Tuesday, 20 September 2011

#FrostSorrell - It's Frost-Sorrell the TV show!

Every quarter at MEC the whole UK office gathers for a company meeting usually in a venue near the Southbank or London Bridge area. These quarterly meetings or MEC In Motion as they are better known are a way for the management board to keep MEC employees up to date with the company's development and progression. Each MEC In Motion tries to offer something different usually with the help of a guest speaker. However the latest company meeting saw the bar being raised to Olympic standards as we found out what our latest MEC In Motion would entail:
Jonathon Ross' ITV Studio set

On Friday 16th September the whole of MEC London made their way to the new set of the Jonathan Ross show at ITV studios. MEC Access made media history when they arranged and co-ordinated a live stream event featuring Sir David Frost, the ultimate TV presenting legend and the media industry's most successful business mogul Sir Martin Sorrell. To give the event an even bigger profile, ITV went on to film the whole interview whilst simultaneously live streaming it to MEC's global offices in 84 different countries. MEC employees all over the world were able to submit questions for Sir Martin through MEC's global twitter profile @MECideas while MEC London sat in the studio. This was an impressive example of active engagement - successfully demonstrating how a global audience can participate in live events through the possibilities of live-stream technology and social media.

I knew this event would probably be a once in a lifetime opportunity so I thought it would be great to obtain some exclusive content for my blog. After speaking to MEC Head of Branded Content Chantal Rickards I managed to get myself backstage and into the green room where I met Sir David and Sir Martin. After a congratulatory toast to celebrate the success of the afternoon I put on my journalist hat and asked the WPP Chief a quick-fire question:
Me interviewing Sir Martin Sorrell in the ITV green room

Me: "Google and Facebook are constantly in the news as they try to compete against each other. If you had to put a bet on who would win the race for media domination who would it be?
Sir Martin: "Interestingly in relation to your question, it was stated in the news earlier that Facebook missed its first half nationals...and Google + maybe starting to get some traction or relative traction... I wouldn't bet on either or against one another but it's just interesting that we're seeing maybe, Facebook coming under much more intense competition with Google +....but Facebook is obviously very powerful, it's the second or third biggest nation on the planet... so it's not to be underestimated but there's more competition for Facebook and vice versa there's more competition for Google..."

Although my time speaking to Sir Martin fell short of what I had anticipated, it was interesting to hear his thoughts about the two rivalling media giants. During his interview with Frost, he went on to say that the medium has become more important than the message - although I beg to differ especially in light of the economic downturn where we have seen more and more brands focus on customer value in their messaging - (e.g. M&S £10 dine in for two).

Other key notes from his overall interview with Sir David Frost revealed how his best piece of advice was not to have one piece of advice and to have someone they can talk to who doesn't have an agenda. Sir Martin went on to state that to excel in this industry you need persistence, quoting Saatchi & Saatchi's mantra "nothing's is impossible" which he said should be applied to every aspect of life.

To conclude, the day was a great success and a huge thank you goes out to everyone who contributed to the afternoon including Sir David Frost, Sir Martin Sorrell, the MEC Access and MEC Social Media team, and a special thank you to Chantal Rickards who was the brains and coordinator behind the whole event!

See below for a few of my favourite tweets from the day with the help of James Caig's Storify post http://storify.com/jamescaig/frostsorrell-with-mec

"MEC company meeting at ITV studios! David Frost is interviewing our very own WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell, live & aired to 82 offices across the world. No pressure.. @MECideas #FrostSorrell"

"We’re live, Sir David Frost is warming up the audience with some anecdotes before his guest arrives! #FrostSorrell"

"Sir David Frost, Jonathan Ross' telly show set and a company meeting? Yes please"
"Sorrell: 'I do have an iPod, but my iPad and my Kindle are my favorite tools that keep me in touch with the world#FrostSorrell"

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Instagram - Visual Joy In An Instant

Instagram has become one of the most successful photo sharing apps on the iphone. The founders of the app say that 'Instagram came from the inspiration—could we make sharing your life as instant and magical as those first Polaroid pictures must have felt?'
I remember getting my first camera when I was young which was non other than the Spice Girls polaroid camera. The joy of taking photos and the ability to instantly develop and show them to others was a great phenomenon and it was because of this my fascination with photography began.

Instagram launched just under a year ago and within 9 months of launch it had 150 million photo uploads with over 7 million global users. That's 15 photos per second and around 1.3 million photos a day. Pretty impressive for such a young company. After witnessing a friend's great satisfaction with the app I recently joined the Instagram bandwagon and have used it everyday since. I love the photographic filters that Instagram lets users apply to photos, making shots look professional and artistic. Who needs Photoshop?
In addition the functionality to let users instantly share photos to their profile is a key draw as you can simultaneously upload straight to social media favourites Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
Similar to when friends on Facebook 'Like' a comment, status or photo, Instagram users can 'Like' your photos, leave comments and follow your photos. It's always satisfying when a user 'Likes' your photo. As an amateur, this seal of approval feels like a small sense of achievement similar to when my teachers at school used to compliment my artwork and grade my paintings with an A*. Ok, so I'm naturally gifted at art but that's the joy of Instagram - it enables even the most creatively challenged to be artistic.

Like most social media and new technology it is never long before brands begin to experiment and implement them into their communication strategy. After all, brands need to associate themselves with applications and platforms which resonate and excite their consumers. Not only does it gives them a point of difference to other brands but it also helps consumers decide if a brand is worth following or supporting.
It also offers a way for brands to generate and share visual content with existing fans and attract new ones via its search and browse feature.
Because of Instagrams's #hashtag and geotag functionality brands can easily use the app for photo sharing promotions and competitions.Users just have to add the brand #hashtag to their photo. Jamie Oliver uses Instagram to upload and share photos of his dishes and ABC News demonstrates the age old saying 'pictures speak a thousand words' by uploading photos to share the main news headlines.
At present Instagram is only available on iphones, ipads and ipod touch, so inevitably the photo sharing app is likely to soar when it becomes available on Android. This will undoubtedly provoke more and more brands to use the app for consumer engagement - where consumers are, brands will follow!

Overall I can't think of anything negative to say about Instagram and I will continue  to use the app in the hope that my photographic efforts will inspire others to start snapping away. The fun never stops!

If you haven't already, download Instagram from the Apple App store and follow my photo journey on Instagram @laurrobbo

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com