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

SME Podcast: Start-Up Stories

Our favourite podcast for Small to Medium Enterprises.

According to research conducted by Edison Research in 2016, an estimated 98 million people listen to podcasts around the world, and that number is growing year on year. Can you blame them?

Podcasting is a great way to not only entertain your personal interests but it is increasingly valuable as a great tool for business to share tips and stories of success – and there are plenty of opportunities to listen and learn, and share your own story too.

Visit our list of favourite SME Podcasts and people and best podcasters behind them.  We’ve also put a Twitter list of SME Podcasts together for you too – to help you keep up-to-date on business tips, news and stories on an ever-growing platform.  Let us know if you have any favourites.

Start-Up Stories

Recently I have found a great podcast for SME news, stories and top tips: Start-Up Stories by the Financial Times. Each week Jonathan Moules talks to business founders about the joys and challenges of starting a business. Jane Ni Dhulchaointgh’s story from a few weeks ago (17th July) particularly caught my attention, showing us the true value of PR and Social Media for entrepreneurs.

Like many great businesses, Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh of Sugru started hers with a passion. Jane’s aim was to swap our throwaway culture for a fix-it society through the creation of Sugru – a flexible silicone material that can stick to anything permanently allowing you to fix, create and innovate. The idea began in the design studio, the product was developed in the labs but what brought the brand to global success was Jane’s use of social media in the early days of the business.

Jane always had high expectations for the material, but she was reminded by a friend that to make it big you have to start small. Jane used the growing platforms of YouTube and blogging in the late 00s to launch her brand online. One particular breakthrough for the company was their video review on the Telegraph’s website and ever since her orders have exploded – illustrating the power of great PR especially when used in a new media context.

The buzz around the product caught the attention of DIY supergiant B&Q with Jane turning to social media to make sure people ‘got their ass’s down to B&Q’ to buy Sugru. Jane did not know that her YouTube publicity stunt of parading a donkey around the local B&Q car park would grab the attention of a B&Q board member and a large consumer audience for its innovative use of social media, but it certainly did.

Jane admits that Sugru has a lot to thank social media platforms for in its early days, it was a cheap and efficient way of getting the word out about their brilliant product. Although social media has changed since the late 00s and little comes for free anymore, her inspiring story shows how you can use PR and social media to create a little community in order catch the attention of a bigger audience.


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

PR Q and A

Nellie PR Q and A

Public relations questions and answers.

‘What is PR?’ — How many times can we be asked this question?!

If you want to find out more about the basics of PR or how you can use PR to grow and support your business check out our PR Q and A. FAQ’s that we have answered so far include:

Please contact Ellen Carroll, by email, twitter or facebook, with your PR questions and queries. Keep an eye on the Q and A page for regular updates  — as we receive more questions we can upload more useful answers!


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR

Free Photos for your Content Marketing

Top 10 places to bag yourself great images for free.

Did you know that a tweet with a picture is 18% more likely to get a click through that one without? Every business or personal account needs great imagery to accompany blog posts and social media content. So as we update our social media calendar and blog schedule, I’ve been on the hunt for great new images to accompany our content. Sourcing these images in advance may seem like a long process but it can save you valuable time throughout the year, helping you get your blogs and posts updated regularly and on time. So here are my top 10 tips on sourcing free photos for your content marketing:

1. You! The best source of imagery can come from you. Taking your own images allows you to tailor it to fit your theme or topic perfectly whilst adding more of a personal touch to your work. You don’t need a fancy, top of the range camera to take great quality photos when smartphones can offer great picture quality making it easier than ever to capture the perfect photo. The quality, however, does range between different smartphones and brands so just ensure that the image is a suitable pixel resolution – find out which smartphones have the best cameras here. But, like me, you may not always have time to capture that perfect image yourself so I have often had to resort to numbers 2-10

2. Unsplash Unsplash has one of the largest collections of great online images that I have come across. You can search by collection or keywords which make it easy and accessible for everyone to use. Unsplash doesn’t require you to set up an account if you don’t want to, which saves you from the unwanted emails that many free image websites can flood you with.

Here’s an example of how we have used Unsplash on our blog: How to write a PR Brief

3. Picjumbo Picjumbo, like Unsplash, offers stock photos which do not look very stock-y. Typical ‘lady sitting behind desk’ stock photos don’t inspire much interest, and  Picjumbo offers a great alternative to this – offering images that are a bit more interesting and unique.

4. New Old Stock This site is rather different, offering top quality copyright free vintage images from public archives. These images are great for adding a unique touch to blog posts or fitting in with a more vintage and retro theme. The only issue is that New Old Stock is very specific and it doesn’t offer what everyone is looking for.

5. Gratisography Although Gratisography may not have the same number of photos as Picjumbo or Unsplash, they make up for it in originality. Where else could you search the term ‘rabbit’ and get hits of a man dressed up as a rabbit in a tie reading a newspaper? Albeit, if you are aiming for a simple image of a cute bunny munching on a carrot, Gratisography may not be the free image site for you, but it offers eye-catching photos – all for free.

6. Canva Canva is my new obsession in the office. Not only can it be used to add text and layouts to photos and designs, Canva has a great stock of simple and transferable images you can use for free or thousands of others available from just $1. The great thing about Canva is that it is not everyone’s go-to site for free images, the photograph function is just one of the many of its features, therefore the images aren’t used as often as many, more obvious, stock photo websites.

7. Pixabay Pixabay is great for a range of top quality photographs. You can tailor your search to a particular orientation or photograph size making it easier to pick photos which cater to the specific requirements of certain social media sites. You can also narrow down searches by colour, meaning that if your blog or posts require a certain colour scheme you do not have to sift through endless photos to find your perfect match.

8. Life of Pix Life of Pix offers a platform for photographers to upload their photos for others to use for free. As a result Life of Pix is regularly uploaded with a whole spectrum of different styles and artists. You can even follow, like and share your favourite photographers and images creating a social-networking vibe to the site, presenting stock photos as more of an art and hobby than a corporate necessity.

9. Jay Mantri All photos on the website are taken by Jay Mantri himself. Many of Mantri’s images are from his beach holidays but he also includes many of urban landscapes and materials, with a unique and modern style. He releases new photos every Thursday and allows any use of all photographs.

10.  Death to the Stock Photo Death to the Stock Photo offers a great service where you sign up to a mailing list and each month you are sent a zip file with interesting and beautiful images. Once the month is over the images are removed and replaced with new ones, meaning that the stock photos are not often overused online.

So there we have it. 10 of my favourite sources of perfect high-quality images for your blogs and social media content, without any stress of copyright laws.

Amendment: September 2017

We are constantly coming across more great sites to bag yourself free images, so why stop at 10? Here are a few more of our favourite finds since writing this blog six months ago.

Burst: Although Burst is a fairly new platform, it’s image base is vast and growing every day. Search by popular categories, keywords or get the new images sent straight to your mailbox.

MMT: Another great platform built off the back of a love for photography, the stock mainly features nature, city scenes and workspaces.

Kaboom: Kaboom is perfect if you have a photo in mind. Being able to filter results according to colour and orientation, makes it a great tool for finding exactly what you need.

Styled Stock: This platform provides stock photos of all things girly, from makeup to flowers to fashion.

Negative Space: Negative space once again has a wide range of high-resolution stock photos which are easy to search through and quickly download.


Image sourced from Unsplash.


Sam Hayes

Intern at Nellie PR