How many times can we reinvent the wheel?

How many times can we reinvent the wheel?

When apps first came on the scenes all those years ago it seemed like each app had its own niche. These new apps wiped out the old social media sites like Bebo (who remembers that one) and brought with it the new social media age when we didn’t have to sit at a computer screen to connect, we could do it wherever and whenever we liked.  

But now it seems like all of these apps are morphing into different versions of each other. Instagram has recently announced “Instagram Guides” which is, in a nutshell, blogging on Instagram. While this feature has been about for a while but has only been released to all accounts from November 2020 it’s hard to understand how this will be a part of the platform which will really take off. To begin with the appeal of Instagram was its quick and easy nature – snap a picture and post it, caption optional. Now with the introduction of longer posts with more information to take in will this turn out to be a curse on Instagram’s behalf. 

In a new venture for Twitter, they have now introduced stories. So, moving on from their USP of 140-character posts you can now post stories. Stories are now featuring on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In. So, the question would be how many stories can one person tell? Surely, it’s obvious that some features are better suited to some apps and not so well suited to others. 

With the difference between apps becoming less distinguishable, from a PR perspective, does this make all of these apps equally as viable for pushing content out on? Will business start to push content out on Linked In stories, even though stories have been closely associated with Snapchat and Instagram and are usually used for short, snappy not necessarily very important content. 

Will we now start to see a linear approach to digital communication where business won’t need to change their posting tactics to suit the general approach to each app. It could be a possibility in years to come that instead of seeing business change things up between different social media apps that it will be one generic post posted across 4 or 5 platforms, solely for the fact that these apps have become so similar in the last 12 months. 

Niamh Magee is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at Twitter and LinkedIn

Feuds: Easy Press or PR Nightmare?

We all love a good argument. The drama, the intrigue, taking sides; it’s all fascinating. But, when there is a public feud between celebrities all of these aspects are multiplied. We love to know EVERY SINGLE DETAIL about who said what, who did they say it to, who was actually involved. It’s sometimes even more interesting to see who gets themselves involved. But, do these feuds provide easy press coverage for both parties? Do they prove to be beneficial for both sides? And what happens when your dirty laundry is aired all over the internet for everyone to see?

Now celebrity feuds are nothing new and the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Feuds have been happening in the celebrity world for as long as anyone can remember, the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford which began in 1935 was so iconic it has since had its own dedicated series documenting the events. Since the likes of Twitter and Instagram were obviously not around in 1935 the two were creative in how they played out their feud in the press. Without their own personal outlets to voice their opinions, the feud centered around statement given by the two in newspapers, something we could not imagine today with the rise of social media. At the peak of their feud when Bette Davis was married to the CEO of Pepsi, Joan had a Coca Cola machine in her dressing room, probably the sassiest thing to happen in 1935. Joan however did not fare as well out of the feud as what Bette Davis did, her action got her branded as petty and cruel. It also destroyed her friendship with Bette as it was assumed that Joan, as Bettes friend knew of her attraction to the man in question.

Over the years, since the scandal of 1935, celebrity feuds have been played out quite differently than the tactics of Bette and Joan. On the whole they are still fuelled by statements given by the opposing parties, but they are mainly focussed on Twitter and Instagram. 

The Kanye West and Taylor Swift feud started on live TV, who could forget that acceptance speech for best album. From then the feud escalated. Kanye did apologise, but took the apology back and added more fuel to the fire by using Taylor’s name in his song famous. Kanye was very vocal across social media, something his PR team must have been absolutely thrilled about. But that didn’t stop the world being fascinated by the argument. With Team Kanyes and Team Taylors firmly established the feud became interactive on twitter with the world voicing their opinions in the matter. With 10 years passed since the feud was ignited, will these two put their differences aside and finally make up? Or will they make for more celeb news in the future? The exposure for both sides could really be considered as invaluable.

Celebrity feuds bring a reality to the saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad press?’. No topic is left untouched when it comes to a feud no matter how personal. Feuds can bring celebs to the forefront of the media even when they are considered to be minor on the celeb scene. 

No feud is more prevalent in this than the emotional feud that erupted between Khloé Kardashian and Jordyn Woods at the beginning of last year. With Jordyn being accused of using her friendship with the entire Kardashian family to boost her own career, she was slated for admitting to kissing Khloés baby daddy Tristan Thomas. Jordyn did not come out of this feud unscathed however. Khloé very publicly accused her of a user, and a liar. She was also cut off from the whole Kardashian family. Jordyn also lost a huge following on her social media accounts as a result of the allegations, despite her attempt to make amends with the Kardashian tribe by doing a media interview. Khloé however, did not receive the same backlash for her actions, which she received some hate for her tweets she did not receive the same amount of hate as what Jordyn did and was relatively praised for how she handled the entire situation. But, are we surprised that this feud started days before Khloé stepped out at a launch event for PrettyLittleThing?

On the other hand to personal feuds which start in the public eye, there are some feuds which could be settled behind closed doors. The now infamous instagram post from Coleen Rooney exposing Rebekah Vardy could easily have been settled in a text message, however Coleen decided to expose the mole in Rebekahs staff to the whole of Instagram and Twitter. Neither Coleen or Rebekah are known for much more than being married to footballers, so this has massively boosted both parties images. Coleen has, of course, come out the better of the two in this case. 

The media coverage of celebrity feuds has become a focal point of our daily entertainment news feeds. It seems nowadays that celebs are not worried if the press they are getting is bad press as long as they are being considered a talking point in the daily trending pages of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All of this press equates into searches, views and likes for the participants involved.

So, is involving yourself in a feud with someone more famous than you really worth the hassle for a little bit of press?

Niamh Magee is a second year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at Twitter: niamhmagee_ and Instagram: neevmagee

Black Friday: Is it Worth it?

So, with just over a month left until Christmas; the rush to finish shopping is well and truly on. While I’m sure there are many of you out there who have already finished your shopping and have nothing at all left to buy, I am also certain that there are loads of you (like me) who have ALL of your shopping to do. As I am a part of this group Im going to let you in to a few secrets for coping with the ultimate shopping day of the year, BLACK FRIDAY.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Black Friday shopping day, although with it being plastered all over our screens from the 1st of November it would be hard not to have at least heard of it before. Black Friday, which originated in America is the last Friday in November/the Friday after thanksgiving. While in America stories of Black Friday bring stories of long queues outside shops, violent fights which can only envy Monica, Phoebe and Rachel wedding dress shopping; it can be a dangerous game venturing out to the shops that day; although I’m yet to experience hair pulling and name calling in Victoria Square. 

How prepared I think I am for the Black Friday Sales

Shopping on Black Friday when every shop within your eyesight has a big, shiny, sale sign outside can be daunting. Who’s doing the best deal? Who’s got a sale on all stock? Who’s only using it as an excuse to get rid of last seasons stock? The best way to go about this is to do your research. Generally if a brand has American roots, or has a presence in America you can count on some sort of sale, should it only be minor. One rule which I have learned is generally true when it comes to Black Friday is that ‘The bigger the brand the bigger the sale’ we’re talking Hollister, Pull and Bear, Guess, Black Friday deals are huge in these shops and are usually on the autumn/winter stock; in other words, stuff you would actually want to buy at this time of year.

But while the physical sales are rivalled only by Boxing Day sales, there is a lot to be said for the online Black Friday sales. Come 12.01am on 29th November there will be price cuts left, right and centre. Even the staff in some shops will recommend waiting until their online black Friday prices come out as the savings are so good – music to all parents ears!

How prepared I actually am

But what is our infatuation with Black Friday and why do we feel like we save more on this sale, on the last Friday in November than we do in any other sale of the year? Well, really the price cuts in some stores aren’t that great and some shops don’t even take part. Primarily the best deals can be found in American brand stores and the UK based brands might have a 20% sale; quite mediocre if you are managing to save 50% in say Hollister. Black Friday has become so much of an institution now many brands start their offers early; Amazon have started advertising their Black Friday deals already. 

Has Black Friday turned in to a marketing ploy from shops to make us think that were making huge savings on our Christmas shopping? Most shops have deals on and off for the whole Christmas shopping period, so the savings we make in November could easily be recreated in December, but we have ourselves convinced that doing as much Christmas shopping on the last Friday in November is absolutely pivotal to keeping our costs down in terms of Christmas presents. So is it time to wind down Black Friday in the UK or continue to embrace the biggest shopping day of the year given to us from across the pond? I for one will continue to embrace it because after all, who doesn’t love a good sale?

Niamh Magee is a second year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at Twitter: niamhmagee_ and Instagram: neevmagee

A Students Guide to Surviving the Drive to Uni

While we are all very well aware of the rule of the roads, after all we don’t get a license now unless we pass a test on it. But knowing the legal rules of the road and practising them can be two different things, especially if you’re trying to get up the M2 between the unforgiving driving hours of 7 and 9am, Monday to Friday.

With week 2 now being over, and the huge influx of people who will now be on the roads in the ‘rush hour’ traffic in the mornings, I have come up with a help list to make things that little bit easier for those who are driving this year.


Please, and I cannot stress this enough USE YOUR INDICATORS! Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for miles on end, maybe not being at your most alert of the day and having a nippy Corsa swerve its away in to the tiniest of gaps, narrowly missing a front bumper all to gain a whole 0.002 seconds of their arrival time grinds my gears (excuse the pun). So please, if you see a gap come up stick your indicator on, wait a second to see if the gap widens and then proceed to move in to the gap. Its really simple if you think about it.


Don’t, for the love of all that is holy on this earth, sit at the sound defying speed of 60mph on the M2. 70mph is the speed limit for the motorway and for the most part this is the general speed of all of the cars around you. Driving at a considerably lower speed to the surrounding cars as well as dealing with the large number of cars on the road, can be very infuriating. You may be in plenty of time for your class, but that does not mean to say it’s okay to hold up a whole road for the


Show some acknowledgement to your fellow drivers, a wee smile here, a wave there, a flash of the hazard lights- it’s the little things. Let the driver behind know that your appreciative that they are holding back the drivers behind them to let your F Type Jag in in front of you. Us fellow drivers aren’t asking for a lot, we don’t want to you send us a thank you note we just want some love for our hassles.


Use your horn accordingly. Don’t be blaring the horn for the sake of it, or because someone couldn’t get changed lanes, after all there is an unbelievable amount of cars on the roads between 7am and 9am and getting changed lanes quickly is not the easiest of feats. So please don’t alarm other drivers. Its early, we’re all in the same boat, none of us realistically want to be awake at that time of the morning so please, stay chill.


Plan ahead. This I can’t make this any clearer! It will be your saving grace and will take an enormous amount of pressure off you for your first drive. The M2 is unforgiving, it’s a free for all and as my mummy would say many drivers you would think got their licenses out of Barrys. So do yourself, and all of us a favour and plan your journey. Google it, stick it on your phone, do whatever you need to do to keep yourself right. Make sure you know where you’re going, how long its going to take you and know what lane you need to be in and when you need to change. Those who don’t know where they are going stand out like sore thumbs in the mornings- the changing lanes frequently, the slowing down coming to slip ways, drivers know the signs.


The final point in my survival guide to the M2, is by far the most important. If you want to avoid being honked at, lights flashed at you and really avoid any other forms of drivers trying to grab your attention. MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. Yes it is very daunting seeing the road move in to 6 lanes, signs everywhere and really it looking like the opening scene to Disney Pixars Cars- but move out of the way. Other drivers know where they are going and the frustration of someone sitting in a lane in front of them tootling along can be the most irritating thing on the planet. To be totally honest, it’s for your own good.

Niamh Magee is a second year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at Twitter: niamhmagee_ and Instagram: neevmagee