How to Make a Gif

by Kenny Murray

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Your essential guide to GIFS for business and how they can help your public relations

giphy (4)AS A KID you probably sat down and made a “flick book” – a series of drawings of stick men running or jumping that appeared to move when you flipped through the pages really quickly.

 Who’d have believed that a few years later the simple childhood pleasure would be digitised and turned into one of the most enduring and pervasive forms of entertainment on the internet as we know it today?

Unless you’re just discovering the web for the first time you have *definitely* seen a GIF, though you may not necessarily have realised it was called a GIF (short for Graphical Interchange Format).

They are a staple of social media – being shared in their countless millions, particularly on Twitter and Facebook Messenger.

What’s not to love about the short, repetitive (and often very funny) moving pictures? GIFS are a great way of capturing comedic moments from video or even highlights from TV shows and movies that people want to share.

While there are millions of GIFs online, part of the fun is in making your own – so check out our essential video guide on how to create your own GIFs .


However, web users are not solely using GIFs to discuss the TV show or movie that the clip is from – now the artful use of GIFs is becoming a legitimate form of social commentary on real discussions.

Instead of saying you’re sad about something, you may send the scene from Harry Potter where Hogwarts students raised their wands to mark the death of Dumbledore – which was recently shared extensively as a tribute to the late, great Alan Rickman.




Instead of celebrating in the traditional way of sending a message, they may send a GIF of their favourite footballer celebrating a goal.



So, essentially, allowing people to share complex emotions that otherwise may take a while to explain are done so in a short, visual and engaging way.

GIFs haven’t always been fashionable. At one time, they were the tool of the internet aficionados who like to shirk the mainstream and they’d be used to illustrate in-jokes. Now it seems, everyone is in on the joke.

How mainstream are GIFs? Well ‘Giphy’ one of the leading repositories of GIFs, and a site that allows you to make them is now worth more than a whopping £215 million. That’s right, GIFs are big business. How you ask? Well, quality is important and location is important. Twitter now allows users to search for GIFs directly via their platform as does Facebook.

Users navigate these GIF search engines by typing in keywords, making up emotions, names of films or other terms. So essentially, brands are looking to own an emotion, they want their brand to come up first. Imagine being a brand and being able to have users search for a GIF that represents ‘Happy’ and the first thing that comes up is someone eating a Pizza Hut? It’s a veritable goldmine.

Brands and businesses can now literally do what they’ve wanted to do for years. They can be directly associated with an emotion – and have this demonstrated in private discussions as well as public discussions all over the world.

In the age of Emoji’s, GIFs are cutting through the noise. Emojis are used in the billions every day, as this Emoji real time tracker shows (be advised, this is impressive, but it is so fast changing and flashing that it comes with an epilepsy warning!)– GIFs are used as the main focus of a discussion and therefore you could argue have much more value.

So what use is this for a business in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter? We here at Holyrood PR value being ahead of the curve, and we’ve spotted this trend coming from a good way off – but with this now hitting the mainstream, brands can become fully involved in the discussion without worrying about being pioneers.

Got a great new product in a variety of colours? You can show that with a Gif.



Crazy about news and think others should be too? You can show that with a Gif.



Deliriously happy about a new product launching? You can show that with a Gif.



Savvy businesses work with PR and communication experts who can guide you through the world of GIFs and the rest of the media landscape.

Don’t know your GIFs from your Google Plus or your memes from your Meerkat? We’d love to help your business navigate the world of online communications.

We’ve helped scores of business to understand the talk – then walk the digital walk, always with a clear focus on delivering measurable results.

To find out more, contact us on 0131 561 2244 or fill out the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you.

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Kenny Murray of Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland

Private: Kenny Murray

Kenny Murray is part of the expert PR team at Holyrood PR, an award-winnning Scottish public relations agency, which offers media relations, social media, photography, video, crisis management and PR in Edinburgh.

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