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Beano Studios marks 2016 with presence at BLE

By House PR – entertainment PR london

Beano Studios, the newly independent arm of DC Thomson & Co, marked a bumper year last month with their first stand at Europe’s premier brand licensing event, Brand Licensing Europe.

At BLE, the Beano Studios team presented a newly refreshed Beano brand; Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed, a new CGI animated TV series; and a relaunching of Jackie, the 1970s cult girls’ magazine, with a new category direction and design. All offer up many licencing possibilities, from toys and stationery to publishing and apparel, and these will be coming through in the next few months.

Aimed at the market for seven to ten-year-olds, Beano.com is the exciting platform that will host the products, a curated selection of goods featuring the refreshed and revamped Beano images, and all were on show at the Beano Studios stand at BLE. In the coming months, the Beano Studios team will be releasing more cross-category offerings to new licensees.

Allison Watkins is Beano Studios’ EVP Global Consumer Products and with 25 years’ professional experience in the field is heading the company’s brand licencing team. Her job is to secure new category licensees for the revamped brand and to be responsible for the activation of products for consumers across the globe.

With the launch of Beano Studios and the myriad of new opportunities that the company will be able to market, Allison Watkins said that 2016 was turning out to be an amazing year. The revamp of Beano; a new, refreshed Dennis & Gnasher series that will be aimed at a world audience; and lastly, the wit and comedy of Jackie magazine, will all see the company looking to partner with many new licensees across all categories. She says that she and her team are thrilled that they will be working with existing partners and new partners in the creation of a dazzling range of new goods to wow consumers, young and old.

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House PR launch of Beano Studios and the Beano Experience

By House PR – Entertainment PR agency in London

On 25 September, House PR teamed up with Beano HQ to launch the brand new Beano Studios and the Beano Experience with a top secret VIP event.

The exclusive event organised to relaunch the cult children’s comic book of naughty kids revolved around the new high-octane entertainment channel for the most adventurous of its loyal and dedicated fanbase.

The exclusive Beano-House PR event took place at a secret location in London, with various media, fans and celebrities in attendance. The assembled invitees got the chance to experience a totally new event, with giant catapults and a secret mission of gunge tanks and much fun for all. On the day, seven to 10-year-old kids were at the helm of things in a totally interactive experience of mischievous mayhem. Suddenly the world was turned upside down and adults entered it at their peril. And the mantra of the day was that no rules applied.

The event also showcased Beano HQ’s new Beano Studios and the comic’s new digital network. Aimed at the comic’s key 7-10-year-old audience, various new features of the portal were launched, including Popjam, new Beano apps and a new presence of YouTube.

New platforms will also offer fans the chance to experience various side-splitting content from across the Internet, as well as competitions and games, plus listicles and naturally great videos.

Many celebrities attended the event including Kate Fleetwood, Kate Garraway and Donna air.

On the media front, House PR also organised attendance by the UK’s national press, including The Daily Mail, The Guardian and the Sun, and various reports of the event appeared on the Web on Evening Standard Online, Telegraph Online and Mail Online

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The House PR survivor’s guide for fending of the rainy summer blues

By House PR – Media, Brands & Entertainment PR in London

London may be suffering a rain-drenched summer, but House PR is on hand to help people fend of those rainy day blues with its exclusive list of fun things to do and places to see when outside is wet and gloomy.

First off, Empire Cinemas, the UK’s top independent cinema chain, is showcasing the long-awaited Batman action spinoff, Suicide Squad – starring Jared Leto as the Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Dead Shot. Immerse yourself in the bizarre world of comics’ arch-villains of crime with a huge of tub of crunchy goodies to fight off the movie munchies.

Empire Cinemas is also on hand with other summer movie blockbusters, including the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory; the latest chapter in the Star Trek series, Star Trek Beyond; and the iconic kiddie classic The BFG.

House PR adds to the list with its three favourite London eateries that make keeping out of the rain super-fun, also recommending the restaurant booking service OpenTable. OpenTable lets you find the best restaurants in your locality with special information filters and extras, such as speciality cuisines and customer reviews about restaurants all over the UK.

  1. Cutter & Squidge in Soho, London W1

    Cutter & Squidge is a bakery for the 21st century, famous for its use of natural coloured and flavoured tea-time treats. Its venue has warm and welcoming seating and is the perfect way to have a delicious fun time on a wet afternoon.

  2.  

    Beach Blanket Babylon in Shoreditch, London E1

    This venue is a favourite among locals for both its food and fabulous drinks menu. On the food front, it’s open throughout the day, just as well for a slap-up dinner, a filling brunch or a scrumptious lunch. Plus, it’s a favoured meeting point for a session of relaxed fun with a hip list of cocktails, wines and champagnes – a guaranteed recipe for feeling sunny on the inside when it’s wet on the outside.

  3.  

    Annie’s in Barnes, London SW13

    Apart from its delicious food offerings, Annie’s is famed for its unusual décor – a mix of flower vases of different sizes, darkly coloured flooring and mismatched wall coverings. Like many of London eateries, it’s open for dinner, brunch and lunch.

House PR is also keen to offer up a couple of rainy day recommendations on the culture front:

First, House PR recommends the astonishing David Hockney’s portrait exhibition. Currently a headline exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Art on Piccadilly, David Hockney RA: 82 portraits and 1 still life will be running until the autumn. A study in portraiture, it showcases 82 portraits by the famous artists of different people, sitting in the same chair, each completed in a day and a half, with each subject seated slightly differently.

Second, House PR is urging everyone to visit the highest garden in London at the Shard. The Height of Summer at The View from The Shard is a celebration of the iconic English Garden in the tallest building in Western Europe and offers the unique chance to have a cocktail 72 floors up.

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News: House PR to be play key role in campaign for greater awareness of Sarcoma cancer

By Ginny Paton – Lifestyle PR london

 Facts and figures

  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects soft tissue and bones.
  • Sarcoma makes up less than one percent of new cancer cases in the UK, ie approximately 3,800 new cases per annum.
  • Compared to more common cancers, awareness of sarcoma is poor.

 The client

  • Sarcoma UK is the only British charitable organisation that works with every type of sarcoma cancer.
  • A key aspect of the work of Sarcoma UK is to increase awareness of sarcoma cancers.

 The brief

  • House PR has been appointed by Sarcoma UK to support it in its work to promote awareness of sarcoma.

Key tasks:

a) To extract the maximum PR value from Sarcoma UK being selected by the office of the British Prime Minister as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016.

b) To help and support Sarcoma UK in its Sarcoma awareness mission during Sarcoma Awareness Week, which will run during 4-10 July.

Background of brief

Sarcoma UK was selected as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016 as a tribute to Chris Martin. Chris worked as David Cameron’s Principal Private Secretary and was struck down by sarcoma at the end of 2015. His colleagues at 10 Downing Street were instrumental in getting Sarcoma UK named as Downing Street’s Charity of the Year for 2016.

 

Sarcoma UK and House PR

Sarcoma UK selected House PR to support it in its ongoing work to raise awareness about sarcoma because of its extensive experience working with charities – Lindsey Bennister, Sarcoma UK CEO

 

House PR will be closely involved with the communications team at Sarcoma UK to raise awareness about sarcoma, with the ultimate aims of improving the rate of early diagnoses and increase donations to Sarcoma UK, a crucial aspect of the charity’s fundraising efforts for research – Ginny Paton, House PR MD article in The Drum

 

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YMCA to benefit from nationwide Mountain Warehouse charity drive By House PR

April saw House PR – Lifestyle PR London – launch a major UK-wide charity drive by the clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse for the benefit of YMCA England and YMCA Scotland.

The Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In campaign will allow customers to swap used jackets to any of the UK’s 174 Mountain Warehouse outlets in exchange for a 20% discount against a new jacket. All jackets collected by the shops will be passed on to Clothes Aid, who will then give the sales proceeds for the garments to the major UK youth charity, the YMCA.

House PR reported that YMCA CEO Denise Hatton said she was thrilled about YMCA Scotland and YMCA England’s involvement in Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In initiative. She described the partnering up of different charities and the Mountain Warehouse retail chain as “innovative”, adding that any funds raised will be of great benefit to much of the YMCA work with young people across its many centres in the UK.

To add a further boost to the Mountain Warehouse’s Jacket In initiative, House PR also helped the company organise a unique competition with the hashtag #MWJacketIn. All customers who upload pics of themselves sporting an outdoor adventure jacket stand a chance of winning a brand new one.

Thanks to efforts by House PR’s Mountain Warehouse Jacket In team, the charity initiative was reported on in several local press outlets, including the Stirling Observer in Scotland, North West Evening Mail Online and the South Wales Argus. Online, it was also covered by the Coventry Telegraph and the Chester Chronicle. It also featured as news on Bridge FM.

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Ginny Paton on a Planner’s role in a PR Agency

Planners provide the rigour behind our creativity – says Ginny Paton

Planners play an important role in the modern PR agency. At my agency we use planners all the time, and they really strengthen the work that we do says Ginny Paton.

The origin of the planner was in the advertising industry, where they bridged the gap between the creatives and the business leaders who were focused on the bottom line says Ginny Paton.

Their typical duties came before a campaign began in the shape of consumer insight, research and brand positioning. They also got involved after a campaign was completed, in the shape of evaluation says Ginny Paton.

But PR agencies like mine have, over the last decade, begun to take on planners as well. It’s partly due to the fact that client needs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and so the old reliance on our wits and a packed contact book simply won’t suffice any more. We need insight to back our ideas.

Planning teams do more though – they provide access to those all-important marketing budgets, often far meatier than PR budgets. And they also provide valuable weight when pitching to potential clients says Ginny Paton.

From what I’ve seen in pitches says Ginny Paton, clients love a good creative idea – and they love it even more when we show how we got there says Ginny Paton. The rigour of research is far more valuable than creativity which does not relate to the brand’s situation. We need to take on board insights such as how their customers feel about their brand compared to their competitors.

Planning directors really came into their own when digital took off. Digital provides data, and data enables planners to do their planning in real time. Digital skills are certainly something that a good planner needs to have, along with the ability to get deep into data to find out what it can tell us about the world says Ginny Paton.

There are other personality types that make good planners. Those with the ability to think laterally and be imaginative. Those who are able to challenge assumptions with a strong curiosity. The desired outcome is to develop a new way of looking at the world.

In my experience, there’s just one problem with using planners in PR – it isn’t advertising. It’s not as predictable, with planning cycles often closer to three weeks than three months says Ginny Paton

Despite this, it is still really important that we have these skills to hand. It feeds into a general movement for PR agencies to become more structured in their creativity.

These developments provide a useful counter-balance to that all-important gut feeling which should always play a part in PR creativity says Ginny Paton

Ginny Paton – MD House PR

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PR consultants – the modern problem solvers – by Ginny Paton

Remember when the job of the PR agency was simply to come along near the end of a campaign to make some calls to the national newspapers?

Thank God those days are now largely over – agencies like House PR (Ginny Paton is MD) are far more likely to be giving insights as part of their ongoing day to day activities for their clients. This is a hugely varied role, so it leads us to the question of what the true purpose of a PR consultancy is, these days.

Well if you ask me, the PR consultant is uniquely placed to be an all-round solver of client problems. PR professionals of today can and should be the first point of contact for the CEO or the MD, providing insights on handling crises, sorting a launch across diverse media, helping with a new corporate strategy, or informing business priorities.

That’s why PR consultancies are frequently going after the same account work as management consultants – but we have one advantage. We bring our creative skills to the party.

While we come at our work from a background of understanding comms and the press, we bring our analytical skills to bear on many more strategic activities than gaining media coverage.

But a key point to bear in mind is that we can only earn that role by being channel-neutral about the advice we hand out. We could advise them to spend their money on advertising rather than PR, for instance. Or digital marketing. Or a combination of all three.

Why do I think that the PR consultant is best placed to take on this job, rather than those other advisors surrounding a brand? Because our range of awareness is very broad. PR people have to be analytical and they have to have a strong understanding of business drivers and the pitfalls that could occur to a company. But they also need to know their current affairs, and their way around a marketing strategy.

And what’s most important, they can give consideration to all of these issues in a holistic manner.

Recently, House PR has been asked by clients to suggest ad firms, to take part in internal recruitment meetings, and we have given advice to CEOs on all sorts of business plans. That’s because our clients trust us, and we know their businesses implicitly.

We at House PR take a problem-solving approach. We give the best possible answer to a question, even if the answer isn’t what you’d consider to be traditional PR.

That might seem odd, but only if your view of PR is severely outdated. If you open your mind to the capabilities of the modern PR consultancy, you’ll be impressed by how it can enhance businesses of all kinds.

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