Archives for category: Social Media

The world of social media was rocked last week when Twitter announced that it would allow people to increase the length of their tweets from 140 to 280 characters. The move follows a trial among a small group of users during September, in response to criticism that it was not easy enough to tweet.

During the test period, only 5% of tweets sent were longer than the original length of 140 characters, and only 2% used more than 190 characters. But the social media site revealed that those who did use the longer tweets got more followers, better engagement and spent more time on the site, according to a blog post which detailed the findings.

But soon after the announcement was made, the Twitter backlash began, with newsfeeds quickly clogging up as people tried to experiment with the new format, often using up the characters with meaningless words and jokes. Many pointed out the changes they would rather have seen, such as a crackdown on hate crime, or the introduction of a chronological timeline and edit function.

But how could this change affect those of us working in PR? Twitter is another medium that we use to contact reporters about client news, and when we’re dealing with complex reports, then the additional characters might allow us to include a different angle or additional detail beyond the headline. The change should also be useful for social media analytics, giving us the potential to track influencers’ interaction with brands in a more meaningful way.

But the move could also spell trouble for consumer-facing organisations who deal with customer services on Twitter. Public complaints made in this way could soon become more detailed and potentially damaging for brands, and to diffuse potential crises it will remain key to respond quickly and take any damaging conversations offline where possible.

Any brand communicating with their customers via Twitter would do well to remember the Twitter backlash when the announcement was made. The platform has become popular as a micro-blogging site, and succinct communication is key – so it will be important to avoid any unnecessary words, and make every character count, to retain high levels of engagement.

Twitter currently has 330 million active users, compared to 800 million for Instagram and more than two billion users for Facebook. The change to 280 characters is part of Twitter’s broader plan to attract new users and increase growth.

It’s been another fantastic year at Eskenzi PR. The company grew by 25% in 2016 and we brought on some great news clients who have enjoyed becoming part of the Eskenzi family such as FireMon, Synopsys and Nozomi. I think we can genuinely say we have some of the hardest working PR folk in the biz and the proof is in the pudding: a combined total of 14,628 pieces of press coverage in 2016.

Last year was a definitive year for cybersecurity – we saw Newspaper seriesthe rise of ransomware and IoT attacks, and of course there was the Yahoo breach – one of the biggest in history; then there was the Mirai botnet that was responsible for taking disrupting services on some of the world’s biggest ISPs.  It’s fair to say all of these things and more kept us busy!

But it’s not just the news that we jump on, our clients create their own stories and, well, some of them are just utterly interesting in their own right.  We each found different (yet equally valid) routes to success for the year with our clients.

For Lucy, it was working to a target that kept her particularly driven: “As part of our KPIs we were to achieve around 400 pieces of coverage in a special tier of 35 publications which the client selected. It was difficult to achieve, but in the end we met, and surpassed, our target.”  She also achieved over 1200 pieces of tier one coverage for another client.

Dulcie was approached by Universal Studios to create a
mock up of a cyber-security show to use in the 2016 Jason Bourne film. She jumped into action and worked with 15 of our clients to take on the challenge of getting involved by building mock up stands, providing merchandising off their stands such as T-shirts, flashing glasses and logos all to appear on the big screen.  It was a fantastic branding opportunity that many of our clients embraced and just one of those fun opportunities that being an Eskenzi PR client can provide!

Julia found that by jumping on the Brexit train and coming up with a knock out survey that appealed to the UK media in particular was her high point.  “The Brexit survey got more than 40 hits and the client’s coverage levels overall increased by 46% from the previous year.”

Lara was delighted to work with one client who was so responsive and involved in the PR process, that together they achieved over 800 pieces of coverage in just four months, including 20 national news hits.

As media evolves, so must we.we-love-pr
Katie had a super achievement in setting up the first Facebook Live interview with the BBC.  “Just as much effort and time goes into setting these interviews up by comparison to a TV interview and the result is arguably more pertinent,” she said. “It led to the client having a spike in traffic to their website and it can still be viewed
online and has had over 225,000 views to date.”

For me, it was particularly enjoyable to create and sustain relationships with clients and really get involved with their businesses to help solidify their messaging and relay it to the press.  One successful exercise was to identify the thought leaders in the company and get their voices heard within the industry, so it’s not just one spokesperson, but a nice range of advocates.

These are all strategies that we will continue to use and evolve in 2017 and look forward to another stellar year!

I came across a very interesting blog recently by Cindy Kim on ‘The Future of PR – How PR Firms Can Get on the Ball!’

It is well worth a read if you are interested in how to approach Social Media PR, I whole heartedly agree with all that Cindy has written and would add that when incorporating social media communication into the Marcomms strategy the organisation needs to get involved from the CEO to tech support. Much in the way that if IT is implemented to effect change management without the buy in from the business units and the executive team, social media interactions must follow through the culture of the organisation. There is always innate talent in an organisation which social media has the power to free and give voice to. It is even more important in social media interaction for all communication to be consistent, honest, and get your message across, to do this there must be fundamental buy in from the top down. Every employee can potentially become an ambassador for your organisation, so an internal comms campaign is essential to support their efforts.

Neil Stinchcombe – Director

I’m truly excited. Today we’ve just issued our first web 2.0 social media press release for Credant Technologies, who I thank for allowing us to use them as our first client to try out this new technology which has been sent out alongside the traditional release to all those other press who still prefer a traditional lay-out. We’ve produced a video and a cartoon to accompany the release and it looks fab (can I say that myself?). The story is a goodie too – Quarter of people admit they spend 2-6 hours a week working in bed, 57% of their partners hate them for it and most are using their devices which are stuffed full of sensitive data with very little security. See the link
The bloggers are going to love this story and we’re hoping to get it on TV and radio. That’s the beauty of these survey releases – you never know who is going to run with them. You spend days priming the press and hoping they’ll run with the story – then it’s a bit like a snowball you have to watch it gather moss and it can take days before you can say ‘hey presto’ you’ve got a biggie in The Times or on the BBC website. There is no greater pleasure in the world when you get national coverage for a story that you’ve dreamed up to get your clients names ‘in lights’. So I’ve done my bit, I’ve spoken to all the influential journalists there are to speak to, I’ve sent the release out globally and now it’s a waiting game – a nerve racking, but exhilarating one, but what PR is all about. It’s all about thinking out of the box and making Credant in this instance, the news of the day, the talk of the town, the end point data security specialists that everyone’s talking about! They’ve been prepared to try something new and invest in a video and cartoon to make this story have even greater legs – we’ve worked as a partnership and that’s what successful PR is all about – working with your clients, having fun coming up with concepts, executing them and trying something absolutely new that you hope will fly. Watch this space – because I think this will be a biggie!

Yvonne Eskenzi – Director