Archives for April 2013

April 26, 2013Published by: Drew

We check our phones 150 times a day and upload 400 million tweets


This week the annual London-based Financial Times Digital Media conference took place and Battenhall was able to attend to see some of the world's leading names in media, digital and business give their views on the present and future.

Bruce Daisley of Twitter's talk on how the social network has changed how business leaders, consumers and companies interact was one of the highlights. With video case studies from CEOs, cabinet ministers and citizen journalists, Bruce also gave some stat nuggets to the room, including that the average person checks their phone 150 times a day, and that users of Twitter upload collectively 400 million tweets per day. His approach was refereshing, as many speakers focused on where advertising money was being spent, as opposed to the digital trends shaping consumer media consumption, which we thought was spot on.

Another highlight was Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP, whose panel discussion and Q&A was as data-driven as you could get, citing that 34% of WPP's business is now digital, up from 0% 10 years ago. According to independent media buying statistics, digital accounts for 20% of ad money spent but consumers spend 30% of their media time on digital, so this is the big imbalance in media spend currently. He likened the big media companies to aeroplanes changing their engines mid-flight to adapt to digital, saying that smaller companies are much better equipped to be agile and navigate the digital economy.

Sorrell ended his talk saying that the changes coming up in the media environment due to digital will be as violent as those which have already taken place. That's something to look forward to.

You can watch video footage of the FT conference online here.

April 25, 2013Published by: Drew

A new Battenhall client and building a social business capability

Sanctuary Group

Working in social media often means something other than marketing communications. Some companies call this Social Business, and with our newest client that term applies in more ways than one.

Battenhall has begun working with Sanctuary Group, a not for profit national housing and care provider, to help build up a new team in the digital, communications, engagement and social media space. This has started with the opening of a new position which we are helping to find the ideal candidate for: a new head of communications and engagement at Sanctuary Group, with the remit, amongst other things, of developing the Group’s PR, internal comms and social media strategy.

Sanctuary Group has 9,500 employees, manages 94,000 units of accommodation and provides a diverse range of services across a group structure including general rented, retirement living, supported accommodation, student and key worker accommodation and care homes.

The new opening at Sanctuary Group is live as of the publishing of this blog post and closes on 6th May 2013. It can be viewed and applied for here.

April 23, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Brands, social media and hacking: PR Week TV

Drew Benvie on PR Week TV

This week Battenhall's Drew Benvie appeared on PR Week TV on the topic of hacking risks for brands.

The piece looked at online security for brands, which is in need of more serious measures in order to minimise exposure to cyber crime and hacking. A lack of awareness and failure to plan for an often-predictable situation is one of the main problems; the recent hacking of the HMV Twitter account by a disgruntled employee stands as a perfect example of this.

Drew pointed out that there are tools available to act fast and handle a security breach in the first instance: “You need to figure out how to respond. There are people at Twitter who are there to look after your brand. Also the companies need to figure out the right technology and there are companies that manage the password permissions for accounts. It’s much easier to deal with things, if or when you get hacked.”

As a classic case of crisis, a hacking must be acknowledged and talked openly about by the brand and measures must be taken to fix what has happened.

April 18, 2013Published by: Drew

How journalists use Guardian Witness to get reader contributions on the news

Guardian Witness

This week The Guardian launched its new citizen journalism platform, Guardian Witness. It works on the Guardian's website and through an iPhone and Android app, and allows readers to suggest and contribute to stories, as well as giving Guardian journalists the ability to ask for reader contribution to stories.

If you are looking to contribute to stories in The Guardian in general, it is worth spending some time on the new site and app, and also following @guardianwitness on Twitter.

Here is a video from The Guardian explaining the new set-up:

April 17, 2013Published by: Drew

UK spends 13mins per hour on social media

New social media data from Experian Hitwise has revealed that the UK spends 13 minutes in every hour spent online using social media. This is the biggest single chunk of our time, followed by entertainment, then shopping and after that news.

UK social media infographic courtesy of Hitwise

One interesting finding is that total time spent on social media is down marginally from non-3G/4G internet access. In other words, it looks like people are moving away from fixed internet access to mobile for their social media, but this Experian Hitwise report tells just part of the story.

The full breakdown of the research, which also looks at US and Australia data is worth a read, and Experian Hitwise is worth a bookmark too, as Robin Goad and his team are regularly creating useful media insights such as this.

Image courtesy of Experian Hitwise

April 16, 2013Published by: Drew

10 reasons why news is evil

news montage

If you have ever seen happiness in the person who is 'blissfully unaware' then this article in The Guardian may appeal to you. An extract from the book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, by Joseph Dobelli, the article lays out 10 reasons why news is bad for you and how giving up reading news will make you happier. Dobelli contends that investigative journalism is always relevant and is the way forward for the media.

Here are Dobelli's 10 reasons why news is bad for you:

  1. News misleads

  2. News is irrelevant

  3. News has no explanatory power

  4. News is toxic for your body

  5. News increases cognitive errors

  6. News inhibits thinking

  7. News works like a drug

  8. News wastes time

  9. News makes us passive

  10. News kills creativity

We have come up with 10 reasons why news is a force for good, when created and digested the right way:

  1. News informs

  2. News adds relevance

  3. News has an explanatory power

  4. News can nourish your mind

  5. News increases knowledge

  6. News opens your mind

  7. News works like a drug

  8. News saves time (if you know what's coming, you will make better decisions)

  9. News makes us engaging

  10. News breeds creativity

What do you think? News a force for good, or evil?

Graphic courtesy of The Guardian. Thank you @katemagee for originally linking to the article. 

April 15, 2013Published by: Drew

The value of innovation and how to do it

innovation debt

Fast Company has published an article on Innovation Debt - the concept of going in the red without knowing it, and the damage it does to your business, when you don't innovate. The article is a must read for those working in the creative industries, as is the blog post it links to by author and tech evangelist Peter Bell. It lists the four ways innovation debt will damage your business, and the six ways you can foster innovation.

Above all else, innovation comes from a way of working, says Bell. Fostering a culture of learning, failing fast and cheap - and learning from it, embracing new technologies and testing innovation through your consulting are all listed in Bell's article as ways to innovate.

We take innovation seriously here at Battenhall. Disruptive innovation is what we live for and from side projects to our tech funds, partnership business and flexi working, we are all here for our passion to change things. You can read more about our approach here.

April 12, 2013Published by: Drew

Twitter launches 10 new UK trending topics cities

10 new UK trending topics cities

Twitter has today launched 10 new cities as options for trending topics in the UK. Joining the likes of London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and so on are Plymouth, Stoke, Swansea, Hull and six others.

Trending right now in Birmingham, for example, is last night's #BBCQT, which is nowhere to be seen on the trending topics of nearby Stoke, which instead includes N Korea and #RIPUncleB.

Why are trending topics important? It's how a large proportion of Twitter users graze content. If something you created 'trends' then you get a huge spike of traffic and awareness. If you engage around trending topic areas regularly, you will reach an audience wider than your own follower base.

For brands, especially local businesses, make sure you are getting the most out of the insights that trending topics provide, as well as learning about how to tap into the Twitter zeitgeist in a more precise, locally driven way. The full run-down of new trending topics cities, as listed on the Twitter blog, are as follows:

  • Bournemouth: Follow Blur bass player Alex James (@TheAlexJames) and Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden (@Amanda_Holden), both of whom grew up in the area
  • Middlesbrough: Follow former footballer and Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy) and comedian Bob Mortimer (@RealBobMortimer)
  • Stoke-on-Trent: British pop star Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams), Guns & Roses guitar legend Slash (@Slash) and TV presenter Anthea Turner (@AntheaTurner1) all have connections to the area
  • Coventry: Keep up to date with local universities Coventry University (@covcampus) and Warwick University (@warwickuni), and keep up-to-date with Coventry City FC (@Coventry_City)
  • Hull: TV presenter Sarah Beeny (@sarahbeeny) owns a wedding venue in the area, and follow Hull Truck Theatre (@HullTruck) for local theatre and entertainment news
  • Swansea: Keep up to date with Swansea City FC (@SwansOfficial) and follow player Michu (@MichuOviedo) for Premier League football action, and for a giggle follow Gavin & Stacey actress Joanna Page (@jopage_)
  • Preston: Follow Andrew Flintoff (@flintoff11) for cricket commentary and his daily antics - but if cricket isn’t your thing, try BBC Lancashire (@BBCLancashire) for BBC updates on the local area
  • Blackpool: Football fans can follow Blackpool FC (@BFC1887) and for updates on the most famous tower in the area follow The Blackpool Tower (@TheBplTower)
  • Plymouth: Olympic diving star Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) is from the city, and you can follow Dartmoor Zoo (@DartmoorZoo) for regular animal snaps and all the latest zoo news
  • Derby: Follow local club Derby County (@dcfcofficial), keep up to date on community policing with Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice), and follow local professional golfer Melissa Reid (@melreidgolf)