Firefly has organised four Christmas events for client, Give as you Live this Christmas. Three are still to come, as this week, we prepare to take over a beautiful room in Liberty department store to educate our print, broadcast and digital press on charitable giving via Give as you Live (if you’re in media and would like an invitation, get in touch!).

But one of the events has already happened, and happened on a big scale, taking over TweetDecks worldwide.

Last week, on behalf of Give as you Live, Firefly partnered with mummy blogger network, BritMums to host a Christmas-themed Twitter Party. The aim of the partnership was to engage Britain’s biggest parent blogging network with our easy way to increase digital donations for UK charities. With Give as you Live, thousands of stores will donate money from online shopping baskets to a nominated charity, at no cost to the consumer.

Using the hash tag ‘xmastips’, BritMums started the Twitter Party discussion, encouraging tweets of advice for getting prepared for Christmas amongst their mummy blogger community.

Within an hour, almost two million (1,945,462) impressions were achieved, with 1,040 participants in the conversation. Thirty minutes into the hour-long Twitter Party, #xmastips was trending worldwide at number two, and @giveasyoulive had received 195 related direct tweets.

Like any good party, the buzz continued long after the event itself. Tips were continually being posted after the party ended. Conversations on the topic and related links continue to this day. And most importantly, our clients have seen hard business results. Give as you Live enjoyed a significant uplift in hits to their website and an increase (by more than 100) in Twitter followers. During the day of, and days immediately after the party, Give as you Live’s average daily shoppers increased by 65 per cent.

With the Twitter Party, Firefly helped Give as you Live to own the Christmas shopping conversation, which so many big brands are clamoring to be a part of.

And like any good party, we were talked about. You can read about the Twitter Party success in PR Week’s Week In Technology.

Want to get involved?
So do Vogue, who are working with Give as you Live to power online charitable donations during Online Fashion week, as well as Mumsnet, who have created a Give as you Live Christmas gift guide.

This Christmas, like us, you can create your own Give as you Live Wish List. With your Wish List, you can both request the gifts you want and specify the charity you want to benefit. Then, when anyone buys an item from your Wish List through Give as you Live, a donation of up to 10 per cent of the cost of the gift will go direct to your charity of choice. All this, without costing the shopper a penny more, since it’s the retailer who gives the donation.

And for that extra bit of festive cheer, Firefly urges everyone out there to do their shopping through Give as you Live this Christmas. That’s Christmas partying the entirely guilt-free way.

Google+ is most certainly the buzz of the Firefly office and, as usual, has us all delving in to see where its PR potential lies. Though many of its core characteristics and features are unfortunately yesterday’s news to social media enthusiasts, some of its more developed and business-tailored features look set to be something we’ll want to shout about to our clients.

But how will it stand up against the other already highly successful social media platforms? Michael Nardis, Head of YouGov Investment Products, argues that “Google+ is tracing a path similar to Facebook’s initial growth,” supported by study figures that forecast 22% of US web-using adults will activate a Google+ account within the next year. This is predicted to surpass Twitter by this point and so is a force not to be taken lightly.

In the meantime, a bigger debate has arisen around how people will use Google+ versus other social media platforms already in place. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have each found their groove, but where will Google+ fit in amongst the top players? One of the more discerning arguments that has cropped up is how the media shapes society’s uptake of social media.

Fearful of tagged photos, “NSFW” comments and globally viewable tweets, as well as being hyper-aware of tone (e.g. LinkedIn professionalism bordering on the bland), social media consumers have become quite adaptable and aware of online etiquette. Armed with this knowledge and understanding (and scepticism), we anticipate Google+ will invite a much bolder and more open online community – a place where users could start afresh.

It will be intriguing to see how Google+ will unfold from a social and public relations perspective, and where social media understanding amongst users has greatly improved through trial-and-error. Thanks to the media, we believe this should instil confidence in online consumers, spring-boarding a hugely creative, sociable and intelligible online community. We’re already signed up…are you?

Is it time to shape your reputation?

We operate in London, Paris and Munich, and have a network of like-minded partners across the globe.

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