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A TASTE OF THE MAILBOX

3 days ago
Winnie
by Winnie

Here at Rewired, we love all things food and drink and we were really excited about working on the Taste of the Mailbox. The week-long food and drink festival took place all around the Mailbox with free and ticketed activities and something for every kind of foodie.

The week began in the sunshine in the canal-side sampling hut where Mailbox restaurants created mini portions of their most popular dishes which proved to be perfect for enticing the lunchtime and evening crowds. People were treated to delicious treats ranging from mini afternoon tea, popcorn to juicy burgers – showcasing the range of food that the Mailbox has to offer.
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Kicking off the weekend in style on Friday evening was the Taste of the Mailbox Food Tour where 12 foodies took part in an evening of feasting around the Mailbox. Guests were treated to an aperitif, starter, main and dessert at four restaurants including Harvey Nichols, Gas Street Social, Tom’s Kitchen and Chez Mal. It was the perfect evening of wining and dining around the Mailbox!

The weekend activities included sampling in the Urban Room from a selection of Harvey Nichols food and drinks brands.  We loved meeting the creators of Crazy Gin, who were passionate about their brand, even quitting their jobs in the process to pursue their love of gin. It was great to learn about the inspiration behind the gin and how the gin infuses their British Indian culture through the ingredients used.
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The following day, wine fans could be found in the Harvey Nichols’ Wine Shop where wine expert, Jane Parkinson from Saturday Kitchen, joined a small group for a wine tasting session. Jane offered her expertise on wine and the group were able to try classic and contemporary wines alongside cheese boards from the Harvey Nichols restaurant. It was a brilliant session where everyone walked away with new wine knowledge as well as their own chosen bottle of wine from the Wine Shop.
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Well known for his enviable Instagram food pictures and cooking skills, Lap-fai Lee (aka The Foodist) took over the high-tech kitchens of Kitchen Gallery. The foodies were treated to a masterclass where they learnt how to prepare seafood and create an amazing Asian feast including salmon and cucumber maki rolls, steamed mackerel with pickled chillies, scallops and fragrant king prawn curry. The foodies had the opportunity to learn new skills, use the state-of-the-art Kitchen Gallery appliances (including a steam oven!) and finally tuck in to their creations in the luxury private dining room at Kitchen Gallery.
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A special visitor to the Mailbox also made an appearance ahead of their pop up in Harvey Nichols. On Severn Street, The Wilderness’s ice cream van found itself underneath the much photographed Mailbox lamp, serving up cocktails with a twist! Offering up ice cream flavoured cocktails, some of the creations even included ants which were placed delicately on to a lollipop stick. In case you were wondering, they tasted of lemongrass…
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Sunday’s activities started at the luxurious Everyman Cinema where guests enjoyed a special one-off screening of Chocolat. Of course, a mimosa and a pot of Belgian chocolates was the perfect accompaniment to the Johnny Depp classic.

Later that evening, cult fine dining restaurant, The Wilderness set up shop in the beautiful Harvey Nichols restaurant where they served up food for a tongue–in-cheek celebration of the traditional English holiday. The sold-out six course dinner was inspired by chef, Alex Claridge’s childhood experiences and included one of their delicious signature dishes, ‘Ants got the tart first’. Those lucky ants!


Taking events to a new dimension

4 months ago
Kim Loynes
by Kim Loynes

It’s an exciting time to be working in the events industry with new and immersive technologies becoming genuine options to provide customers with unique and memorable experiences. I recently attended the EWL (Event Professionals Who Lunch) networking lunch to discuss technology, and specifically how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be used in events.

So firstly, what is AR and VR?  VR is currently largely accessed by a headset and creates a virtual word for you to exist and interact within and disregards reality. The extent to which you can do this depends on the software and the device. Popular hardware brands are currently Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive but more is being developed as we are at the cusp of the VR revolution.

AR views the real world through a device, whether it be through the camera on a phone or special glasses, it integrates the real world with technology. For example, holding a phone with the camera on over a still image on paper which has a code recognised by the phone for then you to see the image brought to life on the phone but still remain still on the paper.

If you plan to use experiential technology in your event or activity it’s important to understand why you’re using it.  Are you wanting to run a VR game that isn’t related to your product or message to simply pull people into the vicinity of your activity in the hope that their interest will turn to what you want them to focus on?  This is probably akin to displaying a bowl of Celebrations on your table at an exhibition.  The people will come and enjoy this but then how many will be interested in your product?  Can something more effective be done?

Try not to use tech as a gimmick, particularly as it will become less of a novelty in the coming years.  How can you use it to enhance the experience of your product?  Maybe try a virtual tour of your factory or behind the scenes of a space most people don’t get to see?  There was a great example of Meantime Brewery, in Greenwich, selling virtual tours and tastings where the customer simply downloaded the app and were sent real samples of beer so they could take the tour from their living room on their smart device and taste the beers at the appropriate times.  A multisensory experience is highly engaging. If you can combine VR with an additional taste, sound, temperature, smell or other experience it will certainly make the activity more memorable.

The technology should be able to make current activities easier or provide an opportunity that cannot be done without it.  If you’re selling clothes, why not let your attendees or customers try on clothes virtually and add a bespoke option at the click of a button. Find out about the people you want to reach and what could be done to make their experiences easier or more enjoyable and how can technology bridge this gap?

Generally, VR lets your attendees or customers go to places and have experiences which they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and AR provides extra information or an additional experience to what they would typically have. Whatever the key objectives you want to achieve from your event or activity, give your customers more than they typically would have without it and an experience they will share with others and won’t forget.


GETTING CRAFTY

5 months ago
Winnie
by Winnie

gettingcrafty_1We’re really excited to be working on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair which is coming to Warwickshire for the first time this May. Last week, we officially launched the fair with an exclusive media launch event for regional press and bloggers. It was my first event with the team and I was super excited to be helping out. Held at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the guests took part in crafty workshops and got a taste of what The Handmade Fair will offer.

We arrived with plenty of bunting, boxes of cupcakes, and armfuls of goodie bags and set to work decorating the venue for the guests. We got the first glimpse of the beautiful block prints and colourful wires that would be used for the workshops later on.

The workshops on the night included Tess from The Arty Crafty Place who showcased her colourful block printing, and Lucy Elisabeth who introduced guests to the art of wirework – both of who will be exhibiting at The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall.

THF (40 of 51)Inspired by their travels to India, The Arty Crafty Place is a passionate team who specialise in block printing.  Their range of fairtrade, hand carved Indian wooden printing blocks are designed in-house and then carved by skilled artisans in Jaipur, India. With cushions and tea towels on display, everyone was excited to use their favourite block prints and colourful fabric paints to create their own tea towel designs. We certainly couldn’t wait to give it a go ourselves with teapots and chickens as our block prints of choice! As well as their own colourful tea towel, each guest took home a mini Arty Crafty Place kit, allowing them to continue their new found skills at home.

Next up was Lucy Elisabeth, who specialises in intricate wirework ranging from detailed portraits of flowers, the human form, to specially commissioned pieces. At the event, Lucy showed that wirework doesn’t have to be complicated and taught guests how to create beautiful floral wire brooches using just a few coloured wires and a pair of pliers. It was great to see everyone twisting the wires into shape and proudly wearing their new floral wire brooches.

gettingcrafty_3The event was buzzing with guests keen to get involved and create something of their own. We spotted many faces deep in concentration (including ours!) as everyone took part in workshops. It was a fantastic evening filled with creativity which was really inspiring! I was really excited to be involved in the event right from the set-up, learning from the expert makers, and then waving goodbye to the happy guests, each leaving with their new colourful tea towels and wire brooches.

We can’t wait to see what the other expert makers have to offer at the official fair on Friday 12th – Sunday 14th May. Keep checking our website for more news on The Handmade Fair!


16 in ’16: A Year of Social Media Part 2

8 months ago
Jo Sheridan
by Jo Sheridan

16 things that happened on social media in 2016

Last week, I shared the first part of 16 in ’16, looking at some of the major social media changes in 2016. Featuring GIFs, predicting the election and referendum results and lots about Instagram, here are eight more things that changed in social media this year:

  1. 9,000 snaps shared every second, 150 million daily active users, and 10 billion daily video views – it’s no surprise that Snapchat was touted as ‘the one to watch’ in 2016. With projected ad revenue of $935.46 million in 2017, could this be the platform to topple the success of Twitter?
  1. This year, Facebook continued its monopoly on social media advertising with a 50% growth in Facebook advertisers from 2015 – 2016. 75% of brands are now promoting their posts, with 4 million active Facebook advertisers.
  1. Haven’t seen a post from your favourite Instagram account in your news feed lately? It was goodbye to the simple chronological order of posts, and hello to posts “ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most” – or a top-secret Instagram algorithm that no-one likes.
  1. Halloween, the start of autumn, and the end of Vine. Twitter announced in October that it was killing off its social media video-sharing app and platform Vine as it “trims its headcount and costs”.
  1. Providing new tools for social listening, inbuilt scheduling, and the ability to identify yourself as a support account, Twitter Dashboard is one of our favourite new tools this year.
  1. Whilst Twitter moments were a new feature in 2015, this year did bring the ability for anyone to get involved. Originally reserved to show ‘the best of Twitter in an instant’, all users can now create their own collections of tweets for followers to see in one place – a great tool for brands to use for events.
  1. In a year when virtual reality has grown and the need to get information immediately has increased, Facebook Live has been a big focus for Zuckerberg and his team. From adverts encouraging you to go live, to leading news channels treating live streaming on social media as serious as it’s TV broadcasts, this is something that is set to grow even more in 2017. As Facebook says, you can broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.
  1. As it’s December, we couldn’t neglect Christmas in this round-up! Proving just how much Snapchat has grown in appeal over the last 12 months, John Lewis added the platform into the marketing mix for its hotly anticipated Christmas ad – giving users the chance to star as #Bustertheboxer for the day.

16 in ‘16: A Year of Social Media Part 1

9 months ago
Jo Sheridan
by Jo Sheridan

16 things that happened on social media in 2016

One of my favourite parts of working in a social media role is that it never stops changing. There’s always a new update, a new platform, a new user experience, a new tool to learn. As the leading, and emerging, platforms vie for consumer attention, they’re always looking for ways to be better, or at least be better than their closest rival.

There haven’t been too many good things to come out of 2016 if general consensus is to be believed, but 12 months of social media has seen some pretty impressive changes. So, rewinding back to January, here are the first eight things that happened in ’16: [Click here for Part 2!]

  1. Instagram created Stories, or, Instagram was ‘influenced’ by Snapchat when it created its new Stories feature, which conveniently has most of the same features as Snapchat. If it ain’t broke…
  1. For us content creators, Twitter gave us a lifeline in making 140 characters go further. Any media, including pictures, videos and GIFs no longer count towards the count – a small change for them that is nothing short of life-changing for us.
  1. Talking of GIFs, back in March, GIF search became integrated in to Twitter for 100% of users, making it easier than ever before to up your picture game.
  1. Back in May, Instagram’s rebrand was the talk of the town. With a simpler camera, and a rainbow gradient, there’s no doubting the new look is definitely more modern – shame then that the initial response was mainly negative.
  1. It was a busy year for Instagram, as the platform announced its new ‘Business Profiles’ in June. Offering us in-built analytics including reach and impressions for the first time, as well as offering customers new ways to engage, Instagram activity is now a lot more measurable.
  1. If the polls were to be believed this year, we’d still be in the EU and Hillary would be President of the US. But one thing did predict the correct outcomes, and that’s social media. For both the EU referendum and the US presidential elections, social media sentiment and analysis were much more on the money than ‘official’ polls.
  1. For when a picture simply isn’t enough, you can now take a look around thanks to Facebook 360. Even without the fancy kit needed to film a fully 360 project, you can still get a slice of the action by uploading a panoramic photo direct from your phone!
  1. Goodbye to logging in and out of Instagram for every single client, and hello to multiple accounts in one.

Brick by brick, the #StopFundingHate campaign builds

9 months ago
natalie
by natalie

This is not a Christmas ad

Founded back in August, the Stop Funding Hate campaign was created to stop brands placing their advertising with newspapers that, in their words, promote “hatred, discrimination and demonisation”.

After just four months, the Stop Funding Hate Twitter account has amassed over 62.5k followers, as well as a slightly eclectic handful of high-profile supporters including Alistair Campbell, Gary Linekar and Lily Allen.

Earlier this month, amongst the noise of this year’s Christmas ads, the campaign founders also launched a thought-provoking video targeting big brands and posing the question, “What if goodwill to all wasn’t only meant for Christmas?”

Despite the surge in support for the campaign, many brands have been reluctant to take any action. Co-op is reportedly ‘reviewing’ its media buying but Walkers and John Lewis have both been quoted as saying they don’t make advertising decisions based on a newspaper’s editorial stance.

There’s only one brand that’s taken the leap to agree to the campaign’s requests, and that’s Lego.

Announced earlier this month, Lego made the decision to end its promotional agreement with the Daily Mail, claiming that it had no plans for further activity in the future.

This came off the back of growing social media pressure and a letter from Lego customer, Bob Jones, which went viral.

In a statement, a Lego spokesperson commented: “We spend a lot of time listening to what children have to say. And when parents and grandparents take the time to let us know how they feel, we always listen just as carefully.

“We are both humbled and honoured to see how much consumers all over the world express their care for our company and our brand. And we will continuously do our very best to live up to the trust and faith that people all around the world show us every day.”

My only question is – where does it stop? It’s all very well pulling your advertising with the papers directly. But, if the department stores which stock your products take a different view, what impact has really been made?

Nevertheless, the announcement from Lego was a brave and clever PR move which really couldn’t have come at a better time, as we start gearing up for Black Friday and the start of Christmas shopping mahem!

Image source


Christmas ads: Tear-jerkers win again!

9 months ago
natalie
by natalie

Christmas ads – it’s all we’re talking about! It’s the one time of the year where I actually look forward to ads. Is it me or does there seem to be a common pattern amongst brands? It seems many have turned to animated joyful comical ads, and steered away from the usual cryfest.

I recently read an article in Marketing Week that said; following a chaotic year of controversial political surprises such as Brexit and Donald Trump presidency, John Lewis wanted to do something lighter according to their customer director, Craig Inglis.

He said he hoped ‘the advert would make people smile, reminding everyone what if feels to give the perfect gift for Christmas’. Sentimental as the previous efforts were, they packed an emotional punch, simply lacking in this ad.

I believe a good Christmas advert should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and move you as much as the most heart-rending film. These are the ads we remember and look forward to watching over the festive period. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot, John Lewis’ Buster the Boxer and Sainsbury’s The Greatest Gift ad just didn’t do it for me.

Here are the ads that won me over this year:

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK ‘Forgotten Santa’ – the first TV campaign launched by the charity and it works wonderfully. This powerful ad raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the charity, and sends out an important message – that anyone can get Alzheimer’s at any given time. What I found interesting was that although the hashtags, #santaforgot and #ibelieve have been used on Twitter, the company has not put any paid spend on this platform.

     

  • Lidl’s Homecoming – a tale about a family coming together to give their beloved dad and grandfather a Christmas to remember. It’s heart-warming and relatable.

     

  • Marks and Spencer’s Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus – a beautiful story of a glamourous Mrs Claus helping out a little boy called Jake who wants the perfect gift for his big sister. The campaign also involves Mrs Claus taking over M&S’ social media accounts, and the hashtag #lovemrsclaus which generates its own emoji! Although many brands include a charity element, M&S has decided not to work with a specific charity but instead an army of Mrs Claus will be giving random acts of kindness to 15,000 customers in the run-up to Christmas. For each act, M&S will donate £5 to the recipient’s charity of choice.

     

  • Heathrow Airport: Coming Home for Christmas – an unlikely contender but this one made me teary. The ad follows Mr and Mrs Bear, two elderly teddy bears landing at the airport. It captures the moment loved ones are reunited with their families, and spreading the message that coming home is the best Christmas gift of all.

What’s your favourite Christmas ad this year and why?


We’re recruiting: Account Executive

10 months ago

by Ruth Pipkin

We’re looking for a talented and self-motivated account executive to join our busy team.

This is an opportunity to make your mark at an ambitious and dynamic agency in the heart of Birmingham. As an account executive, you will work as part of the account team to deliver work for a range of clients across our three core sectors of retail & leisure, education, and community.

The successful candidate will play an important supporting role in ensuring that we continue to deliver an exceptional service to our national and regional client base. Day to day you will be responsible for account admin such as managing press coverage reports, media lists and research as well as developing and implementing social media campaigns. Alongside this you will have the opportunity to hone your skills, including press release and feature writing, media relations, social media and event management.

You will have:

  • Up to a year’s PR experience within an agency, or proven relative work experience
  • Excellent written skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • The ability to multitask and work across numerous projects and campaigns
  • A keen interest in all aspects of media
  • A confident telephone manner
  • A desire to learn and play a key role in a growing agency

For a full job description or further information, please email Ruth Pipkin on ruth@rewiredpr.com or call 0121 236 2132.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 11th November 2016.


How does your Social Media measure up?

10 months ago
Jo Sheridan
by Jo Sheridan

One of my favourite parts of my role here at Rewired is delivering social media for a range of clients. From day-to-day content across a variety of sectors, to delivering reactive and live social media during an event, the impact of social media marketing is something which just seems to keep on growing.

Glynn Purnell's Friday Night Kitchen GPFNK

Last Friday, Ruth and I were part of the team that delivered Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen, as part of our work with Cure Leukaemia. Whilst Ruth was busy supporting with event management, I was glued to my iPhone to document the event through social media. With some fantastic engagement throughout the evening, and seeing our #GPFNK16 hashtag trend across Birmingham, there’s no doubt that social media added another dimension to the evening.

But when the curtain falls, or the music stops, how do you measure the impact of social media at your event?

1. Work out what matters to you

Each event will have its own key metrics and KPIs to determine success, so ensuring you know yours will get your evaluation off to the best start. For example, a launch event might aim to increase awareness and grow its social media audience, whereas a more established event might be looking for increased conversation and engagement.

Each platform also has its own metrics, but here are some of the general stats to consider:

  • New followers or page likes
  • Total reach
  • Total impressions
  • Engagement, including likes, retweets, comments and shares
  • Brand mentions, especially from influencers

2. Understand what it means

All good reports need to be explained, so having a clear understanding of all the key terms will enable you to showcase clear and concise results. If your report couldn’t be picked up and interpreted by someone with the most basic understanding of social media, then it’s time to rethink your approach. Need to brush up on your key definitions? Understand reach, impressions and engagement in this jargon-free guide.

3. Start with in-built analytics

Whilst there are several free (and paid for) websites and apps designed to analyse social media results, start your search much closer to home. In-built analytics across Twitter and Facebook are some of the most in-depth and reliable around, whilst the newly introduced Instagram Business Accounts provide some fantastic insights on a weekly basis.

Social media measurement for events

On both Facebook and Twitter, you can filter your results down to a specific period of time, whether that’s the month leading up to your event, or just the day itself. With a whole host of key statistics and visual graphs to demonstrate your social media success, there are so many reliable options lying within the platforms themselves. Not sure where to start? These handy guides will help you master Twitter, Instagram and Facebook insights.

Exhausted insights, but still want to find out even more? Here are my top 4 FREE social media analytic tools online:

4. Presenting your results

Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the report. Whether it’s your boss, a client, or a colleague, making sure the headline statistics are easy to find and easy to understand is key. Consider the two documents below, both show exactly the same information, but which one conveys the key information the best?

Social media measurement for events

5. Comparing or benchmarking?

Another thing to consider when reporting on your social media success, is whether you’re comparing it to a previous event, or using this as your future benchmark. For comparison reports, say for an annual event, you’ll need to show how this year performed compared to last year. This can be done with numbers, percentages, graphs or more, but is key to show growth (hopefully!) year on year. Do bear in mind that your key metrics may have changed, as these might explain any decreases – remembering understanding what you’re talking about is key.

If this is the first event of its kind, this report will form the new gold standard, something which can be built on for future events. It’s important to analyse what went well, as well as what could be improved, so your social media presence can grow event after event. As they say, the only way is up.

 

Want to find out more about social media reporting, or how Rewired PR can support your event or company with social media? Email lisa@rewiredpr.com.


Instagram Business Profiles – Executing the Perfect Delivery

11 months ago
Matt
by Matt

iggg

We’re always looking for ways to improve our systems and services, with the ultimate goal of providing better results for our clients.

As most of you will know, a key part of our offering as an agency is social media – constantly developing effective social media strategies that are individually tailored to suit specific clients, with the aim of increasing brand awareness among their target audiences.

Creating compelling social media schedules and taking great-looking photos is only half of the job – the second half is about how effectively you execute the delivery of your content, and how accurately and efficiently you can collect results and data to prove to clients that your services are worth investing in.

As with most other professions, keeping on top of industry updates and trends is part and parcel of the job. However, it could be argued that this statement is most true for social media – an industry where the goalposts are constantly being moved, and battling platforms are forever inventing new ways to set themselves apart from the competition.

 

Improved insights

That’s why when Instagram recently announced the launch of their ‘Business Profiles’ it was an almost instantaneous reaction to switch all of our client’s Instagram accounts over to the new format. The new Business Profiles allow you to easily access data relating to the performance of your posts, helping to unearth trends within your content, and discover which posts are performing well and which are not. We are now able to dissect a month’s worth of Instagram content, and really analyse posts down to the very last hashtag – helping us improve client schedules and strategies going forward.

Customers can now easily access valuable information when visiting our client’s profiles, including getting contact numbers and addresses, which ultimately help to increase footfall and drive sales – perfect for our clients in the leisure sector!

 

Providing clearer results

As an agency it’s about providing the best results possible in a way that our clients can look at them and understand exactly where the value is. Compiling quarterly social media analytics reports was once a labour intensive process of counting how many photo ‘likes’ a profile had generated in any given month. Now with Business Profiles it is an in-depth analysis of the content we are producing, figuring out what works for our clients, and calculating the most effective approach going forward. Business Profiles have allowed agencies to prove amazing results, and helped clients understand those results better.

 

Image source: [1]
Twitter: [@MattLong1994]

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