Beat the January Blues and start planning your 2019 PR content 

By Raspberry Jim,


Let’s be honest – January is a long, cold, and slightly disorientating month when the only thing you really want to do is hibernate until February.

Sadly, for many, that is not an option.

So, shedding your pyjamas, venturing out of the house and facing the world is an inevitability.

For those of you getting back into the swing of it this month, planning ahead for your news , PR, digital, and social media content in 2019 might seem ever so slightly daunting.

However, this could actually be the ideal time to get planning and get one step ahead of the rest.

This is especially true if you are looking ahead at maximising potential PR, social media, digital, and media angles for the year. Many natural PR, editorial, and social media opportunities crop up around special calendar days and national days, and now is the time to start planning these in and pitching to the media.

Many online sites are devoted to detailing every traditional, unusual, and sometimes strange, calendar observances throughout the year, which you can tap into.  A quick search online should lead you to national and UK-wide calendar days throughout 2019.

These can range from health awareness initiatives, such as National Obesity Awareness Week running this week, to general awareness days such as the gloomy Blue Monday on January 21, to slightly obscure celebrations such as Popcorn Day on January 19.

Whatever your business and its focus, these upcoming events could prove to be especially useful when you’re planning your media and PR activity for the year.

Take for example, Data Privacy Day; Spouse’s Day; and eDay, which are all set to take place this month.

For legal or intellectual property firms, both eDay and Data Privacy Day could be prime opportunities to promote their services and create an article, specialist feature, or advice-led piece around.

Or you could tap into the social media aspect of these days, creating a bespoke social media calendar offering data privacy top tips every few hours, quotes from experts at your firm, gifs, video interviews, and links to articles, which could really bring your social content alive. Always remember to also use any relevant hashtags to ensure you are part of the national discussion.

Equally, Spouse’s Day could also be another opportunity for legal firms to discuss their services either through an article or social media.

And why not utilise your internal digital channels too? Upload case studies to your website’s news section detailing the common mistakes couples make when creating a prenuptial agreement. Add Q&A and expert opinions from your family solicitors, and even upload videos with interviews with staff offering advice to couples.

If this is all tied into and published via your social media accounts then you’re ensuring even more publicity and coverage.

While Static Electricity or Kid Inventors Days could prove to be useful for educational or science-based businesses looking to tap into something a little bit different this month. Why not create online tasks for budding kid inventors on your website? This can then be tied into your social media and promotional messages.

There’s an abundance to choose from, with everything from the sublime to the unusual set to take place.

Planning ahead will enable you to truly maximise natural PR, digital, and social media opportunities and media hooks which arise throughout the year and are often jumped on by the media.

Allowing more time to get organised will allow you to plan a more thorough multimedia approach around these special days, which not only provides editorial coverage through press releases and features, but also social media, design, and video.

And if you really can’t find a calendar day to suit your business needs, there’s always Chocolate Cake Day on January 27 for you to enjoy!

For more information on our services please visit www.jamjar.agency

The making of the Wild Creations promotional video

By Raspberry Jim,

Wild Creations is a vibrant, creative, energetic company with great staff, cool clients and some really weird and wonderful creations.

We wanted to bring this to life in their promotional video.

Our starting point… the company’s slogan. Through the video, we wanted to visualise all that goes into making ‘the weird and wonderful realised’.

So, how did we do it?

After spending some time with the company to understand more about what they do, it quickly became evident that it’s the ‘weird and wonderful’ team that work at Wild Creations that are at the heart of their unique creations.

We spent a day at their warehouse filming some fly on the wall footage before interviewing members of the team.

As videographers, it is our duty to make our subject feel as comfortable as we can in front of the daunting lens, in addition to doing justice to what they do by how we capture their essence on the set. It’s obvious to us that the subject matter is what really makes this video compelling. The Wild Creations team is full of fun, interesting people and this video is a showcase of their personalities and their work.

When it came to the edit, we started off with an impactful opening scene, with quick-cutting close up sequences all sound synced to an energetic drum beat.

This method is most commonly known through Edgar Wright’s films, such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, but the reason why Edgar Wright inspired us to use this method is the fact that it helped set the tone of the video.

The fast paced edit sequence which shows a team member getting ready for the day portrays the fun, energetic nature of the company and the strategic use of close-ups adds to the visual intrigue.

The video is edited to a fun drum beat track, which represents the fast pace working environment at Wild Creations. This track allowed us to experiment with the edit, by having pauses to emphasize the ‘weirdness’ of the team but also to highlight their uniqueness.

We absolutely loved making this video and jamming alongside the brilliant Wild Creations team. We hope you like it as much as we do.

Social media secrets – Top tips for posting on the go

By Raspberry Jim,

While many of us spend our days tapping on our phones and scrolling through our feeds, it can quickly become a full-time job when you’re responsible for work social accounts.

It goes without saying that it can be tough to carve out the time to update your social media accounts when you’re out and about, and “doing it for the ‘gram” could be low on your list of priorities.

Whether you’re in meetings, travelling up and down the country or stuck typing furiously, here are our top tips for keeping your social feeds fresh when you’re too busy to double tap.

Don’t overcomplicate it

When you’re posting a status, a tweet or an Insta caption on behalf of your brand, it can be all too easy to fall mute and settle for an emoji.

Keep on-the-go posts simple, authentic and in line with the visual content you’re posting. If it’s a funny team moment, don’t be afraid to show the lighter side of the working day, and don’t over analyse the post that goes with it. Just please (really, please), proof read before hitting share.

Going to a big event? Don’t be afraid to use memes, GIFs or other trending content to capture those tweet-worthy moments.

Keep an eye out

Not everyone is lucky enough to be a natural photographer, but you can easily train your eye to see what makes a good photograph.

Taking a good photo can be simple, as long as you know what you’re looking for. Keep an eye out for interesting subjects, angles and colourful backdrops to avoid falling into the ‘predictable photo’ category.

Even if you’re rushing around, take a moment to think about framing and composition (you don’t want a lamp post poking out of the back of someone’s head). Make sure you stop and hold the camera still and straight – the last thing you want is a blurry, low quality photograph which could have been saved if given an extra few seconds.

Be ‘appy

Having the right tools at your fingertips is crucial for creating high quality visual content on the go. The trick is knowing exactly which apps can help you in a jam, getting you out of a sticky social situation in no time.

When it comes to photography, apps can sweep in to save the day when you’ve only got your iPhone camera at your disposal. Using highly developed and popular apps such as Afterlight 2, Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom can help enhance photos and correct composition if you’ve been slightly too hasty with the shutter button.

You can also design Instagram and Facebook stories using apps such as SNOW and Unfold. SNOW boasts a variety of templates and filters designed to perfect your Insta moments, while Unfold provides designed templates which allow you to polish your stories with an editorial look.

Check the App store on a regular basis to see the latest must have downloads or trending photo apps such as HUJI.

Schedulers aren’t just for desktop

It may seem like you only need scheduling platforms for those moments when you’re sat at your desk, but schedulers such as HootSuite and Sprout Social will be handy if you need to post on the go. This means you won’t need to keep your social accounts linked to your personal Twitter and Facebook, and for anyone who works with social media knows, that’s a boundary that’s too easy to cross.

Let me tell you a story…

Social media is all about digital storytelling and less about the obvious sell. To drive brand awareness and engage followers, you’ll need to be capturing real life moments and documenting your brand’s journey in an authentic, relatable way.

Instagram’s Stories feature has been changing the way brands share their story, including a range of features such as GIFs, polls and questions – making it an easy tool for market research as well as driving engagement.

Stories also allows followers to indulge their nosiness (we’re all guilty!) and provide a behind the scenes look at your company, people and working life.  Just be sure to use your phone’s camera and not the built in Instagram alternative, which compresses images.

Without the barrier of the platform’s tricky algorithm and the pressure of maintaining a perfectly curated and on trend Instagram grid, Stories allows brands to break through the noise. Need more convincing? Stories boast 300million daily users, so make the most of them.

Read all about it… later

Got big news but too busy to write a blog about it? Announcing your news on social could be the quick and easy answer, but you may lose the opportunity to drive traffic to your website by speaking too soon.

If you’re eager to share but want to make the most of the opportunity, post teasers across your social media accounts. Use emojis and cropped images as clues, creating mystery with only a few taps.

Still in a quandary? Our jammers can help sweeten up your social. Whether you’re looking for fresh content ideas, need some training or want to fully outsource your social media management, please check out our services and give us a call.

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.

Cardiff Bus supports 6th national Catch the Bus Week

By Raspberry Jim,

Untitled design-6People across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are being urged to swap their car for the bus to celebrate the 6th annual Catch the Bus Week.

The bus operator is taking part in the UK-wide initiative, which aims to promote the ease, comfort and environmental benefits of choosing sustainable bus travel.

The week, which runs from July 2nd to July 8th, will see operators across the country hosting public information sessions and events to help promote bus travel to non-bus users.

During the initiative Cardiff Bus will be taking part in the Your Bus Matters event, at Barry King Square, on Tuesday 3rd July from 10am to 2pm.The event, hosted by Bus Users Cymru, provides the chance to discuss timetables and services.

Then on Wednesday 4th July from 10am to 4pm the bus operator will be hosting a Cardiff Bus Roadshow, on Queen Street, to enable people to learn about the benefits of bus travel and receive a free goodie bag.

Commercial manager at Cardiff Bus Gareth Stevens said the initiative was a “fantastic way” to highlight the various benefits of bus travel.

He said: “We at Cardiff Bus are pleased to be supporting the 6th annual Catch the Bus Week.

“This event is vital in highlighting the numerous benefits of bus travel, so we would encourage people to come along and find out more.

“We look forward to getting out and speaking with our valued customers and getting feedback on our services.

“Come along, say hello and take a look at our latest vehicles which are modern, comfortable and WiFi enabled, helping you get the most out of your journey with us.”

The bus operator will also be giving away daily prizes via its Twitter and Facebook channels, including weekly and monthly bus tickets.

To find out more information about Catch the Bus Week and Cardiff Bus visit its website https://www.cardiffbus.com/