PR and Marketing News November 2017


The Budget

On the 22nd November, Philip Hammond delivered the Autumn 2017 Budget. Alongside key economic figures, such as the UK growth forecast falling from 2% to 1.5%, the budget outlined key changes that will directly impact UK businesses. These include a freeze of the VAT threshold at 85,000 for the next 2 years and a total of £2.3billion being set aside by the government for R&D purposes. Read a summary of the budget from the BBC and a focused report on what the budget means for small businesses.

Guardian B2B Launches

This month The Guardian has launched Guardian B2B,  another great platform for business owners alongside the Guardian Small Business Network. Guardian B2B is a great way for business owners of any capacity to keep up to date with the latest news, trends and tips.

Small Business Saturday

The run-up to Small Business Saturday has been happening throughout November. In its 5th year, Small Business Saturday (2nd December) aims to help UK businesses and customers connect, encouraging Brits to shop locally and support small businesses in their community. Businesses are encouraged to offer deals or events to promote the campaign

Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

Illustration for PR and Live events

I absolutely love illustration but find myself visually inapt – I’m more of a words person – but that doesn’t stop me looking on longingly and with more than a hint of a green eye when it comes to other businesses and their pretty pictures.  And, don’t get me started on people that draw amazing visual notes at events, putting my own boring notes to absolute shame – how dare they :-)

But not to worry – as there are so many absolutely fantastic illustrators’ to call upon to help you visually communicate your business story or bring to life your content, your message or a live event.  With so much PR and social media noise, using illustrations rather than the same old stock photos, can also really help you to stand out and achieve PR that Pays.  This is especially true if you work in an industry that isn’t usually visually stimulating because why the hell not – some amazing illustration could really lift our your PR and marketing.

Illustrators’ like Corrina Rothwell whose work I’ve used for our own visual storytelling, blog posts and even client gifts; creative director Lizzie Everard who’s strapline ‘ideas made beautiful’ sums up exactly what she does, and Niki Groom of Miss Magpie Fashion Spy fame.  Talking of Niki, she’s written this great blog post on how to run a live illustration event.  Written for PRs and brands, it’s full of useful tips on how to run a fantastic live illustration event such as the importance of having a hashtag agreed in advance, how to find an illustrator and how much they charge.

Go on give it a read at how to run a live illustration event and please share with me any great examples of illustration and live illustration you’ve seen or experienced as I’m creating a Pinterest board to showcase great illustrators and case studies.

Nellie PR Credits:

Images used in order of appearance:

 © Miss Magpie Fashion Spy: illustrations of the Middlesex Cricket Team for Chestertons

 © Corrina Rothwell

 © Miss Magpie Fashion Spy: Niki Groom illustrating live for La Martina.  Photo by Alex Treadway.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Hidden benefits of cultural change  


I recently attended From Start-up to Scale-up: a Like Minds event in Exeter.  And, despite the great and the good from the likes of LinkedIn, Lego and Amazon featuring as keynotes, I found myself more drawn towards the story of how a traditional law firm transformed its culture.

Now, law firms (like many industries and B2B, in particular), aren’t known for their storytelling and that’s more than enough reason to take a look at the talk from Robert Camp, managing partner at Stephens Scown in this video about transforming the culture of a traditional (and conservative) law firm.  Or rather, how they set out to destroy the culture of negativity and negative criticism that pervaded.

I’m hoping to interview Robert for the Nellie blog soon, but in the meantime, the video is really worth watching, as there are some great lessons and ideas for us all – whether you’re a start-up or undergoing a business culture transformation.

Here’s my notes from his session – a summary of the main takeaways:

  • Importance of having engaged people that are proud of who they work for; proud of the people they work with; proud of their clients and proud of the quality of the work they send out
  • How positive messages lift the business and the odd bit of colour too
  • The power and hidden benefits of the little things such as positive postcards to help thank people
  • Don’t be afraid to do a lot of cheese – in their case x two company choirs  
  • Importance of community and campaigns such as #lovewhereyoulive
  • Take inspiration from outside your sector to improve and champion great customer service. In the case of Stephens Scown, they took inspiration from Nordstrom and its legendary Nordy           stories to create Scowny stories.  I love the Scowny story of how they supported their own start-up clients by spreading the love of chocolate cake. With  Small Business Saturday coming up         – maybe you’ll be inspired to support your small business clients and suppliers too  
  • Small steps over time make a massive difference – the journey isn’t a big bang.

For more information on Like Minds, both in Exeter and elsewhere, click here.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

PR and Marketing News October 2017


Business Zone Closes

At the end of September Business Zone announced it would be closing its doors, after re-launching itself in 2015. SIFT has made the decision to no longer run two publications and over the last month, it has merged Business Zone into UK Business Forums.

Twitter is developing a Save for Later feature

On the 10th October Twitter announced they are in the process of developing a feature that will allow you to bookmark interesting Tweets that you would like to read later. They have put out a call for suggestions through the #SaveforLater hashtag. Up until now many of us had to rely on liking tweets in order to bank them for later reading, this feature will now offer greater clarity as to whether someone approves of your tweet or whether they wish to bookmark it.

MailChimp introduces Google Remarketing Ads

At the end of September MailChimp announced a new channel which sets up an advertising campaign that reminds people of the products they left behind, Google Remarketing Ads. Through the Google Display Network, your published ads will appear on websites that make a clear connection to your business and/or products. For example if you sell cooking equipment, your ads may appear on frequented recipe blogs. MailChimp can automatically build ads that feature your best products or you can tailor the ads to your preferences. MailChimp does not charge more for the use of the feature. This is a great new tool for SME’s using wishing to expand their digital advertising campaigns.

Facebook trials only permitting paid-for articles to appear on News Feeds

This month Facebook has introduced a split news feed in 6 countries, including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka. The main news feed now only displays commercial posts that have been paid for. Although this change may not drastically impact companies and publishers with large budgets, various SME’s digital marketing plans may be forced to change. Facebook says it has no current plans to roll out this trial to all of its two billion users, but it is something to keep your eye on.

Google and Facebook announce features to support publisher subscriptions

Alongside their split news feed tests, Facebook announced that in the upcoming weeks it will launch a test to support a paywall in Instant Articles in the US and Europe. Facebook is working with publishers to set up either a metered approach (10 articles can be read for free) or freemium models (the publisher can lock certain articles) and after this, the reader will be encouraged to subscribe for full access.

Google plans to replace it’s ‘first click free’ model which has been criticised for prioritising titles that offer more free stories in Google searches. Through integrating user data with its applications including Google News, Google hopes to convert readers into subscribers by permitting publishers to set limits to how many articles readers can access for free.

Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

PR and Marketing News September 2017

Latest Public Relations and Marketing News

Here’s my round-up of the latest PR and marketing news, and developments to keep us all on our toes and suitability informed.  

Amazon Influencer Program

As more brands hop on the influencer bandwagon, whether it be YouTubers, Instagrammers or others, Amazon is going all out to bring influencers on-board with its business. Amazon now offers a service in which influencers can have their own page with their favourite brand and product recommendations. Working on a commission basis, when a customer buys a product as a result of the Influencer – a cut of the revenue will be given to the influencer.   

Measurement Month

Measurement Month by AMEC is well underway. The initiative aims to highlight the importance of PR measurement. The event held around the Globe includes talks from industry leaders, panels, and workshops.

PR News accepting nominations

PR News opened nominations for their PR People Awards 2017 on 15th September. Know a great PR champion? Have a look at the 30+ categories and nominate.

AMEC fight against AVE’s

AMEC is determined to spread the word that Advertising Value Equivalent’s (AVE) are an inadequate way to measure the value of PR.  Read about their 22 reasons why AVE are not a valid metric system for measurement.

Facebook work on plans for ‘Instant Articles’
Facebook has vowed to help publishers by developing Instant Articles, a platform which will allow publications to put up a paywall after a user has read 10 articles. All proceeds will go directly to the publishers without Facebook taking a cut.The feature also aims to have the relevant publications logo next to the article, to ensure readers are more aware of the source. Yet this week it has been announced that Instant Articles will no longer be available through Facebook messenger. Recent studies on Instant Articles have shown that they account for 14.8% of publisher’s mobile traffic.

Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR