This week’s Souper Five

Just a round-up of some things Content Soup is deeply into this week – we’re talking sausage rolls, baby Jesus, luxury bitching in Yorkshire and taking control of social media anxiety. It’s your Souper Five!

1. Christmas product PR

The race is on for Christmas coverage, and Gregg’s Advent Calendar wins it so far for us.

Just like the bacon sarnie scented candle they did last year, this ‘limited edition’ product was clearly the idea of a savvy PR person who knew it would not only grab headlines, but also work on social media and low and behold, be something that people might actually buy as a funny gift for their sausage roll-loving colleague.

It went viral, the national media went nuts for it and it was all over social media feeds on Monday. And, potentially part of the PR masterplan (but we couldn’t possibly confirm), a few days later Greggs was then ‘forced to apologise’ for replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll in its press photo for the advent calendar – and the headlines just keep on (sausage) rolling in.

Clever Greggs, very clever.

2. Downtime at Rudding Park Spa

Everybody needs a bit of R&R, and after a busy few months at Content Soup, we took some time out at Rudding Park in Harrogate to relax, unwind and get pampered in their seriously luxe new spa.

We’d seen them voted best UK spa hotel by the Sunday Times since their £9.5m spa development earlier this year (12 years in the making), and always a sucker for a good review, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

It really didn’t disappoint. From the amazing changing rooms, to the jungle experience shower, spaceship-esque steam room (scented with fresh rosemary picked from their garden), rooftop sauna and outdoor hydrotherapy infinity pool with built-in massage stations, this was Luxury Bitch-ness at its best. We’re already planning our next visit, and can’t stop recommending it to anyone who’ll listen.

Thank you to Rudding Park for the experience.

3. Putting our phones away

As social media community managers, it can be hard to turn off from our smartphones, and like everyone else, we’re often head down in our apps, rather than paying attention to REAL LIFE.

It can get us down, too, despite loving what we do and having a natural interest in the mad world of social. Our work and life is so dominated by devices, and we feel like we’re expected to answer emails, DMs, WhatsApps and texts right away. So, in an attempt to claim some of that real life stuff back, we’ve been taking some advice from lovely blogger Erica Davies, who spoke candidly about her phone anxiety this week. Here are her top tips:

- Breathe, lie down / sit down, breathe in, hold it, breathe out. Repeat
- Set yourself social media free times where you don’t check / reply
- Change up your scenery. Go into another room or even better, go out for a walk.
- Apps can help. Try HeadSpace and The Calm App
- Yoga – just watch YouTube videos and do it for 10 minutes a day
- Step away from your device, play loud music, put your phone in a drawer
- Remember that we don’t have to do everything, all of the time.

4. Plenty of podcasts

We’re replacing TV addiction with podcast addiction of late, and love nothing more than walking to work with headphones on, catching up on podcasts we’ve been downloading.

Quick summary of what we’ve been listening to this week: S-Town was a triumph (so weird, so addictive), the Blue Planet 2 podcast is as hypnotising in your ears as it is on your eyes, Fame is a Bitch is this gossip girl’s dream, and Ctrl, Alt, Delete is a good one for our work without it feeling too work-y.

What do you think we should add to our list for next week?

5. Leeds at its best

A brilliant bit of positivity in Leeds this week that once again made us proud to be part of this strong, bold, colourful city.

Manjit, from street food business Manjit’s Kitchen, was working on her Kirkgate market stall when a homeless woman came and asked for a cup of hot water. She boiled the kettle and gave her the water. The woman threw it in her face and told her to "go back to where she came from". Her response? To organise a massive raffle to support the homeless.