Insights, updates from Bristol's leading public relations agency


The ultimate brand endorsement

We recently welcomed Sophie Palmer, a social media and blogger enthusiast, into the Bristol team to undertake work experience with us. With a wealth of digital knowledge we asked her to write a guest post for the blog, and the chosen subject – blogger endorsement.

Blogger relations: how to get it right

In 2009 Zoe Sugg opened her YouTube account and started talking. Reviewing her favourite budget beauty products and showcasing her latest fashion buys, she gained a host of fans with her honest and fun personality. ‘Zoella’, as she is known, now has over six million subscribers on YouTube, a sell-out ‘Zoella’ beauty range and a novel due for release in 2015. Twenty million people a month view her online and with 2.3 million twitter followers, she has almost double the followers of celebrity Saturday night TV presenter Tess Daly; who also boasts a contract as the ‘face’ of L’Oreal.

Blog image

It isn’t surprising that brands have bloggers on their radar. While in the past a celebrity endorsement might have been the norm to push sales, consumers are putting their trust in bloggers they can identify with.

Brands are utilising this shift in trust and using blogger engagement to push online visibility and increase sales, after all fashion bloggers are helping to set and share the trends and their intimate connection with readers is desirable for any brand. Blogger outreach isn’t reserved for the big fashion brands, the diversity of blogs means that all it takes is some careful research to find the right blogger for your brand or project.

Here are our top tips for making the most of blogger collaborations:

  • Research – Don’t choose a blogger purely based on statistics, have a thorough look and keep in mind that the partnership needs to be relevant to both your customers and the blogger’s audience. A partnership with someone with fewer followers will be more effective if they are someone your customer identifies with and if you are a brand their reader is interested in.
  • Ideas – Spend some time creating an idea to present to your chosen blog. Bloggers receive countless emails from brands so make your idea stand out so that the blogger will be excited to work with you.
  • Make the relationship work for both of you – Blogging is time consuming and if you want them to spend their time promoting your brand, offer to promote theirs too. Bloggers don’t always expect payment but a free item and a tweet about them to show your appreciation is a gesture that will go a long way.
  • Personal approach – Building a friendly yet professional relationship with the blogger is important if you want the partnership to be long lasting. Generic emails usually end up in the junk folder and remember bloggers talk, so make sure they’re saying good things about your brand!

Join our team

Exciting times are afoot at Grayling and now is your chance to join one of the most successful PR consultancies in the South West.

We are currently recruiting foJob vacancyr an experienced Account Manager and an entry-level Client Executive to join our dynamic team.

The Account Manager role will suit an experienced consultant interested in working with clients in the business-to-business environment.

The Client Executive position is ideal for a recent graduate, preferably with some work experience in PR, who would relish the opportunity to support clients working in fields such as retail and fashion, transport and engineering.

For more information about either of these roles, please contact

Brand reputation – who is winning the PR race in 2014

The results are in and the Superbrands Council’s 2014 chart has seen quite a shake-up.  Here in Bristol we’ve been looking at who’s up, who’s down and what impact PR has had on their position.

British Airways has flown away with the headlines as it hit the dizzy heights of the number one consumer brand. It’s the first time the airline has made the grade and success has largely been attributed to two key factors – its popular ‘To Fly, To Serve’ marketing makeover and enduring goodwill from its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Stunts such as the giant ‘Welcome to our Turf’ image greeting planes at Heathrow have stayed in the public’s imagination and boosted the brand’s image.

welcome to our turf

Retail brands have continued to rank well. Boots and Amazon both entered the top 20 for the first time and thanks to successful star-studded autumn/winter and Christmas campaigns, M&S has remained a fixed favourite among UK consumers.

The technology sector has taken the biggest hit in this year’s league table with Apple falling from number two in 2013 to 14 in this year’s table. The brand has been widely reported to be losing its way following the death of Steve Jobs and a perceived lack of game-changing innovation has also had an impact on the public.

Google, Facebook and Microsoft all fell in the rankings too, reflecting a tough year for technology as a whole. Each company has faced its share of public criticism around privacy following Edward Snowden’s revelations and consumers are voicing concerns about their domination of the market.

As ever, this year’s chart offers us a fantastic insight into consumer thinking and provides brands with an opportunity to take stock. With increasing power in consumers’ hands it’s vital for all companies, big or small, to look at how their reputation is performing so they can build on success and address early warning signs. It will be interesting to see where the winners and losers of the 2014 league table go next.

#Hashtags – raising brand awareness on social media

From advertising campaigns to news coverage, hashtags are everywhere we look. With 57% of adults here in the UK actively using social media, it’s never been easier for businesses to engage with the public but competition is fierce. Tweets are 55% more likely to be retweeted when they contain a hashtag, so you need to work them to your advantage. We’ve come up with our quick Grayling guide to getting the most out of this tool:


Keep it short and sweet

The longer the hashtag, the less understandable and effective it becomes. As Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, it also ensures you give fans the space to properly engage. If it’s vital that you use a longer hashtag, consider abbreviating the phrase to save space.

Use capital letters

As hashtags can’t contain spaces, symbols or punctuation, capital letters provide a clever way to differentiate between words. They also help to tidy up the look of the hashtag and make it professional: #thisisntunderstandable, whereas #ThisIsUnderstandable.

Look before you leap

There are numerous examples out there of brands getting it wrong by piggy-backing onto an unsuitable hashtag. Always check for any pre-existing use or meaning for your hashtag to avoid causing any confusion or offence.


Hashtags are no longer limited to Twitter, they can be used on both Facebook and Instagram. It’s also a good idea  to highlight your hashtag in press and marketing materials and on your website where you can. The more visible it is, the more it will entice the public.

If you’d like to find out more about how to maximise your brand’s presence on social media, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Grayling.

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