Lights! Camera! Action! We’re in the movie business

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cinemaWe have long been renowned for our excellent work in the worlds of sport, education and business; but now we’re in the movies too!

While we continue to work across a range of sectors, helping clients develop and communicate their messages through publications, social media, event management, PR and more, film is our newest and fastest-growing field.

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How to Kick Start Your Social Media Presence

 

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When I think about my social media day, it always starts with wondering how I can reach the maximum number of people with my brand message.  As a consequence, I’m always working on novel ways to promote myself, my brand and my personal product to my social media communities and I urge you to do the same.

From a wacky YouTube video to a great new online find, to clever sourcing of content curation, the quest to find new and improved ways to reach out to my audience is forever buzzing inside.   As part of this ongoing search, I have encountered what can only be described as heavenly online assistants; those Cross Platform Promotion (or CPP) tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck that allow me to literally sweep the social media universe with a single brush stroke (or perhaps that should be mouse-click!). 

CPP, a term that my husband Dean and I coined in our book, Zero to 100,000, is the action of utilising social media so as to enable it to spread content across various platforms simultaneously.  It is truly a holistic approach to social media adoption and one that saves both precious time and resources, meaning that it’s something every one of us needs to understand and harness.

CPP enables those in the ‘know’ to appear ever-present in the social media universe, but this doesn’t mean its users can switch off.  In fact, if exploited and abused, CPP can prove to be your worst social media enemy.  Yes, your messages are broadcast across all the platforms and hopefully positively acknowledged through retweets, reposts, links and so on, but this is the time when you need to stop basking in the glory of your CPP-enabled efforts and instead focus upon engaging and building upon the rewards you have reaped. 

Remember that engagement is key to your long-term success and never allow yourself to grow too big for your social media boots!  It’s that age old tale (told in numerous pre-social media realms) of self-gratification and narcissism bred from achieving great adulation from afar.  It’s a fairy-tale, but it’s also a cautionary tale.  CPP is like a Pandora’s box of easily squandered opportunity.  If you choose to open it be sure to understand that, with your new popularity comes a new responsibility.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – far from it in fact.  CPP is a blessing to those who choose to embrace all that social media has to offer and are willing to give as much as they get on the social circuit.

CPP is, in essence, a saving grace for those of us who rely on social media as a route to promotion and, let’s face it, who doesn’t these days?  The applications that enable it are allies in a crowded new universe and they make our voyage into it just that little bit easier.

What You Can Learn from an Older Intern

Intern

Andrew Brill wanted a career in sports reporting. He pounded the pavement to find his first opportunity. In 2008, he  joined the sports desk at WABC-TV New York when the news director decided to give him a shot.

But here’s the thing: Brill wasn’t your typical, wet-behind-the-ears intern. He was 42 years old.

Several days a week, he’d go to the station after working all day at another job. The long hours didn’t bother him a bit. “I was watching sports at work,” he said.

After the internship, he moved on. Eventually, he became the sole sportscaster for a TV station in Albany, New York. This spring, he received an offer from ESPN Radio, one of sports’ biggest and most revered news outlets.

Brill’s story isn’t like others that you’ll read on this blog. He didn’t start a business later in life. To the contrary, he left a family business because he didn’t enjoy it. “When you wake up and dread going to work, thinking, ‘I can’t do this for another second,’ it’s time to change,” he told Men’s Fitness in this profile piece.

His story is worth reading because it has some lessons and reminders:

1)  A business owner needs passion to be successful. Brill recognized this — and got out since the passion wasn’t there.

2)  A career change later in life has its advantages. Years of life experience as well as business experience helped Brill identify a path toward his dream job.

3) Sometimes you have to start at the bottom when you start over.  At age 42, Brill had to do grunt work — and learn the nuts and bolts of his new profession. His age gave him a good perspective on this.

4) Family support is critical for career transitions. Brill’s wife and three children knew he had been miserable before — and could see how much he enjoyed his new career. Their willingness to endure long separations, make sacrifices and support him along the way made all the difference.

5) You never know when an opportunity will turn out to be “the big one.”Jump at every chance you’re given. That’s what Andrew Brill did.  And it paid off — in spades.

Source: Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

The Modern Psychology of Halloween

The Social Skillet

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It’s that time of the year again; where witches, ghosts and ghouls roam the streets in search of candy.  No longer just a throw back to the Celtic Festival of Samhain, where the end of the Celtic year was thought to be associated with death, today Halloween means holiday; a time for dressing up, having fun, eating candy and watching scary movies!

And it’s not just for the kids.  There’s something so timelessly magical in the golden colors of fall that’s annually reflected in the glowing flames of our Jack O’Lantern smiles.  Rather than feeling a creepy chill in the air, instead, many of us today associate a sense of warmth and togetherness with the date October 31st.  The past associations with all things evil have today been replaced by the amusing notion of ‘a good scare’ , meaning that it’s time once again to party in ‘Halloweenland’.

The Roots…

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How to Get Your Product or Service to Sell

The Social Skillet

everything-now

“I want it and I want it now” – this is the mantra of today’s society. And our cry is getting louder.

The need for instant gratification in all aspects of our lives has never been better illustrated than in our growing love affair with the many gadgets and gizmos offering to give us just that. It might be considered something of a paradox that the world we live in today generates its own need for speed by the constant reinvention the very products we were all perfectly content with before another faster, younger model began to ‘strut its stuff’. On the flip side of the coin, the world has never been better connected. As a result of today’s technological advances in all forms of communication, distances seem to melt away to nothing at the touch of an icon, making the world considerably smaller and our RAMS considerably larger as…

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Social Media Predictions for 2015

2015predictionsIt’s that time of year again! The time when marketers around the world attempt to make sense of all the ‘social noise’ from the year gone by. For, in amongst all that static, lie key indicators of what did and didn’t work, from which we can draw conclusions and make predictions about what to expect in 2015. My own experiences this year have inspired me to write this feature about the key trends to watch out and plan for in the year ahead.

Augmented Reality

ARIt’s been around for a while, sitting at the back on the cheap seats, but now it’s ready to strut its stuff and start a whole new interactive revolution. The proliferation of powerful, wearable technology finally presents augmented reality with the right vehicle to take centre stage in enterprise and consumer mobility. As a result, there is a huge interest in investing in enterprise-level app development using augmented reality, with adoption numbers expected to be mammoth. A study by Juniper research predicts enterprise applications with augmented reality elements to account for the third-largest proportion of revenues by end of 2015. Couple its interactive potential with the immediacy of social media sharing and yes, this could well be the ‘love affair of the year’.

Proximity Marketing

proximity marketingAn interesting report from Google in 2014 stated that 71% of shoppers found that digital marketing enhanced their retail experience. This made my ears ‘prick up’ as I have suspected for a while that proximity marketing is set to rocket over the next couple of years. Leading retailers have already begun to endorse geo-location based mobile beacons as the way to keep the in-store shopping experience from becoming antiquated. “Personalised, location-based offers will be served to consumers via their mobile devices based on what and where they’re shopping.” (Entrepreneur Magazine 2014). And the same goes for online shopping to combat the dreaded “abandoned shopping cart.” Consumers will be re-targeted on social media channels for products they put in their cart to edge them closer to clicking that all important “Checkout” button.

Mini-Newsrooms

newsThe widespread success of Paper.li digital publications has taken curation to a whole new interactive level and I believe that this is set to continue into 2015 with the creation of mini-digital newsrooms offering both mainstream and niche content to subscribers who, of course, will be sharing as they consume. Look out for opportunities that combine streaming video content and you’re on the right tracks.

Pinterest and Instagram will evolve

instagrampinterestPinterest and Instagram are establishing themselves as the ultimate B2C marketing tools, based on the power of imagery in instantly conveying brand sentiment. I see 2015 as the year in which both platforms evolve further and allow for deeper interaction with their follower base. Such evolution could include editing and responsive overlays that allow for inside app purchases.

FB@Work

FBWorkThis is very much a ‘wildcard’ prediction, as I do still have some doubts and much of what is being discussed is shrouded in rumour. However, given the research funding allowed by team Zuckerberg, I anticipate LinkedIn being given a run for their money in the months following its launch. LinkedIn does need some healthy competition so this may well benefit both users of FB@Work and LinkedIn.  My guess is that FB@Work will be invite-only upon launch to add to the hysteria and hype surrounding Facebook’s new baby.

Twitter and LinkedIn for the Fresh Produce Industry

Fresh Produce Social Media Seminar

Social Media has without question impacted on every British industry over the past ten years, albeit some sectors have embraced it quicker than others.

Now the fresh produce industry is latching onto the benefits of using Twitter and LinkedIn to increase brand awareness and there’s never been a better time to get involved.  With this in mind, I’ve put together an unmissable and totally free seminar for FPC members to get you started effectively on these two essential platforms.

Here’s what some previous attendees have to say about my seminars:

“Twitter has become one of the most dominant social networking platforms. For many people it is the primary way that they interact with the online, and increasingly offline, worlds. No organization or individual can afford not to have a Twitter presence, especially if they care about their reputation or brand.  Sarah-Jayne Gratton (@grattongirl) explores the nature of Twitter and LinkedIn marketing and provides many useful tips and insights for getting ahead and becoming noticed and valued on both platforms.”

Dr. Bojan Tunguz, Agri-Physicist

“Sarah-Jayne takes her time explaining why Twitter and LinkedIn work and more importantly she also manages to make it evident why social media is important and a necessary part of the way you and your company should communicate and push your message or product.  An invaluable course that has taught me plenty and given me confidence”.

Simon Buckley, Food Technology Consultant

“If you’ve been intimidated by social media, you will find this an excellent introduction as to how to think about it, followed by discussions of specific implementation issues such as creating an effective profile, crafting memorable tweets and posts, how to think about followers, and so on. ighly recommended.”

James Strock, Serve to Lead

If you like what you’ve read in this post and are interested in learning more about getting started in social media then join me at 12 noon on Wednesday 26th November at the Haycock Hotel in Wansford for an afternoon of Twitter and LinkedIn training that will guarantee you hit the ground running in the social sphere.  As I’ve already mentioned, it’s completely free for members of FPC so please do come along.  Click here for more details and to book your place: http://www.freshproduce.org.uk/events/social-media-training-seminar/

A Few Words of Thanks

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Having major surgery can have a profound effect on the way we choose to value what’s around us and the inevitable post-op recovery period affords the time to reimagine how our previous assumptions can be reshaped to maximise the quality of our lives.   It can also be a lonely time: I missed my mother terribly while in hospital – she was always the one I turned to when I needed strength – but my amazing husband and daughter were there to ensure that the flame of ‘good things to come’ was always burning brightly.  Along with them, I want to thank all my followers and friends for the waves of love and support that flowed out to me across the virtual ocean – it was the greatest medicine and the most powerful therapy I could have received.

So thank you x

Pandora Knocks – A Cautionary Tale

The Social Skillet

Whilst studying Psychology at Cardiff University in the early 1990s, my research group were given the assignment title “Power Currupts”.  The following is my interpretation of that statement in story form. This is the first time I’ve shared it and I’d love to receive your comments.

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She entered the room tentatively, nervously; one might even say excitedly.  Her movements cautious and self-studied.  No-one paid any particular attention to the strange girl in the blue shawl, no-one that was except Peterson.  He stood inside the large archway to the kitchen where she passed him with a visible flinch of panic at his observation.  He smiled inwardly at the thought.

Ralph Peterson took pleasure from evoking fear in others.   Fear gave him power – power brought him control.   He was greedy for it, and it too sought him out, as a flame seeks out oxygen. The great problem however, in the union…

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Product Review: iTeufel Air Blue – The Bentley is Now Supercharged

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A guest post by Dr Dean A Gratton

I reviewed the iTeufel Magnum some time ago and described the product as ‘The Bentley of Bluetooth Audio’. Well, it seems that those chaps at Teufel have taken the magical essence of the Magnum, rebuilt it, added some excellent features and supercharged it – yikes!

The iTeufel Air Blue now replaces the Magnum and there is a bumper feature set that will keep any avid music lover well-connected and their feet-tapping. As always, with Teufel audio products, the quality of sound for such a diminutive device is amazing and the richness of its base, which fills the room without distortion, is nothing short of breath-taking! Both vocal tracks and instrumentals have an unexpected sense of texture, space and depth to them, one that again, belies its compact size.

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The Air Blue naturally supports Bluetooth wireless technology. However, in Teufel’s new generation product, there is also Wi-Fi support, along with that for Apple AirPlay and Spotify. This means that there’s no excuse not to have your home beating out your favourite tunes.

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Connection too is a breeze – you simply connect your Air Blue to your Wi-Fi-enabled router or access point et c’est tout! Yep, any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled device can stream content to the Air Blue. It entices a social gathering of music appreciation: Thanks to the Air Blue your dinner parties can now become truly social musical ensembles of guest track preferences, all powered by their individual enabled devices, whether that’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capable. You could quite rightly say that the Air Blue enjoys a love-affair with a crowd, but it’s also a marvellous solo companion, playing background music whilst I cook and, in true Keith Floyd style, sip on a glass of Shiraz. Such an escape!

The Teufel Air Blue is, in essence, a superb example of THE new generation of digital HiFi. A wonderful all-around music entertainment system that puts the ‘social’ into the experience of superb sound quality.