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Havas skips aboard the social newsroom bandwagon

Havas Media Group in the UK is combining the social media teams from group companies Socialyse and Cake into a new unit – Socialyse powered by Cake. Which hardly trips off the tongue and isn’t that interesting.

What is interesting, though, are is that there are 35 of these folk (the size of a medium-sized UK agency) ensconced in London’s St Martin’s Lane. Clients include boy band One Direction, Honda, Weetabix, AXA, Nest and the whopper O2 account, which moved to HMG (handy initials those) following a controversial deal engineered by Havas owner Vincent Bollore.

unnamedAnd what do all these people do? Well they sit in a “social newsroom, a 24-hour reactive and proactive service that offers real-time stories and content for brands. The newsroom approach will enable brands to react instantly to a trend, issue or piece of news via social content, a live experience, or a story. The team also works on planned and anticipated content – putting brands at the heart of stories as they develop – and uses data and analysis to optimise and amplify,” according to Havas.

Presumably HMG’s recently-announced tie-up with content marketing outfit NewsCred fits into all this somewhere.

HMG’s head of earned media, and the boss of the new newsroom, Jessica Rowntree says: “Cake has been running highly successful social newsrooms for clients for a while now, but aligning it with the paid distribution power of Socialyse will get more reach for, and more engagement with, our clients’ content.”

Havas isn’t the only company to do this. Engine Group has a similar operation. Whether or not it amounts to more than a bunch of bored graduates Tweeting away remains to be seen. But some big clients seem perfectly happy to pay for it.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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