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Time to get Festive with Christmas Voice Apps

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and one of the most exciting advancements you can take advantage of over the holidays has to be voice technology and the festive apps that come with it. So, we’ve picked out the top five apps you and your family can enjoy to get in the spirit:

  1. Santa (Alexa Skills)

This voice app is available on Alexa and is full of exciting activities for both young and old to enjoy, from silly workouts and light meditation to jokes and cooking mince pies. There’s even a news and weather update from a reliable source at the North Pole.


  1. Santa Tracker (Alexa Skills)

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been Santa tracking for 65 years and its preparations are fully underway to make Christmas extra special for children and families across the world.


For those who don’t know, on Christmas Eve, NORAD provides up-to-date information on where Santa is. In the meantime, it can also provide top secret Santa facts for those eager to learn more.


  1. Advent Calendar (Alexa Skills)

Launching today (1st December), families across the country can ask Alexa to open a box where she will provide you with a cheery surprise, raising a smile on those gloomy winter days.


  1. Christmas Quiz (Alexa Skills, Google Actions)

As office parties and family get-togethers may be a little different, don’t worry you can still enjoy a Christmas Quiz with your smart device.


On the Google Device, gather the whole family together and test your knowledge on how much you truly know about the holidays. The Alexa alternative is a one-to-one quiz between you and your smart device, compiled of five multiple choice questions.


  1. Christmas Stories (Alexa Skills, Google Actions)

There’s nothing better than cuddling up and listening to a Christmas story to get you in the spirit. Alexa can use ten names of your choice and compile a festive tale for the family. In addition, your Google device will tell you one of three tales; The Snowy Day, Twas the Night Before Christmas or Swan Lake.


If you’re interested in hearing about how voice technology can benefit your brand, then take a read of our blog post, ‘Voice Search: A rare opportunity for brands to be heard’.

How to Rule the Seven Kingdoms of the PR World by Tom Lord

Winter’s not only coming, it’s here! Game of Thrones is back on our screens for its eighth and final series and it’s fair to say that its many fans are hyped.  

Where there’s hype there are also lots of great PR opportunities. In fact, some of our favourite campaigns to come through so far include a global quest to find the hidden thrones, GoT shaped biscuit bites a blood donation drive and even a dragon skin sofa. But, before we find out once and for all who’ll reside on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms, here are seven lessons that we believe PR and creative agencies can take from the series so far.

  1. Research the company you keep

Nothing highlights the consequences of misjudging the company you keep like the ‘Red Wedding’! Now, we’re fairly confident that incorrect audience insight won’t result in bloodshed (certainly not to this scale). However, it can end up with uncomfortable conversations, poor performing campaigns or lacklustre engagement (which to us is surely as bad?). Whether it’s crunching your social feed figures or simply spending time listening to your consumer, getting to know your audiences and their interests is key to surviving the comms game. It’s why insight forms the foundation of any campaign we create.

  1. Collaborate

Despite their initial savagery towards one another, the men of the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings knew that they had to join forces in order to have a chance of defeating the White Walkers. Collaborations can create beautiful content and opportunities. A great example of this is the ‘All in. Leeds’ movement, which saw an army of creative agencies join forces in a bid to welcome Channel 4 to the city of Leeds.

  1. Knowledge is power

Samwell Tarly might not be the greatest warrior, but he’s shown us that knowledge truly is power by unearthing the secret to potentially defeating the White Walkers – dragon glass! Knowledge is key to supporting any PR or content campaign and the use of a credible source or a strong research piece will always add weight to your work.

  1. Be brave

It’s fair to say that GoT has never played it safe. From the incest scenes it featured in the very first episode to each brutally graphic death scene along the way, the show continues to push boundaries and get people talking. You’re never going to set the world alight like Daenerys’ dragons without pushing boundaries and taking calculated risks from time to time– be brave!

  1. Be true to yourself

Whether you love her or hate her, nobody can question Cersei Lannister’s strength or ability to stay true to herself! After losing her children – and having been dragged through the streets of King’s Landing in her birthday suit – she remained as feisty and fearless as ever. Her motives and approach have always been clear and, although she’s not your textbook heroine, she’s a character you’ll always remember and has built a loyal following because of this. In the world of communications, it can be easy to lose your voice. When trying to please everyone, you’re in danger of talking directly to no-one. Have a voice, stand for something, stay true to your values, passion or mission and your fans will find you – whoever you are!

  1. Up your game!

The PR world is an ever-changing landscape and it’s essential to keep ahead of the game wherever you can – perfecting your strategy, approach and tactics with every step. Just like in Oberyn Martell’s showdown with The Mountain, the consequences of taking your eye off the ball can be devastating.  Thanks to our I&I team, we’re constantly updated with the latest tools, topics and techniques to go to battle for our brands and it’s an approach we can thoroughly recommend.

  1. Famous faces aren’t always the answer

Using a celeb to head up a campaign can have amazing results if the fit is right – but it isn’t a sure-fire way of guaranteeing success. Remember when Ed Sheeran popped up as Lannister soldier in series seven? Let’s just leave that one there.