Mythical Creatures made with LEGO® bricks have arrived at Mermaid Quay

By Raspberry Jim,


Cardiff Bay is home to mythical creatures and more now that the BRICKLIVE Fantasy Kingdom has landed at Mermaid Quay.

Nine fabulous models made with a total of nearly 750,000 LEGO® bricks have taken over Tacoma Square, in the heart of Mermaid Quay, until Sunday 1st September.

Free to view, the display features an 11ft fire-breathing dragon, a unicorn and two hunting wolves as well as a wizard, princess, knight and huntswoman. Collectively the models took over 2,000 hours to build. There are also cute dragon whelps (baby dragons) displayed in the windows of various businesses in Mermaid Quay.

At the heart of the display is a throne – laid out in shimmering silk and encrusted with the finest LEGO® brick rubies, emeralds and sapphires – on which visitors can sit and take selfies. Mermaid Quay is running a weekly photo competition to crown a Selfie King or Queen each week – with FREE ice cream for a year from Cadwaladers Mermaid Quay as the weekly prize.


In addition, Mermaid Quay is running a host of other competitions, including:

  • A colouring competition to win a £100 voucher to spend at wagamama Mermaid Quay for young people aged 11 and under to bring their fantasy land to life with their best ever colouring in.
  • story writing competition to win a dinner for a family of four worth up to £75 from Bill’s Mermaid Quay with the theme of myths and legends for anyone aged 12 or over.
  • A themed fancy-dress competition to win fabulous treats at The Crepe Escape Mermaid Quay – open to all ages, the ‘fantasy’ theme means that visitors can let their imaginations run wild with a rich array of possible costumes – from princesses and knights to mythical creatures and unicorns!

This is the first time BRICKLIVE’s Fantasy Kingdom have been be on display in Wales and follows the success of previous displays at Mermaid Quay including the Great Brick Safari, Santa’s Sleigh and Big Cats, which all attracted many thousands of visitors.

The display is visible any time, but the throne will only be available to sit on 10am – 6pm daily. Visiting the installation is free of charge.

World Emoji Day

By Raspberry Jim,


Wednesday 17th July 2019
#worldemojiday


We’re celebrating World Emoji Day here at jamjar which made us think, when did emojis become such a presence in our communications. Whether it’s every day in Whatsapp or big brand usage, we’re going to take a look…

Emoji History

Here are some stats:

  • Originating on Japanese mobile phones in 1997, the emoji became increasingly popular worldwide in the 2010s after being added to several mobile operating systems.
  • Five billion emojis are sent daily on Facebook Messenger.
  • By mid-2015, half of all comments on Instagram included an emoji.


Becoming a part of everyday communication

Emojis become so engrained in our communications that in 2015 the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year was an emoji.

This one to be precise:

😂

Oxford Dictionaries President, Caspar Grathwohl, explained that:

“Traditional alphabet scripts have been struggling to meet the rapid-fire, visually focused demands of 21st Century communication. It’s not surprising that a pictographic script like emoji has stepped in to fill those gaps—it’s flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully.”

https://languages.oup.com/


In popular culture

Adding to the plethora of emojis in our lives, 2017 also saw the release of The Emoji Movie drawing big name stars like Patrick Stewart, Christina Aguilera and James Corden to add voices to the emoji characters.


Most and least used emojis

Here at jamjar we did a poll and found out that our most used emojis are:

❤️ 🤦‍♀️


Our most used food and drink emojis are:

🍓 🍷


And our most used animal emojis are:

🙈 🙊


We like to be a bit different here at jamjar and we’re bucking the trend with the rest of the UK who’s favourite emoji according to a 2018 article was the 😂 along with the US, whist Canada is spreading the love with the ❤️ but Ireland leads with the 💩 (the article chose to exclude the ubiquitous smiley face and go for the second most popular).


In case all this emoji chat has piqued your curiosity….care to hazard a guess as to what are the least used emojis? It’s the aerial tramway 🚡 and the uppercase ABCD block 🔠.


Confusing emojis

Does this mean silly, yum or joking to you?

😋

Here at jamjar we think it means yummy, but silly was a very close second! How about you?

Take a look at some confusing emojis below:


(Source HSI)


Emojis in marketing campaigns

Big name brands are also not afraid to embrace the emoji. Some brilliant examples of late have included Dominos Pizza (who now allow you to order a pizza using the pizza emoji) and also the WWF campaign that highlighted that there are 17 emoji animals that are currently endangered and encouraged people to donate 10p every time they were retweeted.


(Source https://anyware.dominos.com/ )


And finally…

Because we know by now that we definitely have piqued your emoji interest, we’ll leave you with these teasers curated by the jamjar team of their favourite films and songs:

Favourite Songs:

💃👸

🕒➡️🕒

👓🙋💗

🌲💚

Favourite Films:

💦🍆🌆

🦁👑

👰🏽👯‍♀️🍲💩

📖👱‍♀️🦃 🍲

Recruitment drive underway at Newport hospital

By Raspberry Jim,


A transition-focused healthcare provider, which is investing £1.5m in extending its specialist neuro-degenerative centre, St Peter’s hospital, has begun its recruitment drive to fill 75 roles.

Ludlow Street Healthcare is looking to strengthen its existing staff team by bringing in more nurses and support workers to work at the Newport-based facility.

Earlier this year the independent healthcare provider announced plans to extend the Newport hospital in a bid to meet the growing need for care provision for people with neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric conditions including acquired brain injury (ABI).

The extension at St Peter’s, which has been awarded the highest service ranking from the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), will eventually add 4,542 sq ft of space and 18 new beds to the hospital.

With the building work planned in three phases, the first phase which is nearly complete will accommodate six new beds on the ground floor, adding to the 33 already available, along with spacious living and dining areas, a kitchen, and nurse’s station.

David Lawrence, CEO, of Ludlow Street Healthcare recently visited St Peter’s Hospital to view the work completed so far.

David met with Tony Griffiths, Managing Director of Ludlow Langstone Construction, the contractors for the project and visited some of the residents in the existing hospital.

During the visit, he saw some of the facilities which will be available for the new patients, all of which aim to create calm and familiar environments. These included the in-house hair and nail salon, the sensory room, and the relaxation room with its Wellness Nordic Relax Chair.

David also took the time to drop in on one of the Move it or Lose It exercise sessions specially designed to encourage less mobile patients to remain fit and active.

Among other activities available to patients at St Peter’s are animal therapy sessions. Studies show that interaction with animals can lower stress levels, alleviate depression, boost activity and provide companionship. 

St Peter’s has incorporated this popular form of therapy into their regular programming and Mr Lawrence dropped by to experience a session for himself during his visit and meet the animals kindly brought along by Walnut Tree Farm Park.

There has already been considerable interest in the new hospital facilities and once the formal registration process of the new hospital unit is complete, Ludlow Street Healthcare expects to be able to welcome the first new patients in early autumn.

The increased specialist service provision means that Welsh patients who are presently being cared for outside of Wales will be able to return and live closer to home and their families.

Mr Lawrence said: “We are delighted with the work which has been completed on St Peter’s Hospital extension project.

“We feel the extension will significantly enhance the highly regarded treatment and rehabilitation service we already offer.

“There are currently 800,000 people with neurodegenerative diseases living in the UK, and due to people living longer and changing lifestyles, this is forecast to increase to one million.

“This project, along with the extra staff and facilities means we will be better able to meet the growing requirement for specialist neuropsychiatric care.

“St Peter’s Hospital has long been recognized as experts in the care of people with neurodegenerative disorders, and we feel that this significant investment and new extension will allow us to extend the excellent care provision we can offer.”

25 new staff are being recruited currently to support the opening of the 1st phase, with plans to recruit a further 50 staff at the beginning of next year to support the rest of the extension as it completes and is ready to welcome patients.

In addition to St Peter’s Hospital, Ludlow Street Healthcare operates numerous sites, including Pinetree Hospital and Heatherwood Court, which each specialise in areas including the treatment, support, and rehabilitation of people with learning disabilities and mental health disorders.

The group also operates Beechwood College a specialist further education establishment for young adults with complex Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Ocean Community Services which manages small residential step-down and rehabilitation homes within community settings.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the career opportunities on offer should visit https://www.lshealthcare.co.uk/ludlow-careers/

Britain’s Got Talent Finalist ‘X’ to perform in concert with children and young people from across South Wales

By Raspberry Jim,


Mysterious Britain’s Got Talent finalist ‘X’ was revealed to be none other than last year’s semi-finalist – magician Marc Spellman.

Spellman, a mind-reader and magician, impressed Britain’s Got Talent judges in 2018 with his emotional performances, which earned him the elusive Golden Buzzer, but this year went on to the final to scoop the runner-up prize.

ITV viewers and the judges were left in shock on Sunday night as the performer revealed his identity at the grand final missing out on the main prize by a nose to Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery.

At the end of his performance, ‘X’ played a video which revealed who he really was, adding: “It was always about hope and never giving up, it has been an honour sharing X with you. I am X.”

This revelation also came as a shock to hundreds of school children and young people across South Wales, involved in the Beyond Words-Hitting the Right Note concert, of which Marc is a patron.

A thousand children from 36 schools across South Wales have volunteered to sing in a musical extravaganza at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, supported by a host of celebrity acts and professional musicians.

The Beyond Words concert, now in its sixth year, will take place on 15th July 2019 at the Motorpoint Arena and will feature local school children and young people aged between 8 and 23, with a team of young people aged 16 to 23 organising the event.

The theme of the concert will be based on the smash hit song A Million Dreams from the hugely popular musical The Greatest Showman but adapted to create a story about charity and young people’s dreams.

The concert is set to be a showcase of different talents with the children learning new skills as a result of performing alongside world-renowned artists.

Paul Zerdin, a British comedian, ventriloquist and winner of America’s Got Talent in 2015, along with his ‘dysfunctional’ puppet family including popular ‘teenager’ Sam, will also be performing alongside ‘Mystery artist’ Marc at the concert.

Paul says of his role in the project, “It’s terrific being involved with a project that can really reach out and have such a positive effect on young people. Also being a ventriloquist, I have more than one voice which does help make up the thousand voices!”

How to spot a good news angle

By Raspberry Jim,

How do you spot a good news angle?

That’s a question that I, as a former journalist turned PR professional, get asked quite frequently by clients.

Before writing an article, press release, or blog, everyone will ask themselves if the topic they are considering writing about is, in fact, interesting enough to warrant further discussion.

The term we often use to refer to a good article angle, is whether it is newsworthy or not.

Identifying a newsworthy story can be the difference between achieving great coverage, or sending an article out into the news and media abyss.

Newsworthy or not?

But how do you know if something is newsworthy?

Generally, a good news angle is deemed to be something which is genuinely new, interesting, and informative, and provides a unique perspective which promotes widespread interest and discussion.

However, when it comes to PR, this can be tricky. What a journalist deems newsworthy, and what a business believes is newsworthy may be two totally separate things.

There are many reasons for this. It can be difficult for managers or those personally invested in a business to separate what’s interesting to them, from what’s interesting to the general public.

Being realistic and truly assessing the wider news value of your company information, can often shed a light on whether something is actually newsworthy.

When deciding on news value, it’s always handy to carry out a little bit of research online into similar industry stories and gauge interest.

Tapping into the news

Then there’s current events and news.

This could be seen to be an easy win for businesses in achieving coverage.

It allows businesses to comment on a story with in-built media interest while offering their own specialist opinion and adding genuine value to the article.

Any time a company can legitimately further the discussion around a news story or widely discussed topic, they are ensuring their story is newsworthy.

Let’s be honest, if you’re talking about something in the news, chances are the public will be too.

Human interest

 

Heartfelt human interest stories are particularly newsworthy and effective in engaging with the general public in an emotive way.

Readers will empathise with articles which detail personal achievement, overcoming adversity, tragedy and triumph, and heartfelt struggles. This enables them to form an emotional attachment with the story’s subject matter increasing their engagement and understanding of your message.

But this can be challenging when you are searching for a human angle in a business story.

Ask yourself, did this promotion come after years of tireless work and personal achievement for the staff member? Has an MBO allowed a family member to continue their family’s business legacy? There could be something you haven’t considered!

Obviously, this should only be used under appropriate circumstances and when there is a legitimate story to tell.

Statistics and figures

What catches your attention more effectively – Workers taking duvet days due to stress, OR Over 1.8 million workers forced to take duvet days due to stress.

Using statistics and figures within an article, and headline, not only strengthens it and draws in the reader by quantifying what you are discussing, but it backs up your point with numerical evidence and legitimises it.

More people are likely to be engaged by an article that discusses specific figures that they can relate to, rather than something vague, such as terms including ‘large sum’, ‘significant amount’ or ‘numerous’.

If a story said: People in Wales were consuming 100 chocolate bars per hour – I’d definitely want to read it! And be honest, you might too …

Finally …

Overall assessing whether a story is newsworthy or not is really about being realistic, doing a little bit of research, using some news savviness, and exercising honest non-biased judgement.

If in doubt, the PR team at jamjar are always here to help steer you in the right direction! As content and media specialists, we have a ‘nose for news’ and are happy to advise you on what has news value.

 

That’s our jam – How Starbucks turned pumpkin spice into a social media icon

By Raspberry Jim,

It’s September, which means it’s officially time for the Autumn aesthetic to blow across our Insta feeds with the harbinger of spooky season, the pumpkin spice latte.

Back in the day, liking Autumn meant you liked chilly walks with the dog and orange foliage. Now, it’s almost a punchline as we gather on Instagram to share our bobble hat selfies and coffee cups.

Starbucks’ audience seems to fall into two categories, coffee consumers who mock the PSL, and those who blissfully ignore the social shame that often comes with loving the beverage.

In the 15 years since its creation, over 350million cups of the caffeinated pumpkin potion have been sold to the masses, and it’s hard to imagine a drink as ubiquitous as the pumpkin spice latte. While the long-awaited winter drinks get their fair share of fame, with bespoke red cups taking over social media feeds come mid-November, the pumpkin spice latte is its own beast.

Unlike the festive favourites, the PSL looks no different to any other drink in a white paper cup. A Starbucks cup is just a Starbucks cup, but in this case it’s what’s inside that counts.

By now, everyone knows how to take a photo of it. Hold your cup with dark nails, throw in a couple of leaves, boots and some pumpkins and you have yourself an Insta post worthy of a double tap.

The autumn reign of terror, as some see it, begins in late August as seasonal creep gets in full swing, when the PSL transcends from seemingly innocuous drink into a social media icon.

 

How did they do it?

Over the last few years, the coffee company has turned the drink into a marketing machine. It didn’t happen overnight and while it’s certainly benefitted from keeping a firm strategy in place, its relied heavily on the loyalty of its customer to produce visual content.

Luckily, millennials form a large part of the PSL audience and have the instinctual habit of sharing everything. They grew up when social media was invented, growing with it and sharing as they went along. Millennials, along with Gen X, feel the urgency of social media and many of them are happy to show that they’re first in line for the limited-edition drink.

With the explosion of user generated content over the last decade, Starbucks eagerly tapped into its consumers’ love for cosy nostalgia and snapping its signature cups. For its target demographic, a shameless Insta is part of the fun – and Starbucks knows it, this is all part of the experience that it sells.

In 2016, social media analytics company Spredfast measured the pumpkin spice hype, finding that Starbucks’ famous autumn coffee receives 493 percent more likes per post than photos tagged with #Starbucks.

That year, it also launched a Facebook messenger bot for the drink where fans could talk to The Real PSL directly. Of course, it was fun and interactive and as all bots are, limited in its response but amusing nonetheless.

The peak of its social media popularity came down to two things, its reliance on its audience to create demand, and social media accounts created specifically for the drink. It built Instagram and Twitter accounts that lay dormant for much of the year, with an online presence that only emerges during the winddown of Frappuccino season.

With 36.8k and 110k followers on Instagram and Twitter, TheRealPSL is always in character. With pumpkin puns and personal replies to Tweets, the account has provided the digital version of a name scrawled on a paper cup, without the misspelling.

The verified accounts are reactive to social media buzzwords, tapping into trends that saturate timelines. In 2017, it hooked into the popularity of Netflix success Stranger Things, using the show’s recognisable fairy light wall to spell out PSL in a one-off Tweet and Instagram animation which amassed over 15000 likes collectively.

A few years ago, it also targeted pumpkin spice fans by inviting them to join the Orange Sleeve Society, a not-so-secret society where members received knitted orange cup sleeves to adorn their Starbucks cups. The drink might be considered ‘basic’, but Starbucks knows how to sell it to those who love it.

In the UK, the coffee giant quietly dropped the PSL and its counterpart, the newly crafted Maple Latte, a week before the official launch for it’s My Starbucks Rewards customers. With minimal fuss and an app notification that let pumpkin spice lovers in on the secret before anyone else, it created demand through the social endorsement that millennials value above all else – social endorsement from their friends and followers.


While it seemed quiet on the social media front, 2018’s social strategy included creating an exclusive Facebook group known as The Leaf Rakers Society. The group is a place for PSL fans to come together and celebrate the upcoming season, while the company gleans insight and feedback from its customers. Despite only promoting the group once across its channels, it accumulated over 23,000 members in under two months.

While it enjoys a social media explosion of coffee cup selfies and leaf emojis, Starbucks is no amateur and it knows that the PSL is one of the most popular and controversial social media conversation starters. It happily pokes fun at its ‘basic’ stereotype, with many of its fans following suit.

The PSL might taste a bit like a candle and if you hate it, you’ll probably brag about hating it, but that’s all part of the charm. The point is you bought one anyway, and you’re talking about it.