Metro for sale

Is the Metro for sale?

According to media reports, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), the publisher behind the Daily Mail is considering selling its Metro freesheet following a decline in advertising sales and profits at the newspaper.

The publisher has appointed bankers at the boutique advisory firm Cardean Bell to explore options for the title with some city sources suggesting the sale of the newspaper could raise around £35 million.

Aside from the decline in print advertising sales, the Metro’s profits have been hit hard by the fall in the value of sterling following Brexit, which has led to an increase in imported newsprint costs.

The proposed Metro sale is thought to be led by DMGT chief executive, Paul Zwillenberg (who once roomed with Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere at University) who insists there are ‘no sacred cows’ at the company.

While talks regarding the sale of the title are still at a very early stage, it is believed that both Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press may be interested in purchasing the newspaper.

The Metro currently enjoys a daily readership of more than three million, but it faces increased competition from online media, particularly in the mobile arena. This threat to the business will increase as Transport for London (TfL) increases mobile access on the London Underground (the main distribution network for the Metro).

Wifi was introduced to parts of the London Tube network prior to the London Olympics in 2012 but little progress has been made on the network since.

However, TfL are now making renewed efforts to increase coverage and boost 4G connectivity on the Underground.

Speaking to journalists, a spokesperson for TfL said: ‘We are keen to offer full mobile phone coverage for our customers. The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers.’

5 brands that reacted to #Eclipse2017

As the United States descended into darkness and the President failed to follow basic safety advice, brands across America took advantage of the temporary black out to roll out ‘reactive’ marketing. Here are 5 of the best:

Volvo is the vehicle manufacturer that’s known for its safety and innovation. Fuelling this reputation, Volvo created the XC60 Panoramic Moonroof Eclipse Viewer – a special film that fits over the model’s panoramic sunroof and makes the eclipse safe to watch for the whole family.

Eclipse viewer


Not to be outdone in the automobile stakes, Mitsubishi had little choice but to get involved with its model – the Eclipse Cross. Though named after a racehorse, the Eclipse Cross was photographed under the total eclipse in the presence of 10 influencers, who shared the ‘event’ with their followers. Materials captured will form the basis of future marketing campaigns.

Mitsubishi Motors Eclipse Cross: First Contact


Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme created a chocolate-glazed doughnut for the first time in its history. Available at participating stores, the move struck a chord with some eclipse viewers – Debbie Helfand, who travelled from New Jersey to Virginia, said: ‘We came down, of course, for the eclipse to get a little closer and we came for the doughnuts not knowing there was a special doughnut, but it’s pretty exciting.’


Pizza Hut
There were a number of brands explaining how to make pin-hole viewers to safely watch the Eclipse (Mr President), including Corona and Coca-Cola, but Pizza Hut has the basic materials to hand, as shown in its instructional video for making a viewer with a pizza box. Obviously, you’d have to buy a pizza first.


Royal Caribbean
Thinking outside the box, Royal Caribbean added 80s pop into the mix with Bonnie Tyler’s performance of Total Eclipse of the Heart, during the eclipse, on board its Oasis of the Seas ship. ‘Bonnie Tyler was a natural choice for this once-in-a-lifetime moment,’ said the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley.

BBC London

BBC World Service expands into North Korea

The BBC World Service is expanding its number of languages in the biggest such move since the 1940s. The Service is aiming to reach the countries that are most in need of independent news, and is backed by government funding.

A key target of the ambitious expansion is North Korea and the citizens who have limited access to unbiased content.

In an interview with the Guardian, Francesca Unsworth, the director of BBC World Service, said: ‘We are reaching an incredibly febrile, dangerous atmosphere at the moment about that whole story, and isn’t it terrible for the people of North Korea that the only information that they getting about any of this is that woman who goes on North Korean television every night?

‘We talked for many years about whether it was worthwhile doing something for the most in-need country of the world. This is right at the head of the BBC’s mission to bring independent news to people most in need – and Korea is the country most in need, followed by Ethiopia and Eritrea.’

The half-hour programme will be broadcast every night, giving the audience a chance to hear it without being caught. Unsworth claims the North Korean embassy has told the BBC not to launch the service, though she claims they’re not planning to be ‘dissident radio’.

‘We are there to explain their perspective on this, we are not there to be the voice of opposition. But of course we are not on the side of governments, we are there on the side of people. That is our remit and it always has been.’

Citizens of North Korea are broadly expected to be able to access foreign broadcasts and half the team will work in Seoul while the other half will be based in London.

The Korean service will be launched in autumn, following the already-launched digital Pidgin service for West Africa, and the upcoming Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya services for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, was positive about the Service’s general expansion: ‘The BBC World Service is one of the UK’s most important cultural exports. In a world of anxieties about ‘fake news’, where media freedom is being curtailed rather than expanded, the role of an independent, impartial news provider is more important than ever.’

This is all possible due to a boost in funding of £289m from the UK Government, which is continuing to find a place for the country in the post-Brexit world.

Data visualisation

Is It Time PR Got Bigger on Data?

As PR professionals you might think we’re already up to our eyes in data but when you compare our industry to our colleagues in marketing, we’re barely scraping the surface.

The fact is, in difficult times where every single penny spent on a business function like PR has to be fully justified, data will not only help you prove your worth by looking back on previous successes but also help you build a more strategic and potentially lucrative future with PR taking responsibility for actions across your organisation.

The data available to your PR team goes beyond the (still vitally important) information we all look to around coverage or hits. Spikes and sentiment in social media activity, demands on customer services teams and even, dare I say it, sales figures – can all be matched and attributed to PR activities with a little time spent working the data.

Careful visualisation of data will not only help you justify your team’s existence to a senior management team who might think you are a ‘nice to have’ but non-essential service. It will help you better plan your future campaigns by focusing on what works and optimising it accordingly. It will also help give solid reasons for not investing time and effort in those projects you know have little impact on your organisation but your management team insist you do because ‘we’ve always done it this way’.

There are, of course, risks in data. Careful examination of the complete set of data available to your team might highlight that your output isn’t as valuable as you previously thought. But this is just another reason why it is so important that you get to grips with it now. It is always better to fix an unseen problem than wait for someone else to discover it and start pointing fingers of blame at you – and remember every other department in your business will also be looking at data to justify their output and share of budget allocation.

How are you using data to improve the reputation of your PR team in your organisation? Want to find out how you can make it better? Click here to find out more.

Blogger Spotlight: Jane Dean, Janey On The Move

Janey On The Move is the theatre review blog from Jane Dean. We caught up with Jane who told us about her target audience, working with PRs and being a gardening nerd.

How would you describe your blog?
Janey On The Move is an Entertainment Blog reviewing shows and touring productions from the West End right across the south coast.

Why did you start your blog?
To highlight and review shows to engage with and relate to theatre lovers across the UK.

How does your role as a PR work with your personal blogging?
I appreciate the importance of profiling a brand and gaining exposure to build awareness. In short, what’s the use of having a great product or service if nobody knows about it?!

Who is your target audience?
A mixed bag really. I tend to interact with the 40-60 year old age group but it’s an eclectic audience who appreciate live music, entertainment, lifestyle and celebrity that tend to follow.

If you can choose, what’s the best show you’ve reviewed?
Can I select two, as it’s between Wicked and Dreamgirls – both shows are smash hits.

What skills does working as a PR give you when blogging?
I appreciate the need to make my review stand out and produce engaging content, hopefully without patronising the reader.

How do you work with other PRs on your blog?
A number of PR Consultants, to include those who represent the theatres hosting the show, to working with an individual artist in the show, will contact me to carry out a review. We work well together as we understand the need for current high res images, copy and profiles/biogs.

What advice would you give to other bloggers?
My blog has been running since Dec. 2015 and I’m still learning….! I try to write it like I’m telling a good friend about a fabulous show or performance that I’ve just seen and don’t want them to miss. Just be yourself and tell it like it is.

What are your favourite other blogs to read?
I’m a gardening nerd, so I love any of Vuelio’s Top 10 Gardening Blogs UK, plus the Telegraph’s gardening posts. I’m working on my own Country cottage garden, as I live on the New Forest border so I’m fortunate enough to enjoy living five minutes from the sea but so close to the stunning picturesque countryside.

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

cathy winston

Blogger Spotlight: Cathy Winston, Mummy Travels

Cathy Winston is the author behind Mummy Travels, a Top 10 Family Travel Blog. The blog covers everything family-travel-related from the exotic trips abroad to fun days out in the UK. Cathy spoke to us about her love of South-East Asia, what family-friendly really means and how she likes to collaborate with PRs.

How would you describe your blog?
A family travel blog that aims to inspire and inform parents who love to travel – and prove that having kids needn’t stop you doing that. Focused mainly on travel with a baby, toddler, preschooler and the first school years, there are tips and advice, reviews of products and accommodation, and tales of my travels with my daughter, from first flights to long-haul, a road trip, cruise and heading off the beaten track in South East Asia and Africa, along with days out in the UK, beach and city breaks.

Why did you start your blog?
I’ve always loved travel and have made it part of my career – but when I became pregnant, everyone told me I’d have to stop. The blog started to try to answer that question: can you keep travelling with a baby and kids? Happily, I think we’ve proved it’s a definite yes!

What makes your blog stand out against other family travel blogs?
The mix of destinations we cover is unusual; there’s content on Cambodia, Burma and Cape Verde, but also London museums, UK seaside breaks and most things in between. I do a lot of solo travel with my daughter. Although I’m not a single parent, it’s often just the two of us for all or part of the trip, including our recent two weeks in Cambodia, so I can bring that perspective to it, as well as giving us a lot of flexibility in what we can do. I have a career as a travel journalist as well, winning several awards, so there’s that professional approach and experience as well as the personal element.

What’s the best place you’ve been as a family?
We’ve visited some amazing countries so it’s really hard to pick one. Our adventures in South East Asia over the past two years have been hard to beat though, so a tie for first place between Burma and Cambodia, I think. But I never tire of a day out at the beach, whether that’s the UK coast or a tropical stretch of sand, and the luxurious Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort was fabulous.

What’s the worst place you’ve been as a family?
Touch wood, we haven’t had any disasters – perhaps the worst was a UK holiday camp. It wasn’t the place itself, which is really popular, but it’s much better for families with older kids. My toddler daughter was too young to enjoy the activities, and we ended up rushing dinner then sitting on the bed in the dark all evening while she slept. A good reminder that family-friendly means very different things depending on your individual situation.

What makes the ideal family holiday?
My daughter would say a beach or swimming pool and ice cream! I think it has to be something which keeps everyone happy. I can’t imagine spending two weeks just lying on a beach, but trying to pack too much in is a recipe for disaster with her, so somewhere which has plenty to explore but where we can enjoy some downtime as well.

Very few places don’t work at all with kids, unless it’s very active or adrenaline-fuelled when they’re little (or the Antarctic). The big difference is often the welcome for kids: plenty of places say they’re family-friendly but children are just tolerated and it’s very hard to relax, while places where kids are the centre of attention are so much more fun, even if you don’t have the facilities you might get at home.

Where haven’t you been that you’re desperate to get to?
SO many places! My bucket list gets longer with each trip, as I always want to go back and see the things we missed or spend more time there. Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia are high up though, as we’ve had some wonderful holidays in South East Asia and I haven’t visited any of them yet. But I’d also love to discover more of South America: Peru, Belize, Guatemala, the Galapagos and Costa Rica (for starters) – along with Cuba, Namibia, Oman, Montenegro. I could go on…

How do you like to work with PRs?
Collaboration is a bit of an overused word, but I think that’s the only way to work – any project has to suit both PR and blogger to be a success. For me, it’s really useful to know what the PR wants to get out of a trip, to be really upfront about what they’re hoping it will achieve but also to be flexible, whether that’s tailoring the itinerary to the demands of a small girl or working with me to include the quirky, the unusual, the offbeat things which I think will appeal to the blog’s readers.

Lastly, I pride myself on being very professional, always delivering as promised (and more) and never missing deadlines, so having the trust from a PR about that rather than being too prescriptive, and allowing me to be creative makes a huge difference. The fact that I have some great long-term relationships, working with the same people again and again is something I’m very proud of too.

What is the one thing PRs should know about you?
I get hundreds upon hundreds of emails every day and it’s easy to tell which ones have actually read the blog, or have personalised the email. Those are the ones I prioritise, unlike the ones which use my email address as salutation or put Dear Minnie (the pseudonym I use for my daughter on the blog). Oh, and I’m not a big fan of camping…

What are your favourite blogs to read (outside of your own!)?
Almost too many to mention! I love My Travel Monkey, Globalmouse Travels, Five Adventurers and Tinbox Traveller, who all have kids a similar age to my daughter, but also The Travel Hack and On The Luce, plus Suitcases and Sandcastles and One Tiny Leap for their beautiful photography.

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

Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed – 18 August 2017

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

1. DailyMailTV

Daily Mail online TV
Building on its success as the most popular English-language news site, the Mail Online is launching an hour-long television show that will be syndicated across 96% of America via a network of TV channels.

Launching on 18 September, DailyMailTV will be fronted by former American Football star and ESPN analyst Jess Palmer, who said: ‘I love telling stories that engage and excite Americans and to be able to do this five days a week on DailyMailTV is a dream come true.’

The Mail Online currently employs 260 staff in the United States and claims to publish some 1,600 articles every day.


2. Channel 4 and BBC Clash Off

Bake Off hosts
The Great British Bake Off is once again causing controversy despite still being a show about quaint cakes and pastel-coloured kitchenware in a tent in the countryside. The BBC has called Channel 4’s decision to schedule the programme at the same time as its new programme, The Big Family Cooking Showdown, a ‘cynical move’.

Channel 4’s iteration of the competition will start on Tuesday 29 August at 8pm, which clashes with the BBC’s completely unrelated cooking competition (fronted by Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain) that began this week. The BBC has decided to reschedule its show to Thursday to avoid a ratings war.

Don’t expect this one to go away, the bun fight has only just begun.


3. Mo Problems

Mo farah
Sir Mo Farah is attempting to rebrand as he leaves his track career behind him and focuses on his future in road racing. Mo Farah won silver in his last ever track race at the World Championships in 2017, but now wishes to be known as Mohamed.

A number of PR pros have suggested this move is ‘almost impossible’ because of how prolific Mo has been and how loved he is alongside the moniker. Only time will tell if Mohamed can win over the press and public.


4. No more Lovefilm By Post
Lovefilm By Post will cease its service on 31 October. The Amazon-owned DVD rental business no longer has a place in a world of streaming and on-demand programming.

The thousands of discs belonging to Lovefilm will be donated to ‘charity partners’ and Lovefilm employees will be redistributed across Amazon.

Not everyone is pleased with the decision including those in rural parts of the country:

And some who believe the streamers just can’t compete:


5. The future of Radio 1

Radio 1Radio 1 has announced new presenters to cover Matt Edmondson’s 10:00-13:00 slot while he films over summer. Abbie McCarthy, Katie Thistleton, Jordan North and Yasser will each present two shows and are being heralded as the future generation of radio stars.

Station controller Ben Cooper has previously expressed concern over a lack of emerging talent with traditional presenting routes (like T4 and CD:UK) drying up. Student radio is now a common source of head hunting, and Cooper is upbeat about the new blood, saying: ‘Yes it’s hard, but we’re not struggling and we want to demonstrate around our 50th birthday that actually we’ve got this next generation of new presenters waiting in the wings.’

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

employment application

Not all journalists are equal

Kaloyan Konstantinov is a Bulgarian journalist and student at King’s College London. He recently attended newsrewired and was inspired to write about his own experiences as an immigrant looking for a job and the struggles he’s faced despite his experience.

A talk at newsrewired on 19 July highlighted the Refugee Journalism Project that aims to support the re-establishment of careers for exiled journalists in the UK.

The speaker explained that the main problem facing the refugee professionals is not their lack of skills or the language barrier – but the fact that they simply do not know the right people. And while the audience, including myself, applauded the noble initiative I couldn’t help but think that such difficulties are not only limited to refugees but affect many of the foreigners in the UK educated abroad.

I arrived in England in January 2017 to study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London, starting from September. My intention was to use the time to find a job or at least manage to gain some UK-based experience in journalism. I have previously managed to balance work and study, graduating from the best university in Bulgaria and writing for one of the most prominent news outlets.

I was conducting investigations, interviewing foreign and domestic ministers, ambassadors, royals, artists and scientists, and reporting from around Europe. At the end of 2016, I received an award for journalistic excellence and became a member of the International Federation of Journalists. I have also worked as a PR for the exhibitions of Bryan Adams, Lenny Kravitz and Ulay. I did all of this before I turned 23.

Proud of my achievements, I immediately started applying for both full time and intern positions at various UK organisations, big and small. I was prepared to work for free, just to prove myself. You can probably guess that several months later there was no positive result. In fact, there was rarely a response at all.

Frustrated, I adopted a more aggressive approach by ‘headhunting’ editors and HR executives and sending them speculative applications. I lost count of the exact number of positions for which I applied, but it was more than 40. Meanwhile, some financial matters began to make my personal situation more pressing. I started applying for jobs at stores, restaurants, supermarkets and factories but I was rejected from every single one of them (again, over 40 and counting).

I was once told that my university degree is not recognisable and they couldn’t be sure whether I was telling the truth about my experience. I’m not alone, many educated and skilful foreigners struggle against such prejudice and discrimination.

I can hardly imagine how British journalism graduates, with no real experience, find a job at all.

To be honest, in the end, one place did hire me. Now I work in KFC and clean the bathrooms. I continue to apply for jobs, basically everywhere, and all the while, a nagging voice in my head insists that some people are more equal than others.


Blogger Spotlight: Brian Palmer, thewashingmachinepost

Brian Palmer is the top 10 cycling blogger who writes thewashingmachinepost. Brian writes about the latest cycling goods and posts pictures of his scenic bike rides on the Isle of Islay. We caught up with Brian who told us about the joys of cycling, being friendly with PRs and the reason he doesn’t read other blogs…  

How would you describe your blog?
An overview of road bike culture.

Why did you start your blog?
To improve my writing skills.

What’s your favourite post?
The first interview I conducted with Richard Sachs.

If you were talking to a non-cyclist, how would you convince them it’s great?
Take them for a bike ride.

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve ever had?
It’s a tie between riding in Provence with Rapha and this year’s HOTCHILLEE London-Paris ride.

What’s the worst cycling experience you’ve ever had?
Probably trying to find my way round London.

What makes your blog successful?
I’m darned if I know.

What’s your favourite bike (ever)?
A Colnago C40.

How do you like to work with PRs?
In a relaxed and friendly manner.

What’s the one thing PRs should know about you?
I don’t take myself too seriously.

What are your favourite blogs to read?
Embarrassingly, I don’t read any other blogs in case they’re all better than mine.

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

Poor reputation

Advertising and Reputation

The politics of hate have once again become a burning issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stateside, a number of CEOs have quit advisory roles at the Whitehouse following President Trump’s position following the murder of an anti-fascist protester at a rally organised by right-wing organisations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Speaking to journalists about his reason for resigning, Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel said: ‘I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence.

‘I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honour – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does.’

Other resignations include the CEOs of Under Armour and the Alliance for American Manufacturing who don’t want their brands associated with a Government who won’t actively challenge abhorrent views.

On this side of the pond, The Sun is facing possible investigation over columnist Trevor Kavanagh’s article in which he asks: ‘What will we do about The Muslim Problem then?’ This question has been likened to Nazi propaganda by Jewish and Islamic groups.

Highlighting the problem with such language, Richard Wilson, director of the campaigning group Stop Funding Hate wrote in the Guardian: ‘One of the hallmarks of extremism is a tendency to project guilt onto a whole community for the crimes of individuals within that group. Calling an entire section of our society a “problem” is not just divisive, it risks legitimising hatred towards anyone who happens to be a member of that community.’

Wilson’s suggested response to articles of this nature is to put pressure on the companies who fund the tabloid press through advertising.

Wilson continued: ‘The Sun – for understandable reasons – likes to characterise any challenge to its commercial interests as a threat to freedom of expression. But Evelyn Beatrice Hall never wrote: “I’ll defend to the death your right to get advertising revenue”. Trevor Kavanagh’s freedom to speak his mind does not oblige the rest of us to subsidise his opinions.’

The question is: how many brand owners see a direct connection to the media they advertise in to their reputation?

In an age where traditional press advertising yields a much reduced influence over purchasing decisions, you have to wonder when reputation will become a more important issue.

Blogger Spotlight: Victoria Bowskill, is the Top 10 Cycling Blog from Victoria and Matt. Covering the full range of cycling content, also specializes in women in cycling – from suitable fitness clothing to encouraging more engagement. We spoke to Victoria Bowskill about the pair’s favourite bikes, worst experiences and how they work collaboratively with brands.

How would you describe your blog? is a cycling blog dedicated to seeking out style and performance on two wheels. We deliver product reviews, cycling tips and write-ups of our experiences on bikes in – we hope! – an approachable, personal way. We share everything that we find seductive about cycling, from the coolest kit we’ve spotted on our travels to amazing cycling routes. We regularly feature reviews of cycling kit – and they are unbiased and unpaid. Brands don’t pay us to feature their products, which makes us wholly impartial.

Victoria and MattWhy did you start your blog? was conceived to provide a platform for review and opinion on cycling fashion, trends, accessories, bikes and technology in a slightly different voice from mainstream cycling media.

While there are a number of popular news and review sites and cycling blogs, we believe their angle and bias can sometimes alienate riders who are perhaps new to the sport or who appreciate a more balanced outlook.

When we founded two years ago, we also felt strongly that the representation and tailoring of content towards women’s cycling left a great deal to be desired. That is beginning to change, but we are still keen to further the reputation of women’s cycling and to raise the standard and quality of women’s cycling clothing and kit.

What’s your favourite post?
It’s a fairly old post now, but this one remains a favourite and has proved very popular – it seems to resonate with a lot of female cyclists.

If you were talking to a non-cyclist, how would you convince them it’s great?
For people who don’t cycle, it might seem incomprehensible that our best weekends involve stupidly early morning bike rides. But the greatest joy we’ve experienced on two wheels always comes from getting out at the crack of dawn while the roads are empty, and fitting in 30, 40, 50 miles before most people have picked up the Sunday paper! It’s the peace and tranquility of early morning rides, the flush on our faces after hours of exercising, and the exhilaration of fast hill descents that makes it such a fantastic activity. Even the challenge of hill climbing comes with rewards; it might hurt at the time, but the satisfaction of conquering a hill on your bike, the view from the top, and the speedy descent make it all worthwhile!

What’s the best cycling experience you’ve ever had?
We’ve had quite a few great experiences and it’s hard to narrow them down! The weekend where we completed the Huntingdon Steeplechase Sportive on the Saturday, followed by the PlanetX Oulton Park 100-mile challenge on the Sunday stands out as one of the most exhausting but also one of the most fun.

The Prudential RideLondon 100 never fails to bring a smile to our faces – the turnout of supporters along the route is a joy to behold.

And we had a fabulous outing with Yorkshire Velo Tours in the Yorkshire Dales – it was utterly beautiful, not to mention gruelling!

What’s the worst cycling experience you’ve ever had?
For Matt it has to be getting cramp at mile 67 of the Tour of Cambridgeshire. He had decided to ride the 84-mile sportive without taking a break in 28-degree heat, rode himself into the ground, and developed excruciating cramp which left him barely able to pedal. That wasn’t a good one!

For Victoria, it was riding her new bike with deep rims in Yorkshire on a particularly windy day. Utterly terrifying, she was certain she was going to be blown into the path of an oncoming lorry and had to get off and push.

What makes your blog successful?
Firstly, the two voices; we have a uniquely male/female perspective at which makes the blog appealing to both male and female cyclists. Brands seem to really value the emphasis that we place on coverage of women’s cycling.

Secondly, the tone of voice; we have a conversational style that readers seem to find they can identify with. We don’t pretend to be better cyclists than we are; we don’t pretend that we don’t suffer on our bikes. We’re approachable (in life and on screen!)

Matt VamperWhat’s your favourite bike (ever)?
For Victoria, it has to be the Canyon//SRAM Ultimate CF SLX – utterly gorgeous.

For Matt, it’s the Dassi Interceptor, the world’s first (and only) graphene bike. We saw it at Rouleur Classic and we were blown away by it. A thing of beauty, with incredible, cutting edge technology. Wow.

How do you like to work with PRs?
We’ve worked with some fabulous PRs who are really proactive and passionate. We like to foster a close relationship with PRs to help to us to better understand what will bring the most value to their clients. Truly innovative PR campaigns come from a marriage of ideas and we like to think we can bring something different to the table.

We invite all pitches and approaches and we are always happy to look at any review request, trip or opinion piece to see what Vamper spin we might be able to put on it!

What’s the one thing PRs should know about you?
We have high standards. We won’t regurgitate poor press releases, and we won’t praise terrible products. If a poor product is sent to us to review, we’ll gladly pass our (constructive) criticism on via the PR so that the issue can hopefully be addressed rather than slating something online, but we won’t wax lyrical if we don’t like it.

What are your favourite blogs to read (outside of your own!)?
We’re big foodies, so we read a lot of food blogs – particularly Cookie & Kate, which is probably our current favourite.

In terms of cycling, we like the Australian blog – it’s good for reading about cycling from a different perspective.

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

Daily Mail online TV

The Mail Online – Coming to a TV Screen Near You

The Mail Online is set to expand on its success in the US market, where it has already achieved the status of the most popular English-language news site, with the launch of a new hour-long television show which will be syndicated across the nation via a number of terrestrial TV channels.

According to a report on the Mail Online, DailyMailTV will launch Monday, 18 September and has been cleared by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Gray Television, Inc., Cox Television and Nexstar Media Group to run in 96% of the United States.

It is also believed that the show will be available for sale to international broadcasters.

The Mail Online has secured the services of former American Football star, Jess Palmer, to host the show which will be filmed in New York. Palmer has previously worked as a football analyst for ESPN and for ABC News where he was a contributor to Good Morning America.

Speaking to journalists about the show, Palmer said: ‘I’m honored to be joining DailyMailTV. I’ve always been a huge fan of, so to bring the world’s most read English language newspaper website to television for the first time is an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.

‘I love telling stories that engage and excite Americans and to be able to do this five days a week on DailyMailTV is a dream come true.’

In a press release announcing the launch of the show, a spokesperson for the Mail Online said: ‘From exclusive stories to breaking news, showbiz, politics, crime, health and science and technology, DailyMailTV will be must-watch television.

‘Sharing captivating stories from across the United States and around the globe, viewers will become addicted to DailyMailTV, just as they have to’

The Mail Online currently employs 260 staff in the United States and claims to publish some 1,600 articles every day.

Is PR social enough?

Social media has democratized influence and media owners are no longer the keepers of the conversations. Content marketing evangelist Jaime Pham wrote for #FuturePRoof on the need for PR’s involvement in corporate social communications.

Social media’s role in conversations and relationships

Social media is really just a relatively new tool for executing the core competency of great PR teams: building and maintaining relationships with key audiences. What is the one thing that all healthy and sustainable relationships require?


Trust requires consistency over time. Content marketing requires consistency over time. Hence why PR firms were among the prime movers in the rise of content marketing. Today, that continuing rise is being driven on social media: a natural platform for regular communication through content.

Trust also requires transparency. Effective participation in social media demands that companies communicate regularly and honestly. However, there is a flipside: honesty and transparency require vulnerability, and this is where traditional communications organisations often fall short. Communications and PR teams have historically been trained to control the flow of information, where now they must monitor and harness it in order to guide it.

Social media and the opportunity for PR

Encouraging greater transparency is where the real opportunity lies for the PR industry. Tapping that opportunity involves overcoming three barriers to change:

  1. Social media channels have been taken over by marketing teams and ‘influencer agencies’ that have little-to-no connection to what corporate communications and PRs are working on. Closer collaboration is needed in almost every organisation I have worked with.
  2. Social media marketing teams tend to focus on the ‘media’ part of the title, treating it like another megaphone. PR has an opportunity to focus on the ‘social’ part of the channel, unlocking its true value: the ability to make and maintain connections.
  3. PR as an industry has not been quick enough to empower employees and other advocates to participate in the storytelling process. When was the last time your executive team took a look at the company’s social media policy? When was the last time the policy was updated, or circulated within the company?

Building greater collaboration with social media marketing teams is an essential starting point for PR to make the contribution to social that it should. However, the biggest gains can be unlocked when the industry addresses the third point – and starts building momentum for employee advocacy.

People trust people more than logos. The Edelman Trust Barometer report illustrates this beautifully, through the fact that people trust employees at their own level more than they trust CEOs.

Edelmen Trust Barometer


LinkedIn’s audience research also confirms that content coming from peers and colleagues is more influential than content coming from brands.

LinkedIn research

This reflects LinkedIn’s evolution to a content and learning platform, where shared content is an essential currency in conversations and interactions, and over 150,000 articles are published every week. This is the democratization of influence at scale. It should inform how PR engages in the space – and there’s great opportunity when it does.

In January 2017, nearly 25% of the top posts on LinkedIn were about companies and the policies and issues they stand behind. However, less than 10% of the top posts actually came from leaders or employees themselves. These companies were happy to allow others to craft their reputations. They weren’t participating and they weren’t being seen to participate by their audiences.

When leaders are participating, the best of them do so in their own voice. They write their own messages, passing them through communications teams only for a speedy review, and for as little editing as possible. When business leaders communicate directly, it feels forthright and relatable – and earned media often follows.

PR practitioners – help your organisations empower employees to create their own content and share their own stories. Your core competency of building and maintaining relationships is as important as ever. However, you now have a lot more partners to work with on making it happen.


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Norwegian Billionaire Buys Stake in Johnston Press

Christian Ager-Hanssen, the London-based Norwegian billionaire-owner of the Swedish version of the Metro has bought a 5% share in British regional publisher Johnston Press.

Shares in the company, which has been struggling with massive debt repayments, soared by nearly 20% following the news.

Johnston Press must pay off a bond of £220 million, used to fund a significant acquisition of titles in the 1990s, by 2019.

Ager-Hanssen believes he is in a position to help the company with the problem of the bond repayments and has lined up a number of investors who may be able to take on the debt.

Speaking to the press, Ager-Hanssen said: ‘I believe in the company and I think that they will be able to sort out the bond issue and that we can help them do that.

‘I think we need to move quite quickly. This is something that will happen over the next six months.’

Despite owning the Swedish edition of the Metro, Ager-Hanssen does not see any strategic synergies between the two brands. Instead he hopes to increase his investment in the publisher and use it as a springboard to launch new companies in the UK.

Ager-Hanssen said: ‘Where we are focused is actually building audience and we want to invest heavily into UK media. And we will do that. We will increase our stake in Johnston.

‘You can take Johnston’s audience, which is 32m, or 34m, and kick-start new companies like we did in Sweden.’

Johnston Press has welcomed the investment but is also keeping its cards very close to its chest regarding future plans, with a spokesperson for the publisher stating: ‘As a major new shareholder, and with his experience, we of course welcome a conversation with Christen and a meeting has been set up.’

Kirstie Pelling Stuart Pelling

Blogger Spotlight: Kirstie Pelling, The Family Adventure Project

Kirstie Pelling is the Top 10 Family Travel Blogger, who along with husband Stuart, runs The Family Adventure Project. With content advocating being active and outdoors with your family, the blog’s ethos is always the spirit of adventure. Kirstie took some time to tell us about the magic of Iceland, loving cake and working creatively with PRs.

How would you describe your blog?
The Family Adventure Project is a magazine-style site that publishes feature style content about travel, adventure and outdoor activities. The site aims to share ideas, inspiration and practical advice to help people get out, get active, and explore and adventure together, whether for a day out on their doorstep or on a year-long journey around to the other side of the globe.

Why did you start your blog?
We started it because lots of people told us we couldn’t or shouldn’t adventure with kids. We kicked it off with a year biking New Zealand with our two toddlers. We wanted to connect with others who had a different view and to share our own ideas, inspiration and advice to show the amazing things that are possible with kids of all ages and experience.

What makes your blog stand out against other family travel blogs?
We have a clear focus on active and adventurous travel and broad experience travelling independently and on organised trips. We’ve been publishing a long time, over 10 years. We pride ourselves on the quality of our writing, photography and videography and have won multiple awards that recognise this. We are well connected and collaborate with other digital media professionals and collectives to extend reach and influence.

What’s the best place you’ve been as a family?
Iceland made an indelible mark. Everywhere you look magic is happening in or above the ground. And you can’t put it all down to the elves! We spent seven weeks touring the country and taking cycle trips on some of its remote roads. We can confirm that the dream road was dream cycling. We also went white water rafting, glacier hiking and Icelandic horse riding. Icelandic horses are the perfect size for kids.

What’s the worst place you’ve been as a family?
We work hard to embrace anything and everything we encounter! There are no worst places – we often pull together best as a family when we are out of our depth or in challenging terrain or environments. We always figure as long as we have a tent and the kids with us we’ll be fine anywhere.

What makes the ideal family holiday?
Going somewhere new, doing something we’ve not done before, being active and outdoors. We are also pretty fond of cake.

Where haven’t you been that you’re desperate to get to?
Alaska and Greenland. Not necessarily in that order.

How do you like to work with PRs?
We love a collaborative approach. We love to bring our ideas and experience to contribute to campaigns or to shape them in a way which will appeal to our audiences and niche.

What is the one thing PRs should know about you?
You can rely upon us to deliver.

What are your favourite blogs to read?
Alastair Humphreys, Escape Artistes and Inside the Travel Lab.

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

Cold call

Is Cold Call PR Dead?

Most good PR professionals know how to work the phone and email, constantly pitching to journalists and editors and hopefully getting them to buy into whatever they have to say that particular day of the week. But is this style of ‘cold call’ or ‘drive by’ PR actually the most efficient or effective use of your time?

How many sales calls or email pitches do you personally ignore, cut-short, delete without a thought – before ploughing through your contact list blindly pitching in the hope that something sticks?

Here’s a hint. Journalists hate this cold approach to pitching. It is untargeted, untimely and ultimately does more to destroy your reputation than win any new friends for your clients. In some cases, persistent drive by pitching is borderline harassment. If it’s a practice you personally indulge in, you might find yourself wondering why your calls go unanswered and emails are never returned.

Hint: It’s not OK to get stroppy with a journalist because they never return your calls. If they have never really engaged with you before on a professional level – they really owe you nothing and if you continue to ‘spam’ them, your pitches will be treated as such.

So what’s the point of having a contact list if you’re not going to work it?

Well that depends on how you are going to work it.

A decent contact list should be seen as the starting point of conversation that leads to a real relationship – and make no mistake, a good PR relationship needs to be worked on.

Pick-up the phone or send an email – but before you pitch do your research, use Vuelio’s Media Database to check out your target contact’s social media profiles, scan their posts, read their articles and work out what makes them tick. Then when the time is right – contact them to ask a question and learn something new about them.

Compliment them, tell them you’ve enjoyed their work and ask them about what projects they are currently working on and if there is anything you can help them with – it’s amazing how, when you have this information to hand, great things can happen. In the perfect world you’ll have shared a cup of coffee with your contact (even if that coffee is shared on Skype) before you start pitching.

When you build relationships, phone calls get answered, emails get returned and cold call PR suddenly becomes warm call PR.

How have you nurtured your contact lists before going in for the kill and pitching?


Snapchat analyst confused on hot mic

Shares in Snap continue to decline after recently announcing missed targets on growth vs estimates. So, at a time when the company should be cosying up to Wall Street and reassuring investors, the last thing that should happen is your chief bamboozles analysts.   

But that’s exactly what happened when CEO Evan Spiegel was responding a to question from Wall Street analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG who was requesting more details on growth hacking and the platform’s push notification strategy.

The exchange, in which Spiegel suggested Greenfield ‘go for a Google’ in order to get the answers he wanted, left the analyst’s colleague Brandon Ross to exclaim loudly and presumably accidentally, ‘I didn’t even understand his response!’.

Listen to the hot mic action in the video below or the full exchange here.

The transcript is as follows:

Greenfield: So maybe just to be clear: What exactly is the ‘growth hacking’ that others do? If you sending push notifications is not ‘growth hacking,’ what are others doing that you consider to be growth hacking and not real DAU growth?

Spiegel: Yeah, so I think there are plenty of examples online [laughs] if you want to go for a Google. But I think the most important thing for us is that when we’re telling you about content on a service that is really highly relevant to you and from your very close friends. And I think people, as they become more aligned on push notifications to sort of relax the standards there, and I think it’s important for our business.

Greenfield: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question is from Mark Mahaney with RBC …

Brandon Ross, BTIG analyst (loudly on hot mic): I didn’t even understand his response!

At a time when your company’s share price is struggling, investor relations are paramount to enable continued growth and support in order to turn your fortunes around.

Spiegel’s convoluted answers were seen as ‘cocky’ and ‘arrogant’, as the man at the top seems irritated that he has to explain his company and policies to external parties.

In an age of rapid-growth tech start-ups and personality-driven businesses, the role of traditional Wall Street investment may seem archaic to young entrepreneurs that expect to lead the market and have their visions de facto ‘believed in’.

No matter how disruptive you are, Wall Street and financial investment is still at the heart of modern commercial ventures and the sustainability of business in the 21st Century.

Having hundreds of millions of users may be a commodity, but if those who control the purse strings don’t understand how, you’re going nowhere.

Spiegel may sound like he regrets going public with his creation, but if he wants to thrive in the future then he’ll have to play nice for now.

Blogger Spotlight: Elliott Rae,

Elliott Rae is the founder and editor-in-chief of The site covers a range of topics around fathers and their interests, with a small team of writers specializing in different areas. We caught up with Elliott who told us about his fatherhood community, the five things that help balance his work/life and being at ease with PRs.

How would you describe your blog? (MFF) is the UK’s first parenting and lifestyle platform for diverse fathers. It offers them a safe space to explore the roller coaster of parenthood through think-pieces, recommendations, conversations and community. We’ve been called the ‘Mumsnet for dads’ which pretty much describes what we are!

What prompted you to document your life as a father in a blog?
I started MFF when my daughter was three months old, on New Year’s Day in 2016. I had loads of questions about fatherhood and wanted to hear about others’ experiences.

I had all the normal questions that new parents have: ‘How were they managing with the lack of sleep and complete change in their lives?’ ‘How did their relationships with their partners change?’ ‘How did they adapt their working pattern to ensure they had a good work-life balance?’ All these questions were on my mind and while there were platforms out there with this content, none of the articles were written by people like me, for people like me. There was nowhere online that I felt I could read or discuss all the questions I had, so I started MFF to provide that space. Since then, the platform has grown into an established website with several contributors and a team who help me with marketing, strategy and management.

How do you help your readers in their journey as a parent?
We encourage and empower dads to be free to talk and read about things that are important to them; stuff like work-life balance, money management, relationships and, of course, music and football. We share stories from fathers through blogs, review family days out and parenting products via the #MFFrecommends series and host conversations in the community via the weekly #DaddyDebates Twitter chat.

What is a typical day in your life?
On a weekday my alarm goes off at 6.30am although I usually press snooze a couple of times so it ends up being around 6.45am when I actually get up! I then have a quick shower, change and race out the door to be at work for 8.00am.

I’ll do a day’s work (I have a very responsible corporate job) and try and get out of the office at 6pm. If I’m lucky I’ll see my daughter before she goes to bed. I’ll then usually quickly have something to eat, then work on the website for as long as I can before I get too tired! I work compressed hours which means I fit five days into four. So it’s long hours from Monday-Thursday but come Friday it’s daddy-daughter day and we have the whole weekend together as a family. This really works for me and means I can spend quality time with my family.

Fiday and the weekends are usually spent at various baby groups, birthday parties or other activities designed to make sure our daughter is tired enough to sleep come bed time!

How do you manage to balance your blogging career and being a father?
It’s tough! It takes a lot of dedication and I am tired a lot of the time but I love living life to the full which means taking advantage of every minute to do something fulfilling and productive. I’ve actually written a post about this very subject and there are 5 things that I think really help me to balance all my responsibilities.

  1. It’s about having a routine so everyone in the family knows what’s happening and who’s doing what, when. This really helps to plan stuff and makes sure I don’t double book!
  2. It’s all about teamwork! Sometimes my wife will cover for me and I’ll cover for her. It just depends what we have going on but as long as we communicate and support each other there’s always a way.
  3. It’s about being efficient. If I am writing an email or doing pretty much any other work-related activity, it’s about finding the best and quickest way to do it while still maintaining the desired quality.
  4. It’s about changing and evolving. When you have a baby for the first time it’s a massive change in your life and you need to adapt the way you do things. This doesn’t mean life stops, it’s just about doing things differently. Be smart about how you do things and anything is possible.
  5. Lastly, and sadly, I do unfortunately sometimes sacrifice sleep. I try to look after my health in general but there are the days when I get less sleep than I should so I can work on my website. I’m trying to get better!

What did you learn about yourself after becoming a parent?
Oh my gosh, so much. I think the main thing is patience. I think I was pretty patient before but parenthood really tests that and takes you to the brink, especially in the early months. I’ve learned to be self-reflective and think about my behaviour because I now have someone looking up and learning from me. It’s a massive responsibility but the greatest gift. Every time I look at my daughter I am just filled with so much love and amazement. Seeing her grow and learn is the best thing ever.

Elliott Rae and daughterWhat are the main challenges that fathers face?
I’ve got a few! I think discipline is a hard one. It’s tough to know when and how to discipline your child and it’s difficult to find that right balance between being an authoritative figure and a friend. I’m not sure anyone is really sure if they are getting it right but you just have to go with what you think is best for you and your child.

I also think work-life balance is quite difficult. Fathers often feel pressure to provide the best for their family so they work really hard to be able to do that. But that means missing out on being a present dad which can be difficult. I think there are things in place to help change this (like the Shared Parental Leave policy) but it’s difficult. I think those are the two challenges that most fathers will face but no doubt there are many more that are specific to everyone’s personal situation!

How do you like to work with PRs?
I like to work with PRs that really value the platform we have and understand what we are trying to achieve and what we stand for. I am generally flexible as to how we work with PRs but I think the main thing is just to have a nice human relationship with the PR company. Behind the platforms we are all just normal people so I really like it when I can be myself and have a laugh and joke while still being able to have serious conversations about T&Cs, expectations and money.

And how can PRs improve their blogger outreach?
Ermm, good question! I’ll talk about the experiences I‘ve had which have gone well. So where it’s worked is where the PR has taken the time to understand MFF and pitched a product or service that clearly fits with the platform. The approach has been nice and friendly but also succinct and clear about what the overall offer is. I like it when we can then work together to come up with a creative idea and then agree a fee and T&Cs. I think it’s really important with what happens after the campaign is finished too. I like to provide a report on how the campaign went and it’s always good to get feedback from the PR, this way we can both improve how we do things the next time and this usually results in us collaborating again!

What advice would you give to a new dad or dad-to-be?
To embrace it all and dive straight in! It’s so important to bond with your baby from the very beginning so my number one piece of advice is to immerse yourself in the whole experience and be as involved as you can. Even though you’ll be knackered it will be worth it in the long run because the bond you build with your child will see you through all the challenges that come in the months and years ahead.

What is it that helps you to cope when the going gets tough?
I really enjoy blogging and running MFF so I wouldn’t say things get tough in that area, if anything it’s supposed to be the stress reliever! But life can get tough sometimes and so I always make sure I take some time out. Whether that’s watching a movie or going to visit friends and having a drink, just switching off from it all for a while is really important for me.


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

Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed – 11 August 2017

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

1. Netflix buys Millarworld

Netflix on iPad

In its first ever acquisition, streaming behemoth Netflix has acquired Glasgow-based comic-book publisher Millarworld. This opens up the door for Netflix to create a whole host of content around existing characters from Millarworld’s founder Mark Millar. The ex-Marvel man has already had cinematic hits with Kick-Ass, Wanted and Kingsman, and Netflix is keen to expand the heroverse by capitalising on Millarworld’s other characters and new stories yet to be developed.

The acquisition is suspected to be a reaction to our second story from the week:


2. Disney pitches its own streaming service


Nothing says convenient like having to pay for another on-demand streaming service, but Disney is nevertheless moving forward with plans to start its own, as an outlet for all of its content. The news came one day after Netflix announced its acquisition and was seen, therefore, as the motivation. However, Netflix’s original series of Marvel’s The Defenders (and their individual storylines) will remain with them, and then more details emerged which made the future of other Marvel titles and the Star Wars franchise unclear.

Disney is keen to promote a new platform for children’s entertainment and the Disney channels but its subsidiaries’ creations may still be up for grabs.


3. #ILiveItIBlogIt goes live this Sunday


John Sennett is behind the blog John’s Road to Volunteering, and this week he is launching the #ILiveItIBlogIt campaign for bloggers everywhere.

Encouraging the diversity that makes the UK blogosphere so rich and interesting, the campaign is asking for bloggers of all types to take time on Sunday to write about an experience, idea or opinion and share it using the #ILiveItIBlogIt hashtag.

Find out more information about the campaign and how to get involved here.


4. David Cameron snapped in unlikely scenario

A photo of former prime minister David Cameron has been delighting the internet this week as it shows him both smoking and hugging Lucy Edwards who was clad in a Corbyn coat.

The picture spawned a number of August-worthy think pieces, including an exploration into politicians who have struggled to give up smoking and the Guardian’s faux interview which includes the line:  ‘Do say: “David Cameron, absolute lad.”’

Couldn’t have even planned it ? (big Dave C in the house, shame he can’t read)

A post shared by Lucy Edwards (@laeedwards) on

5. August news too much for some

Surfing dogs

August is known as the silly season because the politicians are in recess, schools are out and everyone is on holiday. But it seems that the lighter side of the news has become too much for one BBC News presenter.

Simon McCoy struggled with his enthusiasm as he delivered a surfing dogs story. Watch his full report below:

Blogger Spotlight: Samantha Rickelton, North East Family Fun

Samantha Rickelton is the Top 10 Family Travel Blogger responsible for North East Family Fun. Covering a range of family travel experiences with her three children, Samantha has taken some time to tell us about her lack of WIFI fears, Calella de Palafrugell in Spain and PRs encouraging creativity.

How would you describe your blog?
Our blog features the highs and lows of travelling with three children aged six, eight and 10. We cover everything from days out and wild camping in our local woods to luxury holidays and short breaks.

Why did you start your blog?
As a young parent living in a small flat with no garden, I always made it my mission to plan lots of outdoor adventures for our family. Over time, my friends and family would say I was their go-to person to ask advice for where to take their children for the next day out and mentioned that I should set up my own website. So I did! I Googled ‘how to set up a website’ and my first blog was born. North East Family Fun was established a few years later in 2013 as I decided there was a gap in the market for real and honest reviews of local days out and this has gradually evolved to cover travel experiences around the world as my blog has grown.

What makes your blog stand out against other family travel blogs?
I would like to think it’s my writing style. I have a very conversational style of writing and I think it feels as if I am chatting with friends rather than a reader. I try to weave our life stories into our reviews (for example we visited Swansea Bay recently and I was nearly traumatised as I had no phone signal or WIFI) rather than write straight reviews and think that my readers really relate to my experiences and my honesty.

What’s the best place you’ve been as a family?
The best place we’ve visited in recent years is Calella de Palafrugell in Spain. We are huge foodies and this traditional village is full of Spanish charm and has a harbour lined with superb seafood restaurants. The whole holiday was all about eating delicious food and relaxing as a family. We loved it so much we are heading back next year. Calella de Palafrugell is one of the few places I’ve been able to properly switch off.

What’s the worst place you’ve been as a family?
Oh this is a tricky one! I think I would have to say the seaside town of Bridlington in North Yorkshire. We love Scarborough and visit every year – it’s such a nostalgic place to visit and there is lots to do for families. We made the mistake of venturing a little further and trying Bridlington as an alternative one year but it just wasn’t for us. Perhaps it’s because Bridlington doesn’t hold any memories for us but we found it really tacky and grim and left after around 20 minutes.

What makes the ideal family holiday?
Our number one priority is food – it doesn’t have to be fancy but we are huge fans of eating locally. We always choose somewhere to stay based on local restaurants or food markets. We use our holiday time as a chance to unwind and beautiful locations and scenery certainly help. Finally, as I work as a full-time blogger, I do appreciate access to WIFI so I can check my emails – it doesn’t have to be constant but if I can’t connect after a couple of days, I start to get tetchy!

Where haven’t you been that you’re desperate to get to?
I have a few places on my travel bucket list. I would absolutely love to visit Iceland and relax in a natural hot spring. Everyone who has travelled there tells me it’s unforgettable. I’d also really love to visit Singapore, Japan and Canada at some point.

How do you like to work with PRs?
I always appreciate when a PR is straight from the outset about expectations and it’s helpful to know the aim of the campaign during initial discussions. After this, I really love it when a PR encourages creativity and does not place too many limitations on the type of content I can create. I like to have an email trace between myself and a PR of anything we’ve agreed and it’s super handy to receive a check list to use during campaigns featuring things like hashtags, Social Media handles and the campaign aims all in one place.

What is the one thing PRs should know about you?
We are a family of five with three children aged six, eight and 10. Please take this into consideration before contacting us. There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving an exciting invitation and then realising it is only suitable for a family of four.

What are your favourite blogs to read?
I love watching Katie Ellison’s vlogs. Katie’s editing is superb and she is a real YouTube inspiration to me. In the North East, I never miss a post from Nomipalony. Nyomi’s blog tells it how it is and there is no subject matter that’s off limits. Finally, Sprog on the Tyne is a go-to blog for many parents with smaller children across the North East. Caroline’s photography is of a professional standard and her reviews are always very thorough. I’m really pleased that Caroline has agreed to cover the Just So Festival for North East Family Fun this year and can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

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