Marketing

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10 Tips from Speaking to a Journalist

Recently, I had the opportunity to head to London to meet with Simon Neville, City Editor at the Press Association. As many PRs are in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of the newsroom, any opportunity for gaining inside insight is always welcome. Simon was there to answer the pressing questions we have when it comes to press – is there a perfect time of day to pitch? And what do journalists think of follow-ups?

Follow these quick tips when it comes to working with journalists.

1. Add Value

How does your story add value to the journalist or their readers? Many companies are happy to offer an opinion but tend to regurgitate what’s already been said. Some datasets have very little to say. Is the data you’re offering actually interesting, or is it only interesting to your client? Ask why – why would a journalist want this?

2. Journalists are Busy 

Your average journalist will get around three hundred new pitches a day. Simon described his role as spinning plates ten plates at once. Because of this, it’s easy for your pitch to get buried. Make sure you stand out with an engaging subject line.

3. Pitch Early 

Press Association have two people in from 7am checking for unusual pitches, and these days, newsrooms are opening earlier and earlier to get a head-start on the competition. It can help to get your story in before 9am. Mornings are key for coverage too, as many journalists are out or in meetings during the afternoon.

4. Get to the Point

Journalists are in a rush. Your subject line needs to be snappy, and they need to know what your pitch is about almost instantly. Keep things brief.

5. Speed Counts

You have to be available, because journalists work fast. If a journalist follows up asking for clarification on your data, a slow response could mean losing the story. If you don’t reply in time they’ll just move back down their pitches until they find someone who will.

6. Do THEIR Research 

With so many pitches and plates in the air, most journalists don’t have the time to do research. This can be a good opportunity for getting coverage. So for example, if you have a property client and the government releases data on new home builds by region, can you read the research on behalf of your client and pull out some key findings for the press? They’ll welcome someone doing the legwork for them.

7. Pictures Are Important 

Spend enough time reading retail stories and you’ll see the same header image on all of them. Journalists are hungry for imagery and often rely on the same handful of stock-photos to get by. If your client has a bank of original images, it might be worth sending them on – an image credit can still provide a link.

8. Comparisons are Key

One data set can be boring – compare two and you’re more likely to get a journalist’s attention.

9. Go Regional 

An extension of ‘Comparisons are Key,’ go even broader by breaking your data down by region. Gives you more journalists to contact too!

10. Always, Apply the Pub Test

Test your ideas with something called ‘the pub test.’ How do you do it? Easy – if the subject is something you’d happily discuss in the pub with your mates, it’s probably got legs for a story. If you wouldn’t, then maybe it’s not interesting enough?

Of course, not all journalists are the same. What are your pro-tips for working with press? 

536 391 Jane Hunt

International Women’s Day: Celebrating British Women in Our Industry

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, political and cultural successes of women around the world. Join us as we shine the spotlight on seven British women pushing boundaries and bossing it in content marketing and other creative industries.

The Visionary
Kate Moross

Kate Moross

Creative Director and graphic designer at Studio Moross. Kate Moross is London born and bred. Since winning Creative Review’s Creative Future award back in 2007, Moross has become one of the most sought after collaborators in the design world. A multi-tasking illustrator, art director, designer and now public speaker she is known for her trademark energetic and arresting creative style – cool typography, striking illustrations and gratuitous squiggles. In the words of her team, “She pretty much is colour.” Today Moross oversees creative ranging from album and magazine covers to festival lanyards, video content and even tour visuals for One Direction. She has revealed she is inspired by everyday objects: sweet packaging, dogs, pizza, trainers – even London bus drivers.
 
Fun Fact: She previously designed bus and tube map holders for Transport for London.
 
Website | Twitter


The Dame
Dame Cilla Snowball

Dame Cilla Snowball

Group chairman and CEO of Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV) BBDO and all-round good egg, Dame Cilla was recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year for her services to advertising, diversity and equality. Having joined the agency as the first new business director in 1992 she now oversees AMV BBDO, Proximity and Redwood. Snowball is one of the leading advocates for gender equality in the industry, having set up a programme within holding group Omnicom to increase the number, seniority and influence of women within the business – Omniwomen. Proving the programme’s success, last year Omnicom UK announced that 48% of its senior leadership is now female.
 
Fun Fact: The mother of three was also the first female chairman of the Advertising Association in 2012 and also chairs the Women’s Business Council.
 
LinkedIn | Twitter


The Activist
Ade Onilude

International Women's Day
Founder and CEO of Women in Marketing (WiM), Ade Onilude is passionate about challenging gender norms and is an advocate of the global economic empowerment of women. After becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ade Onilude joined the London board as a volunteer. She was appointed Chair of CIMCOM, the CIM marketing communications forum – a role which saw her liaising with professional bodies from PR, advertising and design. Onilude identified the need for what is now the WiM forum – a space to “inspire, connect, encourage female marketers.” The first WiM was launched in March 2004, to coincide with International Women’s Day. Today WiM have an annual awards ceremony to honour women in the industry.
 
Fun Fact: She used to have a successful modelling career!
 
Website | Twitter


The Boss
Catherine Maskell

International Women's DayFormer head of global marketing at REED, Catherine Maskell was appointed managing director of the Content Marketing Association in 2017. As managing director of the trade body for the content marketing industry, Maskell is passionate about bringing agencies and brands together to create better content and keep the industry moving forward. Her role as managing director at the CMA has seen her present the prestigious CMA International Content Marketing Awards – awards that she won herself back in 2015 while heading up marketing at REED. Described by former team members as “inspirational and supportive,” Maskell is a natural leader and is already shaking things up in the content marketing industry.
 
Fun facts: Cath is a big foodie and loves cooking for friends
 
Website | Twitter


The Rising Star
Alina Ghost

Alina Ghost

As an SEO manager and trailblazer in SEO-lead content, Alina Ghost was named as the industry’s Rising Star at the Performance Marketing Awards. Ghost has worked for a number of high-profile brands including Tesco and now Amara Living. With a love of data, she cemented her expertise and passion for marketing at the University of Essex. In 2016 she created a business recommendation for Tesco’s first ever SEO-driven proposition. Using data to segment customers as well as content curation, Ghost has said that the biggest achievement was seeing the project come to life after creating the concept herself.
 
Fun Fact: She also has her own award-winning lifestyle blog and owns a pet tortoise.
 
LinkedIn | Twitter


The Guru
Bryony Thomas

Bryony Thomas

One of the UK’s pre-eminent marketing speakers and best-selling author of Watertight Marketing, Bryony Thomas first began her journey towards publishing her popular book in 2008. Thomas works with businesses around the UK to deliver 12-month marketing programmes and give businesses a clear marketing structure. A must-read for all small businesses, Watertight Marketing also won the National Indie Excellence Book Award back in 2014. Also a mum, Thomas worked for clients including Dell and Microsoft before moving to FTSE 100 company Experian, where she was appointed director of marketing.
 
Fun Fact: She loves a strong cup of tea and a pink wafer.
 
Website | Twitter


The Genius
Jo Franchetti

Jo Franchetti

A front-end web developer and all-round code genius, Jo Franchetti works for Samsung Internet and is the organiser of Codebar events. Dedicated to making the tech and web world more inclusive, Franchetti has dreamed of being an inventor since she was a little girl. She started her career building websites for people and gradually built up a strong portfolio bursting with projects big and small for agencies, brands and charities. To date her favourite project has been on an online counselling and mentoring system for children who are victims of bullying. Self-taught in web development, she now talks and runs industry meetings to help young developers get started in the industry.
 
Fun Fact: She graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering but decided not to pursue a career in the subject.
 
Website

Happy International Women’s Day! To see how the women at JBH are #BossingIt, take a look at what I get up to! Now off to sacrifice a virgin to Beyonce …

Content Marketing 2018
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3 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing Fitness in 2018

Have you promised yourself that this year will be the year you drag yourself off the metaphorical sofa and transform your content marketing strategy?

 

The behemoth of the digital world, content marketing promises to boost exposure, build stronger identities and get customers on your side – provided your strategy is fighting fit.

For sluggish marketers, 2018 represents a clean slate – the opportunity to start afresh. Whether you’re taking advantage of new trends or launching fresh influencer campaigns, the possibilities are endless.

Yet it’s worth noting that it’s not always necessary to change everything. When campaigns don’t go your way it’s easy to feel drained or disillusioned. If you’re still struggling to get going, reap rewards and/or maximise the potential of your ideas, here are three surefire ways to improve your content marketing fitness in 2018.

 

Think twice about the quality vs. quantity debate

 Quality is more important than quantity…we all know that, right? But what about the frequency of your content marketing activity?

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of the most successful B2B marketers always or frequently deliver content consistently, compared to 59% of the overall sample.

A similar point is raised by Steve Rayson, director of BuzzSumo, who says that marketers must consider the maturity of a topic before deciding upon their publishing schedule. He suggests that in saturated subject areas, you should:

  • Create radically different and exceptional content
  • Discover specific niches or networks
  • Prioritise promotion and amplification
  • Simply produce more content

While quality should always take precedence, don’t forget how quantity (moreover the frequency of posting) might affect your success, especially in saturated subject areas.

 

Don’t be afraid of trial and error – embrace the experimental

With such an emphasis on quality, it’s easy to think that your content marketing efforts are never quite good enough. A lot of time, the power and potential of content marketing is elevated by letting go of this mind-set.

If you can be a bit more experimental and just throw some ideas out there, audiences are bound to respond in a positive way.

“No matter what you do or who you do it for, we all need to launch more experiments,” says Rainmaker Digital’s Sonia Simone. “To be willing to put something imperfect out there (without pretending that it’s flawless finished work).”

Sure, trial and error doesn’t seem like the most appropriate approach when budgets and objectives are on the line. But testing the waters of a thought or idea in single piece of content won’t break an entire campaign…you never know, it could be the thing that makes it.

 

Capitalise on the power of (your own) research

What informs your content marketing the most? In all likelihood, you’ll conduct a fair bit of research online and use the findings that your generous peers have so willingly collected. However, a lot can be said for conducting this research yourself.

Once again, we turn our attention to those fine folks at the Content Marketing Institute. Earlier this year, in partnership with SmartBrief, a research initiative was launched about the B2B buying process and the types of content that influences this audience.

It found that 74 per cent of B2B buyers consider original research to be influential in the buying process, second only to peer recommendations.

For this reason, you can’t estimate the power of original research, fresh ideas, and unique insights that get to the heart of your audience’s biggest desires.

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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

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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’

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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.

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Supermarket Summer Content 2017

Six supermarket chains, six takes on sizzling summer content. We have a nose at the social feeds of the UK’s biggest supermarkets to find out which marketing teams are getting it right this year. 

 

Marks & Spencer 

Sticking with the signature style that has been working for the brand for the best part of a decade, M&S lets its food do the talking in the latest #SpendItWell ad. With close-up shots of its sumptuous food and evocative imagery of the Mediterranean and Middle-East, the video says all you need to know about summer at M&S  – it’s going to be stylish and delicious.

Elsewhere on its social feeds, M&S has focused on Father’s Day, the Chelsea Flower Show and its inspiring ‘Make it Matter Day’ campaign.

Asda

People and family life are key to Asda’s brand messaging – a truth that shines through as plainly in the brand’s social activity as it does in its no-nonsense summer fun advertising. Asda does a great job of reaching out to its audience and keeping them engaged with human interest stories, ideas and interactive content. As well as pics of its watermelon bed linen and recipe ideas telling you what to do with its bumper packs of strawberries, there’s plenty of feel-good content connecting Asda as a brand with the people who work and shop there – like Rita and Stan and their friends at the Ashton-under-Lyne store.

Add to this pugs, GIFs, competitions and lots of weird garden gnomes and you’ve got a great mix of summer content. Asda’s customer service and attention shows in the comments feed – the praise and encouragement from its engaged audience far outweighs the criticism which seems to be the norm on supermarket’s social feeds.

Waitrose

As always, Waitrose’s summer content maintains its focus on its premium, responsibly-sourced ingredients. (Cracked black) peppered with occasional HD drone footage of free-range chickens roaming free and watercress being harvested, the brands social content mostly features mouthwatering recipe videos. People feature rarely in Waitrose content, the emphasis is always on the food itself. Everything looks clean and restrained and the high production values perfectly reflect the quality of the brand and its produce. Those who are looking for more human interest and offbeat humour could head over to satiric Facebook feed “Overheard in Waitrose,” where people frequently post gems like: “Daddy, does Lego have a silent ‘t’, like merlot?” and “Simon, don’t get the basic houmous, you’ll make a laughing stock of me.’

 

 

 

Tesco

Launched back in January, Tesco’s ‘Food Love Stories’ signifies a move away from promoting brands and products towards a focus on the quality and care that goes into the meals prepared by its customers. According to Marketing Week, Rather than being a short-lived campaign, it is intended to be a “platform Tesco plans to use in the long term.” The meals change season by season, “depending on the mindset of the customer.”

With wholesome recipes, tips and summer twists on the “Love Food Stories” campaign popping up everywhere, Tesco’s sun-drenched social feed is uplifting and inspiring. By telling stories and making its marketing all about people, Tesco’s change of direction has seen it become less big brand, more big family.

Sainsbury’s 

 

 

Simple and effective, Sainsbury’s current #LivingWell campaign is focused on not just eating healthy food – but enjoying it. Zesty and colourful with a great humorous tone of voice, Sainsbury’s social accounts are packed with ideas and inspiration for those lighter meals we’re more inclined to eat when the sun is shining.

 

 

After years of working with health crusader Jamie Oliver, Sainsbury’s posts stand out for featuring a mix of kid-friendly, veggie, vegan and gluten-free meals as well as global-inspired food, shoppable fashion and stylish homeware.

Morrisons

Taking a simple, honest approach to its social strategy, Morrisons largely uses its social feed to showcase its offers and products, but also offers its followers no-fuss recipes, entertaining blog posts and plenty of competitions. While most of the summer content currently on the brand’s Facebook page is promotional relating to barbeque food and drink, Morrisons is particularly good at engaging with its followers, the header image on its Facebook page advertises ‘our social team are available every day from 8am to 11pm’. It also deserve an honourable mention for its wholehearted approach to Father’s Day.

 

 

The winner?

It’s hard to say which supermarket is doing the best job with its summer content marketing – each seems to have nailed the approach that aligns best with what we know about their business objectives and brand values. If we had to pick we’d go for Asda; the brand’s frequent posts, quirky tone of voice and innovative use of interactive and feel-good content has its loyal and engaged audience singing its praises.

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Super Bowl Ad Spending: Is it Worth it?

One of the greatest sporting events on the planet, the Super Bowl brings in 110 million viewers every year – as well as billions in consumer spending.

Back in 1967, the total ad spending for Super Bowl I was around $7 million. 51 years later, total investment stands at a record-breaking $2.042 billion.

The Big Game is big business. But just how much are brands spending on Super Bowl advertising? What’s their ROI? And is the expense worth it?

We take a closer look at Super Bowl ad spending and replay some classic commercial touchdowns and fumbles.

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Build Your Own Brand Community

Help your people find their people.

Send a James Bay fan into a mosh pit and you’ll probably kill him (or at least give him a fat dose of PTSD). Send in a metalhead and he’ll be overcome with a warm, fuzzy sense of belonging.

We all belong in different places, with different people.

Consumers want to have meaningful relationships with the brands they buy from. Establishing a genuine connection with your target market means giving them a space where they can come together around shared values.

The past couple of years have seen plenty of brands experimenting with communities with varying degrees of success. Brands who do manage to build communities where their customers can enjoy exclusivity and engagement are reaping the rewards.

 

1

Brand communities embrace a certain ethos or ideology shared by each and every member. Think carefully about what unites your audience. Here are some key points to consider.

– Who are they? Think age, gender and geography.

– What industries do they work in?

– What do they care about? For obvious reasons this is the most important one. What is their political stance? Their ethical position?

– How do they speak? What language do they use?

Don’t be afraid to generalise – you want to tap into the beating heart of your audience.

2

A brand community is built on the collective desire for a great product and/or a sincere service. This means you will need to put your finger on the best way for the experience of your product to be supported in a brand community environment.

Do you want your customers to share photos of the product in action? Do you want to give them a forum to discuss possible improvements? Whatever you go for, be creative, but put the wants and needs of your customers first.

3

Even the best brands receive complaints and condemnation from all sides on social media. While it can be difficult to keep ahead of criticism, a brand community should encourage criticism and deal with it with patience and good grace; consumers will be more likely to get involved if their opinion has an actual impact or influence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and let the people in your community shape your strategy.

4

Even though brand communities can generate impressive exposure and contribute to a glowing online reputation, you should let your efforts grow organically. Don’t be tempted to build your community according to a fixed plan or idea; chances are it won’t succeed. Your customers know best. Allow for new ways of thinking and allow your community to take shape in its own way.

5

 It might sound obvious, but putting your community before your brand will lead to the most rewarding results. Consumers are smarter than you think and don’t need to see content dripping with your branding to realise it’s the work of your brand. This approach will go a long way towards convincing people of your credibility.


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LEGO Ideas –

LEGO is offering its devoted following another opportunity to get creative. LEGO Ideas is a community where members can design and submit their own concepts for new sets. Projects that receive over 10,000 votes from members will be reviewed and possibly picked by LEGO to be created and sold worldwide. The creator gets final product approval, a percentage of sales revenue and is recognised on all packaging and marketing material.

 

Spotify –

By its own admission, Spotify has a lot of amazing, undiscovered artists that “need a push into the spotlight.” To increase exposure and give unknown talent that all-important break, the music streaming service constantly seeks the opinions of its customers to promote exciting new acts. Most recently, subscribers were asked to recommend their favourite artists with less than 500 followers. This simple move demonstrates that Spotify is interested in making a worthwhile contribution to the music industry, going some way to combat the negative way music streaming services are portrayed in the press.

 

Manchester City FC –

Nothing says community like standing alongside thousands of other fans in support of your favourite team. Manchester City recognised this when it made the move to overhaul its desktop and mobile websites with co-creation in mind. With the help of focus groups, user tests, prototype designs, and surveys, it knew that supporters would appreciate a mobile first, video rich experience featuring trending and relevant content. The message for fans and followers of Manchester City is that the club has its best interest at heart, both on and off the pitch.

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The State of Travel Marketing 2016

In 2015 over 1.1 billion tourists travelled abroad – a number that is expected to have increased by another 3-4% in 2016.

On the face of it, the travel industry is looking great. But with an intensely competitive market, travel marketers still face a variety of obstacles when promoting destinations and package deals.

Created in partnership with our friends at Smart Insights, our latest infographic explores the state of travel marketing 2016 – providing data on global travel spending, insights into user behaviour and an exploration of the key channels and most relevant trends for travel marketers over the next 12 months.

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