Archives for June 2014

June 25, 2014Published by: Drew

How Firechat is rolling out off the grid messaging across mobile platforms


Messaging is the new social networking. And Firechat is the new innovation on the block, having recently launched with a way of connecting mobile users 'off the grid' - ie without using either cellular or internet connection.

Firechat allows users to anonymously chat with each other using Apple's 'off the grid mesh network'. It has seen a surge in users, as reported in the press this week in countries such as Iraq. We wrote about it when it launched, but last night a new development has been announced that will push the social messaging / forum app to a new level of user adoption.

TechCrunch reports on the news out last night:

With today’s update to Firechat that’s changing. Android and iOS users can now chat on the same off-the-grid mesh network. This will make Firechat, which has seen some pretty nice growth since its launch, significantly more interesting.

We can see opportunities for consumer brands, media organisations and niche communities alike. Firechat is one to watch and to test out for sure.

June 17, 2014Published by: Drew

How engaging teens on social media needs an understanding of the real reason Facebook is uncool


If you are working on brand communications in a role where understanding teen media consumption is important, then this article on Fast Company is a must-read.


Many think that the reason Facebook is seen as uncool and 'dead' amongst teens is that parents like using Facebook, so teens don't. The truth, it seems, is in the data, and in a fair amount of research done with teens directly. And this all says that parents are only part of the story.


The article suggests that chat apps, photo-sharing social networks, and single-purpose apps in general are better for social networking and media consumption for teens. As a result, Facebook isn't the best place for a young and connected individual to spend their time. And that this is the reason Facebook is 'not cool'.


The article references major research by UCL's Danny Miller, who I had the pleasure of meeting recently to discuss his work in this space, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski from Harvard Business School. Both have found through major research projects that Facebook itself agrees it has lost its cool, and that single purpose apps are its future.

And hey presto: Facebook has, as I write this, has launched its Snapchat competitor app, Slingshot.

Here is a link to the Fast Company feature in full, and I'll finish where it cuts to the chase. Happy bed time reading:

The person who is more aware of this problem than Piskorski or Brandi or anyone, really, is Zuckerberg, who admits that the future of Facebook the company is probably not Facebook the social network. No, what is the future (or seems to be, because if there's anything certain about the future it is that it's impossible to predict, particularly if it involves teens) are single-purpose mobile apps. Think back on what the Hillcrest high schoolers were using straight-off, after a day away from their phones: chat apps, photo apps, all apps that did one thing and did it well. Maybe that's why all those girls laughed about Snapchat, which is one thing, but a bunch of other weird things too. It could also be because, well, just imagine your teenage years, and what Snapchat does, and tell me you're not giggling, too.


June 16, 2014Published by: Drew

10 trends shaping the future internet of things

PSFK Real World Tech

If you are looking for a crib sheet on how to get the most out of the future trends surrounding the internet of things, you could do far worse than spend 20 mins reading PSFK's newest report. The paper, titled: Real World Web - Living with the internet of things, looks at the 10 trends around how digital will re-shape how we live and work.

Here are PSFK's key points from the report:

  1. Shared awareness: how wearable technology is making our lives smarter
  2. Programmable lifestyle: using digital and mobile platforms to control home and work
  3. Open source access: opening up how we interact with the web
  4. Behavioural nudge: how we are becoming smarter thanks to connected devices
  5. Emotional response: controlling the world around us through thought and expression
  6. Contextual experience: how digital experiences are improving based on our actions, location and recent experiences
  7. Adaptive machines: self-learning systems and machines, such as cars
  8. Distributed intelligence: how every electronic device will become wired, and what that means
  9. Environmental whisper: how tech around us is getting smarter
  10. Anticipated action: how our environment will use data to perform intelligently

The paper has heaps of case studies and is worth a read. Here it is on Slideshare if you'd like to see it in full.


June 12, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhall’s view of the future of PR – CIPR North conference keynote and slides

CIPRNC14 - Battenhall talk

Today the CIPR hosted its annual conference the north of England. The theme was the digital PR landscape, and kicked off with CIPR president Stephen Waddington of Ketchum. His speech opening proceedings focused on the changing face of the CIPR and how digital is reshaping things. I was honoured to be asked to speak after Stephen, about the changing face of the PR industry, with the story of Battenhall and how we've experienced this first hand.

My slides are below, they walk through our view of the past, present and future of the communications industry with some personal experiences along the way. A little is missed as this was a talk, not just slides, but I hope you find it of use.

June 11, 2014Published by: Drew

Sony enters the streaming media market with PlayStation TV

Screenshot 2014-06-11 14.31.53

For media and entertainment companies, the streaming media market is very attractive and with good reason. Recent research from Park Associates reported that 20% of U.S. Broadband Households now have a streaming media player. Google Chromecast is the current market leader with Apple TV and Roku not too far behind.

However the current state of the streaming media market may change as another entertainment company is launching its own streaming media service which could potentially disrupt the market. At this year's E3, the largest annual trade show for the computer and video games industry, Sony announced that it was introducing its streaming box for its PlayStation 4 console aptly named "PlayStation TV." 

Already out in Japan but launching in the U.S, Canada and Europe this autumn, Sony's PlayStation TV streaming box enables users to stream content from any device onto their TV set as well as play games on any television set as long as they have a controller at hand.

People's television viewing habits have changed dramatically since the introduction of streaming media. The fact that Playstation TV allows consumers to stream content onto any TV set in a household and Sony is producing exclusive content for the platform indicates that Sony's streaming box could not only disrupt the market but potentially usurp Apple TV and Google Chromsecast as the market leader.

The revolution, in this case, will be streamed, not televised.

June 11, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Calling all interns: Battenhall launches internship programme


We can't quite believe that it's been over a year since we launched Battenhall, and seeing the team grow so fast has been amazing. We've been planning this move for a while, so are super excited to announce we're kickstarting our internship programme today.

We're looking for the best of the best to join us in our Angel office this summer and beyond.

Our work is applied to a range of disciplines including PR and communications, digital and social media research and insights, design, content marketing and community management, all with social media and digital built in at the heart.

We’re looking for anyone who ideally has some relevant experience but most importantly is passionate, enthusiastic and can bring fresh ideas in. If you're looking for a career one day doing what we do, all the better. You will probably have come from a kick-ass placement or study, maybe with some agency experience under your belt too.

While you're with us you'll get involved quickly with the work we do, no sitting around staring at blank walls! We know you don't fancy that, neither do we. You could be involved in anything from media handling, digital and social media content creation and analytics and clients spanning all sectors...

Sound like you? Drop us a line at with a copy of your CV and a note on why you'd love an internship at Battenhall, and we'll take it from there!

June 10, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

President Obama live Tumblr Q&A

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 21.01.21

There are firsts for everything in social media and today President Obama performed the first ever Presidential Q&A on Tumblr - the microblogging platform. The subject matter all the more relevant for Tumblr's core audience of teens and college students: education and college cost, value and affordability.

The Q&A, held on The Official White House Tumblr page was moderated by Tumblr’s founder/CEO David Karp and filmed live from The White House in Washington D.C. Users of tumblr were invited to submit their questions through a dedicated URL - then selected ones were asked to the president. Throughout the Q&A, the hashtag #ObamaIRL recieved around 1,500 tweets with a reach of around 42.4 million.

Questions were listed on screen, complete with the question askers tumblr address and profile photo. Some of the questions focused on the future tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow, asking how President Obama would inspire future tech moguls to fulfil their own dreams and build something like Tumblr or Facebook.

Different demographics have always flocked to varied social networks - here on a topic close to the hearts of teens and college students alike, The White House is proving that behind it's politics, legislation and formalities, it is still dedicated to open forum even on the most relevant of platforms. As said by President Obama in the live Q&A,

"We're constantly looking for new ways to reach audiences in ways that are relevant to them."

The White House has continued to push forward with ensuring they cover off the social web with a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Vimeo.

Visit The Official White House Tumblr to read more about this.

June 10, 2014Published by: Drew

We spend more time on social media than anything else online says new GfK / IAB data

Courtesy of WSJ

New data from researchers GfK and the IAB shows that we spend more time on social media than anything else online. The study, published by the Wall St Journal, is of US adults and was carried out in April this year.

The results are a stark illustration of the importance of social media in the battle for consumer attention. 37mins every day is soaked up on social, compared to 5mins on online newspapers and 3mins for online magazines. Gaming takes up 19mins and online video 23mins.

The results in full along with WSJ's analysis are well worth a read.