A prefect's musings on digital and social media

Tag Archives: Digital media

Amy, who interned with us last month, has written a great post about her time here at Twelve (couldn’t have written it better ourselves!) and reflects on what work experience means to fledgling PRs. You can also read her last guest post here – Instagram vs Vine: Battle of the movie clip
Thanks for your help Amy!

My Time at Twelve - amytortoishell.wordpress.com

My Time at Twelve – amytortoishell.wordpress.com



My July was spent riding for forty minutes everyday through the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside as I cycled to work at Twelve PR.  Somehow I only fell off once, only hit one pedestrian and got rained on only once.  I reckon those are pretty good odds!

Other statistics include: 19 coffees ordered through the office window, 11 phonecalls with some of Twelve’s amazing beekeepers and 16 Twelve tweets.

Having already spent sometime interning at PR companies I thought I knew what to expect from a month’s internship.  It turned out that at Twelve everything was very different;  I didn’t spend all day and everyday doing tea rounds or sorting the mail.

Instead I wrote press releases, feature articles and drafted newsletters and reports.  The group at Twelve gave me more responsibility as an intern than other agencies give to their actual employees.  From my point of view it worked, and hopefully…

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As Digital Prefect I had my beady eye firmly fixed on who would win the social media award at last week’s PR Week awards, an industry thumbs up to those boldly leading the way in a field where many PROs are still only delicately tip-toeing. 

And I was not disappointed.  The winning campaign, the Ikea iPhone App, certainly displayed the key attributes that social media marketing enables: two way communication, integration, adaptation, and functionality.

Source: appadvice.com

Perhaps the only element that was slightly lacking was the creativity of the application – which PR week describes as “essentially a PDF version of the store catalogue.”  But even this weakness demonstrates where Cake (who developed the campaign for Ikea) is ahead of the social media game; choosing a functional app with longevity over a creative and amusing app which is often only a fad, at best.

So what made an award winning campaign for Ikea and Cake?

  • Two way communication – after the first version of the app was released, users were invited to suggest improvements.  An improved version of the app was then released a mere three months later based on the most popular improvement suggestions.  Two way communication is one of the most powerful tools that social media offers – allowing brands to directly interact with their stakeholders.  Many brands neglect this approach for fear of negative outcomes, but Ikea and Cake have demonstrated how powerful stakeholder interaction can be – and that it can be used to proactively to positive effect rather than reactively as a customer service mechanism.


  • Integration – Cake used multiple outlets to capture the user feedback with suggestions arriving via email, Twitter using the hashtag #IKEAappideas or by phone.  But the integration didn’t stop their, Cake also approach ‘influential voices’ in target areas with exclusive information and videos about the app to encourage them to share the information with their followers.  This generated 1,383 tweets and 328 blog posts, the icing on the cake (get it) was that the agency then used the online buzz to secure national print coverage, for a campaign which otherwise would not have been particularly newsworthy for the print media.  Leveraging a Digital campaign to secure print coverage demonstrates integration and a well thought out strategy.  You don’t need to approach all media platforms at the same time – think about how you can maximise coverage with a tactical approach.


  • Adaptation – the three month turnaround for the second version of the application is actually a record for an app update.  It demonstrates that there was always a commitment to acting on the user suggestions, rather than merely a PR stunt.  And the improvements are of course for the benefit of the brand as well because it develops an app that is more effective for its users.


  • Functionality – whilst an online catalogue does not seem the most exciting use of social media, it does have real functionality.  When I moved house last year the print catalogue inevitably got lost in the move and this application would have been very useful to plan our purchases in advance rather than running round Ikea like a headless chicken on numerous occasions (never much fun in the run up to Christmas I should warn you).

Award winning campaigns always provide food for thought, but this one particularly demonstrates how social media can cut through the gimmicks and fads to produce a campaign that is effective for the company and its customers alike.

Often the challenge with Digital media campaigns can be injecting a bit of creativity.  It is often the first port of call for many PRO’s to establish Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn pages for their company or brands and invariably, the digital strategy stops there.

Of course these outlets, where appropriate, are quite rightly the foundations of digital strategy, but sometimes what is called for is a creative campaign to spark the imaginations of the public and get your service or product in front of the masses.

Once such campaign that really ticks the creativity box is David Cameron’s Bee Beard.  The campaign aims to highlight the plight of the honeybee to David Cameron by creating a Twitter petition.  Every time someone tweets in support of the campaign a virtual bee is added to David Cameron’s beard.  Once the campaign has received 10,000 messages of support, they will be delivered to number 10 as a petition.

The campaign is effective because it is imaginative and original, but also because it has a clear purpose and link to its target audience.  Always a key consideration to bear in mind when brainstorming your creative digital campaigns…

When this week’s copy of Marketing landed on my desk, I had to stop myself squealing with excitement at the news that Expedia are implementing a ‘try before-you-buy’ scheme for holidays

OK, so I must point out that you don’t actually get to go on the holiday to try it out and so squealing would perhaps be a little to far, and probably quite disconcerting for my colleagues, but this really does demonstrate how digital marketing has revolutionised consumer buying experience.  Holidays is certainly one thing that you have never been able to sample before buying, not without paying for a trial trip over there anyway. 

Of course there are always the posed and stylised publicity shots in brochures, and sometimes you can do a virtual tour of the hotel but for (obvious) marketing purposes, the most flattering views/angles/staff will be selected for shots, and you don’t necessarily get a realistic view of your ‘idylic’ holiday destination (in fact you may turn up and your swimming pool is more like a pond, apartment walls are practically dripping with sweat and you strongly suspect that your sheets have not been washed since the last occupants left, quite possible before that…not that I speak from experience of course…).

Live streaming takes away the staged element of holiday sneak previews; you can see exactly what is happening in your desired destination, in real-time, making it far more difficult to hide the blemishes…

If the site crashes in two weeks when the facility launches, that will probably be me having a nose at hundreds of potential summer holiday destinations (both because I am uncharacteristically Unorganised when it comes to booking holidays and because I am nosy…).

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