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BBC Recipes Website … saved by Social Media ?

May 20, 2016 | Packaging Research and Analysis

This week, there was yet another indication for me about how incredibly powerful #digitalmedia and online social websites can be – and how the delivery of news has changed fundamentally and I believe forever !

On the morning of 17th May, @BBCNews announced “BBC ‘to close recipes website’ as part of £15M savings”. Within minutes, 1 of my friends had “shared” the post on @facebook and it popped up in my Feed. As an avid follower of Marie Kondo and the #KonMariMethod (, I had tackled the cookbooks cleansing category back in January so my book shelves are now virtually empty of #cookbooks other than the few which “spark joy” for me and my family – online #bbcrecipes are a daily lifeline in our household. I have tried different food recipe searches in the past on Google – but usually end up with a recipe from the US that dictates I measure in cups, talks about browning and cornstarch and insists I buy brand names that I have never seen from @KraftHeinzCo. When I need a quick fix for dinner, I don’t want to spend my time translating, I just want recipe ideas ! So my favourite search for recipes for several years now has begun “BBC Recipe …” and 9 times out of 10 I find a recipe from the BBC site that I can make quickly with the limited resources in my kitchen.

So at 10:28am on Tuesday 17th May – in a state of panic – I “Commented” on the FB post with the standard “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !” and promptly “shared” with my 200+ friends – many of whom quickly “commented” and “shared” similar words – spreading the message further and further afield. Within 30 minutes a friend had “commented” that there was an online petition to “Save the BBC’s recipe archive !” #savetheBBCrecipes set up via – I could actively do my bit to “Save MY Recipes” from the familiarity of my own laptop. When I signed the #petition, there were just over 22,000 signatures – I duly “Shared” the petition onto FaceBook directly from the application:

@change screenshot for petition to save bbc recipes website

Social Media Petition to save BBC Recipes Website

When I next managed to check my FaceBook account it was 9pm, and by that time it was, as they say, all over ! The BBC had done a “climbdown over online recipes after public outcry”. That public outcry had taken many online forms – those that I was a part of were the 187,000 signatures that had appeared on the @Change petition, the reams of comments and posts on FaceBook and #bbcrecipes trending in the Top 10 on Twitter during the day.

Twitter hashtag image showing social media pressure to save BBC Recipes website

#bbcrecipes Twitter hashtag

Like it or not (and there are still those who vehemently do not), social media is a mainstream communication tool for individuals and for businesses.  Never before has connecting and sharing real-time information with like-minded users been so easy, so fast, and so effective.  We must remember that our customers and prospects use social media – logging into FaceBook or sending a Tweet is second nature, a part of daily routine, it lets us share and learn from other users with just the click of the mouse or a tap of the phone.  We should all be considering the role of social online media in our marketing strategy – both personal and business !  KOTOKR