3 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Brand by Sean Gardner

Interestingly put and great read! Thanks.

I participated in a social media panel at a conference back in 2011. After the discussion, a gentleman approached me and asked what I felt my social media brand was. Immediately, I told him “Inspiration, Information, Aspiration.” Why? Because when you are inspired to make a difference and informed about your options, that has a profound impact on your goals and aspirations. I uttered those words because I felt my content reflected it. That was the brand I had always set out to create.
Fast-forward to today…I am happy that I have not deviated from this. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the dark traits many use to rise through the ranks in the workplace. Traits like manipulation, narcissism, and antagonism are used more often than any of us care to acknowledge. And while they might be good for some, they have never been central…

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Rugby… The next step

So following on from the success of the RBS 6 Nations all eyes will be gearing up for the 2015 Rugby World Cup which will be upon us in no time at all.

Plans are already moving into place for businesses and corporates to leverage the opportunities out of the World Cup which will be hosted in the UK. Recent research (YouGov) showed that hospitality options during the World Cup are regarded by 80 % of senior business decision makers as an extremely positive new business and deal-making opportunity for their business and clients.

And proof is in the pudding, as the RFU say hospitality tickets are flying off the shelves in record breaking sales. To make sure they have supply for is demand, the RFU have created the biggest hospitality programme ever seen at any UK sporting event in the UK.

Sponsors will be gearing up their plans for activation around the major event too and with the RFU claiming this will be the biggest event in history, then we can hopefully expect great things and creative outputs from partners. This combination of increased hospitality and sponsor opportunities shows how the sports market is really utilising their assets to create sporting events with business drive at the forefront.

All positive, even if England still have much work to do over the lead-up months…

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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.

Stop Horsing Around…

It will have been hard to miss hearing and reading about the recent horse meat scandal which is causing havoc within the food industry in the UK and across Europe. I wrote a blog for Hatch Communications website looking at which brands have failed to impress by ‘horsing’ around with their comms during the last few weeks since the story broke, and which ones have turned it to their advantage…

#Fail… Too Late Tesco

Philip Clarke, chief executive of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, publicly commented for the first time today since the food crisis erupted six weeks ago. He stated that horsemeat contamination was “wider than anyone imagined” and had been a “significant breach in trust” to their customers, which had been caused by “sloppy” suppliers “cutting corners for their own gain”.

From this he has vowed to make sure meat is supplied closer to home, but many, including British farmers say this is ‘too little too late’! Pressure has been placed on British farmers for years to cut down on cost, resulting in many going out of business and giant supermarkets sourcing meat from across Europe. We will have to see how this plays out, as the National Farmers Union president, Peter Kendall said that while supermarkets already bragged about sourcing certain meats, fresh fruit and dairy products in the UK, they need to extend this activity to cheaper and processed foods.

The message is clear – ALL supermarkets need to start sourcing high-quality traceable products from farmers in the UK.

#Fail… Burger King Twitter gets McHacked

Two weeks after traces of horse meat were found in the ‘beef’ burgers from a European Burger King supplier, the chain’s Twitter account was hacked and the hackers a whopper of an announcement that the company had been bought out by McDonald’s, changing all the settings to resemble the golden arches branding.

Luckily the chain realised what had happened a few hours later, but this still wasn’t quick enough to stop the social storm that had already resulted.

However, social karma came back to bite McDonald’s too as they tried to prove where their meat is sourced by using the trends #meetthefarmers and #McDstories, but all the received was a backlash of harsh comments and critics panning the taste of their food.

#Winner… Horse Power in Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper was one of the brands to creatively capitalizes on the horsemeat fiasco by creating a tongue in cheek advert. The ad features a picture of the beefed-up new Mini John Cooper Works Roadster, with a headline that reads, “Beef. With a lot of horses hidden in it.”… we loved this one! Brands who act quickly can make something amusing and light hearted out of a serious issue.

#Winner…Business Boosted for British Butchers

The real winners to have come out of the scandal is local butchers and farmers who have reported a boom in sales over the past few weeks. Not only are they seeing more customers through the door, many are hoping that consumers will turn to their local butchers for good as they seek someone they can trust.

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!

Stunt of the Week!… ‘Unlock the 007 in You’

We were all drawn in by the recent Red Bull Stratos stunt which streamed live from YouTube, but this week we are all talking about the Coke Zero 007 Challange ‘Unlock the 007 in You’ video… again another great sponsorship marketing campaign which has already captured over 3 million hits before the launch of the new Bond Skyfall film. Take a look:

 

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:

Good Cycling PR in a Bad Cycling News Environment!

Loving this video!

“Martyn Ashton takes the £10k carbon road bike used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish for a ride with a difference. With a plan to push the limits of road biking as far as his lycra legs would dare”

Must learn to Swim, Bike and Run!

Hatch Communications (my agency!), has been appointed by Triathlon England, the national governing body in England to promote its national championship events.

Following a competitive pitch, we have been tasked with raising Triathlon England’s profile around the ‘Triathlon England – National Championship’ events, whilst capitalising on the growth of the sport.

It’s a very exciting client to work on, as I have been involved in triathlons for a while now so it’s great to be working for such a great organisation. We had our first event the other weekend, which went really well and I look forward to moving forward on the future activity!

My agency has been tasked with raising awareness of Triathlon England as an aspirational leader in the sport, whilst also delivering the message that triathlon is accessible for all through the series of targeted events.

Tom Goldspink, communications manager at British Triathlon, said: ‘We are looking forward to working with Hatch Communications, who impressed us with their creativity, enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport.  Triathlon is a fast growing, modern and dynamic sport and we are keen to raise the profile of Triathlon England and the opportunities available to take part in the sport.’

Hatch Communications managing director, Jason Madeley, added: ‘It is fantastic to be chosen to work with such a well respected organisation. Triathlon has been a sport of interest within our organisation, so it’s great to be able to put our passions to the test in what is a very exciting year for sport.’

It’s all about winning!!

Hatch HQ has been very busy over the past few months, running around the country delivering large cheques to our client’s winners. Our client is called PCHPrizes.co.uk, and they are a free online prize draw website. Recently launched in the UK, they are a highly successful and very well known company in the States. Hatch have taken on the role of the PCH Prizes Team, where we have to hunt down our winners and surprize them at their homes or places of work. It’s not PR, but it’s certainly an interesting few hours out of the office! Below is the most recent Prize Winner, who was presented with a £13,000 prize at his home on Friday 13th.

Senior Account Manager | Comms / Digital / PR / Marketing / Sponsorship / Sports / Travel / Entertainment

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