RAR+ Recommended | CIPR | Fresh Awards

The JAM Jar

31.03.16

Instagram is joining the algorithm party, which means it is altering the way our newsfeeds appear, to dictate what we see, and when we see it.
For those in the know about these kinds of developments, Instagram may seem a little slow on the uptake. Facebook introduced its special algorithm back in 2012, shortly followed by News Feed FYI, its attempt to become more transparent about the changes it was making. To date, Facebook’s FYI platform continues to be an insightful place to go when trying to understand all the sorcery that goes on behind closed doors at Facebook HQ.

Much to the dismay of the Twittersphere, Twitter followed suit in February of this year, prioritising more “popular” tweets on the timeline, ie. ones with higher interactions.

Finally, it seems, Instagram is giving in to peer pressure, as the news broke this week that it is testing a new algorithm. But what does this mean for brands?

At this stage, we’re not quite sure. Instagram continues to attract brands and, crucially, brand influencers, to its platform, but the announcement of plans to control the newsfeed could make them nervous.
With Facebook, the algorithm meant that organic posts only reached 16 per cent of a page’s fans. Brands were forced to put money behind their content to ensure it was reaching their target audience.

Now, Instagram is awash with posts asking followers to turn on post notification, to ensure their content is being seen. But, as with Facebook and Twitter, Instagrammers should consider a strategic digital outreach strategy, carefully applying ad spend to relevant posts to ensure they achieve engagement both commercially and organically.
Facebook has partnered with Instagram to enable those on Facebook but not Instagram, to place content on Instagram timelines. Through integrated advertising, those who do not wish to launch an Instagram account but still wish to reach this ripe target market can promote their content across both platforms via just one channel. This is an interesting development in promoted social media activity and one we would definitely recommend brands utilise.
We run strategic digital campaigns for a range of our clients, and can help you do the same. If you’d like to know how we can help you create a buzz on social media, email Jaime@jampr.co.uk or call 0161 850 0565.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Instagram algorithm too, so tweet us at @JAM_Manchester.

24.03.16

21st March 2016 marked exactly ten years since the first ever Tweet was sent. Since then, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year (source: www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics/).

Twitter is a platform for people to share their thoughts, albeit in 140 characters. Being able to watch news stories or trending topics unfold in real-time appeals to the masses who demand immediate access to content, and Twitter allows individuals to actively engage with happenings from across the globe.

As a tribute to the power of Twitter, we’ve listed some of our favourite moments that the social media giant has spawned.

1. #Milifandom

During the 2015 UK general election, 18 year old Abby Tomlinson created the hashtag #Milifandom after she felt the then Labour leader Ed Miliband was not getting fairly treated by the press. The hashtag became the number one Twitter trend in the UK. Abby says: “The next day, a couple more news organisation got in touch and wrote articles and I started doing interviews. Then a couple of weeks later, Ed rang me up to thank me.

“I would say Twitter changed my life in a way because it helped me decide what I wanted to do. I was always interested in politics and I’ve always enjoyed writing, but this gave me a chance to write for prestigious media outlets.”

2. I do

When American Greg Rewis was thinking of an unusual way to propose to his then girlfriend Stephanie, he decided to tweet her. It was the first ever marriage proposal on Twitter. Greg said: “It was quite a shock when I found out that this was the first proposal on Twitter. Had we known it was the first time, we would have made it more impressive. I would have planned everything way better.” It’s not everyone’s idea of romance, but ground breaking nonetheless.

3. TV and Twitter

Comedy Central was the first TV station to put a hashtag live on TV. The #TrumpRoast overlay prompted more than 27,000 mentions on Twitter, and drove record ratings for Comedy Central.  It’s now custom for TV stations to encourage viewers to follow and engage with a hashtag, adding another dimension to audience engagement.

4. Ice Ice Baby

When ice was found on Mars, how did the news break to the world? By the Twitter account of the Mars Phoenix Lander. This was the first instance of Tweeting from another planet. During the Lander’s five-month stint on the red planet, NASA posted 605 entries on Twitter to almost 40,000 people who followed its updates:

Eventually, Mars Phoenix Lander stopped communicating because of a lack of sunlight that’s needed to power its batteries.  Its last Tweet brings a tear to the eye: “Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I’ll be keeping an eye from here.” RIP.

5. Twitter brings the world closer together

On March 11 2011, a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of northeast Japan. Initially, Twitter served as a way to get breaking information from a variety of official and unofficial sources. As the scale of catastrophe became apparent, Twitter became a place to raise funds for the recovery effort and for users to express their thoughts and condolences for the victims.

Twitter has proved that it is possible to make a real difference with 140 characters. For that one day, 11th March, 66% of the news links on Twitter were about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and key influencers on Twitter helped to help build momentum for fundraising efforts.

Since Twitter has born, it has launched a range of valuable tools from Twitter Moments to Periscope. As communicators, we embrace all means and methods of communication for our clients and look forward to the next big thing from Twitter. If you want to harness the power of Twitter to promote your brand, get in touch with Jaime@jampr.co.uk.

Happy birthday, Twitter! Here’s to the next 10 years.

17.03.16

George Osborne announced in yesterday’s Budget that the government is set to invest heavily in Northern transport links. Upgrades to the M62 will greatly improve the current commuting time for those behind the wheel, while work on the train lines will slash the time it takes to travel between Manchester and Leeds, two key cities that make up the Northern Powerhouse.

This large investment in the Northern transport infrastructure is likely to attract even more businesses to the North as they intend to make the most of the region’s economic growth and the wealth of skills and talent on offer.

We know we’re biased, but Manchester truly is the place to be! For those that are not familiar with what Manchester has to offer, here are four reasons why you should join the thousands of people who migrate up North each year:

1. Flourishing bars and restaurants

With four or five new restaurants opening each month, Manchester has now beaten London to the record of ‘fastest rate of growth in food business’ over the last decade.  As the population of the North grows, so does the audience of diners.

The city is home to an ever-growing variety of drinking and dining hotspots, making it a hive of activity for foodie enthusiasts. Areas like Spinningfields, China Town, The Printworks, Corn Exchange, The Northern Quarter (home of JAM towers) and Barton Arcade are thriving hospitality hubs, so Manchester really is giving London a run for its dinner money. It’s not surprising that hospitality empire, D&D London has set its sights on opening a restaurant in one of Manchester’s prime locations, Spinningfields, within the year. 

Insider tip – PKB is one to watch on the independent café scene, serving some of the best brews in the UK. If you’ve not already been, we definitely recommend a visit!

2. Transport links

Manchester has great transport links that are only set to improve. With easy and fast train routes in and out of the city, it takes a mere two hours to travel between Manchester and the capital. The city boasts an impressive, ever-growing tram network, providing easy access around the city, as well as Manchester airport – the UK’s third largest airport.

There are also plans to build a high-speed Northern Powerhouse railway at Piccadilly station, creating a super hub of transport that connects Manchester with major cities in the UK. 

3. World-class universities

Manchester has three universities, attracting applicants world-wide, and hosting over 80,000 students. With 7,200 creative and media students and 6,000 computing and technology graduates, the city is filled to the brim with intelligent, forward thinking minds. 

What’s more, Manchester University has 25 Nobel Prize winners among its staff – the third highest after Oxford and Cambridge.

4. Digital and creative hotspot

With the arrival of Media City UK, Manchester’s reputation as a digital and creative hotspot has been well and truly established. A hub of media powerhouses, Media City UK is home to field leaders in journalism, PR, video, sound, and more. Complete with state of the art facilities, it is the largest purpose built media location in Europe .

Businesses in London are often choosing to have offices up North, and appoint PR and marketing agencies in Manchester in order to reach new audiences, take advantage of the growing media presence, and work with the wealth of creative minds the city has to offer. Of course there’s also the added benefit of cheaper rent and services in the North, which is ideal for businesses looking for quality, cost effective business ventures. And with the wealth of government investment, the economical success of the North is only looking to grow.

As iconic Mancunian musician Ian Brown once said, “Manchester has everything except a beach.” We’re inclined to agree with you, Ian.

If you’d like to grow your business in the North’s capital, we can help. Drop us a line at jaime@jampr.co.uk.

02.03.16

We are pleased to announced that JAM has been appointed by JST Jodie to handle public relations activity and drive national, consumer awareness of the fitness and wellbeing supplement brand, developed by fitness guru and body builder, Jodie Marsh.

Jodie Marsh underwent an incredible two-month body transformation in 2009, and went on to win the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation Championships in 2012, all supported with her own JST Jodie range of supplements. She has become a fitness inspiration to women all over the UK, leading her to launch her personal range of lifestyle and weight management supplements available to both men and women interested in enhancing their fitness regimes. 

JAM will carry out a strategic PR campaign, targeting national lifestyle, health, fitness and beauty press, with a key interest in women’s titles and undertake a targeted blogger outreach program.

JAM will be kicking off with a PR drive for the brand’s sleep aid supplement, SLEEPEX and the HEBEX skin supplement, along with launching the recently developed OMG Protein Bars. The agency will provide support around key events and promotional activity to drive sales and educate target audiences on the wealth of quality products JST Jodie has to offer.

Jodie Marsh, says: “JAM really understood the brand and our proposition so this feels like the perfect fit. The team really impressed us with its proven track record, delivering results with engaging, creative ideas and innovative campaigns. We were very much attracted to the team’s strategic approach, forward planning, its wealth of media contacts and overall enthusiasm for the products and the JST Jodie brand.”

Jaime Gee, MD at JAM, added: “The team is incredibly excited to be working with JST Jodie. It’s a great brand offering quality products. Our experience with consumer campaigns makes us a great fit for the brand, and being a fitness fanatic myself, I feel I can fully understand Jodie’s journey and bring a genuine passion for the products and the wider fitness industry. 

“It’s been a great few months for the team, especially with winning Best Integrated Agency at the Talk of Manchester Awards at the end of last year and shortlisted for eight gongs in the PR Moment Awards 2016. And now with fantastic new client wins, 2016 is looking to be a highly successful year.”

JST Jodie joins JAM’s impressive client roster, which includes The Printworks, Argos for Business, Carl Kammerling International, EHL Ingredients and Tuxedo Money Solutions among others.