Feb 22 2011

Jamming with Jam

It’s with much excitement and delight that I can finally announce that with effect from 7th February, I’ll be joining Jam team.

A bit of history

For those of you who have followed my journey, you’ll be aware that 6 months ago I went freelance and was contracted by ProofHQ as their Head of Marketing. As a young self-funded startup, the pace was fast and the development during that time has been tremendous. I’m hugely proud of everything that we as a team have achieved.

With so many possibilities for ProofHQ (it offers solutions to so many different industries!), my main task has been that of segmenting the target markets, strengthening the key messaging and tailoring and creating content relevant to their audiences. Following 6 months of preparation, the team now have a clear focus and structure which I know will serve them well in the future, combined with their killer product.

The future for ProofHQ is shiny bright

Given that ProofHQ are in such good shape, with clients such as Blackberry, AT&T, CBS and Bare Escentuals, it feels the perfect time to move onto what feels like my perfect job with Jam. I’ll continue to advise for ProofHQ and they’ll always have a place in my heart (something I’ll remind them of when they’re bought for billions in years to come!).

So… the new gig!

If you aren’t already aware of Jam, they were the first dedicated social media agency in the UK and are now part of The Engine Group family. My role there is going to be that of a Blogger Relationship Manager which will give me the opportunity to keep my pulse on the web and it’s emerging trends (something that I was passionate about at Carsonified) as well as playing an active part in the blogger community, something that I was born for.

Given the huge clients on their books, I’m looking forward to helping distribute interesting and relevant content, focussing on tech, mobile, fashion cars and entertainment. Um, yeah, as I said, perfect! There will also be lots of events, socials and meetups, so I’m hoping that London is ready for me.

Get in touch…

I couldn’t ask to be joining a cooler agency, advocates of true authenticity with their fingers on the pulse. So if you’re a blogger, interested in being amongst the first to hear of the projects I’m helping with, be sure to contact me at melkirk1[at] with your email address or leave a comment below.

Nov 25 2010

Time to ditch uneducated journalists!

Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait. Don’t take the bait.

OK I’ve taken the bait.

As Milo Yiannopoulos, known as Nero on Twitter or found on Facebook , Foursquare or on LinkedIn, clearly doesn’t believe in the power of social media or it’s importance, I’m going to trust that his recent rant on the Telegraph site wasn’t purely link bait and he really is uneducated enough to believe the points that he raised. So I thought that I’d kindly take the time to teach him a thing or two on the subject. So, Milo my friend, this goes out to you.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to have not read the article, let me summarise for you in a quick excerpt from the article:

“Social Media consulting amounts to little more than mastering the art of the bleeding obvious and no company, no matter what its size, should even consider hiring external Social Media Consultants. Internally, the most you need is a couple of interns with laptops.”

Now before I start, let me quickly add that I completely understand people taking objection to the term “Social Media Guru” and it’s definitely one that I avoid myself. Social Media is just one aspect that makes up digital marketing and whilst Milo would have you believe that anyone with a laptop is capable of posting links to Twitter and Facebook, this just highlights his lack of education on the matter.

The Ways Campaigns Should Work

Social media should NOT be used to drop links. It’s something that lots of companies still do, but it doesn’t make it right. Good campaigns will involve listening activity to work out where the target audience lies for your product or service, looking at what content they respond to, how they interact and what interests them. From there, a detailed strategy should be created with objectives, and gasp, measurement. Once you’ve got your strategy and your content for delivery, it’s not just a case of putting it out there – it’s about opening conversation and engaging with that audience to truly understand them and to develop genuine relationships. You have to follow up.

In his post, Milo states that Social Media Consultants didn’t exist in London in 2007. Now, I’m not sure where he was living at the time, but I’m assuming it wasn’t in the City, as they certainly were. It may not have carried the “Social Media” tag but ultimately all that social media represents is tools to engage with your audience and that’s definitely not only just popped up in the past 3 years.

The ‘Rot’ of Social Media

If Milo truly believes that Social Media is purely saying ‘hi’ to your audience as he suggests, then I can completely understand why he would also believe that any PR bod could do this. However, you only need to take a look at the recent Old Spice campaign which completely turned the brand around and drove a demographic that would never have considered the product before. I don’t think a PR person saying hi would have had the same effect.

Stick To What You’re Good At Milo!

Given that Milo feels so strongly against social media, it amazes me that most of his articles are written about the topic. Of course, I very much doubt that he cares about the number of followers that he gets on Twitter or comments to his articles…. but Milo, I beg of you… before you make sweeping generalisations about a whole profession, please at least do some research. Somehow, if you had people writing about your role as a blogger (also a form of social media) I think you’d want educated views and not just trash.

*climbs down from soap box*

Oct 15 2009

if you don’t read any of my other posts…

you might want to take 3 minutes out of your day to watch this video!

my awesome friends and colleagues at white label dating chipped in to this week’s video after the gauntlet had been laid down by iDazz on twitter. never one to shy away from the challenge, we decided to make it into this week’s video.

i should add that ross, the ceo, wasn’t around at the time and takes no responsibility for our bad singing. it’s purely on my own back. apologies!

YouTube Preview Image

i’m sure that you’re dying to know who the gorgeous boys and girls were in the video making it a whole load more attractive this week… so…

chloe benn – the girl with the lovely beanie & the beautiful smile!

francesca heath – the stunning blonge that i mention way too often in my tweets!

jacob rivard – the one who should have been in a boy band

andy gosling – the guy who is actually in a band!

i hope that you got as much amusement out of watching as we had making it and i’d love to get your feedback / see your own version!

Me xox

May 6 2009

interview on social media with boagworld

for those of you who haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, the lovely paul boag of boagworld invited me to talk to him about social media and marketing on last week’s podcast.

if you’ve got 20 minutes to spare and fancy hearing my voice for a change, you can check it out here.

Boagworld Screengrab

thanks to paul for inviting me, i was honoured to be the first interview on marketing… had a blast 🙂

Dec 14 2008

how much is too much?


everyone’s had it happen to them at some point, whether it’s that homework that the school bully copied or the css being stolen from your site, we’ve all experienced having our hard graft stolen and other people taking the credit for it. infuriating doesn’t even begin to explain the emotions involved when you experience this for the first time, infact come to think of it, at any time.

however what happens when your ideas are stolen when you’re pitching for work? how much should you give away? before now, the focus has been on code that some cheeky blighters have copied and pasted but what about when you’re consulting for strategies and marketing?

you obviously want to go in there prepared, to show that you’ve given THAT specific company thought and attention and that your recommendations are tailored to their needs. but, what happens when you give away lots of your ideas (i.e. specifics that you’d implement and ideas for viral activity) and then they choose not to hire you but implement your ideas themselves?

go in to the pitch with high level ideas and no specifics and you risk looking “fluffy” and without giving any indication of what they’d actually be getting for their money, so where’s the happy balance?

the answer is that i’m still trying to establish this – i want to give good value for money, to show that i know my stuff and to prove that they’ll be getting the personal attention with me that they wouldn’t with a big agency. i guess you just have to accept that you might run in to some rotten apples along the way but it’s all a learning experience and they aren’t the type of people you’d want to be working with anyway.

in my eyes, the most effective projects are those where the company and the consultant are singing from the same hymn sheet… i know for sure that i wouldn’t just put my name to just anything, i work with ethics and i want to work with companies that have ethics too… it’s just such a shame when you give it your heart and soul.

i’d love to get your thoughts…