Snapchat yesterday announced a new integration with Bitmoji, part of Bitstrips, a personalised emoji app which the company bought in March 2016 for a reported $100 million. So what is Bitmoji, how do you use it and what does Battenhall make of it?
It may sound like a minor update, but the rumour in itself has made social media managers (and savvy tweeters) rejoice. According to Bloomberg, Twitter could be changing the way that it counts characters. This means that photos and links will no longer be included in the character limit that currently uses 23 characters for a link or photo. We all know how irritating it is to cut down on your own creative witticism to fit within the 140 character limit, let alone reducing it further to add an amusing GIF or meme.
This is a post about how Battenhall works. We are now three years old, and throughout our time building up this business we have tried to foster a new way of working that I felt when we launched better fits the social media age in which we live. The good news is that our model is flourishing. And the single question I get asked the most about what we do at Battenhall is: "but how does it work in reality?" So I wrote this post to explain a little.
Today our business turns three years old! Today we're a big, busy, bustling business full of creative minds, innovators and award winners, but three years ago today, Battenhall launched in a big empty office in East London, with only a tiny bit of client work to get us started, and only one person (me!). However we had big plans - to become the next great agency. Here is what I wrote about our founding mission back then. It was a scary and exciting time. But there was a gap in the market for a digital innovation-led communications agency, and the rest is history.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced last night that it is being used by a billion people every month, with fresh stats confirming that a whopping 43 billion messages and 250 million videos are sent on a daily basis.
If you subscribe to the Battenhall WhatsApp, you will know just how much messaging apps are disrupting brand communications - not just because you'll be used to receiving from us what you might otherwise have taken from a newsletter or a Twitter trawl, but through the content that we share through it too, that shows daily how our clients and brands across the world are innovating with their use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Line, Firechat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram messaging and the list goes on.
It's not every day you get a shortlisting for a PR Week Award. The self proclaimed 'Oscars for the communications industry' is a biggie, and whilst I've been fortunate enough to have been in the running twice before, once last year for new agency of the year, and once in 2010 at my previous agency for the exact same award, I have never won a single thing there. Which is why last night at the 2015 PR Week Awards, when the hosts announced 'And the winner is....' then the word 'BATTENHALL' followed - not once but twice - I truly could not believe it.
We won two best agency awards last night, best small agency and best specialist agency. We're small because we're new, something I tried to explain to the judges when we presented to them, because we were up against some very well-established agency brands, and that's always going to be tough with only two years of business under your belt. We're humbled to have been recognised for that accolade and for what we've managed to achieve in a short space of time.
But it is the best specialist agency award that I am most excited about. Our specialism is social media, but we were up against agencies who have been in business for decades, global consultancies, and the best brands in their own fields - from consumer, to tech, to food and drink. To to not only fly the flag for social media industry, but to be awarded best of the best, is a real honour. We're young, we have a hell of a lot more to achieve, and we're only just getting started.
A huge thank you for these awards must go to the entire Battenhall team, all our supporters, clients, friends and families who have cheered us along. We literally could not have done it without you.
This Monday we hosted 150 VIPs at our annual social media trends briefing event. We began running this event when we were just months old as an agency, and in our first year there was queuing round the block to get in (and cronuts), then in our second year there was cover story news of our talk (in the Daily Telegraph no less), so we had our work cut out this year to make our event bigger and badder than ever.
Our venue was the brand spanking new Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly Circus. The venue started to fill at 7am, as our guests tucked into some pastries and power networking before the speakers took to the lectern. Here is how we planned the order of events:
Part 1: our launch of the new FTSE 100 social media report and key findings
Wrap-up: our live poll of what the audience is planning on social media in 2016
The results: our event was the top trending topic on Twitter in the UK, and with write-ups in the Telegraph, City AM, Management Today, The Drum and across the web. The best way to review how the event went is through the write-ups online. The attendees and those tuning in from their desks took better notes collectively than any of the Battenhallers could have. So if you missed it, here is how it went.