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Everyone uses the internet, whether coding or looking for dog videos, we spend 192 minutes a day browsing the internet. But which is the website you start on? Our money says it’s Google. The search engine turned global powerhouse has become a force to be reckoned with within the industry in the last two decades. Starting off as a simple web-page search function, the US based company has since expanded into mobile phone space, home accessibility gadgets and music streaming services. So, it may come as no surprise that for the last 15 years Google has been sitting in the number one position, after taking it off Yahoo in 2006, and has remained the most visited website across the planet. That is until now.

2021 was the year that saw a social and digital revolution thanks to the power of Gen Z and the global pandemic caused by the C-word. During lockdown, the way we all consume and digest content changed dramatically. VOD services and ways we can use the internet exploded, with sites like YouTube and Amazon Prime changing the way we find information. Gen Z helped to drive this change. Gen Z’ers are people born between 1995 and 2010 and are the most influential segment counting for 40% of global consumers. Social media has always been popular amongst teenagers, but it is this ever-increasing segment of people and recent changes in consumption habits that social platforms thrive within. Especially Tiktok.

In case you didn’t know, Tiktok is a Chinese birthed, video-focused, era-defining, social media site and believe it or not – it was 2021’s most popular website of the year. You may remember Donald Trump trying to block the website from touching US networks earlier in the year. The Trump administration labelled Tiktok “a national security threat”, apparently primed to be used by “Chinese Communists”. But since then, the app has seen a phenomenal success in the States during the first year under Joe Biden, and he has recently stated that a national security review of the app is underway.

Tiktok grew monumental amounts in 2021. At the close of 2020, 700 million followers (more than double the numbers of 2019) were using the app, but by the end of 2021 the number had further increased to more than 1 billion users

To put these stats into perspective – that’s more than 1 in 8 people on the planet actively using Tiktok. Since pre-Covid times, there has been a 42% increase in time spent on the app overall, on the app overall, with the most significant growth in time spent on the app being 287% by 16 to 18-year-olds.

Gen Z consumes totally differently to previous generations, they get their news more quickly from a range of platforms, and can easily spot fake news when they see it. Compared to Baby Boomers and the 90’s kids, who saw the come-and-go of floppy disks, dial-up internet and the true birth of streaming services, Gen Z were born into a highly accessible world where this wealth of content and information is commonplace. They are born into an information overloaded environment where they can reach news in a few scrolls

It poses the newer generations, specifically Gen Z, no longer have the desire to search for truth on Google. Have they lost the need to research everything they hear, and fact check what’s being told to them? Rather than it being a case of believing everything they see – Gen Z can spot fake news, they already follow the accounts and outlets they need to get the information and news they can trust. When you compare market share and the overall volume of Gen Z, it’s not hard to appreciate the sheer size of the generation. As Baby Boomers and 90’s babies evolve into new stages, the Gen Z remains the largest segment. When you look at the target demographic of Tiktok, it correlates with such a high number of captured users. Tiktok is Gen Z fuel, with its instant content and all the information they could possibly want.

As impressive as Gen Z is, possibly being the most technological savvy generation of children the world has ever seen, are they becoming more interested in pop culture rather than world affairs? Or do they not trust the information around them and so become tuned in but zoned out. Our research suggests that newer generations have a lower desire to research news, and this is reflected in the Tiktok takeover last year.

Gen Z have been thrown into an already overloaded world and, with information available at their fingertips, the need to Google has dropped off compared to the need for entertainment. With Gen Z taking up the largest segment of consumers, magnified by the impact of the global pandemic, it’s no surprise Tiktok has become so popular.

You can check out the top ten websites of 2021 below.


We have bags of of experience developing and delivering impactful TikTok content for brands, and we can do the same for you, get in touch to find out more.

Sustainability Stars in our Specialist Sectors

Rishi Sunak has put his foot down at COP26, announcing that Britain’s biggest firms must play their part in tackling climate change. It’s a bold and brave approach, as it means they’ll need to roadmap their strategy for net zero without hiding behind a greenwash screen, being assessed annually on their efforts. Those that fail to deliver could face sanctions in the form of fines or the removal from the stock exchange – a move to show that he’ll hit them where it hurts if they don’t comply.

This will undoubtedly impact all businesses, but here at The Lucre Group we specialise in key sectors where we have unrivalled expertise and insights. With this in mind, we’ve picked through the press releases that made the cut in both the mainstream, trade and marketing media to share our favourite stories of the sustainability season:





Co-op has long been known for leading the way with its sustainability measures, so it has widely been deemed clever and appropriate for it to take the bold step of ‘rebranding’ six of its store fronts as ‘CO-OP 26’. An impactful image, particularly in Glasgow where the conference is being held, it helped show the retailer’s commitment to radically reducing its carbon contribution and its goal to becoming a Net Zero business by 2040. Read more about it on Prolific North.





Launched a few weeks before COP26, likely in a bid to avoid the sheer volume of sustainable storytelling during the conference, Selfridges shared its commitment to helping to counteract the Christmas wastefulness with a pop-up pre-loved toy shop selling collectables, antique stuffed toys and classic board games. A clever nod to the nostalgic and planet-conscious consumer, the high-end retailer will undoubtedly win on 2 fronts, both in terms of the public’s perception of its commitment to sustainability, plus improve footfall during the festive season. Either way, it’s a bold move from a retailer which has traditionally prided itself on selling the newest and best of everything. Read more about it on Time Out.





The Travel Foundation has used COP26 to announce its role in providing support for a newly-launched Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. It will be working with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to ensure businesses can work towards decarbonisation, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. Read more about it on Travel Weekly.





Single-use plastics are one of the biggest plights on our planet, with bottled water being in the inner circle of carbon-emission culprits. However, a revolutionary Swedish water company called Bluewater is tackling this head on. It has publicly appealed to business and world government leaders at COP26 by launching a white paper reviewing the health hazards of chemicals released into the ocean from millions of single use plastic bottles dumped into our oceans and landfills every year. The paper worryingly confirmed that the endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in single-use bottles posed the number one threat to humankind. Read all about it on IT-TECH NEWS.


If your business is seeking an agency that understands how to deliver sustainable campaigns that have meaningful impact, click the link to find out more about our services and complete the contact form for a call back.

IRL – Why We’d Take the Explication Any Day

What is it?

IRL is essentially a social media calendar that is meant to streamline the process of scheduling meets and events with friends. It was launched in 2018 but didn’t take off immediately, partly due to the initially clunky interface and glitch-prone haptics that made it a less than satisfactory user experience. However, in the last year the app has attracted a monster bit of backing of $170 million from Softbank – and as a result, a little a little bizarre given that lockdowns beget lockdowns and social engagements are off the cards – it’s seen a resurgence in popularity. The similarities the app shares to that of Instagram – it allows for followers, likes, posts, commentary and tagging – probably accounts for this newfound ‘It’ status, particularly amongst Gen Z, the demographic from which it is garnering the most downloads. The creators have chosen not to invest money in any kind of marketing but are instead catching new users from apps like snapchat, Roxblox and TikTok. TikTok is also working on product integration with IRL.

Once downloaded, the user needs register with a phone number, age, and location. Now set-up, it excavates your contact list and allows you to create events, invite friends and established groups, and then designate details like time, date, and location. From there you can create your own meet-ups or set up your own from a list of pre-existing categories including book club, besties, family, call of Duty Squad and more. It allows for commentary through event specific chats, and lets friends chime in with multiple choice polls. You are also able to track your real-life social events using the built-in map functionality. In addition, there is the chance to anonymously nominate friends for their unique attributes, such as who is a ‘mother f***ing legend’?


Any good?

The excessive data harvesting is a little unnerving but nothing new. Similarly, the GPS tracking and built-in map functionality that can’t be disabled is intrusive, but again, not the end of the world.  IRL is essentially a slack channel full of your mates, not work colleagues, that helps to plan events and keeps the group conversation ticking over until you are together IRL.

The app certainly has the potential to be an interesting and useful tool. The organizational power is a siren call to the pedant in us all, and the easily navigable, if somewhat still glitchy interface, is appealing. However, the real rub and point of concern for us is who this targeting?

The odd lexicon it has adopted is far from embodying youth vernacular, in fact, it’s a little embarrassing. Our recent think tanks with GenZers found that – across the board – their biggest turn off was brands unsuccessfully adopting ‘young’ language. If that is the case, then this app is ready for an immediate de-install.

In defence of IRL, though the language might be enough to diminish engagement from GenZers, the extreme lengths it has gone to in order to take care of its users and keep them safe, is worthy of recognition. As mental health concerns and physical security are foregrounded in today’s world of online meets and real-world tracking, the app has taken a step above most to ensure users safety and well-being. Everything is private by default and not visible to other users unless you explicitly opt to do so (Instagram is the inverse of this) users must be age 12+ (though admittedly impossible to regulate) and most impressive of all is the ‘in crisis, chat now’ feature that instantly connects you to crisis management help if you are in need.


Marketing potential?

This is where the app could become particularly promising. The huge amount of backing has given it legs, and enough interested parties to flog it into shape. It is currently experimenting with allowing groups to charge access for tutoring, lessons and other such activities. Eventually, the intention is to allow brands to promote events on the main discovery page, something that could hold real promise for marketeers in the future, especially if it grows as the backing would suggest it could.


Will it take-off in a big way?

It’s hard to say right now, but there is an increase in downloads – the Softbank app already has 12 Million users to date and has gained real traction in the US, with over 1 billion messages being facilitated in just over a year.

The language, and invasive harvesting of data is at odds with the general landscape of Gen Z, however the social appeal and potential for commentary and novel games, especially given everyone’s immediate isolation, may give it a tailwind that sees it through the pandemic. However, we’ve seen the rise and fall of Clubhouse, the success of which peaked mid-pandemic but quickly declined as people met in person. Arguably, with society exiting a pandemic and with parties, events and gatherings on the not-too-distant horizon, this might be the moment for such an app. Time will tell!

Ultimately, Facebook does the same, as do several of the ubiquitous social media apps, so the appeal of downloading something new, moving all your friends over onto it only to encounter mild glitches and invites to the faintly embarrassing ‘litty committee’ makes us a little sceptical of it’s reach. One to watch out for nonetheless – as they streamline the interface, language, and privacy settings, it could certainly have real potential.

Lucre News: Voice Technology Use Rises 67% Since Pandemic Across Gen Z

Gen Z has used voice technology 67% more since the pandemic started, of which 70% are 10–15-year-old boys. That’s according to recent research which evaluates the habits of Gen Z pre- and post-pandemic.[1] It found that between 40-50% of Gen Z use voice technology assistants, of which two-thirds use theirs daily.

Adding to their increased technology usage, the report found an astounding 287% growth in TikTok use across 16–18-year-olds since the beginning of the pandemic. The research further reveals that Gen Z spends roughly 9 hours on YouTube per week. More generally, the research saw a 54% uplift in time spent online across Gen Z’s female demographic, compared to 30% across their male counterparts.

Interestingly, the pandemic has caused a resurgence in Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, particularly across the 10-15 year-old age bracket. Pre-pandemic, their use of these channels had all but eclipsed, so it’s possible that the need to connect with family and ‘formal’ groups – school, hobbies – caused these channels to find a new niche with this younger demographic.

When asking Gen Z what they look forward to the most post-COVID 19, girls aged 16+ responded that they wish to see the world and share their journey on social channels; boys of the same age simply want to have a blast with their friends. All Gen Z in the research wanted to be eco-conscious but added that they would not sacrifice the prospect of travel to become so.

Further research found that as a highly eco-conscious demographic, all of Gen Z age 16+ want brands to improve their eco credentials and social impact; a quarter of boys aged 10-15 and girls age 16+ will actively choose brands based on their eco-credentials.[2] Nearly a quarter (22%) of 19–22-year-olds, and 28% of 10–15-year-olds want a brand to stand for something they believe. Admiring more ‘worthy’ personalities, those aged 16-22 were found to idolise ‘respectable’, socially conscious names such as David Attenborough, Michelle Obama, and Greta Thunberg.

The research has been commissioned by The Lucre Group as part of an ongoing study  to gain further insight into the mindset of Gen Z, particularly in the context of the COVID pandemic and their interaction with visual culture and society.

Tamarind Wilson Flint, Co-Founder of The Lucre Group said:

Understanding how different audiences consume media and engage is key in a normal world, never mind against a backdrop of a global pandemic. To our knowledge, this is the only study of its kind to monitor Gen Z pre, during and post COVID, the insights of which offer a unique behavioural blueprint for businesses and brands. From identifying where technology has accelerated in usage to the green generation, this research helps us to comprehend on a granular level what is fundamentally important to Gen Z – alongside their means of communicating and interacting.”

View the Gen Z post-pandemic infographic

Are you listening? Delivering podcast perfection

Over the last few years, podcasts have become a popular form of entertainment – they are easy to listen to, often free to play, available on any device and crucially reduce ‘screen time’ which is a key concern for those of us who spend their days looking at a computer, TV or phone.

Before the pandemic hit, a podcast was the ideal accompaniment to a tiring commute, and now it can be a comfortable companion on a lunchtime walk to get away from your desk, or an accompaniment while cooking dinner and moving around the house.

Acast, the largest global podcast company, reported listening reached record levels in Spring 2020 as people turned to podcasts for coronavirus news.

Whatever the future holds, podcasts are here to stay.

Did you know that there are over 1,500,000* podcasts currently available in Apple’s iTunes?

Everyone has their go-to listen; you might be a true crime connoisseur and enjoy the likes of Serial or My Favourite Murder, or prefer something to lift your spirits like No Such Thing as a Fish, or even use podcasts as an opportunity to learn something new with the likes of TED Radio Hour.

As more brands capitalise on the increased interest in the podcast format, it is crucial to ensure your podcast has its own Unique Selling Point (USP). Here are some of our top tips to consider if you are planning to start your own podcast.


Know your audience

As a business, you know your audience best – who they are, how to reach them and importantly, what content they engage with. While the platform you are reaching them on may be different to more traditional forms of media, it’s likely they will look to you for expertise on a particular topic.

Our client Natures Menu has done just that with the launch of its debut podcast, The Pupcast. Natures Menu is the UK’s leading expert in raw and natural pet food, and it is known and loved by its customers for its advice and guidance when it comes to everything cat and dog. From weaning puppies onto adult food to how to care for your pet in hot weather or on Bonfire Night, Natures Menu’s reputation in this area is second to none.

The launch of The Pupcast capitalises on the brand’s knowledge. With Mel Sainsbury, the brand’s Veterinary Education Manager at the helm, each episode focuses on a key concern of puppy owners and features guests who are experts in the pet industry.

By knowing its audience, Natures Menu has established how it can engage with its audience in a way that is familiar to them and continues to provide them with content they will benefit from. Not to mention The Pupcast is a great companion on a morning dog walk!


Do your research

One of the best things about podcasts is that they cater for every interest, whether that be a zeitgeist topic featuring frequently in the news cycle, or you are interested in quite a niche subject area.

One crucial action to make before you start recording is to do your research. What will make your podcast stand out from the crowd? What can you say that will provide a fresh and interesting take on a topic you know well?

We worked with Mira Showers, the UK’s leading shower manufacturer, to launch its first podcast, Clean Thinking, in 2020.  A poll involving more than 2,000 Brits revealed that over 50 per cent prioritise cleaning their house and checking the news over their own mental wellbeing.

Additional research conducted by Mira ahead of the podcast launch highlighted where they could make a difference, informing the focus of Clean Thinking. By creating short podcasts that people could listen to while they were in the shower, Mira was able to provide listeners with some much-needed mental wellbeing support.


Be the expert

You know your audience; you’ve done your research, what’s next?

The host of your podcast is a crucial piece of the puzzle – they need to be confident while recording, be able to steer the conversation and manage the guest, as well as being an engaging speaker who will keep your listeners entertained.

If you have an expert within your business who is an authority in your field and has media experience, they could be a great fit as your podcast host. However, you may not have anyone that fits the brief in your business and that isn’t a problem. Why not invest in a celebrity guest host, or a third-party expert, who is used to presenting and recording and can help position your podcast as the must-listen in your industry?


Hit Record

As with all creative content, it’s all about quality. The podcast will be associated with your business for years to come which is why it’s crucial to make sure the quality of the podcast is of a high standard. The good news is that it is possible to do this, whatever your budget.

The two most common methods of podcast recording are out-sourcing to a recording studio or managing the recording in-house. Both methods have their benefits.

Outsourcing to a recording studio is the ideal option if you are working with a high-profile spokesperson or a celebrity guest host. A studio provides a comfortable and soundproof environment, and as they come with professional equipment, you know you are going to have good quality audio.

Studio technicians can also edit the recordings, so the podcast is ready to launch. What this does mean, however, is that you are relying on the studio’s timings, which may affect the turnaround time between recording and the finished version to share with your listeners. Studio recording can often be a costly activity and is therefore better suited to a strategy with a sizeable budget to work from.

Recording in-house is a great option if you are working to a budget. It allows you to make sure your key messaging is included in each episode and that time is set aside to ensure your recordings are edited quickly and to the required standard.

Rich, our content creation arm, can support with in-house and studio podcast creation and recording, whilst managing preparation, editing and distribution of your podcast.


Get the word out

When considering promotional strategy for your podcast, it’s essential to support a new podcast with an effective launch campaign to ensure listeners know how to engage with your content. Social channels are a great way to reach your existing customers, with paid ads helping to reach out to new audiences and let new customers find your podcast. Press releases can also work to raise awareness through traditional media, but make sure you have something new to say – why not include some interesting stats from your earlier research to show your expertise?

Make sure you utilize the available podcast directories including Acast, Spotify, iTunes and Google.

It should be noted that although the number of podcasts available has grown exponentially over the last few years, the podcast is still a relative newcomer to the world of marketing. Few podcasts become overnight success stories, and this is something to be mindful of when developing a strategy and planning KPIs. Podcast producers often recommend that it takes approximately ten episodes to gauge the success of a podcast, and it’s often quality engagement that is more impactful than the quantity.

Podcasts may seem like a time intensive process but it worth the investment!


Have fun

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, have fun with your podcast. They are a form of entertainment first and foremost, and therefore need to be entertaining, informative, and interesting to keep your listeners engaged.

However, podcast listeners can pick up any signs of advertising or direct selling, which can affect your results. People are more likely to become regular listeners if they don’t feel like they are being sold to.

If you enjoy the recording process, chances are your audience will enjoy the final product too!


To find out how you can enhance your business’s PR strategy with a podcast that is perfect for your audience, get in touch at


*Correct as of October 2020

Time to get Festive with Christmas Voice Apps

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and one of the most exciting advancements you can take advantage of over the holidays has to be voice technology and the festive apps that come with it. So, we’ve picked out the top five apps you and your family can enjoy to get in the spirit:

  1. Santa (Alexa Skills)

This voice app is available on Alexa and is full of exciting activities for both young and old to enjoy, from silly workouts and light meditation to jokes and cooking mince pies. There’s even a news and weather update from a reliable source at the North Pole.


  1. Santa Tracker (Alexa Skills)

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been Santa tracking for 65 years and its preparations are fully underway to make Christmas extra special for children and families across the world.


For those who don’t know, on Christmas Eve, NORAD provides up-to-date information on where Santa is. In the meantime, it can also provide top secret Santa facts for those eager to learn more.


  1. Advent Calendar (Alexa Skills)

Launching today (1st December), families across the country can ask Alexa to open a box where she will provide you with a cheery surprise, raising a smile on those gloomy winter days.


  1. Christmas Quiz (Alexa Skills, Google Actions)

As office parties and family get-togethers may be a little different, don’t worry you can still enjoy a Christmas Quiz with your smart device.


On the Google Device, gather the whole family together and test your knowledge on how much you truly know about the holidays. The Alexa alternative is a one-to-one quiz between you and your smart device, compiled of five multiple choice questions.


  1. Christmas Stories (Alexa Skills, Google Actions)

There’s nothing better than cuddling up and listening to a Christmas story to get you in the spirit. Alexa can use ten names of your choice and compile a festive tale for the family. In addition, your Google device will tell you one of three tales; The Snowy Day, Twas the Night Before Christmas or Swan Lake.


If you’re interested in hearing about how voice technology can benefit your brand, then take a read of our blog post, ‘Voice Search: A rare opportunity for brands to be heard’.

Lucre News: The Lucre Group Builds on Property Credentials with Latest Appointment

Award-winning property developer, Berkeley Homes has appointed The Lucre Group to manage the PR and communications of its newest flagship scheme – The Horlicks Factory.

Based in Slough, the development will transform the original factory and nearby buildings into a vibrant new community with 1,300 high-quality new homes. This exciting project also sees the clocktower and factory chimney restored to their former glory, thereby preserving the heritage and character of this landmark site.

This latest appointment builds on the foundations of Lucre’s strong property credentials including Bellway, Global Student Accommodation, Hyelm, Wellington Place, Redrow, St James and The Student Housing Company.

Deana Everingham, Regional Sales Director, Berkeley Oxford & Chilterns, said:

We’ve worked with Lucre for the past 14 years and they have a great understanding of our sector. It was essential for us to work with an agency that we trust on our latest Berkshire scheme and as such a valued partner, it was an easy decision for us to make.”

Rhona Templer, Managing Director at The Lucre Group, added:

Berkeley is so much more than a housebuilder. Its developments put placemaking at the heart of what they do, making its proposition an exciting one for buyers, and its newest Horlicks Factory development is no different. We’re excited to continue working with the team on this flagship development and further build on the long-standing relationship we have with them.”

Black History Month – the good, the bad and the ugly

October marks Black History Month – a period of awareness that recognises the achievements, culture and historical events of those of African and Caribbean descent. With recent movements such as Black Lives Matter, a spotlight has been shone on racial equality, and many brands have been inspired to show their support for black rights through clever campaigns and content.

It’s safe to say not everyone has got it quite right – we take a look at just some of the brands that have hit the headlines recently – the good and the bad.


The Good:


TikTok, a strong advocate for modern diversity, has promoted Black History Month content on its platform by encouraging users to post content with the hashtag #MyRoots.

The grassroots campaign has so far been viewed by thousands across the world and has encouraged an incredible amount of user-generated content and interaction.

Trevor Johnson, Global Business Marketing Director, TikTok said:

#myroots will honour the contribution made by the black community, the joy our black friends, family and colleagues bring, and look ahead to the future of black talent on TikTok”



The app many see as the grown-up version of Tinder, Bumble conducted research into how the black community thought love was portrayed by the media and within advertising to see if there were any discrepancies. The results came showed that 79% thought that there was a lack of relatable imagery when it came to promotional content and branding.

To combat this, Bumble launched the #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign, which shared black British voices being interviewed on how they perceive love and what it means as part of their life. The beautiful content featured prominent black figures including model Jourdan Dunn, Olympic Boxer Nicola Adams, and musician and poet ‘George the Poet’.


Royal Mail

In celebration of the achievements of the black community, Royal Mail transformed four iconic postboxes in the UK figure within British black culture and history.

Praising comedian and Comic Relief founder, Lenny Henry, renowned war nurse and British hotel founder, Mary Seacole, footballer and first black army officer, Walter Tull, and cultural artist, Yinka Shonibare, the postboxes were decorated with a QR code that encouraged passersby to read into the individual’s remarkable contributions to the country and to share their stories on their social media channels. The campaign was a great reflection of how experiential and digital PR can work together to successfully raise awareness.


The Black Farmer

A brand based on raising money and awareness of under-representation, The Black Farmer is an online shop providing the best of British meats, cheeses, pies, drinks and more. The founder, Jamaican-born BBC food director and producer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, started his farm in his 40s because of his passion for the British countryside and British food.

To celebrate Black History Month, Wilfred teamed up with black-owned Bristol brewery Dawkins Ales to create a beer and a cider, showcasing what can be achieved in an industry where there are very few people of diverse ethnicities – a perfect pairing!



We all recognise the power of celebrity endorsement and influencers in today’s media landscape – after all, they play a major role in determining buying behaviours. Sainsbury’s, however, stuck to their guns and demonstrated how their influence isn’t always welcome.

After the supermarket chain announced it would be marking Black History Month in a tweet shared with its 570,000 followers, the brand called for shoppers to go elsewhere if they did not wish to support an inclusive retailer:

We are proud to celebrate Black History Month together with our black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism. We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.”


The Bad:

Pure Gym

And then there’s the bad. We couldn’t talk about Black History Month without discussing the recent major mistake by Pure Gym.

The leading fitness facility brand came under fire after advertising a workout entitled ’12 Years of Slave’ which was captioned “Slavery is hard and so is this” on one of its local Facebook pages. Criticised nationally for being ‘tone deaf’ and ‘offensive’, the brand received major backlash and was a prime example that showcased the power of social media. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t positive power.


Brands have become increasingly conscious about how they are seen to be using these types of movements – steering clear of tapping into the trend purely for financial gain. Instead, those that have come out on top have been brands that are being recognised for responding to, and contributing to, the overall change towards inclusive beliefs and cultures, proving they are acting to make a real difference.

Voice Search: A Rare Opportunity for Brands to be Heard

OK Google… A short phrase that will see various devices in my house simultaneously go on standby ready to help with switching on lights, turning on the heating, putting on music, helping me to find the perfect recipe, read me the news, book me a table, the list goes on. Virtually any problem solved, and all I need to do is ask. It’s a phrase I say every morning and night, and countless times in between. You probably do too.

In our connected homes, we’re no longer strangers to the concept of talking to our devices, or even our devices talking to each other. Many of us have experienced that surprising moment when a smart speaker will suddenly spring into life, perhaps because of a barely noticed phrase said on TV. It reminds us that our homes are now intelligent and bidding to extend a multisensory experience around us.

In an era when brands are struggling to be heard, and barely disguised sponsored content is  met with cynicism on our social media, an interesting thing has happened. Brands, and indeed our things, have discovered a way to communicate. Not on screens where the noise has reached fever pitch, but in quieter spaces – ironically our ‘speakers’. They’ve started to listen, and now the commanding voice that can be heard is our own.

Voice search statistics – why brands should pay attention

For digital PR professionals, the idea that brands should think ‘audience first’ is not a new one, but a rare opportunity now exists for brands to take advantage of a relatively new channel, and with it some new rules of play. It’s worth taking note at this point that the game is really kicking off.

Back in 2018, Canalys launched a report that revealed smart speakers were the fastest growing consumer technology in recent history. The same year, Gartner reported that voice search was the fastest growing mobile search type. Gartner went on to predict that, by 2021, early adopters of voice would increase digital commerce revenue by as much as 30%.

Fast forward to January this year and research has revealed that 43% of internet users aged 16- 64 around the world use voice search and voice commands each month, and the number of homes with at least one smart home device had increased by over a third over the past 12 months. The UK along with the US is leading the way.

Our voice partner, Rabbit and Pork, has since found that 27% of UK households now own at least one smart speaker, nearly tripling the figure reported in H1 2018. Among the 12.6 million smart speaker owners in the UK, 70% use their smart speaker daily, compared to 40% a year ago. Rabbit and Pork has also reported that the pandemic has seen more people using their voice assistants than ever before, with usage of third-party voice apps increasing by 67% since the start of lockdown.

Of course, widespread adoption of voice isn’t limited to a consumer audience, there are many opportunities for business use too. In 2019, Gartner predicted that, by 2023, 25% of employee interactions will be via voice, increasing from 3% that year.

Noting the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on the way we live and work, and the fact that working from home culture is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, the opportunity for smart speakers within businesses seems even greater.

Voice Search Engines

A stepping stone for many brands keen to embark on a voice strategy will be to review their current website to make sure it is optimised for voice search engines to ‘read’.

Smart speakers and other voice assistants will return one audio response when asked a question. Voice-aligned SEO should focus on conversational patterns, more so than individual ‘keywords’, to match with the questions people ask. Think about long-tail phrases that mirror natural speech, and maximise local targeting.

Voice apps: Flash Briefings, Alexa Skills and Google Actions

Beyond ensuring a brand’s existing website is findable to voice search engines, there are lots of opportunities to incorporate voice within a wider digital marketing strategy.

The key is to align content with consumer habits – behavioural cues that enable a brand experience to seamlessly fit within regular touchpoints in our daily lives.

For example:

  • Flash briefings: While making a coffee in the morning, our smart speakers can give us a digest of that day’s news. Forward thinking publishing houses are now creating flash briefings as one of their content outputs, for audiences that prefer a break from screens or the chance to multi-task, alongside their existing digital services. Flash briefings provide a one-way broadcast of information.
  • Alexa Skills and Google Actions: These ‘apps’ provide an opportunity for brands to share engaging and interactive content, and are being used to great effect by forward-thinking brands, for example by aligning with our TV viewing habits, or fitting in to how we spend our leisure time.

Voice apps represent some of the most exciting opportunities for brands to create a truly innovative digital marketing campaign, coordinated with a well-timed and executed PR strategy.

The opportunity here is to think about how brands can enhance their product or service via audio – and the conversation that may be happening or that could naturally occur.

Some of the most celebrated case studies include Talisker’s whisky tasting notes that create an at-home drinking experience to compliment a chosen whisky – a great example of ever-green audio content as a product enhancement. Nike, in contrast, utilised a voice activated experience, available for a limited time only, to support a new trainer launch. By promoting a voice activated, exclusive giveaway as part of its influencer campaign, which saw a basketball team wearing the new model for the first time during a televised game, the trainers sold out within six minutes.

The opportunities extend far beyond those examples, appealing to young and old, and tailored for all interests. Whether bringing a favourite TV programme to life in the home through interactive add-ons, storytelling that bring toys to life during family playtime, or content that supports us in establishing better routines in our own daily lives, the time is now for brands to gain a share of ‘voice’.

Lucre News: Pattinson & Brewer asks The Lucre Group to Represent them

Pattinson & Brewer, the UK’s leading trade union law firm, has announced the appointment of The Lucre Group as its communications agency partner.

First opened in 1890, Pattinson & Brewer was born out of the trade union movement and has been at the forefront of fighting for workers’ rights ever since. Following increased challenges faced by workers throughout the pandemic and beyond, the services and expertise of Pattinson & Brewer is in high demand. The Lucre Group will therefore act as an extension to the team, providing communications guidance and support.

RICH, the creative content engine within The Lucre Group, will work closely with Pattinson & Brewer to hone and deliver its thought leadership programme whilst helping to raise its national profile further. Delivered through a mix of strategic consultancy, clever content, design services and digital support, the appointment further strengthens The Lucre Group’s legal and professional services credentials. From Slater & Gordon, Morrish Solicitors and Shulmans LLP to Eversheds, the agency is well versed in working with industry-leading firms.

Jamie Hanley, Partner and Head of Client Relations at Pattinson & Brewer, said:

The Lucre Team challenges us to think differently and be our very best when it comes to marketing and communication. A multi-skilled team which acts as a natural extension of our own, be it strategic consultancy, digital know-how, design expertise or guidance on messaging and brand tone, they always deliver. I’ve worked with them for a number of years and am delighted to be doing so once again.”

Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Owner Director at The Lucre Group, said:

There’s nothing more rewarding than having the opportunity to work with a client time and time again. Our work with Pattinson & Brewer will initially be digitally and design focused, boosting further our RICH client list. Furthermore, it adds to our growing portfolio of legal and professional services clients. It’s a delight to be working with Jamie and his team.”

Lucre News: NDL Joins The Lucre Group’s Tech Portfolio

NDL, a UK SME software company that specializes in transformational technologies with social purpose, has appointed The Lucre Group as its retained PR agency.

NDL’s technology is specifically designed for the public sector, for the public good and spans digital tools including mobile apps and e-forms, as well as robotic process automation technology, which helps to take the burden out of admin and ensure data is meaningful and accessible for better, quicker decision making.

With many local government and NHS Trusts around the country currently facing extreme challenges associated with the pandemic, NDL is expertly placed to provide digital-first solutions that enable better planning and delivery of services as well as better patient care within the NHS.

The PR programme will help to share best practice and innovation from within NDL’s growing community of NHS Trusts and public sector customers, so that similar challenges being faced across the country can be overcome more easily.

NDL further strengthens the agency’s Tech and the City credentials, and follows hot on the heels of its appointment by mobile technology brand, Babble, announced last month.

The Lucre Group will work closely with NDL to create a tailored communications plan, driving sales enquiries and positioning them as a market leader in public sector technology, showcasing the team’s expertise and fantastic client results.

Declan Grogan, CEO at NDL, said:

We are proud of what our community of public sector and NHS customers have achieved by pushing forward with their digital transformation journey. The pandemic has represented an incredibly challenging time for those delivering and consuming public services, and it is rewarding to be able to help those facing similar challenges to overcome them more easily. Our mission is to help share best practice, innovation, templates and advice – demonstrating what can be achieved by utilising technology to take the burden out of admin and to better engage and support the public. We look forward to working with the team at Lucre who have already begun setting out our communications plan and getting to work in driving awareness within our target markets.”

Sophie Spyropoulos, Owner Director at The Lucre Group, said:

NDL is a fantastic addition to our expanding technology division here at Lucre. It’s a pleasure to work alongside Declan and the team at NDL as they drive forward UK innovation for the benefit of our much-needed public services and for all of us who use them.”

Lucre News: Appointment by Babble Expands The Lucre Group’s Tech and the City Portfolio

Babble, a leading technology business which is reimagining how we do work, has appointed The Lucre Group to handle its PR and communications. The client win strengthens the Tech and the City division at the search savvy PR specialist, which will manage Babble’s corporate communications across the UK through a tailored thought leadership strategy aimed to drive an increase in leads and enquiries for the company.

The announcement comes as Babble, which has already transformed over 2,000 clients’ organisations through cloud-based solutions that enhance efficiency, flexibility and customer loyalty, seeks further expansion following an unprecedented opportunity presented by the major shift in working patterns that has resulted from COVID-19. The technology company, which has set its sights on a revenue target of £100m after rapidly scaling to over £20m, believes now is the time to double down on efforts to grow its client base and create more flexible businesses than ever before.

Matthew Parker, CEO at Babble, said:

After three successful years of solid growth at Babble, we feel the time is right to bring a new PR agency on board to communicate exactly how we’re revolutionising the way businesses will be able to operate in a post-COVID world. The Lucre Group has already laid some firm foundations with our messaging and latest acquisition news, and we’re looking forward to working with the team as they build our reputation in our key sectors throughout the year.”

Sophie Spyropoulos, Owner Director at The Lucre Group, said:

Babble’s growth in recent years highlights just how pioneering and ambitious Matt and his team are. Never before have their positive, forward-thinking ideas and solutions been more relevant, so for us to be working alongside their talented team at this moment in time is a real honour.”

Happy 15th Birthday YouTube – Here are your highlights…

This month, YouTube is fifteen years old. As a member of the Generation Z clan, I find that hard to process.

As we know, YouTube has provided a cemented platform for cute cats and wannabe Evel Knievels hysterically falling from small walls, but it had a more-than-profound effect on the marketing and public relations world.

TV adverts were something we used to skip to go make a cup of tea, or a window of time in which to relieve your bladder. But, since its launch in 2005, YouTube has provided the platform for some incredible advertising communications that exceed what was we thought was virally possible.

Here are some of the best viral YouTube-based marketing campaigns we have seen:

1. Dollar Shave Club

Razor subscription service Dollar Shave Club is a very interesting brand. It was almost solely built up through influencer marketing through brand deals with YouTubers and has gone on to secure almost 3.2 million subscribers to its service worldwide.

In 2012, they launched one of their first promotional videos on YouTube, racking up a total of nearly 27 million views so far. The video is incredibly satirical, clever and downright hilarious!

2. Always’ #LikeAGirl

An incredibly powerful and eye-opening campaign, Always’ 2014 ‘#LikeAGirl’ campaign was an early adopter of including a hashtag in a title to help spread a communication. With nearly 69 million views, the campaign is supportive and uplifting and is perfectly summarised by the first line in its description:

“Join Always in our epic battle to keep girls’ confidence high during puberty and beyond. Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl.”


3. Gillette’s ‘The Best a Man Can Be’

Another campaign that questioned gender expectations and stereotypes was Gillette’s 2019 campaign, swapping their iconic tagline ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ for ‘The Best a Man Can Be’ to promote the end of toxic masculinity.

It was an incredibly powerful piece and despite the quite strong backlash it received (shown by the hugely disproportionate amount of dislikes on the video), Gillette’s campaign fulfilled its sole purpose – to make the world stop and think.

4. GoPro’s ‘Fireman Saves a Kitten’

A great example of let ‘the product do the talking.’ Video camera market leaders GoPro, uploaded footage of an unconscious kitten being rescued from a burning house by a firefighter. All shot on a Hero camera, the harrowing and intense clip was shared worldwide and viewed 43 million times.

All GoPro had to do was stick their brand logo at the start of the footage and the advertisement was complete. Buzzwords like durable, reliable, sturdy and dependable all spring to mind without ever being said.

5. John Lewis Christmas Adverts

One of the most famous Christmas adverts is actually one of the best viral video examples of last year. When someone says ‘have you seen the John Lewis Christmas advert’, you don’t immediately sit in front of the TV and wait attentively until it comes around, you grab YouTube and it’s there on the homepage. The most viewed article across most of the big newspaper sites last Christmas was the John Lewis advert.

Spanning both traditional and new advertising platforms with a successful campaign? John Lewis completed it mate.



Lucre News: ‘Appy Days All Round

We’re delighted to announce that yboo, a free-to-download app designed to find a user’s best mobile contract deal, is the latest addition to The Lucre Group’s ‘Tech and the City’ division.


Putting UK consumers at the heart of what it does, yboo is the first app in the world to offer personalised network recommendations based on price and signal strength in the areas where users live, work and hang out. Using powerful big data insights, the ambitious technology company is currently disrupting the mobile industry with its innovative service and is changing the landscape for how consumers purchase mobile deals in the process

Appointed on retainer within the growing ‘Tech and the City’ division, The Lucre Group will support with yboo’s pioneering plans of kickstarting a mobile bill saving revolution. From experiential event planning through to driving awareness across consumer media, trade and digital channels, our work will ensure that yboo is known and used by mobile customers across the UK.


Martyn Gould, CEO of yboo said: “With more people realising the cost saving implications of switching their mobile contract, our app provides consumer clarity on what the best network provider is for them based on price and signal coverage – a first in the UK market. The Lucre Group really understood what our brand was about and what we hoped to achieve, in addition to being armed with creative ideas on how to inform and excite the public. This is the next step in growing the company, and we can’t wait to start working with the team.”


Sophie Spyropoulos, Lucre co-owner and Director added: “It’s an exciting time for yboo and we’re delighted to be chosen as the trusted PR partner. The business has gone from strength to strength in a very short space of time, with ambitious growth plans, and we look forward to supporting them on that journey, building brand awareness among the UK public and in the mobile industry.  It’s a fantastic new addition to our rapidly expanding ‘Tech and The City’ division.”

Fantastic film, by Ben Frith

There aren’t many things as powerful as cinema so, with awards season in full swing, it’s only natural that brands are doing all they can to link themselves with stories seen on screen and benefit from the buzz.

Who can blame them? The furore generated by Hollywood’s most successful films and television shows is strong enough to surpass any number of awards on a shelf, and often changes the light in which audiences see something for far longer than the time spent watching them.

The tourism industry is perhaps one of the best at capitalizing on this potential. In the years since Games of Thrones chose Dubrovnik as its double for King’s Landing (the capital of Westeros for those not acquainted), the small town has become one of Croatia’s most sought-after destinations. In fact, Dubrovnik Tourism Board putting its increase of between 9 – 12% visitors every year down to the show. Similar stories can be told of New Zealand, Austria and even here in the UK.

We certainly know how to capitalize on this for our travel clients (our coverage in Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar for Super Break proves that!), but the silver screen’s influence expands outside of the locations seen on it.

To coincide with this year’s Academy Awards, Odeon unveiled its very own accolade – the ‘Osc-her’  to highlight that only 10.7% of winners throughout Oscar history have been female and support the 75% of Brits that are calling for women to be better represented at the annual awards ceremony. It isn’t the first time the brand has used the ceremony to entice its audience though. Back in 2016, it also renamed its Leicester Square cinema as ‘Leodeon’ in honour of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Aqua Shard also tossed its hat into the ring by launching a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea. Complete with a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious selection of treats, the sweet selection was covered everywhere from Good Morning America to Pretty52, demonstrating how successful these links can be in the Food & Drink sector as well.

With another year of great television and film ahead of us, we’re already looking forward to seeing exactly how this influence will seep out beyond the screen over the coming months.

How are young people consuming media in the UK? by Jack Moore

Young people are sometimes a mystery, a law unto themselves, so when OFCOM released their yearly Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report a collective sigh of relief was breathed by PR and marketers across the UK.

Reaching young people with engaging, relevant and impactful messages can be tough. Even the likes of Facebook have been struggling to understand this audience and have reportedly been paying young people to gather insights based on their phone and web activity, dubbed “Project Atlas”.

So, to avoid having to create a dubious app to ‘spy’ on young people’s phone activity, we’ve broken down some of the most interesting statistics from OFCOM’s research.

TV and Social Media are Important Sources of News for Young People

OFCOM’s report states that six in ten 12-15 year olds actively seek out news on at least a weekly basis, the most popular source of which is TV with 29% citing it as their most used source. It can sometimes be an easy trap to fall into, ignoring traditional channels like TV to reach young people, however the research reveals that it’s a media source they’re engaging with.

It can be an easy trap to fall into that teens are exclusively glued to their phones, browsing Instagram, so this finding really does highlight the importance of a well-rounded strategy that focuses on a variety of channels in order to deliver your message to young people. Whilst social media is still hugely important (22% cited it as their most used channel for news consumption), don’t forget about ‘old’ TV.

Vloggers are a Source of Content and Creativity

Like it or not, YouTubers and vloggers are now household names and celebrities. Zoella, KSI and Pewdie Pie are just a handful of global stars that made their name creating vlogs on YouTube. Compared to 2017, 3-15 year olds are more likely to watch YouTube vloggers, with over half (52%) of 12-15 year olds now claiming to watch them.

Vloggers offer a fantastic collaboration opportunity for brands looking to reach a younger audience. Last year we worked with BIC Stationery and YouTubers Olivia Grace & Just Jodes as part of the BIC Design and Shine campaign to great effect. Using the vloggers fantastic creativity and audience, we increased visibility, drove traffic to the web hub and importantly engaged teens in a fun and exciting way with the BIC Stationery.

Facebook’s Popularity with Young People Drops

2018 was not a great year for Mark Zuckerberg. If he wasn’t appearing in front of a Senate hearing regarding Facebook’s role in the Russian interference in the US elections, he was being poked fun at and becoming a meme. To add to his woes, it appears that young people’s interest in his platform are dropping. In 2017, 40% of 12-15-year olds nominated Facebook as their main social platform, but this has since dropped to 31%.

Viewing of Vloggers or YouTube Personalities by age range

Main social media sites used among 12-15s with a social media profile

So, if teens are falling out of love with Facebook, what are they using instead? When surveyed, 31% of 12-15-year-olds claimed Snapchat was their main social media platform, equal to Facebook’s popularity. The real rising star of social media, however, is Instagram. Last year only 14% of 12-15-year-olds claimed that it was their go to platform, with that figure now sitting at 23% and expected to continue rising.

If you haven’t already, it might be time to expand your social channels to include these platforms and use the multitude of tools they offer to create fantastic content that will engage your teen audience.

All in all, reaching and engaging young people can be a difficult task, especially if a brand isn’t naturally associated with this audience. The OFCOM report is certainly a great place to start to understand the media consumption habits of young people, but the next step which can often be the hardest is creating campaigns that will resonate with an audience that can sometimes be hostile to brands they’re unfamiliar with or that miss the mark with their content (see Reddit’s cringe inducing r/FellowKids for some examples…)

With that, here’s a shameless plug for a campaign we’re particularly proud of that engaged 13-24-year olds in the UK and Ireland for our client BIC Stationery. For BIC Write and Shine we devised a strategy that utilised earned media, paid and organic social media, influencers and experiential activity that increased visibility and positively impacted sales of the BIC® 4 Colours Shine pen.

Fyre Festival: Three lessons we can learn about influencer marketing, by Jack Moore

If, like many others, January is your month of hibernation whilst you wait for the first pay cheque of 2019 to land, you may have seen Netflix latest documentary FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.

If you’ve not seen it yet, it can be best described as a car crash in slow motion that you can’t take your eyes off.

Beyond the disaster that was the festival and the heart-breaking stories of local people and businesses being left out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars, FYRE’s use of high-profile influencers has come under the spotlight and sparked further debate around this already hot topic.

We’ve highlighted three key lessons to be learned from FYRE festival’s influencer marketing efforts to ensure the same mistakes aren’t made again.


FYRE paid huge sums of money for influencers with millions of followers to post about their festival. Looking past the colossal amount of money paid, the documentary highlighted one thing; the influencers chosen were mercenaries that didn’t understand exactly what FYRE festival was.

This was summed up succinctly by Brett Kincaid, Director of the festival launch video who said;

It was them [FYRE] partying with talent that didn’t really know what they were there to do.

Working with influencers that have no interest in your product, offering or brand can create content that lacks authenticity. By teaming up with influencers that have shown they are fans of your brand already or share a key passion point, you’ll find the content is far more honest which will shine through to their audience.

[A selection of the “FYRE Starters” taken from a FYRE pitch deck]

Budgets & Strategy

As mentioned in the previous section, FYRE’s chosen influencers were high profile and collectively had hundreds of millions of followers. On top of this, FYRE’s budgets were ginormous with Kendall Jenner’s post alone reportedly costing an eye watering $250,000.

But did FYRE receive a good return on their investment? No. The clever folks over at Influencer Marketing Hub did a little maths of their own and calculated that if all 8,000 tickets sold (less than a quarter of the 40,000 tickets available) were attributed to Kendall Jenner’s post, it would equate to “little more than 1/10th of 1%” of her audience. The Marketing Heaven can help companies reach more people and get better views.

This almost certainly could have been achieved with significantly less budget too with higher engagement rates utilising micro-influencers. This is not to say that there is no place for macro influencers or high-profile celebs in an influencer strategy, there certainly is, however FYRE’s use of this type of influencer and the return they received was grossly miscalculated.


Each week it seems Instagram stars are named and shamed by the ASA for their lack of transparency and as you’ve probably guessed, FYRE also fell afoul of the USA’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A host of the influencers, including the aforementioned Kendall Jenner, are in trouble after failing to disclose that their content was an advertisement on top of another law suit which claims they mis-sold the festival and failed to deliver on their ads. In the big scheme of the calamitous FYRE festival this may sound like a small problem, but for UK brands undertaking influencer activity a call out by the ASA could derail a campaign and bring unwanted attention to the brand.

Despite the negative attention that the FYRE debacle has brought on influencers, they’re certainly not going away anytime soon. Utilised in an authentic, appropriate and legal manner they can be a huge asset to any campaign or ongoing press office activities and deliver meaningful results that have an impact on brands and deliver a fantastic return on investment. Don’t be fooled by FYRE’s big budget flop, with careful planning and significantly less budget influencers can be a fantastic tool in a marketer’s arsenal.

There are always two sides to a debate, so if you’d like to read a slightly different take on the success of Fyre Festival’s digital marketing, be sure to check out the blog our friends at Optimind have written.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re interested in discussing how a fantastic influencer marketing strategy could deliver meaningful results for you, get in touch at

The drones we love and hate, by James Harris

Following flights being grounded at Heathrow after yet another drone sighting, alarm bells quickly start ringing.

After 1,000 flights were interrupted during Gatwick’s 36-hour shutdown back in December you immediately ask yourself how long Heathrow will be shut for, whether or not you know anyone flying in or out of the airport over the next few days, or how you’d feel if this interrupted any of the holidays you’ve got planned.

With all the inevitable anger surrounding drones as a result of these major airport shutdowns, it’s easy to forget how drones have revolutionised how we live.

Would the nation have fallen in love with nature documentaries such as Planet Earth had we not been using this advanced technology? Drones are now essential pieces of kit for film crews and have opened up access to stunning videography of natural wonders never seen before. Aside from their military use, they have changed how we see the world and are likely to alter how we live in the future too.

Don’t forget how we use drones for reconnaissance missions which can help find survivors after natural disasters; catching poachers in national parks; aiding weather forecasting by gaining insights from storms that piloted aircraft wouldn’t be able to fly into; and applying fertiliser to specific areas of farm crops that are failing. These are just some of a myriad of benefits that the technology already brings.

Looking to the future, Amazon Prime Air has been in testing since the retail giant successfully delivered its first package via drone back in 2016. The new service is set to meet increasing consumer demand for ever-faster delivery services, with Amazon claiming the new technology will offer delivery within just 30 minutes.

Who knows, we might even be getting drones to work instead of the Tube sooner than we think too. However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s recent woes will surely delay such ambitious plans.

There is unquestionably a need to tackle the illegal use of these flying machines and the Home Office is set to evaluate a range of counter-drone technology in the UK following the airport attacks. However, let’s not forget what this incredible technology can provide.

How will Facebook’s new algorithm impact you? By Jack Moore

It’s September. Let that sink in. Schools are back, bars across the country are now advertising their Christmas party offerings and knowing the UK, the weather will get inexplicably better for a week, then nose dive into autumnal rain and wind. So with this in mind, let’s take a look back at August and pretend that we’re not nearly three quarters of the way through the year.

Why August I hear you say? Well, back in August Facebook announced exciting new changes to its newsfeed algorithm that could have a huge impact on the online activity of businesses and the media. Alongside Facebook’s regular promise to eliminate ‘fake news’, they have also committed to favour stories and links that lead to mobile optimised sites with a quick loading time.

In a post to Facebook’s Newsroom, engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo highlighted that “as many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.” So wave goodbye to those fake news click bait articles leading you to a website seemingly created by Tim Berners-Lee at the birth of the internet, back when Mark Zuckerburg was just a twinkle in his father’s eye.

But how does this change effect business and media? Most businesses will have a mobile optimised website, but for those that don’t, it’s time to play catch up. Social media plays a key role in the reputation of a brand or business, and having your content pushed further down the newsfeed or simply not being served to users because of a poor website won’t help build that reputation any time soon.

Media may also need to re-evaluate their social strategy. Enter Facebook’s Instant Articles. The cynic in me might think that Facebook’s change in algorithm based on the speed a website and the push on their own platform that hosts articles may have been carefully planned, but I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

One of the major benefits of hosting content on Instant Articles is a faster load time, which should garner higher organic reach with the new algorithm. If load time impacts the reach of a post, it makes sense that publishers host their content on Facebook. The platform, which has been around for about two years, hasn’t attracted many publishers due to the fact they don’t make the same money they would by simply driving people to their website. So are we about to see more Daily Mail articles hosted directly on Facebook?

What all of this shows it the power of Facebook. One simple change to their algorithm means that business and media need to amend their digital approach, whether that be a simple tweak to optimise their site or rethink their strategy for online revenue. The new algorithm will begin to kick in this month, so watch this space. And by space, I mean Instant Articles. You could be getting a lot of your news from there in the coming months.

Tech and Takeaways, by Holly Green

Takeaways have generally been viewed as an unhealthy selection of food options which are usually ordered as a ‘treat’ on occasion. But how can you avoid being unhealthy when the likes of Chinese, pizzas and curries dominate the takeaway market?

Enter Deliveroo. The company’s state of the art technology platform has enhanced food ordering and delivery at every level.

Established in 2013 in London, Deliveroo has developed into what has been branded as ‘one of the UK’s largest tech hubs’ making fine dining in under 32 minutes possible. The company is known for their cheeky style of PR taking their amazing delivery services to the maximum and teaming up with tech-company GoPro for their ‘extreme delivery’ April Fools stunt!

Consumers already know that the brand offers fast delivery services, so they may have fallen for this introduction of extreme delivery. It certainly promotes Deliveroo’s quickness and efficiency! The company also compare quotes and buy a policy of insurance to insure their delivery agents, thus providing safety to their riders.

Through the creation of highly advanced smartphone software for delivery drivers, the company has seen a demand for skills in sectors such as algorithm development and software engineering. So, you can be sure that from the moment your order is placed to the time it is delivered, it will be tracked with exceptional efficiency. Taking note of this service, Uber also launched UberEATS in London last year, making your selection of takeaway far vaster than the likes of Just Eat.

This has revolutionised how consumers perceive the act of simply ‘ordering a takeaway’.

In recent times, Deliveroo has come under criticism in the media for their employment rights and guaranteed pay levels. But on a technological level, they are leading the way and their PR can be used to challenge such perceptions. We can see examples of this on their social media as shown through their ‘Extreme Delivery’ April fools! Did you fall for it?


Snapchat spectacles land in the UK, by Annika McDonald

Unless you’ve been very disconnected from social media the past six years, you will no doubt be aware of the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat and its infamous filters. First came the funny filters, then Snapchat story and now Snap Inc have launched their very own recording sunglasses – Snapchat spectacles.

They may look like your normal shades, but the specially adapted buttons on the glasses allow you to record and take pictures from a camera embedded in the lenses. The pictures and videos then go straight to your Snapchat account, meaning your followers get a virtual view of your world wherever you go.

The product was first brought out in the US last year and caught the eyes of the UK public when the BBC followed a UK surgeon as he used the spectacles to live stream one of his operations.

Now the high-tech glasses have been launched in the UK and you can get your hands on them for around £129.99.

At Lucre we know the importance of keeping up to date with social media networks like Snapchat and how they can provide our clients with access to an audience they have never reached before. We also believe that creating customised content is key in keeping up with the latest trends.

Recently in Leeds the local branch of Health Education England used the Snapchat filters to help persuade young people to take a look at NHS apprenticeships as an option for them.

And where Snapchat leads other social networks are hot on their tails as we have already seen with Facebook adding filters to their camera and the ‘your story’ feature, likewise Instagram with their Instagram stories. So with that in mind, it will be interesting to see what follows from the social networks and their loyal band of followers obsessed with documenting every moving moment of their lives!


You can purchase your spectacles here:

Snapchat spectacles land in the UK, by Annika McDonald

Now unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last six years you will no doubt be aware of the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat and its infamous filters. First came the funny filters, then Snapchat story and now Snap Inc have launched their very own recording sunglasses – Snapchat spectacles.

They may look like your normal shades, but the specially adapted buttons on the glasses allow you to record and take pictures from a camera embedded in the lenses. The pictures and videos then go straight to your Snapchat account, meaning your followers get a virtual view of your world wherever you go.
The product was first brought out in the US last year and caught the eyes of the UK public when the BBC followed a UK surgeon as he used the spectacles to livestream one of his operations.

Now the high-tech glasses have been launched in the UK and you can get your hands on them for around £129.99.

At Lucre we know the importance of keeping up to date with social media networks like Snapchat and how they can provide our clients with access to an audience they have never reached before. We also believe that creating customised content is key in keeping up with the latest trends.

Recently in Leeds the local branch of Health Education England used the Snapchat filters to help persuade young people to take a look at NHS apprenticeships as an option for them.

And where Snapchat leads other social networks are hot on their tails as we have already seen with Facebook adding filters to their camera and the ‘your story’ feature, likewise Instagram with their Instagram stories. So with that in mind it will be interesting to see what follows from the social networks and their loyal band of followers obsessed with documenting every moving moment of their lives!

Missing a trick with GoPro? by Rose Dooley

It started as a surfer using a botched camera to film his action on the waves. But today, the GoPro camera is now a must-have on any traveller’s packing check list, a technology household name and a dream for any brand wanting its consumers to share experiences in an immersive way.

Providing a unique and incredibly personal perspective for viewers, GoPro cameras are now frequently used to maximise engagement on campaigns, events and PR stunts across the world.

One of the brands at the forefront of GoPro usage is Red Bull. Targeting adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers, the global partnership between Red Bull and GoPro has allowed viewers to immerse themselves in anything from a Formula1 race to a sky dive and its produced great results. This success has led us to expect a certain pace or feel from GoPro edits. But it’s not just fast and furious footage that can have an impact.

Way back in 2013, GoPro released a video of a fireman saving a cat from a fire, providing heart-warming moments rather than the heart-stopping ones audiences have grown used to. This type of content was met with an equally strong reaction and allowed the GoPro brand to reach out to an audience beyond exotic explorers.

This style of softer, slower and more emotionally-driven content can be seen in other campaigns but GoPros are often overlooked when it comes to capturing it, simply because of the stereoptypes we’ve become used to. Experiential restaurants, first dates or job interviews could all be possible ways for brands to still use the personal point of view that GoPros provide to tell compelling stories GoPro will continue to go hand in hand with adventure but, in the world of video creation, brands have a real opportunity to embrace this type of content at a slower pace to fit with their own products and ethos.