Social Media Star Adam B Gives Young YouTubers A Gift To Remember

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits some lucky kids in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

Last weekend Derry YouTube star Adam Beales gave out over £20k worth of gifts to people he believed needed help.

But three young people really stood out to him because they aspire to having YouTube success just like the 20-year-old who is better known as Adam B online.

Adam had asked for nominations for children and young people who needed a lift, and distributed tech gifts, and even a car, to many deserving families, including those who want to follow in his footsteps.

For 12-year-old Shayne O’Carolan Adam’s visit came after being nominated for his hospital fundraising efforts, following on from spending the first four year of his life in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Birmingham.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits 12-year-old YouTuber Shayne O’Carolan who received a camera and a laptop in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Shayne O’Carolan For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

But it wasn’t just his inspirational story that captured Adam’s heart, the fact the youngster had his own YouTube channel made Adam want to help him even more.

Mum Shauna explained how much Adam’s visit and gifts meant to him.

“Shayne’s whole life is based around YouTube,’ she said. “He has his own YouTube channel and spends hours every day making videos.”

Shayne’s video making will be a lot easier now thanks to the camera and Macbook for editing that were presented to him by Adam, during a visit to his house.

“I wasn’t expecting any presents,’ Shauna explained. “The visit was phenomenal enough. We couldn’t get Shayne to go to bed that night because he said that he didn’t want the day to end. Since then he has been talking about Adam nonstop. We can’t believe the effect that Adam has had on him.”

Adam’s gift-giving initiative is the latest that the YouTube star has undertaken, having previously donated more than £1k to those in need. This time it saw him delivering the gifts in a special ice cream van.

“I set up an email account asking people to send emails in, nominating people who they thought deserved a gift,” he explained. “I received thousands!

“My whole family and myself sat reading through all the emails over a series of nights. Some people got lots of nominations who, most obviously, deserved a gift. Others I chose because they stuck out to me personally.”

One of those that struck a chord was that of nine-year-old Lucas Noah Broderick. When he started uploading videos to his YouTube channel, negative messages upset and hurt him.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits young 9 year old YouTuber Lucas Noah who received a camera, tripod and drone in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Lucas Noah For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

But now Lucas Noah is having the last laugh.

Adam turned up at Lucas Noah’s house and gave the young man words of encouragement – telling him to go on uploading videos and ignore the trolls’ messages.

To help him on his way, Adam presented Lucas Noah with a brand new camera, a drone and a tripod to make better videos.

“I wasn’t expecting the gifts”, said mum Caroline. “Adam’s visit was more than enough, but this just made Lucas Noah’s day. I’m so glad that I responded to Adam’s Facebook post. He doesn’t know the impact he has had on our wee boy’s life.

Lucas Noah was inspired by Adam to create his own YouTube channel in February this year, he has about 1.5k followers and the videos are mainly of him and his dad having fun – although usually his dad getting the brunt end of anything. 

“Lucas Noah wants to make videos because of Adam. When I applied, I told Adam that Lucas Noah was getting very negative messages in response to his videos. People were posting messages such as ‘go and kill yourself’ and then they would follow up with other negative messages.

“Adam’s team asked if Lucas Noah needed any presents. I said no. 

“When he saw AB he was in total shock but couldn’t stop smiling. 

“Lucas Noah was absolutely over the moon. Adan had a few quiet words with Lucas Noah about his videos. Told him not to let anyone stop him from making them. Then he gave him a brand new camera, a drone and a tripod to make better videos. I wasn’t expecting this. The visit by Adam was more than enough, but this just made Lucas Noah’s day.”

For Adam, inspiration to give the gifts came from another YouTube star, David Dobrik.

“I’m a massive fan and anyone who watches David would know that he likes to surprise people,” he explained “And I think during this climate, with bad news after bad news, people locally need someone like David. So, I too am going to do my best to try to make people smile.”

As well as having 2.7m YouTube subscribers Adam has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with his witty pranks and sketches, but he is committed to continuing charity work and supporting others. In addition to his cash and gift giveaways he recently bought his parents a four-bedroom dream home.

However, choosing those that were to receive the gifts for this video has involved his entire family, from picking the successful nominees through to joining Adam on the ice cream van.

“It’s amazing to be in the position where I can make people smile, take their mind off things, or potentially make a difference in their lives,” he said. “The stories really touched me. The same stories that also touched my mum whilst we were reading through the emails. It is the most I’ve ever seen my mum cry in one week.”

Among other recipients was 14-year-old superfan Lucie McElwee who received a Macbook, iPad and iPhone. The 14-year-old also had a box of chocolates as a bonus.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits 14-year-old superfan Lucie McElwee who received a Macbook, iPad and iPhone in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

Lucie’s mum Sue McElwee said: “I saw the post on Facebook and sent an email. Lucie is such a superfan and knows Adam B very well. She has been a fan from the very start. I knew that if she didn’t get the surprise she would be crushed and so I kept it all very hush hush.

“On the day, Adam came quite late and so I had to find an excuse to keep her in the house. 

“It was about half four or five before Adam arrived. Her dad said to her that someone was coming up the road and when she saw the ice cream van she had to take a double take. She had no shoes on and when the ice cream truck pulled up outside, she ran out panicking with no shoes on, screaming ‘I can’t believe it’.”

For Adam the real thank yous go to each and every fan like Lucie who has helped him get to where he is today.

He said: “I want to thank everyone who has supported me, watched the videos, shared, liked, commented and subscribed. You have given back to the local community. And for that, I just want to say thank you.”

His final message is one for everyone: “You don’t have to spend money to be kind. This video was a special one because I was able to give back,” he said. “But you don’t need to go to those lengths to be a nice person. Be the reason why someone smiles today. You won’t regret it.”

Check out Adam’s videos on his YouTube channel Adam B.

Derry YouTube Star Adam B’s £20k Handout To Community From An IceCream Van

Derry YouTube sensation Adam Beales has handed out more than £20k worth of gifts to children and their families following an online appeal for nominations of those deserving a treat in these difficult times.

Known as Adam B to his 2.7m YouTube followers, the 20-year-old fulfilled a lifetime dream of being an ice cream man, but instead of serving up sweet treats he was delivering life changing gifts, including a car to a family that lost a loved one in April.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits some lucky kids in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

From laptops through to phones, tablets, cameras, toys and drones Adam delivered the presents after choosing from a list he and his family looked through, all to be revealed when he releases the video at 6pm on Wednesday, June 24.

“I set up an email account asking people to send emails in, nominating people who they thought deserved a gift,” he explained. “I received thousands!

“My whole family and myself sat reading through all the emails over a series of nights. Some people got lots of nominations who, most obviously, deserved a gift. Others I chose because they stuck out to me personally.”

Of those chosen they range from people who have recently recovered from a serious illness, raised funds for charities, young people starting their own business, to those who have been bereaved.

One massive surprise was for Bronagh Burke. She lost her husband and father to three-year-old twins Thomas in April. Adam surprised the twins with a mountain of toys, and left Bronagh speechless when he handed her the keys to a brand-new car.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits Bronagh Burke and her twins Adam & Aoife where he gifted the family lots of toys and a car in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

“To lose a father is the most heart wrenching thing to read about,” he said. “The incredible young twins tried to help Bronagh by running out to the street to call for an ambulance and remaining calm as Bronagh performed CPR.

“Adam and Aoife will be marking their fourth birthdays on June 28th and Bronagh wanted to make the day special even without their dad.

I was in the fortunate position to gift Adam and Aoife with lots of toys from our local Smyths Toy Superstore – and able to gift Bronagh a new car.”

Adam delivered the car, not knowing that the family car had to be returned just two weeks previously.

“I was so overwhelmed, completely blown away and then he arrived with the car,” said Bronagh. “It was just amazing.”

The choice of making the delivery via an ice cream van was something Adam had long cherished.

Derry YouTuber Adam B visits some lucky kids in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

“I always wanted to be an ice cream man when I was younger,” he explained. 

“I used to look at them in the street and think to myself, ‘Someday I want to be an ice cream man and eat all the ice cream in the world’.

“I may not be eating ice cream in this video, but I’ll be in the truck, going around locally, playing the classic ice cream tune and giving people MacBooks, iPhones and cash.”

Among the recipients is a remarkable young man, Shayne O’Carolan, who spent the first four years of his life in hospital.

The 12-year-old has a number of special needs, but that hasn’t stopped him from fundraising, including raising £2k to provide two parents’ beds in the children’s wards at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Shayne is a fan of Adam’s YouTube channel, and makes his own videos too. The family thought Adam was just visiting to give some support and meet Shayne.

“Shayne was speechless when he saw Adam,” explained mum Shauna. “He was so excited and then AB said to him, ‘I hear you’re a very big YouTuber. I’ve got you a camera, but you will need to edit your videos’. He then handed him a Macbook as well.”

Since then Shayne’s YouTube views have risen and his mother said the family can’t believe the positive effect his visit has had.

For Adam inspiration to do this video came from another YouTube star, David Dobrik.

“I’m a massive fan and anyone who watches David would know that he likes to surprise people,” he explained, adding: “And I think during this climate, with bad news after bad news, people locally need someone like David. So, I too am going to do my best to try to make people smile.”

For a number of years Adam has been garnering more and more YouTube subscribers, as well as more than 500,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with his witty pranks and sketches, but he is committed to continuing charity work and supporting others. Before this recent video has randomly handed out £1k to people who contacted him on Twitter and bought his parents a four-bedroom dream home.

However, choosing those that were to receive the gifts for this video has involved his entire family, from picking the successful nominees through to joining Adam on the ice cream van.
“It’s amazing to be in the position where I can make people smile, take their mind off things, or potentially make a difference in their lives,” he said. “The stories really touched me. The same stories that also touched my mum whilst we were reading through the emails. It is the most I’ve ever seen my mum cry in one week.”

Included in the recipients of Adam’s gifts is nine-year-old Lucas Noah, who had been receiving nasty online comments about his own YouTube channel. Adam delivered a new camera and drone to help him improve his videos.

And, 18-year-old singer Clionagh Stewart, whose laptop was no longer working. Adam popped up with a new Macbook to help her get back to recording songs.

With his ice cream deliveries he also gave one of his long-time fans, Lucie McElwee, a Macbook, iPad and iPhone. The 14-year-old also had a box of chocolates as a bonus.

Derry YouTuber Adam B drops off hampers to staff at Altnagelvin Hospital in the big 20k giveaway where Adam travelled around Derry in an ice cream truck giving gifts to people he believed deserved them. Photo (c) Adam B For more info contact Tina Calder, Excalibur Press, 07305354209, tina@excaliburpress.co.uk

In addition to the many gifts Adam has dropped off hampers to staff at Altnagelvin Hospital to thank what he describes as “our local superheroes”.

But the YouTube star wanted to thank those that have helped him be able to support others.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me, watched the videos, shared, liked, commented, and subscribed. You have given back to the local community. And for that, I just want to say thank you.”

His final message is one for everyone: “You don’t have to spend money to be kind. This video was a special one because I was able to give back,” he said. “But you don’t need to go to those lengths to be a nice person. Be the reason why someone smiles today. You won’t regret it.”Check out Adam’s videos on his YouTube channel Adam B.

How To Maximise Your LinkedIn Profile For Business

In recent years, the popularity of LinkedIn has grown exponentially. What once started as a digital CV website has now grown into one of the most popular professional networking platforms in the world.

With over 562 million users from over 200 countries and growing at a rate of two new users per second, the social network for businesses represents a significant opportunity for small businesses to make connections, engage in conversations, and grow their business through increased conversions.

Niamh Taylor is an award-winning Digital Marketing Consultant, and founder of digital marketing agency, Digital Twenty Four. Having developed and delivered a range of digital transformation programmes for a wide range of businesses, including local councils, Niamh is highly experienced and well-versed in the use of LinkedIn for business growth.

Niamh delivered her training at a Lunchtime Learning session facilitated by the Cathedral Quarter BID (Business Improvement District).

Here are Niamh’s key takeaways:

1. Custom Privacy and Functionality Settings

When it comes to using their LinkedIn profile Niamh said a lot of people just work off the settings that are automatically assigned by the platform.

She added: “There are small adjustments and tweaks that you can make to improve your LinkedIn experience. Most of these can be found in the settings of your LinkedIn page, so go in there and see what you can change to make your LinkedIn experience more relevant and beneficial to you.”

Niamh’s key points around privacy and functionality were:

  • LinkedIn assigns a unique identification number to each user profile. However, you can edit this to include your name in your profile URL, which is important for search engine optimisation. 
  • You can edit which sections of your profile are visible to the public (all LinkedIn users), or just to your own connections. Turn off sections that are not relevant to you, for example languages if you only speak one, and recommendations if you have not received any from fellow LinkedIn users. 
  • Within your account settings you can choose to turn off the automatic play of videos in your newsfeed. This is purely a personal preference but can improve your experience of using LinkedIn if you find automatic play to be annoying or distracting. 
  • Settings also allow you to disable features such as posting/notifying users when you make changes to your profile. If you are reviewing and editing your profile, you may want to disable this feature, so all your contacts are not notified about each individual change you make. 

2. Optimising Your Profile

In order to optimise your profile Niamh pointed out some straightforward steps you can take to make sure your profile is as complete and professional looking as possible. 

“Some of these steps may seem like a minor detail, but they can make all the difference when someone is debating reaching out and doing business with you” said Niamh.

Her key points around optimising your profile are:

  • You may not need or want to do this, but you can update your name to include more than just your name. For example, you can include a very short description of what you specialise in, or any accreditations you have with industry bodies. For example, Niamh’s name on LinkedIn includes Digital Marketing Consultant, FCIM (Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing). 
  • Update your headline to something that is useful for others to know about you or your business. 
  • Make sure all relevant sections of your profile are completed and consider turning off or hiding sections that are not relevant. 
  • Use a professional head shot or image for your profile photo. Profiles with a good quality picture, as opposed to a logo or something that is difficult to make out, get more engagement. If you have lots of employees on LinkedIn, consider getting head shots for all the team or using the same background for the photos. This will increase brand awareness and present a professional image for the business.
  • Update the education section to include any training courses that you complete. 
  • Reach out to your connections to ask for recommendations on the platform. 
  • When building your network and sending out connection requests, include a personal message where you can. 
  • Feature any professional bodies that you are a member of and add in some interests in the relevant section – including interests is a quick way for others to get to know more about you.

Niamh added: “LinkedIn carried out research to identify the key attributes employers look for on the platform. To really make your profile stand out, refer to these or find ways to illustrate that you have these skills – adaptability, positivity, resilience, proactivity and confidence.”

3. Contagious Content

Whether you are sharing a post, writing an article, or engaging in a conversation on LinkedIn, Niamh said users should aim to provide advice on a common problem, be amusing, inspirational or provide interesting information. 

“The aim with LinkedIn is to engage and be engaging. Good quality imagery is a must, as well as catchy titles to draw attention” she added.

Niamh also pointed out that generally, the best times to post content are between 7am and 9am, 12pm and 2pm or after 4pm, all on weekdays. The platform gets less traffic at the weekend. 

An important note to the audience from Niamh was that company pages have not taken off yet on LinkedIn, with the platform announcing regular changes to try and increase the use and visibility on these pages. Where you do have a company page, encourage all employees to share any content you put on it to increase engagement. 

Check out Niamh’s full Lunchtime Learning on the Cathedral Quarter website: https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/whats-on/lunchtime-learning-linkedin-for-business/

To see more Lunchtime Learning sessions go to: https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/lunchtime-learning 

Belfast City Blues Festival Announces 2020 Festival To Move Online “Live From The Bunker”

Earlier this year the Belfast City Blues Festival 2020 was cancelled as a live event due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

However, organisers have worked hard over the last month to find a way of bringing the music to the fans.

Festival director Seamus O’Neill said: “I haven’t let our music fans down yet with the festival and I’m not about to start.”

This year although fans won’t be able to attend the live gigs they will still get their dose of music as a special online show on Saturday, June 27 from 2pm-10pm.

Seamus O’Neill said that the decision in April  to postpone the 11th outing for the best of local, national and international musical talent had not been taken lightly.

“The wellbeing of our friends, fans, musicians and Blues family, alongside the amazing staff, volunteers, sponsors and festival team who support us every year was always our number one priority,” he said.

“As we consider what we can do later in the year or next year we’re pleased to host this special online show live from the Blues Bunker.”

Artists confirmed so far are Lee Hedley, Sam Davidson’s Taste, Mirenda Rosenberg, who will stream from the US, The Johnny Max Band, streaming from Canada, The Red Hot Roosters, Dom Martin, Tony Villars and more to be announced.

Lee Hedley said it was important that the Belfast City Blues Festival annual celebration is acknowledged.

“Each year the festival has grown and become such a vibrant part of the city’s musical calendar,” he said. “I’m delighted that we all can play, albeit online, for fans and hopefully raise some money to make sure the festival comes back bigger and better than ever.”

Seamus said that while they are considering a scaled back festival later in the year the June 27 show will again demonstrate the commitment to the best of musical talent.

“From an idea 11 years ago the Belfast City Blues Festival grew to such an extent that by 2019 22,500 visitors flocked to venues,” he said. “The success of the festival is testimony to what we can achieve when we come together.

“Thank you to everyone who has been part of the festival to date and I promise that in 2021 we will be back, bigger and better than ever.”

The online show Live From The Bunker kicks off at 2pm on June 27 and will run for eight hours until 10pm.

For more information and to book your ticket go to https://bit.ly/3hqJ3eY

Stay Active and Zoom into free virtual exercise and wellbeing classes.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Sport and Well Being team is helping us to stay active with a new series of free virtual exercise and health classes.

The live classes, which will be delivered using the Zoom platform by Council’s qualified tutors, will allow you to take part in Yoga, Pilates, Tums and Bums, Fitness and Dance Fit.  The weekly timetable will also include classes on health and nutrition, chair based exercise and ageing well. 

Alderman Mark Fielding, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “This fantastic initiative shows Council’s innovative approach to ensuring our residents stay active during the current pandemic. With an overall focus on health and wellbeing, there’s a great variety of activities and topics to choose from and I would encourage people to get involved. Staying active is so important at this time and this free programme will allow you to avail of expert guidance and instruction from the comfort of your own home.”

Classes will begin from week commencing Monday 22nd June 2020 and the timetable will be refreshed every two weeks. 

To register your place or to request additional information email sportsdevelopment@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

You will be sent an application form to complete and return via email. Following this you will receive the link to your selected Zoom course. 

If you have any queries you can also ring 07719 745936.

The programme is supported by Sport Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency.

Council Supports Local Retailers as they get Back to Business

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has given a helping hand to local businesses as they prepare to reopen following Covid-19.

From Tuesday 16th June, hundreds of packs containing social distancing posters, masks, hand sanitisers, advice leaflets, visors and much more have been distributed to small independent retailers across the towns of Antrim, Ballyclare, Crumlin, Glengormley and Randalstown.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth presents business pack to Lorraine McConnell, Joli, Ballyclare.

The packs help retailers introduce social distancing measures as well as providing advice and support from the Council on getting back to business. This initiative is part of Council’s Business Resilience and Revival Package which to date, has included a number of online business workshops and webinars. Topics include Innovation and Changing Work Practices, Re-Opening with the Greatest Impact and a Complete Guide to E-Commerce.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth said, “Businesses throughout our Borough have been hit hard by the current pandemic and it is important they reopen safely. The Council is assisting businesses to get back up and running and I would encourage business owners to avail of the support and help available. I would also take this opportunity to ask everyone to show their support for these businesses and Shop Local over the forthcoming weeks to revitalise our towns and commercial centres.”

If you are a business in Antrim and Newtownabbey and would like to access Council business support please text BUSINESS to 80039 or E. business@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk. Information is also available on the Council’s website or alternatively visit www.publichealth.hscni.net for additional help and guidance.

Bushmills is Open for Business!

The Bushmills Business Association has welcomed the news that non essential shops can re-open and in preparation have added a retail focused sub group to support businesses further.

This popular North Coast village has a wide variety of retail offerings including stylish boutiques, antiques, souvenirs, art galleries, a small museum and craft shops making it a must stop destination.

Pam McAllister and Karen Yates from the BBA retail group discussing their upcoming re-opening.

Ian Bickerstaff from Gallery 1608 joined the BBA retail group as he recognised the potential to collaborate more with other business owners in the village. His experience in strategic and financial management brings fresh new thinking to the group.  ‘As a group we are planning a positive campaign over the next couple of months to get the message out that Bushmills is back in Business’. Gallery 1608 houses one of Northern Irelands largest Fine Art Collection showcasing the talents of Irelands Top Artists. The Gallery also champions many local crafts including sculptures, ceramics and a stunning range of handmade jewellery. The Gallery moved quickly, on the closure of their shop in March, by investing in their website introducing a seamless online shopping option. Gallery owner Ian admits ‘Many of my customers like to view our collection in the space we have created, they enjoy talking to our experienced team about the artist so we have been working hard to allow that to happen and in addition we are now offering one to one appointments on selected evenings, by appointment ’.

Karen Yates founder and designer of Taylor Yates luxury soft leather handbags also joined the working group and brings her broad experience in business and marketing. Karen is currently the part time CEO of Coleraine Chamber and is working at the highest levels to engage with Stormont on economic recovery plans. Speaking about her own business Karen explains that her customers fall in love with her bags once they get the opportunity to touch and feel how soft the leather is so she is offering virtual appointments with the option of sending customers a sample of British leather to do just that while they are having a virtual one to one. Karen believes businesses need to think differently and become more flexible in the short term to survive.

Pam McAllister of Therapy Style, a popular fashion boutique, has been a successful business owner in Bushmills for 18 years and has been an active member of the BBA. Pam has welcomed the opportunity to chat to other retailers particularly during this difficult time. ‘It been very challenging but I have   focused on building my connection with my loyal customers and reach out to new customers, I spent lockdown rebranding, online sales, focusing more on social media and giving my shop a face lift. I am offering my customers the opportunity to book exclusive one to one appointments and as a virtual version offering Fashion FaceTime slots which I’m really excited about, I have really missed my customers’ and adds ‘Chatting to other retailers has been really helpful and  going forward we believe that working together will be a key part of getting back on track.

BBA Vice Chairman Gary Stewart congratulated all three businesses for coming together at this stage and commended all the essential businesses who delivered excellent levels of service to residents during the pandemic. He added ‘We have a lot of hospitality businesses in Bushmills but we must not forget about our wide ranging retail offering and we are optimistic for our economic recovery and  hopeful that other retailers will get involved as things settle down’

Embrace the Giant Tastes of Northern Ireland

LIVE cheese tasting celebrating local produce at home

16th June 2020: Discover NI is hosting a virtual cheese tasting and pairing workshop on Friday 19th June, showcasing stand out artisanal produce to help you create the perfect Northern Ireland cheese board at home.

Indue Fude’s Johnny McDowell

The educational session will be hosted by local food champion Johnny McDowell, founder and co-owner of Indie Füde, a delicious delicatessen nestled in the heart of Comber in County Down. Johnny is extremely passionate about local produce, with vast knowledge of the superb products available on our doorstep.

Named Best Food Destination last year, Northern Ireland is home to world renowned local produce, including delicious cheeses.

With Johnny sharing the stories behind many Northern Ireland’s cheese producers, Facebook Live viewers will also learn about local artisan beverages to pair with cheeses, such as gins, ciders or craft beers, to achieve the perfect flavours.

From Young Buck Cheese based in Newtownards, Dart Mountain Cheese from the Sperrin Mountains and Ballylisk Cheese in Armagh, session participants will learn more about the award-winning products from across Northern Ireland. 

As an opportunity to continue to support local artisan producers, particularly during this time, tune in and enjoy learning about the mouth-watering flavours via: 

Discover Northern Ireland Facebook Page

Friday 19th June, 6.30pm

Follow the Discover Northern Ireland social channels for updates and where to purchase delicious local cheeses, embracing the spirit of Northern Ireland during the time.

Lyric Theatre Belfast has the reason to keep giving out Good Vibrations

Since the start of the lockdown in March the team at Lyric Theatre Belfast has been committed to adapt, innovate and provide audiences with access to great theatre via their online platform, Lyric Theatre Online. This is set to continue with the announcement that their huge 2018 hit Good Vibrations, starring Aaron McCusker, will be available for 24 hours on Wednesday 17th June from 8pm.

Katie Richardson – Good Vibrations (Credit Chris Heaney)

“New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!” The hit production Good Vibrations, adapted for stage from the popular film, starring Aaron McCusker (Bohemian Rhapsody, Shameless) and directed by Des Kennedy (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) follows the life of radical, rebel and music lover Terri Hooley (Aaron McCusker) on a mission to create an alternative Ulster,by uncovering some of the best punk bands of the 70’s. This is the feel good, rebellious, two-fingers-up production and must-see lockdown theatre.

Looking forward to Good Vibrations streaming from Lyric Theatre Online, Des Kennedy  commented:

“I’m really pleased the Lyric are streaming this production.  It feels like a good time to be showing this story about a city on lockdown.  Good Vibrations shows Terri challenging bigotry, police intimidation and white supremacy and it is about young people rising up and trying to smash a system that only offers violence, poverty and lack of opportunity. As the world goes through a period of radical transformation, Good Vibrations challenges its audience to “grab it, change it, it’s yours!”

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer, Lyric Theatre said:

“This is an incredibly difficult and challenging time for everyone in the Arts sector. With many theatres forced to close for the foreseeable future,  it is so important that we look to ways to adapt, innovate and work together as we seek to navigate our way through the recovery plan for this new normal. We continue with our commitment to programming for Lyric Theatre Online with the hugely popular ‘Good Vibrations’. This vibrant, engaged, relevant production is something that’s very much needed during these times. We also continue with our commitment to support, as much as we possibly can, everyone connected to our magnificent theatre from our staff to freelancers.  The arts play a key part in our civic lives and much as it is a lifeline to us while we are in lockdown, it will be just as important to help us as a society heal from this crisis. I am convinced that it will continue to be as important in the future as it always has been.”

As a charity, the Lyric relies upon its audience for up to two-thirds of their income and is the largest employer of freelance actors and other theatre professionals in Northern Ireland. To help Lyric withstand this impact please consider making a small donation as you enjoy this production of Good Vibrations. All support is greatly appreciated.

Good Vibrations was supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

Good Vibrations is available to view for free from 17th June from 8pm for 24 hours only on www.lyrictheatre.co.uk and youtube.com/LyricTheatreNI.  Follow Lyric Theatre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LyricBelfast #LyricEntertain.

As Lockdown Lifts Are You Utilising LinkedIn To Find New Customers?

Across the country businesses are being given the green light to re-open following a lengthy period of closure.

Whilst there may be a range of practical considerations they need to be thinking about it’s vital business owners aren’t forgetting the importance of creating engaging and relevant content on social media.

That’s the message from content specialist and publicist Tina Calder of Excalibur Press who will be presenting her free webinar Supercharge Your LinkedIn With Great Content tomorrow (Wednesday June 17) at 3pm.

She said: “For many businesses, especially those who are targeting business people or are working in a b2b setting, they should not underestimate the power of showing your customers that you’re back, you’re stronger than ever and able to give them content that they can and will engage with.

“When a crisis happens in a business more often than not things such as social media, digital marketing and communications tend to be pushed to the side in favour of what is considered an immediate need. 

“The problem with that is by the time you do put focus into these things it’s often too late.

“Creating strong, engaging, organic content now can help to support your brand to return to the market and back up your marketing and sales strategy for your comeback.”

Tina’s 90-minute webinar Supercharge Your LinkedIn With Great Content will help attendees unlock some of the secrets of the popular b2b social platform and is packed full of top tips, tricks, tools and techniques to help you go it alone and do it yourself.

Tina added: “This webinar will go over some of the basics of optimising your profile, however, what we will focus on more is the content, what should you share, how do you share, where do you find it and how can you use it to maximise your opportunities, get sales leads and raise the profile of yourself, your brand and/or your business.”

Supercharge Your LinkedIn With Great Content is part of a series of free webinars each week by Tina and Excalibur Press helping businesses look at a variety of elements of their digital transformation during the Covid-19 crisis.

One element of this webinar is Tina’s 79 types of content you can share on the platform.

To give you a taste of these, here are just 9:

1.  How to

‘How to’ content offers your audience massive value and often performs well because you’re helping the audience to solve a problem that they (might) have. 

At the same time, publishing this type of content benefits you because you’re giving them an example of your expertise in your field. You can create a how-to video or set out the instructions step by step in text. 

Either way, they’ll thank you for it by consuming more of your content in the future.

2.  Case studies

Case studies are a big opportunity to demonstrate the value of your product or service, often by telling a real-life story of how your business has helped a customer or client of yours with a business problem.

In essence, case studies are a sales tool. The person reading the case study should be able to picture themselves using your product or service by the end they finish reading it.

The more interesting the angle or more challenging the client’s problem, the better for your case study and you’ll relate how your business was able to solve the problem for them. You should be portraying yourself as a supportive element and, ideally, you should back up the key points of your case study with data to convey the value of your product or service.

3.  Behind the scenes

Maybe you’ve heard it a million times before now, but it’s really true: people buy from other people. They like to know who they’re buying from and the behind-the-scenes content gives you a chance to really connect with your audience and humanise your brand.

Behind-the-scenes content is transparent, not excessively polished and, like a case study, is about the process. Your audience gets to see what’s going on behind the brand and the content helps them to understand your business better. It builds trust in your business and your expertise starts to shine through naturally.

4.  Opinion

An opinion piece gets people talking and can even become news in itself, but be careful not to become notorious. If your opinion pieces leave a nasty taste in your audience’s mouths regularly, they could harm your brand reputation. 

Ideally, the pieces should be balanced and base themselves on an objective analysis of the facts and evidence, not necessarily be providing the evidence itself. Note that just because a piece should be balanced, that doesn’t mean it can’t be hard-hitting if it’s appropriate to be so.

The purpose of an opinion piece is to help the reader form their own opinion and should enlighten them or empower them. All throughout, the piece should be entertaining enough for them to read right until the end and make them want to read more pieces by you. Be careful not to impose your own views heavily on them. You’ll lose your audience otherwise.

5.  Interviews

Unique content is crucial in content marketing and interviews are a terrific way to create this. They’re also an easy way to generate content. The person you’re interviewing will create lots of valuable material you can use for your content. You can then create a text article, video or podcast of the interview. Experiment with different media to find the one that suits you.

Interviews give you the chance to reach out to influencers in the industry, who can offer some excellent insight. 

Don’t worry about being on a ‘lower’ level than they are: the interview will give the influencer free publicity, so many will be happy to do it and if people see you interviewing several major influencers, they’ll start to perceive you as having slightly higher authority. They start to associate your business with the major influencers and you’ll become an influencer in your own right.

6.  Throwbacks

Everyone loves a blast from the past, which makes ‘throwback’ content a powerful content marketing tool. It’s nostalgic and allows you to create an emotional connection with their audience. It’s also a lot of fun and you can really engage your audience.

One way you can create throwback content is to dig into your business’s archives and share a video, picture or social post from your early days in the business. It could be from when you were just starting out and still trying to figure everything out as a business owner. You can compare yourself to now and discuss how far the business has come since then.

7.  “Meet the team” posts

Introducing your audience to your team is a part of your brand storytelling. It’s a powerful way to show your audience the people behind the brand, who are just as important as the company itself, and adds a personal touch to your content. Choose videos or text posts with an image, but either way, let people see your team.

Publishing “Meet the Team” content will also build trust with your audience. This is because you’re no longer “faceless”. When your audience sees names and faces, you become a “real” company to them all of a sudden. In an age where people are concerned about online scams, your “Meet the team” content will build your credibility.

8.  FAQs

The chances are you’ll hear some of the same questions a lot in your industry, which gifts you with a great opportunity to create truly valuable content for your audience in the form of FAQs. Make a note of the questions you hear most often — or even just all of the questions you hear — and create a separate LinkedIn post for each one and answer the question.

You can teach your audience and help them to learn about your industry. You can teach them about your products and services and how to use them successfully. You can discuss how you’ve helped other businesses. Answering people’s questions with your content will build trust and increase your credibility with your audience.

9.  Long form articles

Did you think that people want really short content on LinkedIn?

You’ll be surprised. The Content Marketing Institute has reported posts with 1 000 to 3 000 words get more shares, even though shorter content dominates LinkedIn. Posts can be text heavy and have simple elements such as bullet-pointed lists. You don’t have to pack them with images and charts etc.

The CMI suggested three main reasons for the higher numbers of shares that longer posts enjoy:

  • LinkedIn is a refuge from the pressure to add images and videos to prose.
  • People base their sharing activity on how important they perceive the author of the content to be. An impressive job title can capture as much attention as visual elements.
  • The structure as a network for professionals, which creates minimum expectations for entertaining content.

LinkedIn has evolved immensely in the last few years and is an essential tool for marketing your business. The platform offers lots of scope to create amazing content and, just like on other platforms, audiences will reward good content. They’re receptive to lots of different types, which means there are plenty of opportunities to produce excellent content and really build a positive brand image.

Register for Supercharge Your LinkedIn With Great Content at https://bit.ly/3huRS7z 

Tomorrow (Thursday June 18) Tina will also be delivering her popular Blogging For Business webinar at 3pm.

For details of forthcoming free webinars go to https://excaliburpress.co.uk/events