Apps, Widgets and Jpegs

At Hot Tin Rood, we specialise in PR for tech companies. We keep up to date with all the latest trends in digital technology, from new kit and software, to more general concepts and ideas. We all have an interest in tech and do a pretty good job of this. It may take a couple read-throughs and the occasional Google search but we always ‘get it’ in the end.

Given this background you might think that in our day-to-day work we’d bring some time saving, innovative and enabling tech to bear. And you’d be right. Now, we’ve all read these types of ‘listicles’ before. You know the sort of thing – ‘10 best apps for choosing your socks’ or ‘7 free downloads that will change your working life so that you only need to spend 4 hours a week in the office’ and so on. Well, here we’ll be telling you what we actually use, what we do with it and why. We could be drummed out of the Magic Circle for this!


Good photography is harder than you think, in fact let’s just agree it’s an artform. A hastily taken snap off the iPhone just doesn’t always cut it. We always post up images on our blogs, articles and social media wherever we can, they catch the eye, make posts more engaging and are an important part of storytelling. If we don’t have an appropriate picture to hand we turn to Unsplash. It’s a repository of amazing photos taken by a host of talented artists and it’s all license and copyright free. As it’s searchable by genre, subject and mood, it’s very easy to quickly find something that will suit. Click on the image you like, hit download and hey presto – a hi-res jpeg file is sitting in your downloads folder ready to add the finishing touch to your tweet, blog or wordpress update.


So you have a Twitter account, we all do right? But what if you half a dozen Twitter accounts, and you need to keep an eye on all of them? What if you also want to track Tweets on certain subjects, from particular sources and follow distinct trends? There are a number of tools out there to do this but we think Hootsuite gives you the best functionality and flexibility. You can have multiple pages of streams (ten to a page) on multiple Twitter accounts. You can also schedule posts (up to 30 on a free account) not only on Twitter but on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram too. It’s very easy to set up and saves a lot of time and frustration as you wont need to be logging in and out of accounts in order to see and access everything you need.


We are always looking for good stories and insights to share for our clients and for Hot Tin Roof. We do our best, keep a story bank and scour the press but sometimes the inspiration needs a helping hand. At these times we often turn to Flipboard for help. It is another free to use repository but this time for news, blogs and articles. Once you have set up an account you can then search for topics and start following them. The app will give you the latest curated content available and allows you to click through to the actual source sites. There are a vast range of topics available and the tone ranges from the deadly serious to the more flippant and sensational. It’s not all gold and can be a bit US-centric but it is great for stirring up the grey matter, seeing what’s being written about and providing linkable content for social media posts.


This email distribution service has been around for quite some time, but we still rate it as the best out there. If you want to send out a beautifully designed mass email at the click of a button, distribute a regular newsletter and plan a sustained campaign to hit targeted recipients then Mailchimp is the one for you. Lots of standard templates to choose from, drag and drop layouts to help you set up campaigns and up to 2000 email addresses can be listed free. Once you’ve imported your contacts, you can slice and dice them to your hearts content allowing your mailshots to be more and more targeted. It also provides decent analytics with all sorts of handy metrics available – helping you to see who liked what and when, allowing for further refinements in the future.

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