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The Serious Side of Social Media

Interdirect and independent virtual law practice Novalex Solicitors have come together to educate and inform the business community through an interesting new seminar exploring the serious side of social media.

The two firms will work in partnership to explore the legal aspects of social media and explain the benefits this tool can offer businesses.

The seminar, which will be held on Friday 9 May at The Swan in Salford, will allow you to appreciate the legal elements involved in social media and understand the rules around misuse, as well as helping you to manage employees’ use of social media. In addition, advice will be given on how to make the most of your social media output through clear best practice principles.

“This partnership offers our city’s businesses a fantastic opportunity to learn new things”, says director of Novalex Solicitors Karen Mason. “Anyone using social media needs to know the legalities of the platform, from misuse of trademarks and hyperlinking through to defamation and posting of inappropriate content. This seminar will offer insight into these issues as well as guidance on how to manage employees’ use of social media.”

Speaking of the seminar Nicholas Mann, owner and managing director of Interdirect said: “Social media is omnipresent; it’s part of almost every business regardless of sector or size. Interdirect is excited to work with Novalex Solicitors to educate and raise awareness of best practice management of social media so that more people can move on from being anxious of it to embracing its full potential.”

The seminar will begin at 11.00am followed by a buffet lunch. Interested parties can reserve their place online at £30 for the first 10 attendees or call 0845 121 5566.

Is it Twitter or is it Facebook?

Twitter's new redesign for web profiles has hit some criticism as tweeters claim it's the spitting image of Facebook's profile pages.

The profile is being rolled out to all Twitter users in the coming weeks, with those new to Twitter adopting the redesign straight away; the recently set up Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards Twitter has already been given a makeover.

The redesign lets you use a larger profile photo, customize your header and pin tweets to the top of your feed to allow followers to read key and relevant messages before other tweets. Tweets that have received higher engagement will also appear larger in your feed with the option to filter content by tweets with photos, tweets with videos, tweets with replies etc.

Has your profile changed already? Let us know what you think by commenting below or sharing your thoughts on our Twitter feed.

 

MKBAA to Return in 2015

MKBAA to Return in 2015

It’s official; recognising and rewarding the city’s enterprise, innovation and excellence is back in business, with the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards set to become an annual event. Following the success of the inaugural ceremony organised by Interdirect and Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP). The awards will return to Milton Keynes on 12th March 2015...Nick's birthday!

More than 500 people packed The DoubleTree by Hilton at stadiummk on Thursday 20th March for a night of celebration and surprises organised by Interdirect and MKBLP, hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull.

Highlights of the glittering black tie event included the naming of elevating work platform manufacturer Niftylift Ltd as Business of the Year and a special Lifetime Achievement Award to the team principal of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team Christian Horner.

Guests were welcomed by Dr Philip Smith, chairman of MKBLP, who with Interdirect’s managing director Nicholas Mann, reinstated an annual business awards event in a city which is leading the UK out of recession and is the envy of the region.

Both Nicholas Mann and Dr Philip Smith explained how, in partnership, they had tried to do something different with the event and had succeeded, producing a fantastic night for Milton Keynes.

In his closing speech, Nicholas said: “We intend to make it even better for next year!”

The award winners were:

Interview with Features Exec

We're pleased to share that Interdirect's managing director and owner Nicholas Mann has been featured in the Features Exec Media Bulletin speaking about the benefits of PR within a full service agency, and why traditional media still matters.

What's been happening at recently at Interdiret?

Interdirect’s PR department is continuing to strengthen its client roster having extended its PR contract with the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC), and securing PR activity for the Defence Vehicle Dynamics Exhibition (DVD 2014) at Millbrook Proving Ground. Our client base has also expanded into the European market attaining an account for EEPCA; Europe’s professional body of electrical product certification.

Closer to home, we have also won an account for Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP), a not for profit business organisation, strengthening our reputation as Milton Keynes’ leading full service agency. In turn, this has led us to co-ordinate all PR activity for the first Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards, which is organised by MKBLP in partnership with Interdirect.

This has meant that the Interdirect PR team has also strengthened; we have welcomed back our PR account manager from Anne Walsh from maternity leave and Lauren Payne has joined the team as PR account executive after completing her English language degree at Aston University, which involved a year’s placement with Interdirect. We have also appointed Steve Larner as account manager and continue to work with Debbie Lamb to support the influx of PR activity.

PR agencies are now competing against a whole range of communication specialists - from social and advertising agencies, to in-house teams and freelancers. How do you stand out from the crowd to win the pitch?

Interdirect has a winning full service solution, and with our team of experts all in one place we can ensure complete cohesion across our client’s entire digital, PR and marketing goals and objectives. With a full service agency clients have just one point of contact for all of their outsourcing needs, leaving them to run their business while we raise it to its full potential.

What’s more, when an agency works together as a team on a daily basis, ideas bounce off each other that enhance a client’s brand and reflects its core messages across all communication. Having access all areas means that our clients won’t end up with disjointed campaigns, which can often happen if you spread work across several different agencies.

We believe that PR is about being able to extract the right information from the right people, and having the skills to write about a subject in a clear and interesting way, whether that’s a technical article for an electrical cables journal or a feature on current retail trends for consumer media. At Interdirect we pride ourselves on being highly skilled writers, persuasive media handlers and excellent client services managers, the perfect combination for any B2B or B2C client.

What are you three tips to building and maintaining strong relationships with journalists?

  1. Hand your story to them on a plate - make it clear what it's about, with all materials easy to access, without attachments or URLs to more information.
  2. Be personal - understand their publication and tailor your release to suit.
  3. Respect deadlines - meet their deadlines, not yours, and you'll have a greater change of having your story published now and in the future.

Click here to read the full interview or why not find out more about Interdirect's PR offering.

 

The Reality of Social Sales

The reality of social sales

Social media is well established as a tool for expanding your online presence, raising brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. The business value of social media however is still in much contention with questions being asked as to whether this increased interaction really is leading someone contacting a business and using their product or service.

Conventionally, success in the social media world is judged by engagement from relevant followers rather than how this translates into business value. Generating high engagement from content proves you have an audience interested in what you are offering, therefore your business is more likely to be front of mind when purchase decisions, for example, are being made. The user has opted in to receive your content similar to opting in to receive an email campaign and consequently a channel has been created to influence that potential customer.

The success of this engagement is perhaps more clear cut for B2C brands, with over 20% of users on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest thinking about purchasing products and researching the purchase after they had shared or favourite an item of interest on social media as this infographic from Marketing Week explains.

But is such engaging content enough to affect the decision making process in the B2B market, and is it being seen by the right people? It’s a myth that key decision makers aren’t social; more than 60% of senior executives read blogs and use social networks with a B2B focus (Google, 2014). This engaged audience have an in-depth industry knowledge meaning that B2B social strategies can be focussed on people rather than the brand and product or service alone. This is the approach o2 Enterprise took to their social media by encouraging the company’s experts to share information and opinions with customers, prospects and influencers to ensure content is useful and valuable.

A social strategy should be all about engaging people with the brand, and more imporantly the people behind the brand or business with the intent to increase sales in the future. Monitoring social media activity against pre-determined KPI’s in line with an on-going marketing strategy means that you’re reporting on more than just likes and follows and looking closely at the link between social and sales.

To find out more about Interdirect's social media experience email social@interdirect.co.uk.

Music Lifts ID’s Spirits

This week, Nicholas Mann of Interdirect enjoyed an evening of enchanting music and warming hospitality courtesy of the Milton Keynes City Orchestra (MKCO).

The Lifted Spirit concert at The Venue, Walton High featured the talented Stacey Watton as guest conductor and the captivating Principal Cellist Bozidar Vukotic who joined the fantastic orchestra who played works by Dvorak, Faure, Tchaikovsky and Schubert to give a stunning solo performance.

On attending the evening, Nicolas commented; “It’s a while since I’ve been rendered speechless, but the orchestra gave such a moving performance that I was completely captured by the music. Interdirect has proudly supported MKCO for a number of years and it’s great to see occasions such as Lifted Spirit being attended by so many people, and resulting in such raving reviews, and I hope our strong relationship will continue.”

Established in 1975, MKCO plays an important role in the cultural life of Milton Keynes as a valuable arts resource for the local area, as well as engaging in the business community. Interdirect has supported the MKCO since 2007 in developing digital solutions for the organisation including an innovative website to help showcase the very best of the number one classical music resource in our region.