Blog : #StripeLife

Social Media News: December 2020

Social Media News: December 2020

Welcome back everyone and a Happy New Year from the Stripes! 

While we are all excited to leave the last year behind us, we can’t resist a look back at our favourite social moments from December 2020.

 

THANK YOU NHS! 

Image: Campaign

We can all agree that there was a certain group of people, we were all really thankful for in 2020 and that was everyone working for our NHS. 

It seems we were not the only ones who wanted to share this sentiment as aside from offering free rides and discounts to NHS staff members Uber UK launched its #GratefulUK campaign on Instagram and Twitter to spread the love for the NHS and all they have done for us this year. Truly one of our favourite moments in the last year.

 

Platform Updates of The Month! 

December has been an exciting month for updates to our favourite platforms. Instagram added new creative tools to Reels and Stories, while Twitter returned retweets to the way they used to be. Facebook announced they will launch Facebook News this month and we can’t wait for the new feature.

No platform changed the world of social media in 2020 like TikTok. From the best dances to political activism you can read about it here.

 

All Hail Our Queens! 

Image: @bbcthree

Twitter was shook  when the cast of the second series of Drag Race UK was announced and to be fair so were we! Can we stan them all?  (Asking for a friend)

 

Follow @StripeCom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Stripe. To stay on top of the latest news from the world of social subscribe to our weekly newsletter here: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/i/70D14C4CE95D6F6F

 

Social Media News: November 2020

Social Media News: November 2020

Ho, ho, ho – Happy December! To kick off the final month of 2020 we are back with our top social news from November and a look at who really ‘sleighed’ the social game! 

Grab a hot chocolate, put Mariah Carey on loop and dive into our favourite social news and trends from last month.

See you on the green mate! 

Image: Madame Tussauds London/ Instagram

The day Biden officially unseated Trump at the US Presidential Election, Madame Tussauds London gave his figure a little makeover, switching the suit for golf attire. Like the figures’ real life counterpart they will both have a lot more free time for golfing now! 

 

Platform Update of the month! 

Twitter joined the Stories party this month with their very own ephemeral content feature: ‘Fleets’. If you haven’t tried it yet, here is everything you need to know. 

Image: Techcrunch

 

A royal return

Image: @Telegraph

Twitter couldn’t get enough of the 4th season of Netflix hit show The Crown. In a thread users debated storylines and tried to tell truth from fiction. After uncovering what plotlines were really true, most of them were utterly shocked about what actually took place! 

And if the Stripe team’s reviews of the show on Zoom are any indication, you should definitely give it a watch! 

 

Don’t forget to follow @StripeCom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Stripe as it happens. For the latest news subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

VOTE FOR SHAUN!

VOTE FOR SHAUN!

This month is all about elections as Stripe Group Account Director, Shaun Bell is standing as Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Scotland and we’re giving him our support.

Under his manifesto, Shaun plans to bring together the thriving community of PR professionals in Scotland, grow CIPR membership and importantly,

  • Illustrate how CIPR Scotland members and the wider PR community can get support through tough times
  • Increase visibility and understand of PR in boardrooms
  • Support PR careers and inspire the future leaders of our industry
  • Improve diversity in the Scottish communications industry

Shaun is truly passionate about life-long learning, career development and innovation so we’re not surprised he’s pledging to launch a ‘Here To Help’ initiative to support the PR community, introduce a ‘Director Skills Series’ to boost boardroom skills, and the expansion of the CIPR Scotland’s Future Leaders and Fellows Mentorship programmes.

With proposed new partnerships with the IoD, Marketing Society, PRCA, NUJ and Women in Journalism on top, we think Shaun has the interests of all comms professionals working in Scotland at heart.

So, join us and vote for Shaun – you can read his manifesto here and CIPR members can register to vote at the Scotland AGM here.

Social Media News: September

Social Media News: September

It’s that time of the month again and we’re back to recap our highlights from the world of social media in the past month! 

From our favourite campaigns, the top trends, and exciting new updates to social platforms, we’re unpacking what captured our attention here at Stripe.

Diversity performance

Credit: Instagram/ITVf


A campaign that moved us… 

After dance group, Diversity’s performance on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, the show – and in particular judge Ashley Banjo – came under fire from critics on social media and received record complaints from Ofcom. 

Rather than buckling under the pressure, ITV took the opportunity to stand by both the performance and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. They took advertising space in every national newspaper to share a simple B&W image from the performance, with some emotive copy to show their support. 

We support the campaign and the message, and applaud ITV’s efforts to support the movement in a consistent way. 

Platform updates

Top #3 Platform Updates

Back to its roots! Facebook launched its new ‘Campus’ feature, allowing students who go to the same Uni to connect.

TikTok creators will soon be able to sell merch directly on the platform with a new Teespring integration.

Snapchat launched permanent public profiles to allow users to create more of a presence on the app as well as audience analytics.

Favourite Viral MemeCredit: @tripgore

 

Favourite Viral Meme 

We just can’t get over the 2020 memes that keep on coming, we’re obsessed! Naturally, one of our favourites was the movement Twitter users tried their hand at explaining various 2020 scenarios to someone from 2019 through memes. Who would have seen a priest giving a socially distanced blessing using a water gun coming? 

Don’t forget to follow @StripeCom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Stripe as it happens.

Long time no see London: Stripe is back in Shoreditch

Long time no see London: Stripe is back in Shoreditch

After 6 months, 9 million zoom calls, a dear friend and colleague going on maternity leave with no proper send off, a much loved team member emigrating with no proper send off, work lows and work highs, a distinctly average Zoom summer party, new team members joining remotely and endless days of rummaging in a kitchen cupboard for that mid-morning break, we finally returned to the office on Monday.

We all had the same feelings you’re having reading this (if you’re still working remotely); will I be safe? Will the commute be terrible? Will the masks be annoying? Will people be responsible about social distancing and hygiene? Isn’t it easier working remotely? There are probably more to add to that list. Like most, we went back into the office in two bubbles on rotation, designed to ensure continuity of our business in the event of any lockdowns and changes to our ways of working in the future.

Before we went back and we carefully and meticulously completed our ‘safe return to work’ plan, it felt like we were writing the ‘suck the fun out of work’ plan. Those tactile moments of a shared birthday cake, the work drinks, all the stuff that helps make going to the office is fun for all swiped away with a sanitised hand.

So, in short, we didn’t know what to expect really. I personally knew I was losing love for work, working in a remote environment. It was becoming a grind and something to endure versus something to enjoy. I came to the realisation I am only as effective in my role as I want to be when I am inspired by other people to challenge my thinking and make me challenge myself and that that is not as effective when done remotely.

That first day back in the office was the most I have enjoyed a day’s work in 6 months. Most of us in PR went into it because we are people people. We enjoy company and we enjoy a work culture that is fun, collaborative and inspiring. Otherwise you could happily clock in your work hours driving an HGV up and down the M1.

I have struggled to describe articulately just how much good it did for us all. Because really, it’s everything that being together means. The chat about my lockdown DIY haircut, the dubious music choices on the office stereo, the nefarious celebrities laid bare on the Mail Online sidebar of shame that warrant our attention, the listening and helping, the ideas building and ruminating, the support and the friendly ear, the encouragement, the many many laughs, the caring, the people.

Lockdown rushed the conversation about remote working. It has thrown us forward to the extreme of remote working and made us adapt with no preparation in what most likely would have taken 5-10 years. Whilst we’re all aware we may not go back to a full 9-5 five days a week any time soon, what I have come to realise is that balance is so critical. My opinion is that creative businesses, operating in creative office/work environments with creative people in them will deliver greater end product than when those same people are forced only to converse via video conference.

This is not a ‘pro return to work rant’ I have loved being closer to my family, seeing them more, being home for every bedtime and just knowing more about their lives, that working from home has granted, but I also know that I am happy when I feel like I am doing a good job at work and I do a better job as part of a connected team working together in person.

Stripe is a people business where people matter. What going back to the office this week has made me realise is that the people in our business, that I am lucky to call friends and colleagues are what matter most to me and there is no virtual facetime substitute for the real thing.

Social Media News: August

Social Media News: August

A lot has been happening in the world of social media in August and in this week’s blog post, we’re sharing some of our highlights… 

 

From our favourite integrated campaigns to some exciting new features and updates to the most popular platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram, we’ll be unpacking what made the biggest impact in the digital space and what’s captured our attention at Stripe!  

Beluga whaleCredit: @PA

A campaign that made us smile…

This month marked a major milestone in our historic global PR & Social Media campaign for the SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary project. After years of planning, logistical hurdles, weather postponements and a global pandemic to overcome, this was the day that two former captive whales, Little Grey and Little White, would finally be reunited with the sea after spending the majority of their lives in captivity. The campaign caused a massive splash, making global news around the world, including two UK national news front pages, a BBC Breakfast, and ITN News at Ten feature. This was supported by a social content strategy focused on amplifying major media milestones in the journey of Little Grey and Little White, resulting in two Twitter Moments.

 

Platform updatesTop #3 Platform Updates

Out with the old! Facebook has changed to its new-look platform, making it easier for users to navigate. 

Twitter now lets users limit replies to their tweets. This is not the only update with the platform having launched their new API for third-party suppliers. 

Copycat alert! Instagram has now launched Reels it’s very own ‘TikTok-esque’ feature.

Reese Witherspoon

Credit: @ReeseWitherspoon

 

Favourite Viral Meme

The months of 2020… as told by celeb photos. Celebs have been describing how we’ve all been feeling during each month of 2020, using pictures of themselves. This trend has been jumped on by Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, among others. 

 

Don’t forget to follow @StripeCom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Stripe!

HOME TO THE OCEAN – AN EPIC STORY GIVEN A GLOBAL PLATFORM

HOME TO THE OCEAN – AN EPIC STORY GIVEN A GLOBAL PLATFORM

Senior Account Director, Andrew Boocock, reflects on the epic nature of delivering a historic global PR & Social Media campaign to tell the story of the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales.

Waking up at 4.45am in the Hotel Vestmannaeyjar on Friday 7th August, the calm Icelandic dawn brought a reassuring sense of inevitability.

After years of planning, logistical hurdles, weather postponements and a global pandemic to overcome, this was the day that two former captive whales, Little Grey and Little White, would finally be reunited with the sea after spending the majority of their lives in captivity.

As I reluctantly swallowed my daily shot of cod liver oil, I had to pinch myself. Not in response to this frankly disgusting breakfast I had routinely adopted, but at the sheer scale of the journey myself and the team had been on with the SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary project.

We were about to help tell the story of a historic moment in marine and animal welfare which had never been done before. Gulp!

 

From Shanghai to Iceland: a global strategy to build love, excitement and sentiment

Almost three years earlier, I had relocated my family from Edinburgh to London to start a new life in the capital. The SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary project represented a massive opportunity to fulfil my ambitions for travelling the world and being part of an agency delivering campaigns with purpose. As a global communications brief, it didn’t get more epic.

This was a multi-faceted story to tell, not least in its scale and complexity. No-one had ever created a campaign strategy for a beluga whale sanctuary before.

We were starting from scratch, but at its core the team set out with a clear vision and objectives:

  • Build awareness, love and excitement for the Beluga Whale Sanctuary to take a global audience on a journey of discovery
  • Deliver engaging and educative content to grow a community of advocates and show the different stages of Little Grey and Little White’s journey to the world’s first open water sanctuary
  • Protect and manage the reputation of the associated brands and the Beluga Whale Sanctuary on a global scale during each stage of the project.

Using a multi-channel approach, our content strategy focused on amplifying major media milestones in the journey of Little Grey and Little White, whilst creating a drum beat of news and regular updates on the whale’s progress to help grow a community of fans on social using video and beautiful imagery.

From the initial project announcement in June 2018 to Little Grey and Little White’s 6,000 miles journey by land, air and sea from an aquarium in Shanghai to a remote Icelandic island called Heimaey last year, we have focused on maximising visibility and engagement at every phase of the campaign.

But amongst all the media coverage, Twitter moments and boots-on-the-ground assignments, there is one principle which has been integral to the campaign’s success: building relationships.

 

Home to the ocean

I learnt early on in my career that starting conversations, building connections and establishing relationships matters. People work with people, and over the past three years the relationships the team has cultivated and trust this has forged with the client, their stakeholders and international media contacts on an individual level is what has helped to make each moment fly.

The relationship forged with a media partner such as PA Media, for example, has been critical to the lifeblood of the story. Capturing video content and stills assets at different stages has not only helped to manage the flow of comms but also to inspire people’s love for the whales and the project.

Thanks to the beluga care experts, vets, Icelandic volunteers and none other than TV presenter and comedian, John Bishop, who is narrating an ITV documentary series on the project due to be aired this autumn, I’m pleased to say Little Grey and Little White are doing well after moving from their landside care facility to the sea sanctuary care pools.

John Bishop with Andrew Boocock, Senior Account Director, Stripe Communication, at the SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale SanctuaryBefore a big story breaks, there are always anxious moments the night before. How will the media react? Will people engage as you had hoped?

When the embargo lifted on Monday 10 August, I believed we had done all we can as a team to give the story its best chance.

Two UK national news front pages, a BBC Breakfast and ITN News at Ten feature later, the press office email has not stopped. We’ve set up interviews and responded to media as far away as Los Angeles in the West, and Seoul in the East.

But it’s the small things that matter which brings me back to my point about relationships.

At the end of a long and busy week I received a WhatsApp from one of the key visionaries behind the project.

‘Have a fab weekend and thanks again for all your support with this project. The biggest piece of this is about inspiring the public by getting the message out…’

Time for another one of those pinch-myself moments.

 

An ode to the office

An ode to the office

There’s a bit of a tradition at Stripe which started when there was four of us crowded round a single deskphone back in 2007 – when it’s a colleague’s birthday we get cake and candles and we sing happy birthday. That’s it. But oh my god, do I miss those moments. Ten perfect minutes of celebration, joy and community all wrapped in glorious cake-y goodness.

It might be an unpopular opinion, but I miss the office. In all likelihood this is compounded by the fact that I have three marauding kids at home. Even still, I miss the office. I miss coffee and chat with my work wife, I miss the shared moments when you crack a brief, I miss the energy and buzz of big days and busy weeks, I miss spontaneous conversations and random comments that turn into really productive moments. I miss all the teamwork and togetherness that you just don’t seem to get on a Zoom call.

When Twitter announced last month that it would be changing its WFH policy to, well, forever, it set a forward-thinking precedent that could shape the future of how we work. There’s no doubt the benefits of working from home have been huge and have reinforced the value of mental health and work life balance. Letting go of some of the more stressful parts of work life – for me, the commute, the school run and the pressure to ‘be somewhere’ – and then also the realisation that, in fact, productivity doesn’t drop while working remotely.

So yes, absolutely the work is getting done but, in my opinion, it’s just not as much fun. It might sound naff but in a creative and agile industry like PR we don’t just go to work to work, we also go to play and be social. Productivity is important but it isn’t everything. Certainly, for some businesses and their workforces, fully WFH will work like a charm and it’s amazing that this moment has propelled in such positive change. I suppose that when we consider what the future holds for office-based cultures, I’m just not convinced it’s exclusively one thing or another and that maybe the reality is we’ll need a little bit of both.

Perhaps with flexibility, trust and compassion, there’s a chance we can have our cake and eat it.

VIRTUAL STRIPE ACADEMY LAUNCHES

VIRTUAL STRIPE ACADEMY LAUNCHES

Are you a student or graduate thinking about a career in communications? Do you have smart thinking, bright ideas and a passion for communicating?

We know this year will be tough for people starting out in the communications industry. To help talented people kick-start their careers, we’re launching the Virtual Stripe Academy to provide free online training on how things work at an award-winning communications agency.

The Virtual Stripe Academy will provide 12 online training sessions over four weeks. You’ll meet Stripe’s senior team and learn from their experience and expertise – providing industry insight and the skills you’ll need to get started. You can check out the full schedule here. It will run on Zoom from 10 August to 4 September 2020.

The programme is open to anyone studying at college or university as well as those who have graduated in the last two years. You don’t need to study any specific course, but you should have an interest in pursuing a career in the communications industry in the future.

Everyone who completes this training course will be offered the chance to join the new Stripe Mentor programme. The top 10 applicants will be mentored for three months by a senior member of the Stripe team – getting one-to-one career advice and help into the industry.

Registration for Virtual Stipe Academy has now closed. 

MENTORING IS A SUPERPOWER NOT TO BE TAKEN LYING DOWN

MENTORING IS A SUPERPOWER NOT TO BE TAKEN LYING DOWN

I never had a mentor when I was working my way up through the agency ranks, so when someone suggested that I should become one, my initial reaction was to decline. I made the same excuses that I use for avoiding the gym; no time and I don’t have the technique – a classic case of imposter syndrome.

Looking back, I had a subconscious fear of giving the wrong advice and being judged. I thought I wasn’t high profile or experienced enough to be a mentor. It was all in my head but feeling self-conscious is one of the biggest barriers to discovering what could turn out be a mentoring superpower!

To clarify, I’m not claiming that being a mentor makes you a hero (although I love the idea of wearing a cape to my next session), but it does have a positive impact on mental health – for both the mentee and the mentor. And, as many people are still working remotely and are anxious about their futures, the need for a mentor has never been so relevant.

 

What is a mentor?

Not to be confused with coaching, which addresses specific goals, mentoring is about the longer-term holistic development of a mentee. A mentor looks at the bigger picture by assessing overall strengths and weaknesses, and by helping the mentee to realise their own potential for themselves.

So why is mentoring good for mental health?

 

It reduces the feeling of isolation

You don’t have to be living alone or working remotely to feel isolated. Not having anyone to open up to can make your working life feel lonely. Having a mentor, a trusted confidante, can make a huge difference. Simply getting a different perspective and encouraged to find your own solution to a problem gives a sense of relief and empowerment.

K-PowIt helps combat anxiety

Most people experience some level of work-related anxiety, that’s normal. But, add a global pandemic and economic crisis to the mixing pot and anxiety levels can bubble over. It can be hard for people to share their feelings because they’re worried that it will reflect negatively on them, which creates even more anxiety. A mentor helps to get under the skin of the issue; to break it down and tear it apart, before guiding the mentee to find practical ways to move forward.

 

It boosts confidence

Mentees frequently report an increase in their self-confidence because they feel supported.

The relationship with a mentor gives a mentee a safe space to share their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgement. In turn, they get validation from someone with more experience, who they trust and admire. But it’s not just the mentees that benefit. Mentors also experience a confidence boost – the very act of helping someone else to reach their goals, and overcome hurdles provides a sense of achievement.

 

MENTORING MYTHS

A mentor can transform lives but, to do that effectively, you must get past some myths. Here are a few that I overcame:

“I don’t have anything to offer”

Nonsense. You’re a skilled professional that’s being paid to do what you do.

“I don’t have time”

Do what you can. An hour a month is plenty. A mentoring session can happen over a coffee, or a zoom call – whatever works best for you. I’m still too busy for the gym though.

“I’ve never had a mentor, so I can’t be one”

I’m living proof that, that’s not true.

“I cannot relate”

I’m currently mentoring a counsellor with his own practice, an entrepreneur through Virgin StartUp and various people through the PRCA – none of them operate in the sectors that I’m experienced in.

“I am responsible for all of my mentee’s decisions”

Not true. Your role as a mentor is to help the mentee think outside the box and explore all avenues before making ‘their own’ decisions.

spiderman

 

“I haven’t reached my full potential”

That’s good. You’re still striving. But, mentoring isn’t about you reaching your potential, it’s about helping others to reach theirs.

“I can save them!”

I love your enthusiasm and how you’ve moved from imposter syndrome to having a saviour complex! But seriously, mentors aren’t superheroes and are not here to save anyone. But, if they use their superpower wisely, it can be transformative for both parties.

mentoring superwoman