Digital Media, Facebook, Hughes PR, Social media, Twitter

Timehop – letting me relive my social media brilliance

Kate Potter writes…

About 18 months ago, I signed up to a little service called Timehop. First available as an email service and now available as an iPhone app, Timehop allows you to travel back in time – reliving your online life!

Timehop – originally called 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo – allows you to look back on this day one year ago on social media. But it doesn’t just stop there – it gives you two years ago, three years ago… even “on this day” six years ago!

It shows your Tweets, your Facebook posts, your Foursquare check-ins, Instagram posts and Flickr uploads from this day in social media history.

I find it absolutely fascinating. I relive funny links, interesting posts, personal thoughts and fantastic photos.

Interestingly, Timehop makes me want to use social media more. In particular, I have been prompted to use Foursquare much more thanks to my Timehop experience, and I love adding photos to my Foursquare check-ins. When I signed up to Timehop my Instagram use had also fallen by the wayside a bit. I was encouraged to use Instagram a bit more thanks to Timehop and many months later, it’s now my favourite and go-to social media network.

I’d love to see Timehop link in with other social “apps” like Nike+ or RunKeeper (this day in your fitness history!), and blogging platforms like Tumblr or WordPress. YouTube might be fun too – what were you watching on this day one year ago?

The downside? You need a Facebook account in order to sign up. If you’re a die-hard Twitter / Instagram / Flickr user but you don’t have a Facebook account, then Timehop doesn’t accommodate you.

If you’re an iPhone user, give Timehop a try and be entertained by your past social media self. It’s like a time capsule for the digital age!

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Hughes PR

Offspring, Oreos and Opportunity: the power of acting in the moment

Natalie Ciccocioppo writes…

I have a confession to make. I have spent the last week mourning the passing of a fictional television character.

Unless you’ve avoided mass and social media for the last week, you’d probably be aware that a character called Patrick Reid died on Channel 10’s hit Australian drama Offspring on Wednesday night and as a result, there’s been an outpouring of grief from the show’s legion of predominately female fans.

As fans around Australia took to social media and lost their minds shared their thoughts on Patrick’s untimely death, several clever, quick thinking businesses took the opportunity to capitalise on the social media storm, posting tongue-in-cheek references to the Offspring story line.  My personal favourite is this one from the Nyngan Police which was shared on their Facebook page:

nyngan police facebook

To date the post has been liked by 3,687 people on Facebook, shared 8,817 times and received 665 comments. It has also received widespread national media coverage across traditional and social mediums. Not bad for a police force in a small rural New South Wales town with a population of less than 2,500!

This post helps add to the personability of the Nyngan Police brand. It demonstrates that while their work is serious, they do have a sense of humour, and importantly, they are taking the opportunity to engage with relevant social media conversation.

Speaking of the post to news.com.au, Nyngan Police’s Sergeant Tony Wood said:  “We had a couple of people mention [Patrick’s death] to us and that started a discussion and we thought it would be a lighthearted post.

“We find having a bit of humour engages the community and gets people’s attention and that gives us a bigger audience when we put up other (serious) posts,” Sergeant Wood said.

Meanwhile, earlier this year during the Superbowl – an event which sees advertisers spend millions on primetime television spots – one non-traditional style of messaging stole the show. A power outage ninety minutes in to the second half saw the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers match delayed by 34 minutes. As fans around the world contemplated the cause of the outage, users took to social media to vent speculate when this tweet came just minutes in to the outage:

Oreo-dunk-dark-tweet173

Another case of perfect timing  – this single tweet from Oreo Cookies had already received 12,000 retweets before the lights came back on.

The agency behind the tweet, 360i, had a team set up in their office ready to connect with fans through a clever, viral style campaign. When the power went out, they saw an opportunity for Oreo to become the centre of Superbowl social media conversation, and they ran with it.

Acting in the moment proved to be successful for Oreo and the team behind the tweet – they won two Cannes Lions Awards (the ultimate awards for the creative industry) for their efforts.

That’s right – a tweet won not one, but two Cannes Lions.

In a fast-paced digital world, quick and clever thinking has the ‘power’ to steal the show.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Public relations, Writing

Catering to a tl;dr society

Kate Potter writes…

If you’ve spent much time on the Internet, there’s no doubt you’ve come across a phenomenon that’s been making its way into the mainstream: “tl;dr”.

“tl;dr”, or simply “TLDR”, stands for “too long; didn’t read”. It was first used by social media users as a “come back” of sorts when someone posted a comment, article or story that the commenter thought was literally too long. Too much information, too many words – they were basically saying “I don’t have the time for this” or “I can’t be bothered”.

I can’t tell you the frustration I got when my husband started sending “TLDR” emails in response to mine 😉

Over time, however, the meaning of TLDR has evolved, it is now also being used by writers as a proactive measure: added as a footnote to the end of their text. A one line summary of their writing, it caters to the lazy / mildly interested / time-poor of their audience. (There are millions of examples out there, but here’s one.)

So my question is, with online catering to a TLDR audience, is that the way our media-consumption is heading? Are we going to become a society of TLDRers? And how can we cater to TLDRers?

Headlines are read, first paragraphs are skimmed through, decisions are made whether or not to continue reading before the end of the third sentence. YouTube videos with 10 seconds fade-in introductions are more likely to be clicked out of than sat through. Websites with splash pages? No more. Who has time for the extra click?

I think PR professionals do it better than most. PR has always catered for a TLDR audience, even if it didn’t have a catchy name. “Describe the story in five words” was one piece of advice I was given when I first got a job in PR. “All your essential information should be in the first two sentences”, I was told. We need to be experts at capturing the attention of our audience in a split second.

We need constant reminding on this though. Here’s one article that you should definitely take the time to read through, it’s one of my favourites and I refer back to it often. A Manifesto of a Simple Scribe reminds us that “no one will ever complain because you have made something too easy to understand”. And besides, apparently simple writing makes you look smart.

“I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short” — Blaise Pascal

TL;DR: Society’s attention spans are shrinking. PR professionals need to cater to this by capturing the attention of their audience quickly and keeping their writing compelling and simple.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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