#whatsitallabout?

By Christina Williamson, Marketing Communications Coordinator

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The humble hashtag has certainly come a long way since its retro beginnings in the 1970’s. The symbol was originally used in Information Technology to highlight special meanings and to denote immediate address mode in the assembly language of the PDP-11 (which is geek-speak for what you and I might call “machine language”).

Today, the hashtag spends most of its time on social media, where it functions as a kind of ad hoc, unmoderated discussion forum. By simply attaching a hashtag to the beginning of any word or combination of characters, #heypresto – you can create a ‘tag’. If you are really clever (perhaps a little lucky too), and manage to successfully promote your hashtag to the world, then you will achieve the hashtag holy grail of ‘trending’.

This means you have attracted more social media users with the brilliant use of your hashtagging skills. These users have hopped on board with your discussion or statement, and added in their own comments, thoughts and feelings, and have probably re-shared your message over and over, #genius.

The hashtag spends a lot of its time hanging out on Twitter. Their relationship started way back in 2007 where they were first spotted together with #sandiegofire, which was used to inform people worldwide about the California bushfires. Their friendship continues to be extremely popular today thanks the hashtag’s various uses, which include being a search tool, the creator of communities, a highlighter of an opinion or thought, and a way to deliver a simple message to the world.

Hashtags have also become popular with Instagram, and more recently on Facebook. Facebook finally jumped on the hashtag bandwagon last year when it announced it would introduce them to make it easier for users to search for content. It also means that there will now be greater integration between the ‘big three’ (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), as users can now see, react and share a hashtag that originates in any one of these social media sites without limitations.

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So what about the future of hashtags, I hear you ask? Well it seems that they aren’t going anywhere soon. Currently, there are 18 huge online platforms that support them including Google+, YouTube, Kickstarter and Tumblr. Global companies like Amazon still see a lot of potential with this little symbol, with plans to give customers the option to buy using Twitter hashtags, namely #amazonbasket. Even a new social phenomenon coined “hashtag activism” has emerged from campaigns such as #nomakeupselfie and #bringbackourgirls, which have helped many fight and support a cause globally through social media.

It appears that the hashtag is definitely here to stay for awhile, thanks to its ability to change and evolve with today’s ever growing social media world #justthebeginning.

 

References

http://twitter.about.com/od/Twitter-Hashtags/a/The-History-Of-Hashtags.htm

http://www.techopedia.com/definition/29047/hashtag-activism

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/disciplines/ecommerce/news/amazon-customers-given-option-to-buy-using-twitter-hashtags/4010389.article

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/facebook-introduces-hashtags/4007038.article

 

WHEN I DIE, PLEASE GIVE THIS LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER…

By Nicolle Jenkins, Managing Director

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Nicolle and her daughters Hannah (left) and Ava (right).

I know this sounds incredibly fatalistic and morbid of me, but I have written a letter to my daughters, just in case I should die.

I am not dying, thankfully I am healthy and happy.

My mother died when I was seven and because of this I feel like I have grown up with a gap of understanding.  Sometimes it feels like half of me is missing.  Since having daughters of my own, my mortality, and its affect on them, hit me hard.  I don’t want my daughters to grow up not really knowing me, even if I die of old age.  I want a book to write my thoughts, dreams, stories and memories.  To collate and display precious photos with explanations.  To write about watching my daughter’s life journey unfold. I wanted something they could keep and read and maybe understand me a little more.

As I talked about this with my friends I realised they wanted the same.  So two years later we have the Me & You Book.  A legacy book for mothers to write a keepsake journal for their daughters.  To talk about the things we don’t have time to talk about.  To remember the funny stories along the way.  To share our tears and heartache.  To show our love for them is undying.  To ensure our daughters have us forever in this book, no matter what happens.

I don’t think this is morbid.  I wish I had a letter and a book like this from my mother.  I am going to do things differently with my girls.

To my daughter, Hannah

You are incredibly special to me, so I’ve written this legacy about me and you.  It celebrates my memories of you and the special people, places and events that have shaped your life.In your hands you hold a precious gift from me.

This family heirloom will also uncover more about your heritage, your nanny and poppy, grandparents, and of course more about me, daddy and Ava.  You have these memories, stories and hopes in my handwriting.  These words show how treasured you are to your family.

This book allows you to take a trip down memory lane.  Whenever you want to whisk yourself away to another time and place and be with me, you can.  You now have a record of our life together, specially for you.  This journal is filled with love.  As some things in life can fade, know that through this book, our memories and our love will never fade – it is with you forever.

You are my shining star, with an abundance of individual gifts and talents.  You have a generous, caring nature full of kindness and laughter.  You are sensitive (I love that) and want to understand the detail of how things tick.  I love every moment of our journey together.  You and Ava are my greatest success.

My only advice is to listen to yourself.  Follow your heart and mind, combined there is no greater strength.  Your life is filled with opportunity and choice.  You can be and do whatever you want.  Know whatever you chose, my only wish for you, is you live your life with inner strength, happiness and an abundance of love.

It is hard to describe the kind of love I have for you, my daughter.  This book shares the joys, tears, laughter and love you have brought to my life.

This is the way I can be with you forever and how I can show the depth of my love for you. 

You are part of my heart.  I will watch over and love you – always.

Love your Mum

xx

Note: Check out Nicolle’s labour of love, her book Me & You. Created for mother’s to share their legacy, dreams and hopes for their daughters.

Top Graduate Tips

By Liz Lyons, Marketing Communications Coordinator

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As someone who still classifies themselves as a fairly recent graduate (I finished uni in 2012) this is a topic that is very close to my heart. It is also an incredibly relevant topic, given that recent figures are putting the jobless rate in Western Australia at pre-boom levels. With the pool of jobs available slimming, the preparation you do as a graduate is even more vital.

Before I get into this, a quick digression into my personal journey and I how I ended up working at The Hub.

I was mid-way through my third year of my communications degree at UWA and was keen to get some work experience under my belt. I was already working in retail, promotions and at UWA in the Department of Development and Alumni Relations. Having realised that marketing and public relations was where my interest lay, I started having a look round to see who offered these kinds of services.

My first destination was Seek. I figured that if an agency was looking for paid employees, they may be more likely to embrace the idea of me volunteering my time. Serendipitously, The Hub’s advertisement for a PR Manager was the first thing I saw. Their branding was eye catching and I was quick to jump on their website to suss them out further.

Liking what I saw, I emailed Nic to express my interest in an internship and attached a copy of my CV. We arranged an interview for later that week.

I arrived at my interview having thoroughly researched The Hub and with dot points floating around in my head regarding why I wanted to work there, my strengths/weaknesses and prior experience. My interview went well and I was offered an internship position shortly after.

Six weeks into my internship Nic approached me about a full time, paid position that had become available for the following year. I was interviewed for this role and was fortunate enough to be selected as the successful candidate. My internship wrapped up in December 2012 and I commenced full time work at The Hub in January 2013.

Whilst I was incredibly fortunate to land a job straight out of uni, there was a lot of work and preparation that went into this. With my experiences, and those of my peers, still fresh in my mind I present Liz’s graduate tips – from one recent graduate to another!

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Volunteer for work experience. Not only is volunteering a fulfilling experience that looks good on your CV, but it is also a great way to meet people and learn new things.  Who you know can certainly help, and volunteering with an organisation that you are passionate about is a great way to start.

Not-for-profit organisations generally don’t have large budgets for marketing. They will be more open to the idea of taking you on as a volunteer and are great places to learn the ropes and participate in some really cool initiatives while you’re still a student.

Volunteering shows that you have an interest in your local community, are motivated and is a great way to start with an organisation – sometimes leading to paid work down the track.

Make the most of your surroundings. It’s important to get the most out of your university experience. While it’s easy to get into the habit of simply fulfilling the mandatory requirements, you pay a lot for the privilege of being there – so you may as well get the most out of it! Introduce yourself to your lecturers and tutors. If you build relationships with them and show you are passionate they may be able to help you. Plus, you will be at the top of their mind when businesses approach them looking for graduates.

It may sound painfully obvious but be sure to read your emails. Your university inbox is awash with invitations to cool events, volunteer opportunities and guest speaker events. Keep abreast of what is happening on campus and you could spot a potential opportunity!

Be creative. With such an active social media landscape, there are an abundance of opportunities for you to craft a creative online presence. This may take the form of an engaging blog, a quirky Instagram page or a beautiful Tumblr. This shows that you are proactive and able to engage with the social media world beyond  personal purposes. Showcase your skills and include your pages on your CV!

That said, be aware of the image you are projecting. Be sure to keep your content appropriate across all platforms and ensure there’s nothing there that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

Practise writing. The ability to write, and to write well, is a skill that will never go out of fashion. The best way to improve your written word? Practise, practise, practise!

Reading is also a great way to perfect this skill. Not only does it keep your brain cells buzzing, but reading, and staying across news and current affairs is imperative for our industry. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a meeting where you have no clue about what is being discussed.

Research. Before you go crazy applying for internships and jobs, it pays to do your research. Have a think about the kind of business you want to work for and the kind of clients you want to work with. Become acquainted with businesses you are interested in, their websites, their clients and the sort of projects they undertake. Prior to your interview, ensure that you have an answer to the question of “Why do you want to work here?”

Not only will you end up working somewhere you’ll enjoy (hopefully!), but you will be armed with lots of information about your prospective workplace (and their competitors!).

Love is in the air

By Amber Gorrie, Public Relations Manager

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Cupid has come out to play again, so what better time to talk about love. More specifically the things we’re loving right now.

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February is a big month in the world of advertising. Why? Because it’s Super Bowl time in the States and the world’s conglomerates spend big bucks on commercials to run during the game. One of our favourites was Bud Light’s Up for Whatever commercial. I think every advertising agency wishes they could secure Arnold Schwarznegger to don a bad wig and play table tennis against an unsuspecting person. Check it out here.

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Locally, as a PR professional, I was particularly fond of SHEDcsc’s clever PR stunt to promote Adventure World’s latest ride, the Abyss. The stunt involved fresh packs of clean white underpants and a vending machine. The concept is genius and needs to be seen to be appreciated. I wonder if any of our clients would be up for something crazy like this. If you’re up for it, make sure you drop us a line.

Adventure World certainly pulled out all the stops to promote their $12 million attraction. A number of campaign tactics have had Western Australia’s media talking, which is what you want. The Abyss even has its own website and Facebook page – big points for consistent branding! The ride is the largest investment in the park in its 30 year history and it appears to be paying off. The latest PR stunt definitely got the Hubsters excited, we can’t wait to test the ride touted as Australia’s most thrilling rollercoaster.

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Moving onto important material things… Anyone who has been to our office knows we love some online shopping – we’re on a first name basis with our postie, Andrea. This month the entire office purchased this little gadget – the vegetable spiral splicer. It’s one of the great things about working at The Hub. We love similar things – our jobs, shopping, healthy eating and so on.

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Some of the Hubsters moonlight as foodie chefs and we’re all health conscious, so this guy got us very excited. It’s definitely made cooking some dishes easier (goodbye mind numbing chopping) and it’s so reasonably priced. I can’t wait to create this dish with mine.

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On a more cultural note, many of us have been enjoying the delights the Perth Fringe Festival has to offer. I really loved chilling out and enjoying a beverage at the Perth Cultural Centre. Unfortunately, the festival is coming to a close this month but we have the Perth International Arts Festival and Chevron Festival Gardens, which continues the festival vibe. This year’s Festival Garden celebration event has been created by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller and looks amazing – it’s a bouncing Stonehenge titled Sacrilege. So if you’re young or young at heart, grab someone and take them for a bounce!

Both festivals market themselves amazingly. We’ll certainly use elements from these campaigns as inspiration when brainstorming ideas for our clients. Watch this space to see what we come up with!

Marketing Communications Trends for 2014

By Chevon Brooks, Senior Marketing Communications ManagerHUB_Blog_Image_Jan2014_v3

With the end of a busy and exciting 2013, comes the start of a fresh, dynamic and changing 2014. Every year, new technology, themes and trends make their way into the marketing communications arena. Here are some marketing communications trends to watch out for in 2014.

Social media will move from being ‘nice to have’ to becoming a business necessity. It is suggested that Google+ will forge ahead for its power as a social networking tool as well as SEO device for online marketing. Market research will also turn its attention towards social media marketing as well as mobile applications.

Content marketing will continue to grow as a link between brand and customers. The focus will be on creating valuable, targeted and highly personalised branded content, and experiences, for a variety of channels. Video content will be integral for online content marketing. Digital communications will focus on customer retention, reaching beyond audiences to engaged individuals.

Public relations teams will need to develop strategies that integrate the four types of media – paid, earned, shared and owned – as well as consider and manage negative end-user backlash from uninteresting, ‘spammy’ content. Another trend continuing from 2013 is the rise of citizen, or participatory, journalism reducing the emphasis on traditional media channels such as radio and television being replaced by online blogs. Traditional media has embraced the emergence and now educates viewers on how to best get content on their behalf. Tip: hold your phone landscape to capture the best footage!

Graphic design colour trends will see focus on earth and science incorporating rich and intense colours, as well as shades that are inspired by the technology. Most importantly, the Pantone Colour of the Year is Radiant Orchid, reference number 18-3224 (as seen in the graphic above).

Web Development will be simplified this year with the reversion to flat design to assist in streamlining user interface by use of solid colour, simplified typography, and no shadows, gradients or bevels. Single page websites will simplify content further and prevent users from having to navigate through complex page set ups. Website responsiveness will overtake mobile sites, ensuring websites can be viewed on diverse screen sizes and at various resolutions.

The Hub team like to keep up to date with the latest marketing communications trends to enable us to integrate them into fresh, innovative strategies for our clients. If you would like any more information on our services, please visit our website.

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