Archives for July 2014

July 24, 2014Published by: Steph Bennett

Imoji App for iPhone turns your selfies into stickers

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 18.14.51

We're all rather fond of the humble emoji but I think it's fair to say that we've all been crying out for something a little less 'clipart' and a lot more fun and well, personal when it comes to stickers to use in our messages.

The Battenhall team are huge fans of memes and gifs so you can imagine our delight when when we discovered theimoji app via The Next Web just moments ago. The imoji app allows you to take an image or photo of your own, upload it to the app and then trim the edges around an object or a face to make entirely unique stickers for you to share with your friends.

imojiapp

In terms of ease of use, the app is quite simply but not always immediately intuitive to use. When you create your first imjoi it's added to a card in the app. You then need to hold, drag and drop your sticker to the centre of the card and the app opens up an iMessage complete with your sticker, ready to send straight away. There is still room for development here as I for one would love to be able to natively post my imojis to Twitter and other social networks too, not just use them for iMessage but there are ways around that for now I'm sure.

Try it for yourself and tweet us to let us know what you think @Battenhall

 

 

July 24, 2014Published by: Drew

Facebook fights Twitter with Mentions and influencers

Facebook Mentions Facebook has launched its newest stand-alone app, this time a niche one, aimed only at high profile, verified influencers. The app, Mentions, is intended to make it easier for 'actors, athletes, musicians and other influencers' to manage their Facebook experience, including advanced tools for posting content and engaging with large numbers of fans.

Users of the app already include the likes of Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran and Arianna Huffington. Facebook has been taking its influencer relations activity really seriously of late, as this article on NewsCred explains in some detail:

In recent months [Facebook] has bulked up a global team tasked with courting and hand-holding stars; in some cases, it offers incentives for those who post. Facebook itself is proud to tout their own celebrity successes, as a recent write up in their own newsroom illustrates.

According to an article in Business Insider, this has been Facebook’s strategy for some time, under the leadership of Dan Rose, VP of Partnerships and Acquisitions Chief. His team has been nestling up to media organizations and those in the entertainment industry to forge partnerships with Facebook.

The app is available here and is currently only available on iOS.


July 23, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Tracking Transience: a project tracking ALL the things

Gotta love Ted Talks for continuing to ask questions worth asking, in this instance: how much are you prepared to reveal online? We first came across Hasan Elahi's Tracking Transience project on the Ted stage, where he explained how the self-surveillance project has for over a decade allowed the FBI — and the public — to monitor him.

After a misleading tip linked this artist to terrorist activities - and an FBI investigation, he created a project that lets anyone monitor him. Full disclosure is given online; we can see where Hasan is, what he's doing, his phone records, banking records and flight data. As if this is not enough, there are also time-stamped photos of beds Hasan has slept in, toilets visited and food eaten - full disclosure in the true sense of the words.

We’re still in a transition between analog and digital, and for as long as we’re in this state of flux, we’ll develop a more sophisticated understanding of the consequences of living under constant surveillance. For now, at least, we still have control over what information we put forth publicly. Being mindful of how we do that feels like a good first step toward retaining control. - Hasan Elahi

This talk raises interesting questions and is well worth watching. Check it out below.

July 21, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhall shortlisted for PR Week New Consultancy of the Year

PR Week awards 2014 shortlist

This afternoon we received the news that our first award entry, for the PR Week Awards this October, has seen us shortlisted for New Consultancy of the Year. We're all a bit like THIS. And this. Oh, and this.

We're quite young still, only just having turned one year old as an agency, and we can see we're up against some stiff opposition. Aduro, Capella, Incisive Health and The CommsCo are all epic agencies and we wish them the best of British! We're flattered to even be in such great company on the shortlist.

Now for three months of nail-biting and nerve-jangling for all at Battenhall HQ.


July 19, 2014Published by: Drew

One year in, how Battenhall’s focus on the 80/20 rule and innovation is working

This week I read these two articles on the same day with great interest:

Over the last couple of weeks I have found myself presenting Battenhall's business model and our way of working at events, on camera and to panels of judges. Similar questions come back to me about it every time; how can the way you're trying to work at Battenhall work in practice?

Side projects

We try to do a number of things differently to other consultancy businesses here at Battenhall (read our manifesto here if you're interested in going a bit deeper). We set aside 20% of all consultants' time for side projects, we offer unlimited holiday, flexi and remote working as standard, and we shower everyone in leading edge technology, including the highest-end tools available to do our jobs, small things like an unlimited Evernote Moleskine allowance, and a personal tech budget of £1,200 per person. This way of working is not only designed to attract the best people, it's there to foster the best working environment and the highest quality of client work possible.

So cultivating a culture of innovation and side projects leads to a more productive, engaged and successful team, I know that, as I have worked by that principle myself and encouraged it in my teams for years. It also breeds new ideas and innovation at speed. But only now, through articles like this, is the concept beginning to be documented.

Battenhall how we work

How we work at Battenhall (link)

Most people ask me how we manage such a way of working. It must be a nightmare, right? One question put to me this week though was different - I was asked: how will you be able to build a profitable business when you allow your consultants to work in this way? It's a good question. Empirical evidence is only now starting to come out, such as in the above Next Web article, that shows the 80/20 rule when applied to billable hours in a consultancy really pays off. First hand, just over a year in applying this model to work, I can certainly see it working. The opposite, of course, is simply a long hours culture, where ideas are then forced, and all too often the big problems are all people problems. I have seen that first hand all too often.

More importantly though for us, as a consultancy and a people business, is the impact of innovation on our quality of work. If we do great work and foster innovation, we find hiring, new business and client retention all see the benefits too. It all goes hand in hand. And those three things are normally the three biggest obstacles, financially and operationally, when setting up and building a people business such as a communications consultancy.

So when I saw this business in Chicago and its staff protesting at its enforced 6minute toilet breaks, I saw the polar opposite to our side project culture. At Battenhall we get involved in all sorts of projects, from charity work to social media initiatives such as VEDA. Some of us learn to build products, and some go back to school. It's all good, and there isn't a complicated structure to making it happen. It has to be that way.

If anyone else is passionate about side projects, get in touch or comment below. We'd love to hear how this new way of working looks in other businesses.

 

July 16, 2014Published by: Drew

Response to Facebook’s mood measuring experiment asks users to leave for 99 days

99 Days of Freedom - Battenhall

A Dutch movement has started called '99 Days of Freedom' in response to Facebook's recent experiment in how its changes in the News Feed content can effect users' moods. 99 Days is an experiment to see what impact there could be on our moods if we left the social network altogether, and already in the last few days 21,800 have joined in.

It has been well-documented that younger users of Facebook are beginning to switch off, so the 99 Days experiment seems to hit a raw nerve with many.

You can take part if you like by signing up on the 99 Days site here, and if you'd like to see some of the reasoning behind the project from its creators, the write-up on PSFK is worth a look.


July 14, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

SnapChat experiments with collaborative timelines, again

RioLive
Last night, SnapChat users were in for a surprise as the social photo sharing app rolled out RioLive, showing live coverage of SnapChatters in Rio perfectly timed around the Cup's final match. RioLive was not promoted, but simply appeared in users' timelines, with only users in Rio being able to add to it.

This is the second major test that SnapChat carried out with collaborative timelines, after Our Story was  launched last month. This new feature is aimed at big events, where there will be an option to add to that event’s public Story, appearing just below the option to add it to your own Story. This way the entire group of attendees, regardless of friendship within the app, can post to a single stream.

The World Cup fans in our team loved RioLive, but not everyone was as appreciative of the unannounced feature, with some people complaining on Twitter and other channels of the creepiness and intrusiveness of it. All in all, RioLive is a good example of Our Story in action and represents a chance for SnapChat to eventually monetise its service, following in the footsteps of Instagram.

July 10, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhallers out and about this week

Steph Bennett 300Seconds

Last night our account director supreme Steph Bennett was invited to speak at the '300 seconds' event about #BattenVEDA - A vlogger community for YouTube's VEDA challenge to vlog every day in April / August. The event took place at the European headquarters of Yammer and Steph wowed the audience on the topic of vlogging and social media, in the run up to BattenVeda, our bi-annual vlogger challenge.

Sam Phillips The Wall

And this morning our star client service director Sam Phillips had an article published on The Wall about the future of the press release. In her piece she puts forward ideas on the evolution of the press release in the current and future media landscape, and I think it's well worth a read for anyone working in PR. Check out the comments there for discussion too.