FIVE things you rarely see in a PR agency office in 2015….

1. The phone and fax machine combo
 Wait up, what’s that I can hear coming through – breaking news…! 

2. Light boxes (and accompanying magnifying glass)
Needed to check those rushed over film strips from the early morning photo call – chinagraph pencil at the ready! 

3. The ‘standalone’ high power computer for sending large images
You got the fax? Great! Want images? Great – what’s your ISDN number….? 

4. Beanbags for brainstorming
Need an idea quick? Go and brainstorm on the beanbags… 

5. The secret drinks cabinet
Well, you can’t get enough in there these days…you need a trolley!

By Matt Stokoe, Senior Associate Director

For further information on Clarion Communications please contact Debbie Jackson on 0207 343 3110 or email or tweet @Debbie_jackson

SIX things you didn’t realise were part of the PR job spec…

1. Be an extra in a photo shoot
(Source: giphy)

2. Stay out ‘schmoozing’ till 4am
(Source: giphy)

3. Dress up as a character/mascot
 (Source: giphy)

4. Searching for an ‘impossible to find’ prop
 (Source: giphy)

5. Babysit a kid while the parents do an interview
(Source: giphy)

6. Learn all the quickest ways to deliver anything
(Source: giphy)

For further information on Clarion Communications please contact Debbie Jackson on 0207 343 3110 or email or tweet @Debbie_jackson

Clarion Wins PR Agency of the Year

Clarion won PR Agency of the Year last night at the RAR (Recommended Agency Register) awards.

The RAR is part of the Carnyx Group, an independent publishing group which is also responsible for the UK’s largest marketing website,

This award is special because winners are selected based on their performance using ratings from their clients as opposed to a panel of judges. Client ratings are collected for criteria including creativity, effectiveness, strategic thinking, client service and more.

A very happy and proud team here at Clarion today.


Digital media outlets were abuzz on Monday following reports that pre-orders for the much anticipated Apple Watch hit almost one million in the USA. According to research by Slice Intelligence, 957,000 people ordered a watch. The Apple fan boy club is clearly still strong, with 72% of those having previously purchased an Apple product in the past two years. 

Reddit to launch newsletter
Everyone’s favourite online viral community, Reddit, has announced plans to launch a newsletter. The newsletter, called Upvoted Weekly, comes three months after their first podcast. The newsletter will be sent each Sunday - the perfect companion to your Monday morning coffee!

Foursquare Launches Pinpoint: Cross-Platform, Location-based Ad Targeting
After its recent partnership with Twitter, Foursquare has proved it is still a big player in the social media world. Central to the channels success, is its large database of location based data – a gold mine for marketeers. With this in mind, it is no surprise to see the launch of Pinpoint, a cross-platform, location-based ad targeting technology. Brands already getting in on the action include Google, Jaguar Land Rover and Samsung Galaxy.

Driving black votes for the general election
Every media outlet is currently bursting with news of what politicians are having for breakfast or which reality TV star has been spotted on the campaign trail. On a more serious note, comes digital campaign ‘Operation Black Vote’ . The campaign focuses on encouraging black people and ethnic-minority Britons to vote.  The thought provoking campaign is led by footballer Sol Campbell and sees a variety of famous black celebrities, who were photographed with makeup that whitened parts of their skin. Launched online, the campaign gained mass media coverage, highlighting how digital campaigns can drive the news agenda.

And finally
What’s that, you didn’t get to go to Coachella? Don’t worry; luckily Instagram has produced a list of the most ‘liked’ items of content on Instagram from the music event.  According to Mashable the app recorded approximately 83 million interactions on Instagram related to Coachella, just in its first weekend. 

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Clarion finalists for Drum Marketing Awards

Hot on the fantastic news of Clarion’s shortlist for two CIPR Excellence Awards, today we are pleased to announce a further two nominations for this year’s The Drum Marketing Awards.

The award ceremony rewards and celebrates the UK’s most effective marketing strategies. Clarion has been nominated in two categories:

The Long Term Marketing Strategy Award - Aldi Beers Wines & Spirits
UK discount retailer, Aldi, wanted to use beers, wines and spirits as a ‘hero category’ to bring ABC1 shoppers in store.  The challenge Clarion faced was that consumers perceived Aldi’s beers, wines and spirits to be not of good quality. Our strategy was to make Aldi famous for quality drinks.  We wanted to surprise and convince consumers about quality through credible endorsements from the media and other opinion formers.  We achieved this by entering prestigious awards and gaining national media coverage about positive results, by turning around perceptions of drinks writers through on-going engagement and sampling, and by capitalising on the exceptional price of Aldi’s drinks to generate national news coverage.

The PR Strategy Award - Pride in London
Working on a pro bono basis, Clarion developed a fully integrated PR campaign for Pride in London 2014 working alongside the Pride in London team. Utilising the #FreedomTo campaign creative, Clarion created a programme of news generation, feature placement, stunt activity and live interviews with celebrities from Graham Norton to Sir Ian McKellen and Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

The awards take place at Marriott Grosvenor Square, London, on Thursday 7th May 2015. Time for the team to polish the shoes, get the dress dry-cleaned and practice our victory dance!   

Clarion shortlisted for two CIPR Excellence Awards

Clarion is pleased to announce we have been shortlisted for not one, but two awards at this year’s CIPR Excellence Awards.

The Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of individuals, teams and consultancies across the UK and overseas. The two categories we have been shortlisted in are:

To get mums thinking about serving Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings with chicken – the UK’s favourite roast - we approached the world’s most prestigious debating society,  The Oxford Union, and asked them to debate the merits of serving Yorkshire puddings with chicken instead of more traditional beef. Blanket national coverage, widespread debate and a 3.2% sales increase was the successful result.

Diversity and Inclusion in Communications Campaign – Pride in London's ‘#FreedomTo’ Campaign.
Working on a pro bono basis, Clarion developed a fully integrated PR campaign for Pride in London 2014 working alongside the Pride in London team. Utilising the #FreedomTo campaign creative, Clarion created a programme of news generation, feature placement, stunt activity and live interviews with celebrities from Graham Norton to Sir Ian McKellen and Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

The coveted awards will be held at Old Billingsgate, London, on Wednesday 3 June 2015. Now for us just to decide what to wear…


Twitter celebrated its 9th birthday at the weekend and the social media platform shows no sign of slowing down as this week they announced a partnership with Foursquare. The partnership will allow users to tag a specific location within their Tweets, powered by Foursquare.

Twitter Periscope
There has been a lot of buzz recently around Meerkat, the video-streaming app that uses your Twitter API to stream video directly to your followers. As soon as it was announced however Twitter looked to block access to Meerkat, leaving its future in doubt. 

Whilst many may question why, the answer appears clear - Twitter has launched their own video-streaming app. Welcome to the world of Twitter Periscope! The micro-blogging social media giant bought Periscope just weeks ago, mere days before Meerkat went from unknown to the app everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Al Roker is using. Check out Mashable’s full review of Periscope here

Facebook product announcements
Facebook also had several announcements this week. The No.1 social media platform has launched three new tools aimed at marketeers; Blueprint, Learn How, Ad Copy Cheat Sheet. 

The most interesting of these is Blueprint. The tool is available to all Facebook users via desktop and mobile and is aimed at helping agencies, partners and marketeers craft ad campaigns on the social network that drive business results. 

Facebook also launched ‘On This Day’.  The tool takes anything from birthdays to wedding anniversaries logged on the site and notifies you of the special moments on a dedicated page on the site, through your News Feed or via mobile app.

Instagram launches ‘Layout’  
Hot on the heels of Hyperlapse, Instagram has launched a dedicated app to create collages of your favourite images. No doubt this will prove popular amongst the fashionista bloggers out there! 

The free app is iPhone only for now, though the company says an Android version is coming in the next few months.

And finally…
Remember, everything in life is better with Lego, even The Matrix. Animators Snooperking recreated the films iconic ending with everyone’s favourite building blocks.

Written by James Mulrennan, Digital Account Director 

Taking stock of Mumstock 2015

Always wanting to put best advice forward, Clarion keeps its eyes and ears open for the latest insight and trends when it comes to integrated marketing, comms and targeting tricky/specific sectors.  So it will come as no surprise that we were all signed-up and ready to take notes at this year’s Mumstock marketing conference, hosted by the leading parenting network Mumsnet.

Aimed at demystifying the generic ‘target mums’ instruction that so often appears on PR briefs, this full day conference brought together a bunch of the great and the good from senior UK marketeers to inform and enlighten us eager delegates.

Opening with proprietary research; we were instructed that ‘mum’ is a woman and not a role and that motherhood is not a job.  Taking a look back at historic PR and ad campaigns which have targeted mum it becomes quite clear how they’ve potentially missed the sweet-spot by making it seem hard-work.  Not a great thing, when you are trying to get those all-important 18 million UK mummy consumers to buy-in to the brand.
The research showed that being a mum (the person) meant cherishing the relationships that she adopts with her children and, this falls into eight emotional roles that she seeks out to achieve this. These are; Carer, Coach, Hero, Safehouse, Fan, Friend, Rule Breaker and Partner in Crime, the first four of these are the expected and serious states, whilst the others are often underestimated by brands.

What followed were a series of discussions and case studies that highlighted key campaigns that have started to embrace this model, from the likes of; Lego, McDonalds, Tesco, O2, British Gas, Matalan, Mama&Papas, Ella’s Kitchen, Co-Op and Kerry Foods.  Graeme Pitkethly, executive chairman at Unilever also spoke passionately about understanding the brand audience before briefing a campaign and stressed the importance of this insight.  As a case in point, the recent Dove Legacy video was hailed as a great example of demonstrating the ‘hero’ emotional role identified earlier, which now gives Dove the right to play in this space:

Overall there was a lot to be learnt, with some really interesting stats and some considered strategic insight from the top marketeers appearing on the day.  Now, all we have to do is take these learnings and weave them into future campaigns and help us keep an edge on what’s connecting with our ‘target mum’.

For more details visit Mumstock.

By John Mayne, Associate Director

Clarion launches the Valspar 3D House to celebrate the arrival of Valspar paint in the UK and Ireland

How do you inspire people to paint their homes with colour, when, as a nation, we’re so wedded to magnolia (78 per cent of UK homeowners choose to paint their homes in cream, white or neutral)?  Responding to the brief from Valspar, a US-based paint company launching in UK and Ireland, Clarion knew we needed to create something extreme if we were going to attract attention from consumers and media…

To make a bold and colourful statement we approached colour aficionado Will Taylor (of Bright Bazaar blog and book fame) to help us inspire the nation with a family home interior, designed using his trademark colour palette. To bring his interior design to life, we then tracked down a specialist, trompe l’oeil artist to create a piece of Illusionary, 3D art from Will’s designs, to be painted on the side of a three-storey residential house in London.  

160 hours of painting (not to mention numerous logistics!) later, we unveiled the 1,352 square ft. ‘house’ to media and social channels.  With the impression that the side of the building had been knocked through to reveal a family home (complete with its family members in situ), the illusion literally brings the colourful interior, outside, and shows just how amazing our homes can look with the injection of some colour – and a bit of bravery! 

Apple Watch: what the arrival means to brands

If you haven’t heard that the Apple Watch launched this week, then you must have been under one huge rock! As the media circus starts to die down, what will the impact for this new technology venture mean to brands?

Wearable technology is not new with several brands currently fighting for market supremacy. Most notably is Samsung, who have invested heavily into their Gear range. That said, a recent study by Global Web Index shows only one in ten of 16-24 year olds currently own a smart watch -  a figure that drops to 9% when looking at a wider age demographic – these figures might suggest there isn’t much hunger but the same could have once been said for online and on-mobile shopping. The question is, is there a hunger for this technology and how will it impact our clients, and more specifically, their content marketing?

The short answer is an obvious one. As with any new technology, if it solves a problem and works, it will win consumer backing no matter what its costs. When the Walkman launched, it was an instant hit, so too was a certain iPhone. Whilst early adoption may be slow, as costs go down and competition increases, so too will consumers access to purchase. Wearable technology is here to stay and no doubt Samsung and Apple will be at the forefront.

So how can your brand get involved and who is already knocking on Apple’s door? Unsurprisingly major news outlets and brands are already developing their own programmes for Apple Watch. These include social: you can check your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in a watch-optimized format using the system. You'll also be able to find your car using a BMW app, check out the news with the Guardian app, and even control the temperature in your home with a Honeywell app. If you'd rather fly, there's an American Airlines app that works by touch.

Apple also wants to develop with partners in different areas including entertainment, media, and especially health. Nike is an early adopter with health, allowing users who are heading out on a run to tell their friends and record their progress with the Nike app.
There are other great opportunities for brands, for example if a cinema chain could ping its fans with the latest film releases and cinema offers, not to mention remind them when their film is about to start! A food brand could supply its fans with cookery suggestions around key shopping periods e.g. the ‘post work quick shop’ or the ‘weekend big family shop’. Such technology could also forward more detailed menu suggestions to your phone or to your online food ordering service. 

The options for brands to get involved are extensive but for it to be popular, it has to work and to solve a problem that simply taking their phone out of their pocket won’t do. Apple Watch is another cog on the wheel of Internet of Things and highlights the public’s hunger to be evermore connected.  For brands to succeed, they have to supply relevant content.

This article was written by James Mulrennan, Digital Account Director.  If you would like to discuss your content marketing requirements for 2015, please contact Debbie Jackson on 0207 343 3110 or email

Clarion win PRmoment Award

Clarion attended the prestigious PRmoment Awards last night, having been nominated in two categories. Clarion beat off the competition and won the award for Low Budget Campaign of the Year for the fantastic ‘Chicken vs beef in the battle of the batter’ campaign for Aunt Bessie’s.

The judges were particularly impressed with this clever campaign commenting that it was executed with a good sense of humour which appealed to the media with tangible and effective results. Not only was this a low budget campaign, but it was highly creative and led to an increase in sales of Yorkshire Puddings. The team were delighted to head up to the stage to accept the award and there are plenty of smiles in the office this morning!

Digital Predictions for 2015 from Clarion

Is your brand ready to become a publisher this year? It should be, according to Clarion’s Digital Account Director, James Mulrennan. He spoke to Gorkana and shared his thoughts on what will shape the digital landscape this year. Read the full article here.

Interested in finding out how Clarion can help your business grow through the power of digital in 2015? For further information please contact James Mulrennan, Digital Account Director, Tel: 0207 343 3213 or Debbie Jackson, Business Development Director, Tel: 0207 343 3110.

Clarion’s Campaign for Aunt Bessie’s ‘Chicken v Beef in the Battle of the Batter’ - featured in February’s edition of PR Week

To get mums thinking about serving Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings with chicken – the UK’s favourite roast - we approached the world’s most prestigious debating society,  The Oxford Union, and asked them to debate the merits of serving Yorkshire puddings with chicken instead of more traditional beef. Blanket national coverage, widespread debate and a 3.2% sales increase was the successful result. This campaign has also been shortlisted for a PR Moment Award.

‘Behind the Headlines with... Gary Freemantle’ - Clarion CEO speaks to Gorkana

This week, Gorkana caught up with our very own Gary Freemantle. Clarion’s CEO shares everything from his current read to his naughty chocolate habits.  

Read the full article here


It may only be the middle of January but 2015 is already heating up to be one of the most competitive years on social media, with leading platforms all looking to take ownership of video. 

Twitter to increase video functionality    
2014 had seen massive growth for videos on Facebook and now Twitter is set to get in on the act by improving its video packages. As part of the drive, Twitter will offer its one-click play video unit to all advertisers in a bid to encourage more content on the site. In addition, Snappy TV, the live clipping platform that Twitter acquired in June 2014, will also be available for free to advertisers.  

Twitter Drives 18% of UK Cinema Ticket Sales
A study commission by Twitter this week highlights the impact the social media channel has on cinema ticket sales. Twitter claims to have directly contributed to 18 percent of UK cinema ticket sales over a three-year period - that is a pretty impressive statistic! 

Additionally 46 percent of respondents to the survey said that they had watched a trailer for a movie on Twitter. 

Google Translate gets smarter with language detection
They say Star Trek inspired the mobile phone with is communicator device. Perhaps the sci-fi series also inspired Google’s updated language detection tool, Google Translate, which through new Word Lens, instantaneously translates written text.

Facebook ‘likes’ prove to be more accurate gauge of personality than friends
Researche by Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre has found that Facebook ‘likes’ can determine a person’s personality more accurately than their own friends.

A specially coded algorithm created by the researchers trawled the social media interactions of volunteers and used this information to form a picture of the person’s character. Surprisingly this method was found to more accurately gauge personality than a work colleague.

And finally...

How soccer star Francesco Totti's famous selfie came to be
Granted it is only January but this may prove to be one of the most famous selfies of 2015. AS Roma soccer star Francesco Totti gained worldwide media headlines this week for celebrating a goal by taking the first on-pitch selfie.

The idea though, wasn’t as spontaneous as many may have thought. Totti had come up with the idea for a special celebration should he score a goal, according to Sean Foley, who runs the club's digital and social initiatives. The plan was simple: plant an iPhone 6 with goalkeepers coach Guido Nanni, who would be easy for Totti to find should he score. The rest as they say is history.


Every year there are surprising news moments that really grab the media’s attention, providing them with great copy for news stories and comment pieces. Clarion Communications spoke to a few journalists to get their views on the ones that particularly stood out in 2014, from the selfie to the referendum, and the ice bucket to the ‘consciously uncoupling’.

Kim Kardashian's "break the internet" photos
Her nude photoshoot for Paper magazine seemed to take over the web, causing meltdown on social media and leading to newspapers running a selection of the shots. The champagne shot has been repeated numerous times.

Ice Bucket challenge
The viral videos were the gift that kept on giving to social media and charity. Apparently coming from nowhere it dominated social media became a source of stories and discussion in mainstream media.
An almost never-ending list of A-List celebrities jumped on the bandwagon. It prompted coverage on ALS disease.

Scottish Referendum
The "Yes" campaign turned out to be considerably stronger than commentators had anticipated. With days to go polls showed the two camps were level-pegging, leading the 'no' campaign to roll out the big guns.

Renee Zellweger's face
Appearing in front of the cameras for the ElleWomen in Hollywood Awards, she looked unrecognisable as the star of Bridget Jones, prompting intense speculation over her apparent transformation.

U2 album giveaway
The band gave their album away to absolutely everyone on iTunes for free - The giveaway of 'Songs of Innocence' entered history books as it was the largest album-release ever, with 500 million people receiving it. However it wasn’t to everyone’s taste, with some people complaining they’d received an album on iTunes they didn’t want  

David Moyes sacking 
Manchester United sacked David Moyes after less than a season in charge. Moyes, 51, was given the tough task of taking on the most famous club in the world but was given the boot before even finishing his first season. His record at the club was not actually dissimilar to Sir Alex Ferguson's first season in charge - and his start was not as bad as Louis Van Gaal's.

Chris & Gwyneth break up
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow decided to "consciously uncouple" - The Coldplay singer, 37, and the 41 year old actress shocked everyone with their split and the way they went about it. They even coined a bizarre new term for it - "consciously uncoupling." Chris went on to stun people further not long after by dating star Jennifer Lawrence, 13 years his junior.  

BBC Three axed from TV
Many were shocked and infuriated at the announcement in March as the channel is widely loved and renowned as a platform for comedy. The controller of the channel, Zai Bennett, quit after it was announced and slammed the decision. A host of big name comedians rallied together, starting a petition to save the show.

Germany wipe the floor with Brazil
Germany smashing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi-final - The German thrashing of Brazil left viewers shocked and the host nation heartbroken. The game, which was the most tweeted about thing in 2014, was especially stunning as no major football nation had ever been destroyed at this stage of competition in such fashion.

The "Oscar selfie"

TV host Ellen DeGeneres' star-studded selfie at the Oscars took social media by storm and became the most retweeted photo on Twitter ever, creating great publicity for Samsung. The photo has racked up more than 3.3 million retweets.

If you would like to discuss your PR requirements for 2015 please contact Debbie Jackson on 0207 343 3110 or email