The Spark

Wrapping up 2023 in this month’s edition of The Spark.

The future’s orange

Colour specialist and trend forecaster Pantone recently announced its much-anticipated Colour of the Year. Subtle orange-hued Peach Fuzz will reign in 2024 after being chosen to ‘express a yearning for community and cosiness during uncertain times’. This velvety pinky-orange is said to echo sentiments of kindness, caring and tenderness and, importantly, or so the colour authority attests, will play its hand in setting the tone for the year ahead. While we might not be overly sold on the shade, we can’t argue with Pantone’s reasoning behind the colour choice, as it insists Peach Fuzz is representative of a need for some peace, reflection and nurturing in the challenging times we’re living in.

Carrie Webb, head of content

Why you should be using X to pitch, and how to do it

While pitching via X (formerly Twitter) is a PR’s bread and butter, it’s always great to brush up on the basics every now and again, and journalist and PR educator, Suzanne Bearne, always delivers insightful tidbits in her informative sessions.

So, when it comes to X, it’s a no-brainer to be using it for pitching — it’s free to use, journalists are actively requesting comments from PRs, and it’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Suzie’s top tips for using Twitter for PR include:

  • Personalising your bio with the right information, as journalists check through these to find subject matter experts

  • Searching X and other social media platforms for journalists’ email addresses to send personalised messages

  • Following magazines and other outlets that are important to you, or your clients

  • Commenting and liking posts from those you want to build a relationship with — but be careful not to overdo it

And while these are just some of the basics, and only one part of the PR pitching puzzle, it’s great to keep up to date on the latest trends, with knowledge imparted from a savvy journalist.

Ellie Byrne, account manager

Do you have serious rizz?

We know what you’re thinking — no, that’s not something contagious. This year’s Oxford Dictionary pick was “rizz”, derived from “charisma” and sent viral after Spiderman himself, Tom Holland, stated that he didn’t have any. And in the usual way these things happen in our modern times, the onslaught of memes saw the usage of the word surge by a factor of 15 in comparison to the year prior. 

We certainly like it more than 2022’s Word of the Year — ‘goblin mode’ — but we’re not sure it should have beat some other exemplary new words that were added to our vocabularies this year, including “Swiftie”, “de-influencing”, “situationship” and “heat dome”.

For anyone not in the know, Oxford’s Word of the Year is based on usage evidence gleaned from its continuously evolving compilation of over 22 billion (yes ,you heard that right) English-speaking words, with the selected word meant “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations” of the year gone. 

Grace Lenihan, account director

“Alexa, when is the King’s coronation and how much does Elon Musk earn?”

It’s very likely that you put these questions to your Alexa device — if you own one — during the course of 2023, as Amazon revealed, this month, its top voice search themes for the year.

And queries surrounding the coronation were not unique to Alexa customers only, with Google recently announcing that “when is the coronation” was the top “when” question entered into its search engine this year, too.

In the early days of voice search, marketers went back and forth on whether there would be a difference in what people ask their smart devices out loud, and what they type into the search engine box on their phone, computer or tablet. It’s clear that top searches are likely aligned, regardless of the method of input.

What does this mean for marketers? Keep generating insightful and informative content with the end-user in mind to rank well in both voice and traditional search. 

Kirstie Wilson, PR account director

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Written by Kirstie Wilson