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Could Weibo be the UK’s next big thing?

Could Weibo be the UK’s next big thing?

You would be forgiven for assuming that Weibo is some failed, preadolescent offspring of everyone’s favourite gone (but never forgotten) noughties social media platform Bebo. However, in the absence of Facebook in every Chinese city apart from Hong Kong and Macau, Weibo is in fact one of China’s most popular social media platforms, used by a quarter of the overall population, and counting.

In essence, Weibo is a Twitter-Instagram-YouTube hybrid, hugely popular in China, boasting over 431 million monthly active users. With personalities across business, entertainment and sports, this hidden gem of a social media platform has already taken the Chinese social scene by storm. It even boasts an additional website, which reports on all of the current social trends and developments in the country, called ‘What’s on Weibo’. With such success in China, this platform must surely be on the cusp of bursting into the UK social scene?

Since launching in 2009, the app accumulated around 72 million users in just three years, which is almost ten times the user base that Twitter accumulated in the same time frame in the US. Pretty staggering figures for a platform that the majority of us here in the UK have never even heard of.

Weibo is progressive and very much has its finger on the social media pulse in terms of consciously moving away from heavily text-based content and leaning more towards visuals such as live streams, photos and videos. However, there is a slight catch that explains Weibo’s unprecedented success in China and limits its plausible popularity within the UK market. Since 2009, China has blocked more social media sites than Facebook alone, including YouTube, Twitter and Vimeo, hence leaving Weibo as one of the only platforms left for the Chinese population to get their social media fix.

Having said this, the that fact remains that it is growing faster than any other major social outlet, and if a company is keen to tap in to the Chinese market, Weibo is undoubtedly the platform to do so. Companies such as Luis Vuitton, British Airways, Lancôme and Manchester United FC are ahead of the game and have already made this leap.

Despite the evident disadvantage of having more competition here in the UK, Weibo has been creeping into the newswire and with China often at the forefront of technological innovation, perhaps it is safe to assume that social innovation will also be another string to their ever-advancing bow.

Here at PHA Social, we are always looking for ‘the next big thing’ for our clients, capitalising on emerging platforms, in order for our clients to get ahead of their competitors and gain exposure in new markets. If your brand needs help with their social strategy, why not get in contact with us?

The PHA Group is crowned ‘PR Agency of the Year’ at The Drum Agency Business Awards

It was a brilliant night filled with celebration when The PHA Group were crowned PR Agency of the Year at The Drum Agency Business Awards.

Over the last year we have really focused on what sets us apart from other PR agencies. In 2018 and after 13 progressive years, we took a step back and had a long hard look at ourselves. We’d come a long way, but our identity was lagging behind. Our website didn’t reflect the quality of our work and we had no unifying brand message to mirror the services we offer. This led us to a transformation that truly embodies who we are and what we do: Vibrant people who deliver. Simple.

Our award entry for The Drum was simple. We set out our journey as an agency, relayed the challenges we had to overcome, the honest reflection of the changes we made and focused on the successes we had achieved by making the leap and rebranding as The PHA Group. But how did we do it?

Client service

In October we conducted our first client satisfaction survey, using experts Question and Retain. Although nervous about what to expect, we were thrilled with the results. 94% of clients said they were happy with the service they received and 94% of our clients would recommend us. Our client retention stands at 100%. We pulsed our client database again in June to monitor our improvement and were delighted to find that 95% of our clients would recommend us and 89% of them would rate our creativity highly.

Whilst our client survey was overwhelmingly positive, it did suggest areas of improvement. We invested in external training and created a ‘brainstorming room’ to stimulate creativity. We brought in Creative Directors with ad agency experience to run scamp sessions for campaign ideas. This fresh thinking helped us to win our two biggest pitches and raised the bar with creative ideation.

Team development 

We recognised that to get the best out of our people, we needed to empower them, and create a culture which will enable them to thrive. In recognition of our people, we launched our own internal campaign called ‘Show us what you’re made of’. We challenged every one of our employees to take on something they had always wanted to do in 2018, it could be personal or professional as long as it was important to them. As a result, so far this year we have had employees raise £5,000 at events, run marathons, complete the Etape du Tour, reconnect with family, volunteer over 100 hours and write a children’s book.

We recently surveyed our staff to see if our efforts to create a culture of vibrancy were having an impact:

  • 93% of people said that they’d refer someone to work at The PHA Group.
  • On a scale of 1-10, our staff on average rated their work/life balance at 8.
  • Our staff said the best things about working at PHA are: “the people”, “a sense of achievement and reward” and “work/life balance.”

But creating a vibrant culture doesn’t stop there. At The PHA Group, we are committed to providing an excellent working environment for our staff, and continue to encourage and nurture growth for everyone.

Innovation 

This year we launched the industry first ‘Influencer Formula’, a unique piece of research which involved a network of sector experts, PRCA accredited researchers and mathematicians as well as thousands of consumers. Through our research we determined 12 key drivers that enable a UK business or brand to influence an audience. As a result, brands can pulse themselves to determine a score against each element, allowing them to discover how influential their business is.

Our work this year has reinforced our decision to put people at the heart of our business, and this has had a demonstrable commercial success.

We are very proud to be The PHA GroupVibrant People Who Deliver. Simple

Black Friday – How to spot the best deal

We’re in the eighth year of the UK population embracing what has become one of the biggest dates in the retail diary – Black Friday. With consumers spending £1.39bn in 2017, according to data from IMRG. Retailers are hopeful for another increase in 2018.

But how do you know if you’re getting the best deal and not being sucked into all the hype? We check out the price trackers you can use this weekend to help make those all-important spending decisions.

Idealo:

Idealo is a German based start-up, founded in Berlin 17 years ago. Their mission is to help users make better buying decisions. Today, they are Europe’s leading price comparison platform and one of the largest websites in the German e-commerce market with 330 million offers across their platform.

Idealo is a comparison platform that can notify you when a product has reached your target price. A useful tool, especially when you’re inundated with Black Friday offers and you want to know which retailers are offering the highest value for money. The tool provides a graph of the price fluctuation and how it has changed over the year, so you’re sure you’re not overspending. If you like the look of it, they also compare flights!

CamelCamelCamel:

CamelCamelCamel is an Amazon price tracker that provides price drop alerts and price history charts for products sold by Amazon. You can either use the website which gives you a good overview of what products are on amazon and you can also download their plug-ins which means that every time you look at a product on Amazon, you can check the price history as well as the third-party price to compare. You don’t need to create an account to use it, making it easy and hassle free.

Which?:

Which? Is the largest independent consumer body in the UK with 1.3m members. Their commitment is to provide unbiased advice. From choosing a TV, phone, car, or holiday, to getting a mortgage or writing a will, they’ll help you make the best decision.

Last year during Black Friday, they carried out an investigation into product prices and found that you might get a better bargain if you wait until after the Black Friday sales. In fact, they found that 87% were the same price or cheaper than their Black Friday price at other times of year. So, this year, they are giving you some really interesting tips on how to find a bargain including buying lesser known brands, or doing some research before your purchase an item.

Trusted review:

Sometimes it’s not just about the price. Trusted review allows you to get reviews on thousands of products and gives you the best deals around. Their Black Friday section is a long list filtered by retailers and category so whether you’re looking for a TV, a video game or a game for Christmas, the website will help you find the best deal you can get around. Their blog section is also useful, giving you tips and tricks on Black Friday.

If you’re interested in raising your profile in the media, get in touch to find out how our team can support you in achieving your business goals.

How to promote your sporting event

At The PHA Group, we specialise in providing PR support for multiple mass participation events.

Most recently we have worked with a number of brands including UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) – the world’s largest and highest mixed martial arts promotion, as well as successfully launching the endurance event ToughMudder to the UK, and for the last four years, we have worked closely with the Royal Parks Half Marathon.

The 11th edition of the Royal Parks Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 14 October where we will see 16,000 runners go through four of London’s eight Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

It is still the only race of its kind that takes place in the major parks of central London, and whilst there have been some small changes to the route over the years, the race continues to celebrate London’s most iconic green landscapes.

In order to create as much noise as possible ahead of the event, and to ensure The Royal Parks Half Marathon is continually positioned as one of the most iconic events in London, we have worked tirelessly to deliver a successful communications campaign over the last four years. We’ve regularly delivered over 200 pieces of coverage around the race and employed excellent tactics to achieve our client’s objectives.

This year we have achieved over 80 pieces of coverage alone in outlets such as the Evening Standard, Women’s Health, Daily Express, Metro and Independent.co.uk.

Working with charity partners
The Royal Parks Half has remained focused on its charitable aims which is a credit too much of its success with their many charity partnerships. The race has now raised in excess of £36 million since 2008 for its participating charities. Working closely with the races charity partners, we have been very successful at placing runner case studies of individuals who are taking part in the event to raise money for their respective charities. Last year, we placed 40+ case studies for charities including GOSH, Cancer Research UK, Mind, and MacMillan. Helping to increase their fundraising efforts.

royal parks charityroyal parks charity 2royal parks charity 3

Maximising sponsorship opportunities
The Royal Parks Half Marathon work has different sponsors each year and we work closely with them to maximise coverage around the race. Whether that’s inviting journalists to do a gait analysis at Runners Need, to placing expert comment from coaches at TruBe, to announcing corporate sponsorship deals with Royal Bank of Canada, our campaigns always maximise opportunities.

Engaging with celebrities
Over the course of the last four years, we’ve had a number of celebrities take part in the race including TV personality Ben Fogle, Olympian Rebecca Adlington, actor Adam Woodyatt, radio presenter and DJ Chris Evans and TV presenters Jenni Falconer, Emily Maitlis and Jo Whiley.

Royal Parks - Mail online celeb

Media engagement
Every year we have secured attendance from at least 30+ journalists including London Evening Standard, Mail Online, Daily Express, Mirror Online, Metro, ITV London, The Telegraph, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health and Women’s Fitness have all taken part in the event in the last few years.

Mail Online - Royal ParksEvening Standard - Royal ParksRoyal Parks - ITV News

We pride ourselves on delivering impactful, measurable campaigns for our clients and don’t stop working until the job is done. As a team, we are hugely passionate about sport and fitness and love what we do. You can expect that enthusiasm to shine through in every aspect of our work.

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your mass participation event? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can support your event.

Wednesday Wellness – an employer who puts you at the centre

Wellbeing in the workplace has often been overlooked by employers throughout the years, particularly in Western society and culture, where work is so fast paced that you barely get a second to think about the present moment. There are always thoughts and concerns over what’s just happened, or what’s coming up. When do we actually get a chance to focus on ourselves?

Now, there is finally a growing recognition of the importance of physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace, as well as outside it. Staff who recognise their own mental and physical wellbeing, and who are supported in doing so by their employers, are likely to be more productive at work and make more contributions to their organisations they work for.

Whilst work is an integral part of life, it shouldn’t be a source of anxiety, stress and ill health. The success and well-being of the staff and the business go hand in hand, thus, organisations that understand and act on this will continue to adapt, innovate and outperform those that don’t.

Here at The PHA Group, we pride ourselves on providing as much support as we can for all staff. We recognise that our employees are the key to a happy and successful workplace, which is why we introduced our Wednesday Wellness initiatives. We’re eager to encourage staff to refocus their mind and gain perspective when the stressful thoughts and pressures start to creep in.

This is why our Wednesday Wellness sessions concentrated on mental wellbeing, focusing on meditation and taking a much-needed break in the day to re-energise the brain. This is just one example of how easily we can build mental wellbeing practices into our day, giving us immediate benefits and stress relief.

Physical wellbeing is just as important to individuals, which is why we regularly focus our Wednesday Wellness sessions on relaxing the body and stimulating the mind. At The PHA Group, our most recent Wednesday Wellness initiative has been the introduction of twenty-minute massages for employees throughout the day.

We have found this to be a successful and popular wellbeing initiative among our staff. Alicia Diaz-Benitez says: “Sitting at your desk for long periods of time can deplete your energy levels. I find the massage sessions really lift my spirits and make me feel renewed and refreshed – and give me clarity of mind when I resume my workload.”

Our ever-evolving focus on the implementation of initiatives like these allows our staff to embrace, explore and apply the benefits of emotional and physical well-being. Our company wellness initiatives make our staff feel valued and comfortable in the workplace. And we feel that happier, more fulfilled employees deliver the best results.

How to promote your fintech company

How can you stand out as a challenger brand as UK fintech investment hits $16 billion?

Global fintech investment hit $57.9 billion in the first half of 2018, according to KPMG (up 34% on the $38.1 billion in the whole of 2017). The UK has driven this growth, attracting $16.1 billion in investment, making up more than half of the European total and more than 20 per cent of global funding.

This rapidly growing industry, which has sky-rocketed since the 2007 financial crisis, is now, unsurprisingly, saturated by start-ups all competing for the media spotlight.

To stand out, your company needs a comprehensive communications strategy to cut through the noise and navigate the media landscape, which itself is evolving all the time.

So, how can you get your fintech company noticed and sustain ongoing awareness in the mainstream media?

Know your target audience

Depending on whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you’ll have a specific audience you’re trying to reach and influence. Financial technology companies, by their very nature, often tick both boxes – they want to onboard corporate partners (to buy or implement the technology) while at the same time appeal to consumers to grow their userbase.

Your target audience, and the stage your business is at should be the first thing which determines your PR strategy. If you need to sign up corporate partners – be it a bank or a retailer for example – before consumers are able to use your service themselves, then you need to generate awareness of your brand in the business and industry media to reach decision-makers at these corporates. Getting consumer press coverage too soon could backfire if your product isn’t ready for use, and could be hard to recover from.

Put simply, consider which audience you need to appeal to first, before choosing your target media.

Nail your brand positioning

To cut through the noise and have true media impact, you want to avoid being seen as “just another fintech start-up”. How do you avoid this? By being crystal clear with a) a clear brand message for each market you operate in, b) clearly defined USPs and c) a value proposition that appeals to key stakeholders.

Too many start-ups rush to market and try to emulate the tech unicorns in terms of PR and brand awareness, but slow and steady will always win the race when it comes to taking time to fine-tune your brand position and key messages. Even your tone of voice needs to be nailed down before you break into the media – this needs to remain consistent over time, and shouldn’t change, so getting it right the first time is key. PR agencies can help with this process, even before a media relations strategy begins, with the creation of messaging houses and tone of voice documents common practice at the start of any campaign.

Become an expert commentator

To be considered a market leader, you need credibility and authority. A great way of building both is to become an expert commentator in the media. Breaking news emerges from the financial technology sector on a daily basis, and every respected top-tier media outlet wants to lead the national coverage of each issue. One way they achieve this is to extend their coverage of these stories by featuring informed opinions from industry experts, whether that’s a CEO or CTO interview on Sky News, or a written commentary piece in City AM.

You can get ahead of the competition by securing commentary opportunities for your in-house experts – the key: a well-informed, educated and interesting opinion that ensures your brand owns the conversation. You won’t get coverage unless you can add something new to the debate, so consider your stance and how it will positively impact your reputation among stakeholders. If you can provide the opinion, your PR agency can secure you top-tier media coverage while at the same time developing your media relations for future commentary opportunities.

Educate your audience

As above, content is key here. Your fintech company might be challenging a traditional industry (most of the best ones are), such as banking, payments, or mortgages. In which case, one of your most challenging tasks might be to win over potential corporate partners (e.g. a bank or a mortgage broker).

Avoiding the hard sell, a more tactical approach would be to begin to educate this specific audience about, for example, how their industry is changing for the better, or how they can embrace technology to make themselves more efficient and win new customers.

This can be achieved through educational thought leadership, again by-lined to your CEO or another in-house expert. By securing press coverage for your thought leadership across a range of vertical media, you can educate your audience over time while building brand (and individual) credibility.

Above all, make sure you have a story to tell

You’ve identified your target audience(s), you’ve nailed your brand positioning, you’ve educated your audience and you’re now an expert media commentator. You’re now in a position to tell your own story, and the best way of doing this is via interviews in the business, tech and finance press to establish a base in the mainstream media. A credible success story about an entrepreneur that has overcome the odds, or a start-up that was born out of a sudden lightbulb moment or epiphany, are typical examples of stories that do well.

But, just as there are thousands of start-ups, journalists receive hundreds of pitches each day from companies vying for attention. Crucially, you need a stand-out story in order for a journalist to write about you. You need to be clear on the problem you’re solving, a timeline for how you got where you are, some interesting anecdotes and clear growth potential (and don’t hold back on the nitty-gritty details like financials and investment).

Do your research – read up on the journalist you’d like to speak to, to better understand the type of businesses they are interested in judging by what they’ve written about before. There’s nothing that turns off a journalist more than an ill-informed pitch about something irrelevant.

The great thing about an interesting interview is they appeal to a range of readers – from consumers who may be potential customers, to corporate partners and future investors. If you are fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to a well-respected fintech journalist, be sure to make the most of it!

Making it count: Jeans for Genes

Over the past four years we have worked with Jeans for Genes and each time the brief is clear: to raise awareness and drive sign-ups for their annual fundraiser.

Jeans for Genes is a national children’s charity, which raises money for the care of children and families who are affected by genetic disorders. The charity also aims to raise awareness and understanding of genetics and what it means to live with a genetic disorder.

The brief in 2018 was no different. The campaign itself was simple: asking people to wear jeans in return for a donation to support children living with genetic disorders.

Each year we create a fresh and strategic campaign that focuses on educating the public on the health implications of genetic disorders. Our team with significant planning, support and drive delivered excellent results with a reach of over 1 billion impressions, 307 pieces of coverage and 15 broadcast interviews.

So how do we go about driving impact year after year? Learn more about our strategies below:

Case studies

Part of our strategy was to include real people in the campaign. We set out to educate people about the impact a genetic disorder can have on a family and the amazing stories of those who live a fulfilling life. We worked closely with over 30 families who were affected by genetic disorders and secured opportunities for them to share their experiences. We placed a series of emotive case studies generating 123 pieces of coverage across the national and regional print and broadcast media.

Western Mail

Educational coverage

We set out to educate the public the effects genetic disorders have on those who live with it each day. Deploying a multi-pronged educational strategy, we secured 20 pieces of coverage including publications such as the Western Mail.

 

Fashion and lifestyle coverage

Montana

A large part of the Jeans for Genes campaign is the sale of their fashion t-shirt. Each year there is a high demand for the uniquely designed garment, and this year was no different. Our team secured 97 pieces of coverage dedicated to promoting the t-shirt. Jeans for Genes have never sold out but this year due to the increase in engagement was delighted to sell out twice!

Jeans for Genes Ambassador Montana modelling this year’s design.

Celebrity influencers and endorsement

Celebrities and influencers as we know can be a very effective way of increasing engagement, building awareness and reaching your target audience. Our expert-led team has significant experience in building partnerships with brands and businesses to ensure results.

As part of the Jeans for Genes campaign, we worked with bloggers; A Model Recommends, Em Sheldon, Carl Thompson, Alice Thorpe and Chloe Pierre to name a few. As well as celebrities Becky Vardy, Danielle Lloyd, Dennis Wise, Ella Wills, Kieran Nicholls, Nicola McLean, Samira Mighty, Vicky Pattison and Love Island’s Eyal.

It was a real focus of our team to ensure we made the right partnerships to ensure the success of the campaign.

Gifting

To help keep our campaign and messaging at the forefront of journalists minds who may not have been able to attend our events we gifted three Sugar Tits doughnuts to make a real statement, and to promote the Jeans for Gene’s campaigns. Our focus was to target ‘What’s on’ guides to help reach a wider audience of potential fundraisers.

Hosting a celebrity event

Celebrity event

The final element was to host an ‘Afternoon Tee’ party that would allow us to garner the charities celebrity supporters and ensure widespread coverage of the awareness day, unique t-shirt and drive home the message that wearing jeans saves lives. Hosted by Love Island’s Montana Brown and attended by journalists from Reveal, New Magazine, Metro.co.uk. TV Life, Star Magazine and S Magazine the event was a top hit!

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team and find out how we can support your organisation, please get in touch today. Or if you’d like to support this year’s Jeans for Gene’s campaigns it’s not too late, visit their donation page here.

Your crisis and reputation ‘insurance policy’

A public relations (PR) crisis can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of a business. There are many scenarios that can occur, whether you’re a large corporation, individual or multi-national organisation. We specialise in mitigating risk for you and your business and providing an on-demand crisis and reputation support solution that’s discrete, effective and professional. Our insurance policy means that you and your business are prepared for any eventuality and can continue business as usual.

How can we assist you?

  • Advice on how to mitigate negative publicity
  • Preparing, drafting and issuing press releases and handling media enquiries 24/7 on the client’s behalf
  • Guidance documents on how to protect you and your company
  • Expert media training for both broadcast and newspaper interviews to prepare your key spokespeople for interaction with the media

Not sure a public relations insurance policy is for you? Here are just some examples where our team of experts can support you.

Poorly planned marketing

Marketing and PR are essential requirements to help grow your business. Sometimes your marketing efforts can backfire – even if you had the best intentions and never anticipated it becoming an issue. Whether it is a mis-use of terminology, a Freudian slip over social media or simply an image that has been taken out of context.

For example, high-street fashion store H&M came under fire in January, when the company released an advert featuring a young black boy wearing a hoodie that featured the phrase, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” The media covered the issue extensively and quickly found that this wasn’t H&M’s first incident. The PR and media backlash were extensive and detrimental to the brand’s reputation.

In many cases their business reputation did bounce back after an initial plunge in sales and reputation. However, it can take expensive compensation packages and extensive resource to resolve the situation.

Product recalls

Our top tips during a product recall are simple.

  • Take responsibility: When sending your statement be transparent about what happened
  • Act immediately: Don’t waste time, the situation could potentially escalate so act quickly
  • Be candid and compassionate: Say sorry to your customers, own up to your mistakes
  • Cooperate: Work with the people effected and your communications team
  • Use every means possible to communicate information: Think about this as a marketing campaign, you need to get in touch with every possible customer so use all your channels available to you

Product recalls can be a large drain of resource for your in-house communications teams. Ensuring your crisis and reputation policy and plan is being executed in conjunction with the situation can be a concern as well. Working with a specialist team who can act immediately and action that process for you is imperative to reduce reputational impact, avoid injuries or accidents with customers and ensure you have reached your core demographic and their network instantaneously.

Fashion store Primark had to recall three types of their men’s flip-flops containing dangerous levels of a cancer-causing chemical last year. Primark came across really prepared and were quick to make their announcement. The interesting thing about the incident is that neither the information on the corporate website or the media statement says what the issue was. A better approach would have been to be open and clear about what the chemical is and what the risks are to customers. Being transparent and demonstrating action is a key part of responding to a product recall and shows that an organisation is taking the situation seriously.

High-risk territories

Does your brand operate in high-risk territories? When a brand or business must travel to various parts of the world there is always an extensive risk assessment put in place to ensure the safety of employees and guests and what to do if there were an incident. But in those plans have you thought about your media relationships? How would you communicate your side of the story, and how can you showcase to the public and those affected what you are doing to rectify the situation? That’s where a clear crisis communications strategy comes into its own and experts on hand to deal with your situation 24/7.

Injuries and accidents

One possible issue that could develop and become a major PR crisis is if your products cause injury or illness to your customers or an employee, or if a contractor has a detrimental accident on your watch.

For example, in these types of scenarios reactions to issues can range from customers complaining to friends and family about your business, taking to social media and forums to raise their concerns to severe reactions, such as seeking legal action to reimburse medical costs or to receive compensation for their discomfort.

In these cases, it is imperative to demonstrate steps are being taken to resolve the situation, prevent any future problems, and of course negate some reputation damage.

Personal information

The introduction of the GDPR legislation in May 2018 has made some businesses across the UK nervous of the impact on their business if there were a breach. Not just monetary issues can occur, but the risk and damage a data breach can cause to the reputation of a business.

That was the case for BT who were fined £77,000 by the ICO. Between December 2015 and November 2016 BT sent 4.9 million emails about its fundraising platform My Donate, Giving Tuesday and Stand up to Cancer.  The ICO said that these communications were marketing, rather than messaging, and BT did not have consent to send them.

Handling customer feedback and inquiries and monitoring the ‘noise’ of the incident on social and in the media can be difficult. Our specialist crisis social team can work alongside your in-house teams to rectify the situation, whilst our PR specialists help you deal with media inquiries and publishing statements to those effected.

All smart businesses plan, and crisis management is no different; prevention is better than cure. We deploy a suite of services to manage and maintain your crisis and reputation. Contact us today to find out how we can work with you and your business.

What to do do do about this Baby Shark trend

With over 1.6 BILLION views on Youtube and 88,000 #babysharkchallenge mentions on Instagram, if you haven’t heard of the Baby Shark song, where have you been? When educational Youtube Channel, Pinkfong, uploaded this simple and catchy children’s song about a family of sharks, it is unlikely they knew it would become such a viral phenomenon.

Image credit: PinkFong

The repetitive ‘do do do do’ lyrics were annoying parents across the globe and as the famous saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Adults were forced to join in on the fun; luckily the dance moves are very simple to follow, so even dads can join in on the ‘Baby Shark Challenge’.

Some consumers have even made a hybrid post which combines both the ‘Baby Shark Challenge’ and the ‘In My Feelings Challenge’. The later involves jumping out of a (slowly) moving car and dancing to Drake’s single In My Feelings; to combine the two you may jump out of your car and dance to Baby Shark do do do do do, instead. These two trends appeared at around the same time, which is why they seem to have merged. Music and video make an excellent combination and I think we should all be thankful that social media was not so influential in 2003 when Crazy Frog was released!

You may be asking yourself, ‘why is this so popular?’ but this is not important when it comes to responding to a viral trend. Whether you find this song annoying or endearing, you should be asking ‘how can I be a part of this?’. This trend is a perfect example of what a powerful asset video is on social media. According to Hubspot, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from brands and the 2018 Sprout Social Index tells us that 71% of social media users watch videos online to laugh. Knowing that most of these videos are recorded on a mobile phone and made within a few minutes also demonstrates that video content does not need to be expensive, especially not when responding to a micro-trend such as this one.

Originality is always key to make your video stand out amongst the crowd, make sure your brand has their own spin on the concept. Some people have got their cats dancing along, others have even got tattoos dedicated to the trend! If you are not willing to make such a physical commitment or you do not own a cat and you are unsure of how your brand can respond to trends our social media or influencer PR services could be a great help to you! Contact us today to find out more.

The best places to eat out with the kids

It can sometimes be a little painful and stressful for parents to take children out for dinner. When bringing the kids out to a Michelin star restaurant might not be the best idea, we’ve looked at the top kid-friendly restaurants to take your lively little ones for some good family fun.
1- Giraffe
The new kids’ menu at Giraffe has been crowned a winner at the Menu Innovation and Development Awards 2018. Containing a variety of healthy items including colourful salads, grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Have we mentioned that they also run a “kids eat free” offer at weekends and during the school holidays to make it even more affordable for families to dine out!

2- Planet Hollywood
The entertainment is great. Kids have the chance to discover real movie costumes and props, including a real gremlin or the red Power Ranger outfit. Everyone gets their 15 seconds of fame at Planet Hollywood, as the secret roving cameras transmit hilarious live restaurant footage onto the screens. Where else in London can kids justifiably watch telly as they eat?

3- Zizzi
Zizzi is encouraging children to play with their food with their Bambini menu that inspires creativity. At Zizzi kiddies will have lots of fun decorating their own pizza or/and ice cream as well as colouring in their own books. Zizzi also offers a menu for tiny tummies for those of us who have picky eaters.

4- Rainforest cafe
For nature lovers! Rainforest Cafe is designed as an exotic jungle that recreates the sights and sounds of the Amazon rainforest. Prepare yourself to explore the restaurant, or let your kids go on a colourful adventure. Rainforest café offers an adventure menu including children’s main, dessert and an activity pack.

5- Wahaca
Wahaca is all about the tacos, margaritas and fun times. They always welcome the little niños and introducing them to real Mexican food. As well as serving a fun, healthy and tasty kids menu of ‘build your own tacos’ they also equipped their restaurants with Flying Eye Books mini-libraries, where kids can borrow and enjoy some great titles while parents sip their margaritas. What a dream!

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