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Lauren Harrison

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7 Pre-Event Content Tips to Get Prospects Excited

FOMO is a powerful thing. If your brand or agency is investing time, money and people in an event, you’ll want to ensure a) you fill it and b) people are psyched to be attending. Events are valuable because they allow you to gather a group of people with the same interests together in one place for a progressive conversation. Why not start that conversation early with some inspiring pre-event content?

According to Laura Forer of UBM, “96% of attendees look for information prior to attending an event and 90% continue that search post-event. Effective content before, during and after an event is vital to the overall experience.”

Pre-Event Content

JBH recently joined forces with some social influencers and the ASA to host an influencer marketing event. The idea was to challenge some of the objections brands might have about working with influencers.

This was our first time hosting an event and it was a success; not just because of how it went on the day but because it was a learning curve for us as an agency. We learned that creating great pre-event content involves more than just dishing out a time and address. Here we give you our top content tips and some ideas to make sure both you and your audience get the most out of your event.


1. Make sure you are reaching out to people in your industry with your pre-event content

Pre-Event Content

It’s important that you fill your event with people who will benefit from it. While there’s always the option of sticking fifty quid behind a Facebook ad, even with targeting options it’s unlikely to reach the right people in your industry. Start with your own email list, then hit LinkedIn to reach a much wider audience. LinkedIn Pulse channels are great for event marketing. While the algorithm is a closely guarded secret, looking at other posts on your chosen Pulse channel will give you clues on how to put content together in a way that the platform deems ‘relevant and interesting’.


2. Create video content

Influencer Marketing Event

Lighthearted video content is one of the best ways to pique prospects’ interest before, during and after your event. Videos resonate with audiences like no other content and can be put together whatever your limitations. Give prospects a sneak peek of the event, define topics and goals and/or help audiences better understand your subject matter through an educational mini series. Share your videos on your blog, promote them on social, signpost to them in your emails and whack them on YouTube. Above all, keep them short, light and focused.


3. Tweet, tweet

Influencer Marketing Event

Social media is quick, cheap and easy – use it to underpin every stage of your event marketing. If you’re feeling adventurous you could create your own Snapchat filter or encourage attendees to share their photos, although it’s worth mentioning that user-generated campaigns can be tricky to get off the ground. Social media is overloaded – getting people to care about any post for more than three seconds is near impossible. The flipside of this is that your makes it that much more meaningful and sincere when they do.


4. Make the most of your guests of honour  

Influencer Marketing Event

Your guest speakers are the lifeblood of your event. What reach do they have? Is it worth getting them to promote your event by creating their own pre-event content? Having guests tweet about the event on the morning of is great but by then it’s usually too late. If they are able to post on their platforms once or twice in the run-up to the event this could help get your message seen by people with the same interests. Better yet, they could write a blog post, mention your brand in their vlog or go live on social media. In our case Em and Junior had far greater reach than us, so it was exciting to see them talking about our event on social media. Your event speakers are what make your event educational and inspiring. Make sure you celebrate them.


5. Give your landing page the attention it deserves

Influencer Marketing Event

There’s no better way to create a sense of urgency than to send prospects to a persuasive event landing page. Your landing page should be central to your event marketing campaign – before, during and after the event itself. Unique value proposition showing what attendees will get that they won’t get anywhere else, benefits,  beautiful imagery that fits the event. Our event was about Instagram influencers, therefore it was important that we used Instagram-style images featuring beautiful people and lots of white space. If relevant include a range of testimonials aimed at various personas who might benefit from attending. Finally, make sure your CTAs really stand out and are worded in a way that makes sense.


6. Commission some original research

Influencer Marketing Event

Original research is an important part of any content marketing strategy. It gives you the chance to demonstrate insight, innovation and thought leadership – the things people want to see from you if they are going to take the time to come to your event. Commission a study or survey as part of your pre-event content, share your findings with prospects, attendees and speakers and use your findings to inform your session.

And finally …


7. Step. Away. From. The. Slides.

Influencer Marketing Event

Slides are a great way what to illustrate what you’re talking about but people tend to rely on them too heavily in an event. A good speaker should be able to present their topic should anything go wrong with the technology. Because Em is genuinely passionate about influencer marketing and educating brands about the right and wrong ways to work with influencers, she referred to her slides for a few images and stats but focused on speaking to the audience easily and naturally.

Events are a key channel for direct engagement with your audience. Creative, valuable pre-event content is a good indicator that your event will be a worthwhile use of your prospects’ time. Your event might be weeks or even months from now, but there’s no reason the experience can’t start today.

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Officially an Award-Winning Agency!

Last night we spent an unforgettable night celebrating with our awesome clients Reed in Partnership at the CMA International Content Marketing Awards where we were up for two awards for our YESldn campaign.

We’re absolutely thrilled to have received Gold in the Best Social category and Silver in the Best Video – Series category. We were so excited to be shortlisted and have our big night out we didn’t dare to hope that we could place – let alone win!

Hearing our lovely host Katherine Ryan announce us as the winner of the Gold prize in the Best Social category really was a magic moment. When Katherine said that the winning team had produced big results on a small budget realisation and excitement flooded across the table and when we finally heard the name of our campaign we just went crazy!

This was a campaign we are exceptionally proud of. We are a small team competing in an arena populated with some hugely successful agencies and global brands. Being recognised for what can be achieved with a little creativity feels like a big win for the little guy.

The CMA had this to say about our achievement:

“JBH were tasked with delivering a campaign that would inspire the target audience to sign up to the YESldn programme via the campaign website, driving a surge in sign-ups and creating awareness of the service. With a limited budget and hard-to-engage audience, the content agency chose online comedy trio The Wall of Comedy to film a series of videos showing extreme, funny scenarios that could be related back to common job-related anxieties.

The results thrilled both client and agency. Facebook video views topped 650,000, with over 4,600 engagements, while overall reach came in at almost 2.5m. More importantly, sign-ups to the YESldn service increased by 1,425% as a direct result of the campaign.

The judges were unanimous in giving this entry Gold, thanks to its “outstanding results on a low budget and fantastic resonance with the audience.” Iris’s work for adidas pops up again to claim Silver for its Neo Snapchat campaign, which the judges called a “fascinating creative solution that overachieved on its KPIs,” while MEC Wavemaker grab Bronze for their #Wimblewatch campaign for Evian, deemed a “fresh approach to Wimbledon content that has great brand synergy.””

All that was left to do was celebrate and we partied the night away in style. The Content Marketing Awards are something else, the room was buzzing with positivity and it was great to spend the evening in the company of so many accomplished creatives.

With a set of matching sore heads we’re back in the office, excited about our success and what it might mean for the future of our agency.

The boys share a victory hug

Andy is obviously not bothered

Aran celebrating with Oli from Reed in Partnership

Home safe and sound

The Dark History of Black Friday
1024 684 Lauren Harrison

The Dark History of Black Friday

Black Friday is fairly new to the UK. Our stiff upper lips have long kept us safe from the jostling and aggressive elbows. Not so anymore.

In the US, it falls on the day after Thanksgiving. People battling turkey hangovers descend on shops desperate to get their hands on the biggest seasonal bargains. It sounds innocent enough, but in recent years there has been chaos, violence and plenty of viral videos. In 2011 a Los Angeles shopper doused a crowd with pepper spray so she could make off with a discounted Xbox. In 2013 a Walmart worker lost his life in a stampede. In the UK there have been huge fights and countless arrests. There have been car accidents, robberies, even shootings. I How did we get to all this craziness?

Origins of the term

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was on 24 September, 1869. It was used in reference to the crash of US gold market. Ruthless Wall Street types Jim Fisk and Jay Gould pooled their resources to buy up as much of the nation’s gold as they could – resulting in a spectacular stock market crash.

Dark legends

Over the years there have been several myths attached to the tradition, some in particular which need to be dispelled.

The biggest misconception about Black Friday is that it was named on account of being the day of the year merchants finally start to turn a profit. After a year of being ‘in the red’ retail companies supposedly go ‘into the black’ after holiday shoppers blow huge wads on discounted merchandise. In fact, shops report a far bigger surge in sales on the Saturday before Christmas. While the story has mostly been discredited as inaccurate, there is another supposed explanation which is much uglier.

According to this particular myth, 1800s Southern plantation owners were able to buy slaves at a discounted price the day after Thanksgiving. Although this smacks of urban legend, people have believed it so much that many have been moved to boycott Black Friday and even Thanksgiving. Again, this disturbing story has no basis in fact.

The truth

The truth is much more familiar. In the 1950s, Philadelphia police used the term to describe the chaos that hit the city the day after Thanksgiving, when a wave of shoppers swept over the city ahead of the big Army-Navy football game. This meant that Philly cops couldn’t take any holiday over the long weekend they would have to work extra long shifts dealing with the crowds. Opportunist shoplifters would make the most of the insanity, making off with as much merchandise as they could carry.

By 1961, “Black Friday” was officially a thing – at least in Philadelphia. Retailers tried half-heartedly to get it changed to “Big Friday” to remove some of the negative connotations but to no avail.

It took another two decades for the tradition to hit the rest of the country. At the end of the 1980s the powers that be once again decided that the day needed a rebrand. Changing the name hadn’t worked before so instead marketers worked to reinvent the concept of Black Friday as something more positive – particularly from the retailer’s perspective.  It turns out that this is how the ‘in the red’ to ‘in the black’ story came about – cleverly putting a slightly more positive spin on what had turned into a PR nightmare. This Black Friday – be safe. You know you can do it all online, right?

Having a PR nightmare all your own? Chat to our Digital PR specialists.


Digital PR: Whatever Happened to Kite-Flying?
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Digital PR: Whatever Happened to Kite-Flying?

We recently spoke to a host of digital PR experts to get their opinions on the industry and whether it’s getting harder to make a splash. One of the people we spoke to was Brand Jack author Quentin Langley. Reflecting on PR tactics of the past and present, Quentin brought up something interesting about the traditional practice of kite-flying.


Hang on, what’s kite-flying?

An old technique used to gage perception, kite-flying goes like this: a communications professional speaks to a journalist regarding an ‘on the fence’ issue. The journalist runs with the story and it gets published. The PR team then sit back and monitor how people feel towards the story. Are they outraged? Are they pleased? Did they even notice? Then, based on the outcome, you know the risk of the the policy and whether you should back it, or refrain and save yourself and the campaign the potential damage.


Is it still being used today?

Glad you asked. Someone putting out polarising news that either infuriates or delights people – sound familiar?

In Quentin’s words, President Donald Trump “flies about 28 kites by the time most people have woken up and had their breakfast!”

Digital PR: Whatever Happened to Kite-Flying?

Thanks to social media, it seems that kite-flying is alive and well – particularly at the White House. Whether you love him or hate him, admire him or despise him, in this instance at least he’s doing something right.

Trump takes to social media and releases his kites into the sky, waiting for the hundreds of millions of potential viewers to shoot his kite down, or bow before its magnificence.

One thing we can be sure of, his team of experts will be there crunching the numbers and determining how people feel about each individual topic, whether he listens to them or not … well, that’s another matter.

Instagram Influencer Marketing
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How to Spot a Fake Instagram Influencer

As Instagram influencer marketing becomes a more credible way to make serious money, weeding out fake influencer accounts can feel a bit like a game of Whack-a-Mole. Here we talk you through the easiest ways to spot a faker and the steps you can take to make sure your brand doesn’t get taken for a ride.

Being an Instagram influencer is great. Perks include fans, events, holidays, freebies, creativity, freedom and (if you’re lucky) cold, hard cash.

The problem is that getting there takes time. To attain even the status of “micro-influencer” (5k-100k followers) takes at least a year. That’s a year of full-level commitment, posting every day, blogging, attending events, getting the perfect shots and being active in the Instagram community – often while working and living normal life.

Fake it without having to make it

Instagram influencer marketing
Like most things, where there’s money to be made there are people willing to try anything to cheat the system. As a result, fake Instagram accounts are becoming a big problem for brands.

It’s alarmingly easy to fake an Instagram following – plenty of bloggers and journalists have had a go and the JBH team even dabbled ourselves back in the summer.

This means that there are tons of Instagram accounts out there with fake followings – including influencers who don’t exist at all. While the more professional cheats might hire a model to pose for photos, most fakers keep things nice and generic with free stock images.

Pair this with a few thousand bought “followers” per day from websites selling other fake Instagram accounts and you’ve got yourself an influencer, ripe for the picking by brands desperate to pay big bucks for that all-important word-of-mouth.

While it’s not likely that the big fish (100k+) are gaming the system like this, micro-influencers are where it’s at on Instagram right now. Research shows that accounts with smaller followings prompt higher levels of engagement. Brands know that these accounts are a smart investment.

Obviously none of this is good. PRs, brands, bloggers, influencers and the public buy into Instagram influencer marketing specifically because of how authentic it is. Add fake, money-grabbing accounts into the equation and the whole market is screwed.

So what should we be watching out for?


Instagram Red Flags

Instagram influencer marketing

Poor-quality content
You’ll usually be able to spot a dodgy account by the quality of the content. To know that Amber Fillerup-Clark is a real influencer you don’t need to look any further than her beautiful photographs and commentary. Fake influencers will usually write one or two words followed by a bunch of lazy hashtags.

Engagement groups
To stay relevant, influencers need to pop up on people’s feeds. This requires lots of juicy comments. In order to keep up with social media’s ever-changing algorithms, a high percentage of bloggers are members of ‘engagement groups’ – a mutual-back-scratching type operations where you comment on my picture and I comment on yours.This is actually ok in theory, it’s how most influencers get started. If they are in one or two small groups generating less than 30 of this type of comment per post, it shouldn’t have too much of a negative effect. Any more than this and the account becomes depthless, scoring comments and likes to the benefit of no one in particular. Look at the nature of comments on an influencer’s posts, not just the volume.

Follower spikes
Sudden spikes of 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 followers are a dead giveaway. To put this in perspective HudaBeauty has 22m followers and gets around 5000 new followers per day. Your average blogger or influencer gets 0-200 followers per day. If a blogger with 30,000 seems to pull 10,000 new followers out of thin air seemingly overnight, you know something is up. Likewise, if it looks like someone is quickly following or unfollowing large numbers of accounts this is the first sign of follower tools and bots.

Dodgy followers
Take a look at the “followers” who have liked their pictures. If they look anything like this, they’re probably a big, fat faker.

How often do they post?
If an account has too few posts for a large following, or sporadically posts at odd times, something ain’t right.

Rates of engagement
If likes stack up slowly at first and then spike by 1,000 in one go – it’s pretty easy to spot a faker. A good rate of engagement for a micro-influencer is between 2-6% with smaller personal accounts usually falling at around 8%.

“If you have 90k+ followers, 100+ comments and 4000+ likes on EVERY picture; your engagement % = +5%!!! Congratulations, you have an engagement rate higher than Barack Obama!” (Naomi D’Souza)

Bot behaviour
Watch out for repetitive interaction and generic comments – especially those loaded with emoji.

Still not sure?
Ask for their stats, impressions, reach etc. This is their business, any influencer worth his or her salt won’t mind sharing these figures with you.

Fake accounts ultimately contribute to a false economy where prices go up and value goes down. Watch where you’re investing your money and make sure you report fake accounts to the powers that be wherever possible.

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Influencer Marketing Horror Stories

Fright night is here and we’re telling 2017’s scariest influencer marketing horror stories.

From kids stranded on a mysterious island to a Swedish Jekyll and Hyde, we relive some of this year’s most terrifying influencer marketing fails and toss you a few weapons to make sure your brand doesn’t get dragged off into the woods.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Hell Fyre

Everything about Fyre Festival screams budget horror movie.

Organised by rapper Ja Rule and heavily hyped on social media by mega influencers including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, Fyre looked like it was going to be selfie heaven for the elite millennials that managed to score a $10,000 dollar ticket. If Instagram was to be believed, attendees would be partying with supermodels, eating high-end cuisine and staying in luxurious accommodation.

Instead, after a struggle to even get to the island, festival-goers were greeted with cancelled performances, FEMA tents, a lack of food and basic sanitation and packs of feral dogs. To make matters worse, many were left stranded once the festival was cancelled.

After suffering their ordeal for several more days, Fyre attendees were rescued just minutes before they went full Battle Royale. They immediately unleashed their fury – not only on the event’s organisers but on the influencers who had been so involved with promoting the festival. The general feeling was that influencers had blindly accepted payment rather than promoting an event or product they genuinely believed in.

The key problems here are obvious. The event’s organisers launched what was arguably a very successful influencer campaign, took the money for their sell-out event, then failed to actually deliver what was promised (i.e. the festival). Many have called the organiser out as con-artists.

Influencer campaigns work best when the influencer is involved in the entire process. Your best weapon when faced with this nightmare is transparency. Don’t wait for things to blow up – if things go wrong, your influencers can help you deal with consumers and manage their expectations before it’s too late.


It Offends

Lauded as YouTube’s biggest star, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg was dropped like a lead balloon by brands including Disney and YouTube in February this year for posting “horrific, repeated anti-semitic content” on his channel (WHOSAY). So far did he fall from grace that online commentators started discussing whether influencer marketing was already over.

PewDiePie argued that the claims made against him were blown way out of proportion, saying: “I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for my serious political commentary. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”

He did however, get into trouble again last month for exclaiming yet another racial slur in an online video.

While this is an extreme case, the real risk here is giving the influencer control of your brand image. Once a brand has worked with an influencer the two become inextricably linked in the mind of the consumer. Your best weapon here is careful research. Look into your chosen influencer’s tone of voice, their past content, even the interaction they have with their followers and critics. when the influencer screws up, the brand screws up.


The Misjudged II

You can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Kendall Jenner. In her second appearance in this year’s list of influencer marketing fails, Jenner took a lot of flack for what Time called “a glaring misstep”.

The ad shows Jenner joining a protest against nothing in particular where marchers hold signs saying “Love” and “Join the Conversation”. The end of the ad shows her seeming to diffuse tensions with the police by handing an office a can of Pepsi in an image with more than a passing resemblance to Baton Rouge protester Ieshia Evans.

The ad has been accused of undermining and appropriating imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement and Vietnam War protestors to sell soda.

Unsurprisingly, both Jenner and Pepsi were dragged through the mud on social media and the two-and-a-half minute ad was pulled after just 24 hours.

How best to arm yourself? Stay the hell away from anything like this!


From misjudged campaign sentiments to full-on disasters, occasionally even the biggest brands can get it dead wrong. If you do happen to find yourself in a cabin in the woods with the unmistakable roar of a chainsaw in the distance, remember to handle the inevitable bloodbath with humility, grace and a heartfelt apology.

Find the Perfect Influencer
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Bagging the Perfect Influencer in 5 Easy Steps

The perfect influencer is a bit like a unicorn – hard to find but guaranteed to add a touch of magic to anything he or she touches.

According to Entrepreneur, influencer marketing:

  • Has an extremely high ROI ($6.50 for every $1 spent according to a recent Tomoson study)
  • Is growing faster than any other marketing channel
  • Provides quality customers likely to spend money with your brand over time

Despite report after glowing report listing its benefits, some marketers still have reservations about dipping a toe in the influencer marketing pool.

Those new to the idea might worry that influencer campaigns are expensive or difficult to manage. Factors like these are particularly relevant when you’re a new brand, small business or nonprofit. In fact, influencer campaigns can get great results with next-to-no budget – provided you do your homework.

Why do some influencer campaigns fail?

While there’s the occasional Kendall Jenner for Pepsi-style car crash, the most common reasons influencer marketing campaigns fail include:

  • Heavy-handed sales tactics (e.g. too many posts about the product)
  • Poor targeting (reaching out to people who are unlikely to be interested)
  • Disingenuousness (when the posts sit awkwardly on the influencer’s social feed and it is clear they aren’t genuinely interested in the product)

Posts and campaigns that snag on any of the above ultimately lead to the brand and the influencer losing credibility with the audience. This is why good influencers are choosy about who they work with.

For the right influencer, money and/or gifts will probably not be the deciding factor. They might already be a customer, or be on the lookout for a product like yours to solve a problem. They might be interested simply because they think their audience will benefit from hearing about your brand.

The best branded content or promotional posts blend seamlessly into the influencer’s social feed. People won’t think, “Zoella must be getting paid a lot to advertise those bedsheets” – they’ll think “Her bedroom looks so cute, I wonder where that bedding is from?”

You might think that this is all well and good for brands selling fun or Instagram-friendly products but what about my charity/ software/ event?

We promise that there are unicorns out there for virtually every niche. Here are a few steps you can take to help you find yours.


1. Think Objective-ly

What are your objectives for the campaign? What are your overall business objectives? Chances are a good influencer strategy can help you meet all of them. It’s cost effective, raises brand awareness and boosts SEO value – to name a few benefits.

Points to consider:

  • Context: Zoella won’t help you sell software. Jack Dorsey probably will – but remember that you can make waves with even the tiniest budget.
  • Reach: Millions of followers aren’t everything but make sure you’re satisfied that the budget is in line with the number of people who are likely to see the content
  • Action: Is the fit so spot on that the influencer’s audience is likely to take action and buy?

2. Does Size Matter?

Not always. According to Jay Baer: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

We’re starting to learn that the level of actual influence an influencer has is not necessarily relative to the size of his or her following.

Interestingly, according to a recent study, once an account grows past a certain point – the percentage of people engaging with influencer content actually takes a dip.

Lots of brands are realising the value of working with micro influencers – namely the potential for lower costs, more effective targeting and better results in the long-term.

That said, you will want to have a good grasp of their key metrics: reach, engagement, post frequency. These will help you make an informed decision about who you work with and how. Don’t just look at unique visitors and blog DA – followings on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest vary wildly from influencer to influencer. The most important thing is that they are creating high-quality content in your niche – and delivering it to people likely to be interested.

3. Create Influencer Personas

Creating influencer personas is a great way to get a concrete idea of who you’re looking for. You could even draw them to help you visualise.

The perfect influencer for a new vegan meal box delivery service

Note down everything about who you’re looking for. Think about their age, their following, where they shop, how they use the internet and anything else you think is relevant. All this information will help you when it comes to tracking down ‘The One’.

4. Do your hashtag homework

Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to find someone who fits the bill. Spend your time searching platforms like YouTube to get an idea of who is leading in your niche but don’t discount those with smaller followings. A search on for “vegan” reveals that popular hashtags include #vegan #vegansofig #veganism #veganfoodporn #plantbased #veganlife #crueltyfree and so on.

Google your desired hashtag e.g. #plantbased and you’ll see who’s talking about your niche. A good cheat tactic is to look at what accounts the really big influencers are following. Best of Vegan has 1.3million followers but only follows 893 accounts. Look through those and you’ll see accounts with more manageable followings in the same niche.

Searching #plantbased on Instagram brings up millions of posts. Hovering over the posts shows the number of likes and comments per post – helpful if you’re looking to find someone with a particular level of engagement.

5.Meeting your match 

Alternatively, you could Google “British vegan blogs” to get an idea of your options. Always consider your desired influencer in terms of how aligned they are with your messaging. Read their archived blog posts to get an idea of the kind of consumer they are. They might post vegan recipes but are they likely to be interested in a vegan meal delivery service? It might be that the nature of your service technically makes you a competitor. Don’t ignore tone of voice either. Some bloggers and brands are edgier than others – to some extent you need to match.

Don’t try and slide into their DMs either . Collaborating on a professional project warrants a phone call or at least a well-written email clearly outlining the terms of your proposal.

Lastly, make sure you’re well aware of the legal requirements of working with influencers – every platform has its own rules. To find out more, check out our definitive guide to working with influencers.

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We’ve been nominated in the CMA International Content Marketing Awards!

The nominations have been announced for the CMA International Content Marketing Awards and JBH are proud to have been shortlisted in the Best Social and Best Video categories.

The CMA International Content Marketing Awards

The International Content Marketing Awards are a key event in the industry calendar. This year the CMA received more than 400 entries, from 135 agencies, in 23 countries. 

Interview Fails

Our nominations are for the video series we worked on with The Wall of Comedy for Youth Employment Skills London (YESldn) – a campaign we are exceptionally proud of.

“Things Not to Say In a Job Interview” – one of the videos we collaborated on with The Wall of Comedy

The success of the campaign demonstrates the power of influencer marketing. YESldn were new and virtually unknown when they approached us. They had a very small budget and were trying to attract a notoriously hard to reach target audience.

Despite these hurdles, identifying and working with the right influencer meant we were able to generate a 1,425% increase in service sign ups, a huge spike in site traffic and even some press coverage in the Evening Standard.

“When You Lie On Your CV”

Interested in working with us on an influencer campaign? Get in touch and we’ll discuss what we can do for your brand and budget.

YESldn is a free service which supports young people from different backgrounds not currently in employment, education or training. You can read more about the campaign here.

Digital PR: Is it Getting Harder?
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Digital PR: Is it Getting Harder? [Infographic]

For those of us working with brands, the question of whether or not it is getting harder to get coverage is an important one. As digital PR continues to evolve, just keeping up can feel like a challenge.

With help from some key PR influencers, our new infographic addresses some of the most common concerns about the present and future of the digital PR industry.

Digital PR is it getting harder?



Digital PR: Is it getting harder?

Is digital PR getting harder? In some ways yes, but it’s not all bad news. Stay committed to good storytelling and embrace change – it brings a broad range of new and exciting opportunities.

For those of us working with brands, the question of whether or not it is getting harder to get coverage is an important one. As digital PR continues to evolve, just keeping up can feel like a challenge.

With help with some key PR influencers, we guide you through some of the biggest challenges in digital PR and show you how to turn them to your advantage.


Things that once seemed new, now seem old

What’s the problem? With so much great content out there, it’s getting hard to surprise audiences with something new.

Make it work for you Embrace new technologies like AR, VR and chatbots, but to keep those links flying in, focus on getting creative with existing formats. If you have to spend time on refining that angle or money on sourcing that quality data, do it and stick with strong stories that are authentic to your brand and your target audience.

New definitions

“Has public relations really changed or is it that we just have various new definitions for what is essentially traditional PR?”

New Tools

“The arsenal of tools available to the modern day PR professional makes tracking this work far easier!”

New challenges

“Dark Social, that is a whole new barrel of giggles for modern PR folk.”

Andy Barr, Owner, 10 Yetis


More background noise

What’s the problem? With new agencies sprouting every five minutes and 400 hours of video shared every one,  competition is stronger than ever.

Make it work for you For standout content embrace creativity, weirdness and trends. Make the most of your in-house talent. If you make great video content, work tirelessly to stay up-to-date with trends and refine your skills to build your reputation in that area. Obvious but effective.

More Noise

“Everybody has the ability to access so much material instantly without going through traditional media channels, filtered by ‘professionals’


There’s an opportunity for PR people to get their content directly to audiences without going through filters.”

Quality not quantity

“The challenge is to find out how our stories are best received. It’s not (just) about quantity, it’s about quality.”

Mike Love, PR Adviser, Burson-Marsteller


More channels and platforms

What’s the problem? As audiences flock to more channels and platforms every day it can be hard to know where to invest your time and energy

Make it work for you Rank social networks according to where the brand’s audience currently is and where they are likely to be in the future. Don’t just look at numbers but at engagement, demographic patterns, organic activity, alignment with the core product and content.

Be Flexible

“Modern relations practitioners must be able to work across all forms of media, and paid and earned.”

Reputation counts

“Media relations is making way for influencer relations. Journalists are working with influencers that have built their own networks on reputation.”

Be persistent

“Be absolutely persistent in your prospecting – but not annoying.”

Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Advisor, Ketchum

Harder-to-impress journos

What’s the problem? Journalists are so bombarded with pitches and requests (see Challenge 2) that it’s hard to get a response – let alone a feature.

Make it work for you Nearly 25% of email pitches are rejected by journalists for being too impersonal [Cision]. Personalise your emails and target your content so it’s relevant to your chosen site and its audience. Ask contacts if there are any specific topics they want covered and shape your campaigns and content around their needs.

How can you impress journalists with so much noise?

Quality PRs

“More and more PR pros are chasing fewer and fewer journalists. Journalists are being swamped with ‘spam’ press releases.”

Thorough research

“It’s time the PR industry took their research more seriously and tailored their pitches.”

Look Sharp

“90% of what is distributed needs to be cut out and the other 10% sharpened up.”

Michael Davies, Director, Roxhill Media


Jaded audiences

What’s the problem? As content online gets ever more varied, authentic and often bizarre – audiences have more or less seen it all.

Make it work for you Packaging your content in the right way works and promoting it innovatively helps but it will all be for nothing if the angle doesn’t work. Finding a strong, unique angle may take time, but it is time well spent. Gather your whole team together and try out some new brainstorming techniques. Our current favourite is the ‘hat’ or parallel-thinking method.

How do we surprise jaded audiences?

Target practice

“By being able to target particular demographics, we’re still able to ‘shock and awe’.”

Shock tactics

“If all you’re trying to do is shock someone, you first need to select an audience that will react to seeing such a thing.”

Mystic PRs

“By segmenting your audience, you’re able to more accurately predict how people will react.”

Quentin Langley – Author of Brand Jack, Chair of Global Affairs Committee PRSA


We’re so busy!

Technology has created a fast-paced 24/7 environment where PR pros are under pressure to be flexible and strong in multiple areas.

Make it work for you Try partnering up with other people to help bolster each other’s skillsets and take off some of the pressure. Social media and digital have made things more complicated but have brought infinitely more value – making PR far more credible as a discipline.

How can we work efficiently when we’re so busy?

Think Holistic

“At JBH, we think about PR holistically – we no longer see it as a separate discipline with different objectives.”

Work Together

“PR is now so closely aligned with SEO, social and influencer marketing, it makes sense to combine strategy and activity…”


“… This can provide brands with more opportunities to repurpose content and campaigns – plus it can lighten the workload!”

Jane Hunt, Marketing Director, JBH


We’re drowning in data

We know the importance of an analytical approach but it’s hard to know where to find tools that pull the PR value out of all the data.  

Make it work for you It already is! Today we hear news in real time and have access to everything we could possibly want to know about audience trends and behaviours. No one has time to analyse it all – pick three metrics (e.g. backlink profiles) that correspond to your goals and check on them religiously.

Is PR becoming more data driven?

Driven by data

“PR is becoming more scientific and data driven – a good thing. Content needs to be relevant, with clear benefits and actions”

Track stars

“PRs are now starting to track the effect of their output and feed this back into doing things better.”

Maud Davis, PR Trainer and Consultant,


Our job roles are changing

What’s the problem? We’re all under pressure to learn more skills, our roles are entangled and everyone is stepping on eachother’s toes.

Make it work for you No one can do it all. Work with your strengths and listen to new professionals as well as those from other disciplines. Accept help and offer yours to others. Stay receptive to change, no matter how long you’ve been in the industry.

How can we adapt to our changing roles?

Age v Beauty

“Time served is the typical measure of competence in public relations – a lousy metric in a business moving so quickly.”


“I’ve 20 years in practice but my social media listening skills are a work in progress and I’m not great at visual community management.”

Continuous learning

“Practitioners need to invest in continuous learning – pushing themselves to learn new things wherever possible.”

Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum


Happy link-building!

1024 535 Lauren Harrison

6 Bloody Great Game of Thrones Marketing Campaigns

You know nothing, marketers.

Like Star Wars meets Frozen and just as bankable – Game of Thrones is the marketing gift that keeps on giving.

Fans got chills last week as winter finally arrived in the Seven Kingdoms bringing what is sure to be the most action-packed, violent and naked season yet.

In spite of the uphill struggle faced by the US TV network to curb illegal streams and downloads (The Drum reports there were 91.8 views across piracy platforms of Episode 1 alone), the Season 7 premiere bagged the highest ratings in the show’s history – with 16.1 million HBO subscribers tuning in live. Listen carefully and you can hear the sound of marketers rubbing their hands together.

As the Game of Thrones Season 7-inspired campaigns roll in thick and fast, we round up the best ones to date.

Tourism Ireland’s 77-metre tapestry


Good enough to adorn the walls of the Red Keep

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more imaginative and well-executed campaign than Tourism Ireland’s  77-metre long, Bayeux-style tapestry featuring key Game of Thrones scenes.

Devised by Publicis London to promote Northern Ireland as a set location for the series, the final tapestry will be woven at Tomas Ferguson’s – one of the last surviving linen mills in the country.

A new section of tapestry will be revealed each week to coincide with the latest episode. Posts on social media by Tourism Ireland direct fans to the full tapestry hosted online as interactive content – always appreciated here at JBH.


HBO’s Melting Ice Reveal                                                                                             

HBO Block of Ice

HBO went all out this year, ramping up its GoT marketing activity to fever pitch. There were ‘winterizing’ social clues and games on Twitter, Google and Reddit, Snapchat filters and White Walkers scaring the bejeezus out of tourists at a number of British landmarks. And let’s not forget the ice.

Back in March, the broadcaster put out a Facebook Live broadcast featuring a block of ice, which slowly melted away to reveal the season 7 premier date. Very slowly. Despite attracting 162,000 viewers, it lasted a whopping 69 minutes and was interrupted twice even then.


KFC: ‘Lunchtime is Coming’


Capitalising on the run-up to Season 7, fast-food giant KFC had some fun with one beloved character.

The advert ‘Lunchtime is Coming’ shows a KFC employee, played by actor Kristian Nairn in character as Hodor, waiting for a stream of overly eager patrons to storm the restaurant with their lunch orders.

Overwhelmed by hearing the same “chicken and fries” order, Hodor keeps repeating the same phrase as he is wont to do. Eventually, in his flustered state, he gets confused and says “chicken and rice” instead, thus unveiling KFC’s new product.

Duolingo High Valyrian Course

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Daenerys needs friends to speak High Valyrian with – it could be you!

 To coincide with the launch of Season 7, popular language-learning app Duolingo has launched a course in High Valyrian. Delivered in the same way as any other language course, the High Valyrian course teaches users the basics and nuances of the language spoken by Daenerys Targaryen in handy bitesize chunks.

As the last of the Targaryens and the last living descendant of Old Valyria, Daenerys is the only character to use High Valyrian on the show – with other characters using regional, less formal dialects

High Valyrian was developed by Game of Thrones language specialist David J. Peterson, with the grammar constructed around the two key phrases used in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series: “Valar Dohaeris” (“All men must serve”) and of course, “Valar Morghulis” (“All men must die”). Peterson also constructed the entire Dothraki language used in the show as well as a number of other key dialects.

In the run-up to the course being made available on Duolingo, the app published a message from Peterson – simply, “Valyrio Māzis”. Translation? “Valyrian is coming.”

Blinkbox’s 40-foot dragon skull

Dragon Skull

Many dinosaur fossils have been found on Chartmouth beach over the years. Lying on the Jurassic Coast, the natural beauty of the area gives it the appearance of something straight out of Game of Thrones, which proved handy back in 2013 when a giant dragon skull washed up on the beach. Or did it? Nahhhh, the highly-realistic, 40-foot dragon skull was an impressive PR stunt from Blinkbox (now Talk Talk TV) to promote the third season of the show. The story got worldwide coverage – a simple idea, brilliantly executed.


Viking ‘Spoiler Alert’ stickers


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True to form, stationery company Viking came up with a practical, paper-based solution to a common office problem back in 2014. Picture the scene: you’re sitting at your desk, absent-mindedly entering gibberish on a spreadsheet, thinking about the lovely evening you have planned in front of the TV when the unthinkable happens. You overhear your colleagues talking about Robb Stark being stabbed to death by the Freys and the Boltons. But you’ve only just you’ve only just seen him crowned King in the North! Oh, the humanity. By allowing you to silently communicate exactly where you are in the series,  Viking’s “Spoiler Alert” stickers allow fans to keep their office spoiler-free. A light, funny idea that shows just how much one TV show is having an impact on everyday life.

As GoT campaigns get ever more innovative – we look forward to see what brands will do with our favourite show next year for its eighth and final season.