VLOG: Document Your Life | December 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Silver Bells
Artist: Sleeping At Last

VIDEO: Gateley Plc & TheBusinessDesk.com

Gateley Plc brought together more than 100 business leaders in Manchester and Birmingham to explore what steps businesses can take to navigate change, uncertainty and complexity in today’s world. This video, made by spottydog communications features Alex Turner, editor of TheBusinessDesk.com, sharing his thoughts on the success of the conferences.

I created the storyboard for this video, as well as coming up with the questions to ask Alex Turner in order to get the most valuable content. I filmed the interview footage, and went on to edit the video.

VLOG: Document Your Life | November 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Burning
Artist: Mitch King

VIDEO: Gateley Plc Midlands Restructuring Conference 2017

Gateley Plc brought together more than 100 business leaders in Manchester and Birmingham to explore what steps businesses can take to navigate change, uncertainty and complexity in today’s world. spottydog communications went to both conferences to capture footage from the day, as well as interview some of the key speakers, to bring their insight and thoughts to a wider audience.

I helped to storyboard the video, and directed the videographer on the day to ensure we had all of the video footage we needed. I filmed some of the interview clips, as well as coming up with the questions to ask them to enable us the best footage and audio, which we used to drive the content in the video.

BLOG: Lights, camera action! How spottydog upped its video game in 2017

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

With the social and content landscape constantly changing, it’s never been so important to get hands on with video. The demand for video from our clients has hugely increased, reflecting digital marketing trends, so we’ve utilised our in-house content team to produce all kinds of video content this year. From vlogging and micro-vlogging on the go, to producing high quality films, we’ve discovered lots of ways to make sure our video content is Oscar worthy!

Tell a story

As with all forms of communication, we believe the story is the most important thing. No matter whether you’re creating a vlog about a bar opening or an internal employee video on the benefits of a certain career path, the story is important as it’s what ultimately compels the audience to engage with the content and drives click-throughs. Storyboarding will not only help you get your story together but can also be a great starting point for planning what shots you need to film.

Plan, plan, plan

Chances are, when it comes to filming, you’ll have a finite amount of time to capture what you need – and nothing’s worse than getting down to editing and realising you’re missing a shot of that key speaker your client wanted to highlight or an establishing cutaway shot! Stop that from happening by planning out every shot you need within your storyboard and using it as a bit of a checklist on the day.

Know what to leave on the cutting room floor

You might be proud of every shot you’ve filmed, and you might think everything your interviews said was fantastic – but how much of it is reallyserving the video? Think about your audience and consider the story you’re telling them, as well as what you want them to do once they’ve viewed the video. Remember that – especially when it comes to social media – the average consumer’s attention span is pretty short! Is your content truly worth the longer runtime, or should you get snipping?

Keep up with trends

Video trends online change all the time, and while some videos don’t need to be trend-led, it’s definitely worth thinking about where you’re uploading to and who will be consuming the content when making stylistic decisions that may be outdated or unsuitable for your audience. For instance, when it comes to social media, videos rarely play with sound when the user is scrolling through their feed, so do you need to include captions to grab their attention?

We’ve had a blast working on a huge variety of video content for our clients this year, and we’re really looking forward to seeing where 2018 takes the content team! Check out more of our video content to see if we can help you with any projects next year!

VLOG: Document Your Life | October 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Crosses
Artist: José Gonzáles

VLOG: Document Your Life | September 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: The Only Boy Awake
Artist: Meadows

BLOG: Putting social media under the SPOTlight: which platforms should you be focusing on?

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

The average person spends nearly two hours per day on social media. For the average spotty pup, it’s probably more like ten! We’re always Facebooking, tweeting & ‘gramming’ on behalf of our clients, but the real question is… what is each social media platform best for, and which ones should your business focus most of its resources on?

LinkedIn

Probably the most business-focused of all the social networks, LinkedIn is all about making professional connections. It’s perhaps sometimes overlooked as a ‘social’ network due to its more serious nature, but it’s a good way to share business-led content. It’s definitely the best place to outreach to potential clients, define your business’ service offer and recruit future employees, so if growing your business is your goal, LinkedIn is definitely a good first step.

Facebook

Facebook is the perfect place to build up a community by creating content that is engaging, shareable and which people like (literally!) With over 2 billion monthly active users on the platform, the opportunity is there to reach a large audience. Facebook advertising can help you to get your content in front of the right people through selective targeting.

It’s also an ideal place to offer social media customer service, as we have done with Aqua Park Rutland, because of the ease of instant messaging and the comment section on posts.

Twitter

Twitter’s nature is short, fast-paced and of the moment, so it’s vital to have your finger on the pulse at all times. It’s great for reactive content – jumping on trending hashtags with relevant content (or witty one-liners) can get you in front of an interested audience quickly. You can also keep up with and tailor these hashtags to keep an eye on what competitors are doing, or what customers are interested in.

Instagram

Instagram is great for both showing off your highest quality picture content and for giving people an immediate and behind-the-scenes look at your business. Use your Instagram grid for the former and the Stories function for the latter. As a photo-led platform, Instagram offers a chance for creativity, and is really great if your brand or business has a strong creative presence. Instagram takeovers with influencers can also help to bring more people to your channel and boost your engagement with a relevant target audience.

Snapchat

With 37% of Snapchat’s 166 million users in the age 18-24 year old bracket, it definitely seems to be the place to reach a younger – dare we say “millennial”? – audience. We used this fact to our advantage when working with Mitchells & Butlers to recruit apprentices at their Skills Show. Geo-filters on Snapchat are a fun way of ramping up engagement and interaction, so it could be worth investing some time and money into a filter for a product launch or event.

YouTube

If you produce any video content, it goes without saying that you should have a YouTube account! It’s the ideal place to store all video content, with the ability to tag content appropriately for a greater chance of people finding it in their searches.

Even if you don’t have a YouTube channel of your own, it might be worth getting a YouTube influencer on board with a campaign to help widen your reach to potential customers, like we did with Heritage bathrooms and lifestyle vlogger Fleur De Force.

No matter which social media platforms you decide to utilise, it’s worth taking some time out to decide which platform works best for your business and having a go.

VIDEO: Meet Mitchells & Butlers’ Openings Team

Mitchells & Butlers commissioned spottydog communications to create an internal communications video to highlight the role the openings team plays in opening up new bars and restaurants and to encourage current employees to apply for the job. We interviewed several members of the openings team to discover their favourite parts of the role and the parts they find the most challenging, for an honest look at what the role entails.

I worked on the video from the brief, helping to come up with the concept and storyboarding it so that we knew what footage we needed to film on the day. I came up with the questions to ask the openings team members to ensure we had valuable snippets of audio, featuring honest opinions on the job, which is what drives the content in the video. I directed the videographer on filming day, and worked with him through the editing, offering input and amends where applicable.

VLOG: Document Your Life | July 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Moonlight
Artist: Meadows

VLOG: Document Your Life | June 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: What You Do
Artist: James Gillespie

VLOG: Document Your Life | May 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Only In The Night
Artist: W A N D E R E R

VLOG: Document Your Life | April 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Wild
Artist: Kidswaste

VLOG: Document Your Life | March 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: So Go
Artist: BoatKeeper

VLOG: Document Your Life | February 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Better Days
Artist: Old Sea Brigade

BLOG: Beyonce’s breaking records on Instagram, and meanwhile in social media…

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

Unless you’ve been hiding underneath a rock for the past week, you’ve probably seen ‘that’ photo on Instagram. The one that broke records, reaching 6.33 million likes in less than eight hours and becoming the most liked picture on the platform. Plenty of brands and celebrities jumped on the news that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins for their own social content (Ellen DeGeneres’ picture was our personal favourite), proving that reactive social media is still a key digital marketing tactic, but we’ve been keeping our beady eyes on the social landscape so that we can continue to deliver relevant campaigns using the latest features.

So, what else is going on in the world of social media?

Instagram

Most people are familiar by now with Instagram Stories, which launched August 2016 to rival Snapchat’s feature of the same name, but have you noticed Instagram’s live video feature? Since mid-January, users have been able to create spur-of-the-moment videos, which disappear once the broadcast is over. People and brands have been embracing the throwaway content trend recently, loving it for the fact that it offers a snapshot of a moment; the content may not necessarily be quality, but it should be interesting, and the live element creates a sense of urgency. For brands in particular, it offers a behind-the-scenes look, which increases brand engagement and awareness.

Facebook

Meanwhile, Facebook has been shaking up their own platform with some big changes, the biggest of which is that they’re developing a TV streaming app as a creative new way to get advertising in front of more people. Considering the popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming apps, we’ll have to see how the world reacts to Facebook & chill!

Facebook has also made changes their prioritising of video content, with a focus now on longer videos… so long as the content is quality! Now basing the quality and success of a video on the percentage of time watched, rather than the seconds watched, Facebook will prioritise videos reaching a high percentage of engagement, even if they’re lengthy.

Finally, following Instagram’s success with Stories, Facebook is adopting the feature, having already run successful trials in Ireland. For those who use Facebook as a minute-by-minute account of their day (looking at you, mum!), this feature could be a game changer; but whether it will convince younger people to be more engaged on Facebook remains to be seen.

Snapchat

So what will that mean for Snapchat? The disappearing content app attracts a typically younger audience than Facebook, but with their rivals entering the disposable content market, will they need to up their game and start focusing on new ventures? The platform is about to go public, so it’ll be interesting to see how this will affect the platform.

Lego Life

And on a more light hearted note, children now have a safe social network of their own – in Lego Life! With the ability to create Lego avatars and share your own Lego creations via an Instagram-like interface, it certainly looks fun – so will other children’s brands follow suit?

It looks like 2017 is already shaping up to be an interesting year online, and we’re looking forward to diving straight into it!

Lady Gaga diving

VLOG: Document Your Life | January 2017

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Thread
Artist: Retro Culture

VLOG: Document Your Life | December 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: The Perfect Christmas
Artist: Daniela Andrade

VLOG: Document Your Life | November 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Dirty Old Town
Artist: Paolo Nutini / Dubh Linn

VLOG: Document Your Life | October 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Living & Dying
Artist: Joshua Hyslop

VLOG: Document Your Life | September 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: The Pagoda
Artist: Craig Alan Hughes

VLOG: Document Your Life | August 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Bloom
Artist: The Paper Kites

VLOG: Document Your Life | July 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Summertime Sadness
Artist: Megan Davies & Keelan Donovan

BLOG: Making a splash with the launch of Aqua Park Rutland!

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

Earlier this month, the UK’s biggest inflatable Aqua Park splash-landed into Rutland. We were ‘shore’ we’d do a great job over-‘sea’-ing the PR activity for its launch, but it wasn’t all smooth-sailing! The park was brand new this year, so we knew we needed to build up an audience to deliver the message to from scratch. We also knew that similar water parks had popped up on social media before, but that they had largely turned out to be scams, so that was something else we’d need to tackle and be prepared for!

So, bearing all of that in mind, how do you ‘wet’ the appetites of your audience?

With the right PR tactics, of course!

In order to generate a buzz around the opening we hosted a preview day at the Aqua Park and invited the local press down to get their feet wet. This gained us some ‘water-ful’ coverage, including BBC Radio Leicester, Rutland and Stamford MercuryOne MK and even being featured on the BBC East Midlands Today evening news! Not content with stopping there, we set out to prove that the park was as fun and as much of a challenge for adults as it is for children by inviting the rough and tough Leicester Tigers over for a swim! This also gained us a lot of great coverage in the Leicester Mercury and ITV News! The experience encouraged a wider audience to book in for a wet and wild experience, as well as flooding the social media channels with a lot of excitement!

Aqua Park Rutland Leicester Tigers

On the subject of social media – it definitely isn’t something you can just dip your toe in and out of every now and again; it requires diving straight in and giving it all you’ve got! Aqua Park Rutland’s Facebook channel made waves as soon as it was first shared, and we kept it afloat by being incredibly responsive as a way to increase user engagement. We were able to dampen any ‘fake park’ rumours with our personable, informative Facebook interactions, wading deep through the comments to chat with people and gauge their excitement.

Giving the audience what they wanted to see on social media was key to growing the channel to the 10K+ strong audience it has today. The channel grew steadily through our interaction and engagement, but the audience was really blown out of the water when we revealed the fully-inflated park for the first time on video! It reached over 100,000 views in the first few days, and people are still watching and engaging with the video now; a true definition of viral content!

It’s always a slippery challenge getting a new client’s name out there for the first time, but with the right combination of tactics we found that it’s possible to slide your way to success!

So water you waiting for? Book yourself onto the Aqua Park here: http://aquaparkrutland.co.uk

Aqua Park Rutland Leicester Tigers

VLOG: Document Your Life | June 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: This Year
Artist: Meghan Tonjes

VLOG: Document Your Life | May 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Mountainside
Artist: Brock Tyler

BLOG: Making Cocktail Couture the fashion du jour

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

If you’re anything like us here at spottydog, you probably spend your first five minutes with a cocktail admiring the pretty colours and making sure you get the most Instagram-worthy shot. But we wonder if you’ve ever considered taking fashion inspiration from your favourite tipple?

That’s what we did in our latest PR venture for the launch of All Bar One into the fashionable Trafford Centre!

All Bar One is a brand of stylish bars across the UK, best known for its great food and extensive cocktail menu. Not, then, for its fashion credentials. So why did we choose to host a fashion event to promote a bar?

When spottypup Chloe was invited to talk on the Enterprise Nation #FJExchange ‘How to get Noticed’ panel in the Jewellery Quarter on Friday 13th May, she was asked “How do you get your products noticed by journalists?”

In response, Chloe said that it’s all about creating “stories”. Instead of focusing purely on the end product, publications and journalists are more and more interested in the stories behind brands, so it pays to think of the road less travelled when targeting media.

While the typical outreach plan for a bar launch might involve inviting food reviewers to sample the goods, we thought about the message we wanted to send out about All Bar One – that it is THE fashionable place to be when visiting the Trafford Centre – and chose to give its launch a trendy spin worthy of the catwalk!

Inviting Manchester-based fashion blogger Sara Luxe to the launch event, we challenged her to create three outfits inspired by some of All Bar One’s bestselling cocktails – Cosmopolitan, Honeybee Martini and Mojito.

The outfits she came up with – modelled by Manchester-based model Isi Peters – used the latest spring/summer trends from the high street, and managed to turn heads throughout the venue on launch day. The activity successfully became a really visual way to represent the bar’s fun and stylish vibe!

Since the launch day, Seb – spottydog’s content executive – has worked his magic to create some wonderful ‘Create-The-Look’ graphics featuring the outfits. These are great for use on social media – a very visually-led medium – enabling All Bar One to reach out to the fashion brands used in the creation of the outfits, as well as the very stylish Manchester audience.

While All Bar One remains focused on its food and drinks offering – despite its catwalk-worthy credentials(!) – this exercise went a long way to show that sometimes drinking – oops! thinking – a little outside the box can help you to engage with your target market – as well as expanding your horizons and reaching a new audience. Creating stories that people can relate to and engage with will only help strengthen your PR campaign.

If all else fails, even if you can’t pronounce your favourite tipple, you can always dress like one!

VLOG: Document Your Life | April 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Freckles & Constellations
Artist: dodie

VLOG: Document Your Life | March 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: How Did I Get Here?
Artist: Ian McGlynn

BLOG: PR professionals can’t be all bark and no bite: why public relations is no ‘soft’ subject

Blog post written for spottydog communications. View the original here.

PR is sometimes accused of being a bit of a “soft” job – something any man and his dog can do given the right equipment. We at spottydog believe that it actually takes a very special pup – the best in breed, in fact! – to really crack the world of PR.  I’ve worked a number of different roles throughout my career so far, and although this is my first true venture into PR, I’ve managed to sniff out some of the most important traits a PR professional needs to really succeed.

People & Communication Skills

It goes without saying that to work successfully in PR, excellent people and communication skills are a must. The job primarily involves communicating with lots of different people, across a wide range of mediums, be that on the telephone, over email, on social media, or in person. From speaking to journalists to earn your client some great coverage, to ensuring the client’s message is expressed effectively across social media channels, any and all forms of communication are a vital part of the job role.

Research Skills

What to research? Everything!

Keeping up-to-speed on current affairs and the news agenda – whether that’s local, national or international – is a vital part of the job. Being out of touch with what’s going on in the world will limit your ability to represent your client in a world that wants up-to-the-second information.

Keeping track of the fast-paced digital world – from knowing the social media platforms that will best represent your client, to being clued-in on the latest trends – is an important part of any PR & Communications role.

Staying knowledgeable about your client – and your client’s rivals! – is invaluable. Knowing the industry that you’re representing and the market that you’re representing it to isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.

Organisational Skills

A job in PR can take you from writing copy, to pitching to a journalist, to overseeing a client’s launch event in half a day, so tiptop organisational skills are a must.

Writing Skills

Writing can make up a big part of a PR role, so it’s important for every piece of writing to be well crafted, well edited, free from errors, and absolutely fit for purpose, whether that’s a press release, a case study, an engaging piece of website content – or anything in between!

Creativity & Tenacity

I’ve grouped these traits up together, because I feel that sometimes creative folk get a bit of a bad rap for being a bit soft around the edges. Working in PR requires creative individuals, of course; people who can think outside of the box and come up with innovative ideas, but it requires a little bit of tenacity, too; a little bit of bark, so to speak! It’s not enough just to be creative; having the persistence to run with a good idea despite setbacks is a must for a PR professional.

This, I think, is what defines a role in PR; what sets it apart and what gives it an edge. It’s not a “soft” or “easy” job. You’ll struggle to make it as a PR professional if you’re all bark and no bite! Throughout my varied career history, I’ve managed to pick up and hone these skills over the years, and I’m looking forward to finally putting them all to great use in my role as spottydog’s new PR, Communications and Social Media Executive.

VLOG: Document Your Life | February 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Boundaries
Artist: Sun Culture

VLOG: Document Your Life | January 2016

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Back When
Artist: JT Royster

VLOG: Document Your Life | December 2015

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. I take part each month, filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Artist: Wanda Wesolowski

VLOG: Document Your Life | November 2015

Document Your Life is an online video project designed to make you notice the beautiful little things in the world, and inspire you to live your life to the fullest. In November 2015 I began filming clips from my own life and editing them to music as a way to remember my favourite moments and practise my filming and editing skills.

Song: Mirrors, Stains
Artist: Wanda Wesolowski