Ready, set…bake! The Great British Bake Off’s Howard Middleton comes to Inspired Villages.

With this year’s Great British Bake Off finale drawing in a whopping 6.5 million viewers, it’s safe to say that Britain is still in the midst of a Bake-Off fever! On Tuesday 24th October, fans of the much-loved show were in for a treat when former series 4 contestant, Howard Middleton, demonstrated his best bakes for the festive season ahead at Inspired Villages, Tattenhall.

Inspired residents and locals alike were invited to Eric’s restaurant on-site to watch the Bake-Off star rustle up a delicious array of Christmas delights, including a clementine and almond cake and frangipane mince pies with a ‘cherry berry’ mincemeat. As well as receiving some top baking tips, the audience were left entertained by Howard’s hilarious anecdotes from the nation’s favourite baking TV series, including the infamous ‘custard-gate’ incident.

The Source were approached by Inspired to raise the profile of their Tattenhall scheme and create a comprehensive plan of PR, marketing and event activity to communicate the quality of lifestyle, facilities and accommodation offered at the retirement village, as well as involve the wider community. We devised the Bake-Off event to acquaint locals in the area with Inspired, create positive regional press coverage and raise Inspired’s profile as a state-of-the-art retirement village with an exciting programme of events.

The proof of the pudding was in the full house of guests, extensive regional coverage, as well as a great deal of fun and laughter had by all.

For more information on organising events and getting your business noticed, please get in touch on 01829 720 789 or email info@thesourcepartnership.com.

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Store Dubbed Mini IKEA Arrives in Chester to Record-Breaking Queues

Interiors fans, brace yourselves… Last week we helped Danish brand, Søstrene Grene, open their Chester store in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. The homewares brand is famed for its huge product range; from quirky kitchen accessories and sumptuous soft furnishings to stylish ceramics at affordable prices.

Approached by Søstrene for our extensive experience in the retail sector, knowledge of the region (and perhaps for our penchant for everything Scandi), we held an exclusive VIP launch event on Thursday, 19th October, followed by an official public opening on Friday, 20th.

Only the second store in the country, there is little or no knowledge of the brand in the UK and so we were tasked with not only increasing brand awareness regionally, but we also introduced national press to the cult-homewares business.

Our launch campaign included working closely with the Danish team to compile social media content, as well as securing press coverage in local and regional press, which resulted in Søstrene Grene featuring in a huge variety of regional publications.   We also worked with a local radio station to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to the VIP and official openings.

Over 100 people attended the VIP launch event, including regional press and bloggers, as well as a wide demographic of guests, who all enjoyed fizz and canapes from local bar and restaurant, The Botanist whilst browsing the store.

For the public launch the following day, there were hundreds of eager shoppers wanting to get in on the action, with queues through Grosvenor Shopping Centre and into the street, which hasn’t been seen in the centre for many years.

For more information on launch events or introducing brands into the UK, please get in touch on 01829 720789 or email info@thesourcepartnership.com.

Awards Season

It’s that time of the year again where, if we’re not drafting award entries, we’re getting all dressed up, attending ceremonies and watching our clients win some amazing awards!

On Friday, 6th October we attended The Cheshire Business Awards at the very beautiful Chester Cathedral.  The awards welcomed some of the most respected businesses in the region, demonstrating the exceptionally high level of quality competition that Cheshire boasts. We’re extremely proud to say that The Ice Cream Farm scooped the Innovation & Enterprise Award for their continuous development of the tourist attraction and success of their wholesale brand.

The Chester Grosvenor beat off competition from the likes of Chester Zoo to win the coveted, Employer of the Year award for their fantastic employee initiatives and dedication to their team’s development. Needless to say, our table had a great night!

We waited with bated breath earlier in the week as the shortlist for the Marketing Cheshire Awards were released and we’re very proud to say that out of seven entries submitted for four clients, all seven were successful! We’d like to wish The Ice Cream Farm, The Chester Grosvenor, Freedome and Comberemere Abbey the very best of luck. The Source is also up for an award- Best Tourism Marketing Project for our safety campaign with Freedome, so fingers crossed!

WHAT’S BETTER ATTITUDE OR APTITUDE?

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to hear ‘The world’s greatest living explorer’, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, speak about his expedition to circumnavigate the globe from pole to pole through the world’s vertical axis.  A truly inspirational man who not only knows a thing or two about exploring, but about picking the right team to succeed.

 

When asked, ‘How did he pick the right people to deliver on his record breaking ambitions?’  it was assumed that he’d go for proven polar explorers, super-fit and mentally tough athletes or expert navigators with a degree in engineering, dentistry and extreme survival.

 

In-fact, from the 800 applications who were willing to work for nothing and with no guarantee for success, he opted for a beer salesman and a butcher.  Neither had any exploration experience, let alone experience of working in some of the harshest climates in the world.

 

The reason behind his thinking was; “You can teach skills but you can’t teach character”.  He picked a team he could work with, trust to get the job done and most importantly had self-motivation to succeed.

 

Here, sitting in the comfort of my own desk, it made me look to see if there are any comparisons or lessons that can be learnt in our own business.  The reality is that there are huge similarities.

 

In the world of PR, communications and consultancy – people buy people.  The work we do is not an exact science but one that is based around people and that continues to evolve and progress.  The best people are those that are natural communicators, adaptable and that build trusted relationships with clients, along with having a common goal and a positive attitude in achieving it.

 

We’re proud of our client retention rates and the results we consistently deliver.  This, in my view, is down to the team and their positive ‘can do’ approach when undertaking the great work that they do.  So, for me it’s attitude over aptitude every day, even if we’re not working in total darkness and at minus -85°F.

The GIF that keeps on GIF-ing!

This year the GIF celebrated its 25th birthday and stands as one of the longest reigning elements on the world wide web. Originally presenting itself in small animated icons throughout the 90s and transitioning through a bold and glittery Myspace phase, the GIF today has evolved into a repetitive looped sequence mainly extracted from television or movie clips.

Think Obama mic dropping, the waving bear, Kanye cracking a smile, Jennifer Lawrence tripping on the red carpet, GIFs are taking the internet by storm and they haven’t gone unnoticed.

Facebook and Twitter both got on board during the last two years integrating GIF buttons for users to get GIF-happy! Now when you scroll through your newsfeed, they have become impossible to ignore – advertising, demonstrating, reacting, entertaining – you name it, the GIF will cover it!

But why the GIF and why now?

We are living at a time where almost everything is available to us instantly. Gone are the days of dial-up connections and buffering videos, the GIF will start immediately with no need to even press play. Internet users are met with a continuous loop of a message, moment or advertisement whether they wanted to see it or not.

On top of this, the nature of GIFs means they are only a few seconds long so their message is conveyed instantaneously. Ad Week described them as “a moving picture telling the story of the moment better than either a photo or video ever could.” Content often gets lost within a lengthy video where as a GIF gets to the point directly and there’s no qualms if you missed it the first time because it will repeat itself over and over and over again. In fact, based on Ad Week’s data, GIFs typically generate seven times the views and engagement of a video from the same event. Hard evidence that the GIF must be onto something good.

While they are great for comedic value, GIFs also serve a valuable purpose within the world of advertising and marketing. They have been used to showcase products and ideas, advertise events or just to inject some fun into brands and campaigns. Take our client Kirsty’s for example… We have created a variety of playful and branded sequences for her to share across social media, which successfully engage viewers while also reiterating the brand name and encouraging product sales.

The GIF continues to expand across social media and is now moving into the top of web searches, where we are witnessing the introduction of sponsored brands’ GIFs. Despite its 25 year milestone, it has stood the test of time and according to Digimind, “far from falling into disuse, the GIF has actually mutated and become a medium in itself, an education channel, and of course a communication and marketing tool.”

If you are interested in personalised GIFs to take your business’ social media to the next level, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Three Clients Nominated for Cheshire Business Awards 2017

It’s an exciting day in The Source offices today with not one, not even two, but THREE of our clients being nominated for the prestigious Trinity Mirror Cheshire Business Awards 2017.

We love an award entry at The Source and don’t mind us if we say we’re pretty good at it. Of course, it helps that our amazing clients have plenty to shout about! The Chester Grosvenor hotel, The Ice Cream Farm and Text Local have been nominated for the Employer of the Year award, the Innovation and Enterprise Award and the Business of the Year award (over 50 employees) respectively.

The awards recognise excellence, innovation and achievement across the Cheshire region. With a staggering 48% increase in entries this year, we’d like to congratulate our clients for getting to this stage, as it was a particularly competitive shortlisting process!

The awards ceremony will be held at Chester Cathedral on Friday 6th October. For more information, visit http://www.eventsnorthwest.co.uk/cheshire-business-awards/.

2017: The Tact of Advertising the Drink of Diplomacy

Drinks companies constantly produce and push campaigns through various social media platforms and TV channels.  We’re so used to seeing them that we almost become desensitised.  However, in April 2017 campaigns from drinks giants Pepsi and Heineken became hot topics for different reasons.  Both put out issue-driven messages but one took the internet by storm and the other had to be taken down…

 

Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ social experiment reached 13,520,408 views on YouTube with #OpenYourWorld creating a real conversation on Twitter. At the start of the video the question, “Is there more that unites than divides us?” was asked in between short clips of six people describing their views on topical issues such as; Climate Change, LGBT rights and Feminism. By addressing real world issues, Heineken created a campaign that everyday people could relate to, choosing subjects at the forefront of today’s society.

 

In contrast to Heineken, Pepsi took inspiration from the social justice movements Black Lives Matter, yet the campaign was vague and lacked any acknowledgement of real-world issues.  The advert showed a generic protest with a serious looking police officer relaxing when handed a Pepsi by super model, Kendall Jenner.

 

This message was not received well by viewers.  Bernise King, daughter of Martin Luther King tweeted a picture of her father with the caption: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” The lack of perspective was put down to the campaign being created in-house in comparison to creative agency input.

 

The question is – Did they create these as PR stunts purposefully taking a gamble on the outcome?  When creating a PR or marketing campaign, every element needs to be dissected and each possible reaction debated to prevent a PR disaster. As the saying goes, ‘There’s no such thing as bad PR’, but careful planning, understanding your audience and preventing the inevitable is all part of the difference between a bad campaign and a truly great one.

 

If you feel your business needs some guidance to create the best PR campaign, get in touch. We are what you need.

 

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials. It’s a word that we’re seeing repeatedly in the news and online recently, whether it’s because they’re being blamed for killing the paper napkin industry and the McDonald’s McWrap or they’re buying too much avocado toast which is stopping them getting on the housing ladder, but what and who are millennials?

 

Millennials (also referred to as Generation Y) is the term applied to individuals born between the early 1980s and the mid to late 1990s, and they should be your focal point when it comes to marketing.  The technology industry has grown at increasing rates over the past 35 to 40 years and Millennials have evolved with this, they’ve experienced the progression from dial-up internet to broadband and standard mobile phones that were just made for calls to smartphones that give you access to everyone and everything 24/7. They’re defined as the “always connected” generation and it’s more important than ever before to market to them correctly as ultimately they’re the consumers that will be purchasing your products in years to come.

 

When it comes to marketing to Millennials personalisation and authenticity is key. They want something that speaks to them on a one-to-one basis, so it’s important to position yourself on their level and really understand what they’re thinking and their online behaviour.

  • Talk to them how they would talk to their friends and include emoji’s and GIFs in social posts as it has been proven that millennials find it easier to express emotions through emoji’s than words.
  • As the generation that is “always connected” mobile optimisation is really important to millennials in order for them to gain access to information 24/7, whether it’s to book a hotel, browse a restaurant menu or brush up on a fact. If they can’t find it through their mobile browser, they will instantly be discouraged to use the site again.
  • Instagram is also increasingly becoming the platform of choice with millennials so it’s paramount that you have some form of presence on the mobile platform. Like we say here at The Source “If it wasn’t on Instagram did it even happen?”.

 

 

To give you a bit more understanding and inspo for what it takes to successfully market to millennials, we’re giving you a run-down of some of the best millennial marketing campaigns of the past few years:

  • Netflix: Netflix in general speaks to millennials in ways BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub could only dream of. Whilst many generations use Netflix to watch the latest TV shows and newly released films, without millennials it would not be the huge success that it is. It’s mobile optimised, can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets and smart TVs giving people access to the big screen all day every day.
  • Coca-cola: Coca-cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was a huge hit with millennials in 2013 and 2014. It made 998 million impressions on Twitter and 235,000 tweets were generated using the #ShareaCoke hashtag, because it offered a personalised experience for the user.
  • Body Coach: Joe Wicks, the Body Coach is a social media mastermind. He began using Instagram in 2014 and has been a huge hit ever since. He is accessible on all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) and mixes up the content he uses from personal photographs with his nephew Oscar to recipe videos and promo shots you can never get bored of the Body Coach.

 

If you’re looking to create a marketing campaign and not sure what to do or where to start, why not drop us a line? We work with a broad range of clients and can work alongside you to create an effective campaign that ticks all the right boxes.

 

enquiries@thesourcepartnership.com

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Landing a PR Internship: How to Shine and Make the Most of your Time

If you’re a student or recent graduate, the chances are you’ll have started your job hunt only to be met with a disheartening response to your applications:

“Unfortunately, your current experience does not meet the requirements for this role”.

The reality is, experience is the all-important tick-box on your CV that demonstrates the willingness to progress professionally and bridges the gap between ‘graduate’ and ‘young professional’. It can make the difference between your application being ignored or earmarked for potential.

Sound daunting? Fear not! At The Source, we go out of our way to help those looking for more work experience. Here are our top-tips on how to make the most of your first internship in PR.

 

Ask Questions

Internships are generally between one week and three months long, so it’s vital that you spend that time learning as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your team questions and pick their brains on topics that interest you. There’s no such thing as a stupid question – the whole point of an internship is to expand your knowledge and skill-sets.

Show Initiative

If you studied English or a media-related degree, you’ll be able to put your creativity and flair for writing to fantastic use. PR is an industry that thrives on fresh ideas and thinking outside the box. Got an idea for a blog post, or spot something trending on Twitter? Voice it! Rather than wait for your line manager to provide you with a new task, always ask if there’s anything you can help with to make sure you’re exposing yourself to a varied workload.

Keep a log of everything you’ve achieved

Make sure that you’re keeping a note of your day-to-day tasks and everything that you’re learning. By the end of the internship period, you’ll have a backlog of work and skill-sets to show for yourself that you can add straight to your CV and wow a prospective employer with at interview.

If you’re a student or graduate keen to gain experience in PR and Marketing, why not drop us a line? We’re also recruiting for PR Assistants and PR Account Managers, so send in your CV today!

 

enquiries@thesourcepartnership.com

NEW BUSINESS, NEW EMPLOYEES & NEW LOOK FOR THE SOURCE

One of the region’s leading PR, marketing and digital agencies is celebrating after a flurry of new business wins and the appointment of five new members of staff as the team grows to cope with the demand for its PR, marketing and digital services.

The business growth has also been manifested in a new brand ‘The Source’ (previously The Source Partnership) to reflect the company’s ambition and client focus. The new brand has been extended across all communication streams including its popular social media platforms as well as a new website and company video.

Joining the team are five new account handlers including Scarlett Lawson who joins from Meri Mance PR in London, Chelsie Taylor who joins from Glyndwr University’s communication team while Sara Perrett, Jo Sherwood and Evie Shaw join after graduating and spending a year in the industry. Emily Gibbons from Loud Designs will also be working with the team from their new offices in Tattenhall.

The Source has secured a wave of new business wins as clients look for effective PR and marketing support as well as ways to raise their profile in the social media and digital marketplace. Recent account wins include local businesses such as; Chester’s Grosvenor Hotel, the impressive Bolesworth International Horse Show and the Sticky Walnut Group, where The Source helped secure a record-breaking amount of crowd-funding for their new Liverpool restaurant Wreckfish.

Further afield, The Source has started work on cover suppliers to Wimbledon, Stuart Canvas, Europac 3D, one of the UK’s leading 3D printing and design companies, as well as Freedome, which is believed to be the UK’s safest trampoline park that featured on Good Morning Britain last month.

Louis Hill, Partner at The Source, comments; “These are exciting times at The Source as we grow the team, take on new business and celebrate the successes with our new brand and website. We can see that there is a positive outlook amongst the businesses in the region as they see the benefits in effective marketing and sharing with their customers some of the excellent work that they do.

“The team gets enormous satisfaction in supporting clients in their ambitions and we look forward to continuing to build the business and to help our clients reach their potential through more effective marketing and communications.”

The Source is based in Tattenhall and offers a wide range of services including media relations, social media management and digital communications. The company, established in 2012, works across the UK and supports businesses from all sectors including property, manufacturing, retail as well as food and fashion.