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Emojis – More Than Meets The 👁

The task of connecting with the Millenial market is getting harder and harder as young people become savvier about brand messages and stunts. But their love of emojis is showing no sign of slowing down – but proceed with caution: as the symbols have grown in variety, so have their meanings…

 

💅

The nail painting emoji evolved quickly to suggest far more than touching up colour. Now this symbol is used to portray defiant nonchalance: something’s happened that the writer should care about, but they just don’t.

 

From offering any form of self-indulgent services to promoting your brand image as light-hearted but self-assured, most businesses can use this emoji to emphasise a message of being carefree and putting yourself first, no matter what others might think.

 

💃

Few people could have predicted the popularity of the simply named ‘woman dancing’.

 

The dancing woman emoji become the symbol to be used as a marker for social occasions – from nights out, to a quiet one in the pub, to a night in, the dancing woman was used to show enthusiasm. For businesses looking to promote a bold brand message or generate excitement for offers, the dancing women is perfect.

 

🐍

The background: after years of feuds and make ups, Kim Kardashian proved Taylor Swift lied to the media about a supposed lyric approval request from Kanye West, after she released videos of the exchange.

 

Within minutes of it being released, every single one of Taylor’s Instagram updates were flooded with comments using the snake emoji – to the point that she actually had to contact Instagram to block the symbol from her account. The snake has become synonymous with Taylor and her damaged reputation. Used correctly, businesses can ironically engage with the famous incident.

 

The world of emojis is deep and complex – and, most importantly, constantly evolving; to make sure you stay ahead, get in touch with our team today!

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.

 

Win or Lose – the Value of Awards

No matter what industry you’re in, we can guarantee that there will be awards which your business could enter. From restaurants, to recruitment, to agriculture – all sectors relish the chance to bring together the best of the best and recognise excellence. But there’s more value to entering awards than the winning itself. To win an industry award is, of course, incredible – but that’s not the be all and end all…

 

Whether or not you win your category, getting through to the finals of any business awards is still a great achievement. With finalist shortlists posted online and attendance at awards ceremony, win or lose you’ll still get industry recognition and visibility that you wouldn’t have if you had never entered!

 

The award ceremonies also hold incredible business value in themselves, as they offer ideal networking opportunities. In one afternoon, you can meet your competitors, suppliers and customers in an environment of friendly rivalry – a great chance to meet and discuss your industry with other leaders, and perhaps even pick up some useful business tips along the way.

 

Many awards ceremonies invite a group from your business to attend, so they are also an excellent opportunity to boost team morale. There are few better ways to reward hard working and valued members of your team than the chance to take the day off and enjoy the glitz and glamour of a ceremony with their colleagues, and to revel in the fact that they are part of a team worthy of industry recognition.

 

Finally, entering business and industry awards can prove to be a fantastic exercise in self-promotion. In this hectic world, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to take the time out to think about your business’ achievements and your team’s outstanding qualities. Entering awards presents the opportunity to truly reflect on why you’re the best!

 

However, there are so many different awards out there that it can be tricky to pick which ones you would like to enter; and the lengthy entry forms can be time consuming to fill in – which is why the support of a PR agency is vital, with an entire team to craft, spin and script the perfect entry award.

 

Here at The Source, we’ve already had incredible success with 2017 awards so far – from the Global Recruiter UK Industry Awards, the Healthy Food Guide Awards and even the NRBs and the Country Brides Awards. Could you be the next award winning business?

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