Is it time to ban frequent flyer schemes to tackle the climate emergency?

This is a guest post from Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Jenny Jones) a Green Party member of the House of Lords, who has written about her parliamentary question in the House of Lords on ‘Plans to ban or restrict frequent flyer “airmiles” schemes’.

Reducing aviation emissions is one of the big political headaches. People will recycle; catch the train rather than drive; eat less meat and turn the thermostat down a notch, but ask them to stop flying and they don’t want to do it. I haven’t flown for years and have taken a pledge not to fly for the coming year. This meant I had to shelve my plans for a big US road trip. It has not been an easy decision, but given the climate emergency, it seems like the right one.

Given the melting ice caps and record-breaking temperatures around the globe, it is shocking that companies like Virgin are still offering a frequent flyer loyalty scheme that encourages more flights. This has caused the Government’s Committee on Climate Change to recommend that the practice is banned. I will be asking the Minister in the Lords whether they will act on this mildest of reforms.

Instead of giving incentives to fly more often, we should be reducing demand by introducing a frequent flyer tax where we target the rich 15% of the population who take 70% of the flights. Every year people would get an allowance of a single flight and the tax on subsequent flights would increase rapidly the more trips people took. As frequent flyers tend to be the wealthier members of our society, this seems the most egalitarian way of reducing emissions while allowing people to attend those special family events and get togethers that can be so precious.

This would inevitably mean that the Heathrow expansion is cancelled, along with a lot of other airport schemes designed to generate an increased demand for flights. If we are aiming for zero emissions by 2035, then we have to act urgently to curb aviation demand. I know that the Government target is 2050 and that many are still hopeful that the technological solutions of bio-fuels and electric planes can be developed, but we can’t plan on that basis. If the aviation industry is confident it can reduce emissions then get on with it. We can discuss any plans for expansion once they have got the technology working.

Nor can we continue with the illusion that the emissions from planes taking off, or landing, at Heathrow, are not our (UK) emissions. The lack of an international agreement means that greenhouse gases from aviation are not fully counted as part of the Government’s zero emission target. This sleight of hand has got to stop. Climate change could end our entire way of life. We either change rapidly now, or have change forced upon us.

Political Updates 21 October 2019

This week’s Political Updates covers moves and changes at all levels of government. 
UK Government
Melissa Tatton appointed as new Tax Assurance Commissioner (more info).

Pat Richie (Newcastle City Council Chief Executive) appointed as new Chair for Government Property Agency (more info).

Sandie Dawe appointed to the Historic England Board, for four years (more info).

Christober Baker and Stuart Lochhead appointed as Members of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works for Art, for four years (more info)

Antonio Horta-Osorio reappointed as Chair of Wallace Collection (more info)

Stuart Hudson appointed as Senior Director For Strategy, Communications, Nations and Regions at the CMA (more info).

Simon Devonshire OBE appointed as New Chairman for Ploughshare Innovations, the Technology transfer company for Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (more info).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson to chair new committee on Climate Change to drive further action across government to protect the environment (more info).

House of Commons

Ugbana Oyet announced as new Serjeant at Arms (more info).


  House of Lords

Four new members introduced into the House of Lords. Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green (Crossbench), Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated), Baroness Blower (Labour) and Lord Hendy (Labour) (more info).


The Liberal Democrats have announced a new Shadow Cabinet line-up, as follows (more info):

Jo Swinson: Leader
Ed Davey: Chancellor of the Exchequer; Deputy Leader
Chuka Umunna: Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs; International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
Christine Jardine: Home Department; Women and Equalities; Deputy Chief Whip
Tom Brake: Exiting the European Union; Duchy of Lancaster
Phillip Lee: Justice
Jamie Stone: Defence; Scotland
Luciana Berger: Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Sam Gyimah: Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Layla Moran: Education; Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Wera Hobhouse: Climate Emergency, Environment and Food; Transport
Tim Farron: Housing, Communities and Local Government; Work and Pensions; North of England (Northern Powerhouse)
Alistair Carmichael: Chief Whip; Northern Ireland
Jane Dodds: Wales; Rural Affairs
Angela Smith: International Development
Vince Cable: Cabinet Office
Catherine Bearder: European Parliament
Siobhan Benita: London
Willie Rennie: Scottish Parliament
Kirsty Williams: National Assembly for Wales
Caroline Pidgeon: London Assembly
Dick Newby: Leader of the House of Lords
Sal Brinton: President of the Liberal Democrats
Norman Lamb and Sarah Wollaston will attend relevant meetings but do not have formal roles as they chair select committees


Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside has resigned from the Labour Party, she has no plans to join another party (more info).


This week, the European Parliament is in plenary session in Strasbourg (more info).


Vuelio Product Update – October

We are constantly improving Vuelio for our clients, this month we’ve used machine learning to enhance journalist profiles.

Top topics displayed on journalist profiles

Knowing what a journalist has recently written about can help you to decide who is most likely to cover your story.

To enable you to better select media contacts for your campaigns, we’ve added the top 10 topics, names and places journalists have covered so far this year (2019) on their profiles in the Vuelio Media Database.

As an online monitoring provider, we already scan millions of articles from across the web to deliver your media coverage. We’ve used this data to build a machine learning algorithm that can identify if a word/phrase – also known as an ‘entity’ – falls into one of three categories: a name of a person or organisation, a place or a topic. This process is called ‘Named Entity Extraction’. It then collates this information and counts the number of mentions for each word, which is displayed on a contact profile.


We will continue to use this technology to improve how you search for information in Vuelio and it will contribute to other innovations. Watch this space.


Boris Johnson: ‘A very good deal both for the EU and the UK’

A new Brexit deal has been agreed with the European Union only hours before the start of the EU Council meeting in Brussels.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted:

🇪🇺🤝🇬🇧 Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) October 17, 2019

President Juncker added: ‘We now have a newly agreed Protocol that protects peace and stability on the island of Ireland and fully protects our Single Market. I hope that we can now bring this over the line and provide the certainty our citizens and businesses so deserve.’

The new Withdrawal Agreement says in specific relation to Northern Ireland that both sides are:
‘Determined that the application of this Protocol should impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland’

It also underlined ‘the firm commitment to no customs and regulatory checks or controls and related physical infrastructure at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland’.

There is a clear view from the EU that while many key figures in Brussels might regret the UK’s referendum decision in 2016, the time has now come to pass a Withdrawal Agreement and to move forward to the second stage of negotiating the UK’s future partnership with the EU.

In a joint press conference with President Juncker, Boris Johnson said: ‘I do think that this deal represents a very good deal both for the EU and the UK. It represents a reasonable, fair outcome and reflects the large amount of work that’s been undertaken by both sides.’

The PM was also keen to stress that today’s agreement does protect the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Johnson called on his fellow MPs in Westminster to: ‘come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line and to deliver Brexit without any more delay so that we can focus on the priorities of the British people.’

He added that the UK was keen to leave the EU on good terms: ‘We are a quintessential European country. Solid European friends, neighbours and supporters.’

For many, the risk of the EU lowering environmental standards and workers’ rights has been a concern addressed by the ‘Level playing field for open and fair competition’. This is crucial to securing the votes of as many Labour MPs as possible, who will presumably have to vote against their party whip in order to support the deal.

This aspect has been moved from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the non-legally binding political declaration. This might be a major stumbling block to securing the votes of Labour MPs in leave-voting seats, who have expressed a desire to leave the EU with a deal swiftly. Labour’s Seb Dance MEP said moving the level playing field measures is ‘as sure a sign as any, Johnson has no intention of honouring them’.

After days of intense talks, the Conservative Party’s confidence and supply partners, the Democratic Unionist Party, have not actually signed up to this latest deal. Some wonder if they will change their view before Saturday’s crucial votes or if the PM feels he has sufficient MPs on side, not to need the ten DUP votes. Equally will they abstain or vote against the deal? This will have a significant impact on the final result. On 30 March 2019 in Theresa May’s final attempt to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs, only four MPs abstained, as well as the MPs who never take part in votes like the Speaker, his deputies and the seven Sinn Fein MPs.

It is also worth reflecting on where the UK is heading if MPs reject a deal for the fourth time on Saturday. It seems the EU is minded not to offer the UK a further extension so in reality the votes on Saturday will be all the more crucial if voting against the deal will mean MPs are bring a no-deal exit a step closer. Equally MPs have voted for the motion on Saturday to be amendable, so it is expected that there will be another opportunity for MPs to vote on whether or not to have a second EU referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘As it stands we cannot support this deal and we will oppose it in parliament on Saturday’, and there are reports that Labour will whip its MPs to back a second referendum option on Saturday.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has said that the PM is in a ‘desperate situation’ and that this new deal is similar to Theresa May’s Brexit deal but that it is ‘going to be worse for the economy’.

Nigel Farage is not supporting this new deal, he said: ‘It’s just not Brexit. We will never be able to properly break free of the EU if we sign up to this’.

Equally with a Queen’s Speech vote looming next week, which without a majority the Government is likely to lose, it is unclear how close the country could be to a general election campaign starting and whether this deal is actually an attempt to bring about a general election, according to the Guardian’s Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll.

influencer marketing and the law

Influencer marketing and the law

Influencer marketing is an industry worth today some £4.5bn, expected to reach £18.4bn by 2024. It has grown fast, driven by an exponential take up of social media and explosion in online publishing across multiple channels.

From Facebook to Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Medium, we’re in an age where seemingly anyone can be an influencer – whether an 18-year-old producing makeup tutorials in their bedroom or the 98-year-old Iris Apfel who was signed this year to IMG.

Inextricably linked to the rise of the internet and social media, influencer marketing is built on processes and ways of working that are themselves relatively new. We’re at the birth of an industry where influencers, from bloggers and vloggers to podcasters and Instagrammers, and the PRs, brands and marketers collaborating with them are still working out the rules and determining best practice.

To help you understand your responsibilities and how you can comply with the law, Vuelio and the CMA have put together an exclusive guide: Influencer Marketing and the Law, which outlines best practice for influencers, PRs and marketers.

It is full of practical guidance around consumer protection law, terms of contract, social media posts and disclosure tools, and can improve how you approach brand partnerships and help you to achieve best practice.

We’re also indebted to John Adams from Dad Blog UK, the guys at Daddy & Dad, Kate Everall from LesBeMums, Hayley Hall, Elle Linton from Keep it simpElle and Jo Middleton from Slummy Single Mummy, who have each contributed their own experiences of disclosure and compliance.

You can download the white paper here.

PRPays Danske

Are you a trusted adviser?

PR and comms professionals should be trusted advisers to senior management and the board in any organisation. In the CIPR’s latest #PRPays interview, deputy CEO of Danske Bank UK Vicky Davies explains what Northern Ireland’s largest bank looks for from communications.

Davies said: ‘A great PR and comms team is as good at managing your reputation when things don’t go well, as promotion when things do go well’.

Banking is particularly sensitive to the need for good crisis communications when things don’t go well as issues often get noticed immediately. But no comms team is immune to the need for preparation as every business has risk factors.

For Davies, good organisation and having a strategic approach for crisis is one of the three things she looks for in a communications team. The other two are calmness under pressure, and building and nurturing external relationships for the benefit the bank and customers.

The interview for #PRPays, which demonstrates the value of PR to the business community, also covers the importance of PR in the banking industry for branch closures and mergers as well as the essential role it plays for the business.

Jo Swinson Lib Dems

Preparing for Government or a Bournemouth echo chamber?

The Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth offered a warm and sunny start to the party conference season for journalists and public affairs folk. Lobby journalists were even spotted heading down to the beach in swimming shorts, while others took part in the traditional Glee Club sing song, which has to be seen to be believed.

For party activists it was brighter still. The party is in good heart with a general election looming, perhaps now only 12 weeks away. Conference was also attended by a record-breaking number of delegates (3,234) and Lib Dem membership now exceeds 120,000.

Jo Swinson, elected as the party’s first ever female leader in July, is already making a serious impact on UK politics. She declared in her speech: ‘There is no limit to my ambition for our party’ and argued that ‘People across Britain deserve a better choice than an entitled Etonian or a 1970s socialist’.

The recent string of MP defections to the party have largely been positively received. Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith and Philip Lee all attended conference and were welcomed by members and their new parliamentary colleagues alike. The widely trailed big name defection announced by Jo Swinson on Saturday at the conference rally was Sam Gyimah, a former minister, PPS to David Cameron and, in the early stages of the Conservative leadership race, a candidate for the highest office in the land.

The party also welcomed Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds to its House of Commons benches, the first by-election gain from the Conservatives for 19 years, regaining the former Lib Dem seat of Brecon and Radnorshire in August and putting the party on the political map in Wales, having been narrowly wiped off it in 2017.

Conference debates were uncontroversial apart from the main motion on Brexit with the section calling for a Lib Dem majority Government to revoke Article 50 on its first day in office the most unpalatable for some. While the motion passed successfully, several prominent critics, including former MPs Simon Hughes and Andrew George, called it ‘controversial’ and ‘counterproductive and unworkable’. Andrew George is standing in St Ives in Cornwall where he seeks to overturn a Tory majority of 312 votes. He warned that the policy risked a Government run by Dominic Cummings portraying the Lib Dems as ‘undemocratic and illiberal’ and warned from past experience that the Conservatives were ‘past masters at being able to turn things into slogans and throw them back at us’.

None the less, the party is clearly confident that an unequivocal revoke stance in the upcoming election will ensure a substantial number of MPs are elected. As well as former Lib Dem held seats like Cheltenham, Winchester, Yeovil and North Cornwall; the party is eyeing up constituencies it has never held before but where polling points to a strong chance such as: St Albans, Cities of London and Westminster, Wimbledon and Vauxhall. The party is also heavily promoting its London Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita, who is a former civil servant and fought the 2012 Mayoral election as an independent. Together with Jo Swinson and a large number of female candidates in winnable or held seats at the election, this is very different to the party that as recently as 2016 numbered only eight white male MPs.

So, with 18 MPs in the House of Commons, a record 16 MEPs elected to the party in the European elections in June, 50 Liberal Democrat council leaders or co-leaders now running local authorities, the party may be right to be optimistic ahead of the general election. The leadership is presenting Jo Swinson as the party’s candidate for Prime Minister and her conference speech was relatively light on policy announcements, but promised a wellbeing budget, additional spending for youthwork and mental health services. The only question remains, how a substantial number of Lib Dem MPs would seek to work with either larger party if called upon, given a coalition with either of them has effectively been ruled out already. Only time will tell.

Besma Whayeb 2019

Green blog spotlight: Besma Whayeb, Curiously Conscious

Besma Whayeb is the author of Curiously Conscious, a top 10 green blog. A Green Action Ambassador for Defra, Besma covers ethical lifestyle topics so everyone can make kinder choices for the planet.

We caught up with Besma to find out how the conversation around climate change is evolving, her favourite campaigns she’s worked on and the Ethical Influencers platform she set up.

How do you describe what you do?
I tend to introduce myself as an ethical fashion and lifestyle blogger, and depending on who I’m talking to, clarify what that means! At its core, my role is to share kinder ways to live that benefit the reader, the planet and fellow people too.

How important is social media to your blog – are any channels more important than others?
Social media is half of my job – the other half being writing and curating my blog. I use my blog to share my thoughts and content, and social media to communicate that far and wide. It’s the way I connect with my readers and the eco community online.

Climate change is in the news a lot, do you think it’s getting the attention it needs?
It’s great to see climate change being spoken about almost daily now – although I do worry that I find myself an echo-chamber prioritising climate collapse above all else. The attention levels are there, but what we need now is action.

What do you think Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg have done for the conversation?
XR and Greta Thunberg have elevated and changed the conversation around climate collapse – they’ve made it a priority, through very different ways, and with very different audiences. To see groups of non-violent protestors and masses of school children take to the streets to voice the need to prioritise the environment above all else shows it really does affect everyone, and we all need to be supporting the movement.

Who is ultimately responsible to make change?
We all are, but I do worry that we as individuals are being made to feel responsible about everything. Eco perfectionism is not possible right now, when we need systemic change. Business and politics need to lead the change.

What are the most important steps people can take at an individual level to be more green?
Assess what you can do in your life to make a positive impact, and turn those changes into habits. At the same time, share what you’re doing with friends, family, or even through a blog of your own. Speak to your local politician, and contact brands when you’re unhappy with their products or practices.

What advice would you give PRs and comms?
I’ve been writing my blog for five years now, and while there is less in the way of ethical and eco influencer campaigns, I’ve certainly enjoyed working on many of them – from boutique ethical brands through to giant homeware stores. My best recommendation is to ensure two things are clear with any campaign: the positive impact and the compensation for working with you. Just because a campaign is doing something positive, doesn’t mean I can afford to work for free.

What are the best campaigns you’ve collaborated on?
This past year, I’ve enjoyed working with IKEA on their Live LAGOM campaign – lagom means ‘just enough’ in Swedish, so each month I tried a new challenge to reduce my own impact (be it electricity bills, heating, or growing my own herbs) with varying success! It was a fun one to be part of.

I also recently went paddle-boarding and litter picking with REN Skincare and Plastic Patrol, which was so much fun, and made for a really great awareness campaign.

And for Fairtrade Fortnight, I created a piece all about Fairtrade fashion featuring samples from People Tree. It was something I’d been wanting to explore for a while, and I felt like it was totally fitting for a brand that does so much in the ethical fashion space.

What other blogs do you read?
So many blogs. I compiled a list of 100 ethical blogs I love a while ago, and have since set up the Ethical Influencers platform, to support and showcase similar content creators.

Carl Thompson 2019

Men’s fashion spotlight: Carl Thompson

Carl Thompson is the man behind the top 10 eponymous men’s fashion blog. Also the founder of menswear label Hawkins and Shepherd, Carl covers everything from fashion and style to grooming and lifestyle.

In this spotlight, Carl tells us about being in the Top 10 Men’s lifestyle Blogs, the future of blogging, his favourite outfit and how he likes to work with PRs and brands.

What does it mean for you to be ranked in the top 10 men’s lifestyle blogs?
When I first started writing the blog I was really only documenting my personal style journey. Blogging was a thing but not the beast it is today. In a way it’s come full circle. I know bloggers that would just rather be Instagrammers now and not bother with the writing part. For me, I love it. It’s a way of processing the information and digesting it. If I can write about it then I can learn easier, research better. Being recognised by Vuelio is just the icing on the cake. It encourages me to keep going.

How much of a community is there around men’s lifestyle bloggers?
There is a real sense of community now. Earlier in the year there was a bit of a backlash against bloggers and influencers in general. I think we’re an easy target in many respects. We’re putting ourselves out there every day on social media. We’re offering social commentary and we’re not immune to criticism. So when the community comes under attack, it galvanises us. That’s why you’re seeing a lot of people actively promoting mental health awareness. It’s more important now than ever because our problems are no longer how do we outrun the sabre tooth tiger back to the cave, it’s how do we deal with passive/aggressive or just out right negativity on social media.

Did we miss anyone?
I think that’s a healthy list. I think Ben Heath from Twenty First Century Gent has an awesome blog. I’m all about the imagery as well as the content and I think Ben’s site is just beautiful. For up and comers you might want to keep an eye on Darren Branch who is making waves and Pete Brooker who has just launched From Tailors With Love, a blog that looks at style through the eyes of James Bond.

What’s the best thing about being a professional blogger?
The best thing for me is the opportunity to learn more about the industry I love. It opens a lot of doors. I interviewed a French Poker Star in Barcelona who barely spoke English. But I learnt about his journey, surviving a car wreck, becoming a father and going on to be mega star. It’s great.

What’s does the future of blogging look like?
Video. I will still write blogs because it’s a process for me. It’s something I can’t stop doing. But I truly believe we’re living in a more visual environment. If you want to learn something you’ll watch it on YouTube.

So for blogging, maybe it will become less informational and more story telling. More personal. But this is just conjecture.

What’s the best collaboration you’ve worked on with an agency or brand?
I’ve just recorded a commercial for Andrex where I got to spend a day surrounded by Andrex Puppies. That was like a day out for me. Loved it. Most of the car reviews are the best because you get to travel and drive amazing feats of engineering. Driving in London is joyless, so I always look forward to the car ones.

What advice would you give PRs looking to get in touch?
Take a look at my Instagram page first. I get some crazy offers from whacky clothing companies (which is fine) but I can’t help but think they’re wasting their own time. I don’t wear novelty suits. One PR company sent me a present for Charlie (my dog) before they even got in touch with me. That certainly got my attention.

How important are social media channels to your work, will they ever replace the blog?
They won’t replace my blog but I can tell you some bloggers I know are thinking of hanging up the typewriter. I’d be wary of doing that. Hanging all your hopes on one channel, be it Instagram, YouTube etc, erodes your autonomy. If that platform goes down or changes the rules of the game, your livelihood could be directly affected. Just look at what’s happening right now with the Instagram algorithm.

What’s your favourite outfit?
My favourite go-to outfit will always be one that features my Hawkins & Shepherd cashmere camel coat. It looks great even over a denim shirt. If I were a chef this would be my signature dish. If I were a footballer this would be my 30-yard worldy. (You get the idea).

I also love this outfit for every day client meetings. The blue flannel double breasted suit is from Suit Supply about four years ago. It’s just lasted so well. I keep waiting for something to fall off or come apart, but it’s stayed the course brilliantly.

What other blogs do you read?
First thing in the morning I always like to read a couple of blogs over coffee. The ones I’ve already mentioned. Mr Porter pumps out consistently good content. As does The Rake of course. I get a lot from Instagram, which might point me to various blogs. Then I often watch some style Vlogs and finally shop around some faithful e-commerce stores to see what’s on sale. Yes Reiss. Yes Zara. Yes Marks & Spencer.

Think’s Jackie Scully on Influence, her marathon wedding and five inspirational challenges

Jackie Scully is the deputy managing director of Think, the membership publishing agency behind CIPR’s Influence magazine. Known for pushing boundaries, Influence has won a heap of industry awards and is often recognised for its cutting-edge approach to the medium of print.

Jackie is not only known for being a driving force professionally at Think but also using that infectious energy to push personal boundaries, defeating cancer and achieving incredible feats of endurance at the same time.

We spoke to Jackie about her work with Influence as well as her extraordinary personal story and using her platform to raise money for charities, including her five challenges to mark five years clear of cancer.

Anyone wishing to donate to Jackie can do so here.

How does Influence fit in with your other magazines, and how does it stand out?
Influence is unlike any other magazine I’ve ever worked on. This is a membership magazine that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries – to the point that even editorial planning meetings are challenging. This is a magazine that swears and puts a picture of marijuana on the cover (I drew the line at scratch and sniff for obvious reasons), manipulates its magazine tagline (a sacred constant) to get its point across, gave column inches to (whisper it) Katie Hopkins and is the proud owner of its very own signature theme tune (linked to a piece around the power of sonic branding). I have genuinely lost more sleep over this magazine than any other project (for all the right reasons). But, when you take risks, you reap the rewards (in terms of reader engagement and awards). You should see the awards shelf!

What’s the importance of Influence to the PR industry?
Influence is a daring, intelligent and playful magazine with a serious point (or points) to make. PR professionals need new skills to futureproof themselves, for example, so we don’t just talk about the future, we actually roll up our sleeves and test it out (the world’s first-ever video cover for a membership magazine is a good example of this). More importantly, after working hard in the early years to establish the brand, we are now in a position to open doors few can – and tell brilliant stories that give the industry profile.

Who did George Osborne speak to for his first interview as editor of the Evening Standard? Influence (and it got a mention on the Today programme). Who was allowed to do a photo shoot with a Barbie and a mini magazine, getting behind the scenes at a famously-secretive company in the process? Influence. This credibility meant that when we launched a mental health campaign this year (in light of statistics revealing a growing concern in this area for PR professionals), included a blank spread in the magazine, a near-blank cover and encouraged people to take ten minutes out of their day to join our #influencetakesten initiative, we had a reach of more than 1.3m.

What’s your role with the magazine?
The buck ultimately stops with me as publisher of the title, which means that when an illustration about rebranding Saudi Arabia hits my desk, for example, I don’t just think ‘that’s bright and colourful’, I think ‘lose the weapons’. With a magazine that makes a point of going further than everyone else, I do have to spend a lot of time holding my nerve – while also organising and pushing the team, managing deadlines, budgets and paper orders and ensuring revenue targets are hit, all while  thinking strategically about the future. The best part of my role is challenging the team to think bigger in every planning session. It has led to some really creative thinking and I am proud to play a small part in making that possible.

You’re an incredibly inspirational person, if you don’t mind me saying. Can you tell us about your wedding?
Well, I am not sure about that, but thank you for saying so. I guess, the way I see it, any inspiration I provide is purely accidental. My wedding (in my head) was supposed to be an edible affair (think edible invites, centrepieces, favours etc) to support the fact there is a lot of baking in our house. But, after waiting 13 years for a proposal and then getting diagnosed with breast cancer just three weeks later (at the age of 32), everything changed. I started running through treatment (with a hip full of metal following completely-unrelated surgery in my 20s) to prove to my body I was done with it throwing major health obstacles in my path. I ended up doing my first-ever 10k for charity just a week before my last chemo.

So, when my treatment finished and my boyfriend hinted at the wedding plans, I said there was only one way to do it – and that involved running and fundraising. So, on 23 April 2017, my husband and I became the first couple in the world to get married on the Cutty Sark before the London Marathon, run the marathon and then trek the Great Wall of China for honeymoon. It was an incredible moment in our lives (David Seaman’s wife Frankie – of Dancing on Ice fame – even made my wedding dress).

And now you’re doing five challenges, and are already on number five?
Yep, to celebrate being five years clear of cancer, I decided not to go down the pub, but instead attempt five massive endurance events to try and raise £5k for five amazing charities (all the fives!) that supported me through treatment and are doing amazing things every day for those facing serious illness. So far, I’ve walked 66 miles round the Isle of Wight (it took 28 hours and was brutal), completed a 70.3 ironman in 8hrs 50m, climbed Ben Nevis and ran a 34-mile ultramarathon up and down the cliffs of the south coast. Now all that stands between me and that ultimate finish line is a 137-mile Coast to Coast cycle across the UK.

I am so grateful (and proud) that my body is still in one piece with just one challenge to go. It has been tough. I think I might even be the first woman in the world to have run an ultramarathon with my rather colourful health history. How cool is that? (or maybe stupid depending on your appetite for long-distance anything).

What’s going through your mind when you’re doing these incredible endurance events?
When it gets really tough, I remind myself of those who are less fortunate. I have lost so many friends to cancer (under 40). I know people who struggle to walk up the stairs (and having had to learn to walk again in my 20s, I know how demoralising that can be). I know that pushing myself and moving forward helps other people move forward. So, I just keep going. I also try not to think about the distance or the time (thanks to the guy on the microphone at one event, who pointed out loudly that in finishing a 21k stage walking, we only had another 85k to go)! And, most importantly, I think about all the food I can eat at the end without even the smallest hint of guilt.

How important do you think it is for other people to see what you’ve achieved?
What makes me smile so much is thinking that by pursuing my own edges (and I haven’t found them yet, yay), I have, in some small way, motivated other people to do the same – whether that’s a couch to 5k or doing their first-ever running race. I have seen what exercise can do to change the course of a day and it feels amazing to think that I have helped other people carve out time and space for themselves. While gifting our wedding to charity was a wonderful experience, it was the hope we offered to those struggling with illness and mobility that meant the most. One woman, who heard the story and saw me running, decided to get out of a wheelchair and walk for the first time in a year. Her daughter wrote to me the day after the marathon and said that I’d given her a hope she couldn’t find for herself. I’ll never forget her words.

What’s it like to be recognised by the industry for the person you are, alongside the work you do, for example receiving the PPA’s Unsung Hero award and being named a Champion of Kindness?
It feels absolutely awesome. I am the same person whether I am at the top of a mountain, mentoring a young person in the industry or leading a meeting. Someone recently said to me that being in a meeting with me was like being hooked up to the mains electricity (I think that’s a good thing). I put energy into everything and everyone and that’s what keeps me going.

I have learned the hard way that if you rush through life just trying to take on the world of work – expecting others to want and do the same – you forget to live. It is only when you put effort into your life as well as your work (rather than simply being a workaholic) that you can taste genuine success.

What messages do you give other people who look up to you?
My favourite mantra is ‘say yes unless you really really really really should say no’. Do something that scares you (you will remember the brave decisions not the safe ones). Embrace change (life won’t go according to plan and that’s ok). Don’t be afraid of searching for your edges (and helping others to do the same). Back yourself (believe you can and you will). Choose kindness (both for yourself and for others for when the currency is kindness we are all millionaires). And, when you are having a bad day, look up! It is only by turning your face to the sky that you can see a way through life’s clouds.

If you could leave us with one message today, what would it be?
Write your own definition of success. Not the one society has written for you (big career, big house, family, etc). I am my imperfections, a product of the things in life I would never have chosen. I am grateful every day for that fact. And (if I am allowed two), make your life mean something. When I was in hospital after life-saving surgery, a nurse stopped me and said ‘Jackie, are you doing something every day you’d be proud to put on your gravestone?’ The answer, of course, was no. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to change what will one day be written there. No longer the Jackie who just worked too hard. My wish is that when I do leave this world (my consultant thinks I’ll make the age of 92 so I’ve got a fair way to go) I am remembered as the woman who gave people hope, made them believe anything was possible and gave them a reason to smile. I hope the same for you.

It’s never too late to make what you do matter.


Political Updates 17 September 2019

This week’s Political Updates covers moves and changes at all levels of government. 
UK Government
Stephen Hickey has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, taking over from Jon Wilks.

Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey have been appointed interim joint Chief Social Worker for Adults.

Rehman Chishti will replace Lord Ahmad as Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief.

UK Export Finance has appointed Diego Folino as Country Head at the British Embassy in Mexico.

House of Commons

MP for East Surrey Sam Gyimah has joined the Liberal Democrats. Gyimah was sitting as an Independent after having the Conservative whip removed for voting against the Government.

Catherine McKinnell has been appointed as interim Treasury Committee Chair after the election for Chair was postponed until the House returns.

House of Lords
Conservative peerages are to be given to Byron Davies, David Brownlow, Elizabeth Sanderson, Gavin Barwell, Joanna Penn, Raminder Ranger, Stephen Parkinson and Zameer Choudrey.

Labour peerages are to be conferred on Christine Blower, Debbie Wilcox and John Hendy.

Natalie Bennett is to be awarded a Green Party peerage.

Crossbench peerages are to be given to Harold Carter, Heather Hallett, Kim Darroch, Ruth Hunt and Simon Woolley.

Non-affiliated peerages are to be conferred on John Mann and Margaret Ritchie.

The Duke of Wellington (formerly Conservative) is now sitting as non-affiliated.

The Earl of Oxford and Asquith (formerly Liberal Democrat) is now sitting as non-affiliated.

The Earl of Selborne (previously Conservative) is now sitting as non-affiliated.


Scottish Parliament
Jamie Greene has left the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, and Donald Cameron and Mike Rumbles have been appointed as members.

Jeremy Balfour has been appointed to replace Alison Harris as a member of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee.

Alison Harris, Johann Lamont and Oliver Mundell have left the Education and Skills Committee. Beatrice Wishart and Daniel Johnson have been appointed as members.

Rachael Hamilton has been appointed to replace John Scott as a member of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

Alex Rowley will replace James Kelly as a member of the Finance and Constitution Committee.

James Kelly will replace Daniel Johnson as a member of the Justice Committee.

Sarah Boyack will replace Alex Rowley on the Local Government and Communities Committee.

Maurice Corry has been appointed to replace Rachael Hamilton as a member of the Public Petitions Committee.

Ruth Davidson was elected to replace Jackson Carlaw as a member Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

Neil Findlay will replace Elaine Smith as a member of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

Sophie Robinson Feature

Interior Design Spotlight: Sophie Robinson

Sophie Robinson has over 20 years’ experience in the industry and her eponymous blog recently ranked in the Top 10 Interior Design Blogs. A familiar face to fans of BBC interior design programmes, Sophie uses her blog to showcase her colourful renovation of her dream home and also co-hosts a podcast with fellow Top 10 blogger, Kate Watson-Smyth.

We spoke to Sophie about her bold style, the rise of Instagram in the blogging community and her favourite campaigns (spoilers: it’s all about the colour!).

How do you describe what you do to other people?
Gosh it’s not straightforward. First up I’m an interior designer. But not what you might expect. I don’t do up rich people’s houses! With my background in magazines, I work within the media designing rooms for photo shoots, TV shows, events and exhibitions. I share my interior design knowledge through my blog, Instagram account and the online courses and workshops that I run. I’m a recognised colour expert and passionate about helping people have vibrant and authentic homes.

How much of a community is there around interiors bloggers?
The community is huge and spills over to social media too. I have always loved working in interior design as the people are just lovely and I’ve always found everyone very supportive. The blogging community in particular have done a great job of democratising what was once a very snooty industry.

What’s the best thing about being a professional blogger?
Having worked on magazines and for brands for the past fifteen years, what I relish about blogging is I’m in control of my own content. I can choose to talk about and share what I love and it’s allowed me to really follow and deepen my passion for colourful interiors.

What does the future of blogging look like?
I think Instagram has taken a lot of traffic away from blogs in the past couple of years so blogging needs to evolve with the changes. For me, Instagram is easy to dip in and out of and it’s a fast way to learn what people are up to. However, in terms of interior design, sometimes you want a deep dive into a topic and blog post allows you to do that. My website is also not just a blog but a hub that brings together everything I offer, with the regular blog posts the beating heart at the centre of it all.

How do you describe your style?
Bold, colourful, happy.

What’s your favourite room in the house?
My hallway! Odd choice but I’ve gone to town painting it my favourite Lazuli blue. It’s the first thing when I walk through the door and I walk through it throughout the day as I work from home. The hallway connects all the spaces in your home so it deserves some love.

How long do you leave a redesign before wanting to do it again?
OMG it’s the opposite for me. I just want to get rooms finished. I have a builder for a husband and getting any projects finished in our own home just takes forever!

What’s the best collaboration you’ve worked on with an agency or brand?
The best collaborations that work for me are ones that really play into my strengths. I designed a House of Colour in my own signature style for furniture brand DFS, which included designing a room, hosting a live panel debate and holding one of my colour workshops for customers. I also loved doing a media campaign all about the psychology of colour for Habitat. It’s such a fascinating topic and I love how with a little knowledge of this framework people can really get empowered about how they want the home to feel. We did a photoshoot, video content, shop floor installation, as well as hosting press evenings and customer workshops.

What advice would you give PRs looking to get in touch?
Be really clear on your campaign objectives and pick a blogger who is inline with those brand ideals. I’ll never forget a PR asking if I’d like to be the face of a new trendy kitchen range they were launching. I said, ‘Sure send me over the images of the kitchen’. Well, it was grey. I thought… don’t you know who I am!

What other blogs do you read?
My podcast co-host Mad About The House of course! Kate would never talk to me again if I didn’t! To be fair I’ve read all the blogs in the Vuelio top ten. All very good indeed! As a new entry to this list I’m happy to be in such great company!

Clarity in Confusion – Navigating Party Conference Season

Politics is changing by the second, making it harder to keep up with the issues that affect you and your clients.

We have three panelists to guide us through this confusion: Katie Roscoe, Head of UK Public Affairs – Helicopters and Civil at Airbus; James Baker, PR and Public Affairs Associate at Brunswick, who advised Boris Johnson on his successful leadership campaign; and Alexander Tiley, former Press and Comms Officer to a Labour MEP and now working in public affairs.

Our guests discuss how to navigate the current political climate, what you should be prioritising and the importance of the Party Conference Season for your engagement.


MPs believe social media has a negative impact on politics

Research commissioned by Vuelio, the political and media software provider, has found that MPs believe social media has a negative impact on politics, with four in five (81%) of the 137 MPs surveyed believing public attitudes towards politicians have been changed for the worse as a result of social media. The research is released at a time of heightened speculation regarding an early general election. It is important to recognise the central role that social media is likely to play in any subsequent campaign, as a crucial communication tool for all of the main parties.

According to MPs, there are specific ways in which social media has damaged public engagement. Over three quarters (79%) believe social media has made it difficult for the public to source information from trustworthy sources and 78% believe it leads to people being overloaded with information. This impacts policy making, with two in five (42%) MPs believing social media has changed the policy making process for the worse, and a third (36%) believe it has changed public understanding of policy for the worse.


While MPs believe, on balance, that social media has had negative impact on politics, they do recognise some positives. Almost half (47%) of MPs say it has improved the transparency of politics and around two in five (44%) say it has improved engagement between politicians and the public.

Commenting on the research, Joanna Arnold, CEO of Vuelio said: ‘Social media has ushered in a new era of political immediacy that is reshaping how politicians engage with the public. While recognising that social media has improved transparency, four in five MPs believe it has changed public attitudes towards politicians for the worse. The depth of concern that MPs have is a timely reminder of the risks of social media as well as the potential it has to transform political engagement.’

Max McEwan, Senior Consultant at ComRes said: ‘While politicians clearly have misgivings about the impact of social media on the political process, they are increasingly reliant on these new tools of communication. This is particularly true for MPs in marginal constituencies, for whom the research shows that social media is the most important channel when engaging with potential voters. We therefore stand poised to enter an election that could be decided based, in part, via a communication channel that MPs consider to have damaged the political process.’

Rachael Clamp Chart.PR, MCIPR, Chair of CIPR Public Affairs said: ‘This is fascinating research. A challenge for politicians and a pause for thought for anyone who wants to engage with them.

‘Social media has broken down barriers and removed some of the mystery surrounding the nature of our ‘them’ and ‘us’ politics. But the role of an MP has also become ambiguous. What some MPs say has driven engagement with constituents hasn’t resulted in better debate and is eroding traditional media channels. MPs are also making a distinction between how they engage with the public and how they engage with lobbyists, which is part of ethical lobbying practice.’

While MPs consider on balance that social media has had negative impact on politics, they recognise that it is around twice as important as securing editorial coverage in communicating with constituents (64% vs. 35%). Social media is considered only marginally less important as having face to face meetings with constituents (64% vs 70%). The importance of social media for constituent engagement increases among younger MPs with three quarters (74%) of MPs born since 1970 saying social media is an important communication channel for engaging with constituents compared to half (49%) of those born in the middle decade of the last century (1950-1959).

Labour MPs are most likely to consider social media as important to engagement compared with Conservative MPs (75% vs 57%). When it comes to reaching stakeholders working in policy or the media, MPs consider activities in parliament, such as parliamentary debates and APPG sessions as significantly more important (60%) opposed to less than half that figure (25%) choosing social media.

This research was commissioned by Vuelio to understand the changing relationship between MPs, the press, editorial and social media. ComRes surveyed 137 MPs (51 Conservative, 67 Labour, nine SNP and 10 others) using a combination of paper and online surveys. The survey was conducted between 11 June and 12 August 2019. Data have been weighted by party and region to be representative of the House of Commons.

John Roberston

Men’s Lifestyle spotlight: John Robertson, The Everyday Man

John Robertson created The Everyday Man in 2012 and it’s now one of the top men’s lifestyle blogs in the UK. Covering everything from art and culture to fashion and grooming, John has built a loyal audience with his honest and insightful advice for the modern man.

We caught up with John to find out what it means to be recognized as one of the top 10 men’s lifestyle blogs, the future of blogging and social media, and one of his favourite collaborations.

What does it mean for you to be ranked in the top 10 men’s lifestyle blogs?
It’s a really nice feeling to be recognised for something that you love doing.  When I started The Everyday Man, it was my hobby so for it to have grown over the past eight years into what it is now is something that I still find had to believe.

How much of a community is there around men’s lifestyle bloggers?
I think the community is split into different groups dependent on niche and location. There are a few others who I’ve kept in touch with for a very long time and whom I enjoy chatting about projects and ideas with. This can be a quite a solitary job so it’s nice to have others in the same boat you can chat with.

Did we miss anyone?
There’s loads of guys out there doing great stuff but I think you definitely covered all of my favourites.

What’s the best thing about being a professional blogger?
It’s all pretty cool. I guess getting to test and trial products before they hit the market is very cool. I also love to travel and have been very fortunate to get the chance to head off to some rather cool places on work trips.

What’s does the future of blogging look like?
Who knows? I hope that we’ll start moving away from individual influencer social media style blogs and more into magazine format again as I’ve always preferred those.

What’s the best collaboration you’ve worked on with an agency or brand?
There are so many that it is hard to choose. Though I took part in a road trip with Mercedes last year over in Texas and that was a sure highlight. I got to drive an awesome car through some unbelievable landscape; it was extraordinary and I really loved the content that I gathered too.

What advice would you give PRs looking to get in touch?
Email is always best for me. It helped to be clear of your expectations and wishes from any partnership off the bat too. I hate the ping pong back and forth and I hate contact over social media (Instagram DM) even more.

How important are social media channels to your work, will they ever replace the blog?
For me the blog has always been and will always be my primary channel. Social is great too but I love having the space to really tell a story properly and find that easier on the blog itself.

What’s your favourite outfit?
My style is super classic (maybe boring to some). You’ll normally find me in black jeans or chinos, and a white or black t-shirt. I recently picked up a new jacket from Belstaff as part of a collab though and I love it.

What other blogs do you read?
I love Hypebeast as I’m big into my sneakers and they always have the news on the latest drops.

Pulsar Access Intelligence

Access Intelligence acquires Pulsar to accelerate social media capability

Access Intelligence, the parent company of Vuelio, has acquired Pulsar, the leading insights and social listening company.

Pulsar uses AI to analyse conversational and behavioural social media data to help brands understand their audiences and create impactful content.

It will join the Access Intelligence portfolio of products that enable businesses to understand, target and engage key opinion leaders according to their brand, product or industry. This includes Vuelio, the platform that helps organisations make their stories matter, and ResponseSource, a network connecting journalists and influencers to the resources they need, fast.

The deal will drive improvements in our capabilities, notably in trend forecasting, social listening, audience segmentation and evaluation including campaign attribution. The combined customer base will now include more than 3,500 global brands, as well as over 200 employees across London and the US.

Joanna Arnold, CEO of Access Intelligence said: ‘Pulsar is the best enterprise social intelligence platform in the market and a great addition to the Access Intelligence Group. This acquisition will enable us to keep our clients ahead in a world where influence shifts in real-time across multiple channels.’

Joining Access Intelligence will allow Pulsar to create a proposition directly connecting insight generation to marketing strategy and activation, while unlocking opportunities to reach new audiences.

Francesco D’orazio, CEO of Pulsar said: ‘Access Intelligence is an ideal new home for Pulsar, and their focus on SaaS makes them a great strategic partner to scale the business and expand our footprint in the PR and communications industry’.

The deal took the form of stock-swap between Access Intelligence and Cello Health, Pulsar’s previous owner. Cello Health will be retaining an interest in Pulsar through Consideration Shares.

7 essential parts of an online newsroom

The job of your online newsroom is to become the go-to resource for journalists and other influencers who want the latest updates and information on your organisation.

That means your newsroom is the first thing journalists see when they interact with your organisation and making a great impression is crucial. To help you set the standard, here are seven things your newsroom must include.

1. Press Releases
Perhaps the most obvious, but it allows you to post all your company news in one place. Your news doesn’t just cover latest announcements but also background details, facts and quotes.

2. Media library
Journalists and bloggers need easy access to high quality images and videos to support their articles. Making this easy will save you both a lot of time.

3. Contacts
List as many members of the PR team as possible including phone numbers and email addresses. The easier it is for a journalist to reach the right person to get the information they need, the better your relationship with them will be.

4. Social media profiles
Including your social media feeds ensures any breaking news and current conversation is visible in your newsroom. Embed or link to your organisation’s twitter account.

5. Company information
Include a section or link to your company about page. Make sure it has an overview of the company, the work you do and your key people.

6. Search
Over time your content builds up into a valuable library of information. You can allow journalists to quickly pick out historical facts, figures and dates for their articles with an easy to use search tool.

7. Analytics
Knowing how successful your posts are can ensure you know what style of release or content is reaching the most people at what times and in which locations. Add your Google Analytics tracking to your newsroom to see where visitors have come from.

If your stats are lower than expected don’t be disheartened. The more important thing is that your story resonates with your intended audience through the coverage gained with journalists and influencers.

By making it as easy as possible for the media to source news, facts, quotes, background and high-res images you’re removing obstacles to getting your brand coverage.

Ready to make a great impression? Easily publish press releases, images and collateral of all kinds to an optimised, customised and integrated Vuelio Online Newsroom.

PRCA Legal Group’s Meet the Legal Editors

What journalists want from PRs

What makes a good story to pitch to legal journalists? It’s not as straightforward as you might think, according to the panel at the PRCA Legal Group’s Meet the Legal Editors event.

Legal Group Chair Gus Sellitto of Byfield Consultancy led a discussion with Rose Walker, news editor at Legal Week; freelance journalist and former barrister Catherine Baksi; Eduardo Reyes, features editor at the Law Society Gazette; and James Booth, a reporter at City A.M. covering legal and insurance topics.

No matter what industry you’re working in, the panel’s advice can be used by PRs to shape their pitch and build meaningful media relationships.  

Like any other area of PR, know your audience and understand what they want 
Catherine Baksi said that as a freelance journalist she needs to know the publication thoroughly in order to sell a story and PR professionals need to do the same – read several issues, know the audience inside out, and be certain that the story you pitch is what you would expect to read in that publication. When she’s writing for the national press, she’s looking for a wider consumer angle or impact.  

James Booth also said his readers aren’t focused on legal intricacies. They’re in a hurry and have little specialist knowledge or interest in law firms so they want to hear about City scandals, pay-outs and financial angles, or huge court cases and appeals rather than corporate news. However, both Rose Walker and Eduardo Reyes had recently turned down stories around divorce law as their readers focus on corporate law, or are already clued up on family law. 

What makes a good story for the legal press? 
Scandals; ‘firsts’ like a ruling, case or failure that has happened for the first time; and exclusives, particularly if it offers novelty or controversy. Your story needs to be fresh and not something that’s ’months old’ or has been used recently, even in another publication – again this is where being familiar with the outlet you’re targeting will help. (Eduardo Reyes said if you can get a picture of dog in the story, that will help…).  

The difficulty with good quotes 
James Booth said that he will often turn to a reliable source he can trust to offer quotes that are colourful, challenging or entertaining as well as accurate – and that this is easier said than done. Eduardo Reyes reminded PRs to brief their law firm clients that while accuracy is crucial, media quotes don’t need as much precision as when offering legal advice. Catherine Baksi also asked for novel, interesting and succinct quotes in plain language, from spokespeople confident about speaking to the media. Both Baksi and Reyes warned against asking to check quotes or headlines – both time and ethics mean this is impossible. Another tip was to remind clients to sound ‘more like a person than a lawyer’ and avoid starting quotes with bland clichés like “I’m delighted…”.  

One audience member said that it can be difficult to get a client to accept their PR expertise to make a quote interesting and not just accurate. The panel suggested asking further questions can help to get an interviewee to say something in a different way and result in a quote that’s more punchy, non-generic and easy to digest – and ultimately one that’s more headline-worthy. Going back to your client and saying confidently ’this is what the journalist says they need’ can help.  

What does ’exclusive’ mean to a journalist and when can you offer an exclusive to another journalist? 
This is all about honesty and clarity. The panel agreed that an exclusive doesn’t come with qualifiers – it means it’s something that’s not been covered before, in any sector or outlet, and you’re sharing it with that journalist or publication alone. However, you can give a clear deadline so that if they aren’t interested or can’t use it, you can offer it to another outlet. If you offer an exclusive to a journalist and they accept, you should commit to that or it can damage your relationship with that outlet or journalist in the future. 

This also applies to your own company or client blog. The panel again agreed that you should offer news first to journalists, who don’t have time to monitor individual websites. If a journalist picks up your story (including appointments, reports, or opinion pieces) you’ll reach a wider audience than if you post it on your company blog or website first. 

The mechanics of pitching 
Give plenty of thought to your email subject line – this helps a journalist decide quickly on whether they want to use your story (or find out more). This should contain the sexiest bit and the first line should sum up the story. Catherine Baksi said it’s important for there to be contacts available to answer further questions after you send out a story. If you’re offering a range of spokespeople on a topic, partners can be more confident and quotable than associates who may lack confidence, but fresh and diverse voices are also good for journalists.  

Building a relationship with journalists 
All the panel agreed journalists are increasingly short of time, especially with the ’24-hour deadlines’ culture of online content. Email overload is still a problem and at the same time they’re monitoring social media for trends and stories and facing more scrutiny. However, you can support your journalist contacts by following them and sharing their content on social media (just don’t DM/@ them unless they say that’s their preference – a well-targeted email or phone call remains the best way to contact them).  

Meetings in person need to be brief (coffee rather than lunch), convenient (near to their office) and have a point. Rose Walker said one hour out of the office can mean missed deadlines or losing the opportunity to make several phone calls so it’s important that the journalist gets something concrete out of a meeting – for legal PRs that could mean bringing one of the firm’s partners along.  


Do read the publication you’re targeting  
Do follow the journalists you want to work with on social media (and a retweet doesn’t go amiss) 
Do support your client to come up with colourful, succinct quotes  
Do ‘treat journalists like human beings and they’ll reciprocate’ 


Don’t ask to check the quotes 
Don’t offer an exclusive that’s not exclusive 
Don’t use jargon (either PR or legal) 

Vuelio can help you identify the journalists, outlets and influencers relevant to you and your clients. This allows you to quickly target contacts and build new, lasting relationships based on a genuine understanding of what journalists want from you. Find out more. 


(Image by kind permission of Byfield Consultancy – 

Politics of social media

MPs and the public: is social media changing the relationship for good or bad?

Vuelio is hosting a fringe event at Conservative party conference to discuss the very timely question of what impact social media is having on the relationship between voters and politicians.

Given the last three years of UK politics, there can be no doubt we live in uncertain political times, and it is very clear that social media is playing an increasingly central role in politics, at every level.

With an early general election now inevitable, we know that social media will be a key tool during that campaign for all parties, given it dominated the last two elections and the EU referendum.

A growing proportion of voters also rely on it as a source for news and information, as well as a place for them to post their own opinions on stories.

Vuelio wanted to better understand what impact this was having so commissioned a survey of MPs, completed in July, into their perception of the difference social media is making to the political discourse.

The results present a number of surprising headlines:

Four in five MPs (81%) believing ‘public attitudes had been changed for the worse’ because of social media.
Two in five (42%) MPs believe social media has changed the policy making process for the worse
A third (36%) believe it has changed public understanding of policy for the worse.

But it is not all bad news.

In our poll, MPs acknowledge that social media is now one of the most effective ways to reach constituents and gauge their opinions, and social channels make it possible for them to reach a far broader number of voters who won’t engage through print, meetings or traditional campaigning.

The importance of social media in sharing information and gaining insight and opinion is not changing and likely to only become more important in the future.

Technology has a fundamental role to play by providing MPs with the monitoring, evaluation and engagement tools they need to engage more effectively with their voters on social media.

If you are attending the Conservative Party Conference, please come along to our event:


MPs and the public: is social media changing the relationship for good or bad?

Date: Monday 30 September

Time: 12.45 – 2pm

Venue: Central 6, Manchester Central


Speakers include:

Nicky Morgan MP – Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Damian Collins MP – Chair, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Marie Le Conte – Political Freelance Journalist
Matt Warman MP – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital and Broadband (DCMS)


We will be tweeting throughout the event, follow us @Vuelio_Politics and join in using the hashtag #ClarityinConfusion.

Online Influence Awards 2019

Online Influence Awards nominations deadline extended

The Online Influence Awards are the first UK Awards designed to celebrate the very best in influence, insight and intelligence from across the world of vloggers, bloggers, Instagrammers, podcasters and campaigners.

Alongside subject categories, from lifestyle and fashion to tech and politics, this year we’ll also reward the best online influence campaigns from organisations and agencies. We want to celebrate the hard work of those reshaping public debate using the power of online influencer marketing.

Taking place on 22 November, the Online Influence Awards are the only UK awards for influencer marketing that combines quantitative analysis with peer review and as such becomes a mark of excellence that distinguishes the high quality of winners’ work.

Nominations are open for agencies and in-house teams with no fee for entry. The new deadline for submissions is Friday 11 October, download your nomination forms here.

The categories are:

Best B2B Influence Campaign
Recognising the very best online influence campaign targeting B2B audiences in 2019.

Best B2C Influence Campaign
This category rewards the very best consumer focused influence campaign in 2019 based on creativity and impact.

Best Cause-Led Influence Campaign
This has been created to recognise the most impactful cause-led online influence campaign for 2019.

Best Content Agency
The award for best agency with a specialism in online influencer marketing able to demonstrate sustained excellence in strategy, business development, talent retention and campaign delivery.

For inspiration, check out our top tips for writing award-winning nominations here.

Good luck!