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/.

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

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 😉)