Gen Z’s Relationship With Media: Q&A With Bell Yard Intern

Hopefully our young intern Sadie has gained some useful experience from her week spent in the world of litigation PR chez Bell Yard. Whilst she was with us, we asked her to share some of her insights into how she and her generation (Z in case you were wondering) consume and interact with traditional and social media platforms. Here is what she had to say, some of which chimes with the recent OFCOM report on News Consumption in the UK which may also be of interest:

  1. Where do you usually get the news from and why?

All my news consumption is from free online sources, whether that be the BBC News app or social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Not only are they free, but they also tend to cover popular subjects and are easy to use with content being in video form or short, punchy articles. Additionally, I look to be entertained rather than purely informed which is typical of my generation and which these sites often achieve.

  1. How much news-related content do you consume per week?

I rarely consume day-to-day news unless a particularly interesting headline from BBC News pops up. A growing number of teenagers just aren’t interested in the daily government dramas and frequent royal spats – it’s too much of the same thing we’ve heard before.

However, during “big” news scandals, like the recent implosion of the Titan submersible, I tuned in a lot. News-related content on this was everywhere online and I liked the way platforms turned it into a captivating drama through vivid storylines and the unravelling of the facts. 

  1. Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? 

I rarely listen to podcasts, I’m more a music listener. However, historical podcasts on Greek Mythology interest me as they align with my reading interests. If I were to listen to more podcasts, they would be about escaping the real world, exploring a new passion or curiosity. 

  1. What social media platforms are you on and which do you use most actively?

I use Snapchat, WhatsApp and occasionally Instagram and TikTok due to their addictive, scrolling-for-hours nature. Many my age use Snapchat to meet new people with whole relationships being formed online. So much of a young person’s life is on their phone that it makes sense this is where much of their news is consumed. 

  1. What is your favourite trad media outlet, and why?

I prefer BBC News – the notifications of enticing headlines draw you in, and information is given in short, snappybursts.

  1. Do you trust the media old and new? 

I trust BBC News, as its primary role is to distribute reliable news. I do not, however, trust social media because its role is to keep users on their screens as long as possible and to make as much money as possible. This is achieved largely through their algorithms pushing “clickable” posts that are controversial and usually fake or soaked in opinion. There is also a real danger of misinformation, especially when there is no counterargument or impartial voice of reason.

  1. How do you avoid misinformation?

I use social media less than most of my peers, and I rely on BBC News or Apple News for information. On social media, I remind myself of the importance of stepping back to remember that, despite how it may seem for a lot of young people, the online world isn’t the real world and that truth is to be found in the real one. 

  1. If you wanted to hire a lawyer for an issue (e.g. allegations of sexual harassment, academic misconduct, recruitment discrimination), how would you go about finding one? 

I would research on the internet, look at different options, and ask trusted adults who know more about the subject than me.

  1. Do you think Meta’s Threads will be a success or is it a passing fad?  

For myself and my peers, Threads doesn’t feel important. In my head, the only thing different about it is a different rich man running it!

  1. To what extent has Twitter fallen out of favour with your generation?

I don’t know many people my age who even have Twitter, let alone actively use it. With the heavy stimulation and escapism of short video footage available on TikTok and Instagram, Twitter seems less exciting. In fact, there is almost a stigma around using the app for my generation.

27/07/2023

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Pub Club: Exciting New Pub Finder App Offers Lifeline to Publicans

A new free pub finder app Pub Club has launched this week which promises to revolutionise the way thirsty, but discerning, Londoners search for their ideal pub experience.

Conceived last year by ‘new-to-London’ friends Tom Ireland-Life and Freddie Bermingham, when flat sharing in Wandsworth and seeking a good local in which to watch the footie and enjoy a Sunday roast, Pub Club is an app designed to match its user’s preferences with their perfect venue.

Pub Club already has 350+ pubs across South and West London on their app, which is now available to consumers in both the Google Play and Apple Stores. The founders’ ambition is to grow this footprint to cover around 2,000 pubs across London by the end of the calendar year, with further UK coverage in the following year.

Users can select pub attributes using filters in the app ranging from affordability to wheelchair accessibility, from beer garden availability to cocktail and music offerings, with many more options in between, allowing them to swiftly identify suitable pubs within their preferred geographic radius.

Pub Club also benefits pub owners by helping to market their establishments, menus, and entertainment to regular customers and prospective visitors, encouraging increased footfall. Pubs can also track the number of views their pub is getting through the app, the number of people scanning their QR code at the pub and respond to reviews from their customers.

Freddie says: 

“Our idea came about on a gloomy November Sunday morning when we wanted to find the perfect pub for a roast, with sofas and a fireplace and, of course, Sky Sports. After countless dead-end Google searches, we were convinced there had to be a more efficient way for people to find their desired pub.”

Tom adds: 

“The British pub scene has suffered a great deal recently due to the pandemic; 150 pubs in England and Wales permanently closed within the first few months of 2023. We are hoping that Pub Club helps not only punters but the industry itself by providing a new way to put cash in the till for both chain-based and independent pubs.”

Pub Club aims to offer more than search engine functionality. A sleek promotional section of the app, known as ‘The Chalkboard’,iswhere pub landlords and managers can advertise events such as live music, comedy nights, and drink offers to clientele within a chosen radius. Customers can also rate the pubs they visit and share their top recommendations with friends online. 

To mark its launch, Pub Club is running an inaugural ‘Golden Ticket’ campaign starting in July and running throughout summer. Lucky app users who check into pubs between July and the end of September by scanning the bar-side QR codes, will have the chance to win an enticing prize of £100 bar credit.

Looking ahead, Pub Club has plans to expand its features to include meticulously curated bar crawls and a convenient table booking function, all seamlessly integrated into the app’s user-friendly interface.

Carly, manager at The Four Thieves in Battersea, says: 

“The Pub Club app is brilliant! It allows us to connect with customers in a way that’s not been possible before. It is great that more people are aware of what the Four Thieves has to offer, and The Chalkboard makes advertising what’s going on at the pub seamlessly easy.”

The App is free to download and use for pub-goers and there are no subscription fees for London pub owners until mid-September 2023.

ENDS 

Media enquiries

Declan Flahive:       declan@bell-yard.com       Mob: 07944629485

Notes to Editors:

Until earlier this year, Freddie Bermingham worked at a recruitment firm in the City while Tom Ireland-Life works in External Affairs. They met through mutual friends while Freddie was at Bristol University and Tom at Bath University.

Seed funding was provided by Freddie, Tom, and their friends and family.  

The current anticipated subscription fee for pubs, levied from September, is expected to cost £30 per month with second-tier membership also offered as an option for pubs.

20/07/2023

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Court of Appeal Grants Important Bitcoin Blockchain IP Appeal

The Court of Appeal today granted an appeal brought by Dr Craig Wright, the pseudonymous author of the Bitcoin White Paper, and associated entities (Wright International Investment Ltd and Wright International Investments UK Ltd) over the intellectual property rights in the Bitcoin File Format – i.e., the structure of the Bitcoin Blockchain.  This finding is to be welcomed for its importance to both the digital currency and the wider IT industry.

Lady Justice Asplin, Lord Justice Arnold and Lord Justice Warby today overturned the first instance ruling of Mr Justice Mellor, insofar as he had determined that there was no serious issue to be tried (for both the Defendants in this jurisdiction and outside of the jurisdiction) in respect of the Bitcoin File Format.

Whilst it was accepted for the purposes of the service out application that the Bitcoin File Format satisfied the originality requirements, Mellor J had declined to accept that the Bitcoin File Format was fixed, i.e., it is was not possible for it to be identified with sufficient precision and objectivity and therefore copyright could not subsist in it.

However The Court of Appeal today concurred with the Claimants’ assertion that there is a real prospect of successfully establishing that the Bitcoin File Format is fixed.  The judgment of the Court of Appeal was given by Lord Justice Arnold, with whom the other two Lord Justices agreed.  

As the world relies on data and computer programs stored electronically, the trial will determine whether the format of a file is, in principle, capable of protection by copyright. The IT industry needs certainty regarding how this file format requirement may be met.

Damon Parker, of Harcus Parker said:

“We welcome this significant ruling which enables Dr Wright to advance his claim for copyright in the Bitcoin File Format which potentially affects all future use, and marketing, of Bitcoin and will prove to be a crucial development in intellectual property law.”

Dr Wright said:

“I am pleased with the outcome of this appeal. As many developers do not fully document their entire body of work, this appeal shows that, even without documentation, their work is still considered to be capable of copyright protection”.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Lady Justice Asplin, Lord Justice Arnold and Lord Justice Warby heard the appeal on Wednesday 12 July 2023.

The case number is CA-2023-000404.  Harcus Parker instructed Michael Hicks of Hogarth Chambers as Counsel for the appeal.

Terence Bergin KC (4 Pump Court), Adam Heppinstall KC (Henderson Chambers), Daniel Goodkin (4 Pump Court) and Jack Castle (Henderson Chambers) are Counsel for the underlying claim (case no. IL-2022-000069).

A copy of the judgment is available on request.

For further information please contact:

Bell Yard Communications:        Melanie Riley / +44 (0)7775 591244 / melanie@bell-yard.com       

Notes to Editors

On 7 February 2023, Mr Justice Mellor granted the Claimants’ permission to serve the claim form on the foreign defendants residing out of the jurisdiction. 

This permission was granted with respect to two of the three limbs of the Claimants’ claim – that of infringement of database rights in the Bitcoin Blockchain and copyright which subsists in the Bitcoin White Paper (that Dr Wright asserts he authored). 

The third limb, that of infringement of copyright in the Bitcoin File Format, was struck out on the basis that there was no serious issue to be tried (for both the Defendants in this jurisdiction and outside of the jurisdiction).

The claim will proceed against the defendants, all 26 of whom are involved in the use of and promotion of the BTC network.

The Claimants assert that the Defendants in this claim have been developing, promoting, funding, trading – and encouraging investors and consumers to trade and invest in – digital cash known as BTC (Bitcoin Core), whilst throughout infringing the Claimants’ intellectual property rights in both the White Paper and the Bitcoin Blockchain on which these digital assets are based.

Dr Wright devised the Bitcoin System and issued the White Paper under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” on 31 October 2008.  A number of the Defendants to these proceedings proposed significant changes to the Bitcoin System in 2016, which deviated from the protocols as set out in the Bitcoin White Paper.  On 1 August 2017, the BTC Network was created without the authorisation of the Claimants.

By participating in the operation of the BTC Network, it is the Claimants’ case that the Defendants have infringed the Claimants’ Database right which subsists in the Bitcoin Blockchain and infringed Dr Wright’s copyright which subsists in the Bitcoin White Paper by copying Block 230,009 in the Bitcoin Blockchain whilst making copies of the BTC Blockchain.

According to Dr Wright, the only digital asset that implements the protocols as set out in the Bitcoin White Paper is “Bitcoin Satoshi Vision” (BSV).   

The Claimants seek an injunction restraining the Defendants from continuing to develop and/or participate in the promotion of BTC.  The Claimants also seek a declaration from the Court that database rights subsist in the Bitcoin Blockchain and that copyright subsists in the Bitcoin White Paper and that Dr Wright is the owner of it.  

20/07/2023

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Crisis and Litigation Communicators’ Alliance announces KARV Communications and HilburgAssociates as new partners in the United States and Canada

The Crisis and Litigation Communicators’ Alliance (CLCA) is pleased to announce fresh partnerships that will further strengthen the network’s international footprint.

KARV Communications, based in New York (United States) is a globally recognized strategic communications and advisory firm with a focus on corporate and litigation communications, crisis management and public affairs/issues management. With experience across the globe, KARV helps clients achieve their communications and business goals through its expertise in crafting and honing often complex messages to a variety of stakeholders.

KARV has received recent international recognition for its work, including a Chambers & Partners ranking for both its Litigation Support and Crisis PR & Communications capabilities.

Andrew Frank, founder and CEO of KARV Communications said on joining CLCA:

“As KARV celebrates our tenth year with a reach far outside of our New York home, we welcome the opportunity of CLCA membership. With our growing book of clients often having interests outside of the United States, we are greatly anticipating meaningful and impactful collaboration with other CLCA members across the globe.” 

HilburgAssociates, domiciled in Canada is a pioneer in both crisis leadership and litigation communication/trial services.  Its principal, Alan Hilburg, has been personally involved in more than 100 trials (both criminal and civil) across multiple sectors such as tobacco, chemical, hospitality, transportation, manufacturing, telecommunication, consumer products, pharmaceutical and healthcare.

Since the 1980s Alan and his colleagues have provided a range of services with a focus on trial strategy including co-authoring openings and closings, daily trial services, witness preparation, media relations, executive and employee communication, post trial trust recovery, and even incorporating jury science in the psychological profiling of prospective jury members, which would not be permissible in many jurisdictions outside of the US.  

HilburgAssociates established its crisis leadership credentials in 1983 with its management of the Tylenol crisis, which became the Harvard Business School’s platinum case history on crisis management and human-centered design.

Alan Hilburg, CEO said:

“The CLCA offers the gold standard of communication counseling excellence when company or executive brands are under threat. We’re honored to be part of such an important global resource.” 

The CLCA Chairman, Martin Jenewein adds:

“Our Alliance once again demonstrates its best-in-class position as a network for litigation communicators offering clients litigation support services, each of whom are at the forefront of rapidly developing markets in their individual jurisdictions. The recognition our members receive internationally and in their home markets, through legal industry rankings, is proof positive of their capabilities.

“We are particularly honoured to have attracted both a pioneer in trial management and strategic communications such as Alan Hilburg as well as an award-winning specialist agency such as KARV to join our network. We look forward to working with them to build ever stronger alliances across our member firms and sharing best practice for the benefit of the network and all our clients.”

Issued on behalf of CLC-Alliance by:

Bell Yard Communications          +44 (0)20 7936 2021     BellYard@bell-yard.com

Melanie Riley                                 +44 (0)7775 591244      Melanie@bell-yard.com

Louise Beeson                                +44 (0)7768 956997      Louise@bell-yard.com

Notes to Editors

About CLCA 

The Crisis and Litigation Communicators ́Alliance (CLCA) is a global network of owner-managed PR consulting firms who are each leaders in the areas of Crisis Management and Strategic Legal communications in their respective markets. Clients can benefit from the collaboration of members on cross-border matters and the CLCA’s specialist expertise in international disputes (especially competition law and cartel cases, cross-border litigation, class actions, regulatory enforcement cases, fraud and employment related disputes).

Our constituent firms can be found here. For membership enquiries in jurisdictions not already covered, please contact chairperson@CLC-Alliance.org.

We are recognised leaders in our field. We are proud to uphold the ethical and educational standards for the PR industry as members of the CIPR and PRCA.

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Threads: Zuckerberg Challenges Musk’s Twitter

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are poised for a significant showdown in the app store with Meta’s Threads, a Twitter replica, scheduled to launch today (July 6th). Following Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year, internal turmoil at the company has increased the likelihood of a successful challenge to its dominance in the text-based social media realm, offering fresh opportunities and terrain for social media marketers. While previous attempts to overthrow Twitter have failed, the current tumultuous circumstances at Twitter HQ since Musk’s purchase present a more realistic threat.

Mark Zuckerberg has a history of imitating rival social media platforms to capitalise on their popularity and innovation. Instagram’s adoption of Stories during Snapchat’s heyday and the introduction of Reels to compete with TikTok are prime examples. Given the growth of Twitter users seeking alternative platforms in the wake of Musk’s leadership, the time is ripe to employ the tried and tested strategy of mimicry to challenge the well-established Twitter behemoth.

Recently, Musk’s Twitter has faced intense scrutiny due to controversial measures that have tested user loyalty. Restrictive actions have targeted non-paying users, including limiting unverified accounts to view a maximum of 600 tweets per day (later increased to 1,000). Additionally, TweetDeck, the platform’s list-based product, has become accessible only to Twitter Blue subscribers. Controversial decisions, such as lifting bans on alleged right-wing accounts, coupled with Musk’s erratic behaviour, have dampened advertisers’ interest and spending on the platform. Twitter’s lack of a press department does little to counter the impression of a chaotic situation. If the turmoil persists, it would not be an overstatement to say there is a genuine risk of Twitter fading away in the long term.

Should Threads gain traction, it will offer a new channel for global social media marketers and businesses (including law firms) to explore, strategize, scrutinize, and populate. However, the new app is not without flaws, as it allegedly collects sensitive user data, including health information, financial details, contact information, browsing history, location, and purchase records, which may raise concerns for some users. Interestingly, Threads was initially intended for release in 2019 as a response to Snapchat’s popularity but was subsequently pulled. Its launch now is very timely to take on both Snapchat and Twitter. However, successfully attracting the next generation by projecting a “cool” image will be a crucial challenge for Threads. Nevertheless, leveraging fellow Meta-owned Instagram’s existing user base of 2 billion active monthly users and simplifying the transition by allowing users to preserve their Instagram usernames on Threads provides the app with easy customer acquisition advantages and a fighting chance.

Only time will reveal whether Threads becomes a fleeting trend or emerges as a major player in the social media landscape, surpassing the achievements of previous endeavours like Jack Dorsey’s BlueSky, Donald Trump’s Truth, and the decentralized Mastodon. Elon Musk may find himself reconsidering the $40 billion purchase from last year or at the very least, feeling the pressure as competitors sense an opportunity for success.

By Declan Flahive

06/07/2023

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