts were found by researching articles available at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/christopher-jefferies

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.

pp

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.

Untitled54

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

Vodafone Victory – Review

I don’t normally write reviews (unless my experience with a company has been REALLY bad) but I was so surprised by Vodafone yesterday that I thought I would give it a go.

vodafone_logo

Last Wednesday I lost my phone during a farewell evening from my previous placement at Atelier Studios. I have insurance on the device so when I realised my phone was gone it was more of a convenience than anything else. It was quite late at night when I realised I had misplaced it, so I thought it would be best to wait until the next day to go into my local Phones4U store to report it lost.

Now, this review is a positive reflection on Vodafone’s customer service, however, the same can’t be said for Phones4U. Just to get this off my chest, I went into the shop in the afternoon of Thursday before I was due to start work. I was a bit pushed for time but I was told when I signed the contract for my phone insurance that claims were quick and easy to make. Long story short, I waited for 20 minutes before being seen, to then be told that I needed to report the loss to the police even though they wouldn’t do anything about it (they said that, not me), and then go online to print out a claim form to send off in the post. (POST! Who uses post anymore?) Then wait up to a week for the claim to be accepted or declined to then wait up to ANOTHER week for the replacement phone to be sent out. I’m not sure about you but 2 weeks is not quick and printing off forms to send off etc. is not easy.

I left the Phones4U store and contacted my insurance provider (premierplan) separately later that evening. Minus the printing off of the form and sending off, their response was quick and informative. I paid my £50.00 excess and was sent an email confirmation that my new device was on its way. Easy enough at this point.

My next issue was that Phones4U gave me a new SIM that had my old number on, handy right? Well, it would have been handy if the SIM card would actually work in other phones. ‘SIM not supported’ was the message that I was given each time I tried the card in a mobile device. My next move was to visit a Vodafone store to request a new SIM that would have all my contract details on, which I was dreading. My previous experiences with this process have never been positive but I was in and out of the Vodafone store within 5 minutes. They checked out my information (updating my home address at the same time) and issued me a new SIM card. I was expecting to wait ‘up to 24hrs’ as the suppliers normally say but he laughed at how ridiculous I was for questioning how long the update would take, saying ’15 minutes at the most’. He was a very friendly, down-to-earth staff member and got the task done easily and quickly. The customer service I received was probably the best I have experienced from a phone network or supplier, probably ever. Top job, Vodafone.