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#FromeTweetMeet 2013

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you're all invited - local and visiting tweeters very welcome. #FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com It's completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you're coming, it would be a big help.

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you’re all invited – local and visiting tweeters very welcome.

#FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com

It’s completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you’re coming, it would be a big help.

Read about last year’s event.

Hope to see you on the 19th!

Following popular demand and a raging thirst, the Frome tweet meet is back and you're all invited - local and visiting tweeters very welcome. #FromeTweetMeet details: http://frometweetmeet2013.eventbrite.com It's completely free to turn up, but if you could register and let us know you're coming, it would be a big help.

This year’s lovely #FromeTweetMeet branding has been supplied by @Cole007

Our new Twitter column in the Standard

If you live in or near Frome in Somerset, keep your eyes peeled for Avalanche Media’s new weekly Twitter column in the Somerset Standard.

Here’s a quick Vine video of some of the behind the scenes work to produce it.  Which takes a bit longer than six seconds.

Frome’s Independence Day attracts national support

Flying the banner for Independence Day in Frome are (left to right) Janet Weeks, Sheila Gore, Dodie Stephens, Duncan Skene, John Harris, and Jennie Wood. Photo: Tim Gander

Flying the banner for Independence Day in Frome are (left to right) Janet Weeks, Sheila Gore, Dodie Stephens, Duncan Skene, John Harris, and Jennie Wood. Photo: Tim Gander

Two years ago, a group of people in Frome got together, following concerns over a planning bid from a large supermarket chain.  Two years on, that group, Keep Frome Local, continues its campaign against yet more supermarket expansion into Frome, but has stepped things up.

Later this month, it will host Independence Day, Frome’s one-day event about the future of town centres and campaigning against supermarket expansion.  The first UK event of its kind, it’s received an overwhelming amount of support and has also attracted lots of regional and national media attention.  It’s been a task to organise, but is already proving worth the effort.

There are campaign groups like Keep Frome Local in virtually every town across the country; people from these and small businesses are coming along on Saturday 17th (November).  The support the event has received from Frome residents and businesses has been huge.

The day will be split between main debate sessions with Independence Day’s impressive line up of speakers, and breakout sessions focused on issues such as the future of food, how to campaign against big retail and the future of the High Street.  A lot has been packed in.

Why now?  Well, it’s a good point at which to ramp up the campaign, taking into account the national picture of changing high streets – and more specifically, the omnipresent supermarket planning application, which won’t go away.  Challenging these and understanding the issues involved, is to put it mildly, mind boggling.  Bringing campaign groups together, to share experiences, as well as information on particularly complex areas such as the planning system is proving a crowd pleaser.  Knowledge is definitely power when supermarkets plan on coming to town.

Also, it’s expected that a developer will announce plans for the Saxonvale site in Frome before Christmas.  So making a big splash with Independence Day will help to amass information and provide people with more on how to stand up for the interest of their town, if they want to.  We’re realising many people do, but need help with the “how” and “what can we do about it” questions.

Totnes, which recently fought off a Costa Coffee will be part of the day’s proceedings.  There will be advice too from 38 Degrees, the national campaigners who led opposition to the government’s sell-off of UK forests.

Independence Day is happening from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday November 17th, at the Wesley Church in Frome.  Tickets cost £11 and if you’re in Frome, can be bought from Frome Wholefoods on Cheap Street, or via the Cheese and Grain.

Hope you can make it.  For more details on the event, visit independenceday2012.co.uk.  There will be live tweeting – follow the debate using #ID2012.

Real ghostbusting: how PR saved a hauntingly quiet pub

In autumn 2010, the Inn at Freshford's ghostly quiet bar was far more likely to be frequented by its spooky regulars than mortal, paying customers

Two years ago we were contacted to help a local pub raise its profile.  It had been abandoned by its locals and wasn’t attracting new customers quickly.  In autumn 2010, the Inn at Freshford’s ghostly quiet bar was more likely to be frequented by its spooky regulars than mortal, paying customers.

We love a challenge at Avalanche Media.  How to build the business of a public house no longer at the heart of its community?  How to attract new customers to a place with no passing traffic?  Had we been contacted earlier in the year, our PR recommendations would have been less frightening I’m sure, but in the build up to Halloween, there was only one place to start – with a good ghost story.  A quick chat with the Inn at Freshford’s then management team revealed the pub had plenty of tales, which with our input, generated plenty of media attention, such as this on BBC Bristol.

Since, the pub has been given a further welcome lease of life from one of the UK’s most charismatic landlords, Mark Birchall, which whom we have worked to rebuild the Inn at Freshford’s local connection.  A healthy and continued combination of PR injection from Avalanche Media, in the form of press releases, media attention, event and campaign organising, journalist reviews, social media activity across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, has all helped to revitalise the Inn at Freshford’s reputation.

It takes time to make this sort of difference, plus consistency, PR planning and focusing the product offering.  The Inn at Freshford knows what it is – and just as importantly, what it isn’t.  We’re always learning in our work with clients and have applied a lot of the lessons learned from our work with this great country pub to other businesses.

Avalanche Media<< For pubs and businesses needing a happy ending, these ghostbusters are for hire.

Media coverage served up for Inn at Freshford

It’s been another busy, but great start to the week.  More media coverage of pigeon racing has rolled out since Saturday’s BBC Breakfast News feature.  We’ve also engineered further high profile results for the lovely Inn at Freshford, with which we recently launched Save Bath’s Historic Pubs campaign.

For starters, the pub and its campaign featured on BBC Radio Bristol on Saturday morning.  The interview, with local historian Kirsten Elliott, starts at 1:19:50.

The main course arrived in the form of an equally tasty serving of ITV News coverage yesterday, which also highlighted the recent closure of the nearby Packhorse Inn in South Stoke.

There’s a little breathing space before dessert arrives later, on Heart.

Save Bath’s Historic Pubs campaign has already been met with a massive amount of support.  Mark Birchall, the Inn at Freshford’s landlord, is adamant that a change is needed, to protect the heritage of Bath’s pubs. Watch this space for more media coverage.

Don’t forget the local pub history talk at The Inn at Freshford tomorrow evening – which is free and will probably kick off at about 7.30pm.

Super Saturday

As per my previous post, yesterday, despite its numerical placement in the month, was great.  Not only was it filled with sister-in-law hen do frolics, but it began with PR results from more hard work on behalf of Avalanche Media clients.  Here are two examples – more to follow:

>> Sports presenter Mike Bushell tries out pigeon racing for his BBC Breakfast sporting challenge

>> Local historian and supporter of Save Bath’s Historic Pubs campaign Kirsten Elliott, talks with BBC Bristol’s Ali Vowles about her talk this week at The Inn at Freshford. (From 1:19:50)

Introducing: Studio 5

You wouldn’t believe the hours of brainstorming, deliberating, hardcore biscuit eating and beer swilling that has gone into the branding of our working collective.  It’s been tough up here in Studio 5 at The Old Church School.

“Ah, wait!  That’s it – what about Studio 5?  All those in favour…”

And so it was that our collective name was born.  As with most great ideas, the simplest proved the best.

We’ll let this new website do the talking.  It’s deliberately straight forward as we don’t much like hiding behind this stuff, so if any of our specialisms are useful, please get in touch.

Studio 5's new website

Studio 5: the real Cookie Collective.
Photography, social media, digital, film and PR people and businesses – working as a collective. Powered by biscuits.
Based in Frome, Somerset.

Bath’s boozy past – a free talk at The Inn at Freshford

As part of the Save Bath’s Historic campaign launched for The Inn at Freshford in July, Avalanche Media has organised a special evening of local pub history next week.

Local historian Kirsten Elliott will provide an illustrated glimpse into the Bath area’s boozy past next Wednesday (17th October), at 8pm.  It’s a good excuse for a midweek drink and a free local history lesson.

If you want to do a bit of swotting up first, Kirsten’s books are available from local bookshops and Amazon.  Titles include Bath Pubs; Hidden Paths and Secret Gates:  Six All-Day Walks Around Bath; Queen of Waters: A Journey in Time Along the Kennet and Avon Canal; Bath; The Lost Pubs of Bath.

Local historian Kirsten Elliott will provide an illustrated glimpse into the Bath area’s boozy past next Wednesday (17th October), at 8pm, at The Inn at Freshford

The Inn at Freshford has just launched a new menu, if you fancy a bite to eat first.  I’d recommend getting there early and indulging in the classic Welsh rarebit, or going hell for leather on the burger, topped with applewood smoked cheddar, bacon, devilled sauce and served with chips, and salad.

To enjoy all of this completely guilt-free, please sign this petition, to help protect the future of Bath’s pubs.

What a difference six months makes

Hands up, it has been a while – actually, a long while – since this blog was last updated.  But there’s a good excuse, honest:  Avalanche Media’s been busy.  2012 has been our busiest yet in fact and now that we have had a chance to reflect on some of its results, it’s a good point to share.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter (and thank you, if you do!), you’ll be aware of our recent work with pigeon racing in the UK.  Despite it being a sport with The Queen as its patron, it’s one of Britain’s great traditions which faced imminent extinction if left to continue without PR input.

In April this year, Avalanche Media was instructed to provide full press office support for the sport – to both react to incoming enquiries from journalists as well proactively create media coverage.  What a coup!  And here’s just a sample of what’s been achieved so far:

When words create a thousand pictures

PR’s changed. A hell of a lot.

My first day in the job saw me sending a stream of press releases through the fax machine; stuffing the remainder into envelopes for the last post.

I’m still writing releases but the distribution couldn’t be more different.  I also run a number of social media accounts on behalf of clients – communicating with journalists and wider audiences. I use Twitter to generate media coverage for businesses, as well as develop their brand awareness and engage with online communities.

To help monitor the effectiveness of this, I’ve developed a way of visually representing the type of followers (people and business) my clients attract on Twitter. If you’re in Frome and have a copy of the The List‘s March issue, you’ll see an example of this on the opening page.

Avalanche Media's Frome word cloud in the March issue of The List

A new addition to The List - a word cloud showing what people and businesses in Frome people have been tweeting about

The word cloud shows which words have featured the most in tweets posted by Frome folk over the past month – a fun and fascinating exercise!

Applied to Avalanche Media clients, word clouds provide a number of uses; the depiction of Twitter follower characteristics being a particularly useful one. Here’s an example applied to @bathbusiness (The Bath Business Club), of which I’m a member and soon to become its first lady chairperson don’t you know.

@bathbusiness now has over 1080 followers - as the above shows, very relevant ones.

@bathbusiness now has over 1080 followers - as the above shows, very relevant ones.

The above image encapsulates the type of followers Bath Business Club is attracting on Twitter. The word cloud has been formed using words which appear most commonly within the profiles (the short paragraphs describing themselves) of the club’s followers. The stronger and larger the typeface, the more frequently the word appears.

These infographic word clouds represent just one way of monitoring social media effectiveness – and demonstrating how a targeted community can be developed online. They are quite beautiful in my view – and offer an easy-to-interpret visual for clients to understand the value of this marketing activity.  Simple, yet revealing don’t you think?

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