Confession: back in the early 2000s, I had an obsession with music mash-ups. There was nothing better than hearing two top 40 songs I adored blended into one musical masterpiece, and rinsing that track on repeat for hours, days, or even months if it was a particularly good one.

I still kind of love them, so I was pretty stoked to recently discover Rave DJ. This AI-powered website lets you add in YouTube links or Spotify playlists to create your own mash-ups or entire DJ sets, and is an excellent way to test your mixing skills, create hilarious mash-ups of famous speeches/movie scenes with pop songs (no one else is doing that? Okay, sorry), and all-in-all waste a bit of time.

So, if like me you need your mash-up moment, head to the website and test your skills on the decks. I’m pretty pleased with this Röyksopp and Alice in Wonderland mash-up I made, personally!

We’re all big podcast fans at Firefly – everyone has their favourite subscriptions, from economics ones like Freakonomics and Planet Money, to those based on new thinking like the TED Radio Hour, to pure entertainment like the AT, Serial and MDWAP.

We love discovering new podcasts and finding them through recommendations is easy. Finding a relevant episode is a lot harder! Enter Listen Notes, the podcast search engine:

You can type in any key words or phrases, and just like that, you find new episodes on your favourite subjects.

Love podcasts as much as us? Make sure you give this episode called ‘Keeping it Kind’ created by the guys at The AT Podcast (run by About Time Magazine) a try. It features our client Give as you Live and is filled with lots of great ideas on giving back. Well worth a listen:

Whether you want to be James Bond or be a Bond ‘love interest’, it seems we marketeers could all pick up a tip or two from the 007 agent and the way he operates. Spying (legally) has never been so hot. How does this relate to PR and communications?

In true 007 style, we’re all aware of the importance of the technicalities – analysing and understanding our SEO strategies, aware of what’s around us, never putting a foot wrong.  PR and SEO have become intrinsically linked for building brand awareness and credibility. Instead of content just being “out there”, SEO helps to increase website traffic, and also ensure that we reach our target audience, optimising images and pinpointing reach geographically, resulting in more strategic campaigns.

But what if, beyond looking at our own SEO campaigns, we could spy on those of our direct competitors? That is exactly what Spyfu enables us to do, revealing and decoding the secrets to our competitors’ search marketing success.

This tool investigates your competitors, showing everywhere they turn up on google, keywords they have bought, every organic ranking and every ad variation, from as far back as 9 years ago! Find out what has been most profitable and what did not work so well.  It is good to learn from mistakes, but even better if you do not have to make them yourself. A bit more than just being plain nosey, it is a great way to help develop campaigns and boost our own results.

So, how does it work? Far from having to join the ranks of MI6, the process starts with simply entering a competitor’s website into a search. The mass amount of data is collated and sorted instantly.  It may seem a little daunting (we are, after all, more used to streams of words rather than numbers) but if you do get a little lost, there are blogs, videos and even a live chat to guide you through your mission. You may be wondering where all this valuable, “secret” information comes from? The answer, just from Google. SpyFu collects and saves information from specific search engine results and tracks millions of keywords, finding out how many searches a keyword gets in a month and how much it costs to buy in Adwords.

Most importantly, all of the data can also be compiled and summarised in simple SEO and PPC reports. Being able to send these straight to clients is a definite plus point for this platform. But what really sets SpyFu apart is that it actually helps to generate business and sales leads, claiming to have special access to contact information that cannot be found anywhere else. The only potential baddie to watch out for is that this tool only looks at the overall, larger picture for trends, it is not able to track developments in real time.

SpyFu certainly did not stay a secret for long, already having been picked up by the likes of the Washington Post, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal and it is hard to imagine how it will not keep going from strength to strength. Better get spying quickly, before competitors catch on too.

Is it time to shape your reputation?

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