PALMERS Brewery unveiled exciting proposals for the Three Cups building and surrounding site at a public consultation in Lyme Regis on Thursday 13 June. The consultation followed meetings with owners of the neighbouring properties and a presentation to Lyme Regis Town councillors.
The plans included:
The plans require the remodelling of part of the rear section of the former hotel in order to make the building structurally safe and provide the statutory access width for emergency vehicles.
Palmers’ property agent Nigel Jones, a director of Chesterton Humberts, said: ‘This is a unique site with unique considerations. Not least of these are extensive issues relating to the building structure, fabric and land stability. As noted in the structural reports by the consulting engineers and English Heritage’s engineers, while the front of the Three Cups building is largely sound, the rear of the building requires major structural work. That means the replacement of large portions that are structurally unsound and incapable of being refurbished or converted.
‘Any development will require suitable vehicular and pedestrian access to the rear, especially for emergency and service vehicles. This would mean demolishing some of the unsound rear section of the building to create a wider angled access.
‘This is a huge project with substantial costs involved. The rear part of the site has undergone extensive land stabilization works that cover most of the rear land area. Any development of this site and of the existing building will therefore incur, what is normally termed in construction projects, significant ‘abnormal’ costs over and above the usual costs of construction.
‘It is to Palmers credit that they are prepared to take the long view and invest the millions of pounds necessary to regenerate the site.’
This was the second consultation about the Three Cups that owners Palmers Brewery have held in the town. At the first, in September 2010, they presented several options for the site. For this second stage of the process, they based their plans on the option that received the most initial public support.
Palmers are inviting the public to view to comment on the latest proposals, before they make a planning application to West Dorset District Council this autumn.
Further details are available on Palmers’ website, www.palmersbrewery.com
Two computer generated images of what the new restaurant and rooms at the rear of the Three Cups might look like. One shows a general view of the site and the other the view from the terrace of the proposed restaurant.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more details on this story please contact Sara Hudston at Watershed PR on 01308 420 785, email email@example.com
Palmers: Brewing finest ales since 1794. In 1794, Dorset rope and net makers the Gundry family built a brewery on the banks of the River Brit in Bridport. In the late 19th century, two Palmer brothers – John Cleeves and Robert Henry – bought the operation and its pubs and gave it their names: JC
& RH Palmer. Today, their great grandsons John and Cleeves Palmer work in
the company and Palmers Brewery remains among the best of small independent brewers.
The original Old Brewery – famous as the only thatched brewery in Britain – is where the beer is still brewed to traditional methods with the finest ingredients. Palmers’ pubs include some of the best-known and best-loved in the South West in pretty country villages, deep in Hardy Country and on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast.
There’s more to being a social media agency than just working with social networks. Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, read the papers. Social media’s influence is everywhere.
So says Drew Benvie in a recent piece for the Huffington Post. Drew’s a respected digital and social media PR specialist who has risen on the tide of social media.
His article is about the revolution that is going on all around us in communications. He writes about big agencies struggling to cope with the changes and bringing in specialists to work with their existing teams.
‘These people work on a huge number of clients. If it’s a big agency they get spread thinly all over the world,’ he says.
And then he adds: ‘I’ve seen these people in action. They often look ruined.’
Ruined? Well that’s evidently not a recipe for success, not for the agency and certainly not for the client. Everyone loses, and perhaps the client shrugs and decides that social media is a fad and not for them. This is the worst outcome for everyone. Brands need to understand that social media is the new normal and it’s part of everything.
Take the old fashioned press release sent out to a dozen media outlets in the hope of picking up some coverage. First, let’s be clear there are still good reasons to send out press releases if they are relevant and newsy. Journalists offer a channel for communicating with your audience. Nowadays it’s a niche channel rather than a mainstream one and it will be one of several you use to influence people’s perception of a brand, rather than the only channel as it often was in the old days. Established media brands may not be particularly good any more at reaching a mass audience but they can add kudos and they might well be great at reaching a specialist audience.
So you send out a press release, but the crucial point here is that you would never only send out a press release. Maybe you also made a video which sits on YouTube and you offer that content alongside the release. If the video content is good, the media outlet may well run it on their website or post it on their Facebook page. Viewing rates rise and the link stays long after any print reference has been recycled into mulch. You might connect back to the link and promote it yourself using the channels you control on behalf of the client. These probably include a properly optimised website, which your agency built for them. People will comment, you reply and the word spreads.
Meanwhile the bloggers, whom you approached slightly differently, have been busy. If the process builds, you might well be contacted by a second wave of journalists following up on the story, eager to give coverage.
This is a simple example, but it begins to show how the social thread runs through everything, but it is not enough in itself. You have to be working with people who have good knowledge and experience of a range of communications disciplines. These might include video making, copywriting, brand strategy, reputation management or graphic design. The pool of relevant skills is much broader than it used to be.
There are lots of companies that offer to get clients going on social media. Some of them pledge to provide a certain number of tweets a week for a certain fee. Others offer to create competitions and posts. All these have their place, as long as they meet the rules of individual networks. But they are not enough on their own; they have to be part of a wider, deeper strategy with properly defined goals and tactics that fits a lot of specialisms together.
This is how we work at Watershed PR. We begin with social and then we build on that using a surprisingly wide range of very specialist skills.
Once it’s rolled out, Facebook’s newest feature, Graph Search, will allow us to search for people, photos, places and interests as recommended by our friends. This is harnessing the most powerful form of marketing – word of mouth.
The example Facebook showed Emily was: People Who Live In My City, and it showed her 10 people who live in West Bay that she never knew existed, what TV programmes and music they liked, where they work, which pubs they go to…
It’s either a ‘very big deal’ (Forbes) or ‘distinctly underwhelming’ (BBC Tech Editor), depending on you speak to. Shares went down after Mark Zuckerberg’s much-hyped Big Announcement, yet it’s already being touted as SEO version 2.0. Here’s what we think at Watershed PR.
With the recent purchase of my new and expensive gear for night-time photography, the time had come for me to stop stumbling around in the dark with an iPhone’s flash as a light and invest in a proper torch. So I thought, as I often do, where can I buy one of those in Bridport? The usual bargain basement and cheap supermarket make-do-until-I-find-something-better torches wouldn’t cut the mustard – I needed something heavy duty (because I’m bound to drop it), bright (because I like shiny things) and waterproof (because nobody cancannot account for the British weather at the moment). After having exhausted my knowledge of Bridport’s retail market and drawn a blank, my next port of call was Amazon. I found what I wanted almost immediately:
It takes four triple A batteries, has the brightness of two hundred candles and comes with a holster, which appeals to my inner child.
But anyway, enough about the torch. A few days later, it arrived, and all was well.
A few mornings later, on a slightly more observant walk to the car than usual, I noticed a whole display cabinet, full of the LED Lenser range, in the local key-cutting and hardware shop.
Upon closer inspection, I found that the price was very reasonable, similar to that of Amazon’s. A wave of guilt washed over me – had I deprived the hard working local businesses of Bridport £30 of my cash? At first, it seemed like the owner of a local news page had done exactly the opposite to what he shouts about on Facebook, day in, day out – supporting local business.
However, it dawned on me: how was I to know? Sure, I could have been a
little lot more observant on my daily walk to the car, but the shop in question is one of the all-too-many local small businesses that have no social media (or even web) presence. Are we to assume that everyone in Bridport knows what they sell? Or that they even exist? I still can’t remember the name of the shop itself. I know now that they’re reasonably priced and sell good kit. I’m sure they’re knowledgeable and friendly. But you have got to get people through the door in the first place. Engaging with people on social media is essential in this day and age where people immediately think of going to the supermarket or looking to Amazon to find what they want to buy. It’s easy for someone to sit at a computer and buy something online. But it’s even easier (and more desireable) to be able to walk round the corner and get something immediately.
Some local success stories I can think of are The George and The Anchor Inn pubs at Chideock and Seatown, Washingpool Farm Shop and Smith & Smith, all of whom keep well-updated and friendly social media profiles on Facebook. And, let’s face it, if I wanted a pair of corduroy trousers, I would know exactly where to go!
Businesses are always told that to build their reputations and get more customers they must offer good service. I agree and I think that PR is a service industry. Without happy clients, we wouldn’t exist.
Yet this is a maxim that many businesses in all sectors still forget. In the last week I experienced two examples, one positive and one negative, that really demonstrated how smaller companies in particular can lose or gain sales on the strength of their customer relations.
First up, the good one. My nine-year-old daughter is hooked on the Percy Jackson adventure novels about a boy who discovers his father is the Greek god Poseidon and has to battle monsters to save the world. She’d finished book two and was desperate for the next one in the series. We went to our local bookshop, Serendip in Lyme Regis. The gods were cruel to us – they had books two and four but had just sold the one we wanted. Despair!
Despair not. The manager said she could order it for us and it would arrive the next day. It would be at the shop around lunchtime and they would ring when it came in. OK we said, nervously. Could we trust them, would it be there?
Next day lunchtime came and went and there was no call. At 2pm I rang the shop. The book hadn’t come at lunchtime but would be on the mid-afternoon delivery. It would definitely come and they would ring when it arrived. I said I wasn’t sure; that we had to have the book today and maybe we would cancel the order and buy online.
‘I promise you can definitely have the book today,’ said the assistant. ‘The manager will bring it round to your house after we close at five. There’s no charge for delivery.’
I was astonished, not least because I had serious doubts that they would even find our house. I’ve bought thousands of books over the years and no-one has ever offered to deliver one personally, for free, in the dark, at the end of a long day, right to my door when I live miles from anywhere. It wasn’t even a valuable order, only a £6.99 kids’ paperback. The petrol alone would cost more than the profit on the sale. I hadn’t given them any kind of big speech about how we needed the book urgently for a special occasion or whatever. I didn’t have to apply any ‘customer assertiveness’, they simply offered what I wanted and to solve the problems that were preventing that happening.
So what did I do? Of course I said I would come and pick it up later providing they rang me when it arrived. At about 3.30pm they called and I went to Lyme. I bought the desired book, plus I also bought a copy of the Posy Simmonds Omnibus for £20. The bookshop not only made me and my daughter happy and converted us to future buyers, it also traded us up and sold another £20 of stock, plus they saved the petrol they would have used on delivery. Very neat. By offering the best service they could to make the sale, they beat the online alternative, even though their price was much higher, all factors considered. And I’m writing about them here so maybe more people will hear and that will enhance their reputation.
A few days later I was in a local lighting shop trying to buy a plug-in nightlight. They didn’t have any in stock. They’d sold out before Christmas and had an order expected to arrive the next week, exact date unspecified. I’d have to call again in a few days to see if the light had arrived. So far, so average, neither particularly helpful or unhelpful. They didn’t offer to take my number and ring me, or post me one, or drop one round, but then again it was only a small thing, costing about £6 and they wouldn’t make much on it.
On my way out of the lighting shop I was stopped by another customer, who was clearly quite agitated.
‘I can’t believe it, they just asked me to leave!’ she said. I asked what happened.
‘I want to buy some wall lights, but my husband couldn’t come with me and I don’t want to buy ones he doesn’t like, so I was taking some pictures on my phone to text to him so he could choose there and then. They had some nice ones and I was going to buy them if he said yes. But the manager came up to me and he’s thrown me out, he said photography wasn’t allowed because people might copy the designs. But you can do that on the internet anyway, there are loads of photos and stuff online. I can’t believe it, I feel like I’ve been caught shoplifting or something bad. I held my phone up and caught the assistant’s eye so they knew I was photographing – I thought it would be all right. I would have bought those lights, but not now, no way!’
She stomped off.
The shop won’t have the night-light I wanted for another three or four days. I’ve just been online and found it slightly cheaper and available for delivery by 1pm tomorrow. No surprise, I’ve bought it online. That, shall we say, ‘quirky’ small high street shop lost a small order from me, lost about £50 from the other woman, and now I’ve written about it here, which might spread the word further. Ouch. They lost out and my business has gone online, not because it was cheaper or the products were a higher quality, but because this time the service was better.
LITTLE Toller Books, an independent publisher based in the hamlet of Toller Fratrum in Dorset, has launched its first website, www.littletoller.co.uk We designed the site in house using WordPress.
Little Toller Books was born in 2008 as an imprint of the Dovecote Press, a family-run publishing company focused on books about rural life and local history. Little Toller was started with the singular purpose to revive forgotten and classic books about nature and rural life in the British Isles.
Little Toller’s Nature Classics proved so successful that the company has grown into an independent publisher, attuned to writers and artists who seek inventive ways to reconnect us with the natural world and to celebrate the places we live in. Little Toller has won praise from writers, publishers and critics across the UK for its distinctive style and vision.
Gracie Burnett and Adrian Cooper own and run the company.
‘We needed to offer readers the chance to buy our books direct online while also promoting the independent bookshops who stock our titles,’ explained Gracie.
‘Watershed have been great to work with. They are patient, always responsive with good ideas, and never phased by getting the technical side of things absolutely right for the site,’ said Adrian.
Sara Hudston, Watershed Principal, said: ‘We loved working with Little Toller on this project. They had such a clear, interesting idea of what they wanted to produce.
‘From a technical point of view it was interesting to design an e-commerce site and we had a lot of fun changing some of the American English that you usually get to language that suited Little Toller’s character better. For example, we changed “oops, there is nothing in your cart” to “alas, your basket is empty”.
Little Toller is involved in a talk by Britain’s foremost nature writer, Richard Mabey, at Bridport Literary Festival on 16 November.
In the very first Kenneth Allsop Memorial Talk, Richard will be discussing his life’s work with Sue Clifford, the co-founder of the distinguished Dorset-based charity Common Ground and co-author of England in Particular. The event will also celebrate Kenneth Allsop’s In the Country, published by Little Toller Books last year. Set at West Milton, the book is a record of Ken’s day-to-day life and reveals through the changing seasons his wit, boundless curiosity, and the delight he felt for the richness and beauty of West Dorset.
We’re thinking about all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy in America. What would you do, in their shoes? It’s hard to conceive of the terror and panic the superstorm’s wreaking on the other side of the world. Radio newscasts broadcast an interview with a frightened Brit clinging on the 16th floor of a swaying skyscraper. InStyle Magazine carried a feature called ‘Hurricane Sandy Have You Stuck Inside? 5 Beauty Treatments To Help Ride Out The Storm’.
Wait a minute. Is a new manicure really your top priority, when a major weather event is killing people outside? InStyle seems to think so: “Even if you’re working by candlelight, you can still laquer up in an on-trend fall polish,” reads the blurb.
What a classic example of newsjacking gone horribly wrong. Newsjacking – the art of riding on the back of current affairs to promote a product or brand – is a powerful marketing tool, when put to good use.
However, the InStyle post doesn’t voice any sense of pity or terror about the havoc the hurricane left on an iconic city and its people, nor does it provide readers with meaningful information for those who may be at risk. In short, it completely fails to recognise the tragedy, and has published something that has negatively affected people’s perceptions of the brand. People on Twitter are calling InStyle shallow, and describing this as a bad time for marketing.
Another company that’s faced criticism for misjudging the tone is American digital firm HubSpot. It e-blasted a blog post with this in the subject line: 5 Creative Hurricane Sandy Newsjacks From Savvy Marketers, featuring the InStyle piece among other marketers.
HubSpot’s CEO Mike Vulpe’s been forced to pull the blog piece after complaints from readers. He wrote: ‘Originally at this URL there was a post about “5 Hurricane Sandy Newsjacks from Marketers”. The tone of the post was in poor taste and we apologize for promoting the idea of newsjacking a tragegy. Thank you to David Meerman Scott [who coined the term newsjacking] and others for pointing out the error in our judgement. HubSpot is making a $5,000 donation to the Red Cross (donate here) to help those harmed by Sandy.’
The speed of the retraction and the size of the donation, as well as the call to action to make your own donation, is perfectly in tune with the ‘Three R’s’ of crisis comms: recognise, regret, resolve. HubSpot blogs are devoted to helpful hints on all aspects of marketing – social media, video, damage limitation. But we don’t think they’ll be publishing more on this particular gaffe any time soon.
Wake up Dorset! That’s the clarion call blasting out of Bournemouth following Silicon Beach 2012.
Organised by Matt Desmier, the boss at Wise Old Uncle and a leading light of Meetdraw, the two-day conference saw a host of speakers from the top companies toppling digital frontiers in the spheres of online marketing, advertising, social TV and apps.
Watershed PR went along to build on our appetite for playing, building and learning about the future. What did we get out of it? Loads. The calibre of speakers was exceptional – it was as if people who came from the future were beamed down to Bournemouth to show us the shape of things to come.
We heard from Tiffany St James, ex-Cabinet comms guru (now Social Media Strategist at Stimulation), who said social TV is going to be the next big thing in our four-screen world of tablet, smart phone, TV and laptop. TV production companies and advertisers are already engaging heavily with their audiences to shape future programming and product launches. We loved what she had to say about the laws of share-able, relevant content: ‘Think carefully about what’s in it for the community. Why should they want to engage or share promotional or additional content? Your criteria should be: can this content Inform, Inspire, Educate or Reward? If in doubt, do not post.’
What’s share-able? Well, photos and videos get the most views, so the prettier/cuter/more awesome your images, the more people are likely to share them by Liking them on Facebook, re-pinning them on Pinterest, playlisting them on YouTube, RT’ing on Twitter, etc.
We were thrilled to meet Patrick Bergel, the man behind Chirp, an app we’ve been hooked on for months. It transmits data – photos etc – via sound waves jumping between tablets or smart phones.
As tech breakthroughs rush by at a dizzying pace, however, what became clear to us is that content is still king. Storytelling remains at the heart of successful comms campaigns. The creative team at the DLKW Lowe agency took us behind the scenes of Tour de Francis, their documentary that helped Halfords sell loads more bikes this summer – and proved audiences do have an appetite for videos more than two minutes long. An interesting confirmation as we are currently working on a video edit for furniture maker Simon Thomas Pirie that is more than 10 minutes long.
Did you go to Silicon Beach 2012? Tell us what you think.
Blogs direct traffic to your website, refresh your SEO and increase engagement with your brand. Watershed PR blogs get great results for our clients. Here’s how you can do it, too.
Calls to action: Promoting a service or offer? Link to your website using clear language that stirs people to find out more. Use incentives to increase your click-throughs. For example, DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE VOUCHER HERE works better than CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.
Links: add no more than 10 links per blog post. These should link to your website, social media platforms and e-commerce pages. Outbound links to other sites alert search engines to your blog post and improve your SEO.
Comments: The holy grail of social media is getting people engaged with your brand. Add social media plug-ins to each blog post, and ask readers to share your blog with their followers on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Add comment boxes, so people can answer your questions. Reply to comments. People are more likely to respond if they think you’re listening.
Answer questions: What are your clients’ FAQs? Chances are, this is what lots of people want to know – so blog about it. At Watershed PR we’re asked how to increase engagement on Facebook Pages, to share top tips on making great online video, and why Pinterest is important. So that’s we blog about.
Analytics: Note how your blog performs using Google Analytics and shape future posts according to what readers like. WordPress gives bloggers stats like clicks, referrers, top tags and categories, and what search terms people type to find your blog. (This may surprise you. ‘Dorset ladies with foot fetish’ led one reader to Emily’s blog about hiking with West Dorset Ramblers.)
Share: Sync your blog to your LinkedIn profile, and post it manually on your personal and professional Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts. Posting at lunchtime and evenings will get better results (times of higher online traffic).
Tools: Google Author Tags get higher click-through rates for search results with author’s images in them. To come up with blog topics, try InboxQ, a tool for finding out what people are asking on Twitter. HootSuite shares your blog posts to different social media platforms all at the same time. Flickr’s advanced search will let you find photos with the creative commons licence that allows commercial use. HubSpot has more good advice for bloggers, especially on how to increase readership.
Do you blog? Give it a plug below, we’d love to have a nosey!
Written by Emily
Whether you want to sell more stuff, get more traffic to your website, increase footfall or just get noticed, at Watershed PR we’re always learning loads of new ways to really connect with your customers via your Facebook Page.
Join the conversation. Across all the Facebook Pages we manage for our clients, we’ve found we gain one ‘Like’ or share or comment for roughly every 10 Page posts we make. So long as you’ve got something relevant and interesting to say, don’t be a wallflower – gatecrash the party! (But don’t be a nuisance, or people will report you as spam).
Facebook Offers. These are slowly being rolled out across local business Pages. We’re trialling a ‘buy one, get one free’ ticket offer for Abbotsbury Swannery. This has already secured over a four-fold increase in Reach in the space of less than a week. You can sign up to enable Offers on your Page – just ask Facebook nicely.
Ask lots of questions. Imagine you’re talking to your Facebook fan at a party. If you ask them a question, they’d want to respond, otherwise they’d be considered rude. It’s the same on Facebook. If you phrase your post as a question, people like to answer.
Take out a Facebook Ad. Are you on a tight marketing budget? Could you afford £1 a day? That’s all it cost Emily to gain over 300 ‘Likes’ for her Totallydorset Facebook Page in four weeks (her posts reached over 14,000 people). Bid on the price you’re willing to pay to have your ad displayed, and then you’ll either be charged when someone clicks on your ad (cost per click), or for every 1,000 people who see your ad using the CPM model (cost per thousand impressions). Read more about how to design Facebook Advertising campaigns.
Use EdgeRank. This is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine which stories end up on your newsfeed. It does this by calculating how often people connect with your page, how interesting your post is to them, and how new it is. Run the free EdgeRank checker to see how well you’re reaching your fans.
Check Facebook Insights: If you see spikes in your Reach and Talking About This graphs, you’re onto a winner. Click the purple circles to find out what content got great engagement, and carry on posting more of the same.
Do you want to find out more about how to be noticed on Facebook? Drop us a comment, or book yourself in for a social media healthcheck with Watershed PR.
Jonathan and I have been users on the hyperlocal news and events service n0tice since October 2011. Back then, it was a fledgling Guardian Media Group project with big ideas of becoming the main player in local citizen journalism. The vast majority of the content I post on n0tice is to bridport n0tice.
bridport n0tice was featured back in January, when I talked about why I set it up, what I love about Bridport and what I hoped to achieve by using notice. On July 10th, bridport n0tice was again featured on the n0tice blog and newsletter, this time for the coverage of the floods that hit the region. Traffic on the site surged to over 10,000 visits in 24 hours and the accompanying Facebook page grew to over 1,000 likes in that week. bridport n0tice is now one of the first places many people look to find news and events locally.
This growth in popularity has come hand-in-hand with expanded services, including an iPhone app, a developer API and the ability for users to add offers of items for sale. In terms of a hyperlocal news and events service, the last feature is fairly redundant, although we have seen people post their offers up on bridport n0tice. But, in my opinion, the iPhone app and developer API show where the service is heading.
First, the iPhone app, which I think it essential for n0tice‘s continued growth. At the moment, the app is a bit clunky and difficult to use. But the way forward for the service is for people to be able to create content without a computer. The iPhone app allows people to go out with their phones, take pictures and write reports about what is happening in the local area. The phone can geolocate where the user is, upload a picture and add it to a noticeboard, or your own personal board. During the Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture this August, I will be going my best to get around as many places as possible, but there is no way I can cover it all. So this is where I will be relying on the iPhone app to allow other people to report on different events happening all over Bridport.
The API, although small at the moment, allows advanced users the chance to do some pretty neat things with the content generated thought n0tice. For example, I have a map set up on the bridport n0tice Facebook page, which shows all the events and reports and where they have happened on the map. You can go into more detail with this by adding custom icons for events and reports. You then go down the route of crowdmapping, ‘collectively sharing things at specific locations to visualise a larger picture on a map’ as described here.
What’s next for bridport n0tice? Well, as mentioned earlier, the Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture starts on 11th August. Before then, I will have in place event listings for everything happening on the festival’s programme, all tagged with a #FOC topic hashtag. This means that I can go and generate maps specific to Festival of Culture events.
There is also training planned for all the new users of n0tice that have joined since the start of this month, made possible by funding provided by Guardian Media Group. This will take the strain off those who are currently active on the site, as well as help to achieve my goal for bridport n0tice – for it to be a thriving, community-led local news and events platform.
Article by Stephen.
A TALENTED young photographer will unveil his latest time-lapse film of Dorset’s skies at night at the Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture.
Stephen Banks, 23, who lives in Bridport, scored 20,000 hits on YouTube for Bridport By Night, a sensational short film showing stars appearing to glide across the heavens, accompanied by a soundtrack of soaring strings.
Stephen, who is a Digital Executive at Watershed PR, has spent many nights under the stars filming at Dorset beauty spots including Portland Bill, RSPB Arne Nature Reserve and the Rampisham communications
Originally from Liverpool, the young auteur said: ‘Dorset By Night quite literally shows Dorset in a different light. There is a sense of calm and stillness to the shots I’ve managed to get. Some things I don’t get to see in the daytime, like glow-worms at Durdle Door. We don’t have much light pollution in the rural areas, which is great for star-gazing.’
Stephen added: ‘I would love to hear from any other photographers who want to take part and submit their footage. They can watch my video tutorial on time lapse photography on the Dorset By Night YouTube channel or contact me on the Dorset By Night Facebook or Twitter (@DorsetbyNight).
PHOTO CAPTION: A still from the Dorset By Night video, taken at RSPB Arne Nature Reserve.
NOTES TO EDITORS: For more information please contact Emily Pykett at Watershed PR on 01308 420785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Watershed PR: Watershed is a ‘small giant’. We are known in the South West for our expertise, energy and forward-thinking approach. We offer London-level service at realistic prices. We’re extremely proud to be a regional specialist while remaining fully connected to the whole of the UK. Our satellite office in Soho Square, London, gives us a foothold in the capital and ensures that our clients get the best of both worlds – a regional agency with national influence. We’ve won many awards from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). These include a variety of gold and silver awards for our campaigns and a CIPR Gold Award for Outstanding Small Consultancy. In 2007 we were a national finalist for PR Week’s New Consultancy of the Year, beating many larger agencies across the UK. According to PR Week, we ‘punch above our weight from our Bridport base’. We are a member of the PRCA (the Public Relations Consultants Association) and have attained their Consultancy Management Standard, a rigorous, independent assessment combining elements of ISO 9000 and Investors in People. There are more than 2,000 public relations firms in the UK and only about 110 hold the CMS standard, the international standard for the PR industry.
About Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture 2012: Dynamic, inventive Bridport has made a name for itself as the most culturally thriving town of the South West. Celebrating the buzzing culture of this unique and vibrant market town on Dorset’s fabulous Jurassic Coast, Bridport’s first Festival of Culture links the time between the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Facebook‘s celebrating a Milestone on Friday. That’s when the new Timeline for all Pages is coming, ready or not. Panicking about what this means for your business? It’s not too late to prepare – get your Page ready now, with Watershed PR‘s eleventh hour guide.
None of this is set in stone – in fact, you can change the cover photo every day if you want to. And thinking creatively, that would be a great way to boost engagement levels. Remember, this space is not meant for promos, coupons or adverts. Your cover photo should not be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
2 ) Choose a profile picture – if you’re a company, it’s best to use your logo. This helps you get round the strict rules on cover photos.
3 ) Customise your tabs – custom tab photos and names allow you to draw attention to your freebies or calls to action. You’re allowed to feature up to 12 apps at the top of your Timeline. However, the photos tab will always come first – so make sure it’s a good picture that grabs the attention.
4 ) Don’t forget stars and pins – research conducted on the big brands that have switched to Timeline confirms what we already know – people engage more with large pictures and videos. Use the star button to expand these so they fit the whole width of your timeline. (Note – this works much better for landscape, rather than portrait images). Use the pin to anchor it to the top of your page for 7 days, so it isn’t buried by other stories. This is perfect for highlighting special offers and events, such as the Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.
5 ) Check out your new admin panel – this lets you manage everything from one dashboard, far easier than the unwieldy method of laboriously clicking through several pages to get at the data you need. From here, you can change the name of your page, create new ads, and keep an eye on messages, notifications, new likes, and of course your Insights. You can stop people posting on your timeline if you want to – not recommended by Watershed PR, as the holy grail of all social media marketing is upping your user engagement levels. Users can now message you, as the Page Admin. You can turn this off, but again, we wouldn’t recommend it, because this has the potential to become a very powerful tool for customer service and market research.
6 ) Social proof – people visiting your Page can see a list of their friends who like the Page, what their friends are saying about the Page, and recent posts to the Page made by others. This is very important for social media marketers, because if a visitor to your page sees that he/she has friends who have interacted with your page, they might be more enticed to stick around and become a fan themselves.
7 ) Mark your special occasions – click on Milestones in your status box to mark significant events in your brand’s history. Box clever by describing Milestones that will refer more traffic back to your other online content – such as the date your blog was born, for example.
8 ) Read all about it – Facebook has published an official guide to Timelines to keep you on the right track. Or you can brush up on your know-how with the interactive course. Be inspired by the way other brands such as Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s use the new Page design. Check out Pam Moore on Social Media Today for a handy list of 22 Facebook resources.
Good luck, Timeliners, and here’s to Friday!
Facebook is rolling out new designs for business Pages. They land on March 30. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing for your brand?
Private conversations with your fans! Users can now send admins private messages, perfect for ironing out those tricky customer service issues.
The timeline format favours image-led brands. (Have a look at Stephen’s Cadmium page to see how he displays stunning pics to striking effect). Plus, you get to choose the cover photo or large banner image at the top, which is a great way to showcase your wares.
You can also anchor a specific story to the top of your timeline for a week at a time – handy for highlighting special events, or offers.
Each time you land on a Page, you’ll see which of your personal Friends have interacted with it, which is likely, in turn, to increase your engagement.
No winging it. If you throw any old content on your Facebook Page, the timeline format will make it look cluttered and random. Play around with the Star, Pin and Hide functions to edit your posts, and make the page look pretty.
RIP the custom-designed welcome page. We loved the ‘landing page’ or ‘splash page’, a great tool to get more ‘Likes’ and issue a call to action to new fans – ‘visit our website’, ‘buy our stuff with this exclusive discount’, etc. You can still feature the welcome page as a tab at the top of the new Page. But that’s it.
As always, Facebook has strict rules about promoting brands, so be careful not to use price or purchase information in your cover photo. You can’t even include basic marketing, such as urls, email addresses, ‘Buy Me Now’ or ‘Like this Page’, which some (HubSpot included) consider a little harsh.
The Timeline function is exciting in that it allows you to chronicle the life of your brand by creating a series of ‘milestones’ or special events throughout its history. However, it doesn’t go back far enough for some of Watershed PR’s clients, like the 1,000-year-old Abbotsbury Swannery or Palmers Brewery, which has been brewing finest ales since 1794.
We’ve all got until March 30 to play around with the new design. Have fun, and let us know how you get on!
It’s dizzying. With social media transforming at light speed, smartphone apps updating round the clock and platforms rolling out new features 24/7, it seems a new social media network is born every minute.
How on earth can we possibly keep up? The answer is: we can’t, not completely. (It would be impossible to assimilate everything, analyse it and communicate it, all in real time). Luckily, at Watershed PR, we’re expert at sharing social media savvy, with each other and our clients. We love learning new things every day, and sharing them here on our blog. Here are our top tips on staying up-to-date with the most important changes.
Cupcakes and cutesy interiors have made multi-millionaires of three blokes in California. Welcome to Pinterest, Palo Alto’s newest and shiniest social media success story.
It’s used mostly by young(ish) women as a sort of style scrapbook to collect or ‘pin’ pictures of stuff they like onto a load of ‘boards’. (The same concept of communal noticeboards is used by the Guardian Media Group‘s social start-up, N0tice – why not have a look at our Bridport N0ticeboard?)
Pinterest is overwhelmingly in touch with its feminine side. It’s packed with images of shoes, recipes and photos of men with their tops off. The branding is vintage-y, and the waiting list fosters a sense of exclusivity.
Yes, you have to be invited to join. If you try to invite yourself, you’ll be left high and dry for a couple of days until one of the admins lets you in (via email). In this sense, Pinterest has echoes of sorority clubs, and it’s yet to rid itself of its distinctly American accent.
So why is it one to watch? Three reasons:
1) It reached 10 million unique monthly visitors faster than any other US website
2) It drives more traffic than Google+, according to Shareaholic
3) It makes money already via SkimLinks automatically giving them a cut for every retail sale Pinterest generates
We’re on it.
Beagles wearing hand-crocheted suits, an army of pugs being led by a corgi, and a snake on a plane. These are the top stories on BuzzFeed, the latest web offering from US technocrat, Jonah Peretti.
Too trashy for you? Well, maybe it’s time to dumb down, because the people running websites with ‘LOL feeds’ and ‘OMG feeds’ could be laughing all the way to the bank. Peretti knows this only too well, from his days as SEO architect for the Huffington Post. So…what’s the most shared link on BuzzFeed right now? The 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions.
Watershed PR‘s been looking at this article in the New York Times about how BuzzFeed doubled its number of unique visitors in one year to 10.8 million. What’s the killer formula? Combining content that’s contagious or silly – that people want to share – with the more highbrow stuff that people need to know, like breaking news.
We can back up these findings with our own piece of micro-research. Emily’s been checking the real-time stats on her bit.ly info pages. What gets the most clicks? Why, animal pictures of course – specifically, these wonderful photos of man meets beast at last year’s Dorset County Show.
So, the lesson for today is: ‘sticky’ or ‘clicky’ content is not as important as something that’s easily spreadable. Like butter. Like Lurpack!
We’re finding that asking questions and talking about topical things like the weather (don’t groan) are key to starting and maintaining conversations with fans of the Facebook Pages we manage for our clients.
Read this piece on how ‘humorous’ photos can also up your engagement levels. Luckily, we’re never short of saucy pics here at Watershed PR…and the biggest spike on our own Facebook Page (measuring engaged users, talking about this and virality) was the photo of Emily’s latest literary purchase, Gay Lord Robert by Jean Plaidy, bought for 50p on a charity bookstall.
A labour of love, four months in the making. I moved to Bridport just over a year ago and immediately fell in love with the place. What better way to show my affection for such a place than to make a movie about it?
Shot on a Nikon D7000 camera, producing 16MP stills for a 25fps video. Some shots in this were 30 second exposures, meaning I had to stay with the camera for an hour and a half just to get six seconds of footage.
I see far too many touristy video features about the West Dorset coastline. Too many quaint holiday cottages and clichéd shots of people eating ice cream on the beach. This video was shot in the winter and, for a growing number of people interested in stargazing, shows that Bridport is a fantastic location for seeing the night sky. It is also beautiful at night.
I started experimenting with time lapse photography back in October 2011, producing promising results. Since then, my videos have come on in leaps and bounds and I am consistently producing my best work yet. By no means is this a finished work. Consider it Bridport by Night version 1. I will be getting a car soon, so this work may evolve to become the whole of Dorset by Night.
Music is ‘Arrival of the Birds’ by the Cinematic Orchestra. I purchased the track on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/arrival-of-the-birds/id297787201?i=297787336) and edited the sequence in iMovie.
Tonight’s #CommsChat on Twitter is about Google+ for brands and businesses.
Topics to be talked about include:
CommsChat is basically just a hashtag used on Twitter to talk about a number of topics within digital communications, PR and social networking. Conversations take place on Mondays at 8pm and Wednesdays at 2pm.
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