Hootsuite Social Breakfast

Tremendously late posting this up, but I did promise to resume blogging this year now that I’m a little bit more used to juggling full time work + being a mum + being a wife + general busy bee.

Here are my key takeaways from the Hootsuite Social Breakfast in association with Brandwatch. The event was held in October at the Ham Yard Hotel in London. The focus was on:

The social opportunity: Taking customer engagement to a new level

  • 78 per cent of customers don’t receive a consistent experience across channels
  • How to take customer engagement to the next level? Secret is to embrace those micro-moments. Be there. Be useful. Be quick. These expectations are all dependent on three intersecting technology trends – social, mobile and real time.
  • Treat every touchpoint as the first and most critical one.
  • Being relevant and resonant with the target audience – micro-moments, relevance, message
  • Gain attention and excite your customer without distraction – format, local, personalisation
  • Keep close engagement and bond with customers for loyalty – speed, executives, people

Unlocking the power of your people

Christina Hammond – Aziz, Head of Digital, Food Standards Agency


  • Social media then (MySpace days) was a place full of public risk and faceless. We’ve become much savvier since then.
  • Open social media to FSA’s 1100 faces? Idea of trust is important when talking about advocacy.
  • Trust, The most important, most powerful word in advocacy.
  • Employees are the most trusted people in your organisation, but they also have friends and families. FSA Voices = advocacy programme. Actively encouraging 1100 faces of FSA to actively talk about their roles + guidance/code from FSA.
  • Normal engagement metrics at the moment.
  • Find balance between professional and personal when it comes to employee advocacy.

 Content at the Speed of Culture

Seven – creating content at the speed of culture


  • Story mapping – who are these people/demographic breakdown? What do they care about/passion centres? Are you sure they care about it and have data insights to back it up? What’s in the news/trending? Are there partnerships? What actions do you want them to do?
  • From insight to action – we need to become a part of our audience’s conversations all the time, everywhere – business as usual, live, campaigns, responsive


  • Why bother with live stuff? Always on to keep engagement going


  • Project examples:
    • BBC Four – position it as home of Friday night music. Thursday is the new Friday, so start posting Thursdays. 80s nostalgia, TOTP, Scrapbook, Blue Peter flashbacks
    • Big Country Bus
    • Hip Hop World News
  • Trending every week and has reached 1B people and 70K owned engagements
  • 50 mins a day people using two screens for social and TV
  • Whittard – campaign a taste of summer – launched by heroing each of the teas and celebrated each of the taste and extended the campaign throughout the summer – tapping in seasonal events calendar, recipes, react to weather. Importantly, how purchase was driven? Push people to product pages. Visual elements appeared as six-second GIFs. Result: 70 per cent uplift in sales and 119 per cent more unique purchase.
  • Hyatt has also done a video campaign
  • Note: Know which channels are your audiences living on and then expand from there.

Taking customer engagement to a new level (BBC, Expedia, LinkedIn, Virgin)


  • Can’t work as a silo – need to have close links with different departments
  • B2B space – thought leadership in B2B space is big… B2C is getting into it – this is what is going to differentiate your brand and your angle – what conversation do you want to own?
  • Upgrade our KPIs – shift your focus from numbers to your audience
  • Engagement is a great sign of relevance – Jason Miller
  • We don’t need more content in the world, we need more relevant content said Jason Miller, Global Content and Social Media Marketing Manager, LinkedIn.
  • Simple customer service = brand advocate for life + great content
  • Plan content better from a local and global POV so as not to spoil social experience for the fans of shows like Sherlock, which is aired around the world at different times
  • Data + creativity can exist in the same place
  • Data will influence what you do next.

Arabs Got Talent 2016 UK Casting

Casting producers of MBC’s hit show Arabs Got Talent are heading over to London from 25th until 30th August.


And they are looking to meet with Arab artists with impressive talents who wish to audition for the new season. They are looking for shows, new acts, something visual and interesting, which can be scary or funny… you can be a street artist, working with puppets, costumes… strange talents are welcome.

All ages from 0-100 welcome.

Talents should be Arab or with Arab roots, a group can contain a maximum of 20 per cent of non-Arabs.

The Show – Arabs Got Talent

Arabs Got Talent is an Arab reality television talent show broadcast by MBC4 in the Arab world; it is produced by the MBC and was first broadcast on 14 January 2011. The show features contestants with a variety of talents, such as singing, break-dancingcomedians, magicians and rapping. The show features celebrity judges, popular in the Middle East. They currently are: Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, the dean of the journalism school at the American University in Dubai Ali Jaber and Saudi actor and comedian Nasser Al Qasabi, and finally Ahmed Helmi, a famous Egyptian actor. The show’s venue is in Lebanon.

Though entry into the semi-finals is based on the judges’ vote, the voting in the semi-finals and final is an audience vote, akin to that on other Got Talent shows.

The show is hosted by Saudi rapper and musician Qusai and Lebanese TV presenter Raya Abirached.

London/UK casting

AGT can meet at the candidate’s base upon prior arrangement. Those who don’t have a base can come for an open casting on August 30 at Strand Palace Hotel & Restaurants  / 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ. There will  be no payment for candidate and expenses will not be covered.

AGT will meet those with bases during 26, 27, 28, 29 August. Prior arrangement should be made with mars.elbrogy@londonlive.co.uk.

The Audition in Lebanon

You can be performing alone or within a group for two minutes on stage

AGT will need you for three days (including the travel days) to shoot the auditions that will take place end October/ beginning November 2016 in Beirut, Lebanon

AGT will cover your flight ticket and the accommodation. Please note there is no talent fee for this.

The Competition

Semi-finals and final will take place around March 2017 and you will be needed each time for one week

If you win, you will receive USD 100,000  + a car.

Get in touch with mars.elbrogy@londonlive.co.uk for more information.


BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 8: Moving from ‘Real Time’ to ‘Real Money’

Notes from Theo Luke, Head of Twitter Amplify EMEA:

TV remains dominant video source but younger viewers switching to ondemand

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220 x increase in video views on Twitter since January 2015

Content creation has never been cheaper

Analytics and targeting are improving

AV Media budgets are growing

Content makers are up against the likes of Caspar Lee who have less costs in making content

How can Twitter help?

  • Periscope – live video reportage
  • Snappy TV – live clipping and publishing
  • Twitter Amplify – allows to monetise clips produced = content amplify partner
  • Amplify Pre Roll – coming soon – allows advertisers to target audiences and appear on a range of publishers across the network.

Read Brightcove’s Mike Green’s blog post on revisiting the Publishers’ Forum.

BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 7: The New Rules of Conversation in a Social and Mobile Age

Key takeaways from TheLADbible Group’s Marketing Director Mimi Turner:

Conversational ecosystem

  • TheLADbible
  • TheSPORTbible
  • Pretty52
  • TheODDSbible
  • TheGAMINGbible
  • TheFOODbible
  • TheLENSbible

Audiences go to them in different places – Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, website – conversations with mostly young people around the world

The rules of conversation have to change in a mobile and social age

Value exchange is the only reason we accept people talking at us

In every other conversation, we expect to be listened to

Conversations now are not limited by geography

Mission: To understand a youth audience, wherever they are, and to use that understanding to help give them a voice, therefore every decision made comes out of this belief

Most shared story in 2015

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Beyond the fun content, what do their audience also care about therefore this is what their audience is engaged with:

  • human rights
  • environment
  • education is a bad fit for our lives
  • global warming on population migration
  • renewable energy
  • Donald Trump: What will the future be like for us?
  • no employment for young people
  • the voting age
  • understanding others
  • economic life skills and education
  • hopelessness and depression
  • homeless people and over population
  • renewable energy
  • FGM, abuse against women and children
  • legalising drugs

New conversational formats are transforming storytelling:

  • Six-second Vines
  • 15-25-second Snaps in stories
  • 15-50-second Instagram
  • Periscope
  • Longform Facebook Live


  • follow the audience rather than lead
  • listen rather than tell
  • there’s no roadmap, no blueprint and no one has done this before but that’s ok.

BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 6: Ensuring Video ROI

Notes from Brightcove’s VP Marketing and Business Development Mike Green:

Video advertising challenges

  • seamless TV like experiences to get high CPMs
  • ad blockers are “all or nothing”

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  • highest usage of ad blockers is with the millennials
  • Ars Technica – no ‘intrusive ads’; running pop-up messages requesting  whitelist
  • The time is now for SSAI

VPAID 2.0 and Interactive Ads


  • Increasing views – content personalisation and recommendations e.g. IRIS.TV
  • Content syndication: Marketplace, Collegehumor.com
  • Brightcove ‘Radius’


BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 5: Trends from the Sell Side

Notes from Leon Siotis, SpotX’s MD, UK and Southern Europe:

From open to private

  • UK programmatic video – helps drive growth
  • Media plan now has Publisher 1, Publisher 2, Audience Line and Data Line


Rise of the connected device

  • Landscape and opportunity – cross screen
  • expanding audience buckets


Parting thoughts

  • Stop talking about it – do it
  • If something is operationally difficult, it won’t happen
  • Know where we are in the tech cycle
  • Become a buyer – it will teach you how to sell.

BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 3: Adapting to Challenges and Innovations in Publishing

Notes from La Stampa Chief Technology Innovation Officer Giuseppe Covato:

  • Readership – readers are seeking for ‘free’ content and have lost confidence in newspapers
  • Products – printed newspaper and digital edition: different approach is needed
  • APPS – mobile-responsive digital edition staying undiscovered in the app stores
  • Publication channels – content atomising

Most major social media platfrom have, in recent years, amassed editorial teams of their own, groups that select, tame, and fill gaps in the material produced by users and media companies.

– International New York Times May 16, 2016

  • Lines between social networks and publishers are blurring. We need to work together to deliver content to users

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.56.27

  • Use open source platforms for newsgathering e.g. 21video.it
  • Launching Verified News – a platform to collate/confirm breaking news via social media and supply to newsrooms.

BC Publishers’ Forum 2016 2: Faster Content + Open Distribution

Key points from Google’s Global Product Partnerships’ Nick Harthan:

  • Mobile is fundamentally different
  • US stats – ave person checks their phone over 150x per day
  • Existential question of mobile web vs app – 13 per cent mobile web vs 87 per cent apps (social and messaging, entertainment, other apps)
  • The web offers broader reach, but engagement is low
  • 40 per cent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load
  • Publishers are faces with new challenges – with a common objective – an open ecosystem of knowledge

1 – poor consumer perceptions of mobile web experiences

2 – ad blockers are a challenge to the industry

3 – monetisation at the content level is hard

4 – evolving ecosystems of closed distribution models

AMP – start fast: open source project speeding up the mobile web – it’s about simplifying web pages

So we need something: fast, easy to implement, mobile friendly – mobile optimised, embrace the open web and gives strong incentives

AMP is an open source project – organic adoption (125+ m total docs)

Driving content discovery in Search

Rolling out AMP to new surfaces and content verticals (food, sport, entertainment)

Stay engaged – progressive web apps delivering more compelling user experiences – fast loading, one click away from accessing content, smooth animations and navigations, re-engages with push notifications, good experience on flaky network connections and consistent experience across browsers

PWAs – a faster, more engaging experience – faster loading and offline; add to homescreen and improved user flows and push notification and re-engagement.

Brightcove Publishers’ Forum 2016 1: Navigating the Storm

Kicking off this year’s Brightcove Publishers’ Forum in London is Trinity Mirror Strategy Director Piers North.

Here are my key takeaways from his talk:

– Never make predictions about the future

– The perfect storm for our business – these are the factors that make the storm:

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.12.34

  • declining print circulation
  • declining print advertising
  • declining desktop
  • declining direct traffic
  • naturally rising competition
  • consumer attitudes – ad blocking
  • advertiser attitudes
  • audience over content

– Facebook and Google: c.55p in every £ in digital display is spent with these two platforms. Less than 30p will be spent with businesses you could name and that includes the likes of Buzzfeed

Five things to consider the weather the storm:

1. Connecting through content

  • generating valuable and scalable content
  • understanding that we operate around content

2. Changing the medium

  • Medium has to change – print and digital yin and yang
  • Mobile not just desktop
  • What do you do with the duopoly? Both partner and compete
  • Video – what is the balance of cheap quick low quality content vs more expensive high quality content
  • Sales – need to think from a big tent point of view. Every business needs to think about their solutions e.g. events, print, TV, digital – offer advertisers more – medium in everything we do has to change
  • Consolidation and cooperation – some voluntary and will be dictated by the balance sheet

3. Inevitable that commercial consolidation will happen in our market place

  • Increasingly we have to cooperate e.g. campaign levels
  • Alliances will continue to adapt but haven’t quite figured the value add (may be data)

4. Programmatic and data excellence

  • 100 per cent focus on data
  • Start to provide for advertisers to deal with us by being able to segment audiences
  • Desire for massive scale vs depth and engagement
  • ‘Dumb publishers’ will not survive
  • A challenge on people, investment and process

5. Non-standard revenues

  • Looking beyond display – e.g. subscription but where not viable need to find another way e.g. affiliates
  • Wean self off traditional advertising

Do these and the perfect storm does not become as scary… there is a route out. The future is not as bleak as it may look.

Creative Skillset Tick extended to Further Education creative vocational courses

The Creative Skillset Tick has now been extended to a select group of Further Education (FE) courses for the first time and I am very proud to be part of the industry accreditation panel.

The highly influential and employer led quality mark for education and training up until now has only been awarded to undergraduate and post graduate courses across the Creative Industries.

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Five courses from across the Creative Industries will receive the coveted status following a successful and rigorous assessment of each course by a panel of industry assessors.

In a crowded and complicated education environment with thousands of creative courses available and a constant search for value, the Creative Skillset Tick is a benchmark of quality and employer relevance.

Courses that achieve Tick status have demonstrated to a team of industry professionals that their curriculum, teaching and assessment provide students with the very best preparation for a career in the Creative Industries.

World-renowned fashion designer and Creative Skillset Board member Betty Jackson CBE said:

“Tick accreditation represents excellence. Further and Higher Education is expensive and we want to provide students embarking on a career in the Creative Industries and their parents, with a powerful tool to navigate the complex education environment, and enable employers to identify the best equipped students ready for employment and further study.”

Annual monitoring of graduates from Higher Education Ticked courses by Creative Skillset found that these graduates are three times more likely to find employment in a field related to their course and the Creative Skillset’s Workforce Survey this year flagged that, in order to improve diversity, there is a real need to provide fair access and a range of routes into the Creative Industries.

Introducing the Tick in to Further Education will serve to signpost the very best courses to the best talent and to the huge number of employers from across the Creative Industries that are keen to engage with young people from a wide range of backgrounds, thereby completing effective vocational pathways from school through to Higher Education and jobs.

All of the successful courses that have been awarded the Tick were very highly praised by the industry assessors for their exciting and motivating teaching and their engagement with the Creative Industries, both locally and nationally, providing an effective launch pad for their students in to some of the best Higher Education courses related to their chosen vocational path or directly into jobs.

The five courses achieving the Tick are:

  • Birmingham Ormiston Academy BTEC Extended Diploma Creative Media Production – Broadcast,
  • Bridgwater College Art & Design Level 3 (BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • Bridgwater College OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Creative Media Production
  • Leeds College of Art UAL Extended Diploma Art and Design
  • Weston College BTEC Extended Diploma Creative Media Production

Details of courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick can be found at http://courses.creativeskillset.org

Andy Grayston, Course Leader, Diploma in Art and Design at Leeds College of Art said:

“As a course team we found the FE Tick pilot application to be a rewarding experience which has generated a large volume of evidence that will be useful for both our self-assessment purposes and Ofsted. We were incredibly well supported by Creative Skillset.

We are looking forward to the kudos this will bring for both our graduates and the course. In addition, accreditation will offer our programme enviable links with the creative sector which will help inform curriculum delivery in the future”.

The Tick for FE courses in creative subjects will be open for all applications early in 2016. For further information please contact Abby Stirling, Quality Development Manager via abbys@creativeskillset.org.