Category Archives: Events

2015 is the year for Snapchat

Each year there are always expectations and research conducted into  which social media app will be the one to watch for brand campaigns. This year, if you haven’t heard of Snapchat, then make sure you sign up and understand what the craze is all about.

snapchat-logoFor brands and organisations which target 14 to 28 year olds – Snapchat is going to be a tool to take seriously when planning communication strategy.

Below – According to Business Insider, Nearly Half of Americans aged 12 to 24 have used Snapchat.

snapchat-growthThe app is developing new features quickly from being a platform where you can send a single image which is displayed for only a certain period of time (seconds), to been able to chat one on one, send videos, edit and scribble.  New developments have now introduced the new story features which are quickly becoming one of the most popular elements of the app.

The new ‘My Story’ feature is attracting over 1 billion views a day and is an exciting element for brands, events and organisations to explore.

There is the opportunity to create a featured video which is a combination of videos or images which will sit on friends timelines and offers brands the perfect chance to advertise to a targeted market. However, the creation needs to be extremely relevant to drive impressions as the Snapchat market is hard to engage with so this takes careful planning and execution.

A new feature and diversion of the app which has just been introduced is called ‘Our Story‘. I have seen many apps trying to create a similar idea however, it requires an app  platform which has very  high user engagement, especially between groups of friends, to make it work. The new element allows friends to create an ‘our story’ group where they can all input their videos and images to create a combined event combination. This is perfect for brands and organisations who focus on or deal with events or festivals. One thing to consider is that the app works on wi-fi geofence to collate the uploads so good connection is crucial. From this, brands can also create their own sponsored Our Story piece to drive engagement and promotion.

Watch the below video to understand:

 

Also, if you are an entertainment or media brand, make sure you check out the new Discover element of Snapchat. Young and creative news agencies or platforms such as lifestyle magazines are jumping on board to incorporate Snapchat into their digital strategy. The feature allows you to send news information which remains visible for 24 hours before disappearing and updating.

I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a BIG year Snapchat.

Vodafone pull plug on F1 to move totally social

F1 vodafoneThe rise of the internet has proved to be a game-changer for many a business and Vodafone is no different. One of the F1’s most high profile sponsors, the mobile phone group is pulling the plug on sports sponsorship of the extremely successful F1 series to move all their eggs into social media execution.

I think this could be great if executed well, as the idea fits well with their brand because they can use their technology expertise to move the boundaries in social media development and campaigns. However, it’s a big risk, as they have spent millions on the partnership with the F1 so making this drastic switch could be dangerous.

Now they just need to make people care about their new ‘Firsts’ campaign to make it work. I will be watching closely to see how they get on.

Let’s Focus on 2013

Check out my recent blog on Hatch Communications Blog, or read below! Let me know what you think.

…Well, what a year 2012 was! It was bursting full of big events with the Jubilee and the Olympics certainly dominating the media platform and keeping us PR professionals very busy.

Is 2013 missing that crucial event? Or is being ‘Olympics-free’ more liberating for PR’s? We think it will open the doors to new communications strategies and campaigns and with this freedom, it lets PR’s forge their own narrative. It will however be a difficult task, especially with the economic climate still on tenter hooks and the lack of a major events for brands to link into. It will also be a tasking job to generate the nation’s sentiment but, with the right tactics, brands and PR’s can hit those headlines.

With big events lacking during 2013, us PR and Comm’s professionals can focus our time on growing themes and technologies which are continuing to quickly develop, such as the increased use of mobile marketing. For brands, this has not only created another platform for communication, it has also increased the importance for them to have updated websites and creatively-targeted campaigns – the multi-channel opportunity is more important than ever! It also means that consumers are available for experimental activity from brands at any time of the day and any location – leaving open another avenue for PR’s to explore.

As the traditional press continue to be the subject of increasingly major changes structurally and reductions in resources, journalists are becoming more targeted with what they print in order to help their publication survive the unstable environment. A landscape very unfamiliar to the years where brands messages could be seen in the forefront of major PR stories.

On the other hand, consumers are becoming more and more savvy with brands and diluting messages they don’t want to see or hear. They are also becoming increasingly interested in what goes on behind the scenes of major brands and with the access to self-publishing through social media channels this is much easier. Consumers are also pushing brands to become even more transparent than first expected. This generates challenges and new opportunities for PR professionals, as brands can now interact even more closely with their fans and audiences. If done correctly using mirco-targeted campaigns then this can open doors for great PR campaigns.

PR’s mustn’t also forget that stakeholders need to be taken into account even more in 2013, as more and more realise how their financial concerns are affected by people’s perceptions. It is not something which can be easily tamed, and if a corporate reputation is not managed well it can be a dangerous environment to deal with.

So whatever 2013 brings to us in terms of the media environment to major national events, the PR industry certainly has many opportunities to cut through and make an impact for their brands. Keeping on top of new trends is just one job for the year ahead!

A Good Day for Red Bull Marketing…

So today has seen both the F1 2012 Korean Grand Prix and the World Record Stratos mission come into the limelight, in which both are heavily associated with energy drink, Red Bull.

Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel dominated the 2012 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix to make it a hat-trick of wins in his last three races. Never mind Olympic 10m platform divers… as today at 5pm Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Final aired to the world from Oman, showcasing the world best divers elegantly diving off insainly high cliffs (which was won by a Brit!). Not forgetting, of course the live coverage of the space free fall jump by Austrian Felix Baumgartner, saw another incredible sponsorship and marketing campaign by Red Bull which places them nicely in the media headlines, is currently generating an enormous amount of positive comments on Twitter and puts the drinks brand in the forefront of extreme sports and outrageous World Record attempts – allowing them to lead the way in this area of extreme ‘sport’.

I was also watching several Red Bull X-Fighters YouTube videos this afternoon, and once again their presence was noted in this mental sport. A few videos here:

Things to consider when managing and planning a sports event!

Last weekend I went to the Slatman Triathlon in North Wales to watch my partner Jonny and his Dad race a grulling 750km swim, 51km bike and 11km run (which included over 1,500ft of climbing). I have now been to many triathlon, cycling and running events around the country, a few of which I have marshaled at. The thing that stood out at the Slateman event, besides the fantastic scenery, was just how well the event was organised.

This experience has prompted me to write a post on factors to consider when executing a successful sporting event. There are many racing events around the country from triathlons, duathlons, cycling sportive, charity runs, the Bupa Great North Run, the Great Swim events and even Midnight walking events. Regardless of the particular event, whether it be cycling or a charity walk, all sporting events seek to raise money for charities, raise awareness of physical activity, promote the sport and make profit or raise charitable funds… and to enjoy the event of course!!

To make the event top notch, I believe you have to consider these following elements:

  • Vibe on the day – Make sure you create a good vibe on the day. It is important to make it interesting for spectaors to watch, alongside creating excitment for those participating. Having a spoksperson is a great way to create this, as they can update you on the event alongside interviewing spectators and getting them involved.
  • Well marshalled event – It is important to have marshalls all the way around your course route in order to make sure participants feel supported and looked after if they needed any help. Event managers don’t want paricipants to not enjoy the route and then not return the following year, so this is very important!
  • Branding – Use your branding well. Make sure spectators and participants both know who organises the events and who their sponsors are. Make sure that people know what other events you hold and when they are. If they enjoy it on the day, they are more likely to sign-up for another of your events than anyone elses.
  • Spectator activities – It’s great to involve spectators into the race / event. Spectators are important to gain support from as they in turn support the participants. So making sure there is somewhere to go if it rains, stalls to buy food and drinks, sponsors stalls, music etc are great ways to keep people happy whist the event is taking place.
  • Photography – Is very important, participants, especially first timers are always keen to purchase good race photo’s! In addition, good photography of your events can be used for marketing and promotional material in order to make the event more successful the following year.

Any more tips are very welcome!