Skip to content

Smoking Gun PR’s 2016 Almanac

So this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year (almost) over, and a load of great new work for our wonderful clients about to begin.
As is traditional when the festivities-proper get underway, here at the most ingenious public relations agency in Manchester we’ve spent the last couple of days reflecting on everything learnt from the last 12 months, compiled the lot into one essential read, and stuck the word Almanac on the top.
Nothing like an early present…
[Tweet “The year’s best #viral videos, Google search trends, and #media quotes via @SmokingGunPR Almanac”]

Smoking Gun’s annual highlights

January – Our year began on a high as fashion brand Forever Unique jumped on board, pointing to a particularly good-looking immediate future.
February – PR Moments in the north gives us no less than nine nominations, whilst our MD Rick Guttridge is asked to join the speakers at the up coming SAScon Search Analytics Social Media conference. 
March – The PR Moment Awards recognised our efforts for Silentnight as Best Use of Media Relations. And we sent a giant chicken into the streets of Manchester to deliver jars of our favourite warming drink, Peanut Hottie. Better yet, we caught the lot on camera.

April May – Circle Square, a major property development in the heart of Manchester on the old BBC site, tasked us with an integrated communications brief, and we started to get involved with the Blog On MSI micro-publishing conference. PR Week also ranked us in its Global Agencies Business Report, and included us in the list of Top 30 UK Consumer Agencies, making us officially amongst the planet’s finest. 
June – We leap up the Prolific North Best Agencies league table around the same time our Silentnight work comes out on top at the PRCA Dare Awards, and we’re shortlisted for Best PR Agency at the Manchester Publicity Awards. 
July – Fitness and workout brand Les Mills International signed up for Smoking Gun’s hallowed services, calling on us to provide a full press office for the firm. We were also over the moon that former-intern Meabh joined our ingenious clan full time, proving that a little experience can go a very long way in the career world.
August – With the sun baking down on us we couldn’t have asked for a better new client than Feel Good Drinks, the delicious, refreshing and healthy alternative to cans of fizzy sugar. Our creativity was also put to the test by Oven Pride, with an LGBT campaign amid Manchester Pride. Needless to say, we passed with flying colours.
September – We got the thumbs up from the Stilton Cheese Makers’ Association, conducting a strategic communications review. Gio Di Cosmo set out his desk in our office too, the guy we now call Digital Account Director, and our AMEC Measurement Month video, Wilamena No Mates, became required viewing in the industry.

October – We joined forces with Holts to run a campaign for the firm’s Tyreweld product, encouraging the public to make sure their car is ‘winter ready’, with help from rugby star Matt Dawson. Essential Cuisine, and Magic Candy, the latter being the world’s first 3D jelly sweet printer, joined our food clients, and Manchester Publicity Association decided we were Agency of the Year, and responsible for 2016’s Best PR Campaign.
November – Our first efforts for Magic Candy came to fruition, launching the revolutionary product to widespread hits in national and regional print, online and broadcast channels. The new Studio by Silentnight range was also unveiled to the world, and leading PR body, CIPR, gave us the nod for Best Use of Media Relations for the same brand. 
December – Our blog once again received praise from our peers, getting named in the Top 50 PR Blogs by Feedspot. We also celebrated an incredible year here on Bridge Street with our now-legendary Smoking Gun PR office party (what goes on tour…), and, finally, we set our sights on January, and all the opportunities 2017 could bring.
[Tweet “Tweet “The year’s best #viral videos, Google search trends, and #media quotes via @SmokingGunPR Almanac”]

Quotes of the Year*

“Welsh builder says he can do Buckingham Palace for £200 cash.??? The Daily Mash.
“There’s something delightfully sociopathic about making a sausage roll look like a pig.??? Twitter user @zarteftw discussing The Great British Bake Off final.
“Do we, the media, do enough today, to explain and explore? Or are we too busy moving on to the next thing, in thrall to the pace of news???? Former-BBC Director of Radio, Helen Boaden, stepping down.
“Straight up, you can tell Honey G comes from the streets.??? Snoop Doggy Dogg talking about his new protege.
“He really let rip. We were all having a bit of a laugh about it – that he was aiming at a picture of Boris Johnson or Theresa May.??? An eyewitness describing George Osbourne firing a machine gun in Vietnam.
Avid gamer Ryan Gavan told The Sun “We had a big falling out this week when we were supposed to be meeting our wedding photographer… …I was playing Pokemon in the park.???
“German TV news presenters can’t help laughing as they announce #BorisJohnson as Britain’s new Foreign Minister.??? Journalist and international development specialist Laura Schneider not joking via Twitter.
A Guardian reader on this summer’s Stone Roses single: “As it started, I thought it sounded like Bryan Adams fronting Rainbow. And then I realised that it sounded more like Rainbow, the kids’ TV show.???
When Google’s president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa forgot how much he earns: “I don’t have the figure, but I’ll happily provide it.???
[Tweet “Tweet “The year’s best #viral videos, Google search trends, and #media quotes via @SmokingGunPR Almanac”]

*All quotes taken from our weekly media news wrap, Blagger’s Blog – follow us on Twitter or Facebook and never miss a single Friday update.


What have we been Googling?

The most Googled topics in the UK during 2016 were:

  1. Euro 2016
  2. Pokemon Go
  3. David Bowie
  4. Donald Trump
  5. Prince
  6. EU Referendum
  7. Alan Rickman
  8. Olympics
  9. U.S. Election
  10. Deadpool

The most Googled news events in the UK during 2016 were:

  1. Brexit
  2. U.S. Election
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Brussels (terror attack)
  5. Zika virus
  6. Clowns
  7. Harambe the gorilla
  8. Toblerone
  9. BHS Sale
  10. Nice attack

The most Googled TV shows in the UK during 2016 were:

  1. Strictly Come Dancing
  2. Celebrity Big Brother
  3. Making A Murderer
  4. Stranger Things
  5. Westworld
  6. Game of Thrones season six
  7. The Night Manager
  8. The Missing
  9. Marcella
  10. Planet Earth II

The most Googled tech devices in the UK during 2016 were:

  1. iPhone
  2. Samsung Galaxy S7
  3. Google Pixel
  4. Sky Q
  5. Amazon Echo
  6. Nintendo
  7. Amazon Fire TV
  8. Fitbit Blaze
  9. Playstation VR
  10. iPad Pro

The most Googled ‘what is it’ questions in the UK during 2016 were:

  1. What is Pokemon Go?
  2. What is Brexit?
  3. What is the single market
  4. What is the EU?
  5. What is a coup
  6. What is Article 50
  7. What is Bastille Day
  8. What is the weather forecast for today?
  9. What is Sky Q
  10. What is the mountain of butterflies


2016’s top viral videos

[Tweet “Tweet “The year’s best #viral videos, Google search trends, and #media quotes via @SmokingGunPR Almanac”]

Shell – Make The Future
Released – 20/9/2016
Views to date: 261,868,012
Samsung – Galaxy S7
Released – 26/2/2016
Views to date – 224,850,869
John Lewis – #BusterTheBoxer
Released – 10/11/2016
Views to date – 219,403,673
Samsung – Galaxy S7 and S7 edge Official Introduction
Released – 21/2/2016
Views to date – 167,284,733
Nike – Unlimited
Released – 7/6/2016
Views to date – 164,176,396

Sign up for our
ingenious newsletters

Fill in the form to receive our ingenious newsletters packed full of industry insights, practical tips and just a little of our own news.

    Our Awards

    Why stop at global stardom and incredible sales? When our clients work with us, they get the silverware to boot. We’re not into tooting our own horns, but the awards we’ve won with our clients are too good to miss…