Public Relations, Communications and Engagement Professional

"To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work"

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Government Communications Manager
Led the UK's first live tweet from surgery
Award-winning campaigns
GCS mentor and international work
Bournemouth University survivor
Founder of award-winning club, BU Trampolining.

Simply PR blog

#hashtag #facebook #hashtag

I've cursed and even resorted to hiding people from my newsfeed that overtake it with Instagram pictures with hashtags like #sun #selfie #summer #me #makeup #hair bla bla bla... In fact, I resent Instagram a little for it. But, Facebook have introduced their own hashtags, in fact they've been live for just a few months now and they're quickly working their way into the UK's marketing scene with 61 of the country’s top 100 brands having used them already!

The idea behind them is similar to that of Twitter’s; you can click and search the hashtag to become part of a bigger conversation, or, as a brand, reach more people. 

So why should you bother?
  • There is no character limit, unlike Twitter
  • There are 200 million active users on Twitter, if Facebook can get 30% of their active users to use hashtags publicly, their conversations will reach further than that of Twitter. 

But what to bear in mind if you do: 
  • Only public status updates will appear in the search – this means comments and private updates will not be part of the conversation - and yes, most people have their profiles and updates automatically set to private!
  • Hashtag’s are not fully integrated with Facebook mobile… yet!

And the impact? 

After the infamous Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones, 367,000 mentions on Twitter were recorded compared to the 674,242 fans on Facebook that were talking about it – and yes, that’s before Facebook hashtags were introduced! Facebook has proved the platform for social media marketing with fans discussing content as they watch. Companies including Channel 4 and BBC have experimented with this before by streaming content directly through Facebook.

Facebook hashtags have the potential to match the use on Twitter -  JR Badian, VP of digital marketing and social media at MasterCard believes they can be used for targeting updates to those who are interested, and this method can help extend the reach of your Facebook page.

With the majority of users having their updates set as private on Facebook, many brands are starting to use hashtags to complement the conversation already taking place on Twitter and manage the audience between the two platforms. 

o2 v Tesco Mobile

They have done it again... o2 never ceases to make me laugh on Twitter. Today they had a 'rap battle' with Tesco Mobile.

Using #followchallenge, Tesco Mobile received a tweet in the form of a rap/poem from a user mentioning o2 - from there, the two battled it out with hilarious raps until o2 took the opportunity to drop in their #bemoredog campaign.

I think I slightly prefer the blackout comedy tweets but this is a close second. Hats off to the social media team at o2... again!

All PR is Online

A good friend of mine kindly gave me a preview of a white paper that is being released today. All PR is Online from Keene Communications which is an edited abstract of forthcoming book Online Public Relations by Professor David Phillips and Philip Young.

It's no secret that the world of PR has been changing for a while. Gone are the days of treating journalists to expensive lunches to get your story in the printed press. Personally, I think most agencies and in-house teams have accepted that Social Media management has become a crucial part of the role but interestingly, Phillips and Young go further and state that it goes far beyond social media. With mobile devices, apps, the cloud and contactless payment, our world has completely changed. They point out that with this technology, the power has shifted from the organisation to the everyday person and PR professionals need to accomodate this in their every day work and plans. 

As a new graduate with a passion for digital communications, I agree with their stance on the future of PR and the changes the industry is and will continue to make. It's difficult to say without having read the entire book (yet) but there are two other elements I think we have to consider: 
  • international communications - there are still parts of the world that don't have the same technology as we do
  • target audience - the majority of disposable income is currently with the 50 years plus age group and although they use some of the technology available, I can safely say my grandmother does not do her shopping on a mobile phone app... Maybe one day! 
You can read the White Paper on Keene Communications' website from this afternoon. The book, Online Public Relations is due to be released later this year and I for one, will be buying it. A huge thank you to Michael White and Keene Communications for sharing this White Paper with me, it's greatly appreciated and I thoroughly recommend people check it out. We all want to be the best professional we can be and changing with the times is certainly the way to do that. 

Guest Post: Getting through the nightmare of dissertations

So we all dread the day of starting your dissertation, but the fact is with the right tutor, support and attitude, it can actually be stress-free and dare I say it... enjoyable! Check out top tips from BU graduate, Abigail Taylor here... 

1. Choose a topic that interests you. Sometimes it is better to choose something you're not as familiar with as you will probably find it more interesting to research.
2. Start your dissertation as soon as possible, make an appointment with your tutor as soon as lecturers have been allocated. They will not contact you.
3. In your first meeting arrange to submit dissertation chapters around other modules. This way your dissertation won't interfere with other work.
4. Leave yourself two weeks after completion to make extra edits and get it bound. This will save you a lot of stress!

Abigail Taylor has just completed her degree at Bournemouth University studying Public Relations. She completed her placement at BMW's head office and next, is off to Sri Lanka to complete a medical internship for a few months.