THE SHEFFIELD Star has created a social media storm after launching a search for a mystery couple whose wedding photos were found on a camera left in the back of a London cab.
The big-hearted taxi driver - Sean Morgan, 49 from Essex - used a bit of nous to flick through the photos for clues, spotting that a child was wearing a Sheffield Wednesday coat.
Naturally he turned to the Sheffield Star for help and within hours of Editor James Mitchinson kicking off the search, Laura and Paul Nicholson had been found and reunited with their camera, along with their precious photos.
Mr Mitchinson said: “At this year’s Johnston Press awards we took top honours for our use of social media within the company, so I know all too well just how powerful a tool it is, if used properly.
“As I was sending pages to press, I spotted our new reporter Alex Evans had written the page lead, I simply picked up his work and chucked it into the social networks.”
“Essentially, I Tweeted, with an image - ‘APPEAL: Who are these two? They left an expensive camera in the back of a London taxi. I’d love to find them! Plz RT’. Within moments my loyal Sheffield followers began helping, which gave the appeal traction instantly.”
“As of early Saturday morning it had been Tweeted by the likes of Shane Richie, and was being bandied around Australia and New York. It was headed for 1,000 retweets.”
Mitchinson added: “First and foremost I’m delighted to be able to help. That’s what local newspapers do best - help their communities. You only have to look at some of the comments from Sheffielders to understand how important a role we played in this.
Sonya Golland said: “Four hours, wow! It’s an amazing thing the internet. Just wish it was used for good like this more often.”
Patricia White said: “There are some really good people about, to go and do what this taxi driver has done. Bless him for his kindness.”
Mr Mitchinson said he’s not surprised the modern-day tools available to journalists made for a happy ending. He added: “Imagine trying to track down that couple 10 or 15 years ago. It would be nigh-on impossible. We managed it in just a few hours.”
“From a technical perspective, you couldn’t buy a marketing campaign for your brand as effective as Twitter and Facebook provided for us during this exercise. The Star has reached the four corners of the globe, and for all the right reasons, so I’m delighted with the day’s work.”
He added: “I’ll be filing this one away for another industry award next time around!”