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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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/.

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

PREDICTING THE UNPREDICTABLE

2016 was perhaps the most unpredictable year for decades with the rank outsider Mr Trump winning the US elections, Britain voting to head for the European exit and Leicester City winning the UK’s Premier League at odds of more than 5000 / 1.

You could therefore argue what’s the point in making predictions for 2017, when some of the biggest events of the last year were not foreseen by anyone?  Perhaps our time should be better spent being ready to identify, embrace and accept change.

With the speed of technological evolution there’s no doubt that all businesses and sectors will face exponential change, with the potential of many being left behind if they don’t accept it.

Examples of companies that failed to predict trends and react to it include the likes of Kodak, who in 1998 had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.

We could also look at the likes of Uber, they don’t own any cars and are the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

If we look at Artificial Intelligence, IBM Watson is challenging the legal sector by offering basic legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Some predict that as a result there will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

It’s forecast that by the end of the year / early 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear and by around 2020, the industry will start to be completely disrupted. People won’t own cars but will use cars like driverless taxis where there’s no need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.  There’s no doubt this will reduce accidents and also the need for insurance.

Traditional car companies are threatened by tech companies such as Tesla, Apple and Google who are essentially building a computer on wheels.  Let’s also not forget that this, alongside the growth of 3D printing and a suggestion that by 2027 10% of everything produced will be 3D printed, there will also be cost savings.

So what’s important now is for companies to identify business priorities, opportunities as well as threats to determine how they need to position and market themselves if they are to succeed.

No doubt, some will stick their heads in the sand, others will keep to what they know, while some will embrace different mediums and channels to push their boundaries and explore all opportunities available to them.

I’d hazard a guess that it’s the latter group who will make the biggest strides, engage with their customers and build a loyal following that will be useful to them now and for years to come.

Embrace the opportunities

So, if you’re looking to embrace the opportunities, where should your time be best spent?  Genuine engagement with target audiences remains key and a conscious effort to listen, engage and deliver consistently across all channels is key.

There’s no doubt that the various media mediums will continue to grow and evolve as the primary source of information, news and opinion.  The various platforms will continue to battle and evolve their offering, but their importance can’t be underestimated – as illustrated by Donald Trump using Twitter for significant policy announcements.

No one would have predicted this this time last year, so remember – be prepared for the unpredictable.

12 THINGS YOU’LL ONLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU WORK AT THE SOURCE PARTNERSHIP

It’s safe to say, that at TSP, we’ve all gotten into our daily routines and habits (good and bad) and we’ve no doubt that they differ significantly from other offices – we’re very unique and we know it! So from the positive to the negative, we thought we’d sum up the top twelve TSP moments of the working week! (N.B: If hungry, do not read – there may be one or two mentions of food).

1) Our impressive tea selection:

A normal tea? Please 💁.

Don’t forget our beauty tea, lady grey, peppermint, chamomile, ginger, nettle, passion fruit and whatever else you could think to brew! The only issue is (and now we are being picky) the kitchen in our new office is down stairs, so the tea run is quite the job. Don’t forget the recurrent office debate: leave the teabag in or take it out… and don’t get us started on Chelsie’s ‘can you leave my teabag in for 30 seconds…’

2) The mid-morning sausage bap dilemma:

To deli or not to deli? We blame Emily for introducing the biggest dilemma of the day to the TSP office, especially when the hunger pangs get too much and we can’t help but run to the deli next door. The delicious taste however, often leaves us in limbo for the rest of the day – we’re too full for lunch, but hungry again at 4pm.

3) Insta-food:

As Lottie always says ‘If it’s not on Insta, did it even happen?’ With our guilt ridden food trips comes the inevitable Instagram snap, and with foodie clients, Sara is undoubtedly the office foodstagram expert, showcasing the delicious choices online. The inter-office support is real too. First 10 likes? TSP colleagues.

4) Friday lunches are the best!

If you can’t treat yourself on a Friday, when can you? With clients such as The Ice Cream Farm literally around the corner (Beth’s personal favourite), as well as our restaurant neighbours taunting us with Thai and Chinese aromas and the nearby supermarkets tempting us with homemade pizza, lunch is another reason why Friday is the best day of the working week.

5) And if you’re hungry mid-day…

You can always rely on Louis to have a packet of biscuits at his desk.

6) Stepping away from food, we are also subject to some more typical PR moments…

We promise, no more food references.

7) Calling IT support is always ‘interesting’:

You’ve done everything in your power, but your laptop won’t play ball (who said technology was reliable?!). The time has now come to phone IT support. How successful the call will be is a constant source of debate, especially when the first piece of advice is typically, ‘have you tried restarting it?’

8) But of course there are plenty of good moments in PR too:

Like getting a fresh blog idea which you know will be the best one yet (so meta). Of course, this is a daily occurrence for the TSP team, and once we start typing, the ideas just keep coming. Client, get ready to be blown away.

9) Or getting incredible coverage:

Again, this happens regularly (would you expect anything less?!) – but each time it feels like winning an Oscar (and actually winning *cough cough*, will they ever live that moment down?). The office is our red carpet, the coverage our trophy. If only it were acceptable to repeatedly strut up and down in a stunning, designer floor length dress. Cue the emotional speech when we announce our coverage win to the client…

10) But this couldn’t be achieved without Debbie’s organisational spreadsheets:

Move over Picasso – colour coordinated, stored under different tabs and filled to the brim with numbers, emails and deadlines, our Excel sheets resemble a work of art. We owe so much to these beautiful documents – how did we cope before Debbie joined the team?!

(Here’s to you Debbie!)

11) And of course, PR has the perk of attending events:

From frequent construction safety days (Scarlett has quite taken to adorning a hard hat as her workplace attire), to charity events, we’ve done them all and we enjoy our events as much as the guests – even if some clients do require picnic events (this does not count as another food reference!) with visits from the likes of Olaf .

When it comes to events though, there’s always one question from Laura… will there be Prosecco?

12) Of course PR (and office food) wouldn’t be anywhere near as enjoyable if it weren’t for all the TSP employees!

One thing you’d only know if you worked in the office is that we are the best colleagues and our days are made a little easier with each other’s company (and a bowl of Pad Thai: no prawn tails 😉)