February Update: Love and Pancakes

By Posted in - Alumni Relations & Audience engagement journey & Audience Research & Blogging & Campaigns & Content & Content Strategy & Content-tastic 2015 & Higher Education & News & News and Events & PR & Slideshare & Storytelling & Strategy and Planning & University & Workshops on March 4th, 2015 0 Comments

For a short month, February packs a lot in.

Whether you’re ploughing on with your resolutions, or using your gym membership card to shovel hummus into your mouth, February is a time of promise, pancakes, and days that just about look like springtime if you squint.

So what has Pickle Jar been up to?




Some of the most popular social media platforms in the world aren’t household names in the West. But they’re huge in China, where platforms like WeChat, Sina Weibo and QZone rule the roost.

Increasingly, universities that want to recruit from all over the world are looking to Chinese social media to get in touch talented young people. And our new recruit Yuzhu Peng (also known as Altman) will be able to help them with that.

Altman has joined Pickle Jar as our Chinese Social Media Specialist, and will be helping our clients get to grips with these intriguing platforms with millions of users. You can read our interview with him here.

Welcome on board, Altman.




It’s been a busy few weeks for Pickle Jar founder Tracy Playle, who was down at the University of Leicester at the end of February for the CASE Alumni Relations Institute event.

Tracy shared a few of the tools that universities can use to build great alumni relations through social media, and joined Ian Moore of Queen’s University Belfast in delivering a plenary about the role of both alumni magazines and emerging technology.

You can rummage through her slides here, and download a useful wall chart for creating engaging alumni communications.



As a few of the Pickle Jar team prepare to head out to SXSW in Texas this month, we continued work with one of our favourite clients in the state.

We’re working with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA) to fine-tune their content-planning for their blogs and social media channels. They have recently launched new channels for engaging their students, and also for attracting and engaging patients who use their clinics with helpful health and wellness advice throughout the year.

The San Antonio-based center is making a big difference in research and patient care, and we’re happy to be working with them to get the word out. 

"UTHSCSAmain" by I, Zereshk. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

“UTHSCSAmain” by I, Zereshk. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons



Hey, remember the content strategy workshop we mentioned in our last monthly update? It’s all done-and-dusted, and it went pretty well…

We rolled into London on February 18 to deliver a guide to creating a slick and engaging content strategy for your university, college or school. And we got some lovely feedback, with attendees describing it as a “very useful day” with an “excellent balance” of examples. In fact, more than 90% of attendees said that Tracy and Ellie were “excellent”…

* blushes *

If you want us to bring a workshop to you, we’ve got a bag packed and waiting by the door. Drop us a line…



What secrets lie behind the story of Harry Potter? What can we learn from Taylor Swift?

Robert Perry’s been thinking hard about the big lessons from our most loved icons, and he’s come up with some ideas on how to tap into your Inner Taylor Swift when you’re trying to build bridges with your audience.

In fact, we focused heavily on content strategy in February. Ellie Lovell talked us through why we need one, while Rosie Wowk took us through an audience-focused approach to marketing.

Tracy also introduced us to “page tables”, and the best way to build them to super-charge a website content strategy.

If you want to keep up with all the latest news from the Pickle Jar team, follow us on Twitter at @picklejar, like us on Facebook or follow our company updates on LinkedIn.

Get in touch if you like what you see (unless you’re hearing strange rumblings in the middle of the night, in which case the Ghostbusters are down the hall and first door on your right).

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