Agency vs In-house: The Different Approaches to Influencer Outreach


Influencer marketing – everyone’s at it, but who takes care of yours? In an age when the first generation of YouTube stars now have their own product lines and book deals, influencer outreach practices are redefining PR.

Should brands outsource their influencer relationships to agencies, either digital specialists or seasoned media relations managers?

Or do the benefits of a deep brand understanding that external agencies don’t have time to develop make a strong case for keeping things in-house?

Download our white paper to find out the pros and cons of using agencies and in-house teams to connect with influencers.

Queen’s Speech 2017 – Summary, Analysis & Reaction



The 2017 Queen’s Speech featured measures to boost the economy, enhance consumer protection and introduce wide-ranging data protection reform – but unsurprisingly, Brexit was the star of the show.

So what exactly does the next legislative agenda have in store?

We’ve put together a summary of the Queen’s Speech – get your copy here!

Best PR stunts and advertising campaigns of 2016

As we come to the close of the year, we look at some of the best PR stunts and campaigns, ranging from the John Lewis Christmas advert, Donald Trump pizzas by Pizza Express, right the way through to KFC’s chicken-flavoured nail polish.

KFC finger lickin’ good nail polish


One of the funniest PR stunts of 2016 came from KFC who announced it was entering the beauty department with a range of chicken-flavoured nail polishes. Described as ‘finger-lickin’ good’, KFC offered its customers the choice of  between two flavours, original or hot and spicy.

The ghost prank that had audiences running for their lives

What better way to promote your new book than to pull a prank on an unsuspecting audience? At an exclusive reading of her new book, Michelle Paver brought the mountaineering ghost in her book to life, which left people running for their lives.

 Humanoids roam the streets of London


It’s not often that you see Humanoids roaming on the streets of Central London, but that’s exactly what happened this past October. In a publicity stunt for Sky Atlantic’s new sci-fi show Westworld, twenty Humanoids descended onto Waterloo station, the Millennium Bridge and Westminster to help raise the show’s profile.

John Lewis’s #BusterTheBoxer gets everyone chatting on social media 

When it comes to festive campaigns, John Lewis always pulls out all the stops. Their latest Christmas offering is no different. Dubbed as the most hotly anticipated ad of the festive season, the star of this year’s ad is Buster the Boxer, who has already become a social media phenomenon with his own hashtag #BusterTheBoxer.

And then there was the unforgettable spoof 

The popularity of the latest John Lewis advert also inspired a spoof following the US election results, which left many people laughing out loud.

Juliette the doll becomes the face of McDonald’s UK Christmas campaign

McDonald’s UK’ took its biggest leap this year by launching its “biggest ever” Christmas campaign. Created by UK creative agency Leo Burnett London, the ad takes an unconventional approach, focusing less on the fast food but instead a wooden doll called Juliette who comes to life after being left on the shelf for a year.                                                                                                                                                                      

James Corden brings laughter and good cheer to Sainsbury’s Christmas ad

Narrated by Comedian James Corden, this animation offers a simple message – the best gift you can give this Christmas is yourself. Featuring jokes about transportation delays, disruption on trains, and managers twerking inappropriately at work, the new Sainsbury’s ad has been an instant hit with over 14 million clicks on YouTube.

Amazon ad seeks to bring people together 

At a time of heightened tension between different social and cultural groups, the new Amazon Christmas ad seeks to bridge the gap. Starring a priest and an imam, this ad shows viewers how we can connect despite our differences.

Pizza Express get political

Cashing in on the much-heated US presidential election, Pizza Express created Trump and Hillary pizzas with impressive precision.

PETA pulls iconic prank


That moment when Ghostbusters took over Waterloo Station

To celebrate the remake of cult classic Ghostbusters, the film’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man ‘smashed’ through the floor and green slime was suddenly oozing all over the station. Hundreds of commuters passing through London Waterloo Station gathered to take selfies with the giant marshmallow head using the hashtag #ghostbusterswaterloo, run by teams of ‘Ghostbusters’ who had their own ‘Who You Gonna Call?’ business card.

And the winner of the bigget tearjeaker goes to…. 

Online auction website Allegro created a polish Christmas advert which has reduced millions to tears. With over 12 million YouTube hits, the ad pulls at the heartstrings. The ad shows a slightly eccentric granddad learning English so he can introduce himself to his British grandchild when he arrives in the UK.

To see more of our favourite publicity highlights of 2016, check out this Vuelio Canvas.

Digital Marketing Masterclass: Ed Leake, Midas Media

Ed Leake is the Managing Director of Midas MediaNamed one of the “top 5 rising stars” in the annual PPC Hero edition and one of the top 25 industry experts of 2016, Ed is one of the leading figures within his field. Highly focused on measurable actions, Ed’s experience in the industry is cemented by enabling his clients to achieve big returns on their marketing investments. In this masterclass Ed will explain everything you need to know about Google and Facebook advertising, how to maximise your marketing budget, and how having a social media advertising strategy will help you grow business in 2017. 


What you need to know about Google and Facebook advertising


“Google is for satisfying demand; that moment in time where someone is actively seeking out and looking for something. This is at odds with Facebook which is demand generation; people don’t typically visit Facebook with credit card in hand. If you take just one thing away from this interview, then it should be that marketing professionals need to respect this distinction.

“Treat Facebook like a first date, you wouldn’t go straight for the ring and proposal. Instead you need to nurture and entice people to your brand and offering, typically through supporting content that is either interesting and supports the purchase decision or helps remedy a specific problem. That goes for both B2B and B2C markets too.

“Don’t neglect the Google Display Network (GDN) either, it offers just as robust targeting methods as Facebook, and can be treated in a similar fashion. You take cold traffic and drive it to content first, instead of demanding a sale from people who’ve ‘never met you’.

“Don’t be a bad date.”

Maximising your marketing budget


“The biggest issue with a small budget is that it restricts your testing. Not every campaign is going to be a winner. Thankfully there are options available to stack the odds in your favour. Firstly, if you have multiple offerings, take your bestselling item/service and focus your efforts on that. By focusing you can simplify your message, targeting and desired outcome. You can hone the persona and product fit until your results are valid and scalable.

“You should always be testing your message – again on a limited budget the simplest option is to cycle through headlines that satisfy either a demand or a desire of your target audience. You could get lucky on your first hit – but typically, finding the sweet spot is about continuous testing of assets.

“Ultimately you must have a desired and measurable outcome, the very specific thing you want to happen or the action you want your audience/visitor to take.

“If you can’t measure it, rethink your strategy, because if you can’t measure your efforts you can’t identify a baseline and scaling your budget becomes fraught with risks.”

Use internet advertising to grow your business


“No matter your budget you need to be getting your message in front of the right people. Your competitive edge boils down to your proposition and positioning. If you look and sound the same, you’ll be treated the same as your competitors. Then it becomes a price comparison for your prospects. That’s not a good place to be.

“If you visit our website you will see we don’t look or sound like any other PPC agency, which many see as a risk. But I’m a bit of a contrarian and quite frankly we’re not targeting everyone, so I want us to be different, and go hard against the herd.

“That’s positioning sorted, next you’ve got to get out there and in front of people.

“Persona driven content isn’t just buzz. If you understand your market and create the right content for them – content that satisfies an itch – then you will attract buying interest.

“Instead of taking the loud, louder and loudest approach (firing out content as if you were unloading the magazine of a machine gun), focus on a specific audience and promote the content where they hang out. It could be YouTube, or LinkedIn, it might be Facebook or Twitter. Wherever they be, a small advertising budget on any of the major platforms can stretch a long way when you know specifically who needs to see it.”

Drive traffic to your website and campaigns through Google and Facebook advertising


When it comes to driving traffic to your website through Facebook and Google advertising I’d use a simple, three-step approach:

  1. Create persona driven, specific content targeted to a niche audience on Facebook. Offer loads of value upfront because the market is crowded with crappy content.
  2. Educate first, then remarket an opt-in on Facebook such as a guide or free resource that offers a lot more value. Offer enough value that they could literally do it themselves. Why? Because those that want free were never your customer anyway, those that value deeper advice will start taking you seriously.
  3. Remarket on Google for more sales oriented search terms via Search and Display. Ultimately if a prospect that has already read your content is actively searching for your ‘thing’, you need to be appearing!”

What not what to do when it comes to Facebook Ads


“The common mistakes PRs make when it comes to Facebook ads is talking about themselves far too much.

“Look at all the awards we’ve won! Look how good we are! Look at our amazing services! Look at me, me, me! It’s a big turn off.

“A bit like that self-obsessed person you duck and dodge at a party, hiding in the bushes to avoid having to listen to them.

“We usually opt for 80/20 on social media, where at least 80% of what we do is about educational, insightful and useful (high value) content. Updates that offer something for nothing, or simply share interesting items from around the web. Even competitor’s stuff!

Use metrics to identify success of campaign


“Metrics are great for optimisers and analysts. The business on the other hand rarely cares for them, they add noise to an already complex arrangement.

“Focus on the input and output, in other words how much you spend to get to your goal. In fact, I go one step further and target a specific ROI or ROAS based not on vanity numbers such as total revenue, but your profit numbers and real (net) return.

“The biggest success in a campaign is knowing when you can confidently turn on the taps and scale, without losing money. Having that level is confidence is like a eureka moment in marketing”.

Having a social media strategy


“Accountability and measurability go hand in hand. If you’re pushing social media as a channel that deserves marketing budget, then talk less about ‘brand awareness’ and more about ‘brand advocacy’.

“I wrote an article for Mention where I ran through each step of the social media map in detail. Just having a process that you can map out step-by-step in detail, is a very healthy approach to any form of marketing. It keeps you on the straight and narrow, and it enables you to get milestones where you can attribute your efforts to results.

“What’s not to like?”

Has Jeremy Clarkson just blown up TV?

Jeremy Clarkson, has long made a career for himself pushing the boundaries of the acceptable age to be still wearing jeans and blowing up caravans. But as his new online TV show, The Grand Tour takes to the web, he might just have blown up something even bigger – traditional television broadcasting.

Online, on-demand TV is not a new thing. For the Tinder generation, streaming video services like Netflix have become so embedded in their lives, the channel has even found its way into the bedroom as a euphemism for casual sex (Netflix and chill). But for the older, perhaps not-so-digitally-minded generation, TV remains something that the BBC, ITV and SKY do.

These “oldies” are the people that keep shops like HMV in business, buying DVD box-sets of streamed TV-series like Breaking Bad and House of Cards, which the younger crowd binge-watched years ago on their TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

By firing Jeremy Clarkson, the BBC have given the motoring journalist the freedom to produce the kind of television he wants to produce – without the filters a politically sensitive and correct channel like the BBC demand.

Judging by the flurry of positive reviews Clarkson’s new show on Amazon Prime is receiving (even The Guardian is heaping praise on the man their audience typically love to hate), the Grand Tour team are clearly enjoying and benefiting from their new found freedom.

Clarkson and co. are perhaps the first big stars of television to make the leap over to online TV while they were still at the top of their game. Their universal appeal will undoubtedly encourage millions of viewers to buy a dongle or invest in a digital subscription, giving a whole new audience a first real glimpse of television outside of the major broadcast channels.

Traditional broadcasters must be very nervous about losing their stars. It wouldn’t take too much to completely bring down their Ivory Towers. Imagine if the former Top Gear presenters were joined online by the stars of Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off – millions might start re-considering the value of their TV licenses and Sky Subscriptions.

Is this the beginning of the end for television as we used to know it?

And on that bombshell…

Tesco Bank: The inconvenience of going hungry

Big brands don’t like inconveniencing their customers. Ask anyone affected by Vauxhall’s, Samsung’s or Whirlpool’s combustible car, smartphone and tumble dryer issues and they will tell you, that these companies have a lot of hard work to do to win back customer trust.

Customers’ of Tesco Bank might be relieved to know that their cash card isn’t about to burst into flames but out of all the recent reputation busting scandals, Tesco Bank’s might be the hardest to repair.

While Tesco Bank are themselves the victim of what looks to be a multi-million-pound fraud, with cash being taken from 20,000 plus customers’ accounts, their customers will have very little sympathy if their accounts aren’t fully refunded as quickly as possible.

We put a lot of trust in the banks to look after our money, knowing that our cash is safer with them than under the mattress. We also expect when we need to get out hands on some money to pay for petrol to get to work, food on our tables or to pay our bills, that the funds are available.

Consider the plight of the Tesco Bank customer who was left with just £21 in his account after £600 was fraudulently taken. Until the status of his bank account is restored – he may have to make some very tough financial decisions over the next day or two.

Tesco Bank are of course very apologetic for the “inconvenience” caused to their customers – but when inconvenience begins to feel like going hungry or worrying about how you’re going to get to work and send the kids to school – it reaches a whole new level.

Tesco Bank might have been powerless to prevent this unforeseen fraudulent attack – but they are in the position to make sure it doesn’t impact on their customers. The longer it takes to resolve (and we’re talking hours rather than days), the bigger the impact on their reputation.

Facebook launch e-learning course for journalists

In news that is sure to make The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katherine Viner’s blood boil, Facebook has recently launched a new e-learning course designed to help journalists make better use of the Facebook platform.

The resources currently available online cover items like clickbait headlines and why you should not use them, building an audience via social media and how to discover news content via Facebook (because that’s where most journalists find their news now – sad isn’t it?).

At present, current available course materials shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete.

Aine Kerr, manager of journalism partnerships at Facebook, told journalists: “Next to Facebook guidelines and instructions, we’re also taking great examples from the industry itself.

“Our hope is that this will be very informative for newsrooms but equally it will be very much a collaborative, inspiring experience for journalists to learn from how other journalists have been doing it in their newsrooms according to their particular beats and specialisms.”

In the coming week’s Facebook will be extending the range of editorial content available via the e-Learning platform as well as launching a series of webinars.

It’s first webinar which will be held on November 3, 2016 will focus on how journalists can best use Facebook’s new video broadcast tool Facebook Live.

According to the website, Facebook’s journalism training services were developed following conversations between the Facebook News Partnership team and several media organisations and the team will continue to update the training based on feedback to reflect new product launches or skills needed.

As social media platforms like Facebook continue to disrupt the way we as PR professionals distribute our content, social media savvy PRs should probably look to invest 15 minutes or so in Facebook’s new educational resource.

Journalists might have a whole host of new social media tools to engage their audiences – but they do not have the monopoly over the use of these technologies.


6 Reasons Why Media Monitoring Is Your Secret Weapon

Press_Release_Brochure-220px Are you doing all you can with media monitoring?
Setting up keywords, applying some restrictions, and selecting a media universe in which to track your organisation, the markets in which it operates, and the way it is perceived. Essential, of course – but a little bit boring? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Our latest white paper tells you how to maximise the value of media monitoring – and in the process, put yourself at the heart of your organisation.

You’ll learn how to:
• Master your industry and become the person people come to for information, ideas, and creative energy
• Prove the value of your work your colleagues, your boss, their boss – every single day of the working week
• Help those around you become better salespeople, marketers, managers, developers – and help yourself become a genuine leader

Fill out the form to download it now.

5 Steps To Managing A Crisis In A Social World

Would your business survive a PR catastrophe?

In a world of social media, there is no such thing as a small crisis. When a simple tweet from a disgruntled customer can today prompt a global backlash, PRs and marketers must be armed with the skills to cope with a crisis as it unfolds.

Joined by PR & media consultant, Kathryn Kelly, we’ll take you through:

  • The impact a social crisis can have on a brand’s reputation and revenue
  • How to identify and avoid a potential crisis
  • Steps to manage and respond to a crisis