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Last Updated 24/03/2016
1. Mad about the house
If you are mad about interiors, then you better visit this blog. It’s got ideas that range from mild to wild and visuals that make you want to redecorate. Author and interiors journalist, Kate Watson-Smyth, uses a friendly, conversational tone that puts readers at the heart of every home.
2. Dear Designer’s Blog
Author Carole King started this blog in 2009 as a way to create her ‘own little library of loveliness.’ The library she created helped her to then start up a digital interiors magazine. The Dear Designer blog remains her first love and boasts an extensive blogroll.
3. The Design Sheppard
Author Stacey Sheppard calls the blog her ‘online home’ and you are invited in. This blog stands out from others on the list for the functional yet beautiful ideas it offers – like for real homes.
4. Design Hunter
Launched in 2009, author Helen Powell’s Design Hunter is now an award-winning design and lifestyle blog with a focus on understated luxury and enduring modern design.
5. Love Chic Living
Author Jen Stanbrook has been busy writing a series about loft conversions and at other times, picking up awards including the Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Best Interiors Blog award! Jen shows off her ‘insatiable love of home decor, interior design and home accessories’ through the blog that first started out in 2012.
6. Fresh Design Blog
The name says it all – it’s a fresh take on interiors. This blog offers ideas and inspiration for the modern and contemporary home and does so keeping costs in mind. Palm reading wallpaper, back to school bargains, geometric coffee cup sets…you get the gist?
7. Abigail Ahern
Recognised amongst design aficionados and devotees, Abigail Ahern’s blog is still one of the most influential interior design blogs out there and is a regular in our Top 10!
8. Sophie Robinson
Sophie has worked interior design for over 20 years and has a wealth of knowledge about the industry. Over the years Sophie has made a name for herself and appeared on BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge.
Featuring an array of different writers this blog features the latest decorating looks to the best new home-improvement ideas, plus new products from high-street stores that will help you to create your ideal home.
This is a blog that picks out the best and most interesting properties on the market. The properties featured on the site are very stylish with stunning architecture.
The fundamentals of working with bloggers are the same as with traditional journalists at traditional media outlets: respect their schedules; take time to read their material to learn their interests; and only contact them if/when they want to be contacted.
Vuelio’s blog ranking methodology takes into consideration social sharing, topic-related content and post frequency. Profiles of these interior design blogs and their authors can be found in the Vuelio Media Database.
Other Blog Rankings
Photo Courtesy of mattwalker69 on Flickr
After signalling a huge change in Facebook’s News Feed, with more focus on posts from friends and family, Mark Zuckerberg has now revealed the second stage of his changes, promising the platform will serve up news from ‘trusted’ sources.
As Zuckerberg’s latest post explains:
‘I’m sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality. I’ve asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we’re starting next week with trusted sources.
‘There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them. That’s why it’s important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground.’
The ‘high quality’ news and ‘trustworthy’ sources will be decided by the Facebook community. As part of its surveys, the network will now ask if users are familiar with a news source and if they trust it. Facebook is aiming to create a list of sources from people that aren’t necessarily regular readers but those that know and consider the source to be trustworthy. Users who haven’t heard of the source will be discounted.
This is Zuckerberg’s latest attempt to legitimise his network and shift the focus from the spreading of ‘fake news’ and alleged interference in the likes of the Presidential election and Brexit.
What does this mean for you?
The first set of changes are expected to reduce the amount of news in the Feed from 5% to 4%, and the second will dramatically reduce the sources news comes from. This will benefit the sources that are trusted and should make all PR pros and brands consider who they’re targeting in media outreach.
Publishers with the biggest stats and the most readers are going to be greatly affected if they’re not also trustworthy. As the list will be publicly-sourced, it may be easy to think you know what will and won’t make the cut. But just because a news site has a reputation for being untrustworthy, it doesn’t mean Facebook’s crowdsourcing will stop it from appearing. Nor is it clear if those less high-quality publishers will be removed altogether.
As such, your new Facebook strategy needs to be reactive, rather than proactive. Using quality social media monitoring, keep an eye on which of your media partners are still appearing frequently on Facebook, and find new ones that you haven’t used before.
Take time to build new relationships where necessary, and broaden your PR community. That way, your stories will remain where they belong – on people’s News Feeds.
Morning too dark? Feeling bloated? Groggy head? Welcome to 2018! Today is the first day back in the office for a lot of the country so now is the perfect time to make your professional New Year’s resolutions. And because it’s your first day back, we’ve done all the hard work for you.
7 New Year’s Resolutions for the public relations professional:
1. Make new friends…
2018 is a brand new year and you’ve got the chance to make new friends and find new ways of reaching your audience. If you’re stuck in a cycle of the same old influencers for your outreach, now is the time to reach newbies – there’s always more relevant influencers than you think. And if you’re struggling to find those people, you obviously aren’t using the Vuelio Influencer Database.
2. …and stay in touch with old friends
Making new friends doesn’t mean you have to forgot your old friends. Good relationships need nurturing, give your influencers a little bit of TLC in 2018 – wish those journalists, broadcasters and bloggers ‘Happy New Year’ and make it clear you’re available when they need you.
3. Adopt a healthy balanced diet
Instagram is great! It’s a great way to reach millennials and spread brand awareness. But is it great for links and tangible ROI? That’s fine, it’s what we use Twitter for! But is your entire target market on Twitter? That’s why we use magazines, most of your audience read them – but your client asked you to do something new and innovative… so an experiential event is in order!
Don’t use one channel to reach your audience, take advantage of all the routes that now exist in a healthy, balanced way.
4. Lose the flab
You’re a professional storyteller, not a salesperson. You don’t need to communicate your product or service by describing it as the most amazing, incredible idea since sliced bread! Be innovative and use your creativity – that’s why you went into PR in the first place.
5. Be more organised
Not sure who is talking to which stakeholder? How’s that line of enquiry going? Did someone get back to that member of the public? No one likes to be caught out and a little organisation can go a long way. Vuelio Stakeholder Management can track what’s happening with all stakeholder interactions in your organisation so you know what’s been said, when.
6. Stop being boring
Another PowerPoint? Is that really the best way to tell your company, colleagues and the board how awesome you are? Investors don’t want to sit through endless slides of static clippings, and let’s be honest – neither do you! 2018 is the year that visually attractive, interactive displays are used to share content and media coverage – check out this Canvas from the Vuelio Blog Awards to see what we mean, then find out how to make your own Canvas here.
7. Don’t be lazy
It can’t be said enough in these Resolutions. You’re here because you’re creative – so be creative! The year of 2017 is over, leave the concepts and ideas that made it great behind you, and focus on 2018. It may take some time to find the next big thing, but the UK PR industry is incredible – so that next idea could come from anyone, including you.
Instagram has released its stats of the year 2017, with top hashtags, celebrities and most-Instagrammed cities. But beyond the lists of usual suspects, what can this Instagram data tell us about influence on the visual platform?
Influence on Instagram has been in the news throughout 2017, with reports of buying followers sullying the integrity of ‘genuine influence’. But even with social accounts that boast millions of ‘real’ followers – does having more mean having more influence?
One element of influence is engagement – how much the individual interacts with and provokes response from their followers, and, in turn, how much that creates a community. A ‘like’ on an Instagram post could be a passive action – your post would appear in your follower’s feed and they double tap to like – not much effort on their part.
Or perhaps the like isn’t even from your follower – maybe you’ve played a good hashtag game, causing your post to appear in a new ‘discover’ timeline. A like that way could mean even less if it’s someone who won’t see your post again or engage with your account. Though this can get even trickier – if they become a follower then it obviously means more.
One method of measuring real engagement is through Instagram Stories. The collections of posts and videos put together by users are typically less polished, using emojis and text with a more ‘personal’ insight into their lives. Stories have to be actively watched, so they don’t just appear if you login to Instagram, they have to be consumed – much like people choose a TV channel to watch.*
Instagram Stories, for those that don’t use them, do not have traditional visible data to the outside world. A user can see how many, and more specifically who, has watched a story but that’s how far this data usually travels.
Now Instagram has revealed the most-viewed Instagram Stories of 2017, from verified accounts with over five million followers:
The numbers in brackets are the users’ place in the top 100 Instagram accounts by followers, with third place Olga Buzova and sixth place Chiara Ferragni both failing to make the top 100 by a margin of some seven million followers.
While some followers may not watch Stories, it is surprising that Kim Kardashian, with five times the number of followers as Lele Pons and 10 times the followers of Buzaova, is still beaten by both in this list.
Though the number of Stories put out by these users varies wildly, this new method of reaching fans is a clear indication that macro influencers aren’t necessarily driving the most engagement or reaching the right people – which should be a consideration for all brands and businesses looking to work with Instagram stars in 2018.
Want to reach real influencers and grammers? Check out the Vuelio Influencer Database.
The challenge at hand
Established in 1992 Winston’s Wish is dedicated to supporting children after the death of a parent or sibling. Research shows that every 22 minutes a child in Britain is bereaved of a parent; this equates to 24,000 newly bereaved children each and every year.
How do you reach out to these families? How can they, and the professionals involved in supporting them, be made aware of the practical and therapeutic services available to them? How does one create a sustainable fund to provide for the long term needs of these families?
This was the dilemma for Winston’s Wish – fundraising initiatives and regional news coverage gained through personal press contacts were relatively successful but it was clear that a more sophisticated and extensive facility was needed to reach out to and engage with key national media in order to raise greater awareness of the charity’s work and to enable them to help more bereaved children.
The charity soon realised that it needed a stronger and more streamlined communications approach to take its message mainstream and to the attention of key media contacts who could push their story out to the influencers in their network.
‘A great deal of our time was taken up in researching media contacts and quite often being passed around until we reached the relevant contact. We had a good rapport with local publications but felt this needed to be extended regionally and nationally in order for us to be recognised as a leader in our field of work,’ said Liam McKinnon, press officer at Winston’s Wish.
It was then, in August 2013, that Winston’s Wish signed up for Cision’s media database, press release distribution and influencer engagement packages. ‘Cision looked to be full of features that addressed the needs we had – as well as having a very intuitive interface and functionality. We thought we should give it a go.’
How Cision helped
With these packages, Winston’s Wish was instantly able to put out its press releases on time and on the most appropriate distribution channels – whether that be email, web or social, to reach the widest audience; identify and connect with relevant media contacts and outlets accross the UK; and engage with social influencers who are writing about child bereavement or other related topics. The ability to obtain contact information, pitch preferences and gain social demographics was also vitally important for the charity and made possible with Cision.
After discovering the needs of the charity, a dedicated account manager from Cision was assigned to the Winston’s Wish team and extensive training courses were set up to make sure the team could maximise product performance and experience.
‘Cision was not only a solution, it was a turning point for Winston’s Wish,’ states Liam.
He offers a detailed explanation on the impact CisionPoint has had on the communication strategy and the overall mission statement of charity: ‘One way of monitoring the impact of using Cision is to compare the amount of press we received as a result of using the contact database from Cision. In 2013/14 – the amount of coverage we received increased 228% on the previous year. In 2014/15 we are on course to top this once again.
‘We have also been able to target specific areas of the country by using Cision’s filtering system; for instance we recently launched a new drop-in facility in the North West and it was important for us to build contacts in this area. Using Cision, we were able to pinpoint not only the relevant publications but the individual journalists who we could work alongside to publicise our presence in the area.
‘Since we have extended our contact reach into the North West, 100% of our press releases have been covered in the local news.’
The CisionPoint Media Database is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. Used predominantly by PR professionals, the Media Database lists thousands of journalists, editors, bloggers, newspapers, magazines and websites.
We have measured which profile pages have been visited the most. This doesn’t include appearances in lists or the most searched-for titles, and is therefore not the complete picture of popularity. After all, we wouldn’t want to give away all our secrets.
London Evening Standard
The Sunday Times
Though print newspapers are struggling to come to terms with digital and maintaining their circulations, their value to brands and PRs is still evident as they make up every place in the top ten. The digital takeover/death of print is perhaps still a little way off.
The Daily Mail’s position at the top reflects that it recently became the biggest-selling Saturday newspaper, overtaking The Sun. The London Evening Standard and Metro have performed well to make the top 10, highlighting their credentials as papers that reach a large and varied audience and also possibly championing the ‘free’ business model.
While popular tabloid newspapers have the largest circulations, they’re not necessarily valued as much by PRs or brands. The absence of the Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Daily Record are most noticeable, suggesting a large audience isn’t always the right audience.
What do you think of the dominance of printed newspaper titles among PR professionals? Let us know in the comments below.
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