Newsrewired panel 2024

The rise of AI in journalism and its impact on PR

Could the use of AI have an impact on the relationship between journalists and PRs?

This year’s Newsrewired conference featured several panels discussing AI and the benefits it can bring to journalism. Here is how journalists are using AI already, and what this could mean for PR.

Fact-checking and misinformation

The rise of misinformation is a continuing problem for journalists to contend with. Charlotte Maher, social media editor at Bellingcat, explained its impact on politics:

‘In regards to deep fakes in election periods, something that we’ve seen – which is a very worrying trend – is the rise in deep fake audio. Video and imagery – there’s a lot of tools out there and more data to analyse in the video and images. With audio, it’s a lot harder.’

To combat this, various AI tools and programmes have been and continue to be developed to aid journalists fact-checking information and identifying manipulated images or repurposed content. Charlotte Maher recommended GitHub as a platform, full of open source, easy to access tools.

Impact on PRs: Journalists are now more cautious when putting content into print or online. To be seen as trustworthy and reliable to the media, be ready to back up sources or statistics included in press releases to set yourself apart.

Being able to give journalists an exclusive case study or information will be more likely to result in coverage. Repurposed or recycled material is not as useful to journalists, as it can include misinformation.

Winning back time

Regional publisher Newsquest has developed an in-house tool to draft articles based on trusted information from verified sources. However, there is always a human at the beginning and end of the news cycle. Jody Doherty-Cove, head of editorial AI at Newsquest, spoke about how this benefits the editorial process:

‘Around 3,500 AI assisted news articles are published across Newsquest each month, and we’re reinvesting that won-back time into our newsrooms, allowing journalists to get back out into their communities and focusing on specialisms, like getting back into court’.

Impact on PRs: Regional and local editorial teams have been getting smaller and smaller in the past few years. Journalists at this level have less time to engage with PRs as a result.

If other publishers follow Newsquest’s example, and win back more time for reporters to get out to cover stories, this could mean more engagement with PRs, and an increase in coverage of community news initiatives, as well as local projects and events.

Help with vertical video

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are becoming increasingly popular with younger audiences as a way to consume news. However, there are still comparatively few journalists using these social media sites as a way to promote their journalism.

Sophia Smith-Galer, a freelance journalist who has previously worked for the BBC and Vice, is a pioneer of TikTok journalism, with over 500,000 followers on the platform, plus over 250,000 on Instagram. Using this expertise, Sophie trained an AI tool (called Sophina) to help write viral video scripts for journalists:

‘Current AI tools don’t do what we want them to do. We don’t know the training data, for example, on ChatGPT. I wanted to build an ethical tool where you knew the knowledge base was being used consensually.’

Impact on PRs: An increasing number of journalists will be using TikTok and Instagram in the future and will need press materials to work in a vertical video format.

Make sure what you’re offering journalists is adaptable to fit into various formats. As well as how it could work in print and online, think how it could appear in a TikTok video or an Instagram reel. This is particularly important for product placement or general product review articles you’re aiming to feature in.

Connect with journalists directly via the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service and Vuelio Media Database.

Want to know more about pitching to the media? Download the Vuelio white paper ‘How to pitch to journalists’, covering national press, consumer media, trade outlets, and freelancers.

Second General Election debate 2024

From Mordaunt vs Rayner clash to Farage winning popularity poll: Impact of the second TV debate

By Phoebe-Jane Boyd, Dahye Lee, and Ingrid Marin. 

Representatives from seven parties took to the stage for Friday 7 June’s BBC Election Debate 2024. Following on from ITV’s broadcast of Sunak vs Starmer’s debate the previous week, which topics grabbed the attention of the viewers and sparked political media reports this time around?

We analysed social and news in the UK General Election 2024 conversation across X, TikTok, Threads, Facebook, blogs, forums, online news, print news, TV, radio, and podcasts, from Friday 7 June 7:30pm, to Monday 10 June.

Did the Conservative’s Penny Mordaunt, Labour’s Angela Rayner, Liberal Democrats’ Daisy Cooper, Scottish National Party’s Stephen Flynn, Green Party’s Carla Denyer, Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth, and Reform UK’s Nigel Farage’s time on TV shift the needle on the conversation?

Tax, health and foreign affairs – Most popular topics before and after Friday’s debate

Top mentioned topics

Taking the spotlight for many write-ups in the press and reaction on social media following the debate were the clashes between deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner and Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, who had been placed in close proximity.

Key moments from Friday: The clash over Mordaunt’s choice to repeat Conservative claims that Labour would raise taxes by £2,000; Mordaunt’s repeated apologies for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s early departure from the D-Day ceremony; and Reform leader Nigel Farage’s strong criticism of Sunak, branding him ‘unpatriotic’ and a ‘complete and utter disgrace’. Farage himself did not escape harsh words, being described as a ‘clown personality’ by Rayner.

Overall, the BBC debate didn’t make a significant splash when it comes to pushing the directions of press coverage and online conversations. The main difference in trending topics across both when looking at pre- and post- Friday’s debate is for discussion of tax.

Tax saw the highest increase (+7.5%) among the topics we tracked compared to share of voice before Friday’s televised debate.

Mordaunt was criticised by many across social media for returning to the well of that controversial £2k tax claim that Sunak had dug in the first debate:

Lisa Pattern tweet

Reports from Sky News, BBC, and The Guardian concerning Labour’s mention of ‘no tax hikes’  were highly shared.

Another conversation that increased following the second debate – the topic of the NHS.

Analysis shows this was driven by Farage’s statement during the debate that the NHS should be scrapped in its current form. This comment continues to drive discussion in the press and online, as it faces criticism from left-leaning audiences:

Jon Jill tweet

Which of the two TV debates so far has driven the most coverage and conversation?

ITV vs BBC volume comparison

Analysis of the 24-hour periods following each debate shows that it was 6 June’s ITV broadcast that has had the most impact on the conversation and coverage, driving reports and shares. The reason for this could be two-fold – the first debate of its kind for this General Election drew more curiosity, and featured the only two party leaders realistically positioned to be UK Prime Minister post election.

But what do the polls say?

 

Following the BBC debate, a poll from More in Common found that Farage possibly came out on top; with 25% thinking the Reform leader had won the debate; 19% saying Angela Rayner; 14% saying none of the above; 11% for the Green Party’s Carla Denyer; 10% for the Scottish Nationalist Party’s Stephen Flynn; 7% for Penny Mordaunt; 5% for the Liberal Democrat’s Daisy Cooper; and 2% for Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth.

As the media, and voters, await the release of each party’s manifestos this week – much mooted by each speaker throughout both TV tussles – debate as fierce as those televised so far continues online and in the press.

Stay informed with the latest news on the upcoming General Election by signing up to our Vuelio General Election Updates.

How to get PR coverage in June 2024 and beyond

Travel experts, election comment and festival essentials: How to get coverage in the press in June

Want to get media coverage in June? The next month will be a busy one for journalists, with General Election build up, Glastonbury, Wimbledon, the Euros to cover.

The ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service gives a good indicator of what topics and areas the media are particularly interested in and what they will need from PRs. Here are trends from May, and what we expect to be popular in June and beyond.

Summer season is here

While it isn’t officially summer yet, journalists have been keen to cover it with over 8% of the total requests last month containing the word ‘summer’. The enquiries have varied quite widely in topic but many have been around ‘holidays’, with that also appearing in 3% of requests in May.

‘BBQ’ has proved popular, too, with the word appearing in 2% of enquiries. The start of summer also marks ‘festival’ season with 1.5% of requests in May looking for information and essential products to take camping.

Going forward? While ‘Summer’ is broad as a keyword, we know that ‘holidays’ will continue to perform well as the Travel category peaks for requests in June. Journalists will want comments from travel experts. Summer fashion, beauty and health will also prove popular, so get information or experts ready and you could feature in The Guardian, Women’s Fitness, Fabulous, The i paper, Ideal Home, Pick Me Up! and the MailOnline.

UK General Election takes centre stage

While much of the UK press were expecting an Autumn election, the surprise announcement in May didn’t stop journalists sending requests to PRs related to the news –  ‘Election’ appeared in 2% of the total enquiries last month.

Initial journalist requests sought ‘business leaders’ thoughts on the UK election’ and ‘comment from logistics expert on how the General Election could impact the UK logistics and supply chain sector’.

Going forward? With less than a month until the General Election, journalists will increasingly use the service to get comments from different sectors for how it will impact them. This represents a great opportunity to get CEOs or industry leaders featured in the media. The Times, Sunday Mirror, The Independent, and Reuters have all had journalists send requests around the election already.

Interest in gardening and AI still high as sport gains more traction

‘Gardening’ and ‘AI’ have both been consistently popular on the Journalist Enquiry Service for several months now and that didn’t change in May. ‘Gardening’ appeared in 5% of the total requests last month and ‘AI’ occurred in just over 3%.

With a big summer of sport ahead, including the Euros, Wimbledon and the Olympics, the category increased in use by journalists by 12% compared to April. ‘Euros’ and ‘football’ combined appeared in 1% of the requests last month.

Going forward? Garden requests are likely to remain high in June with the more summery weather (we hope) the Home & Garden category received 7% more requests in May this year compared to 2023. AI has seen an even bigger increase, with 17% more enquiries last month than this time last year. Journalists are looking to connect with experts in both of these areas. In regards to sport, requests tend to be for places to watch sporting events, or products to work alongside it.

Other opportunities for PRs in June and beyond

As June is Pride month in the UK, journalists will likely be looking for events and what’s on in certain cities to celebrate. Expect ‘LGBTQ’ to crop up in a lot of requests from the media, too. Aside from the two big music festivals in June, Taylor Swift is also coming to the UK and journalists have already been sending requests around this, mainly for personal case studies.

It’s Men’s Health Week from 14-20 June, so get ready for the opportunities to get health and medical experts featured in the media. There is also Clean Air Day on 20 June, providing a chance to get environmental experts quoted in the press.

To connect with the media on these topics, and much more, check out the Journalist Enquiry Service and the Vuelio Media Database.

Find out more how Vuelio can help you gain and track your coverage in the media here.

Katherine Hignett Health Journalist

How to connect with health journalists in the post-pandemic era 

Just as the healthcare sector was forever changed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, so too was how the media reports on the topics of health, medicine, and treatment.

What does this mean for PRs aiming to connect with health journalists now?

Forbes.com senior contributor Katherine Hignett led Vuelio event ‘Truth and impact: Health journalism in the post-pandemic era’ on Wednesday evening, 29 May, at Vinoteca City to share her experiences and insight.

Topics covered – how health journalists became a vital force in newsrooms across the world; the challenges of sourcing trustworthy experts; and the long-term impacts still being felt in the media today.

How the pandemic changed health journalism

Extra pressures
Health journalism already comes with unique demands – ‘It’s very technical, and has regulatory frameworks other sectors don’t,’ Katherine explained – but the start of COVID-19 only brought more challenges…

Culture wars
‘Disinformation is a huge issue on social media now, and it gave us more work to do during the pandemic – debunking and extra fact-checking as part of every report. Topics that were politically inert were now potentially culturally sensitive.’

Katherine explained the impact of the rise in anti-vax sentiment, conspiracy theories, and misinformation on medications that could supposedly stop the spread.

‘When fact-checking stories, we had to personally deal with conspiracy theorists and anti-science sentiment. We got some nasty stuff from strangers over the internet. Some of these things are still with us today’.

Increased responsibility
‘Before the pandemic, the closer a story was to politics, political journalists would pick up the story. But suddenly, the expertise we had as health journalists was really important to those stories. We were suddenly among the most important journalists in the room’.

New sources
With all of the bad, came some good:

‘It was suddenly easier to get information from sources. NHS workers weren’t so open to talk to journalists before, but then, even though managers would try to stop sources in back offices from leaking information, people did it.

‘We were given amazing data on staff levels, PPE. We didn’t have capacity to cover it all.’

How to work with health journalists today

‘Covid is still something we cover everyday, even if it’s indirectly covered,’ said Katherine.

The legacy of the pandemic is also felt in how journalists source, fact-check, write, and share stories. This also impacts how they work with PRs.

Do extra checks on your experts
‘It’s more difficult to figure out who to trust when it comes to experts now,’ explained Katherine.

‘The pandemic was really good training for journalists on how to work with experts. Just because someone wears a white coat, doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.’

‘We often speak to them about research, and for commentary for articles. Sometimes the press can over-egg and oversell scientific findings, so genuine experts are really important.’

What is a sign of a trustworthy expert for health journalists? University affiliations. Katherine also pointed out pHd research as an interesting starting point for stories, and a way to find and connect with new experts.

Provide sources for stories
As people the world over have made efforts to return to some form of normality, so too has the status quo on sources:

‘Sadly, the sources and tips have gone back to “normal” now; it’s more tricky,’ shared Katherine.

While Katherine herself has a consumer and national focus in her work, she highlighted trade journalism’s deep connections with useful sources:

‘The trade press are really good at finding stories we wouldn’t find in consumer and on national titles, because they have access to contacts we don’t.

‘Journalists working on consumer media rely a lot on trade press, but also on releases and contacts from charities.’

What Katherine is interested in for her own reporting – drug shortages on a national scale, and health stories that reveal information that could impact society.

‘As a country, we are sicker than we were before Covid. It had a big impact on drug shortages, and exacerbated existing global issues. Many are still waiting for care that was cancelled during the pandemic. People are getting sicker and relying on medication – more pain, and more drugs, while waiting for surgery.

‘For journalists, this means there are more opportunities to hold people to account. It’s an important and fascinating area.’

Katherine Hignett is a senior contributor to Forbes.com on healthcare and health policy, and freelance journalist for titles such as Metro.co.uk and Newsweek. Katherine is a former correspondent for award-winning health policy publication the Health Service Journal, and was recognised by PressGazette for her investigative work exposing PPE shortages in hospitals during the pandemic.

To connect with health journalists working across broadcast, national and regional press, consumer and trade publications, the Vuelio Media Database and ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service can help. 

voters queuing outside polling station

UK General Election 2024: What was the state of the public conversation leading into the first debate?

By Phoebe-Jane Boyd and Dahye Lee.

The first television debate between party leaders took place on Tuesday 4 June, coming at the culmination of two weeks campaigning in which both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer set out their stalls for the country. But, as the studio lights went up on Tuesday evening, which policies and points of view had already cut through into public consciousness?

Read the full transcript of the ITV debate here.

Using Pulsar TRAC, we analysed social and news mentions of themes in the UK General Election 2024 conversation across X, TikTok, Threads, Facebook, blogs, forums, online news, print news, TV, radio, and podcasts between 23 May – 5 June 2024.

Here is what is capturing the attention of the media and the public.

As the UK prepares for the upcoming General Election, stay informed with the latest news by signing up to our Vuelio General Election Updates.

Top mentioned topics in UK General Election 2024 coverage and conversation

National Service stirs engagement

Coverage in the press, and engagement across social media, gave early indicators of what would be covered within the debate.

NHS, foreign affairs, and education featured highly in coverage and conversation between 23 May – 5 June, due to uproar around the prospect of the return of National Service – what Starmer called ‘Teenage Dad’s Army’, and Sunak described as ‘bold action’ during the debate.

While audible laughs from the in-studio audience met Sunak’s words on the topic on Tuesday night, coverage of the proposal has received serious and significant engagement, particularly from BBC News.

The audience most engaged with the topic? Young people, and many parents, who would be impacted the most should Sunak’s plan come to fruition. Channel 4’s TikTok on this was most shared by the younger generation.

Balance of conversation

Tax was always going to be a significant part of the first TV debate for this year’s election, but Sunak’s numerous accusations regarding a supposed (since disputed) ‘extra £2,000 tax’ from Labour took up a significant portion of TV time last night.

However, it’s the Conservatives who have over-indexed for mentions of tax since the start of the party’s campaign.

In the lead up to the TV debate, this was partially due to Reform outflanking them on income tax pledges while, after the debate, numerous journalists and influencers factchecked Sunak’s £2,000 tax allegation.

Labour vs Conservatives: Who’s dominating discussion around specific topics?

Analysis of these key topics broken down by mentions of each party shows a mostly equal split of coverage and conversation for Labour and Conservative… with the expected outlier of National Service. The Tory proposal has been further amplified by ITV’s coverage.

As of today, a major focus of mentions for Labour are foreign affairs, NHS/health, and energy & sustainability, and this was driven by Tuesday’s debate directly. An X post from MP David Lammy regarding the NHS triggered intense engagement online, as did his commentary on bombing in Gaza.

 

News vs social media: Where are people talking and engaging?

While both social media and news outlets focus on the NHS, the narratives unfolding on each platform differ.

News coverage centres on questions regarding how national service can support NHS issues, while social media users urge support of the NHS and junior doctor strikes.

Immigration is the second highest topic in news coverage. Tackled by Sunak and Starmer during the debate, the resulting high number of mentions is largely driven by write-ups in right-wing outlets. Their focus? Reports regarding migrant channel crossings.

Media outlets leading coverage and engagement around the General Election

Which media outlets are leading coverage of the 2024 UK General Election so far, and sparking shares on social media?

The Mirror’s reporting of Sunak’s interactions with Russian associates – not covered in Tuesdsay’s debate – has received considerable traction among left-leaning readers, who have expressed concern over his affiliations with Russia.

While BBC’s coverage of Sunak’s National Service plan maintains broader audience interest, the Scottish Daily Express has sparked controversy, and engagement, with its reporting of alleged ‘outright lies’ in the Scottish National Party’s campaigning.

While Tuesday’s debate did not necessarily introduce anything new into the fabric of discussion, with both leaders returning to topics and talking points that they know to be important to their audiences and stakeholders, it did re-entrench battle lines. Tax is now more central to the overall discussion, which had previously not attained much prominence, or airtime.

Whether it’s Sunak’s £2,000 tax attack line, or the subsequent debunking of the figure the next day, which sticks in voter’s minds, the subsequent weeks will reveal.

For extra on the UK political landscape, sign up to the weekly Vuelio Point of Order newsletter.

Find out more about Vuelio’s solutions for public affairs and politics.

The perception of PR in sustainability communications

The perception of PR in sustainability communications

The current climate of accountability for those with influence and power means organisations are held to higher standards than ever before.

Now that ESG concerns are an unavoidable responsibility of public relations, how can practitioners ensure they’re communicating on sustainability with full transparency?

Our latest report uses Pulsar and Vuelio to track the sustainability conversation across press, online news sources, and social media between January 2023 to February 2024, uncovering the responsibilities that come with this new reality.

Read ‘The perception of PR in sustainability communications: How to avoid greenwashing and be an advocate for change’ to learn:

  • How PR became inextricably tied up in sustainability discourse and the role of practitioners going forward
  • Which stories grab the attention of the press and public and how to secure positive coverage and engagement
  • Why understanding where and how your audiences and stakeholders share information can help your strategic planning and inspire longer-term loyalty

Download the report by filling in the form below 👇

Society of Editors conference

Politics and the press: What the media needs from PRs in the run up to a General Election

With a UK General Election just announced, political journalists are readying for a busy time ahead. But what do reporters in this field want from PRs and comms professionals?

In a recent panel at the Society of Editors Conference, Politico UK editor Jack Blanchard, The Guardian’s political editor Pippa Crerar, The Sun on Sunday’s political editor Kate Ferguson, and Newsquest North regional editor Gavin Foster discussed the current relationship between politics and the press. Read on for the effect this will have on PRs, and what journalists working in the political media want from you.

Credible and reliable sources

Political journalism, like many sectors of the media, has lost audience trust over the last few years. One of the ways journalists are combatting this is with credible and reliable sources.

‘We have to do a daily sense check on the sourcing of our facts and make sure that they’re credible,’ said Pippa Crerar at The Guardian.

‘Whether that’s something we pick up on social media, whether it’s research which has been emailed, or a rumour that has been passed on’.

Any information you send to political journalists as a PR must be backed up with strong sources. At The Sun on Sunday, Kate Ferguson is now ‘double sourcing’ to ensure reliability. This is also vital at trade publications like Politico, as Jack Blanchard explained:

‘Politico has a very specific audience. It’s read by people who work in politics and people in the media that rely on what we do. We do feel like we have a very high bar to get things right because people will literally be planning their days around our morning email. Fact checking is extremely important to us’.

Knowing the audience

Before contacting journalists, understand the audience they are writing for. Politico, as mentioned above, has a very specific audience – general press releases, or information that is widely available, is unlikely to be used. The time you send is also important – the brand’s London Playbook email goes out by 8am, for example.

There are ‘still quite a hardcore of people that are obsessed with politics’, says Jack. But the key to grabbing their interest is in ‘how we pitch’.

Also important for both national and regional media – tone. Pippa shared that journalists at The Guardian focus on ‘politics from the prism of the country-in, rather than Westminster-out’. Content must be accessible for everyone across the country.

On a regional and local level, Gavin stressed the importance of ‘cutting through the noise to get to what really matters’. When reaching out to media outlets in this area, be clear what the importance is to readers if you want to get coverage.

Differences between the 2019 and 2024 General Elections

The General Election coming up in July this year will be very different to the last.

‘2019 was the “Brexit election”, with Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson. Boris was a personality. He sold: Boris sells politics and sells papers,’ said Kate.

‘Now we have Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer. These are less extreme personalities, less engaging, and in some ways, less polarising as well.’

The media will be searching for different angles. Pippa at The Guardian is keen to get away from ‘just turning up in towns and doing vox pops, but having proper relationships with different parts of the country’.

While young people are ‘switching off party politics’ according to Pippa, she believes this audience is ‘incredibly engaged when it comes to issues like climate’. This gives media coverage opportunities to areas adjacent to the usual political coverage.

Jack said he would ‘like to see a media company start off trying to make videos as their primary way for delivering serious impartial political thinking’. Social media, especially TikTok, is regularly used by the younger demographic as a way to consume news. Media organisations will, as a result, be using these platforms a lot more than they were in 2019.

Not sure how to go about contributing for video? Jack stressed the importance of ‘engaging, interesting, and well-edited’ content. Any press materials must be adaptable and able to be packaged in various formats to suit the needs of the media, and the audiences they engage.

Want to get in touch with political journalists and editors ahead of the election? Connect with them with what they need via Vuelio Media Database.

Interested in reaching out to political stakeholders? Try the Vuelio political database.

gardeners planting seeds

Gardening tips, holidays and Father’s Day: How to get PR coverage in May

Want to get featured in the media? The ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service is used every day by journalists who are looking for expert comment, case studies and information for articles.

Check out what topics staff reporters and freelancers have been covering throughout April, plus what areas we expect to remain popular in May and beyond.

Gardening tips still in demand

Since the onset of Spring, ‘gardening’ has been a trending topic for media professionals using the Journalist Enquiry Service to connect with PRs. April was no different, with over 4.5% of all requests being for ‘gardening’ content.

Journalists were looking for everything from the best roses for a small garden, to home and garden products for the summer, and experts to share advice on what common pests should be expected in the garden this year.

Going forward? With events like the Chelsea Flower Show taking place later in May, gardening will remain a popular topic for journalists. The Home & Garden category saw a 2% rise in use from March to April, and the requests will likely increase again in May. Outlets such as Ideal Home, The Sun, This Morning, The Guardian and Grand Designs magazine all sent gardening-related requests to PRs through the Journalist Enquiry Service in April. This offers great opportunities for experts and products to get featured in national newspapers, magazines, and on television.

Father’s Day interest increasing

Holidays or celebrations are always popular journalist request topics and ‘Father’s Day’ is no different; 3% of the total enquiries in April were for this key phrase. Journalists are keen to get coverage earlier this year with a 16% increase in the number of requests compared to April 2023 – so submit your related contributions early.

The Men’s Interest category has seen a boost as well, with 14% more enquiries in April than in March. The increase from last year has also been significant, with 16% more requests than in April 2023.

Going forward? May is typically the month when we see the most Father’s Day related requests. These tend to focus on gifts to give Dad for the special day. If you are a PR with products to review and want them featured in media outlets such as Bella, Dadsnet, Living360 and Heart London, then there will be plenty of opportunities throughout the month, ahead of Father’s Day on June 16.

Holidays on the horizon

With bank holidays this month, ‘holiday’ is a hot topic on the Journalist Enquiry Service right now. It appeared in just over 2% of the total requests for April and also meant a modest 3% rise in the Travel category as well.

Journalists in April were looking for London events happening over the bank holiday weekend, family-friendly holidays and days out, and holiday and summer essentials. These requests came from The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Week, Yahoo! Life and The i paper.

Going forward? ‘Holiday’ as a keyword appeared in over 3% of the enquiries in May 2023 and we expect that to be a similar level this year. Journalists tend to look for information on destinations but case studies, travel experts, and holiday related products are all requested regularly as well. This gives lots of scope to get your clients featured in the first of two busy months for journalists writing about travel.

Other opportunities for PRs in May and beyond

We have seen a rise in outdoor activity related requests on the Journalist Enquiry Service over the last couple of months. Therefore, look out for ‘walking’ related opportunities as May is National Walking Month. This could also see a boost for the Leisure & Hobbies category. ‘Mental health’ is likely to be popular with journalists in May because of Mental Health Awareness Week. Last year, over 2% of requests in May were around mental health – experts around this topic are likely to be in high demand again this year.

The festival season is ahead of us with both Download (14-16 June) and Glastonbury (26-30 June) taking place in June. We expect journalists to request information on what items to take along while camping, and possibly music experts, too, throughout May. Euro 2024 will also kick off in June which should mean plenty of requests for PRs from sports journalists – they’ll likely start sending requests on the best places to watch, giving a chance to get pubs and venues featured in the media.

To connect with the media on these topics, and much more, check out the Journalist Enquiry Service, and the Vuelio Media Database.

Find out more how Vuelio can help you gain and track your coverage in the media here.

foreign aid workers

Insights from engagement in Foreign Aid discourse

Leveraging stakeholder conversations for strategic planning

Having a full view of your wider stakeholder conversations across media, online, and social media gives you an advantage when shaping your comms strategy. Access to data across multiple channels can help you detect emerging trends and crises, and provide insights into public opinion, identify misinformation, and present opportunities to educate where needed.

For insight into the media and online landscape when it comes to conflict, we took the topic of foreign aid and tracked the conversation between 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023 with our sister platform Pulsar.

Read on for how stakeholder insight can help you tailor your comms strategy.

Trends dominating the foreign aid discussion from November 2022 – October 2023

Trends dominating the foreign aid discussion on X from November 2022 - October 2023

Volumes of the Foreign Aid conversation on X between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023. Source: Pulsar TRAC

Mentions of different themes in the Foreign Aid conversation between 1 November 2022 - 31 October 2023

Mentions of different themes in the Foreign Aid conversation between 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023. Source: Pulsar TRAC

As global conflict unfolded throughout 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023, related media coverage naturally grew to keep the public informed. But which topics took up the most attention when it came to foreign aid?

Tracking sharing of, and engagement with, posts on X during this period uncovered obvious subjects peaking the discussion. These included countries involved in geo-political crisis – ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Israel’ – as well as where displaced members of their population would go for safety (‘immigration’).

Alongside these aforementioned trends was a significant engagement with the topics of the domestic need for money and corruption – two issues that often go hand-in-hand with the costly realities of conflict and aid.

News sources dominating the conversation of foreign aid between Nov 22 – Oct 23

News sources dominating the conversation of foreign aid between Nov 22 - Oct 23

Volume of Outlet by Credibility on X in the Foreign Aid conversation between Nov 1 2022 – Oct 31 2023. Source: Pulsar TRAC

When looking at media outlets across the world, expected long-established news sources including The Guardian, the Express, and BBC News produced plenty of coverage and engagement during the year of analysis. Outlets considered non-credible by Pulsar’s misinformation detection – including the US-based right-wing brand Breitbart – also feature. But at the top is a relative newcomer to the press landscape – GB News.

Launched in 2021, GB News’ right-leaning political slant has attracted an audience with a matching right-wing mindset. UK politicians regularly feature in GB News programming (to some controversy), clips are shared across social platforms, and other news outlets regularly cover its fluctuating fortunes. Despite questions around impartiality and audience numbers, its influence online grows.

How do political leanings impact which topics attract the most engagement from stakeholders, and how can you attract attention with your own comms?

Which topics interest which stakeholders

Which topics interest which stakeholders

Share of Narratives by Community in the Foreign Aid conversation between Nov 1 2022 – Oct 31 2023. Normalized to 100. Source: Pulsar TRAC

An analysis of stakeholders grouped by their political affiliations (as identified by their online affinities and behaviours) shows their differing preoccupations and interests, as well as different styles of interaction with messaging.

A comparison of UK-based Conservatives, UK Republicans, and Left-leaning audiences engaging in the online foreign aid conversation unearths high engagement for ‘immigration’ topics from right-wingers in the United Kingdom, with less engagement for ‘Israel’ and the ‘Domestic Need for Money’.

Left-wingers are equally engaged in the four of these trending topics tracked, while US right-wingers engaging in these topics were most invested in Ukraine and Corruption-focused reporting.

What does this show us? US and UK right-wing stakeholders engaged in singular discussions, with broader narratives taking the attention of global left-wingers.

Volume, visibility & impressions for communities on X between Nov 1 2022 – Oct 31 2023

Volume, visibility & impressions for communities on X between Nov 1 2022 – Oct 31 2023. Normalized to 100. Source: Pulsar TRAC

Analysing impressions (how many people see the content) versus visibility (a bespoke Pulsar metric that reflects how how much impact a piece of content has) also uncovers a clear difference – right-wing content between November 2022 and October 2023 gained viral traction in specific communities, where left-leaning content resonated more widely.

What does this mean when seeking meaningful engagement with all groups, regardless of political affiliation?

Engaging your stakeholders with your comms

Tailoring your strategy and communications for each audience online is how to hit each of your stakeholder segments. Considering where each of these gets their information and how they share it with their own communities provides a map for reaching them.

This could mean making Facebook groups or podcasts a part of your outreach strategy alongside the news channels your stakeholders watch daily with your messaging, or creating short-form content for specific social media platforms designed to be shared quickly and widely.

Engaging with global conversations of conflict is complicated, but an understanding of your stakeholders, where to find them, what they interact with, and how, provides a clearer direction for your comms strategy going forward.

For more on planning your strategy in times of crisis, find out about Vuelio’s horizon scanning solutions.

How to elevate your share of voice

Share of voice is a great way to benchmark yourself against competitors and understand your position in the market, however comparing volumes or potential reach of coverage is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some alternative ways to calculate your share of voice and really see how you’re measuring up against your peers.

Target media

It’s important to consider your target media when looking at your share of voice. Whether you’re aiming for coverage in the high-reaching nationals, or niche trade publications, ensure you set a target media list so you can compare yourself to your competitors based on titles you are actually trying to reach. By looking at your exposure in these outlets in comparison to your peers, you can refine it to your own priorities and even take into consideration budgeting by including a smaller, high impact set of titles if resources are low. For example, your competitor might have a greater share of voice based on volume, but if none of these articles are in the key titles, then they aren’t as much of a threat!

Sentiment

Analysing the sentiment of coverage really gives some context to your figures – a high-reaching article may sound great on paper, but if it’s a scandal story or a complaint gone viral, you won’t be too pleased. Firstly, having your coverage manually verified for sentiment ensures that analysis is accurate and that any nuances in language have been accounted for in a way that automation might not. This means that your share of voice by sentiment is as accurate as possible, and you’ll be able to better understand the full picture. Measuring your share of sentiment compared to competitors gives background to your place in the media landscape: maybe your competitors had hundreds more articles this month, but when you delve into the sentiment, they had a huge share of negativity. Moreover, if your peers are achieving a higher proportion of positive sentiment, you can consider how and why they are gaining such favourable mentions, so you can increase your efforts and hopefully follow suit going forward.

Topic

Share of voice can not only be used to look at brand awareness, but it’s also a great way to see how your products, services, or coverage themes are performing in the media compared to competitors. Knowing the number of times your product has been mentioned is great to see, however it’s much more valuable when it’s put into the context of the sector. The value of share of voice by topic is that it can be totally customisable and allows you to see exactly what you’re leading the industry in. Analysing this also enables you to see where you’re coming up short and therefore what you need to proactively increase visibility on in the future. Alternatively, you could look at competitor topic share of voice in a new field you want to branch out in – this way, you understand the media landscape and are totally aware of who to watch out for!

Share of Impact

All of these elevated ways of measuring your share of voice lead to the gold-standard method: share of impact. At Vuelio, this metric combines the factors that are most impactful to you, whether that’s positive sentiment, headline coverage, or a key message mention, and creates a bespoke impact score aligned to you and your strategy. This is the most holistic way to measure your impact in the media, as it truly takes your quantity, quality, and objectives into account, and can be used to measure different aspects of your communications in a singular, easy-to-report metric, from your monthly impact, to the success of a proactive campaign.

Reach out to us to see how our Insights team can help you.

For more on effective benchmarketing and measurement, check out how media analysis can help with your campaign planning and strategy.

Journalist Enquiry Service trends send half of 2024

When to get in touch with journalists with your PR contributions throughout the year

Want to know what journalists need for their news and features? The ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service is a solid indicator of what is trending in the media as hundreds of journalists use it each month to get information for articles, expert comment, and much more.

We reflect on what has been popular on the Journalist Enquiry Service this year so far, and predict what will be high on the agenda for journalists during the second quarter and where you can gain media coverage.

Get your health pitches in early

The start of a new year means a focus on healthy living for many, and the word ‘healthy’ was the most popular with journalists sending enquiries to PRs. It appeared in 10% of the total requests throughout January, February, and March, and has seen a 6% increase in use this year.

Titles such as Women’s Fitness, Top Sante, the Daily Mail, GB News and BBC Good Food all sent enquiries during the first quarter of the year. Fitness, diet, weight loss, recipes, workouts and skincare were all included in these requests around healthy living.

The Health category as a result was the second most used by media professionals using the Journalist Enquiry Service, after Women’s Interest & Beauty.

Now? Health features may be a big part of New Year write-ups, but it’s a popular topic throughout the year – plenty of opportunities to get experts featured in national press and big consumer magazines.

Interest in AI continues to grow

The media’s interest in AI and the ways it will impact our lives has grown consistently for around the last eighteen months. ‘AI’ featured as a keyword in over 3% of all requests between January and March. It’s also seen a big increase compared to the first quarter of last year, with a rise of 51%.

Now? The interest in writing articles around AI has remained consistent – enquiries tend to focus on getting experts in AI to comment on issues and new developments, varying from AI therapists, to AI in business,to bringing AI into mining metals. You could get experts featured in titles such as IT Pro, The Next Web, Yahoo! News, Verdict, and The Financial Times.

Travel plans are being made earlier

Easter fell earlier in the calendar year for 2024 which might explain why ‘travel’ has been popular as a keyword in the first quarter, with journalists looking to cover places for people to get away in the school holidays. Over 5% of the total requests were for ‘travel’ and 2% were for ‘holiday’.

‘Travel’ did perform well as a keyword last year too, but this year we have seen an 11% increase. There has also been a 14% rise for ‘holiday’ as a keyword and the Travel category as a whole has received 5% more requests than this time last year.

Now? Requests regularly centre on information around holiday destinations or hotels to stay at but also experts to provide comment and case studies on travel nightmares.

Journalists from outlets such as PA Media, Sky News, The Daily Star, Bella, and BBC Travel have all sent enquiries. The Travel category and these keywords will only grow more popular as we head towards the summer, meaning lots of media opportunities to get your hotel featured or travel guide providing comment.

Trending topics to be ready for in the second quarter

Holidays and celebrations such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day always generate a high volume of requests on the Journalist Enquiry Service. We expect ‘Father’s Day’ to be a key phrase throughout April and May, ahead of 16 June. In fact, we have already seen requests for it in the first quarter and this has led to a 8.5% increase for the Men’s Interest category compared to last year. Enquiries around Father’s Day are usually looking for products to review or gifts or experiences that Dads can enjoy.

‘Summer’ was the top keyword for the second quarter last year and is likely to perform well again this year. This can vary from summer fashion to summer drinks to summer holidays. Travel, as we already mentioned, will receive a lot of requests as a category but Arts and Entertainment should do well as we hit festival season with events like Glastonbury and Download festival. Food & Drink also performs well as a category from April until June, with journalists looking for information around days such as National BBQ day (16 May), National Cheese Day (4 June) and World Gin Day (10 June), plus experts within this sector too.

Finally, we are expecting quite a big rise in the amount of requests for the Sport category. The Euro’s kick off in Germany in June and Wimbledon will take place at the beginning of July. This is then followed, of course, by the Olympics in Paris. Expect requests from journalists looking for places to go to watch these sporting events, as well as experts or coaches with advice on taking up featured sports.

Find out more about what journalists want from PRs, and how Vuelio can help.

Horizon scanning for PRs

How horizon scanning can help with your crisis communications strategy

As shown by high-profile scandals that have hit the headlines recently – from the Post Office Horizon case, to the Boeing blow out – no brand is immune to crisis.

In our constantly connected world, a crisis could emerge from external factors like supply chain problems, misinformation, and data breaches, or from internal issues like information leaks, or staff misconduct.

With the right skill set and tools to prepare for all possible scenarios, PRs have a clear starting point on how to handle each type of risk.

Understanding, and planning for, risk

Horizon scanning tools offer a look ahead at potential problems, including what’s happening in the media, in politics, and what is on the minds of the public, seen through their online actions and reactions.

‘No tool offers a crystal ball, but asking the right questions helps you understand internal and external risk issues and how you may need to respond,’ believes management consultant and professional advisor Sarah Waddington CBE.

Media monitoring and social listening tools allow PRs and comms professionals to track their organisational reputation, competitors, as well as issues facing the industry. These tools empower you to pinpoint early signs of risk, as well as where your organisation fits within the unfolding stories.

Monitoring emerging issues, trends, and opportunities

For effective planning amid the 24-hour news (and social media) cycle, Vuelio’s unique media monitoring technology identifies risks, trends, and opportunities across your sector.

Monitoring your brand’s presence in the stakeholder environment helps you understand the immediate impact of any news story, and how events spread across mainstream news, online, and social media.

And as media topics can quickly spread to the halls of Government and diaries of legislators, Vuelio also provides weekly sector specific horizon scans and consultation updates for identifying upcoming events, as well as important discussions in Parliament.

These solutions uncover important signals among the static, helping you find relevant coverage and conversations relevant to your organisation and your stakeholders.

Strategic planning and controlling the narrative

Keeping an eye on real-time stakeholder conversations gives you the opportunity to answer quickly.

As research into the controversy surrounding brands involved with the 2022 FIFA World Cup shows, organisations linked to negative coverage need to react quickly. Leaving the story to play out – with hopes it will die down – risks other voices taking over.

For extra support with your reputation management strategy, our Insights team is also on hand to prove the value of your comms and help you understand the immediate impact of a crisis. They’ll also provide you with recommendations to support your future plan and strategy, including risks, threats, and opportunities.

Find out more about Vuelio Insights as well as our PR software for media monitoring.

Post Office Scandal

What PR lessons can be learned from the Post Office Horizon scandal?

The Post Office Horizon scandal continues to take up column inches and spark political debate.

What lessons can be learned from the ongoing PR crisis? And how did the story explode so quickly across ​multiple platforms?

We analysed media coverage, Parliamentary events, and online mentions of ‘Post Office scandal’ between December 2023 to March 2024 to better understand how the story evolved from an under-reported legal issue, to prime time TV fodder and social virality, to a topic debated in Parliament.

Read our case study to learn:

– How brand controversies move from platform to platform when left unchecked
– How a crisis strategy can mitigate the risks of growing controversy
– How horizon-scanning can help prepare for what lies ahead
– Why staying on top of both media and political conversations will help you identify the right stakeholders

Download ‘From TV, to headline news, to Parliament: How an ITV drama brought the Post Office scandal back into the spotlight’​.

Want to track your own media coverage and brand reputation? Check out Vuelio Media Monitoring and Insights

Springtime on the Journalist Enquiry Service

Springtime, outdoor activities, and AI: How to get featured in the media in April

Easter, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day have been and gone, but there are plenty of opportunities for media coverage over the next month to make the most of.

Journalists are constantly looking for information, experts and case studies around topical issues, with hundreds sending requests every week via the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service. We look at what was popular in March and how you can get featured in the media in April.

Springtime gardening and other outdoor pursuits

Last month, ‘Spring’ proved popular with the media, appearing as a keyword in 3% of the total enquiries. This is true of March, too. Requests from journalists covered a range of topics including fashion, beauty, cleaning, recipes, and weddings. Journalists sending these requests write for titles including Ideal Home, Yahoo! Life, Health & Wellbeing, and OK! Magazine.

Another keyword that ties in with Spring is ‘gardening’, and this increased in popularity from February, appearing in 4.5% of all requests last month. Enquiries were primarily for experts and advice on the best plants for garden privacy, rainwater harvesting, and how to use tea bags and eggshells in the garden. The MailOnline, The Sun, BBC Gardeners World Magazine, and House Beautiful all sent requests around gardening.

A new keyword on the Enquiry Service was ‘outdoor’ which appeared in just under 2% of the enquiries in March. Journalists and broadcasters were looking for outdoor dining sets, to outdoor tech and exercise ideas. Titles making these requests included The Daily Express, Grand Designs Magazine, and Homebuilding & Renovating. We expect all three of these keywords to perform well again in April, with scope for getting your experts and info featured in consumer magazines and national press.

AI and tech companies remain in focus

The interest in AI has stayed consistent on the enquiry service for over a year now. That was the case again in March, with just under 3% of requests being about ‘AI’. These are mainly looking for experts to comment,and included ‘What specific roles and skills will be under threat from AI in the near future’ and ‘Seeking AI experts for a piece on the defences you have against deep fakes on the internet’.

Journalists at trade titles such as Verdict, The Register, and IT Pro are regularly looking to cover this topic. However, there are also opportunities with national press outlets too with the Telegraph, Reuters, and the Financial Times sending enquiries last month.

Some of the major tech companies were also in focus in March with ‘Google’ cropping up in over 1% of the enquiries, and ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Apple’ just under 1%. ‘Fintech’ was also starting to crop up and could be a topic that gathers more interest with the media as the year goes on.

Skincare specialists, fitness professionals, and sleep experts

We predicted that ‘sleep’ could be popular in March due to World Sleep Day (19 March) and that turned out to be the case with over 1% of enquiries from journalists containing the keyword. These were mainly for experts, plus some case study requests. Cosmopolitan, Stylist.co.uk, The Independent, and The Guardian all sent enquiries around this topic.

‘Fitness’ was one of the top keywords in January and that happened again in March, as it appeared in just under 3% of the total requests. This might be tied into the London Marathon coming up, with journalists looking to speak to personal trainers, running coaches, and yoga instructors. The Health category benefitted as a result and was the second most selected after Women’s Interest & Beauty. 

Within that top performing category, ‘skincare’ was another topic of interest that we saw regularly in March, with over 1% of the total enquiries containing the keyword. Many were looking for products to use in Spring, as well as skincare experts and dermatologists to comment on specific issues.

Opportunities for PRs in April and beyond

With ‘Spring’ in full bloom now, we expect that it will continue to be a key topic for journalists, alongside the keywords ‘gardening’ and ‘outdoor’. Journalists tend to focus on getting experts in relation to gardening, while Spring and outdoor relate to general information. The UK media are likely to be looking ahead now for advice on what to do over the May bank holidays.

‘Fitness’ could be joined by ‘running’ as a keyword for April, with the London Marathon taking place. This could present an opportunity to PRs with fitness experts and running coaches. We also expect an increase for the Environment & Nature category, with Earth Day on 22 April. Journalists will be looking for climate experts for comment, so be ready to connect them with the relevant people in your roster. ‘Election’ could be a new keyword, too, with the UK local elections taking place in May. Related to what politicians are talking about now –  ‘energy’ could return as a keyword for journalists looking for contributions from PRs via the Journalist Enquiry Service following 1 April’s energy price cap reduction.

To connect with the media on these topics, and much more, check out the Journalist Enquiry Service, and the Vuelio Media Database

Find out more how Vuelio can help you gain and track your coverage in the media here

Alexander Larman interview

‘Harmless, but fascinating’: The Spectator World’s book editor Alexander Larman on covering the UK royal family

Alexander Larman, books editor for The Spectator‘s world edition, has covered the royals for a number of years now, both in his journalism and as an author. He has written about the current turbulent times and issues, as well as approaching the subject from a historical angle, showcased in the final book of the ‘Windsors trilogy’ series, ‘Power and Glory: Elizabeth II and the Rebirth of Royalty’.

We chatted to him about the enduring interest in the royals, the commissioning process at Spectator World, and the benefits of relationship building between journalists and PRs.

Alexander Larman

Having written extensively on the royal family, both as an author and a journalist, what makes them so fascinating to write about?

I’ve never been a royal family obsessive, and in fact, in the introduction to ‘Power and Glory’, I explicitly out myself as a non-monarchist, which I think may ruffle a few feathers. They’re far more interesting to write about if you don’t come at them from the perspective that they have a god-given right to exist, because then you get to ask questions that more respectful chroniclers tend to steer clear of. Why wasn’t the Duke of Windsor interned or jailed during WWII? (He was clearly a traitor by any conventional definition of the term.) Why do we still subsidize the royals with taxpayer money? Why has the recent Kate Middleton story obsessed so many people? 

The answer is because it’s a grand narrative. Unlike politics, which is soap opera but liable to mess up our lives if handled the wrong way by the wrong people, the royals are essentially harmless but fascinating, history writ large. And the fact that they’re useless at concealing their rows and disagreements is hilarious, too.  

What are you looking for content-wise at Spectator World?

A trade secret is that very few working journalists are particularly brilliant writers. This is doubly, even trebly, true in the fields of literary and arts criticism. A lot of people can put together a pithy or witty sentence or two on social media, but to be able to review a book, film or exhibition in an erudite and literate manner, with a genuine understanding of context and history? Nope, that’s a rare skill. 

I have a broad monthly section to fill at the Spectator World, and I am in the fortunate position that because I’m so limited, I only commission the people who can write really well about fascinating subjects. And they do exist, from household name authors to brilliant young women (they’re always women in my experience) in their twenties. I’ve been doing it since 2021 and it’s the thing, apart from my own books, that I’m proudest of professionally.

You also do freelance work as well, what are the pros and cons to working freelance alongside a permanent job?

It’s a necessity. I realised years ago that I needed to earn a certain amount a year in order to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle as my peers – and I’m not talking about holidays in the Maldives or a second home in Cornwall, just being able to go out for the odd meal and keep my wonderful daughter Rose in toys and the occasional treat. And you have to do an awful lot of work in order to make that happen. Journalism isn’t well paid, unless you’re writing for the New Yorker and the like, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon, either.  

I’m relatively lucky these days in that I’m a known quantity thanks to my books and journalism, so I haven’t had to scrape about for work for a few years. But before, say, 2019, times were very tricky. It’s often feast and famine in this industry and I can’t say I relish the prospect of the latter again.

What’s the best way for PRs to get in contact and work with you?

Phone calls never work unless I know you personally – sorry, but that’s the truth in my experience. Email is fine but impersonal, unless again there’s the personal connection, a reply might take a while. Make the effort – ask me out for lunch/coffee/a drink, and come armed with stories, potentially a few writers for those stories. Be professional, engaged, and good company, and we’ll hopefully have a great working relationship. But I’m insanely busy at the moment so we’re looking at June at the earliest (sorry!). 

Connect with Alexander via the Vuelio Media Database, and get pointers on what journalists want from PRs, and more ways Vuelio can help, in this blog post.

Do you have a license for that

Want to share your media coverage, but struggling to make sense of UK copyright laws?

CIPR Midlands’ Licensing Roundtable, chaired by CIPR President Rachael Clamp, brought together Reach plc’s Fergus McKenna, NLA’s Josh Allcorn, CLA’s Ossie Ikeogu, and Vuelio’s Chris Wheeler to provide a rundown of the ins and outs of copyright for PRs.

While ‘there’s nothing straight-forward when it comes to licensing’ – as Ossie admitted – here is our quick guide to keep you on the right track when sharing your coverage.

CIPR Midlands Licensing Roundtable panel

Why do PRs need to know about this stuff?

‘The way we get notified of coverage is completely different now – no scanning the papers in the morning for the right words,’ said Rachael.

As well as protecting PRs from sharing content in the wrong way (and racking up fees as a result), licensing protects publishing. And every creative industry, including PR and comms, needs published content.

‘Licensing is a very important part,’ said Reach plc’s Fergus. ‘Most people’s engagement with us now will be through an app, and not directly through our printed papers or our websites.

‘Publishers need to be wary of how they manage their IP, and get the most value they can from their content. That’s why licensing organisations are vital – I don’t know if publishers would have the bandwidth to do what they do for us’.

Josh added: ‘Publishers need the PRs for the content, the publishers need the licensing bodies because they don’t have the bandwidth – we’re all part of this content ecosystem. We need each other’.

Why are there two licensing orgs in the UK, and do PRs need to be members of both?

As the panel acknowledged, some other countries are served by one all-encompassing licensing organisation, but the UK has two. Why?

NLA initially began in the mid-90s as a venture between the Financial Times and the Telegraph in a bid to find an easier way of allowing PR agencies, among others, to reuse and share their content.

‘As a comms practitioner, when you send out PR, you want to hit as broad a market as possible,’ explained Josh. ‘For publishers, there’s a broad range of rights. The NLA became a more efficient vehicle to put all that activity in one place.’

The CLA is a complimentary service, explained Ossie. But don’t get the two confused.

Formed in 1983 on the basis of Government recommendations to standardise copyright and collection of fees, CLA covers ‘everything from printed to digital formats, books, magazines – that’s our remit,’ said Ossie.

The NLA, in comparison, covers newspapers and a selection of magazines and media sites.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just have one governing licensing body in 2024? Maybe – but as Vuelio’s Chris explained:

‘There are PR clients who don’t need everything, so there are benefits to having two – less unnecessary content; more streamed down. Anything that makes this a simpler process for all is better.’

How can Vuelio help with licensing?

For support with the above – Vuelio serves as an ‘intermediary for clients and copyright organisations,’ explained Vuelio’s Chris.

‘We deliver all those clips through. Our role is reporting back to the CLA and NLA for clients – that’s what we do on a monthly basis for NLA, and quarterly for CLA.

‘We become an advisor for many PRs in this respect. We help them decide what they need. Our clients may want to monitor themselves and their competitors, without everything else. It’s about focusing on what PRs need, and getting fairness and transparency in the pricing as well.

‘We catch up regularly with the licensing bodies to understand the difficulties for our clients, and be the voice of PRs. We’re aiming to get to the point where the pricing and structure is understood by all, so it doesn’t feel like one party is inflicting something on the other.’

Should PRs be wary of the NLA and CLA?

No, said all panelists – licensing organisations are here to help both sides of the PR and media ecosystem.

‘These organisations aren’t just waiting for an infringement – you can have a chat with somebody if you need help. Much like setting up with Vuelio, it’s about finding the right thing for each circumstance,’ said Rachael.

Where copyright gets complicated…

So far, so good – but what about the more confusing parts of copyright law? With the way content is shared constantly evolving, a number of scenarios were brought up during the session. The panel had answers for each:

Sharing coverage on social safely

‘The social media explosion a few years ago muddied the waters because of how the platforms share content,’ said Josh from the NLA point of view.

‘Sharing a link to digital content on socials – there’s no IP on that. And if I want to put a link on my site, that leads traffic back to the publisher, so that’s okay, too. On X, if you’re retweeting and sharing a publisher’s post, you’re absolutely fine.’

‘But taking a headline from the article when sharing – you do need a license.’

Reach plc’s Fergus agreed: ‘If you are amplifying a publisher’s communication, they’re going to welcome that. But using the IP yourself, that’s where there is a copyright issue.’

‘Unfortunately, the CLA license doesn’t cover any social media use,’ added Ossie. ‘From my understanding, that’s been something of a minefield, we haven’t got the okay from our publishers yet. But rest assured that’s something that’s brought up every year.’

As summarised by Rachael – if you’re sharing, liking, or reposting content – that’s engagement for the publisher, and okay. But if you’re sharing for your own engagement, like a quote repost on X, you’ll need a license.

When a publisher uses your press release

As explained by Josh – if the publisher makes an alteration to the copy, the copyright moves to the publisher. With no alteration to the press release, the PR would likely need no license for sharing.

However, speaking from Reach plc’s point of view, Fergus pointed out that publishing can change the ownership: ‘The act of publishing takes on certain copyright protections. If we publish it, those are our words, that is our article. We would see that as being our piece.’

But don’t worry – Vuelio makes this very simple so you won’t get into trouble:

‘There are websites that publish press releases word for word, but Vuelio excludes them from monitoring – that wouldn’t be considered content.’

The grey area of Google Alerts

Google Alerts has changed the way coverage is shared with PRs… and sparked yet more questions around copyright.

‘We would regard a snippet that does contain a headline, or some of the text, as sharing and, in effect, as copyright infringement. And that’s where the CLA license would come into effect,’ said Ossie.

Josh agreed: ‘We have to be aware of the changes and how content is pushed out into the market. Google is obviously a free service – we have to determine what should be protected by copyright and what isn’t. A link isn’t serviceable, but an alert from Vuelio is copyright protected.

‘We are constantly looking at how technology changes and making sure our licenses are fit for purpose.’

For how Vuelio can track your coverage and ensure you’re sharing with your clients and colleagues correctly, find out more about Media Monitoring.

Find extra on the NLA in ‘The PR guide to the NLA’.

WITA Powerlist reception

Celebrating powerful women in trade associations 2024

Vuelio was proud to be a sponsor of last week’s Women in Trade Associations Powerlist reception, celebrating the accomplishments of women making a difference throughout the sector.

Those acknowledged by the TAF, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)’s powerlist were invited to this celebratory event at Space14.

Emily Wallace TAF

‘What I am struck by is what an incredible opportunity we have in this room, with the most inspirational and powerful women in associations,’ said TAF CEO Emily Wallace.

‘There’s a real challenge for trade associations to support female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses. Let this be the start of something. What more we can do to become more powerful advocates for women in business in the UK and support ambitions for growth?’

Nicola Bates WineGB

WineGB CEO and head judge for the powerlist Nicola Bates highlighted the importance of gender balance within organisations, acknowledging that ‘we still have a huge amount to do in the industry’.

She also took a moment to highlight the work of previous generations of women:

‘On the personal side, I really want you to think about the woman who helped you the most in your life. She might be someone in your family, she might not. I believe we stand on the shoulders of giants.

‘We’re so fortunate to be born at this point, we’re so fortunate to be working in this country, in the West, at this time. There are so many problems in terms of women’s rights, and we happen to be here and able to advocate for our sectors.

‘Fifty years ago, this room would not be full.’

Ayesha Patel

Ayesha Patel, sector policy lead (domestic and international) at the Department for Business and Trade and judge for the TAF Awards, paid tribute to the hard work of everyone gathered in the room:

‘Not only does this event, and this list, shine a light on your extraordinary leadership, but also on the job that you do in representing your industries and sectors, as well as engaging with us in Government in the most invaluable and constructive way.

‘As a woman, may I also thank you for setting such a strong example of leadership, tenacity, and integrity for all of us, particularly in the most challenging circumstances and environments when the work is never, ever done. We all know the importance of representation, role models, and advocacy, so congratulations to all of you, and thank you for all that you do.’

Emelia Quist

Emelia Quist, head of policy research at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) spoke about the most positive parts of her job:

‘One of the things that I have to do in my role is look at survey data and see what women-led businesses are doing, and I also get to meet our members. It gives me energy to be in a room with women and drive policy change. I’m really glad to be here this evening, getting to meet so many wonderful people.’

Liz Banks CBI

‘We know how impactful trade association members can be, to drive policy change, to offer advice and support directly to businesses, and to overcome challenges, and seize opportunities – whether that’s meeting net zero targets, or meeting societal challenges in your particular sectors,’ said Liz Banks, campaigns & communications director for the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI).

‘Among the applications there were so many inspiring stories of real impact and ambition – folks rolling up their sleeves, not accepting the status quo, and getting things done.

‘On behalf of CBI and TA, thank you for creating this opportunity to celebrate all these women.’

Check out the full Women in Trade Associations Powerlist 2024 here.

How to navigate the storm of crisis

How to navigate the storm of a PR crisis

Is your organisation prepared to handle the top global risks predicted for 2024?

From the far-reaching impacts of geo-politcal conflicts, the threats of misinformation, or values-based mismatches between audiences, the possible sources of future problems are numerous. But they can be planned for.

As part of the webinar ‘Preparing for the unexpected – redefining communications strategy’, Wadds Inc.’s founder and managing partner Stephen Waddington shared extra pointers for navigating crises.

Read on for ways to get internal stakeholders onboard and how to bring international teams together.

How do you educate the leaders of an organisation about their roles in crisis comms planning?

Crisis response is part of any leader’s role. Planning, training, and regular testing for key management team members should be part of an organisation’s risk preparedness. The frequency of these activities depends on the organisation’s operational context.

Horizon scanning is a helpful tool to alert management to the range of risks around an organisation.

How do you manage risk in an environment where there is a high level of staff turnover?

An organisation’s governance should include a risk register and a robust training programme. These safeguards protect the organisation from operational issues such as staff turnover.

What are key observations on the dovetail between operational and reputational risk?

The nature of operational risk within an organisation should be well understood. Areas of crisis preparedness and response will typically be led and managed by operational teams. Reputational risk is more dynamic and depends on the operational context and markets in which an organisation operates. It should be reviewed frequently as part of the analysis for a risk register.

What advice do you have for helping global teams respond to crises and keeping teams joined up?

The robust capability of the corporate communications function to respond to issues and crises as part of an integrated organisational response is a legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Communications teams tested crisis plans and their execution in terms of technology, media, and processes.

How can you mitigate risk for organisations that are dealing with issues that have the potential to polarise stakeholders?

This is a critical contemporary issue for corporate communication and management teams. Political and societal issues must be balanced with business imperatives and values or purpose-driven leadership. We’ve developed a decision-making framework to support this activity.

Do you have a recommendation to manage a crisis simulation within a comms team?

We work with Polpeo, a UK crisis simulation company led by Kate Hartley. Its virtual environment can simulate a full-blown crisis in a safe setting. Polpeo combines technology and expert practitioners to train and test a corporate communications or management team.

For more on managing crisis, download the accompanying white paper ‘The evolving nature of crisis communications management’ and watch the webinar ‘Preparing for the unexpected – redefining communications strategy’.

Want to start scanning for crisis sources? Find out more about Vuelio’s Media Monitoring.

Spring Budget Briefing

Spring Budget Briefing: Will Hunt’s ‘boring budget’ make an impact?

Vuelio teamed up with the Trade Association Forum (TAF) for a Spring Budget Briefing at Space14 the day after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement to discuss its impact on businesses and also the next General Election.

Hosted by TAF’s CEO Emily Wallace, our panel included (pictured from left to right):

  • Shazia Ejaz, campaign director, Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)
  • Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs, (FSB) Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
  • Kelly Scott, VP of Account Management, Vuelio
  • George Dibb, associate director for economic policy and head of the Centre for Economic Justice, The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
  • Kevin Schofield, political editor, HuffPost

Spring Budget Briefing panel

Extra insight on polling data was shared by polling and research expert Andrew Hawkins, CEO of Whitestone Insight.

Before we get into the panel’s thoughts on the specifics of the announcement – let’s get to the question many will have been asking…

Will the Spring Budget have helped the Conservative Party’s prospects for the next General Election?

Not really, was the feeling of the panel, as well as the general mood of the audience in the room. This echoed how many of the UK’s major press outlets covered Hunt’s Spring Budget, with panelist Kevin Schofield summing it up as ‘boring’ in his reporting.

Pollster Andrew Hawkins reinforced this reaction:

Andrew Hawkins speaking at the Vuelio Spring Budget Briefing for 2024

‘Was yesterday’s event ever going to be a game changer? No. This was not a blockbuster.’

Andrew added that a decision to hold the General Election in May would be ‘political self-immolation’ on the part of the Tories:

‘There’s a bigger hill to climb for Labour. But climb it I believe they will.’

Referring to past voters who would pick the Liberal Democrats if unswayed by the Conservatives or Labour, Andrew shared the belief ‘that model is breaking down,’ with Reform and Green likely to scoop those votes up.

The decreasing level of under-45s planning to vote Conservative was characterised by Andrew as an ‘existential threat’ to the party, adding his view that ‘in a generation, they will be redundant’.

What did the Chancellor forget? The workforce

REC’s Shazia Ejaz felt that there wasn’t a ‘clear enough arrowhead on growth’ – especially when it came to the vital role of skill development.

‘We believe that central to any growth is people – workers. There wasn’t very much said on skills. There needs to be more investment.’

‘Context to consider is that we’ve had a really resilient labour market given the pandemic. There was a demand for people that kept employers hiring – that has tailed off.’

George added to the viewpoint that workers themselves weren’t centred in Hunt’s announcements on public sector performance. The Chancellor confirmed investment in AI to improve efficacy in public services, including the NHS, and that cuts would also boost performance.

‘I think it’s magic thinking that cutting budgets will improve performance – the low-hanging fruit of public sector cuts is already gone.’

‘We remember the last time the Government tried to do that,’ added Shazia on investment in technologies. ‘These things aren’t easy to do, and they cost more money’.

Craig countered that the Government’s plans could work in some sectors: ‘The civil service has only gotten bigger and bigger. Without taking these kinds of decisions, you get inertia.’

The mood in the journalist lobby?

HuffPost’s Kevin Schofield shared more on what happens at the post-announcement ‘huddle’, calling the process this year ‘quite dull’ compared to times before social media.

‘I’m old enough to remember when coverage wasn’t taken over by Twitter.

‘It was mostly pre-briefed this year – there was nothing for the Chancellor to announce that we didn’t know.’

‘It was a rambling, ill-judged speech, I thought.’

Vuelio’s Kelly Scott tackled the influence of new media during this election cycle – namely, GB News.

Kelly Scott on Spring Budget Briefing panel

‘Left-wing media tended to dominate the online conversation after the Budget, but we did see a rise for GB News. It’s seen as an untrusted news source, but had an important part in the conversation regardless.’

For more on this, download the Vuelio and Pulsar report ‘Spring Budget: Audience Reaction’.

Name checks for stakeholders

Kelly talked through Hunt’s careful acknowledgement of stakeholders, counting 12 name-checks – ‘along with some bizarre ones – Idris Elba, Keira Knightley? The arts stakeholders were gushing’.

Away from Hollywood and back towards day to day challenges in the UK, stakeholders were less excited – particularly those working in the anti-poverty sector:

‘The anti-poverty community mentioned by Hunt came out firmly that the packages there to “help” were just more sticking plasters’.

Craig backed this up: ‘We are positive about some of the specifics, but we are not gushing’.

What happens next?

Despite the pre-Budget feeling that this would likely be the last fiscal event before the coming General Election, some on the panel believed there could be more to come.

‘I think there will be two events,’ said Craig.

‘Take special care with planning your summer holidays,’ added Kevin.

Get a full summary of the Spring Budget 2024, including stakeholder reaction, in this downloadable report from the Vuelio Political team.

Spring on the Journalist Enquiry Service

Gardening, holidays and a new season: What journalists need from PRs in March 2024

The change of season is often one that journalists like to focus on, with articles on everything from what to do in your garden during the Spring months, to events and entertainment happening across the country.

Hundreds of reporters use the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service to find this information every week. Below, we look at what keywords and topics were trending during February and what the media industry will be focusing on throughout the rest of March.

Seasonal selections

While we might not be quite into Spring yet, it’s already proving popular as a keyword with just over 3% of the total requests in February including the word ‘Spring’. That’s over half a percent higher compared to this time last year.

The start of the new season also brings with it two bigger days in the calendar in Mother’s Day and Easter. 3% of the enquiries last month featured ‘Mother’s Day’, an increase from the 2% we saw in January, as journalists looked mainly for product recommendations. 3% was also the figure for ‘Easter’. The holiday falls slightly earlier this year, at the end of March, and writers have predominantly looked for eggs and other gifts to give.

However, there have also been requests for an Easter roast lamb recipe, Easter days out in London, and Easter craft ideas for grown ups. Journalists at the iWeekend, Stylist.co.uk, Daily Mail, and Evening Standard have all submitted enquiries around Easter. There is likely to be many more in the lead up to the holidays, meaning a good opportunity for PRs especially in food and drink, travel, and arts and entertainment.

Holidays on the horizon

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, ‘holiday’ has become a popular keyword, too, appearing in over 2% of enquiries throughout February. The Travel category has seen a boost as a result. There has been a 16% increase in the amount of requests for the Travel category in February this year compared to 2023. This is likely due to Easter being earlier this year.

However, not all of the ‘holiday’ enquiries have been around Easter. There have been several requests for summer holiday destinations and advice on where to spend the Bank Holiday as well. Journalists have also been interested in information around cruises and looking for general travel experts to give their opinion, too.

The requests have come from outlets including GB News, PA Media, The Sun, Yahoo! Life, and HuffPost. The need for travel experts and information around holiday destinations and cruises will only increase over the next few months, giving plenty of chances to get featured in the national media.

Garden gurus, fashion fanatics, and AI experts

The start of the Spring season often coincides with an upturn in requests around ‘gardening’ and so it proved again this year, with over 3.5% of enquiries last month containing the keyword. These mainly came from consumer titles like woman & home, Homebuilding & Renovating, and House Beautiful. They tended to be looking either for an expert on gardening or general information and advice for seasonal plants and flowers.

Milan, New York, Paris, and London fashion week all took place in February and ‘fashion’ performed well as a keyword in just under 3% of the total requests. ‘Beauty’ featured even more regularly, featuring in over 3.5% of the enquiries last month. Journalists were mainly looking for experts in both fields and these types of request feature regularly on the service.

AI remains a popular subject for journalists to write about and it performed well again as a keyword in February. Over 3.5% of enquiries featured ‘AI’. These requests tend to come from trade titles, with journalists at Verdict, IT Pro and, the Next Web all looking for experts to comment on the emerging technology.

What journalists were using the service?

Staff journalists were the most prevalent users of the service in February, accounting for 54%, followed by freelance journalists on 27%. The majority worked for a consumer media title (37%), with national newspaper/current affairs publications second on 23% and trade/business/professional media just behind in third on 20%.

Journalists using the service were mainly looking for a spokesperson or expert to speak to as that made up 40% of the requests last month. 21% of enquiries were for information for an article, 19% requested review products and 11% asked for personal case studies. 

Opportunities for PRs in March and beyond

While Easter is earlier this year, there is still plenty of time to get products featured or information shared with the media during March, and ‘Easter’ will likely be our top keyword for this month. Seasonal content relating to Spring is likely to be in demand, too.

There could be a demand for sleep experts with World Sleep Day on 19 March. The Arts & Entertainment category could see a boost too with World Poetry Day (21 March) and World Theatre Day (27 March), and March being National Reading Month. The Environment & Nature category may increase too with Earth Hour on 23 March and Earth Day coming later in April. 

For more on how to connect with the UK media with the ResponseSource Journalist Enquiry Service, check out this post on how to respond to journalist requests