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25.08.16

Finally the August Bank Holiday weekend has arrived! And with so many great events taking place in Manchester, the Jammers have never been more proud to be based in the city centre.

Manchester has recently been voted the best city in the UK to live in, and came 46th in the world’s list of most livable cities, and the lineup of events for this Bank Holiday weekend reminds us all why. Manchester Pride attracts tens of thousands of people each year, but it’s not the only festival happening this year that is capturing media attention and pulling in visitors to the city. 

Not sure how you’re spending your long weekend? Here’s a list of some of the top events taking place:

Manchester Pride: 26th – 29th
The annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life takes place from Friday to Monday and brings a lively carnival atmosphere to the city. Come and see the huge LGBT parade on the 27th and see performances from some of the biggest names in music on Saturday and Sunday, including Tulisa, Katy B, Will Young, and Fleur East.

Head to www.manchesterpride.com to get your ticket.

Manchester Soul Festival: 28th
Taking place on Banking Holiday Sunday, the Manchester Soul Festival launched last year and raised £22,500 for The Christie. The Jammers were lucky enough to be involved with the launch last year, as well as attend the event and watch a host of performances from over 30 Soul and Motown bands and DJs. The artists will be performing on the ‘Frank Byrne stage’, which has been named in memory of the amazing man who launched the incredibly successful event. 

You can get your tickets by heading to the Just Giving page and purchasing a wristband. Minimum donation is £5 per band and all proceeds go to The Christie – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ManchesterSoulFestival2016

Bolton Food and Drink Festival: 26th – 29th
The Bolton Food and Drink Festival offers something for food enthusiasts, families, and basically, anyone with taste buds! You can try fantastic food from over 180 artisan traders, watch cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs, as well as enjoy live entertainment. There are also special events for kids including science experiments taking place in the Mad Science Zone.

For more information head to www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com.

Starburst Film Festival: 26th – 28th
Taking place in Manchester Metropolitan Students Union Complex, the Starburst Film Festival is a weekend full of film cult entertainment. Celebrating the works of industry legends, the festival will be three days of screenings showing over 70 films, comic book workshops and meet and greet opportunities.

You can get your day tickets for £25.50 by visiting www.starburstfilmfest.co.uk.

To find out how the Jammers can help promote your event, email Jaime@jampr.co.uk or drop by for a brew in our office in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. 

18.08.16

dictionary grammar

Unless you’ve been living inside a Shakespearean play for the past 15 years, you’ll know that the English language has been changing rapidly, especially since social media exploded into our lives back in the mid 2000’s. 

Social media channels have given rise to an entirely new branch of language, one that has irreversibly become part of our everyday speech. New words like ‘unfriend’ and ‘selfie’ are now accepted as everyday vocabulary, and pre-existing words such as ‘timeline’, ‘status’ and ‘profile’ have taken on additional meanings and associations. Oh, and let’s not forget the rise of the slang acronym, LOL.

So if language is changing so drastically and words like ‘Bromance’, ‘Grrrl’ and ‘OMG’ are finding their way into the dictionary (sigh), why are we still slaves to the ancient linguistic and grammatical conventions in our everyday language that are still masquerading as rules?

If you’re like me and spend most of your working life writing, then you can ditch these three ‘false commandments’ of grammar from your life for good:

The False Commandments:

Thou shalt never begin a sentence with a conjunction

I don’t know about you, but this false rule was drilled into me at school. I was taught never to start a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘so’.

But, why is that?

Ah-hah! See, you can start sentences naturally this way, and even the authority style guides – including the Chicago Manual of Style and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage – say that using conjunctions at the beginning of sentences is perfectly acceptable.

“There is a widespread belief – one with no historical or grammatical foundation – that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘so’.” – Chicago Manual of Style

Thou shalt never end a sentence with a preposition

Yet another grammar myth we were taught at school is that ending sentences with prepositions is an absolute no-no. To refresh your no doubt fading memories of school grammar lessons, prepositions are words like ‘with’, ‘to’, ‘in’, ‘at’ and ‘on’, used to explain the relationship between the elements of a sentence. Ending sentences with such words is often discouraged, but take a look at these two sentences; which sounds the most natural?

‘The child had no-one to play with’

‘The child had no-one with which to play’

The second sentence is over-formal and awkward, and the Oxford Dictionaries blog agrees, so let’s stop paying this ‘rule’ any attention.

“The deferring of prepositions sounds perfectly natural and is part of standard English.” – Oxford Dictionaries Blog

Thou shalt always use ‘I’ instead of ‘me’

How many of you were told as children that using ‘me’ instead of ‘I’ is either incorrect or impolite? I know I was. “Me and Kim are going to the shops tomorrow”, would always need replacing with “Kim and I are going to the shops tomorrow”, which, according to the Guardian Style Guide, is over-correcting. There’s just no need for it, so let’s relax.

“Grammatically, “me” is always the right choice when you need an objective pronoun. You wouldn’t say, “Hey, Tim, want to come to the milk bar with I?”” – The Guardian

At JAM, writing is a huge part of our daily lives and we’re very proud of our collective skills. If you need our help with content, drop us an email or give us a call and we’ll dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

11.08.16

When the Olympic Organising Committee stated in its strategic communications plan that “citizens who publish content on the web are ultimately the ones who will define the success of the Games”, they were no doubt confident that engagement would reach record levels and hoped that popular content would influence mainstream news coverage. It appeared that they were relinquishing control.

But then came the strict guidelines imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the use of moving images such as GIFs and Vines in a bid to clamp down on highlights being shared by non-rights holders. It should have meant a GIF shaped hole in social media content, which we thought would be a tragedy when the likes of Bolt offer such camera perfect poses.

Just a few days in and the rules were broken. Just when we were all waiting for Bolt, the #PhelpsFace meme went viral and so far, is possibly the most notable image of the Olympics. Not quite what the IOC had in mind we’re sure.

While some content creators who published versions of the meme have had accounts shutdown for unauthorised use of official hashtags, many of those who shared #PhelpsFace have gone unpunished. Perhaps this is a part admission by the IOC that social media is now too big a beast to control in the way mainstream media traditionally has been at the Games?

Six days in to the competition and the official social media accounts for the Rio Olympics have a following of over 5.2 million, surpassing that of London 2012. This is perhaps in no small part thanks to the fact that many of the athletes themselves are millennials; social media’s largest user group who quite openly share their daily training routines, successes and celebrations with their followers.

So is it fair to say that the Rio Games are the Olympics of social media? With the likes of the USA swim team spoofing the hugely popular Carpool Karaoke and Usain Bolt signing up to Snapchat just 10 days ago, it’s clear that athletes are taking their content seriously, and that the power of social media in helping make sports stars into media superstars is huge. Before they’ve even hit the water or track, athletes are making a name for themselves when, in games gone by, the medals and the finish times did the talking.

It will be interesting to see whether the social media superstars of these Olympics enjoy superstar status in the field and what that means for them as personalities post Rio. Even more interesting, however, will be what the organising committee decides ahead of the 2020 Games once they’ve assessed the damage caused by web content that ‘defined the success of the Games’.

04.08.16

According to recent reports from STRATA, the media technology group, Instagram is now being utilised by brands more than Twitter for advertising purposes. In the race of social media platforms, Twitter is lagging behind all of its main competitors.

The below stats have been revealed, showing which social media platforms brands are choosing to invest their advertising budget:

o 96% use Facebook
o 67% use Youtube
o 63% use Instagram
o 56% use Twitter

Although Facebook and Youtube are still winning the social media race, what’s interesting about the statistics is that Instagram has overtaken it’s older competitor, Twitter.

Instagram’s success in raising the awareness of brands has been growing over the last year, while the number of brands using Twitter has dropped by 4%. 

But why is Twitter lagging behind? And does that mean brands should jump the Twitter ship completely? Not necessarily. The Jammers have run successful campaigns on both Instagram and Twitter, and here are some key points about the two social networks to help guide your social media plans.

The Numbers

– Twitter: 316 million monthly users, 500 million Tweets sent per day
– Instagram: 400 million monthly active users, 80 million photos shared on average per day
– Despite Twitter existing for longer, Instagram is beating its monthly user average by 84 million people.
– That being said, Twitter is still apt for a constant stream of content, with a whopping 500 million Tweets sent every day.

Audience

The below infographics from Sprout Social show how similar Instagram and Twitter’s user demographics are, in everything from age, location and income. As both social networks are used by people aged 18-29, it’s safe to say you won’t go far wrong using either platform to target younger generations.

Engagement

Reports from Forrester Research have shown that Instagram has the most engaged users of any social network.

As Instagram’s content is solely images and videos, content is able to effortlessly capture consumer’s attention, more so than its competitors, Facebook and Twitter, creating a huge opportunity for brands to display quality, shareable content with potential customers.

Twitter has a much higher number of content shares per day (500 million), which can cause the user to be inundated with content. This means small, 140 character brand updates can often get lost in a sea of other tweets.

Should you choose Instagram over Twitter? 

Here at JAM we say all social media platforms have completely different functions in your marketing strategy. You don’t have to choose one or the other, but you can create an integrated plan utilising multiple platforms that best suit your target audience.

For more information on the benefits of all social media platforms and to find out how the Jammers can help guide your campaigns, email Jaime@jampr.co.uk.