Archive for 2015


15 things we learnt in 2015

1 year ago
by Jo Sheridan

Whilst it’s crazy to have reached the end of another year, it’s the perfect time to look back at what we’ve learnt over the last 12 months. Featuring things that have becoming more popular, to big shakeups and changes and a couple of random facts, here’s a look back at 2015:

      1. Emojis aren’t going anywhere, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, they even count as ‘words’ now. Right…Word of the year is an emoji... Rewired
      1. Online content and coverage is more of a ‘win’ than ever – it’s more shareable, has a longer shelf life, is more instant and has a much higher potential reach.
      1. Vloggers are the future. From Zoella and Alfie being turned into waxworks, to some of our local blogger contacts making the leap from writing to vlogging, YouTubers are definitely the rising stars of our generation.Zoella Alfie Waxworks Rewired
      1. Facebook was the first social media platform to surpass the 1 billion monthly users mark. For a platform that was supposedly in decline, it seems to be back in favour…
      1. Meanwhile, Instagram was the fastest growing major social media platform, with more than 400 million monthly active users. It also seems to be the most popular with young people, alongside Twitter and Snapchat.
      1. We all still love Adele. The most Googled song lyrics of 2015? ‘Hello’. Her album ‘25’ set a new first-week sales record, and her highly anticipated tour sold out in hours – not bad for someone who didn’t resurface until October.
      1. Kendall Jenner beat Kim Kardashian to claim the most liked photo on Instagram. Hearts, hair and a Victoria Secret model – it’s not hard to see why.kendall-jenner-2_650x418_41435685943
      1. Birmingham was named the top city in Western Europe to invest in; ranking higher than the likes of Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin and London. Following major redevelopment, including the likes of the Mailbox, Grand Central and New Street Station, as well as Rugby World Cup matches at Villa Park, it’s been a very exciting year for Brum. Take that Manchester!
      1. Mobilegeddon happened. In Google’s biggest shake up for years, new algorithm’s meant that mobile optimised sites were prioritised in search rankings ahead of those without a mobile-friendly site, or a poor mobile site. Though Google rarely announces its changes, this one being made public suggested it would have a big impact on users.
      1. ‘Are you beach body ready?’ is not a popular question… as found out by Protein World. The striking campaign was dubbed one of the year’s worst PR fails, being described as socially irresponsible and promoting an unhealthy body image. Despite drawing 378 complaints, the ad wasn’t banned, but hey, we’re all still talking about it. You know what they say about there’s no such thing as bad PR…o-PROTEIN-WORLD-570
      1. Google+ is not all it’s cracked up to be, but Google isn’t giving up on it. Yet…
      1. We like to watch TV, on our own terms. Almost half would rather watch On Demand services, including Netflix and catch up services, than live TV – a number we think will increase even more in 2016.
      1. Great Scott! We’re not quite where we should be… if Back to the Future is anything to go by. There’s no flying cars, or real hoverboards, but we did manage wearable technology and video calls. Fast forward another 30 years, and this is what experts are predicting…1031852_1280x720
      1. Chocolate Digestives are the nation’s favourite biscuit.
      1. 140 characters now go a lot further on Twitter. We can now upload more than one picture without it taking up all the characters, and the new ‘quote’ feature allows us to add something to a RT, starting with a fresh 140 characters.

 

What have been your 2015 highlights? @lisaaao

Job description writers needed, apply within

1 year ago
natalie by natalie
Image source: Huffington Post

Image source: Huffington Post

A company in Canada has found itself in a spot of PR trouble recently after a job description on its LinkedIn page was deemed to be sexist, if not illegal.

The job description from web design company, Vestra Inet, all looks fairly innocent to begin with but it’s the very last line that’s been at the centre of the scandal. It says, “Please note that the position requires filling in the responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.”

Understandably, people have taken to Twitter to express their disgust. Some have even referred to it as something from the Mad Men era and have crowned it ‘the most sexist job description of 2015’. Not a brilliant accolade for a company to be awarded. To make matters worse, it seems that Vestra Inet has refused to comment about the situation, which has only added fuel to the fire.

It just goes to show how important every single piece of your company’s communication is – whether it’s web copy, press releases, or simply a LinkedIn post. The world we live in means bad news can spread like wildfire so it’s important to be extra cautious with anything which the public will have access to.

Clearly, this specific company is stuck in the 1950s and that’s something they need to resolve internally. However, the situation does raise the question – should PR and comms people oversee job descriptions? And should there be a contingency in place in the case of potential backlash? My answer would be yes.


The value of online coverage

1 year ago
lina by lina

There seems to be a fascination that print coverage is more of a ‘win’ than online coverage. While print publications still play a key role of any PR strategy, online content has grown rapidly over the past few years and is proving much more valuable to clients.

Are clients still obsessed by print?  This was the title of an article I read on PR Moment recently. Here are just a few reasons why clients shouldn’t underestimate the value of online coverage to their business.

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SHAREABLE – Online content provides a great place to share your news, whether it’s through your website or social media channels. Good news travels fast so if a piece is covered online; it will be quickly spread across social networks, which will lead to re-tweets and shares. The majority of the population now get their news from social media so if a publication shares your news online, it’s much easier for someone to access it and share it seamlessly.

POTENTIAL REACH – A large majority of online outlets have higher circulations than traditional print publications so you know your news will be shared far and wide. It also allows you to reach a new audience, i.e. bloggers who now have more credibility and influence compared to a few years ago.

DRIVE TRAFFIC – It is much easier for someone to be directed to your website using an article they came across online. With the help of Google Analytics, content can also be measured much more effectively. It’s much easier to track results, detailing things such as which release drove the most people to your website and how long they spent on your website. All this information can provide an insight into what is and isn’t working for media outreach.

CREATIVITY – Nowadays people prefer content that lives out of the screen whether that’s through a gallery of images or a video they can access online. It speaks for itself and is a lot more effective in telling your story.

CONTENT HAS A LONGER LIFE – Your article will almost always be searchable online and can be shared often and widely. Publications usually share links to their posts via social media ensuring your coverage reaches a broader audience.


Autumn update

2 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

The trees are changing colour, there’s a definite chill in the air and the first trailer for I’m a Celebrity appeared on TV last night. Summer is now officially a distant memory, autumn is upon us and Christmas will be here before I’ve done any shopping…

It’s fair to say the last couple of months have been a hive of activity in the Rewired office and October will be no exception. Highlights have included celebrating Cadbury World’s 25th birthday (and a few other city milestones to boot) and delivering PR and social media for Style Birmingham Live on behalf of Retail Birmingham – a flagship event during the fantastic Birmingham Weekender.

The Cadbury World team celebrating 25 years

The Cadbury World team celebrating 25 years

Style Birmingham Live

Style Birmingham Live

We were also extremely proud to work alongside Cure Leukaemia to deliver PR, social media and event support for a sell-out Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen at Villa Park which raised over £60,000 for the pioneering blood cancer charity.

Glynn Purnell's Friday Night Kitchen for Cure Leukaemia

Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen for Cure Leukaemia

Our ongoing work with the Mailbox is gathering pace as we prepare to unveil the biggest milestone to date, the stunning new sky-lit Urban Room, on 22 October.

For the third year running we’re working on behalf of the Chewing Gum Action Group to launch a national PR campaign to highlight the importance of disposing of gum responsibly, and reducing gum litter. The campaign launches later this month and will be the most high profile to date.

We’ve also welcomed a number of new clients from across our key sectors of retail and leisure, education and community.

We’re delighted to be working with Lookers Vauxhall to support their Birmingham dealerships in spreading the word about their community involvement, from grass roots sports teams to national charities.

In September we were appointed to spread the word about the new plans for one of Birmingham’s most iconic bars and restaurants, Metro, and we know we’re not the only ones who can’t wait to try the new Pan Asian menu when it launches in early 2016.

We’ve also been working closely with Academy Transformation Trust to develop a robust marketing strategy to support the organisation to achieve further growth.

With a number of other new clients to announce in the coming weeks, we’re on a recruitment drive to find more exceptional talent to join our team. If you’re interested in working with us, keep an eye on our jobs pages and Twitter, as new roles will be announced there first.

 


Trust me, I’m a PR

2 years ago
natalie by natalie

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Rightly or wrongly, there are professions out there that we’re taught to be weary of from an early age; bankers, lawyers, accountants, estate agents…the list goes on. And, according to a recent study, PR seems to have found itself lumbered in with the ‘bad guys’.

The study, carried out by research firm Reputation Leaders, found that 69 per cent of the general public does not trust PRs.

On the one hand, it’s no surprise. With the likes of Edina and Patsy from Ab Fab and BBC spoof W1A highlighting the somewhat negative traits of a PR ‘luvvie’, and the likes of Jeremy Coulson drawing attention to the sleazy side of comms, you can understand why the general public may have these pre-conceptions.

On the other hand, for us ‘normal’ PR people, it’s completely untrue. As PR professionals, our purpose of existence is to not only manage the reputations of our clients, but also to build relationships with journalists, clients, members of the public and stakeholders. Relationships are built around trust and if there is no trust, there is quite simply no relationship.

Quite often we’re faced with extremely sensitive issues which have to be handled or diffused in a careful manner. In some ways, we act as trusted advisors to our clients, who know they can approach us with any issue and it will be handled confidentially and professionally.

As communications manager Kate Humphreys succinctly puts it in her article on Guardian: “Public relations is a highly strategic profession built on trust, knowledge, relationships and good judgment – skills I’m not sure Edina ever boasted.”

So believe me when I say, we’re honestly a very trustworthy group of people…


Making the most of your internship

2 years ago
by guest

Ffion's top tips for interns

As a recent graduate this summer, I went through the customary post-graduation panic that most humanities students experience when deciding on a career. So I decided that the best thing to do would be to gain experience of potential career paths, which led me to applying for an internship at Rewired PR.

I am now into the fourth and final week of my internship, and I’ve loved every second of it! From the moment I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the lovely team at Rewired and soon became actively involved in the agency. I was briefed by members of the team on their portfolio of clients, and given opportunities to support the team by taking on a range of challenging but exciting tasks to complete.

I soon came to realise two important things! I had a lot to learn, and University degrees don’t actually teach you everything you need to know. Internships are extremely valuable in giving you the experience and teaching you the skills you’ll need to enter the working world. So, with that in mind, I’ve put together 5 Top Tips to help you make the most of your opportunity.        

  1. Remember, you’re part of a team.

Whether I was compiling media lists, researching, formatting coverage, writing press releases, blog posts or social media posts I was aware that these tasks were important in helping the team reach a larger goal. So, approach every task with enthusiasm – no matter how big or small you may think it is, because what’s exciting is that your work will contribute to the overall future success of your client or company.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When you’re given a task, and unsure of how to complete it, always ask questions. It demonstrates thoughtfulness and willingness to learn but most importantly it will help you avoid making mistakes and will reduce the need for major future edits in your work. Remember, you’re not expected to know everything!

  1. Keep learning.

I’ve learnt that internships are all about learning. My biggest challenge has been to think and write creatively, which has been very different to my degree courses at University. However, with some practice and useful feedback from the supportive and very patient Rewired team, my writing has significantly improved. So, take advantage of the experienced team around you, listen to their feedback, take it on board, learn from it and improve from it, and like me, you’ll soon see the results.

  1. Be Motivated and Show Interest.

Always have a positive attitude! When you’ve finished your task, don’t just sit there doing nothing, ask your team if there’s any other work you can do. Remember, an internship is an opportunity for you to learn as much as you can about that line of work.

  1. Have fun and just enjoy it!

You won’t be an intern forever (I hope)! You’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn and experience new things, so make the most of the opportunity and take it all in your stride!

Thank you very much for the amazing team at Rewired for having me!


Hippodrome Heritage Project

2 years ago
by guest
Front cover of a Birmingham Hippodrome programme 4th December 1905. From a bound volume in the Library of Birmingham, L28.9. Height:22.4cm. Width:14cm.

Front cover of a Birmingham Hippodrome programme 4th December 1905. From a bound volume in the Library of Birmingham, L28.9. Height:22.4cm. Width:14cm.

Heritage Open Days, England’s biggest heritage festival, is this weekend (10th to 13th September)
Celebrating our history, architecture and culture, there are thousands of free experiences happening up and down the country.

One of 39 events happening in Birmingham is the Hippodrome Heritage Project Open Day, on Saturday 12th September between 10 am – 4pm

Bethan, our office administrator, volunteers for the Hippodrome Heritage Project in her spare time; here she reveals her archiving experiences.

After seeing the project advertised on Birmingham Hippodrome’s Twitter, I knew I had to get involved.
History and theatre are two of my interests, so this project seemed perfect to me.
Initially I went to a training session in May, where I met some of the other volunteers and got to learn in depth about the way the Hippodrome Archive was going to be run.

We were shown archive materials and split into groups to date them based on decade – a surprisingly difficult task! – after correctly identifying the dates, we then had to decide which pieces would be most interesting to display to the public and clip them up on a line.

Courtesy of Matthew Lloyd at www.arthurlloyd.co.uk

Courtesy of Matthew Lloyd at www.arthurlloyd.co.uk

I learned some fascinating facts from this training session and couldn’t wait to start cataloguing and digitising; as a fan of spread sheets, cataloguing quickly and accurately has become my forte.

The Heritage Project Open Day will be a fantastic opportunity to get a look at part of the archive, share your Hippodrome memories or even donate some of your memorabilia.
Digging through boxes looking at old tickets and programmes from the Hippodrome’s rich past has been very rewarding and I feel very lucky to have the chance to help out!

Hippodrome Heritage Project volunteers

Hippodrome Heritage Project volunteers


Looking back on a year at Rewired

2 years ago
by Jo Sheridan

I can’t quite believe that this week, I celebrated my one year anniversary here at Rewired. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s certainly been the case here.

So what better way to look back on 12 incredible months than by sharing some of the highlights from along the way?

Making Rewired PR more social

Something I’ve taken on since starting here is running our own agency social media accounts. From sharing press coverage and the latest industry news, to showing snippets of office life on Instagram, it’s been amazing to see each platform reaching new milestones, including over 3,000 twitter followers! Don’t forget to give us a follow

Rewired PR social media

Cadbury World

There are so many things I’m proud of since starting work on the Cadbury World account. From achieving national press coverage and managing a Christmas blogger event, to writing press releases, overseeing photo shoots and coming up with new creative ideas, I love the variety of working on Cadbury World. It’s a definite perk when you can go to a meeting and smell chocolate in the air too…

Cadbury World highlights

Launching Everyman Cinema at the Mailbox

From our very first meeting with the Everyman team, it was incredibly exciting to help launch luxury cinema in Birmingham! The event itself involved lots of prep work, like creating invite lists and following up on invitations, to finalising logistics and managing the guestlist on the night, but it was incredible to see everyone fall in love with the place as soon as they walked in. I’m definitely now an Everyman convert – you can’t beat a sofa and a Spielburger!

Everyman Mailbox highlights

Becoming a Mailbox blogger

I love writing, and have always toyed with the idea of starting my own blog, so it’s been great to have such an active role on the Mailbox website. Whether it’s been interviewing staff for the popular “5 minutes with” posts or getting to sample some new menu highlights at the restaurants, I’m definitely looking forward to what I’ll get to experience next.

Mailbox blogger

Getting on board with GPFNK

Although the event itself isn’t until October, it’s been fantastic to be involved in the build up to what is sure to be a fantastic evening! I’ve had a hands on role in creating engaging social media content involving some basic design work, and have been lucky enough to work alongside the incredible team at Cure Leukaemia. I can’t wait for the event this October, and having already met Glynn Purnell and Rustie Lee, I’m looking forward to meeting Gregg Wallace too – something my mum is really jealous of!

GPFNK highlights

BITC in Birmingham and Manchester

There’s something satisfying about working on events, and these projects were definitely that! You never realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes of an awards event until you’re the ones who are doing it, everything from managing microphones and finalising venue logistics, to ensuring the smooth running of the event itself and fighting with pull up banners. It was fantastic experience, especially to work on both the Birmingham and Manchester events in successive weeks, and has definitely made me look forward to future events. You can read more about our fortnight of BITC in Lina’s blog post here.

BITC highlights

Bringing new food to Birmingham

There are no shortages of great restaurants in Birmingham, and I’m proud to say that this year I’ve been involved in the launches of two popular new additions. Back in March, we helped to launch Gas Street Social in the Mailbox, which included securing press coverage in both regional and trade press and helping to manage the launch events. It’s great to see an independent being so popular in the Mailbox; it was a definite success story.

More recently, we also helped to launch Umami Indian Kitchen in Harborne. Found on Lordswood Road, the challenge was to help make people venture out of the city centre to give it a try, and make sure we position it as an authentic and more upmarket Indian restaurant. We helped to organise a successful launch event and have arranged several press and blogger reviews, with fantastic feedback so far. I can’t wait to see it climb the ratings on TripAdvisor and become a real contender for Birmingham’s best curry!

Umami & GSS

That’s just a snippet of some of the amazing things I’ve been able to work on in my first year at Rewired, and I already know this next year will be filled with so many more fantastic opportunities. Here’s to the next 12 months…


Publicity stunts of the year

2 years ago
by guest

Since we are over half way through 2015 (already!), I wanted to take a look back at some of the most memorable publicity stunts of the year so far. Their success comes from communicating a message in a unique way, whether visually to a large audience or online via social media. kiribati These publicity stunts have been imaginative, creative and reactive to current events. Here are some of the highlights:

“You’re not you when you’re hungry”

Following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension from the BBC due to a ‘fracas’, Snickers was quick to react, extending its “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. They delivered a box of 48 snicker bars addressed to Clarkson at BBC Top Gear. With over 5,000 retweets of the original post, this is a brilliant example of how to successfully utilise social media to promote a campaign. Social media allows you to react live to current events, creating more impact than a typical press campaign, as well as allowing your audience to engage with the brand. I’m hungry too Snickers!

Snickers

The Dress

Another powerful way to relate a campaign to recent social media activity was exemplified by The Salvation Army and its domestic violence poster produced for International Women’s Day. The charity was super quick to use #Dressgate (I see blue and black) to produce an image of a young woman wearing the white and gold version of the dress, covered in cuts and bruises, titled ‘Why is it so hard to see black and blue?’. Not normally known for publicity stunts, the Salvation Army capitalised on the international popularity of a trivial issue, cleverly twisting it to a hard hitting message.

Salvation Army

The Lump

Cancer Research UK created a real-life visual metaphor in a busy high street; a bulge that grew larger every day. A TV advertisement was created to show how people were oblivious to the growing lump, highlighting the public’s ignorance to possibly cancerous lumps. It sure had me checking.

Check out (no pun intended) the video: http://bit.ly/1NAG0ww

Cancer Research UK

#ChooseBeautiful

Known for its body confidence campaign, Dove set up signs above side-by-side doors in five cities with one reading “Beautiful” and the other “Average”, then filmed as the majority of women chose to be “Average”. It is a powerful commentary on how women perceive their own beauty and Dove commented that “feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves.” Girl power!

Dove

Beer body ready?

Turning a failure into a success, Carlsberg capitalised on one of this year’s most controversial ads, Protein World’s Beach Body Ready advert. Asking consumers if they were beer body ready, the advert also showed a bottle of beer wearing yellow bikini bottoms; a brilliant way of adding a cheeky twist off the back of the controversy caused by Protein World’s original advert.

Carlsberg

No As, Bs or Os

The #MissingType campaign saw brands, publications and even street signs miss out As, Bs and Os, as to represent blood types, from their text. In order to raise awareness about the shortage of blood donations, Waterstones, Odeon and even Downing Street took part in an attempt encourage more people to #giveblood.

Give BloodGive Blood

“You’re getting sacked in the morning”

Always known for its tongue-in-cheek ads, Paddy Power was at it again, teasing the nation’s politicians. Ready for the tense General Election results, its “You’re getting sacked in the morning” poster was displayed on a giant lorry outside of Parliament and was shared across social media platforms. What better way to remind your politicians of their possible fate in the General Election? It’s definitely not something I want to see as I pass the office!

Paddy Power

Which stunts are your favourite so far this year?


A new dawn for regional media

2 years ago
natalie by natalie

photo

Regional newspaper sales have been on the decline for a while now but it seems the situation has reached tipping point, particularly here in the Midlands.

Last month, Trinity Mirror sadly announced plans to cut 19 editorial jobs in Birmingham (Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and Sunday Mercury). What’s more, journalists at Trinity Mirror have been told they will be personally responsible for growing online audiences. In other words, journalists will be given targets based on article shares and if they fail to deliver, they could face disciplinary action.

Now more than ever, journalists will be on the lookout for content that’s engaging, interesting and shareable. In some ways, regional journalists will become more like national journalists as their priorities shift from reporting on hyper-local community news to wider issues that are more likely to provoke an online reaction. More and more of them will demand exclusive stories and interviews, as pressure to reach targets mounts.

This change will clearly have an impact on businesses who rely heavily on regional media for their exposure. From a PR perspective, it means continuing to be strategic in the way we approach journalists. It will also be more important than ever to ensure that content creates a real impact and encourages shares.

Read more about the Trinity Mirror restructure here on Press Gazette – http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/journalists-be-given-personal-online-audience-growth-targets-after-job-cuts-trinity-mirror-midlands.