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Blockchain PR strategy

Blockchain PR strategy

A holistic strategy is essential to getting your blockchain company noticed.

Global investment into blockchain or bitcoin-focused start-ups in 2017 amounted to just over one billion US dollars – a record year for the emerging industry. According to the latest predictions, the amount of money that will be raised by blockchain companies in 2018 is set to be even higher.

It’s unsurprising then that a new industry growing so quickly is saturated by start-ups all vying for the media spotlight.

A comprehensive communications strategy is essential to navigating the challenging and ever-changing media landscape. So, how can you ensure your blockchain company gets noticed above the rest in the media?

Blockchain in the press

Before we delve into strategy, it’s important to understand the lay of the land when it comes to blockchain coverage in the media.

Firstly, and most importantly, there is still a huge educational process that needs to take place. The majority of mainstream journalists and audiences still don’t get blockchain or cryptocurrencies. They need simple explanations and to see in the first line of an article why this tech will be relevant to their daily lives or industry.

Don’t get us wrong, there are a growing number of journalists who do understand and are really interested in blockchain. But they write in-depth features for the likes of Coindesk, CoinTelegraph and Forbes – not BBC or The Guardian. It may sound obvious, but the national media only cover stories that are of national importance, and unfortunately not all new start-ups meet these criteria. Harsh, but a necessary truth to acknowledge.

What’s paramount across both media camps – those who do get blockchain and those who don’t – is credibility. Now, this doesn’t mean just having a fancy website and whitepaper. This goes from the founders of the business all the way to the product offering or service. Everyone and everything associated with the brand must portray a credible, united front. Journalists are sceptical by nature, we don’t want to give them anything potentially damaging to run with and damage your brand before it’s even had chance to get off the ground.

Brand positioning

What we at PHA love about blockchain is that it is genuinely sector agnostic, disruptive, and one day soon will be universal. This means the majority of blockchain start-ups tend to straddle two sectors – blockchain technology and the industry they are trying to disrupt such as recruitment, charity, enterprise, property, sport or finance to name a few.

To have the most media impact, it’s important to position your brand as more than just another blockchain start-up. A clearly defined message for the vertical you operate in, and the key stakeholders you’re trying to target, is essential, as they need to understand your value proposition without being confused by technical blockchain jargon. Before even picking up the phone to a journalist, you need to have a clear view of what value your blockchain business will bring to that sector.

Expert spokespeople

With blockchain only now really beginning to step out of cryptocurrency’s shadow in the mainstream media, publications are desperately looking for commentary from people who genuinely have experience with the technology. This presents an incredible opportunity for founders of blockchain start-ups to become the go-to expert for TV interviews, extended thought leadership articles, keynote or panel speaking slots at events, and national commentary on the technology.

It’s essential for founders and key spokespeople to make their names known, both in the blockchain technology press and the trade media of the sector the business operates in. Sharing knowledge and adding genuine value to the wider conversations, as well as highlighting the benefits of the company service or offering, increases credibility and trust in the business. This is essential, as only producing articles about why your business is the best will cause journalist fatigue, a fall in media coverage, and will create the impression that you’re not interested in supporting the wider industry.

ICO/ TGE investment

Five or so years ago, announcing you were doing an ICO would have been a genuine news story. However, in 2017 there were 435 successful ICOs, raising an average of $12.7 million according to Business Insider UK. Doing an ICO or TGE these days is no longer a novelty, as almost every single blockchain start-up is doing one.

To stand the best chance of your ICO or TGE being covered by blockchain and mainstream journalists, you must be able to explain why yours is unique compared to every single other one out there that week. The story must stand out from the crowd and having a clear plan of what the tokens raised will go towards significantly helps in this regard.

While the ICO or TGE is live, ensuring your company name is kept in the right media outlets is incredibly important for ensuring a steady stream of investors. Thought leadership articles, media interviews and reactive commentary on any breaking news stories that are relevant to your business will help to further establish your credibility as a business worth investing in. Closely managed social media channels are also essential before, during and after the ICO/ TGE – again, they bring much needed credibility to a process many journalists still do not fully understand.

Social media

Possibly the biggest differentiator between a successful PR strategy for any other business and that of a blockchain start-up is the approach to social media. While Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the three go-to channels, with Instagram added for more consumer-focused brands, Telegram and Slack are the most important platforms for targeting the blockchain community.

As with any form of social media though, the key to success is moderation. With Telegram, a welcome message highlighting the key information pinned to the top of the group is best for giving clarity to new members. On Slack, this can be achieved with a welcome chatbot that directs new members to the channels that might be relevant to them for more information.

The key with Telegram and Slack is that they give potential new customers, investors and users the chance to engage directly with the founders and developers of the business and ask detailed, technical questions that would be too heavy to include in a website Q&A. It’s for this reason that the best Telegram and Slack accounts are internally managed by the founders or senior developers. We offer council on all social media platforms, including full community management for the traditional four channels, and are happy to be on hand to provide advice on any particularly difficult questions that get thrown your way on Slack or Telegram.

A note on Reddit – authenticity is vital. Redditers are infamous for calling out brands who have tried to blatantly advertise on the platform and have even been known to trace IP addresses back to agencies calling PRs out for posting on behalf of clients. If you are going to use Reddit, be transparent about who you are, what role you have in the team, and don’t just talk about your offering – add to the wider conversation or you will be ousted from the community.

To conclude

Competition for the media spotlight has never been fiercer for blockchain start-ups. There are a number of rules that apply to the blockchain industry that simply aren’t a factor for other start-ups; ignoring Telegram or Slack for example would be to your peril. However, the opportunity for founders to take their companies mainstream and become the go-to expert for their sector should not be downplayed. With a clear, concise and holistic comms strategy, your blockchain start-up can grab the media spotlight.

Join us at London Tech Week to find out more about how to create a holistic PR strategy for your blockchain start-up. Sign up to our event here.

How to launch a new fitness app in a highly competitive market?

For the past four years, we have been working with leading health and fitness company LDNM. In that time the business has gone from strength to strength, from turning over £50 to a business which now turns over £1.5 million. As well as selling downloadable fitness guides to over 150,000 people worldwide, LDNM has a Personal Training Academy, a fitness app, a supplements range, a clothing range and a nationwide food delivery service.

We helped LDNM launch their new fitness app to market and the success was incredible, with the app reaching number two in the world for downloads in the health and fitness paid for apps category.

Health and fitness apps have continued to grow in popularity over the last few years and that trend continues to gather momentum.  According to research from Flurry Analytics, usage of health and fitness apps has grown by over 330% in the last three years (http://www.netimperative.com/2017/09/health-fitness-app-usage-grew-330-just-3-years/).

The trend of following a healthy lifestyle makes people turn to health and fitness apps as it provides them with the fastest and easiest solution to stay on track. But what’s the best way to promote a fitness app in a highly competitive marketplace and what PR tactics should your business use to maximise exposure and drive downloads?

Properly executing a well thought out strategy is key, and here are our three pieces of advice to make sure you stand out from the crowd…

Appeal to your target audience

The success of LDNM and the foundation of the business are the customers who download their fitness guides. Making sure we had a bank of case studies of real people who had transformed their lives through the help of LDNM at the time of the launch, helped us secure coverage in key outlets which are read by LDNM’s demographic. We achieved coverage in the Mail Online, Mirror Online, Sun Online and Joe.co.uk and within each article, we ensured that the call to action was for people to head to the app store to download the app.

Utilise your assets and tell a story

LDNM was founded by two sets of brothers, twins James and Tom Exton and brothers Max and Lloyd Bridger. At the time, the female face of the business was Alice Liveing aka “Clean Eating Alice”. Through our ongoing PR campaign with LDNM, we carefully built their respective profiles in the health and fitness media, national media and business press.  We then strategically placed articles which positioned them as experts in each of those sectors, ensuring that the coverage landed around the time that the app launched to further build momentum and maintain the buzz around the launch. One way we successfully achieved this was through capitalising on the news agenda and by putting forward the founders- who are all qualified PT’s as spokespeople to comment on topical issues. Co-founder Lloyd Bridger appeared on Sky News to talk about the pros and cons of fitness trackers.

Timing and social media is key

In the fitness world, the first quarter between January- March is the best time to capitalise on consumer behaviours. The LDNM fitness app launched in

March and internally LDNM did a lot of organic promotion to tease the launch of the app during the “new year, new you” period across their hugely engaged social channels- which have a combined following of almost one million.

PR should work hand-in-hand with a well thought out social media strategy and if executed correctly, it should amplify the reach and impact of your app launch.  In our experience, taking time to carefully plan a well thought out strategy is key. Ensure that you build the trust of your existing customer base first before you launch so that you can test the waters, which in turn will help you attract new customers and ultimately drive app downloads.

If you’d like to find out how our award-winning sports team or our social media experts can help bolster your app or brand speak to a member of the team today.

 

Third Sector crisis communication support

We understand the challenges that can be faced in each sector, and we know how to prepare and protect our clients should they ever need it. In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny amongst the media towards charities, and even more hard-hitting scandals this year have had an impact on public perceptions. It can take a hundred good stories to build a reputation but only one bad one to bring down the house.

We’ve helped charities in the eye of the storm and advised clients in high profile situations. Our support can help you to prepare for and react decisively to an issue or crisis situation. If you want to take steps to protect your organisation today, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Developing a crisis response strategy

We know that most comms issues can be navigated effectively with the right strategy and support in place. Having the confidence that you can mitigate a risk comes from knowing you are properly prepared. We work closely with clients to create straight-talking crisis comms strategies that cover:

• Situational analysis – a review of key events that could impact your organisation
• Risk assessments – what issues are you likely to encounter? What could have the most impact?
• Crisis team structures – including Trustee support
• Comms protocols and checklists – a clear structure to follow at a glance
• User handbooks – communicating your crisis strategy in a format that can be easily accessed and used when the time is of the essence
• Template materials – to help speed up response times during a crisis situation.

Training days

Part of being able to respond to a crisis is being confident when handling media. The media will view your chief executive like any other CEO – they are the leader of the organisation and should be prepared to be scrutinised.
Journalists argue that they are reporting what the public needs to know, or wants to know, reflecting public mood. Spokespeople should be media trained, armed with facts and prepared for the toughest questions.

At PHA, our expert teams have been on the sharp end of media questioning, and can expertly prepare any spokesperson. Our tailored media training sessions train spokespeople to:

  • Structure key messages
  • Learn to control media interviews
  • Develop prepared responses
  • Understand the media
  • Learn different interview styles.

In addition to media training, our crisis simulation training days will put comms teams through their paces, with a mock crisis scenario involving how to deal with news of the crisis breaking, the first stages, the first calls from journalists, the CEO being doorstepped, and more.

Real-time support

During a crisis, even those with agreed protocols in place often require additional support. Crisis management experts are used to dealing with difficult situations, and good ones are not afraid to tell clients how it is once they see the depth of problems in an organisation. They should be able to bring with them not only expertise but contacts and links to other third parties who can help.

Getting up to speed on an issue quickly is vital. At PHA, we offer a 24/7 service that monitors social and traditional media coverage including sentiment. Our twice-daily reports with analysis and recommendations mean that you can always be sure of informed decision making.
Support from PHA can be scaled up or down depending on the level of crisis. From handling all media enquiries and social posts to acting as a sounding board for critical response deadlines, you will always be working with a dedicated senior comms consultant who will be on-hand at a moment’s notice. We also plug clients into media lawyers were necessary to help protect reputations and advise on other issues should the need arise.

Proactive PR

Following on from a crisis, it’s important to focus on the future and how or where you need to re-build relationships. Our third sector specialist team can help with:

  • Reviewing existing content and communications
  • Stakeholder engagement strategies
  • Thought leadership/feature placement
  • Proactive awareness-raising or fundraising campaigns.

If you would like to know how PR can help protect your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

Join The PHA Group at London Tech Week 2018

London Tech Week returns on 11th – 17th June, as 55,000 attendees, from 90+ countries are expected to descend upon our nation’s capital to mix, learn and mingle with like-minded tech aficionados.

We’ll be joining in with the festivities again this year and hosting three, free breakfast seminars, to give you some PR tools and tips to promote your tech offerings in the UK media.

1) Tech PR Crash Course – How to get your start-up in the press

When: 09:30 am, Monday 11th June

Where: Jigsaw 24, 8 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HY

According to the latest Tech Nation report, the digital tech sector is expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy and makes up nearly £184 billion of our overall GDP. Further, British digital tech companies raised £4.5 billion in VC investment last year, almost double the previous year.

Great news for the industry of course – but for start-ups and scaleups looking to launch and grow, this means competition is stiffer than ever.

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day, but will only use a handful – so how do you make your story stand out from the crowd and get those all-important column inches dedicated to you instead of someone else?

In this seminar, we will explore:

  • What PR is (and isn’t)
  • What makes a story that journalists want to write about
  • How to make the most of the assets you already have
  • How to create a PR strategy to generate coverage

To register for a place, please click here.

 

2) Blockchain PR 101 – How to create media buzz about your blockchain offering

When: 9.30 am, Tuesday 12th June

Where: Jigsaw 24, 8 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HY

One of the most hyped yet misunderstood technologies of the 21st century, blockchain technology has been lauded, slandered, and often seen as simply the underpinning of cryptocurrencies.

However, over the last five years, VCs have invested more than $1 billion into blockchain companies, and the global blockchain market is expected to be worth $20 billion by 2024.

As blockchain’s potential to bring efficiencies to almost every single industry is starting to be widely grasped, the number of start-ups and scale-ups continues to grow exponentially. But with ICOs and TGEs, never mind blockchain technology itself, to explain to a sceptical UK media, making your blockchain company standout as a viable business is a herculean challenge.

In this talk we will discuss:

  • How PR can build a credible blockchain brand
  • How to get coverage of your ICO/ TGE
  • How to demystify blockchain in your chosen sector
  • Real life examples – both good and bad

To register for a place, please click here.

 

3) PR for Tech Entrepreneurs – How to raise your personal profile in the media

When: 9:30 am, Wednesday 13th June

Where: Jigsaw 24, 8 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HY

Behind every successful tech business is a great entrepreneur with a story to tell. People buy people and identifying your story and crafting a personal narrative is key to humanising your brand.

The press are on the lookout for something their readers can relate to and be inspired by. PR is about telling these stories and for us, there is no better tale than an entrepreneur’s journey to creating their own business.

Perhaps you have overcome adversity to get where you are, or a sudden lightbulb moment sparked an idea that’s changing people’s lives? Whoever you are and wherever you come from, come and join us for an interactive panel discussion with three successful tech entrepreneurs, to hear how PR can make a difference to you and your business.

Speakers 

– Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Azoomee

– Nakul Sharma, CEO of Hostmaker

– Samuel Leach, founder of Samuel & Co Trading

The panel discussion will explore:

  • The role of PR in building a personal brand
  • Some real-life examples
  • How to craft a personal narrative and communicate your story
  • How to approach a wider PR strategy

 

To register for a place, please click here.

Make your fitness brand stand out

The recent State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the health club industry is continuing to grow with more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before (£4.7bn). And this is just the health club sector. With each sector of the fitness industry becoming more and more crowded, what do fitness brands need to do in order to position themselves as market leaders? Here, we take a look at five great ways to do just that.

1) Sharing success stories
Consumers will always be drawn to fitness brands if they can see that the product or service is having a positive impact on people’s lives. The leading gym chain in the UK, Xercise4less, has been very successful in placing case studies, which show off how the gym chain has helped to change members’ lives for the better.

Some examples:
A member who has used Xercise4Less facilities to lose weight
A member who is using exercise to fight off mental health problems
A personal trainer duo who launched a class for mental health

2) Utilising Instagram Influencers
In a recent survey by One Poll, Instagram was voted one of the biggest influencers, when it comes to consumer behaviour, ahead of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Every month we are witnessing more and more influential Instagram users pop up on the scene, users who inform and educate their followers about health, fitness and nutrition through their Instagram channels.

These individuals are all part of a new generation of online influencer, which the savviest fitness brands are already tapping into.

Although an online health and fitness influencer may have a smaller reach than traditional media outlets, their followers are likely to be precisely the target audience that fitness brands are looking to attract.

Fitness clothing brand Gymshark, which was founded just over two years, has clearly invested a lot of its marketing budget on engaging with online influencers. Now Gymshark is a market leader in the “trendy” gym clothing sector. Through effectively engaging with online influencers, the brand has built up a social following of over 1.4m on Facebook and over 2.2m on Instagram.

Here are some great examples of social media influencers that health and fitness brands should look to engage with:

  • Lydia Millen and Ali Gordon: They are known as ‘The Lifestyle Couple’ of social media with over 1m followers between them. They currently work with the likes of GymShark, a leading supplement brand and the camera brand Olympus.
  • The Harrison Twins: Owen and Lewis Harrison have over 1.25m followers between them and are the face of leading sports nutrition brand ESN.
  • Zanna Van Dijk: Zanna has attracted a great deal of attention for documenting her body transformation on Instagram. She now has 222k Instagram followers and works with a number of brands including Adidas.

3) Becoming a voice of authority
If yours is a fitness brand which focuses on the wellbeing of its customers then it is important that consumers believe in, and respect, the advice and opinion of individuals within your organisation. Positioning these individuals as voices of authority within the media is a great way of gaining respect from consumers and also cementing the reputation of your brand as a trustworthy industry leader.

In order to gain that respect, key spokespeople from your organisation should be writing thought leadership pieces on a regular basis on the subject(s) that they specialise in. It is also important to keep on top of the news agenda, as this will help to provide your spokespeople with the opportunity to react and respond to relevant news stories which are been covered in the media.

LDN Muscle, a business which produces downloadable e-guides, are regularly featured in this way in the media. Often, this even goes as far as providing them with the opportunity to use negative stories, as a way of promoting their own products and services in a positive way:

Here are some examples:

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/8-ways-to-stay-motivated-to-workout-regularly-a3732246.html

When TOWIE star Gemma Collins discussed her use of juice diets, LDN Muscle provided comment on the dangers of such diets and explained how to get in shape using their Bikini Guides, instead.

4) Securing celebrity ambassadors
Many brands within the health and fitness space choose to utilise celebrity ambassadors to help build the profile of their brand and promote their products or services.

When it comes to brands identifying a suitable celebrity ambassador, it is imperative that they choose someone who their target market can relate to, and will respond to.

One of the best celebrity partnerships was launched by clothing label Ellesse with Lucy Mecklenburgh. The partnership was designed to promote Ellesse’s range of fitness clothing. Lucy is incredibly popular amongst young females and has shown an incredible passion for fitness in recent years. As such, this was a brand ambassador relationship which was believable, and which effectively targeted the correct end user.

5) Exploring cross promotion
With so many different markets in the fitness industry, there are many opportunities for brands to cross-promote their services with other brands operating in the same sector.

This tactic not only enables both brands to gain access to the database and social media channels of the other but, in doing so, it also allows both businesses gain a greater level of exposure amongst a new audience.

Specialist food company MuscleFood has carried out cross-promotional activity with brands in the running events sector and protein market, as well as with gyms and online personal trainers. MuscleFood always offers strong promotional discounts and competition prizes when it does this type of activity. Both brands, meanwhile, benefit from a greater level of exposure. Like GymShark, MuscleFood has, through cross-promotional activity such as this, been able to gain a very strong presence on social media, including 270K followers on Instagram.

If you’re interested in learning more about how PR can make your fitness brand stand out, get in touch with us today

Influencer marketing: adidas

The concept of a brand hiring an influencer to promote a product, service, event or wider campaign isn’t new. In fact, with many brands reporting that traditional advertising and marketing such as television, print media and digital are becoming less effective, it is no surprise that more and more brands are including permanent influencer marketing spend in their budgets.

No longer can we afford to think of influencer marketing as a novel strategy, when by the year 2020 influencer marketing global spend is set to become a billion-dollar industry.

One brand that we wanted to highlight in this piece is adidas, whose effective influencer strategy has had tangible effects on both sales and brand awareness and is, without a doubt, a contributing factor in adidas CEO, Kasper Rørsted being able to say that ‘2017 was a strong year – financially and operationally. We made great progress toward achieving our mission to be the best sports company in the world.’

Below are five notable ways we can learn from adidas’ success with influencers over the last two years:

Creative content

In addition to giving influencers creative freedom when it comes to content, adidas also create their own bespoke content that features influencers. As an influencer, this content is something you want to be involved in and want to share across your social channels because it’s different, exciting and more often than not, something you would not be able to produce yourself. adidas, therefore, ends up with engaging content for use on their own channels and a group of top fitness influencers sharing the same content with their thousands of followers. This is a tactic that works incredibly well when spreading campaign messaging or supporting kit launches.

Example 1: Back in January adidas worked with many of the UK’s leading fitness influencers to create content that featured each influencer encouraging their followers to set goals for 2018 and show the year ‘what they are made of’:

Hey 2018! ✨💫 I’ve got my dreams and you’ve got yours, let’s all move and fall and get back up again 🙃 #heretocreate #createdwithadidas #movement #mindandbody #2018 @adidaslondon @adidaswomen

A post shared by Lottie Murphy (@lottiemurphy_) on

||TWENTY EIGHTEEN🌟|| LET’S DO THIS. Another 365 opportunities to hussle for your dreams. No matter what your dreams are life, work, fitness, health; you get out what you put in. . Goals are just dreams with deadlines. Those goals aren’t just for January, here’s to a year (& plenty more years) of bad-assery however you do you. Happy New Year! Peace & Love, Kim x ✌🏼 #tonewhatyouown #heretocreate #createdwithadidas #collab @adidaslondon @adidaswomen

A post shared by Tone What You Own ™ ✌🏼💛 (@kimhartwell) on

Creativity is the purest form of authenticity, because what you create with love is a direct expression of your soul. . . . .So don't fear, put yourself out there, come out of your comfort zone, be present and keep creating…or recreating yourself❤ . . What are you excited about this year? Who do you want to be ? What do you want to create? . . .Tell me below beauties…❤ . . . . @adidaslondon @adidaswomen . #heretocreate #createdwithadidas #adidaswomen #adidaslondon #move #create #bepresent #beyou #ad #isawelly

A post shared by Isa-Welly Locoh-Donou (@isawelly) on

Example 2: Just this month adidas turned their ambassador, model and businesswoman Karlie Kloss, into a hologram, along with many other UK fitness influencers, to launch the new Stella McCartney collection for adidas:

🥊🥊 #lessimpactmorepower @adidaslondon

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

Well hello Sunny Saturday! Whats everyone up to today?👀👀 THis is the Perfect day for some outdoor workout followed by a nice brunch with friends🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿… but Im at school all day so thats just me dreamimg it😂😂😂 . . . . . Earlier this week I Hologram'd my moves in the new @stellamccartney collection for @adidaslondon ….. The collection is made of organic cotton, recyclable materials and with minimum waste…AND still look and feel great! #lessimpactmorepower . . .Have a great weekend beauties ❤ . . . . #createdwithadidas #adidaslondon #stellamccartney #isawelly #pilates #movement

A post shared by Isa-Welly Locoh-Donou (@isawelly) on

Rise to the challenge! Get up, get out, get active. A light jog, a hill session, sprints or drills, today move your body and be free. #lessimpactmorepower #heretocreate @adidaslondon @adidaswomen

A post shared by Natasha Scarlet (@natashascarlet_) on

Worldwide community

adidas have successfully built a community of influencers worldwide which allows them to tap into an international audience of millions.

By building an influencer network, adidas have increased the momentum to be able to promote and grow the brand in a long-lasting way, creating brand awareness with different audience groups which ultimately means better brand visibility.

Example 1: adidas ambassadors/influencers from different countries often link up and create content to share across their platforms. They tag each other and adidas in their respective posts allowing both influencer and adidas to reach a new market.

Here, London based fitness influencer Bradley Simmonds linked up with Australia’s Steph Smith whilst she was on a trip in London:

Last session with @stephclairesmith before she heads back to @adidasau, ending with a strong one 🔥 A superb role model and An absolute joy to train 👊🏼 THE WORKOUT! 1. Cable rotation (10reps both sides) 2. Woodchops (10reps BS) 3. Cable v-sits (12reps) 4. Cable hanging knee raises (12reps) 5. Cable cross climbers (20reps) 6. Boxing style (10 reps both sides) 7. Alligator crawl (30seconds) Three rounds to be completed 🔥 Choose your weight wisely ensuring your technique is spot on with enough weight to push yourself 👍🏻 @stephclairesmith smashed it 🔥 @adidaswomen @adidasuk @adidasau YOU CAN purchase my 4 WEEK CORE program by visiting bradleysimmonds.com 👍🏻 #getitdone #coreworkout #core #abs #absworkout #bbg #adidas #fitnessgirl #gymmotivation #gymlife #model

A post shared by bradleysimmonds (@bradleysimmonds) on

BACK IN THE GAME with @adidasau @stephclairesmith 🔥 A great workout that doesn't require much space in the gym. Your next workout 👍🏻 1. Kettlebell deep squat – 10reps 2. Kettlebell goblet squat – 10reps 3. Pulse lunge – 10reps (Both Sides) 4. Curtsy pulse – 10reps (BS) 5. Split box lunge – 10reps (BS) 6. Incline Bridge – 20reps 7. Single incline bridge – 10reps (BS) 8. Single Bridge – 10reps (BS) 9. Pistol squats – 10reps (BS) THREE ROUNDS 🔥💦 #getitdone #humpday #bumworkout #legday #gymlife #gymworkout #gymmotivation #fitnessgirl #bbg #fitspo #glutes #weightlossjourney #squats #wieghtloss #fitnessmotivation

A post shared by bradleysimmonds (@bradleysimmonds) on

Here, two adidas global ambassadors – Adrienne LDN (London) and Julie Nelson (New York) – met up at the adidas Studio ahead of an adidas event:

Look who’s in town! 🇬🇧 @jawsnelson @adidaswomen ⚡️ Feelin pumped for next weeks event, stay tuned! 🥊😘 #adidaswomen #adidasfam #london #fitness #fridayfeels #fitnessmotivation

A post shared by ADRIENNE LDN (@adrienne_ldn) on

Example 2: Whether it’s a kit launch or fitness event, the support of their influencer community often means that adidas have hundreds and sometimes thousands of pieces of social coverage to amplify their reach.

This worked exceptionally well when influencers from across the globe touched down in London town for the launch of adidas Athletics Z.N.E. Pulse Collection:

Always grateful to be part of the @adidas family. Thank you London for having us yesterday #ThePulseOf London #pulseofathletics #zne #adidas

A post shared by Dipika Pallikal Karthik (@dipikapallikal) on

What an extraordinary feeling it is to be a part of the @AdidasMENA ambassador team for the global launch of the @Adidas #ZNE #PulseCollection. Inspired by heartbeats of athletes from around the world 💗🌏 Thank you #Adidas, I can't wait for the world to see the new line! [Released 31st August in store] #thepulseof #london

A post shared by Ivana Bruic (@miss_austyle) on

Had a really good yoga session today with these lovely girls ☺️ unfortunately I am not as flexible as them, but I tried my best 😬 @yogabodylondon with @giuliacalcaterra and @nesarassouli also @barzomer @miss_austyle @verenje Next: #thepulseof event #adidas #london #events #takechargeldn #bethenext #yogabodylondon #blogger #sourroundedbybloggers #fitgirls #notflexible #flexible #triedmybest #yoga

A post shared by Pamela Forster (@pamelaforster) on

I can't even begin to put in words how magical this trip has been for me. Meeting inspiring people from every part of the world, making new friends, and the most amazing part of it all, experiencing the world of @adidas has been so eye opening for me. It's incredible how much you can learn in so little time of you believe in yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Friends, if there's anything you're hesitating to do today because you're scared, nervous or unsure- TAKE THE LEAP. You're stronger than you think😉 #thepulseof London #ZNE

A post shared by Nesa Rassouli (@nesarassouli) on

Nothing but good vibes @Adidas #ZNE #thepulseof LONDON✌

A post shared by Ivana Bruic (@miss_austyle) on

Good morning my friends! Today I was meeting the amazing @adidas ambassadors from all over the world, and we are so excited for the big release of the PULSE collection tonight! @adidas @adidasisrael #zne #ThePulseOf ✌🏻

A post shared by Bar Zomer (@barzomer) on

Hanging with the @adidas girls in #London where they make for a very pretty #shoefie. #ThePulseof #ZNE

A post shared by Nandini Bhalla (@nandinibhalla) on

Influencer campaigns

adidas often run influencer campaigns using their global hashtag, #heretocreate, that aim to inspire and to get eyes on new product launches. These campaigns are extremely valuable because they allow influencers to tell adidas’ story for them and let’s face it, what better way to show off new kit or trainers than with multiple fitness influencers posting athletic pictures of themselves all wearing the same kit, alongside inspirational messaging.

Example 1: adidas Women’s Training wanted to inspire to help kick-start New Year fitness regimes with a New Year campaign. UK based fitness influencers shared their goals for 2017 on New Year’s Day in the hopes of inspiring and encouraging their followers to set and achieve their own goals. Each influencer involved in this campaign shared a post on Instagram and created in Instagram story to go alongside it:

2017 I'm coming for you 💪🎉 the last 12 months I finally discovered what it was like to truly have a healthy mindset and balanced lifestyle. Exercise and being 'fit' is more than what you can lift, what you look like, or how much you weigh, its about moving your body, working towards a goal and motivating not just yourself, but others around you. If you're striving for anything this year, make sure it's not just a healthy body on the outside, but a healthy mindset, a balanced lifestyle and a whole lotta self love ❤️ #HereToCreate #AdidasWomen #AD #LovaineWorkout

A post shared by Emilie Layla Lovaine-James (@lovaine_james) on

{{ 2017 • L O O K I N G • U P }} So for many the new year brings many new goals, new dreams, new starts and new resolutions… I'm setting myself the goal to create STRENGTH through BALANCE in 2017. Strength to train hard, laugh often, explore more, forgive easily, practice fearlessness, do yoga every day and be kind to myself. In hope of finding continued balance in my work, family and social life … and of course in side plank 😊 What are your goals? #heretocreate @adidasuk. . . . 📸by @sam_hot_jams All red errrrthang by @adidasuk (obvs 😘) #adidasuk #happynewyear #newyearsresolutions #strength #balance #workout #train #yoga #armbalance #sideplank #activewear #newyearsameyou

A post shared by C H A R L O T T E H O L M E S (@misscharholmes) on

{{ 2017 • L O O K I N G • U P }} So for many the new year brings many new goals, new dreams, new starts and new resolutions… I'm setting myself the goal to create STRENGTH through BALANCE in 2017. Strength to train hard, laugh often, explore more, forgive easily, practice fearlessness, do yoga every day and be kind to myself. In hope of finding continued balance in my work, family and social life … and of course in side plank 😊 What are your goals? #heretocreate @adidasuk. . . . 📸by @sam_hot_jams All red errrrthang by @adidasuk (obvs 😘) #adidasuk #happynewyear #newyearsresolutions #strength #balance #workout #train #yoga #armbalance #sideplank #activewear #newyearsameyou

A post shared by C H A R L O T T E H O L M E S (@misscharholmes) on

Example 2: Once again utilising their relationships with fitness influencers, adidas gifted each influencer with the latest kit from the adidas Women’s Training collection and asked them to post a creative and inspiring image on their Instagram channels:

Just wanted to give you guys a #BestMe update. In 10 days, I have honestly gone from feeling so frustrated with my physical & mental progress to feeling like a whole new woman. Just by making some simple and effective tweaks to my training and nutrition I truly feel like I am getting back to my best. And it turn it gave me the confidence to rock this super cute @adidasuk crop top & leggings, that I wouldn't have felt too comfortable in a few weeks back. I put it down to nourishing my body, moderating my portions and becoming in tune with my hunger cues. I also put it down to consistency in the gym, smashing my workouts and in turn already noticing progress in my strength & fitness. And this is only the beginning….in the coming weeks & months I am #heretocreate my best self. My fittest self. My strongest self. My happiest self. If you're looking for the same then come and do this with me! I'll be sharing the changes I've made & little tips and tricks that I believe can help you to feel your best. Already so excited to have so many of you on board! The support you guys give is like nothing else I have experienced, so let's support each other on this journey. 💜💜 #heretocreate #bestme #transformation #fitnessjourney #strong #fit #happy #ad #adidas

A post shared by Tally Rye (@tallyrye) on

When I started my role as an @adidas global ambassador I was asked what my ultimate goal is. The answer? I am #heretocreate an army of strong women. Women who look after their bodies because they love them. Women who want to better themselves. Women who support each other. Women who empower each other. Women who lift each other up. Women who radiate good vibes ✌🏼 I want YOU to join this army and to help me spread positivity. Let's do this 🙌🏼 Wearing @adidasuk 📸 Photo: @jonpaynephoto 💕 #girlgains #strongzvd #strongsquad

A post shared by Zanna van Dijk (@zannavandijk) on

Create the things you wish existed. Feeling super excited about some upcoming projects and events and getting creative again! 🌟Happy hump day although not really the same kind of hump because of the 4 day week, more like a very small hiccup. Wearing @adidasuk #heretocreate #pilates #holisitichealth #yoga #mindandbody

A post shared by Lottie Murphy (@lottiemurphy_) on

Free classes and run clubs

adidas host a variety of free influencer led fitness classes and run clubs that allows them to broaden their influencer activity and further engage with their audience, ultimately driving brand awareness.

This activity allows adidas to create an experience around their brand, both for the influencer and for the audience, and so brings the brand to life.

Furthermore, through adidas, consumers are able to meet and be trained by the influencers who inspire them, building brand trust and loyalty.

Example 1: 152 Brick Lane is adidas’ woman’s studio. Here, adidas film a lot of their influencer fitness content, book inspirational guest speakers, and offer influencer led classes:

||TWOTONED TAKEOVER🌟|| Absolutely buzzing for day 2 ✌🏼of our #AdidasStudioLdn takeover. T 💁🏻+Me💁🏼+a ton of bad ass women sweating it out in the @adidasuk 📍Brick Lane studio! 💦💪🏼It's going to awesome, & best of all?! Your buddy will be sweating it out next to you! 👭 . Here's a sneak preview of a couple of the moves we have in our sessions tonight! If you can't make it down try them at home! ⏰45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest. Integrate them into your workouts or do them in a circuit ➰ (one after the other) for 3-4 rounds with a 30-60 second rest in between rounds! . 👉🏼Standard T pre video booty shakin' 🍑 feel free to use that as part of your warm up 😉 👉🏼Kick Throughs (or more fun name 🙃Breakdancers!) 💃🏼 👉🏼Roll up to Tuck Jump (don't worry if you need to use your hands to get up!) 🤗 👉🏼Crawl to Burpee 🔥 . Get it team! LET'S DO THIS! 👟All @adidaswomen errrything #trainwithTwoToned #Adidaswomen #AdidasStudioLdn #heretocreate

A post shared by Tone What You Own ™ ✌🏼💛 (@kimhartwell) on

Thanks for having me @adidasuk had a blast teaching the runners and can't wait to be back! 🙏🏻 Wearing the new Adidas ultraBOOST X runners – they're almost as flexible as I am 😉🏃🏼‍♀️ #guessineedtostartrunning #probablynot #adidasuk #adidasstudioldn #heretocreate #ultraBOOSTX

A post shared by Jaime Tully (@jaimetully) on

Example 2: Back in July 2016, adidas launched ‘adidas Runners’, a community of runners who use the city of London as their training ground. The Facebook group has amassed thousands of followers and the runs themselves are not only led by influencers but they also attract influencer and journalist participation:

City Run LDN 🇬🇧 Who’s racing this weekend with @adidaslondon city run Fulham? See you there 😘 #ARLondon #runlondon #runtheworld #roadrace #whyirunldn #adidasrunners #adrienneldn

A post shared by ADRIENNE LDN (@adrienne_ldn) on

🏃🏼🏃🏼#PUREBOOSTX ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Testing out the bouncy new @adidasuk kicks with @adidasrunning 👟👟 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We warmed up with @adriennetmm and @ajodudu working upper and lower before heading out to embrace the beautiful ☀️☀️ with a 6k canal route! (H followed on her favourite @ridley_bikes assumed as lead snapper 📸) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀. Another INCREDIBLE evening thanks to the adidas team 🙋🏼🙋🏼 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ TTH x #twicethehealth #pureboostx #Running #Run #Adidas #Fitness #GymSnack #WorkoutSnack #WorkOutIdeas #PostWorkout #Health #Healthy #CheatClean #TreatClean #Yummy #InstaFood #InstaFit #FitFam #GirlGains

A post shared by Twice The Health (@twicethehealth) on

WHO RUN THE WORLD ? 👟✨ On Wednesday I'll be leading a fitness event with @adidasuk & @whateverittakeslondon We'll be warming up @bloklondon before a road run to test out the PBX shoes ❤️ It's a free event but you need to sign up for a ticket, hit the link in my bio 👆🏽 (P.s This ones ladies only, sorry guys) #whyirunldn #adidasrunners #london #positiveenergy #heretocreate #adidaswomen #runners #runtheworld #whateverittakeslondon #womensrunning

A post shared by ADRIENNE LDN (@adrienne_ldn) on

Influencer collaboration to create original products

adidas know that growing and evolving an influencer partnership keeps the relationship fresh and exciting. It helps grow the brand and, if done well, can establish a brand as leading and relevant.

One great way adidas have achieved this is by collaborating with influencers to create original products that appeal to the influencers followers and also to their target audience.

Example: adidas collaborated with London based fitness influencer and adidas global ambassador, Zanna Van Dijk, to highlight the miadidas functionality on the adidas website which effectively allows consumers to customise their own footwear, choosing styles, fabrics, colours and writing.

Zanna created a trainer collection inspired by the things that she identified as making her the person she is. Things like the city of London, physical challenges and a desire to empower women.

adidas also created a slick campaign video to share on the site and across social announcing the collaboration:

THE NEWS IS OUT! 🙊🎉 This is the campaign video for…. my very own footwear collection with @adidasuk!!!!!! 😱 Guys, it's been killing me keeping this under wraps for so long! Since January I've been working with the @adidas team to create my very own collection of customised miadidas footwear inspired by my city – London. There are three shoes which reflect my personal monochromatic style. A training shoe, a lifestyle shoe and a slider. They are unisex and I am literally obsessed with them!!! You can shop my collection or customise your own by clicking the link on my profile! 🙌🏼 You can also see the shoes up close and hear more about this collaboration in my brand new YouTube video! 🎥 I hope you guys can share in my excitement! Today is a pretty damn big day for me. I can't believe I'm sharing this news with you! Please do let me know if you grab a pair! We can be matching!!! 👯💗 #adidas #heretocreate #miadidas #strongzvd #strongsquad #ad #dreamscometrue

A post shared by Zanna van Dijk (@zannavandijk) on

To download our ebook on choosing the right ambassador for your sports brand, simply click on the image below.

Or alternatively, if you’re looking to make the perfect collab or influencer campaign speak to our award-winning team.

Outsourcing your life

Written by the dubl team

 

We now live in a world where everyone seems to be struggling for time. Outsourcing to specialists has become essential for success. Where you once received the roll of an eye if you had a nutritionist or personal trainer, it’s becoming increasingly common!

Whether you are a business or an individual, everyone has a niche. We’ve started to work smarter, and we pride ourselves on our efficiency. So, when it comes to doing something that’s outside your specialist area, or something you simply don’t enjoy doing, why waste your time doing it?

Outsourcing allows you the time for you to do what you actually want to do, not just need to do. You can use the time to spend the hard-earned cash you’ve never had time to spend before!

Businesses like TaskRabbit and Handy have taken off in recent years. People think nothing of hiring someone to fix odd jobs in their place or to do laundry and ironing. What was once seen as a luxury, is now a part of everyday life. Although it’s nothing new to have a cleaner, more and more of us are outsourcing everyday household chores that we historically did ourselves…

Similarly, the novelty of restaurants offering delivery via Deliveroo was immense. Now it’s not a weekend unless you see the countless Deliveroo bikes delivering high-end restaurant food to people’s doorsteps.

The success of door-to-door food delivery has led to companies such as HelloFresh and Balance Box to deliver fresh ingredients to your door. With each box containing the exact amount of measured ingredients and a step-by-step recipe, you can avoid the effort of meal planning and food shopping whilst still being able to cook impressive dishes.

Outsourcing allows you to focus your time and energy on the things that will make you successful and allows you to concentrate on what you truly are a specialist in.

Now, the recruitment industry is also offering you the chance to outsource. Let us introduce dubl…

dubl allows you to outsource your job search by connecting you with Agents who specialise in finding the exact roles you’re looking for. Your Agent will know how to pitch you and your best qualities. You can leverage their contacts and land your dream job with a simple connection. You also save yourself time not having to think about going after a new role, because your Agent will do the hard work for you. dubl’s aim is for you to build a long-term relationship with your Agent and never have to look for another recruiter again.

We think time is precious, so make the most of it and outsource. You’ll become a less stressed individual for it. We believe that letting someone take after your long-term career prospects will become the norm and dubl is leading the way for this.

Outsourcing isn’t the future, it’s already here, so join the revolution.

Social Media Audits and Social Listening

Social media plays an integral part in contributing to your online reputation. It is often the first stop for consumers looking to learn more about a brand or individual. Your company and personal pages are therefore of utmost importance, and should be consistent in terms of their tone of voice, brand messaging and visual identity. It is also crucial to consider who your existing audience is, and what content resonates with them. Analysing these patterns and details is central to ensuring your social media channels are performing at their peak and are optimised for current trends and best practice.

Social Media Audit

Similarly, you may be concerned about your company’s share of voice. Maybe you’ve begun to optimise your channels and content already? Or you want to know how effective your content is, not just to engage with your followers, but in the wider world of social media, including comparisons with your competitors. Social Listening tools provide valuable insight allowing a brand to consider how they might increase their share of the market and grow both within their existing segment and into new demographics and groups. At PHA, we use our online monitoring tool, PHA Pulse, to do just this for you.

Our tools allow you to comprehensively measure both your channels individual success, and how your business measures up in the wider marketplace. This picture is built from a number of key metrics, such as share of voice, percentage of target audience engaged and overall reach.

 

Facebook Social Audit Fig.1: An example of a page’s demographic breakdown on Facebook.

 

Social audit

Audience: understanding your core audience is central to every brand and business. Understanding who follows you, likes or shares your posts on social media, , is an integral part of shaping conversation and increasing engagement and growth. Likewise, the demographic breakdown of your audience, and their interests, will inform the style and tone of your content.

A social audit provides detail informing when and what to post to your page, optimising for your audience. Once you understand your social insights, you can evaluate and adapt your strategy on an ongoing basis to keep you on top form.

Facebook Social Audit

Fig.2: The above is a demonstration of Facebook audience activity times and numbers, crucial information for informing content scheduling.

 

Content: the evaluation provided by a social audience helps shape your content strategy, developing content strands that speak to and engage your core audience. Developing content which works in harmony with your key follower’s requirements and interests can help increase engagement, whilst additional content strands and themes can target new segments to increase reach and share of voice in your industry.

Best practice: a good social audit will always provide a best practice guide for your brand’s individual channels and consumers. This will touch on everything from paid for campaigns, to emoji’s and hashtags. There are stark differences between each platform, so figuring out how to present your brand on each is of great importance.

Competitor analysis: keeping an eye on your competitors is always worthwhile, and the same process applies to social media. You may select certain pages to evaluate either due to recent appearance and growth in popularity, direct competition, or because of particular offerings they possess. The audit will analyse what techniques these competitors use, how their audience responds, and how it could be applied to your brand or business.

PHA Pulse

 Often, it can be easy to misinterpret the importance of social listening. Having refined your social media strategy with an audit, it is crucial that you possess the tools needed to monitor discussion around your brand in order to paint a picture of what content is working, strands that need to be refined, and overall perception of your company.

PHA Pulse, our in-house online monitoring platform, has the ability to monitor your brand across not just social media, but across the online spectrum, from news content through to blogs, forum discussions and video.

We analyse each entry to determine audience reach, sentiment and emotional rating, plus its impact, in the form of a visibility score.

Using the aforementioned metrics, we can track your online and social media performance alongside those of your biggest competitors and determine a share of voice. This unique metric drills deep into content, be it published press coverage or social media posts, and converts data into a digestible format.

What are the benefits of determining share of voice? Firstly, it lets you visualise your online influence in comparison to your rivals. Coupled with a social media audit, it allows us to track the performance of your rivals’ content, and monitor the topics, keywords and conversations that are most lucrative when it comes to generating audience interest and engagement. Moreover, by tracking share of voice over a prolonged period of time, we are able to determine what works best for your social channels, as well as charting the progress of your social influence growth.

What’s more, social listening tools possess the ability to go deeper than in-house social media channels when it comes to audience insights. Where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can provide location insights, gender and age breakdowns, social listening goes one step further: PHA Pulse can determine the social reach of individuals, as well as provide aggregated topic data on social media users. From determining a particular audience’s perception to your brand and wider industry, to gaining insight into the other pages they follow and discussions they immerse themselves in, this data can paint a very detailed picture of your audience.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about PHA Pulse and social media audits, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help enhance your business or brand.

Rachel Shenton – from Hollyoaks to Hollywood Oscar Winner

In 2013, The PHA Group started working with actress Rachel Shenton.

When Rachel joined the agency, she had recently stepped down from playing the character of wannabe glamour model Mitzee Minniver in Hollyoaks for three years, in which she quickly established herself as the scene-stealing fan favourite.

At the time, British talent was proving to be hugely successful on the American small screen, with actors like Andy Lincoln, Hugh Laurie, Damian Lewis and Charlie Hunnam winning rave reviews and industry plaudits, and pulling in massive audiences for their work on an American network and cable television. Game of Thrones was establishing itself as a runaway success, but there still wasn’t a huge proliferation of British actresses landing such prominent and regularly recurring roles.

Furthermore, the transition from UK soap star to Hollywood Heavyweight? Not exactly the typical career trajectory one sees very often. Teetering on the melodramatic, soap operas aren’t always renowned for their high quality of acting and I would definitely say that casting directors are – or perhaps, were – a little apprehensive and cynical about hiring talent from that world. If your background is in theatre or arthouse / independent cinema, there’s greater credibility there. But avoiding typecast and establishing yourself as a serious player after inhabiting a soap character for years doesn’t come without its challenges.

Hopefully, however, these attitudes will now become a thing of the past because Rachel Shenton has come along and completely re-written the playbook.

When we first met Rachel in 2013, she was immediately likeable: charming, humble, graceful and classy. But the character trait that struck us the most was just how seriously she took her craft. Her work ethic was second to none. She wanted to challenge and push herself, to grow as an actress and to work with some of the best writers, directors and producers in the business. She had big dreams and she wasn’t afraid to work hard and put in the time and the graft.

More relevantly, Rachel was involved in a great deal of charity work as the patron for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). After going through her backstory, we learned that her dad became deaf when she was just 12 years old, following the chemotherapy treatment he underwent for cancer. The need to communicate with her father encouraged her to learn sign language and it was clear at that moment that acting was never about the fame or the celebrity for Rachel – she had big dreams of shining a light on the lives of other people who don’t have the voice that we do. To empower them by giving them that voice. To bring to life the struggles of others that are massively under-represented in mainstream film and TV.

Essentially, Rachel wanted to keep her media profile alive whilst she concentrated on landing her next television role and our job was to raise and maintain that profile and keep her on the radar of casting agents, directors, producers and writers during her temporary absence from TV.

Her fluency in sign language clearly separated her from the competition and gave her a unique edge, a remarkable skill set and a compelling origin story. Many of the interviews we set up for Rachel touched upon this element of her story and there was a great deal of media interest in her personal campaigns and charity work.

The PHA Group prides itself on going the extra mile. First-class publicists, we are, but commercial agents by trade, we are not. But from day one, we saw and recognised the promise and the potential in Rachel and absolutely believed in her. So, further to raising and maintaining her profile in the media, we wanted to go one step further and bring Rachel directly to the attention of the people in the television industry who had real power to change her career. So, we got proactive.

The Media Management department at The PHA Group has promoted and protected a wealth of TV talent over the years. We’re therefore constantly attuned to the international entertainment landscape – the talent and the programming that are capturing the zeitgeist of the moment, what’s hot and what’s not.

We had been avidly following the success of a relatively new TV show at the time called Switched At Birth – an American scripted drama that broke new ground as the first mainstream television series to feature numerous deaf and hard-of-hearing characters appearing in a series regular capacity, filming some scenes shot entirely in sign language.

We introduced Rachel to the show and insisted she check out the previous two series that had aired to familiarise herself with the storylines and the tone of the programme. We then encouraged her to commission a show-reel of her work. Once this was ready, we strategically identified and targeted the creators of Switched At Birth and established an ongoing dialogue with them. The differences between American and British sign language aren’t vast and we made a strong, persuasive case – we handled the PR for an extremely talented British actress who emotionally connects with the material of the show on a profound level because of her own life experience. Moreover, she quite literally speaks the very language of the programme and could master the sign language scenes with ease. We knew Rachel would be an asset to the show and we deliberately timed our approach to coincide with the pilot season in America.

We didn’t expect to get such positive feedback so quickly. The show’s creators invited Rachel to audition during pilot season and as we suspected, they immediately saw what we saw. They loved her so much that they ended up creating the role of Lily Summers especially for her, a role that she immortalised until the show’s Season 5 finale.

The very last episode was broadcast in April 2017. During her time filming Switched At Birth, Rachel, with her filmmaker fiancé Chris Overton directing, somehow managed to find the time to write and star in a short film entitled The Silent Child. The 20-minute long film was largely based on Rachel’s personal experience as the child of a parent who became deaf.

Come awards season, The Silent Child well and truly swept the board, winning Best Short Film at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. This allowed the film to qualify for entry to the 90th Academy Awards. On 23rd January 2018, it was announced that The Silent Child had received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Live Action Short Film category, and on Sunday 4th March 2018, Rachel’s film won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. On collecting the award, Rachel upheld the promise that she had made to The Silent Child’s deaf lead actress, six-year-old Maisie Sly, and accepted her trophy in sign language. It was a momentous, inspiring, electrifying moment to watch and we could not be prouder.

So, whether you’re an aspiring actor, a breakthrough performer or a well-established name: work with creative teams that believe in you, that recognise your potential, that encourage you to test the limits of what you believe to be achievable. We believe that it doesn’t ultimately matter whether you’re a RADA bred performer or if you started off in a teen soap. Talent is talent, so dream big and work with the best! Because anything is possible!

Speak to a member of our award-winning team today or visit our Personal PR page to find out how we can help you.

Is Twitter news?

As is fitting with the nature of the platform, there are two potentially extreme opinions which should be taken when determining if twitter is news.

The first is that it is nothing more than an endless abyss of arguments, abuse and throwaway opinions that collate to paint an entertaining if not slightly terrifying picture of humanity.

The second and far more controversial opinion is that Twitter is now the biggest and best outlet for news in the world – a news outlet fit for the 21st century.

On the day of the presidential election, Twitter star and still president Donald Trump was elected. It was the largest source of breaking news worldwide, with 40 million election-related tweets sent before 10 pm.

From that perspective, Twitter, is the best place to go for news companies who are seeking readers. For breaking news, it’s even better, and will usually have a plethora of first-hand witness accounts and theories for you to decipher through once an incident breaks, long before any news network gets hold of the story.

In fact, the obvious likelihood from this is rather than being the ones delivering the news, it’s now the case that Twitter is delivering it to the news companies. The Oxford Circus terrorist attack Daily Mail Oxford Circuswas a perfect example of this.

In hindsight, we now know that a fight breaking out on a tube platform rippled through crowds in one of the most congested and visited parts of London causing widespread panic. Many were following the feed on Twitter as more and more people contributed their 280 character accounts of what they had seen. The Daily Mail was also doing the same, reaching the below conclusion.

They had come across the below tweet about a lorry that had crashed and a combination of tweets that claimed to have heard gunshots. The problem with the tweet was it had been sent 10 days before the incident, the problem with the gunshots were there weren’t any.

Twitter was now supplying the Daily Mail’s journalists their stories and consequently the nation’s largest paper headlines. It is usurping the newspapers most powerful instrument, it was dictating the news cycle. This isn’t the only time where the “news” generated on Twitter fooled everyone.

Ben Rothenberg’s excellent article on Slate exposed the perils of “Twitter news” in dramatic fashion. After tennis legends Billie Jean Kingand Martin Navratilova condemned comments made by Margaret Court that Tennis is “full of lesbians” and that transgender people were the “children of the devil,” a young Macedonian tennis player cut through the controversy and announced on twitter he would refuse to play at Margaret Court Arena should the opportunity arise.

Darko Grncarov, the Macedonian star labelled her views “totally unacceptable and disgusting.” The court named in her honour, became the centre of a heated online debate calling for it to be renamed. Grncarov’s own story now became one of extreme interest. Not only was he prepared to hinder his career to do what he thought was right, he then got an opportunity to announce on BBC Radio that he had just woken up from a six-month coma and was now, miraculously, going to take the ATP tour by storm.

tennis

Serena Williams followed him on Twitter, telling him it would be an “honour” for her daughter and her to meet him. Navratilova retweeted his story. James Blake wanted to commentate on his future matches. Adidas tweeted him “Welcome to the family Darko” after he tweeted the company offered him sponsorship.

Grnacarov amassed a huge following through the social network. Macedonia, a country so desperate for a sports star had one it could now adorn with national pride. He was now their biggest star, and nobody had even seen him play. More than 200 Grncarov Twitter accounts appeared devoted to him. Fuelling the fire of his fame, they tweeted about his crush on Nicole Scherzinger and his net worth of $1.5million. The official Twitter accounts of the ATP tour and ITF Tennis joined the fun, pestering Ellen DeGeneres to have him on her show. Rothenberg believes the tweets, which occasionally turned vicious in defence of their star, may have been from Twitter’s now infamous troll factories. The synchronised nature of the behaviour and the curious language raised eyebrows. News being generated by the site was causing a racquet in the tennis world.

As you have guessed, Grncarov isn’t a tennis player. He is a real person, he has played tennis (albeit poorly, as one of his Twitter videos demonstrated) and he did speak out in defence of transgender people. The problem is, that it was all just the first part of a well-organised ploy to use Twitter to catapult a young Macedonian into the world of fame. Twitter was generating news, but it was fake. Macedonia’s rising sun quickly became a false dawn.

It’s the effect the social network is having on the industry. Where a journalist would once knock on doors or wait outside houses, for better or worse, they can now open Twitter and peruse first-hand accounts of events, with nothing to corroborate the information, other than an anonymous name. Journalists don’t need to even leave their office anymore to report events with reasonable accuracy. Multiple accounts with familiar stories tend to form an impression of legitimacy, although we know they can be coordinated and organised. Some people just know how to use Twitter better than others.

The difference between the main stream media and Twitter aren’t vast but they are significant. It has blurred the lines between trained journalist and Joe public, and now both fall readily into each other’s traps. Twitter has levelled the playing field and it isn’t always pretty, at times it goes beyond the realms of sanity, but it is here to stay, and it may be here to dominate.

67 percent of American adults now rely on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Snapchat for news. That means a lot of people are now relying on themselves to determine the fake from the real. The Grncarovs from the Rothenbergs.

While newspapers are struggling to successfully monetize their product. Twitter posted $2.1 billion in advertising revenue in 2017.  “We are not the arbiters of truth,” said arbiter of truth Nick Pickles, the UK’s Twitter executive.

“We are not going to remove content based on the fact this is untrue. The one strength that Twitter has is it’s a hive of journalists, of citizens, of activists correcting the record, correcting information.”

Twitter is lowering expectations about its role in policing its news and by doing so, enhancing the power of those that use the platform. That’s why it is successful and that is why it is dangerous. It’s blurred the lines between journalist and citizen, and by doing so became the news outlet fit for the 21st century.

And if threatening nuclear war against North Korea doesn’t get your account suspended, let’s be honest, nothing will.

If you would like to find out how The PHA Group can help you grow your social media community and engagement speak to a member of our team today. Alternatively, check out our award-winning team Digital Studio.