Effective communications in disrupted times

Effective communications in disrupted times

These are extraordinary times that are intensely challenging for our customers’ as they work to maintain coordinated, effective communications to multiple stakeholders in a fast changing environment. This has never been more important and we want to help.

We recognise that every organisation is grappling with exceptional enquiry volumes so from today we’re offering all clients complimentary access to the Vuelio Interactions module for three months. This will enable you to track and manage contact with your stakeholders so even though your team are remote working, you can manage and keep all communications consistent.

We have seen our customers’ manage high coverage volumes so to streamline reporting we will provide Vuelio Canvas, which will also be complimentary to clients for three months. This is a digital coverage tool that quickly and powerfully presents coverage in a way that can be easily shared to keep your stakeholders up to date on coverage, social media and latest published information.

We know that the work of front line, emergency organisations in communicating latest information to stakeholders is critical in managing this health crisis. So, from today, we’re offering NHS, police, fire service, and health and social care charities three months of online media monitoring including news alerts, at no cost. This will support you to understand the changing news agenda and implications for your organisation.

Please contact your account manager to find out more.

We are in a fast changing policy environment so to keep ahead of what this means, we’re offering a free daily bulletin from our political team, summarising COVID-related announcements from official Government sources, key Government spokespeople, industry and community stakeholders. Sign up to the bulletin here.

Alongside offering access to our products, we also want to support your teams to build their confidence in using the platform as they work remotely. From next week, every day at 3pm we will run online Vuelio Training Academies. These 30-minute sessions will be facilitated by Vuelio experts and explain how to get the most from functionalities including:

  • Interactions logging
  • Canvas
  • Media Monitoring
  • Media Database
  • Press Release Distribution

These sessions can be signed up to here, where the weekly schedule will also be available. If there are other areas of the product that it would be useful to cover, please do email your account manager to ask for them to be added.

These are challenging economic times that we all face. If you have any concerns that we can help with, get in touch with your account manager who can be contacted by phone or email as normal.

Creative Shootout winners 2020

Empathy, estate agents and a homeless epidemic – The Creative Shootout 2020

Last night The Creative Shootout took over Picturehouse Central for the live final, which saw eight agencies take to the stage, pitching for homeless charity Crisis.

Crisis is well-known for its hugely effective Christmas campaign with a mission to end homelessness for good. The brief it brought to the agencies competing in this year’s Creative Shootout set out to challenge their creative minds and shift the perception of Crisis being a Christmas charity to one that works all year round. Focusing on 18-34-year olds, the campaign ideas were required to galvanise the public and shift their belief that ending homelessness is an impossible goal.

At lunchtime, the teams were presented with the brief and given just four hours to come up with a stand-out campaign before pitching their ideas in just 10 minutes to an audience of 350 PR professionals and creatives.

The pitches ranged from renting out doorsteps and sofas on Rightmove to FleishmanHillard Fishburn’s ever increasing bank of real-life stories about homelessness 365 days of the year. Wavemaker and Alpaca came up with campaigns that tapped into the needs of ‘Generation Rent’ utilising popular housing websites such as Zoopla and Spareroom, while Fever PR took it to the next level creating their own estate agents, Fauxtons, with real-life pop-up venues around the UK.

Empathy played a big part in all the campaign pitches with Haygarth using the shocking fact that a family is made homeless every 13 minutes and asking the public to give up just 13 minutes of their time to help those who are homeless, from hairdressers offering free cuts to partnering with footballers to donate 13 minutes of their wage.

TracyLocke came at the brief from a different angle and based its campaign around the idea of treating homelessness as a virus outbreak; they even gave it a Latin medical name, ‘Profugo Populus’.

Asking the audience to observe the flag at the start of their pitch, the team from Grayling took inspiration from a place that has ended homelessness: Helsinki.  With a clever tag of #FinnishTheCrisis and using the Finnish people to share their story of how they got rid of homelessness, they created the idea of the world’s first digital march, spreading the message across media sites, news and partner websites.

Taking home The Creative Shootout crown for its heartfelt and moving pitch was Epoch Design. This was its first time entering the competition but the campaign to give the homeless back their voice won the judges over. Engaging directly with a millennial audience, Epoch Design put the ‘invisible’ to the forefront with open mic nights with only homeless performers and a podcast channel that would give them a voice.

Epoch Design will get to run its winning campaign with Crisis as well as a range of partners and Crisis’s existing agency network.

We are proud to show our continued support for this fantastic event, which encourages creativity across the industry. Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to Epoch Design!

Vuelio Canvas

How to make stunning coverage reports with Canvas

You’ve planned and executed a successful campaign and need to report on the results to showcase the incredible coverage your team achieved.

You could spend hours pulling the coverage together in a PowerPoint or PDF. Or you could make a stunning visual presentation, that’s both interactive and easily shareable, in just minutes.

With Vuelio Canvas, full coverage reports are made by simply pasting in URLs of online coverage, uploading hard copies of coverage or resources, or using highlights to emphasise key metrics and quotes.

See an example we created following our recent acquisition of Pulsar – which took just seven minutes to make.

How do you make a Canvas?
Bookmark links to your coverage as these appear in your monitoring alerts, which will save you time when it comes to building your Canvas.

To add a tile:

  1. 1. Click ‘Add new tile’
  2. 2. Select ‘External Source’
  3. 3. Name your tile
  4. 4. Paste the URL into the ‘source’ box
  5. 5. Hit Save…
  6. 6. …and Voila! You’ve made your first tile in less than 30 seconds (proof is in the video below!)
  7. 7. Repeat the process with all the rest of your awesome coverage and then share with your team, the board and your clients with a single link.

Ready to make your own Canvas? Find out how, here.

How to create an award-winning campaign

What do fly-tipping, comedians and man’s best friend have in common?

They all featured in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s award-winning public affairs campaign to toughen animal cruelty sentences.

In our exclusive webinar, we speak to Michael Webb, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, about the work that went into the award-winning ‘Five-Year Sentences for Animal Cruelty’ campaign and how the charity made it a success.

Watch the webinar and learn:

  • How to influence government policy
  • How to make charitable messages resonate with the public
  • What it takes to create an award-winning campaign


How to create an Award-Winning Campaign


CIPR Excellence Awards – what does success look like?

Last night, the great and the good from the PR industry came together to celebrate 29 winners, and each other, at the CIPR Excellence Awards 2019. The big winners of the night will perhaps come as no surprise – it was the agency that’s still on a very long hot streak, Taylor Herring.

Taylor Herring picked up three awards: its Gregory & Gregory campaign for Greggs picked up best Consumer Relations Campaign, its easyJet tackle gender bias in pilot recruitment campaign won best Travel, Leisure or Tourism campaign, while the agency itself scooped the top prize of the night when it was named Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy.

Vuelio spoke to James Herring, co-founder of the agency, last year and he gave detailed advice on how to win PR awards – something he’s been doing for many years now.

Vuelio was also delighted to see Mandy Sharp’s Tin Man pick up the STEM Campaign award for its work with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on The Sound of Engineering. Tin Man and IET have both previously joined Vuelio for a webinar, again discussing how to create award-winning campaigns.

Congratulations to every winner on the night, as well as the entire industry that once again showed it knows how to have a good time and celebrate in style. But what does success look like? We’ve put together a Vuelio Canvas using top social posts to show you…

CIPR Excellence Canvas


Cats Protection

How Vuelio helped Cats Protection save time and money

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity with a nationwide network of over 250 volunteer-run branches, 36 centres and over 100 charity shops that together helps around 200,000 cats and kittens each year.

We spoke to Kate Angel, Media Assistant at Cats Protection, who talked us through the charity’s need for a new solution and explained how Vuelio had saved them time and money. 

Cats Protection’s Media Team promotes the charity throughout the UK and provides PR support for volunteers and other departments. The team sends out a daily Media Update to the network that summarises news stories from print, online and broadcast outlets that have featured Cats Protection or are relevant to the charity in some other way.

The charity uses Vuelio Media Monitoring to source the stories using a list of keywords that is continually reviewed. It also uses Vuelio to send out press releases, for media contact management, evaluation on a monthly basis, and for specific communications campaigns.

The Challenge
Prior to working with Vuelio, Cats Protection used a different supplier that was ‘more expensive and less innovative’. The charity found that it was rarely using the supplier to send out press releases as the method was clunky.

The Solution
Cats Protection got quotes from three suppliers prior to its contract with its previous supplier ending. It was given a demo of Vuelio and shown what it could do – the team was looking for a one-stop-shop, which Vuelio was able to offer. The price was a big factor as well as Canvas, which allows Cats Protection to display its coverage in a modern, visually attractive and user-friendly way. The team is also now able to track the success of press releases and campaigns more effectively.

Benefits and Results
The team now use Vuelio to send out all its press releases and find it helpful to see the tracking of how many have been opened. The contacts and influencer functions are more detailed than the charity’s previous supplier.

The hourly coverage alerts mean the team is able to see coverage when it appears, and the reporting process is much improved with Canvas.

Looking for a one-stop comms software solution to save you time and money? Find out more about Vuelio

Vuelio Blog Awards 2018 #

#Trending: Vuelio Blog Awards 2018

The Vuelio Blog Awards 2018 took place on Friday night and were once again a huge success, trending on Twitter and reaching tens of millions across social media.

Huge stars were recognised with the top prizes – including Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow [pictured] who scooped Best Women’s Fashion Blog and the overall Best UK Blog.

Victoria Magrath

The Best UK Blog is awarded to one outstanding award-winner whose work transcends their own blog, inspiring the wider community. Victoria was considered by the judges to be a consummate professional who has, for some time now, been at the top of her game, and following the publication of her recent fashion bible ‘The New Fashion Rules’, she has shown how she can impact the whole fashion industry both inside and outside of the blogosphere.

Alongside the winners, the Vuelio Blog Awards celebrates all the finalists AND bloggers, vloggers and content creators who join us for a good time. It’s also a chance to bring together both sides of the commercial relationship, with PR and brand guests also deserving a mention for their collaborative work with the UK’s brightest and best.

We’ve put together a Vuelio Canvas of highlights from the event, including top social posts and official photos. Click here or on the image below to see the full Canvas.

Canvas is a simple way to present content, whether its campaign coverage, news stories, galleries, company information or social media activity. Everything appears on one page, making repetitive slides a thing of the past. Each Canvas takes just minutes to create and can be shared with a simple link.

Find out more about Canvas, and how easy it is to make your own, by clicking here.

Canvas Webinar

Stop wasting time on presentation slides

Are presentation slides ruining all your hard work? 

You’re standing in a hot boardroom with grim faces blankly staring at the screen behind you. *Click*. You move the presentation on to slide 6 of 27 and say: ‘And as you’ll see on this next slide…’ but get no further because Geoff falls asleep and starts snoring.

Sound familiar?

Clicking through slide after slide of endless presentations has become an ineffective means to engage your stakeholders and doesn’t do anything to make you look as good as you really are. Slides aren’t just boring to make, they’re boring to consume.

At Vuelio, we got bored of slides too, which is why we created Vuelio Canvas. Whether you’re putting together pitches, research, press books, reports, case studies, media coverage, video clips, news rooms or analytics, Vuelio Canvas is for you.

In our next webinar, How to turn your reports into a masterpiece with Vuelio Canvas, we’ll explore how Canvas can save you time AND turn your content into a masterpiece. The webinar is taking place at 11am on Wednesday, 22 August, and you can sign up here.

Canvas is easy to use, in fact, Canvas is so easy to use, you already know how. Not only is creating a Canvas simple, it’s very quick and once you’re done, you can share it with anyone with just one link. Just like this: http://bit.ly/2w623bR – a Canvas we created to show some of the different products and services Vuelio offers.

Or hyperlink an image, like this:

Identify Understand Engage canvas

Sign up to this webinar to learn:

  • How you can use anything from a graph to a tweet to prove your worth
  • Why you already know how to use Vuelio Canvas
  • How quick and easy it is to turn a report into an interactive presentation

And find out more about Canvas, including how to create your own, here

World Cup

It’s coming home: England’s road to the final

England’s first semi-final since 1990, with the opportunity for our first final since 1966. It’s coming home.

England’s road through Russia has been long and tough. But using the new Vuelio Canvas, it looks easy with match reports, news, tweets, posts, images, graphs and stats all in one place.

Check out the Canvas we’ve created for England’s Road to the World Cup Final > >

England World Cup


With our new and improved Canvas you can:

  • Showcase anything from news stories, social media activity, videos to charts, PDFs and reports – a visual presentation made in seconds
  • Share the content with your colleagues, stakeholders and the board with a single link, fully optimised for mobile
  • Create branded newsrooms with accessible, press-friendly content, easily embedded on your website
Coming home

6 PR Goals for a winning 90 minutes

Want to go one better than England? Score six quick PR goals in the next 90 minutes AND keep a clean sheet.

1. Research, research, research
No journalist, blogger, member of the public or politician is going to take you seriously if they don’t think you know what you’re talking about. In-house? Take 15 minutes to read the latest news and features on your company’s sector. Agency? If you specialise in a sector, great, take 20 minutes to read about the latest news – especially anything that’s about your clients. No specialism? Focus on just one area you have important clients in; you can catch up on the others later, tomorrow or next week.

2. Grow your network
Take 15 minutes to find new contacts that are relevant to your sector. Make sure their bio says they work with comms and check out their latest content to see if it’s a good fit for a future pitch (football or otherwise). If you grow your network by just five people each week, you’ll know an extra 260 people at the end of the year.

3. Send out a comment
It may be one of the simplest press releases to create, but journalists are always keen to hear from experts to add colour and richness to the news. If you work in sport, you should be all over this after the weekend saw the Queen’s tennis final, Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the French Grand Prix and signs from the World Cup that football possibly IS coming home. If sport’s not your thing, check out the political headlines, or any news headlines and see where your management or clients could intelligently add to the news agenda. And check what’s coming up; planned events (whether it’s the World Cup or otherwise) give you time to plan comments in advance.

Half time
Take a break and have lunch – you’re only human.

4. Check out the competition
Don’t make this an obsession; it can be easy to be so focused on your competitors that you lose sight of what you’re doing (and probably doing well). Take 20 minutes to run through your competitor monitoring, see what’s being said, and check if they’re controlling the conversation or if the conversation is controlling them. Staying on top of the competition is a great way to benchmark your own brand, spot opportunities and avoid abject failures.

5. Prove your worth
How often do we hear that PR and comms have to prove themselves to get a seat at the table? Why won’t the c-suite take our industry, and its value to their business, seriously? Take 25 minutes to prove your worth by putting together proof of your success, and show how you are meeting your objectives. Maybe you’ve achieved coverage, maybe you’ve got your CEO on TV, maybe sales have increased off the back of a viral campaign, or maybe your business is now the number one in your sector. Whatever it is, measure it and own it.

6. Call Vuelio – 0203 426 4125
We’re in stoppage time, but that’s okay because it only takes one minute to call Vuelio and get the software you need to achieve your goals. Want a database of amazing media and political contacts, with detailed bios to help you target them? No problem. Need a distribution service that targets your network and includes special features so you are GDPR compliant? Easy. How about monitoring that keeps track of your sector, your company and your competition so you know what’s being said and by whom? Certainly. And high-level analysis, showing levels of coverage and campaign success, with beautiful reports and presentations that can be shared with a simple link? Naturally.

Vuelio has everything you need to make your life easy and takes the pressure out of the game. Whether it’s our Influencer Database, News Distribution or Canvas – Vuelio’s integrated software is in your starting XI so you know you’re guaranteed a win.

Politics on Sunday – Hunt, health, defence and Fox

Sunday’s political programming featured Jeremy Hunt, Liam Fox, Nia Griffith and Dan Jarvis with everything from health to defence on the table – and the usual helping of Brexit.

Jeremy Hunt was the most high-profile guest across the political shows this weekend. He was asked about the announcement last week on the additional funding for the NHS; Marr pressed Hunt on where the money will come from. Marr said Jeremy Corbyn would not be able to not say how he would fund such a proposal, which is what the Government is currently doing. Hunt said it will be announced in the Budget in November.

Over the weekend an announcement was made by the Department of Health and Social Care on the second part of the Childhood Obesity plan. Hunt spoke on the progress that has been made on this. He said the Government has introduced the soft drinks levy and they are committed to halving childhood obesity by 2030. Hunt said the big chains will have to give people nutritional information but was hesitant to say all vendors would have to do this.

Hunt was asked questions on Brexit and he condemned the threats that businesses make surrounding Brexit. The Health Secretary said it was inappropriate for such a story to be in the news at such a crucial stage of the Brexit process. He said these warnings undermine the Prime Minister and impact the odds of the UK getting a good deal, and that he is not surprised that large multinational companies have a problem with Brexit. Hunt also gave his analysis on the stance of the European Commission: they were never going to say it was easy or make it easy for Britain to go through this process and this is part of their negotiating tactics. Hunt also poured cold water on some of the doom and gloom analysis, saying a lot of experts have been proved wrong in the past with their forecasts.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox was interviewed by Sophy Ridge and said he does not mind waiting a bit longer to minimise disruption and get things done correctly. Fox also said that Europe is not the centre of the world and the UK is doing less trade with the EU than 10 years ago. The Trade Secretary said it was a possibility for the UK to walk away from the negotiations if politics are put before economics. He signalled he does not think this will happen as the Heads of State will put their own economies before the EU. Fox also signalled that he is open to changes to rules in the House of Commons after Naz Shah had to leave hospital and vote in a wheelchair for the vote on the Brexit bill.

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Nia Griffith represented the Labour party on Marr, and she was asked whether it was her or Jeremy Corbyn who oversees the party’s policy on defence. Marr pointed towards Corbyn being very critical of NATO and whether Labour were committed to it. Griffith answered by saying they are and they want to take a leadership role within NATO so they can shape the way it works. She also took questions on the amount of spending Labour would commit to defence spending; Griffith said they will match the Government’s spending plans for defence but did not commit any further spending.

Mayor of Sheffield and MP, Dan Jarvis, was another guest on Ridge. He thinks the North has not been treated the same way the South would be, using the example of funding for transport. He also gave an insight into his role as Mayor, saying they do not currently have a budget or an agreement on the powers he has. He said this is a problem, it is down to not being able to come to an agreement in the region and Jarvis said for Devolution to work, an agreement needs to be reached. He was also asked why there were not more women working in politics; Sophy Ridge said men have taken up the leadership roles in the city regions and perhaps if this is about taking power away from Westminster surely it would make sense to diversify it more. Jarvis said from his experience women are good at working in politics and he thinks more women don’t get involved due to the perceptions of what working in politics is like and they get more abuse than their male colleagues.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.

Sunday Politics



Politics on Sunday – May, NHS funding and Brexit

The Sunday Political shows were dominated by a pre-recorded interview with Theresa May – the main feature on the Andrew Marr show.

The big news was the Prime Minister announcing plans to give the NHS more funding. May said the funding was to secure the future of the health service, and claimed it would be ‘about £600m a week more, in cash’ after mentioning the slogan on the side of that Brexit bus that said £350 million more will be available. May said the money would partly come from the Brexit dividend and the country will have to contribute the rest; meaning a rise in tax. Marr pointed out that this amount of funding is not what a lot of people say the NHS needs; May responded by saying NHS England Chief, Simon Stevens, backs the plan. Marr said the historic annual increase is 3.7% and this funding is below that.

Marr asked the Prime Minister about the vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill and if she can be trusted due to the confusion among her own MPs about what was promised. May is aware of the concerns from Parliament about the way the Bill was going through Parliament. She said that Parliament cannot control what the Government can do and it should not try to overrule the vote by the public on membership of the EU. There was also a discussion around trade – May made the point that leaving the EU is about adding to the trade we already do with the EU and having our own trade policy.

Reaction from the Labour Party was not in short supply. Emily Thornberry said the commitments towards the NHS are not costed. Marr asked Thornberry whether it was enough money for the NHS; she did not directly answer, instead talking about social care and how less funding for social care means more demand for the NHS to deal with it, and the two cannot be separated.

What Marr was suggesting was that the Conservatives are now putting more money into the NHS than Labour pledged. This was pointed out to Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, by Sarah Smith on Sunday Politics after he claimed it was not enough money. Ashworth responded by saying Labour was also going to invest in social care and will match whatever the Government is putting forward.

Thornberry was also asked about Donald Trump and she reiterated her remarks calling the President of the United States ‘an asteroid of awfulness’. Marr pointed out that Thornberry could one day be the Foreign Secretary and this is not the language she should be using, saying Thornberry had criticised Boris Johnson for talking loosely and that is what she is doing.

Fresh from his decision to resign last week, Phillip Lee was interviewed by Sophie Ridge. He said he had been contemplating the decision for weeks and it was all about Parliament having a say on Brexit. Lee said he is in Parliament to represent the best interests of his constituents and he must do what he thinks is right. Lee said he told the Prime Minister before he announced his resignation. Ridge attempted to dig deeper into the decision Lee made, as he was the only person to resign over this issue in the Government. In the vote he abstained and she asked if it was worth it. Lee said he feels he has moved the Government on the issue.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.

Sunday political programming



Helen Reynolds

Vuelio at the Communications Conference 2018

#CommsConf18 took place on Tuesday, kicking off the NHS Confederation’s annual conference and exhibition. The very best of internal and external communicators came together in Manchester to listen to, learn and share the latest thoughts on health comms and best practice for the future. Vuelio was delighted to join the Communications Conference 2018, and hear from some of the leading experts in health comms.

Host Helen Reynolds, from Social For The People and of Comms Cartoons fame, presented The Comms Unicorn, which ‘poos insights’, ‘flies over chaos’, ‘sweats engaging content’ and delights the NHS comms crowd.

Helen Reynolds

She also created cartoons for each speaker, including the This Girl Can campaign lead Kate Dale, comms2point0’s Dan Slee and CIPR president Sarah Hall.

This Girl Can

The This Girl Can campaign is known for its inspirational tv spots and advertising, but Kate was able to lift the curtain to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the campaign was put together, the challenges they faced and the difference they’ve made to women’s sports participation.

Comms 2point0

Dan Slee is always a favourite among comms audiences, and #CommsConf18 was no different. Using a variety of examples, Dan was refreshingly honest about digital comms: only use it when it’s appropriate and genuinely the best option, don’t just focus on Twitter and make sure you’re engaging with your audience, not just broadcasting.

He also highlighted this incredible thread from Rochdale Council responding to a ‘dig’ at the town.


CIPR President, Sarah Hall, has just released #FuturePRoof edition three, titled ‘The NHS at 70 with Lessons for the Wider PR Community’, making her an obvious choice for #CommsConf18. As ever, Sarah advocated best practice and the need for comms at all levels for the NHS to thrive. With 25 experts backing her up, it’s hard to disagree that comms is vital for the health service’s future.

As you’d expect, there was a lot of chat across social media for #CommsConf18, which we’ve gathered together in this Vuelio Canvas. To see the full Canvas, click here or on the image below.

If you’d like to make your won Canvas, and show off your coverage, share visual link or replace boring slides, get in touch

Communications Conference 18

Politics on Sunday – Brexit, borders and Brown

Following the announcement that Robert Peston’s show would move to Wednesday evenings, Andrew Marr is now the focus of Sunday’s political programming. This week, Marr hosted former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington.

Gordon Brown spoke on Brexit, and gave his view that the Brexit vote was not a vote against the technicalities of the EU but rather down to lost jobs and low earnings. He also suggested that none of the options the Government are putting forward are good enough.

Brown spoke about the NHS and how to solve the problems it is currently facing; his favoured view is to increase national insurance contributions as people will be prepared to accept it so long as they see the money going into healthcare. The former Prime Minister also said that the Brexit votes coming up this week could be a major point of crisis for the Conservative Government.

Nicola Sturgeon was the next guest on Marr, and she repeated remarks she made at the SNP Conference by saying the obsession with securing another chance of voting for independence needs to stop. The First Minister of Scotland wants to maximise the opportunities for Scotland and provide answers to people who have questions over whether it should be an independent country. Sturgeon then criticised the infighting in the Cabinet concerning Brexit.

Sturgeon also appeared on Ridge on Sunday and said there would be a second independence referendum during her time as First Minister but she is well aware that Brexit will impact a lot of things and these decisions should not be made until further clarity is available. Sturgeon also said that if Northern Ireland gets a bespoke deal on Brexit then Scotland should also be offered a bespoke deal.

Continuing the topic of Brexit, the next guest on Marr was Keir Starmer, who criticised the lack of movement by the Government on the customs union. Marr pointed out that nearly half of Labour peers voted for the UK to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) yet the Labour leadership is telling MPs to abstain on this vote in Commons. Starmer said he is sympathetic to the view of needing a customs union, however he does not think the EEA will provide a suitable solution to the issues around the Irish border. Starmer said he went to the Norway/Sweden border, which is a hard border, and said this will not happen as a commitment has been made to make sure there is no hard border dividing Ireland.

There was more border talk when Marr asked Starmer where the UK border will be; Starmer said it will be around the custom union countries. The Labour proposal is that the UK would be in a customs union with the EU so no need for a hard border with Ireland. Marr said for this to happen, the UK would need to be part of the Single Market. The conversation went back to the EEA, as some view this as the best way to protect jobs and the prospects of the country.

The Brexit chat did not stop with David Lidington. He made it clear that the UK will have left the EU by the end of 2019; he said everyone is working towards getting Brexit sorted. He said it is in everyone’s interest to get all facets of Brexit sorted as soon as possible. Lidington endorsed Theresa May’s toughness and said rhetoric does not matter so much. Grant Shapps was on Ridge and he also spoke about Theresa May and said it is conceivable that Theresa May could lead the Conservative Party into the next general election.

Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, spoke about workers in the hospitality sector. She looked at two areas the Labour party want to legislate in, firstly by stopping non-disclosure agreements that stop staff exposing sexual harassment. She also said Labour will legislate to make sure staff receive 100% of the tips they earn and stop practices by employers that currently stop this.

Housing Minister, Dominic Raab, apologised to the remaining families who have not been housed after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. He said as much support as possible will be given to those effected and progress is being made. Ridge asked Raab about whether there needs to be more Cabinet discipline – Raab thinks there should be, which was in reference to comments made by Boris Johnson.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.


Andrew Marr Ridge on Sunday


How integration improved Greater Anglia’s PR

Public relations has never been an industry that relies on one skill set or a single speciality. As the PRCA’s recent census showed, PR and communications covers a vast array of disciplines from reputation management and strategy planning to writing articles, SEO and sales promotion.

Your role is increasingly diverse, so the last thing you need is lots of different platforms when you want to manage everything in one place. That’s why Vuelio is fully integrated software to cater for all your needs, whether it’s finding new influencers to build relationships with, monitoring your coverage (and automatically linking it to your distribution), creating reports and proving how awesome you are or managing relationships with the press, clients and public.

True integration takes the hard work out of PR. But don’t take our word for it – Juliette Maxam, media manager at Greater Anglia, told us how Vuelio’s integrated platform has made their PR ‘seamless’.

Find out more about integrated software

Greater Anglia

The problem
Before Vuelio, we were collating press coverage manually, reading everything individually and producing our own analysis – it was a hugely time-consuming process. Now, Vuelio has freed up our time so we can focus on the PR we want to do.

The solution
Vuelio has given us to ability to do a number of things on one platform.

We distribute press releases, which makes things much easier to send out, and the monitoring allows us to track our coverage back to the releases – it’s seamless. The distribution is also great for sending out pictures and video, and allows us to see who is opening and not opening releases, so we can better manage our follow up.

One of the best features is the media analysis and reporting – it is so flexible and allows us to drill down into so many different topic areas and analyse enquiries. Also, the charts are presented clearly in the graphic dashboard and we can customise different parts. So, with things like sentiment, we can tweak individual articles, which is much quicker than having to do each one manually (like we did before).

The reporting function is useful for a number of reasons, from when we’re internally asked how well a particular release or campaign has done, for example the new range of trains, to creating regular reports for different teams. And, because we can tag all our coverage, it allows us to easily report on different areas, like competitors.

We also use Vuelio to log press enquiries, giving us a record of what we did in the past. The media team finds it particularly useful as they can easily see what (and when) previous enquiries were made.

And we use Canvas, which we really like – it allows us to quickly and easily send a single link out with all our coverage in one place.

Joining Vuelio
With Vuelio, everything is all in one place, and everything is connected. We can see how much coverage we’re getting and for what releases, which will ultimately make planning future campaigns more successful.

The whole process of joining Vuelio, from our first point of contact, was really good. The Vuelio team worked really hard, especially as I feel like we were really demanding with what we wanted, including good value for money. The set up was also great; one of our requirements has been face-to-face customer support and that’s what’s happened – which is really important for us.

Vuelio is a really useful, efficient and smart way of distributing press releases, tracking enquiries and analysing our coverage.

Ready for integrated software? Fill in this form and we’ll be in touch.

Politics on Sunday – Sajid Javid, security, immigration and Northern Ireland

With Peston on Sunday off air until September, The Andrew Marr Show dominated the Sunday political coverage. The highest profile guest was home secretary, Sajid Javid.

Javid started with the issue that saw off his predecessor, the Windrush scandal. He revealed that 32 of those who have been deported are offenders and he does not want them to come back into the country. Of the 31 that remain, who the Home Office is trying to get into contact with and bring back to the UK, Javid said only seven have been contacted.

When asked about detentions, the Home Secretary said he did not know how many people had been detained but he accepted that people have been detained and made it clear that those who need the help are getting it most urgently. Javid said the first priority was to the people who need documentation right now, second was to those who have been deported and third to those who have been detained.

Javid also spoke about the immigration policy of the Government. He said he is committed to the Conservative manifesto and is committed to getting it to lower sustainable levels. When pushed on whether he is committed to the tens of thousands ambition, Javid said he is committed to the manifesto. Javid made clear he does not like the term ‘hostile environment’ he said it is ‘un-British’ and he prefers the term ‘compliant environment’. Javid said lessons need to be learned from this policy and the hostile environment policy is being reviewed by the Home Secretary.

He also signalled a possible shift in policy by saying he will look at students being counted in the net migration numbers. Marr asked about tier two visas (the visa a foreign doctor would need), he said there are thousands of vacancies for doctors up and down the country and thousands of doctors are being denied visas. Javid again said this is something he will look at.

The Home Secretary said he will be asking for more money for the police, outlining the areas in which demand is rising. Javid said he does not have any commitments from the Chancellor on whether he will get more money or not. He also spoke about the Government’s actions to tackle the terror threat; he said his ‘number one priority will always be to keep our country safe’. He was, of course, asked about Brexit albeit briefly, saying he does not think any of the doom and gloom scenarios presented would come to pass.

Last week the Muslim Council of Britain and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi called for an investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative party. Javid said the Muslim Council of Britain do not represent Muslims in this country, and that Marr would be hard pressed to find a group of Muslims who feel they are represented by the Council. On their point about Islamophobia in the Conservative party, he replied by saying look at who the Home Secretary is.

Stella Creasy and Andrew Lloyd Webber also appeared on Marr and both spoke about Brexit. Creasy said it does not look as though Brexit is going well and that the public should have a say on the final deal the Government achieve with the EU. Andrew Lloyd Webber said he does not feel as though he could sit in an unelected chamber and vote against the vote of the people. Lloyd Webber, who is a remainer, said the House of Lords has changed a lot over the 20 years he has been a peer.

Creasy also spoke about abortion laws focusing on Northern Ireland, she gave the example that a woman who has been raped and fell pregnant and then got an abortion could face a longer prison sentence than the person who raped her. What Creasy wants is legislation to be repealed as it is outdated and it is stopping people ‘having medical rather than criminal laws about abortion’. Creasy also spoke about abortion on Ridge on Sunday and she was questioned on the claim that she was respecting devolution. Ridge said women in Ireland voted for the decriminalisation of abortion in Ireland so why should politicians in Westminster decide what is right for Northern Ireland. Creasy said the only women in Northern Ireland with a say over abortion in Northern Ireland is Arlene Foster and by repealing the law it does not write a new law for Northern Ireland, it just leaves a gap for legislation to be put into place.

An interview with Arlene Foster was published on Ridge, where she made clear that marriage equality and abortion are devolved issues. Foster also said she has received emails from nationalists and republicans who will now be voting for the DUP as they believe they are the only party that supports the unborn.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.


Sajid Javid

The Best (and worst) royal wedding tie-ins

The Royal Wedding was a giant spectacle, driving the news agenda and dominating the global conversation. Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no denying that for business, it has been a great opportunity to jump on the brand wagon with marketing tie-ins and special products to celebrate Harry and Meghan’s big day.

Before we go any further, for any PRs and marketers looking to capitalise on royal events, it’s worth considering this advice from the ASA. Part of the guidance says you shouldn’t show or mention members of the royal family in marketing comms without their permission. Yikes. It would likely take a complaint from the royal family for the ASA to stop these adverts, which seems unlikely (unless the product tie-in is REALLY offensive) but rules are rules.

Back to the fun bit, we’ve put together a Vuelio Canvas of the best and worst of these brand tie-ins, without any judgement at all (honest).

Canvas is a unique way to present content, whether it’s social links, web stories or your own uploaded content, that you can use for press books, newsletters or just to show off how awesome you are.

Click on the Canvas below to see the full royal show:

Harry and Meghan

Politics on Sunday – social media, Brexit and pizza

Sunday’s political shows had a range of political commentators discussing social media, Brexit, obesity, party policy and the East Coast Main Line. 

Various newspaper outlets were unhappy with the guests on the Sunday political shows due to the heavy presence of those who campaigned for ‘Remain’ in the EU referendum. The star of Sunday’s shows was not a guest, though, it was Emma Barnett (standing in for Marr) who put the politicians under the microscope.

Matt Hancock represented the Government on both Peston and Marr. Hancock was asked by Barnett about an invitation he sent to 14 large social media companies to attend a Government meeting, which resulted in only four attending. Hancock tried to dress this up by saying other social media companies exist and have issues, but Barnett pointed out that it does not inspire much confidence when these companies do not bother to attend something organised by the Government.

Barnett said Mark Zuckerberg has been before the US senate and will be going before the EU parliament. The appearance before the EU parliament is in question as reports say MEPs want the meeting to be live streamed whereas the agreement was that it would be behind closed doors, possibly the reason Zuckerberg agreed.

Peston reiterated that the Government does not have the power to do anything to social media companies. Hancock replied by saying the Government will publish a white paper later this year and will legislate in the next couple of years to get the powers it needs.

Hancock was also asked about Brexit by Barnett, he said it is the job of Michel Barnier to say the UK is in a weak position and it is the job of the Government to get the best possible deal.

Shadow International Trade Secretary, Barry Gardiner, faced Emma Barnett and was grilled on Labour policy relating to the single market. Focus was put on the Labour candidate for the upcoming Lewisham East by-election, Janet Daby. Barnett said Daby is asking people to vote for her and she supports staying in the single market, which is not Labour policy.

Gardiner was then questioned on his view versus the Labour party’s position. Gardiner said the position of the Labour party is to hold the Government to account on the promise they made to secure the same benefits outside the EU as the country enjoys inside the EU. Barnett presented Gardiner with his own remarks criticising this position. Barnett noted that Jeremy Corbyn has kept Gardiner in place despite this criticism but Owen Smith did not enjoy the same privilege.

Nicola Sturgeon was on Peston and was asked about childhood obesity as the First Minister has committed to childhood obesity being halved by 2030. Sturgeon met with Jamie Oliver and was asked whether she is supportive of the two-for-one pizza deals. Sturgeon said childhood obesity needs to be tackled and over consumption is a part of this but she is not looking to make shopping more expensive for families. Sturgeon said over the next two weeks, a debate will be restarted about why independence is an opportunity for Scotland.

Len McCluskey was also on Peston and seemed to be somewhat sympathetic to Ken Livingstone when asked whether the former London Mayor should be expelled from the party. McCluskey said a rule against stupidity would result in many people being expelled including Livingstone. He was accused of dodging the question as Livingstone has not been expelled for being stupid. Peston asked McCluskey about his opinion on the possible deselection of Labour MPs who criticise Corbyn, McCluskey said criticism is fine so long as it is constructive.

McCluskey then got into a debate with Lord Peter Mandelson on the terms by which the UK will leave the single market. McCluskey said the Labour party would negotiate better with the EU than the current Government; Mandelson said the Government is making the same claim, but it has little real meaning on its own.

The day after the Royal Wedding, Lord Mandelson said the wedding made him so happy he is now thinking about getting married.

Speaking on the East Coast Main Line being bought back into public hands, Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, said private companies do not invest in the railway; Sophie Ridge said Virgin had invested more in two years than the five before that. McDonald was asked by Ridge whether fares under Labour would go down – he could not commit to this but said they would be more affordable. Minister for Digital, Margot James, said the people who support renationalisation did not live through the days of British Rail.

McDonald was also asked about allegations of bullying by John Bercow, the Shadow Transport Secretary responded by saying he thinks Bercow is an excellent speaker.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.


Political shows

Politics on Sunday – Brexit and Tessa Jowell

The Sunday political shows were dominated by two topics: the death of Tessa Jowell and Brexit.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove was the most high-profile guest across the shows and he provided the biggest talking point by saying Theresa May’s post-Brexit customs plan has flaws.

The plan the Prime Minister is proposing would mean the UK has the same tariff on goods as the EU, but business will be able to claim back the difference if the rates in Britain are lower. Nick Robinson (standing in for Marr) asked Gove whether he agreed with Boris Johnson’s assessment that the arrangement proposed is crazy.

Gove said no model exists like the one being proposed and this immediately raises questions. Gove wants the Government to ‘crack on’ with finding solutions to these problems. Robinson asked Gove whether it was a possibility the transition period could be extended past December 2020; he answered, ‘I don’t believe in an extension’. He was also asked whether he thought the Brexit process was a shambles – unsurprisingly he replied it is not.

Arch-remainer Nicky Morgan appeared on Peston and she was not complimentary to either of the deals proposed. Morgan told Peston more information is needed on the matter but that the maximum facilitation deal relies on technology which does not yet exist and causes problems around Ireland. Morgan offered some hope to Theresa May by saying the Prime Minister could still offer a trade deal that would be accepted by the vast majority of the House of Commons if she stopped trying to appeal to the Brexiteers.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, Simon Coveney also appeared on Marr. Coveney wants the UK Government to come to an agreement on the customs policy so progress can be made on the border. Coveney made it clear that the Irish Government is not flexible on the matter of physical infrastructure on the Irish border. Coveney also said he is taking his lead from Theresa May and not any other member of the Cabinet. He had another warning for the UK Government by saying the Brexit negotiations would face a ‘difficult summer’ if the Government did not stick to its commitments.

Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer said the option of a Norway-style deal for the UK would not work for the UK, the reason being Norway has physical infrastructure on its border with Sweden and this is not an option when it comes to the Irish border. Rebecca Long-Bailey also represented Labour on Peston and said no decision has been made on how to vote on a Lords amendment that would see the UK join the European Economic Area and stay in the single market. Long-Bailey said Labour wants to retain the benefits of the single market but through a bespoke deal.

There were many tributes to former Cabinet Minister, Tessa Jowell, who passed away. Alastair Campbell said she was the best in politics and the best in humanity. John Whittingdale paid tribute to her nonpartisan nature saying she wanted things to get done. On Marr, a clip was played of an interview Robinson had conducted with Jowell and it focused on the remarks ‘I am not afraid’ when speaking about the cancer she was ill with.

Check out our Canvas of all the best coverage from the Sunday Political shows here and find out how to make your own Canvas here.

Sunday politics shows 14 May