Guardian charity

The Guardian Launches US Non-Profit

The Guardian has launched a US-based non-profit organisation in an attempt to support quality independent journalism.

Its website, states that its mission is to advance and inform public discourse and citizen participation around the most pressing issues of our time through the support of independent journalism and journalistic projects at the Guardian.

The new organisation will raise funds from individuals and foundations and direct them towards projects that advance public discourse and citizen participation around issues such as climate change, human rights, global development and inequality.

The Guardian Media Group states that the non-profit has already raised more than $1 million in grants, including:

  • Skoll Foundation funding for a solutions-oriented series on climate change in America
  • Support from Humanity United to allow the Guardian to continue its in-depth look at modern day slavery
  • A grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support compelling journalism on the subject of early childhood development.

The Guardian has a long history of partnering with ‘like-minded philanthropic organizations’ and already counts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation as longstanding philanthropic partners.

The project is headed up by Rachel White who is also the Guardian’s global EVP of philanthropic and strategic partnerships.

Commenting on the launch of the new organisation, White said: ‘The connection between powerful story-telling and social cause has never been more vital. Across the past six years, philanthropy has played an increasingly significant role in supporting Guardian journalism on issues that critically inform the public–climate change, inequality, women’s rights, and more. The creation of makes it possible for us to forge key strategic partnerships, and engage a wider range of individuals and philanthropic organizations in supporting our global ground-breaking storytelling and reporting.’

As news companies continue to look into new ways to fund investigative journalism, we can expect to see a number of publishers adopting philanthropic models and this is certainly a smart move by the Guardian, helping them fund expensive journalistic projects.

UK – 1 September 2017


Today’s Media Updates covers moves and changes at news titles including the Press Association, Irish Daily Star, Ideal Home, Red and Now. 

News & Current Affairs

  • Alexander Britton has changed roles at the Press Association and is now a reporter based in Sydney. He was previously East Midlands correspondent at the news service.
  • Aoife-Grace Moore is now a news reporter at the Irish Daily Star.


Business & Finance

  • Mark Lawrence has been appointed editor at 24housing. He was previously web editor at the title.
  • Emily Hill has been appointed features writer at Guild News.



  • Holly Walsh has been appointed features editor across Ideal Home and Style at Home magazines.
  • Lucy Gornall has been appointed health and fitness editor for Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly, Now, Chat and Pick Me Up! Lucy is currently the You & Improved editor at Now and starts her new role next week.
  • Lauren Franks has left her role as style editor at Red magazine. She is now working as a freelance stylist and art director.


The Vuelio Media Database lists thousands of journalists, bloggers, publications and media outlets.  

2017 awards for bloggers

Presenting the Judges for the Vuelio Blog Awards 2017

We are delighted to announce that this year’s judges, who will together decide the winners of every category at the Vuelio Blog Awards 2017, represent a genuine variety of skills, experience and perspectives.

Ahead of the announcement of shortlisted bloggers next week, the judges have been chosen and are preparing themselves for the biggest blogging decisions of the year

The judging panel includes the best blogger of 2016, journalists and PR experts, and they will be choosing one winner from six finalists in each of the 15 categories.

This year’s judging panel is:

Katie Constable Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Katie Constable
Katie currently handles the social media at PZ Cussons Beauty for iconic beauty brands St.Tropez and Fudge Professional. Having worked in the industry for five years across fashion, beauty and lifestyle, she is always on the pursuit for new exciting content to further engage and evolve brands. In launching St.Tropez’s first ever series of Facebook Lives called ‘Studio Glow’, Katie has been working closely with global influencers across a variety of categories.


Anna Doble Judge Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Anna Doble
Anna is Digital Editor at Radio 1 Newsbeat, leading the team’s web, video and social presence. Before that Anna was Head of Online at Channel 4 News and a newsreader at Independent Radio News. She is about to join the BBC World Service as Digital Editor, looking after English language services.


Holly Hodges Judge Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Holly Hodges
Holly Hodges is a senior media researcher at Vuelio. Specialising in bloggers and traditional media, Holly manages the influencer database and has been directly involved with the shortlisting process for this year’s Vuelio Blog Awards. Also responsible for Vuelio’s Top 10 rankings, Holly’s knowledge of the UK blogosphere is second to none.


Charlie Lindlar Judge Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Charlie Lindlar
Charlie is the Blogs Editor at HuffPost UK. He manages the site’s community of 18,000 bloggers, mostly working across current affairs and politics. You can follow him on Twitter @charlielindlar.


Frank Marr Judge Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Frank Marr
Regarded as one of the industry’s brightest stars (he was named in PR Week’s ‘top 30 under 30’), Frank has been behind numerous world-class campaigns and helped shape an agency built on a culture of hard work and innovation. He’s the PRCA Travel & Tourism Chairman and an occasional PR lecturer at Regent’s University.


Kate Watson Smyth-Judge Vuelio Blog Awards 2017







Kate Watson-Smyth
Kate is an award-winning journalist and blogger, who in 2016 scooped the prestigious Best UK Blog prize for Mad about the house, at the Vuelio Blog Awards. Specialising in interiors and design, Kate has also published her first book ‘Shades of Grey: Decorating with the most elegant of neutrals’, with her second out in March. She also runs the ‘personal shopping for the home’ service, Mad about your house.

For more information about this year’s Vuelio Blog Awards, please contact Jake O’Neill.

Blogger Spotlight: Dane Cobain,

Dane Cobain is the author behind a Top 10 UK Literature Blog. With a catalogue-style review site, Dane also constricts his review word counts to the number of pages the book has. Here we spoke to Dane about his favourite novel, the rise of audiobooks and his preferred way to work with PRs.  

How would you describe your blog? is a book blog with a difference. I don’t specialise in particular genres, I just keep a running list of reviews for every book that I read – over 1,000 so far. My reviews also have a particular quirk – their word count is the same as the number of pages in the book, so a 350 page book has a 350 word review.

Why did you start your blog?
I’ve always liked writing reviews. I remember in secondary school we were asked to write reviews for every book that we read. For the other kids, it put them off reading because they didn’t want to write the reports. For me, it meant I was writing 3-5 reports per week. The teacher eventually told me I could stop doing them.

I started blogging because when I left university, I got a full-time job in social media marketing. I thought that starting a blog would give me a great excuse to get some hands-on experience with a blog of my own. Once I started, it was hard to stop!

What’s your favourite book, and why?
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman because it’s a masterpiece. He’s got a new book coming out that’s a companion novel and it’s great to see a new generation of readers picking up his books because of all of the publicity.

What makes a good book?
It’s a combination of a whole heap of things, from pacing and plot to aesthetics and the cover. For a book to get a 5* rating on my blog, it has to leave me feeling like a slightly different person after reading it and it has to be pleasurable (as opposed to a chore) from start to finish.

Digital books disrupted an age-old industry, what do you think will be the next big disruptor?
They have, although I personally don’t read them. That’s because I like to collect my books, so I only ever read paperbacks and then I keep them in my rapidly expanding library. I keep needing to move to slightly bigger houses to accommodate them all.

As for the next big disruptor, that’s hard to say. I think audio books will continue to pick up steam and it’ll be more commonplace for people to listen to them, and I think the standard of them will continue to pick up. Over the next ten years or so, there will also be a lot of indie writers breaking through to the mainstream thanks to word of mouth – the market will decide whether their work is good or not , not a literary agent or a junior editor at a publishing house. On top of that, I think we’ll see more and more books coming out from YouTubers, Instagrammers and other social media celebrities who see it as a way to monetise their audience.

How many books do you own (roughly)?
Well I’ve reviewed every book I own and I have 1,129 reviews, so somewhere around that. The true number is probably closer to 1,250 counting the books I haven’t read yet – 1,300 if you count the copies I have of the books I’ve released myself.

What makes your blog successful?
I think consistency and longevity have played a big part. I update it regularly and work with plenty of authors and PRs to add other content such as interviews, and I also run competitions and use social networking sites. I think a big part of it has been the fact that I’m an author myself and so it’s pretty linked to my daily life. It’s just part of who I am.

How do you like to work with PRs?
I like them to email me with a little bit of information about the books and then I get back to them if I’m interested. I don’t get time to respond to every enquiry unfortunately because there are so many of them.

What’s the one thing PRs should know about you?
I only accept physical copies.

What other blogs do you like to read?
I’m going to be honest here – I don’t actually get much chance to read blogs because I’m so busy with other stuff. I do, however, watch a bunch of different ‘BookTubers’ – i.e. YouTubers who talk about books. They mostly talk about YA and middle grade, but I find their passion for books inspiring. Some of my favourites are Jean from Bookish Thoughts, Katytastic and Brock from Let’s Read. It’s great to see how creative people are.

That said, I do follow friends’ blogs as they post – but they’re mostly authors rather than other book bloggers.

Dane Cobain features on the Vuelio Media Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.

Gay pride

Manchester Evening News Wins Praise for Defending Pride

The comments sections of many newspaper websites are hardly the bastion of tolerance and fair argument. Seemingly left unmoderated, user-generated comment is, by and large, a free-for-all for trolls and haters of all shapes and sizes to rant about their views of the world behind the anonymity of an avatar.

While many online editors may be following Rule 1 of online debate – don’t feed the trolls – many others will tolerate ‘unacceptable’ comments because they fuel greater engagement and keep their websites sticky.

If you really want to know how unbalanced huge swaths of the population are, don’t bother reading the stories, just head straight for the comments section.

However, one newspaper has recently won praise for tackling intolerance in the comments section of its website and actively fighting back against trolls, haters and the intolerant.

The Manchester Evening News has jumped to the defence of the city’s Pride event and posted the following comment regarding negative posts regarding the LGBT festival:

‘Quite remarkable how many negative comments we have to remove or hide on stories like this.

‘To those asking when is ‘straight pride day’ or questioning why we still have Pride we’d ask this: did you know that homosexuality is punishable by death in 12 countries? Celebrating Pride in those places can literally get you killed.

‘Did you know there’s been a recent rise in homophobic hate crimes? Did you know that in Britain homophobic attacks rose by 147% in three months from June last year. Did you know nearly half of all trans children in this country have attempted suicide? Or that 80 per cent have self-harmed?

‘Did you know it’s only been 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK? This is why we still have Pride marches. And Manchester’s is the best in the world.’

In writing this comment, the Manchester Evening News are doing so much more than defending a sizable section of the community they serve but they are also taking ownership of their own editorial platform.

It should be remembered: a publisher is responsible for the comments left on their website and if they provide a home to intolerance (whether they believe in it or not) – they must take responsibility for any repercussions generated by such content.

Well done to the Manchester Evening News for not only defending the LGBT community in Manchester and beyond but also for taking pride in its own online editorial platform and the content they carry.

UK – 31 August 2017


Today’s Media Updates covers moves and changes at news titles including the Stylist, and the Press and Journal. 

News & Current Affairs

  • Damian Bates has left his role of editor of the Press and Journal. He will continue to work with publisher Aberdeen Journals as chairman of the Fifth Ring communications Business. Press and Journal deputy editor, Richard Neville, will become editor-in-chief of Aberdeen Journals’ morning newspapers across Aberdeen and Dundee, responsible for both The Courier and The Press and Journal.


Business & Finance

  • Kayley Worsley has started in her new role as Yorkshire editor at Kayley was previously PR and public affairs manager at Leeds Bradford Airport.
  • Diana Goovaerts has been appointed US editor at Mobile World Live. Currently editor of Wireless Week, Diana will start her new role next month.
  • Lucy Saxton has joined M & IT Magazine as a journalist.



  • Anita Bhagwandas has joined Stylist in the role of beauty director.


The Vuelio Media Database lists thousands of journalists, bloggers, publications and media outlets. 

Michael 84

Blogger Spotlight: Michael Adams, Michael 84

Michael Adams is the author behind Michael 84, which was recently ranked in the Top 10 UK Men’s Lifestyle Blogs. Michael is a Newcastle-based t-shirt and fashion designer who writes about the latest style trends, music, films, tech and travel. Here, Michael told us about his favourite collaborations, bloggers moving to Instagram and the modern man.

How would you describe your blog?
Michael 84 is a men’s fashion and lifestyle blog with a focus on menswear and style tips, and covers everything from the usual guy’s life; from tech, travel and products reviews to entertainment including film, TV and music.

Why did you start you blog?
I love technology and the web, and have always had an interest in building and creating things online. It started off with simple websites, then I created forums, e-commerce stores and then I moved into blogging seven or eight years ago, writing about my interests.

What are the latest trends in men’s lifestyle we should be aware of?
It’s hard to say the latest trends in men’s lifestyle, as that could cover a large number of things. Minimalist style, for things such as watches, is big now and has been growing for a couple of years, with more and more brands offering a simplistic style of watches.

How does the modern man compare to men of the past?
I think it depends on how far you go back for comparison; I think that guys are taking better care of themselves more than ever now. Working out or going to the gym has become part of daily life, rather than a temporary or part time activity.

What’s going to be the next big trend in men’s lifestyle?
I think there could be an increase in using smart technology, it’s getting more popular with more brands offering various products from Amazon, Apple and Google, as well as smart home products.

What one thing could you not live without?
I think it has to be my iPhone. As we know, phones these days aren’t just phones, they do so much, so it’s the one thing I’d want to have.

How do you like to work with PRs?
I prefer it when they have a campaign or a clear idea in mind, and let me have some freedom to go with it. It’s always important to be on the same page so we have an understanding of what’s expected and going to happen, as sometimes but rarely there can be some miscommunication.

What’s one of your favourite collaborations?
There has been a few, I was part of a TOPMAN campaign called ‘Great Britain, Great Suits’ which showcased my city (Newcastle) and one of their great suits, and working with LG for London Fashion Week was also a highlight.

What one thing should PRs know about you?
I am always open to work with great brands on different projects, so if they’re looking for exposure or have a campaign which they think may fit, they should get in touch.

What other blogs do you read?
I actually don’t really read too many blogs these days. A lot of other bloggers have been putting a lot more focus on Instagram, so they aren’t updating their blogs as frequently as they used to.

Michael Adams features on the Vuelio Media Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.

TV on field of sport


Amazon has hinted that it’s about to get serious about streaming live TV sports, threatening the dominance of traditional broadcasters like Sky.

Speaking at Edinburgh’s International Television Festival, Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios said: ‘People love sports – it’s big, it’s engaging, it really motivates people, so I think that’s a good opportunity. I think it’s definitely an opportunity we’ll explore.’

Amazon recently announced that it had won the rights to broadcast tennis’ ATP World Tour from 2019.

Beyond the tennis, Price wouldn’t be drawn on the type of sports coverage Amazon was interested in securing but city analysts have warned that increased competition, particularly from the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Google and Facebook, could force ‘traditional’ broadcasters like Sky to spend upwards of £600 million more per year to retain its dominance in areas like Premier League coverage.

Sky currently shares Premier League football coverage with BT, paying £4.2 billion over three years giving them access to the majority of the games.

Highlighting previous television successes on Amazon, Price also suggested that the company may one day sell the rights to The Grand Tour, presented by the former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, to terrestrial television stations around the world.

Price also spoke about the challenges facing streaming channels like Amazon and Netflix by stating: ‘I think everybody wants to have one of the top 10 shows, one of the top five shows. That’s really what matters most. I think [Game of Thrones] set a good example and has really gone above and beyond in terms of delivering a big world with high stakes and everybody gets behind it.

‘I think as people focus on getting in the top five and the top 10 some of the constraints will fall away – in terms of cast, who participates and how much you spend.’

UK – 30 August 2017


Today’s Media Updates covers moves and changes at news titles including the The Courier, Elle Decoration and South West Business Insider. 

News & Current Affairs

  • Hannah Walker has stepped down from her role as editor in chief of the South London Press and Greenwich Mercury. She has been replaced by Shuz Azam. Both titles have also moved to a new address based in Rathmore Road, Charlton.


Government & Politics

  • Gareth McPherson has been promoted to political editor at The Courier. Gareth was previously a political reporter at the title.


Business & Finance

  • David Clensy has been appointed editor at South West Business Insider. David was previously business editor at the Bristol Post.



  • Michelle Ogundehin is stepping down from her role as editor in chief of ELLE Decoration, but will remain with the title as editor at large and special strategic advisor.


The Vuelio Media Database lists thousands of journalists, bloggers, publications and media outlets. 

Is Mark Zuckerberg’s daughter a Facebook-never?

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s new daughter August has been announced to world on Facebook. In a sentimental post, Mark and Priscilla have written a letter to August about the world they hope she grows up in and the type of childhood they want her to have.

The parents wrote a similar letter for their first daughter Max in 2015.

This time, it focuses on all the opportunities available to August outside of the digital world. Whether this is conscious or not, the post encourages August to go outside and play:

‘I hope you take time to smell all the flowers and put all the leaves you want in your bucket now. I hope you read your favorite Dr. Seuss books so many times you start inventing your own stories about the Vipper of Vipp. I hope you ride the carousel with Max until you’ve tamed every color horse. I hope you run as many laps around our living room and yard as you want. And then I hope you take a lot of naps. I hope you’re a great sleeper. And I hope even in your dreams you can feel how much we love you.’

This is particularly remarkable in light of Facebook’s youth issue – the teen demographic doesn’t think the platform is cool and, according to eMarketer, the 12-17 year-old user base will decrease year-on-year for the first time ever.

Oscar Orozco, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst, said: ‘We now have ‘Facebook-nevers’—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.’

So, is August going to be a Facebook-never?

Well, everyone remembers MySpace don’t they? Probably not. There’s now an entire generation of MySpace-nevers and as ZeroHedge has noted, Facebook could easily go the same way:

Facebook myspace similarities

Carly Rowena

Blogger Spotlight: Carly Rowena, CarlyRowena

Carly Rowena is the Top 10 Fitness and Exercise blogger behind her eponymous blog. Covering the simple steps you can take to transform your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Carly Rowena uses her expertise as a personal trainer to advise her readers about all things health and fitness. We spoke to Carly about her love of Crossfit, the importance of honesty and working with PRs.

How would you describe your blog?
My blog is a little hub of fitness and lifestyle motivation, it’s a place for all shapes, sizes and abilities. I hope to inspire people to move more, enjoy food and feel incredible each day!

Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog after realising that I wanted to go into detail about certain topics that I didn’t feel suited my YouTube channel. I find writing very therapeutic and loved the idea of being able to bring up different subjects, topics and chat to a different audience.

What makes your blog different from other fitness blogs?
It’s so hard to stand out nowadays as there are so many incredible blogs out there, however I feel my ‘girl next door’ vibe and honesty when it comes to anything from exercise, love life or body parts has always gone down well. There is no topic that I’m scared of talking about and it’s my aim to help as many people as possible.

What’s the next big fitness trend going to be?
I have to admit that I tend to ignore the trends, there is no ‘one way’ for all of us; we’re all individual and as time goes on I think everyone will start to realise that. I would say cutting dairy seems to be the big one this year and it’s one I certainly agree with for ethical reasons but other than that, I feel it’s just nice to see the world relaxing a little – the whole clean eating vibe went a little too far!

What piece of equipment or tech is your go-to workout companion?
I am all about being functional and although my main passion is CrossFit, I have to say my body is my best workout pal, you can literally create anything without the need for anything but yourself, some space and something to strap your lady humps down!

What was your favourite blog post to create and why?
I love creating a post that talks about something most people are scared to discuss. My most recent ‘Orgasm’ post was one of my favourites, I loved the reaction!

How do you see your blog developing in the future?
I’d like my photography to improve, it’s so hard to take epic blog images without the help of a photographer and I’m not a big fan of selfies. I love writing but finding the imagery is certainly the hard part for me!

What makes your blog successful?
Such a hard question, I’d like to think it’s the honesty!

How do you like to work with PRs?
I love working with PRs! In general I prefer to chat on the phone than over email, I hate wastage so I always prefer a brand emails me with any products they think I might like and then I get to say yes or no, and then let my followers know my thoughts!

What one thing should PRs know about you?
I’m very low maintenance and sweaty, I will never be a full face of contour type of girl, however, I will always squeal when a product arrives in the post. I hate packaging and will never lie to my followers, expect me to test out a product for at least a month before ever sharing, I’m very loyal to my followers and their pennies!

What are your favourite blogs to read?
Oh there are so many and all of different topics: I adore Steffy White, InTheFrow and Lottie Murphy.

What’s your favourite workout class or routine?
I adore Crossfit, I have never felt stronger, more functional or more proud of myself than I do right now, I feel unstoppable and it’s the best feeling!

Carly Rowena features on the Vuelio Media Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.

LinkedIn video

Top 5 PR rules for LinkedIn Video

Following beta trials with its high-profile influencers, LinkedIn has just rolled out video on its mobile platform to all of its users. Video on the professional network offers a whole heap of possibilities – some of them positive, some of them not so positive. It may be time to re-write your social media guidelines.

LinkedIn is the social network where HR feels at home. It’s the place where jobs are posted, candidates vetted and positions are filled. It is also a place where businesses carefully build a corporate presence away from of all the spam and frivolity of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (in the perfect world).

Be warned: LinkedIn users will call anything out which they do not think belongs on the network, usually with the comment: ‘This is NOT Facebook!’

Video is both good and bad. It is quick and easy to make, consume and share. Video has the very real potential to go viral – this is great when it’s good, not so good when it’s terrible.

In short, LinkedIn is a place where reputation is important and while video can provide an excellent platform to enhance that reputation, it can also very easily tear reputations down – and quickly.

Of course, in this social age, the rules of ‘corporate’ video have changed. Authenticity is often valued over slick production values – meaning it is perfectly acceptable to film a video on a smartphone on the fly – but that doesn’t mean videos shouldn’t be carefully planned and though about before being published to the web.

Think about how many images Instagram ‘celebrities’ go through before deciding which ones to publish. There has to be a certain degree of quality control.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled five rules for video on LinkedIn which PR should put in place:

  1. Think about what’s in the background
    A white wall might make your business appear less grand than it is. A car park full of supercars might appear more than a little fake and boastful. Create a branded environment that can act as a backdrop to all of your videos and provide a consistent experience for your viewers.
  2. Take your time
    Shoot more than you need and edit out the bad bits. Yes ‘good enough’ is good enough – when it really is good enough. Never settle for ‘it’ll do’ just because you are busy or are getting frustrated with the process.
  3. Find your video star
    Some people are better in front of the camera than others. The person you are looking for should be confident (but not too shouty), humble (nobody likes a show-off) and above all likeable (people buy into ideas and concepts when they are presented to them by people they like).
  4. Share don’t sell
    This isn’t an infomercial on late night television. Share insight and thought leadership about your industry and organisation and the commercial opportunities will present themselves almost as a happy by-product of your content.
  5. Don’t force it
    If you’ve nothing to say, it is probably best not to commit it to video.

As a PR pro, how will you help HR take better advantage of the video opportunity on LinkedIn?

UK – 29 August 2017


This week’s Media Updates covers moves and changes at news titles including the Sunday Politics, Sunday Times Style, POLITICO and Grazia. 

News & Current Affairs

  • Sarah Smith has been appointed as the new presenter of BBC One’s Sunday Politics. She replaces Andrew Neil and will appear on the first episode after the summer break on 17 September.
  • The Newbury & Thatcham Observer has ceased publication due to ongoing challenging market conditions. Launched just over two years ago, the paper’s edition went out on Thursday 24 August
  • Ivan Berry and Emma Hibbert have taken over as the Breakfast show presenters at Heart Four Counties. The show was previously hosted by Stuart Miles and Katy Hill
  • James Bedford has returned to his role of sports editor at the Rutland and Stamford Mercury and its sister titles the Rutland Times and the Bourne Local. James previously held the role between 2004 and 2009.


Government & Politics

  • Jack Blanchard has joined POLITICO Europe. He will launch the London Playbook, a new morning newsletter, on 4 September


Business & Finance

  • Matthieu Favas has been appointed editor at Agri Investor. Matthieu was previously web editor at Infrastructure Investor



  • John Elmes has been appointed senior reporter at C21 Media. Previously a reporter for Times Higher Education, John will work across C21’s editorial portfolio
  • Zoe Burke has been appointed content editor at Bridal Buyer. Zoe was previously assistant editor at and content writer at You & Your Wedding


Fashion & Beauty

  • Louisa McGillicuddy has been confirmed as features editor at Sunday Times Style. She was previously acting features editor at the title
  • Charly Suggett has been appointed fashion assistant at Grazia
Playing by the Book

Blogger Spotlight: Zoe Toft, Playing by the Book

Zoe Toft is the mother-of-two blogger behind Playing by the Book. Focusing on Zoe’s favourite family activity, Playing by the Book recently ranked in the Top 10 Literature Blogs. Here Zoe told us about good books, owning a lot(!) of books and working with PRs.

How would you describe your blog?
Honest review of books for children and young people accompanied by the play and exploring they inspire in my family.

Why did you start your blog?
If truth be told, it’s because I have a terrible memory and I wanted to have a way to document, and thereby remember, the good times.

What’s your favourite book, and why?
It’s very hard to pick just one book – it depends on my mood.

What makes a good book?
A good book is any one that hooks a reader. Different people need different hooks to engage them and so I don’t think there’s a single recipe for a good book. For some people, for example, it will be great pace, for others it will be stunningly beautiful writing. Fortunately, like delicious food, there are all sorts of recipes for brilliant books.

Digital books disrupted an age-old industry, what do you think will be the next big disruptor?
I don’t know that I’ve got anything very insightful to respond with. That said I do worry that fear of taking risks and instead becoming over reliant on brands will diminish the industry in the long run.

How many books do you own (roughly)?
About 4,000. Very many of them in piles all around the house!

What makes your blog successful?
My passion. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve, and I think that comes through on my blog. Marry my enthusiasm with our family’s sense of playfulness, and the wealth of book knowledge I’ve developed over the past eight years of blogging and I’m pretty happy with the ingredients I have for my blog. I could always do with more time to write more blog posts though!

How do you like to work with PRs?
In a spirit of generosity on both sides!

What’s the one thing PRs should know about you?
Even if I don’t end up reviewing a book sent for review on my blog, it forms part of my bank of knowledge and so that book often ends up being given as a personal recommendation that PRs may not get to see. We all know the power of personal recommendation and so the silent or invisible recommendations I make often have as much impact as the ones that can be more easily measured via blog posts.

What other blogs do you like to read?
All sorts! But three I’ve read today and visit regularly include: tygertale, Rhino Reads and A Fuse #8 Production.

Zoe Toft features on the Vuelio Media Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.

Five things you shouldn’t have missed – 25 August 2017

A round-up of all the trending media, marketing and PR stories you shouldn’t have missed this week.

1. Happy birthday hashtag


Ten years ago, Chris Messina tweeted ‘how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?’ and the rest was history. This week the hashtag turned ten and is now used over 125 million times a day on Twitter alone. Ever wondered where the # came from? Why it’s called ‘hash’? Or how it’s evolving written language? Thankfully we’ve got you #covered.

2. WPP cuts growth forecast


The colossal advertising agency WPP has cut its growth forecast for the second time this year, as Sir Martin Sorrell warned of a global economic slowdown. The announcement caused a sharp fall in the company’s share price. Sorrell said the recent election results both sides of the pond, combined with volatile economic conditions in places like China, had affected the global ad market. He also told Sky News that the uncertainty around Brexit’s free movement of people was ‘the cancer, the problem we have to deal with’.

3. PRCA, CIPR and APPC urge stricter lobbying rule


Following Labour MP Barry Sheerman’s registration as a lobbyist, the PRCA, CIPR and APPC have joined forces in calling for rules to be tightened to prevent MPs from working as paid lobbyists. Sheerman’s inclusion on the Register of Consultant Lobbyists has caused concern among those who believe it contravenes the MP’s Code of Conduct which states: ‘no Member shall act as a paid advocate in any proceeding of the House’.

4. Sarah Smith to replace Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil has stepped down from his role as presenter of BBC One’s Sunday Politics. He will be replaced by Sarah Smith, BBC’s Scotland Editor, who is based in Glasgow. She will present her first episode when the programme returns after the summer recess on 17 September. Neil, who headed up the show since its launch in January 2012, will continue to present This Week and Daily Politics, as well as other projects on the BBC.

5. Edinburgh TV Festival

Alan Partidge

The Edinburgh Television Festival provides a plethora of highlights and headlines from programme launches to questions over media ethics. Among these: Jon Snow said that reporting on Grenfall made him feel he was on the wrong side of the social divide, Channel 4’s creative chief Jay Hunt revealed the Great British Bake Off will ‘break even’ with an audience of three million, and the BBC announced the return of the League of Gentlemen and Alan Partridge. Ah-Ha!


Seen something we’ve missed? Get in touch and let us know!

Snog Marry Avoid presenter

Blog marry avoid?

We are delighted to announce the host of the Vuelio Blog Awards 2017 is the fantastic Ellie Taylor. A confident and hilarious performer, Ellie will be entertaining our audience of world class bloggers and communicators on 24 November at the Bloomsbury Big Top.

Get your tickets here

Perhaps best known for presenting BBC 3’s cult hit Snog Marry Avoid?, Ellie has recently appeared on Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week, as well as getting magical on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief.

Ellie’s extensive credits also include The Now Show, The John Bishop Show, As Yet Untitled, 8 out of 10 Cats and Drunk History as well as playing lead roles in the new Disney series The Lodge and Comedy Central’s Brotherhood.

Ellie will present fifteen awards to the top bloggers from the UK and Ireland across a range of different categories including Best UK Blog and Best Newcomer.

Taking place in the Bloomsbury Big Top, the awards ceremony will be part of an amazing night of food, drink and celebration as the most influential bloggers rub shoulders with top PR and communication professionals to celebrate all that’s good about the world of blogging.

Tickets are now on sale – please visit our dedicated ticket website to buy yours today. 

PR piles pressure on lobbying register

The PRCA, CIPR and APPC have joined forces and called for rules to be tightened to prevent MPs from working as paid lobbyists. This follows Labour MP Barry Sheerman’s recent inclusion in the Register of Consultant Lobbyists

Sheerman had previously stated that Policy Connect, which facilitates meetings between businesses and ministers, was ‘the antidote to lobbyists’ and that he had registered reluctantly.

Speaking to journalists, Paul Beckford, public affairs chair at the CIPR, said: ‘It is hard to see how an MP can fall within the remit of the statutory lobbying register and at the same time comply with the MP’s Code of Conduct, which says “no Member shall act as a paid advocate in any proceeding of the House”.’

A joint letter to Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, from the PRCA and APPC follows a similar line and states: ‘It is our view that no MP should work as both a legislator and paid consultant lobbyist.’

The letter continues: ‘We have long sought to promote high ethical standards and the importance of transparency for UK lobbyists, but perceptions of a ‘cosy’ relationship between the two, or worse still a legislator actually acting as a lobbyist diminishes the public trust in democracy.’

The PRCA and APPC are also keen to highlight that even though Sheerman has decided to give his earnings from his role at Policy Connect to good causes, this does not alter the fact that he has been paid in the first place.

The letter concludes by stating: ‘Changes to the MP’s Code of Conduct preventing members carrying out any work which would necessitate compliance with the Register of Consultant Lobbyists seem to us fundamental to any changes to the Code.’

Charlotte's BAG

Charlotte’s BAG and the power of vlogging

Charlotte Eades was a prolific vlogger and charity campaigner who died in February 2016 from glioblastoma. Charlotte’s BAG is a UK registered charity that was set up in October 2016 in Charlotte’s memory.

We’ve spoken to Charlotte’s Mum Alex Eades (AE), brother Miles Eades (ME) and the chair and trustee of Charlotte’s BAG Cressy Brooks (CB) about the charity, the power of Charlotte’s vlogging and her legacy.

What is Charlotte’s BAG?
: Our Charlotte, daughter of Alex and sister of Miles, died aged 19 years and 6 days in February 2016 after a devastating two and a half years coping with anaplastic astrocytoma which then developed into full blown glioblastoma. She was first diagnosed aged 16, on the afternoon of her school prom.

Alex, Miles and I set up the charity because we were all determined that Charlotte would not become just another cancer statistic, and because brain cancer (of which there are over 100 types) is significantly under-funded, receiving just one per cent of national cancer research funding. With the current rate of investment, it is estimated that it will be 100 years until any sort of cure is found – compare that with the leaps made in treatment of breast cancer following a major cash input. The last significant development in brain cancer treatment was the introduction of temozolomide in 1999, when Charlotte was already two years old.

Why Charlotte’s BAG? BAG stands for Battle Against Glioblastoma, and also celebrates Charlotte’s enduring love of hand bags, the higher end the better!

Can you tell us about glioblastoma and why more people should be aware of it?
Glioblastoma is one of over a hundred types of brain cancer. None of them, even the so-called benign ones, are good to have, but medics call glioblastoma ‘The Terminator’ and a diagnosis of a grade IV glioblastoma is currently an effective death sentence.

It is a particularly cruel disease, because it progressively removes every physical capability (speech, movement, continence etc) while the conscious mind knows and understands every single progression of the disease.

Around 5,000 people in the UK die every year from glioblastoma, making it the single biggest cancer killer of the under 40s.

Why did Charlotte Eades choose vlogging to share her story?
: Charlotte found that her world was closing in just as she, like anyone aged 16, would have expected it to open up for her. She suddenly entered a world of hospitals, treatments, hair loss, sudden weight gain, along with the fact that she couldn’t go to college, she couldn’t learn to drive, she couldn’t travel to the USA as she would have liked to. She was also registered disabled, and had to start wearing hearing aids.

AE: Charlotte announced one day that she would start vlogging, and we really didn’t take much notice – we just said ‘OK darling how lovely’. And then she just went on and on, partly inspired by the fact that she couldn’t find anything about teenagers with cancer on the internet – loads about cancer, but not about teenagers who were in that position. So she just learnt how to do it all for herself, she talked about anything and everything that came into her head – sometimes about her illness, but especially in the earlier days, it would often be about make-up, shopping, her cat or her favourite music. She just talked out loud really, and it gave her a voice and a window onto a world which was becoming increasingly inaccessible to her as she became more ill.

Charlotte's BAG

Why was it important for Charlotte to share her story?
: Prior to her diagnosis Charlotte had been bullied at school and suffered from extreme anxiety. Then, four months before her diagnosis, she started having really bad headaches and she read a newspaper article which convinced her she had a brain tumour. We went back and forth to the doctors, no one believed her until we eventually went to A&E and the process was set in motion.

Although no one would ever want to have cancer, it gave Charlotte a voice. She somehow gained the strength to start vlogging, she would speak to audiences of up to 300 people, she started our local Race for Life, and she appeared on national TV talking about her experience. She won awards from Clic-Sargent and Cancer Research UK for her work.

For Charlotte, it was about sharing her experience, to provide support for other teenagers with cancer, and, I suppose, to make a difference

How did Charlotte’s vlog grow in the digital community?
: Charlotte’s vlog grew really quite organically, as a result of the diversity of her content, her honesty and frankness, and I also have to say because of her beauty, not just physically but in terms of her nature. Charlotte wanted not just to raise awareness of her particular cancer, she also wanted to show that you can, actually, have a life, enjoy yourself, find pleasure in things while undergoing treatment for cancer.

She was really keen to demonstrate that issues such as hair loss, or weight gain due to medication, should never prevent anyone from living a fulfilling and enjoyable life. She did that right up to quite close to the end, and she struck a chord with people.

IMG_2488Charlotte touched a lot of people’s lives, what was the reaction online to her passing?
When Charlotte died it was, of course, an extremely private event. But when the news got out, it became global, with coverage as far afield as Russia, Australia, the USA and of course the UK.

The family received so many kind messages, which was quite overwhelming at the time, but every single one was truly appreciated. Alex and Miles and the rest of the family needed some time for a few months, but it was clear to all of us that Charlotte had left a huge footprint and we needed to make something good come out of this experience.

Fairly recently we added a tributes section to our website, which includes some really beautiful and heartfelt comments about the difference that Charlotte made.

You’ve taken up the mantle of Charlotte’s vlogging, what’s it like following in the footsteps of Charlotte?
: It is really really hard! Vlogging didn’t come naturally to me or Miles, and I am sure we come across as complete amateurs… but we strongly believe that we need to keep Charlotte’s voice going. Her followers continue to follow us, and they make very kind comments, which is lovely. We are trying to explore all the areas we can – we talk about grief, bereavement, how much we miss Charlotte, what are the right – or wrong – things to say to someone who has lost a child or a sibling, and we talk about what the charity is trying to do.

We are so lucky really, we continually find unseen and unedited footage that Charlotte made, and that allows us to keep going in her name.

How does vlogging fit in with the other areas of promotion and fundraising?
Vlogging is something we feel we have to do for Charlotte and her followers. We do it because it keeps her voice alive, and because we know people like it. Charlotte’s vlogs were unique – for example, a major pharmaceutical company is using them for staff training because they are such a significant record of the physical decline that glioblastoma causes, which is not available elsewhere.

CB: Charlotte’s vlogs and those created subsequently by Alex and Miles represent a very powerful marketing tool. In charity terms, we are still pretty tiny, just ten months old, and we are in a world where the big charities have every resource at their fingertips and the money to pay for them. We are taking a very different approach; we have no salaries, no advertising, no overheads and every single penny we raise goes into research at King’s College Hospital, London in a new unit called Charlotte’s Project within the Mowatt Laboratories.

We’re actually really proud of what we’ve achieved so far – almost doubled our first year’s target within ten months; raised enough money to fund a research assistant for three years; and we’ve created a PR vehicle which is strongly centred around Charlotte’s achievements during her very short life, and is – I guess because we are family – totally respectful of Charlotte’s memory.

We use social media as much as we possibly can – we are very present on Facebook and Twitter, and we’re trying to get better on Instagram. Our website was created for free by a wonderful friend. We have also established really strong links with key mainstream media who are really supportive of what we are doing – this is currently on a fairly local level, but we will be ramping up a gear for our first birthday at the end of October when we have some very significant news to announce.

What goals does the charity have?
It’s about Charlotte. We want to keep her memory alive and ensure her voice is still being heard. That’s very important for us.

CB: Glioblastoma can be beaten, given enough money. We are fortunate to be working so closely with one of the world’s leading paediatric oncologists, who specialises in the disease, and with a top neurosurgeon, and we know that we will win, hopefully sooner than everyone expects.

In practical terms, that means fundraising for research and ensuring that the results are shared with the medical community worldwide, and also by educating people in the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with glioblastoma.


For more information about Charlotte’s BAG, visit the website, the YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy Birthday Hashtag

It started ten years ago as one man’s suggestion to group messages and ideas with the # symbol and now over 125 million hashtags are used on Twitter every day.

The symbol is older than keyboards and telephone keypads, stretching back to when the English started writing lb, short for libra – the Latin for pound.

Skip forward a few hundred years to 23 August 2007 when Chris Messina wrote the following tweet:

The rest, as they say, is #History.

Now celebrating its tenth birthday (#hashtag10), the hashtag has become part of everyday lexicon and was added to Oxford English Dictionary in 2014:

hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way.

The BBC has compiled a list of some of the most popular hashtags, including #BlackLivesMatter, #EdBallsDay, #TheDress, #HeForShe and #PutYourBatsOut. While we think of these stand out moments and trends (#IceBucketChallenge anyone?) as being very popular on Twitter, it is the everyday hashtags that dominate the platform, the most popular being #FF, or Follow Friday, with hundreds of millions of tweets.

The little hatch mark (that’s right, ‘hash’ came from the word ‘hatch’), has evolved over time. Its original purpose, as suggested by Chris Messina, is still the dominant usage but hashtags have evolved written (and in some cases spoken) language to create clarity of meaning, especially with irony. An increasingly common usage is a hashtag modifying a statement so its obviously ironic and as such it’s become an extension of punctuation, giving meaning to text.

And it’s not just Twitter, other social networks picked up the # as the de facto method of collecting conversations, grouping posts and creating searchable content. Instagram, which relies on hashtags for growth but doesn’t have the character limit, is perhaps now king of the hashtag.

On Twitter, two hashtags is the sweet spot for engagement, but on Instagram the most engagement comes from posts with 11 or more.

And the most popular hashtag on Instagram? #love with 1.1bn uses and counting.

Peppa Pig Pipped at the Post

Peppa Pig Pipped at the Post

First News, the newspaper aimed at children between the ages of seven and 14, has become the UK’s bestselling children’s periodical with an average weekly combined print and digital circulation of 86,413 in the first six months of the year.

The four percent rise in circulation pushes the newspaper ahead of less news-focused titles including Peppa Pig Bag-o-Fun and the BBC’s CBeebies Magazine (which recorded an eight percent decline in sales).

Celebrating the milestone, First News founder and chief executive Sarah Jane Thomson told journalists: ‘Eleven years ago we identified a gap in the market and have been producing a quality title ever since.

‘Our plan was to bring news to children – and we have stuck to that plan, which has been our key to success. Teachers, parents and of course children themselves appreciate our non-sensational approach to national and international news.

‘However, we are aware of the potential challenges of a declining newspaper market and the opportunities available to us as a result of having built a strong brand following.

‘We will continue to develop our offering, bringing new products to our increasing and loyal customer base – whilst staying true to our roots and remaining focused on our core philosophy of enhancing the lives of children.’

As well as boasting a burgeoning young readership via individual newsagent sales and subscriptions, First News also claims that more than 50% of UK schools subscribe to the newspaper and, as a result, can also say it has a weekly readership of two million young people.

So should the newspaper industry as a whole be encouraged that young people are taking interest in a ‘traditional’ news product?

Yes and no. It’s great that First News has grabbed the attention and acclaim of its young readership but where do they go after age of 14?

No newspaper managers to target the teen and young adult market effectively, leaving ‘new’ media to scoop up the masses online.