This edition of ‘Engaging Reads’ brings you the most useful digital comms insights we’ve come across over the last few weeks, including news that digital communications management is gaining greater recognition, how a viral video helped stop the spread of infection and why you shouldn’t underestimate the power of Pinterest.

Increasing recognition for digital communications management

Since our ‘what is digital communications?’ blog from few weeks ago in which we shared an encouraging excerpt from the job description for the BBC’s new Head of Digital Communications, we’ve seen our discipline gain more and more recognition as a key business function. This week, we were very pleased to see that applications are now open for a new Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Communications Management developed by Manchester Metropolitan University and Prolific North. The course has been created to directly address the growing demand for effective leaders who understand the role digital has to play in commercial and strategic success. We think this is a very promising sign that digital comms is now being taken seriously at board level and look forward to seeing how the course progresses.

Viral video to stop the spread of infection

We had a great time at the UK Social Media Communications (#somecomms) Awards at the Emirates Stadium last month. We were amazed to be shortlisted and knew we didn’t stand a chance of winning Best Small Agency nationally but wanted to go to the ceremony anyway to celebrate our success and check out the competition. The NHS stole the show with NHS Blood and Transplant (a former client of ours when we worked in PR and table fellows at the ceremony) who won the Grand Prix for their 100,000 donors in 100 days campaign. But it was NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit who really captured everyone’s attention with their ‘Hand Washing Gangnam Style’ video, which won the Best Use of You Tube Award.

As we all know, video content is notoriously hard to get right and creating a ‘viral’ video is nigh on impossible. In fact, as Dom Burch of Asda pointed out at a recent event where I sat alongside him on the panel, the very pursuit of trying to create a viral video is guaranteed to make it a flop. If you haven’t seen the ‘Hand Washing Gangnam Style’ video featuring nurses, consultants, catering staff, porters and others to celebrate Global Handwashing Day, you should!

Don’t underestimate the power of Pinterest

And last but not least, our new Digital Comms Exec Erin has been tasked with becoming our Pinterest expert and has come across some impressive case studies on how certain brands are using the social network to excellent effect from a business point of view. Many in the UK are yet to catch on to Pinterest and, for some brands and businesses which don’t have a strong visual element to what they do it may never be relevant, but when we read that beauty brand Sephora’s Pinterest followers spend 15x more on their website than their Facebook fans do, we had to sit up and listen. It seems that Pinterest is all about quality over quantity and that Pinterest fanatics are looking not just to engage but to spend.

The beauty of Pinterest for consumers is being able to tailor content by creating their own personalised mood boards. The “Dear Topshop” Christmas gift guide Pinterest campaign taps into this perfectly. The campaign will also be translated into its London and New York flagship stores where customers can create boards on giant screens. So, even if your target audience aren’t already on Pinterest, think about ways in which it could enhance their customer experience by giving them the chance to try it out.