What businesses can learn from the peculiar case of the Periscoped puddle

by Scott Douglas

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The power of video and the shifting trends explained by digital experts you can rely on at our Scottish PR agency

A video camera operator filming with a digital cameraTHERE are many big and important questions businesses ask about the internet and it’s power to make or break companies.

Questions like: “How can we make our presence felt on social media?”, or “How should we be making the most of video?”

And our current favourite: “How do we Periscope a puddle?”

Yep, you did read that last one correctly. Before you sigh, raise your eyebrows or write this off as a forgettable oddity of the social media age, bear with us – there are genuine business lessons from one of the most unusual stories of the past week.

Baby meerkatDon’t know your Periscope from your Meerkat? Then see part two of this post where digital expert Kenny Murray provides his guide to the emerging video platforms your business simply cannot afford to miss in 2016

The bizarre case involved a puddle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,  which was streamed to the internet via a live video sharing app called Periscope – and went viral as a result.

More than half a million people tuned in during the six hour video stream, to watch as passers by approached, hesitated then navigated the puddle – which was just big enough to block a busy pedestrian footpath. They watched as some waded through it, others attempted to jump it and others simply turned and walked away.

Why should businesses be paying attention to the peculiar case of the Periscoped puddle?

Not least because the puddle video feed (which had it’s own hashtag, #DrummondPuddleWatch),  also spawned more than 50,000 Tweets, with huge brands jumping on the bandwagon (see this article in The Drum for more detail on businesses like welly-maker Hunter which got involved).

Meanwhile the company behind the livestream, Drummond Central in Newcastle, enjoyed a massive profile boost, appearing in countless media outlets from the lofty Telegraph here in the UK to television giant CNN in the US. Indeed, it is well worth reading  this report from the marketing boss of the company behind the puddle phenomenon, explaining exactly how the whole story unfolded leaving even the company stunned by the global response.

Even more crucially, this case should serve as a wake up call to every business in Scotland  about the relentlessly growing power of online video. Of course we would say that, since since we offer video production as part of our PR services.  We also have many delighted clients who have discovered for themsleves just how powerful video story telling can be.


Nine types of video to benefit businessesCheck out our essential guide to nine different ways your business could help unlock its potential with affordable video storytelling (appropriately all told in a two minute, easy-on-the-eye video


However, the majority of businesses are still failing to make effective use of web-friendly video in their day-to-day operations. In some cases it comes down to budget – but more often it is a result of plain and simple fear, uncertainty and doubt over something still considered “new”.

Here’s a vital lesson – YouTube is now 10 years old and business video is no longer new. It definitely shouldn’t be scary, it needn’t be complex and certainly isn’t expensive (get in touch with us and we’ll happily meet with you to put your mind at ease on all of these points).

What IS new is Periscope. Indeed, the chances are that up until this story hit the headlines you probably hadn’t even heard of the app, which allows users to shoot video on on a mobile phone and share it instantly via Twitter.

It was launched in early 2015, around the same time as a  similar app, called Meerkat. Beyond the world of the media and tech-savvy early adopters, both were still relatively obscure However, the puddle phenomenon means that Periscope has now  hit the mainstream consciousness and the app – and others like it – will be the new darling of video over the coming year.

For businesses that haven’t even got to grips with basic website video or YouTube storytelling that really is  a scary thought.

Why you should work with our agency to help your business benefit from video and stay ahead of changing trends

PR agency guide explains the essentials of visual communications for businessesIt’s not just video that can help your business perform better, attract more customers and enjoy greater profits. There are a host of “visual communications” you need to consider. Our helpful guide will help set you on the path to understanding and mastering all of them.

After all if you haven’t had the time, inclination or confidence to tell your business story in a well-planned video, how will you cope when staff, customers or random passers-by start telling stories for you – in real time?

That’s where Holyrood PR comes in. Firstly we can we help you get to grips with video quickly and in a way that will comfort your bosses, help your customers and add real, measurable value to your business.

And we keep close tabs on the bleeding edge of new technology, so that you don’t have to. Which means you’ll know about the next Periscope months before it hits the mainstream, allowing you test it out and be ready for its arrival.

We’d love to chat with you about the video needs for your business – and how powerful video storytelling could help impress your customers and boost your bottom line. Phone us on 0131 561 2244 or fill out the simple form, below, and we’ll get straight back to you:

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Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

Scott Douglas

Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

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