Blender #11

This One Goes To 11

The Blender is back! With the latest on Google snippets, new Facebook features, Illinois Office of Tourism, and a guide to the New Zealand accent.

Welcome back to The Blender! Now, you may be thinking to yourself: wasn’t the last installment like a year ago?

Well, you’d be wrong. It was 16 months ago. But what better time to make sure there’s an installment for 2017 than in the very last weeks of 2017? No better time, we say.

To recap, The Blender is our digest of marketing updates, combined with things folks at TZO are reading, watching, learning, loving and being inspired by. Yep, we throw in all the good stuff for you to hit the “blend” button and drink up a delicious inspiration smoothie. Gluten and dairy-free.

Google snippets getting longer, possibly now just “snips”

First Twitter increased the size of its tweets, now Google increases the size of its snippets. These are the page descriptions or content previews that appear in search results under the title link and URL.

Getting these right has always been a big part of search engine optimisation (SEO). So does this mean it’s time to update them to take advantage of the extra letters?

Probably not. Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that it’s “more a dynamic process”, suggesting the longer snippets will pull text from the page content itself, rather than meta descriptions (the short bit of text we provide in the website code to describe the page to a search engine).

TZO Google Search results

1. A meta description. 2. A longer snippet drawn from the page content.


We’ll keep an eye on developments here and let you know if it’s a chance to improve your SEO.

The TZO PR team is on fire! (Not literally.)

Earlier this year we unleashed a new PR and travel trade marketing team on the world as part of our partnership with the Illinois Office of Tourism.

They’ve been hard at work getting word out there about all the great things Illinois has to offer. Here’s just a couple from the past couple of weeks:

  • Illinois kicks off year-long celebration for bicentennial (ABC 7 Chicago): In December 2018, it’ll be 200 years since Illinois became a state. In this, the 200th year of statehood, Illinois will celebrate the many ways it has influenced American history, achievement, culture, innovation, and more.
  • Holiday Road Trips with Cory Jobe (WCIU, The U): Director of the Illinois Department of Tourism, Cory Jobe, shares his top picks for Illinois road trips.

You’ve got 280 characters, but sometimes it’s good to keep it 100

You can now tweet 280 characters at a time, but most times, smaller tweets actually have a bigger impact.

Twitter has some guidance about saying more with less. So next tweet, see if you can keep it :100:.

@kanyewest - Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on

Facebook’s new “Did You Know?” feature: share random facts without looking totally weird

Recently Facebook introduced a new feature for personal profiles which allows you to share various fun facts about yourself.

You could, of course, do this already, but Facebook now provides a prompt question, such as “The GIFs I can’t stop using are…” and “A guilty pleasure that I’m willing to admit to is…”.

Yes, it’s a good excuse to finally tell people what your favourite sound is while giving people an answer to the inevitable question “why are they telling us this?”. It’s because Facebook told you to.

Find the “Did You Know” feature on your Facebook profile on iPhone, Android or the web.

Also from Facebook: tools and features for video creators

Perhaps in response to YouTube’s dominance of the online video creator market, Facebook is rolling out Facebook for Creators. It’s a community to help Facebook video creators do their “thing” more effectively.

Facebook Creators

News and lessons can help you create, connect and grow a Facebook audience, and an app gives you ways to manage and monitor what you’re doing.

Sounds great for your business? Unfortunately, it’s only for individuals (with personal pages) at this point. But if you’ve got a personal following, or you work with Facebook influencers, it might be just the thing to help up your video game.

Christchurch International Airport wins Sustainable Business Award

Our client Christchurch International Airport won the Efficiency Champion award at the recent 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. It’s well-deserved recognition for the Airport, which has cut its total energy use by 21 percent since 2013, with a number of new initiatives including:

  • a world-first building heating and cooling system that uses pure Canterbury artesian water from an aquifer beneath the terminal
  • electric vehicles in its fleet.
  • LED lighting.
  • refinements to its Building Management System.

Together, the initiatives have already broken the Airport’s energy use goals for 2025! And it’s not only the Airport which saves energy. Ground power units allow planes to plug into the Airport’s electricity network, rather than burning fuel to power their systems. That saves an A380 1000kg of fuel and 3150kg of carbon emissions each time.

Congrats to the Airport! We’re always proud to work with clients with on-point environmental strategies.

Christchurch Adventure Park reopening

A great bit of news for the Christchurch & Canterbury NZ tourism and adventure scene: the Christchurch Adventure Park has reopened.

The Park, the largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere, first opened a year ago, welcoming thousands of adventure-seeking mountain bikers.

Sadly, it was forced to close in February when fires on the Port Hills cut through the Park, destroying trees and damaging its zipline and chairlift.

But it’s back! Another awesome reason to visit the part of the world half of TZO calls home.

Christchurch Adventure Park

Christchurch Adventure Park prior to the fire. By Schwede66 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A guide to the New Zealand accent

Just in time for Christmas, Air New Zealand provides this look at the challenges of understanding a kiwi accent – an experience the stateside TZOers know all-too-well. It’s the #3 trending video In New Zealand (behind YouTube Rewind and the Avengers: Infinity War, showing that once again Air New Zealand knows how to grab attention.

#MirryChristmus, all.

GIF a compliment this holiday season

Christchurch public health campaign All Right? has released another wonderful piece of joy: an advent calendar of GIF compliments. Share, browse, or just marvel at the skateboarding “t-rex”.


I’m Tweetin’ it! (Accidentally).

Last month McDonald’s lived every social media manager’s nightmare when they accidentally scheduled – and tweeted – an incomplete message.

Black Friday **** Need copy and link****

Oops. But credit to McDonald’s: they left the tweet up, and it may even have worked in their favor. Nearly 23,000 retweets, more than 72,000 likes – that’s way more engagement than their other tweets. Sure, it wasn’t all positive attention, but they were able to show they could laugh at themselves (and deliver a brand message).

When you tweet before your first cup of McCafé... Nothing comes before coffee.

Still, Wendy’s came out the real winner with another example of its keen social wit.

When the tweets are as broken as the ice cream machine.

Mic drop.


Got some clever marketing ideas, news, materials or general amazingness? Send it through to and maybe YOU could appear on a page like this! Wow!

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