View a full range of our ebooks

View full library

Explore

Our Location

The PHA Group
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Digital Studio
Fourth Floor,
47 Dean St,
Soho,
London,
W1D 5BE

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Finance Department
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com

Lily Allen: She’s Back And She Means Business

Lily Allen: She’s Back And She Means Business

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

She’s back. Holding the trophy as one of the nations much loved, and much-missed singer phenomenons: Lily Allen has made her ultimate comeback to the music industry.

Vowing to never return to the industry four years ago, her eagerness for a ‘normal’ life proved less than exciting  “I wasn’t good at staying at home all day, it didn’t suit me” she explained, “I’m creative, it’s just who I am.. I missed the positive feedback about my music from my fans. I missed the rush of performing. I missed the free clothes and handbags and the good tables in posh restaurants. I did!.”

In terms of PR, Allen’s comeback has been a strategic success. Media savvy, over the last year she has teased us with small features in chart songs and Christmas adverts (we all remember the John Lewis ad), making her return a gradual process. So it wasn’t a surprise when she announced she was releasing her third album ‘Sheezus’. Her lyrics, avant –Lily, are still the opinionated, controversial songs we all know and love her for. It’s clear that the smart thinking Allen knows how to gain media coverage and exposure when it comes to gossip – her recent Twitter banter with models over one of her tracks ‘Insincerely You’, she is well aware that her songs gain the attention of the media…

Her decision to cut ties with the music industry and instead become a full-time mother, wife and fashion entrepreneur, was risky. In hindsight, she is one of the few celebs willingly to choose to fade into the background of showbiz, eager to reverse her high status back to ‘human’. With the power of PR however, her face began to appear more frequently; landing fashion events, interviews, track features and magazine covers, which have all worked in her favour of regaining her lost stardom.

Has Allen made it seem that in fact, you can have it all? Indeed it seems so. Not only has she come back into spotlight seamlessly, she has also been able to keep up being a loving wife and mother of two. She has become even more of an admiral and inspirational icon to the public than ever before. Her fearless and courageous temperament has shown to us all, that you can relinquish anything.

 

Lily Allen: She's Back And She Means Business

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

She’s back. Holding the trophy as one of the nations much loved, and much missed singer phenomenons: Lily Allen has made her ultimate comeback to the music industry.

Vowing to never return to the industry four years ago, her eagerness for a ‘normal’ life proved less than exciting  “I wasn’t good at staying at home all day, it didn’t suit me” she explained, “I’m creative, it’s just who I am.. I missed the positive feedback about my music from my fans. I missed the rush of performing. I missed the free clothes and handbags and the good tables in posh restaurants. I did!.”

In terms of PR, Allen’s comeback has been a strategic success. Media savvy, over the last year she has teased us with small features in chart songs and Christmas adverts (we all remember the John Lewis ad), making her return a gradual process. So it wasn’t a surprise when she announced she was releasing her third album ‘Sheezus’. Her lyrics, avant –Lily, are still the opinionated, controversial songs we all know and love her for. It’s clear that the smart thinking Allen knows how to gain media coverage and exposure when it comes to gossip – her recent Twitter banter with models over one of her tracks ‘Insincerely You’, she is well aware that her songs gain attention of media….

Her decision to cut ties with the music industry and instead become a full-time mother, wife and fashion entrepreneur, was risky. In hindsight, she is one of the few celebs willingly to choose to fade into the background of showbiz, eager to reverse her high status back to ‘human’. With the power of PR however, her face began to appear more frequently; landing fashion events, interviews, track features and magazine covers, which have all worked in her favour of regaining her lost stardom.

Has Allen made it seem that in fact, you can have it all? Indeed it seems so. Not only has she come back into spotlight seamlessly, she has also been able to keep up being a loving wife and mother of two. She has become even more of an admiral and inspirational icon to the public than ever before. Her fearless and courageous temperament has shown to us all, that you can relinquish anything.

 

Gluten Free – A Lifestyle Choice

Each week, it feels, a new diet dominates the headlines, whether it’s the Atkins-inspired cutting of carbs, the Mediterranean Diet of plentiful fresh fruit and veg, or indeed intermitted fasting, the choices are endless and there is always something ‘new’ to try. But, whilst there may be an abundance of choice, lack of longevity is something a lot of these diets have in common.

A new movement

Image Courtesy of thenewsin1, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of thenewsin1, flickr. com

One notable trend which has been quietly moving its way up the popularity scale is going ‘gluten-free’. Once primarily a diet born out of necessity for the gluten-allergic masses, it is now fast becoming a lifestyle choice for many who simply want to maintain a trimmer silhouette. Miley Cyrus follows it, as does Gwyneth Paltrow, and it appears now that so does the British public. 

Gluten is a protein found in grains, and is typically quite difficult for the body to digest – it is widely reported to cause bloating, skin conditions, heartburn and fatigue amongst other problems. But as a nation, Britain has been the victim of gluten overload in recent years, all due to the significant increase in the uses of highly refined flour in our everyday food, and it is now that the effects are starting to show – 45% of the nation is now reported to have gluten sensitivities and people are choosing to ditch the Gluten in an effort to avoid the wrath.

How are supermarkets responding to this trend?

 

Image Courtesy of aprylmayhem, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of aprylmayhem, flickr. com

Reported to be one of the fastest growing food categories in the past 4 years it would seem that Supermarkets are well and truly jumping on the Gluten Free bandwagon. Consumer demand for Gluten Free produce is on the rise, and big chains like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda now finding themselves having to cater for the masses, with shelves and isles dedicated to a plethora of Gluten Free goodies. Sainsbury’s ‘Free From’ range, for example, offers a great variety of breads, cereals, pasta’s and sweet treats, and high street coffee shops like Costa Coffee are bucking the trend with their Gluten Free Cherry Bakewells and range of sandwiches.

What are the PR opportunities?

It has been duly noted by these retailers that this is very much a lifestyle choice which is here to stay and that the way forward is to respond to the trend and meet customer demand. But there are of course benefits to these chains in riding the wave – being seen to support a variety of diet lifestyle choices will appeal to the general public and from a PR perspective it opens up a window of opportunity for supermarkets to talk about this trend and the great range of product available. It can be used as strong leverage to help position these supermarkets at the forefront of trend and really shout about their ability to adapt to ever-evolving consumer demand.

Kaleidoscope SS14 Press Day

Yesterday The PHA Group’s Fashion & Lifestyle team hosted the Kaleidoscope Spring / Summer 2014 Press Day. Despite the rain, PHA rolled out the red carpet to welcome the media to the Around the World themed press day showcasing everything from swimwear to garden furniture.

The drop-in day showcased Kaleidoscope’s fashion and home collections for next season and was attended by fashion, lifestyle, home and interiors journalists, bloggers and stylists.

Kal Press Day

The Venue

We attended a number of viewings for venues before finally deciding on Ice Tank on Grape Street in Covent Garden. It was a great space for Kaleidoscope as it offered a ground floor and basement level, as well as a kitchen space. We were able to integrate the fashion and home products together and separate the collection according to the theme.

The Theme

We chose Around the World as the theme for the SS14 press day. After viewing the collection we identified that there was a lot of world influence for both fashion and home. Within that theme, we then separated the collections by category: Safari; French Riviera; Tropical Print; Caribbean Colour, English Countryside; City Chic and the Far East.

Kaleidoscope Cupcakes

The Food and Drink

We kept our visitors happy with a selection of suitable ‘Around the World’ themed beverages and canapes. We also had a fantastic selection of cupcakes from Pink Cooker Cupcakes. The cupcakes were specifically designed to reflect each of our ‘Around The World’ categories, including one with flip-flops on biscuit crumble sand for Tropical.

 

The Feedback

All of the press in attendance were very impressed with Kaleidoscope’s SS14 collection. Many commented that it was the strongest collection that they had seen. Lots had favourite pieces within the collection including a gorgeous laser-cut white top, blush tailored trouser suit and orange and rose trees.

It was fantastic to see lots of the attendees taking pictures and tweeting about the event including pictures of the collection, or the tasty cupcakes.

The SS14 Press Day was a great opportunity for Kaleidoscope to introduce their new collection to the media. It was also great for the media to get a feel for the new range prior to its launch.

Thank you so much to all of those who came!

 

PHAnn Summers Team Work

 

Image Courtesy of Kake, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Kake, flickr.com

And so it begins….goodbye Ann Summers, see you in a week. Not knowing what to expect I climb the stairs of Hammer House (only to then realise there is a rather nice lift that could have saved me the tough climb) and enter the buzzing offices to be greeted by the lovely Hollie and PHA Team.

Having been given the ‘grand tour’ and introductions, secretly thinking ‘I am never going to remember everyone’s names’, I am given my first task….

THE BLOG – With the PHA team being social media fanatics, what better way to start my experience than to write a blog for the website, the first blog I have done in my ENTIRE life, so no pressure?!

Having that morning been sent this picture from my best friend of the rather amazing David Beckham, I found it pretty hard to think of any other subject to focus my blog on, so combining my love of Fashion and the link with Mr Beckham, I chose to blog about Victoria Beckham’s new ‘Icon’ range.

https://thephagroup.com/fashion-lifestyle-blog/2013/02/05/victoria-beckham-icon/

First task… “check!”…. and loved it. I can certainly see why anyone in Fashion & Lifestyle PR LOVE their job!

Having scoffed a few caramel digestives and flapjacks, washed down with a cup of tea, I am onto my next task which relates to the one and only Ann Summers, my ‘bread and butter’ so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Gathering research on rather interesting subjects relating to an up and coming TV documentary, I easily spend a couple of hours searching and collating the information I have found. Research proves to be an enjoyable task and I get a real insight into the various methods the team uses to source specific information and luckily for me, as a real gossip junkie, browsing celebrity news and ‘kiss-n-tell’s’ qualifies as “research”.

I also experienced my first, group brainstorming session, where various members of the team, all working with different clients come together and help come up with ideas based on one client’s needs. This time it is Ann Summers, so you can imagine a few outrageous ideas and laughs came spilling from the meeting room. Having been involved in this, I could see how extremely talented the girls are, why they are in this industry and why PHA are such a successful PR company! This is where I got a real sense of teamwork and saw how important it is in this industry to have such a good and supportive relationship with those you work with.

To add to my week at PHA I have met with clients, put together press releases and interesting case studies, to name a few, and was close to meeting Simon Pegg! I have also witnessed some challenging situations with clients and seen how these are carefully considered and dealt with in a professional manner.

One of the most difficult tasks I have been faced with every day this week has been the torture of walking past all of the great stores on Oxford Street without venturing in and spending a fortune on the new monochrome pieces, gorgeous bags and shoes….. and then onto Wardour Street to be taunted by the fabulous eateries and cream cakes staring at me through the glass windows.  I have on the other hand become a great window shopper!

Hollie (and the team) have involved me in some great tasks this week, taking time out of their busy schedules to offer me some invaluable advice and insight into the world of PR, the variety of the job and how no day is ever the same. Whilst this means you can be faced some real challenges and difficult client requests, it only adds to the appeal of the job. I am hoping I can use what I have learnt this week and transfer it into my role as Assistant PA to Jacqueline Gold and work alongside PHA to deliver the best possible PR related support.

BIG thanks to the lovely PHA team!!

LUSH PR Stunt

Images Courtesy of Pip, flickr.com

Images Courtesy of Pip, flickr.com

Lush has taken action to fight against animal testing in the cosmetic industry.  Though made illegal across the EU three years ago, many companies still run tests on animals for cosmetic products.  Lush took to their flagship shop on Regent Street to raise awareness about animal cruelty by bringing these brutalities to the public’s attention.  They exposed testing methods normally done on animals and tested them on an actual human on one of the busiest streets in London.

Performance artist, Jacqueline Traide, 24, was hauled on a leash to the shop’s window. Over the course of the next 10 hours, she endured numerous poking and prodding, was force-fed, and went through two saline injections. Not to fret, she didn’t suffer any ‘actual’ pain. But the experiment stopped shoppers and those passing by dead in their tracks as they witnessed the all too real reality of animal testing.

As a Fashion & Lifestyle PR  team, we keep abreast of PR stunts and are also big Lush consumers. As such two thoughts came to mind, the first being shock and dismay, followed by a desire to help Lush fight against those malicious test centres and cosmetic companies who use, abuse, and then kill innocent animals.

PR stunts take place every week, with some gaining more coverage than others. Lush took a step outside the conventional box by combining the harsh reality of the cosmetic industry with emotions of shock and horror to appeal to an empathetic public, and as a result, it was a huge success.  The stunt challenges men and women to consider the darker aspects of an industry which exclusively exists to make us feel good.

The response to the stunt was predominantly positive, with hundreds stopping to sign the ‘fight against animal testing’ petition. Yet, a large number of individuals simply stopped, watched, and moved on without taking the time to make a difference. Criticism has come from the public, stating that while it is still legal in the UK to sell cosmetics that have been animal tested in other parts of the world, including North America and China, the stunt would have perhaps been better suited in a country that legally allows the cruelty to happen. Others spoke out saying Lush took the image of violence too far.

Lush received positive press coverage around the world for their stunt.  Yes, the images were startling and uncomfortable to view, but they made people aware of the dark secrets in the cosmetic industry.  It encourages men and women to consider how their product was created the next time they make a cosmetic purchase. As far as PR stunts go, the shock factor paid off with 200,000 signatures for their petition and chances are an increase in their sales. A startling, but successful campaign that’s got us thinking twice about my next cosmetic purchase!

The Name of the Game – Starbucks Get Friendly With New Campaign

Image Courtesy of Katarina Ribnikar, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Katarina Ribnikar, flickr.com

Last Wednesday Starbucks got everyone very excited when they launched their new PR campaign to offer everyone a free latte to celebrate a new initiative to stop charging customers for an extra shot of coffee, should they want it.

Being a daily Starbucks customer myself, there was no way I was going to miss out on this opportunity so popped to Great Marlborough Street to see what was happening. Inside I was greeted at the back of the queue by a smiley member of staff who was waiting for me to say the magic password “Hi my name is Jacqueline” – a compulsory part of the exercise in order to obtain your free latte.

I then gave the barista my name and order and once it was ready they called my name to say it was ready, rather than the name of the drink as they usually do. I honestly found that this kind of service brightened my day, and reminded me of the same sense of welcome conveyed when you walk into a store in the United States. The atmosphere was very buzzy with lots of strangers talking to each other discussing the goings-on. The happiness was definitely spreading and you could certainly tell that people left with a smile on their face having had a happy start to their day.

In terms of lifestyle PR, Starbucks are THE go-to brand, having created the ultimate lifestyle experience through its brand. Buying a Starbucks has (through effective branding, marketing and PR) become a choice based on your lifestyle, rather than your thirst.

What is the general verdict on this new campaign though? As a stereotype, we Brits may deem this an invasion of privacy. In my opinion, having that personal touch does make the customer feel special and this was proven by the atmosphere in Starbucks on the day.  With customer service standards seemingly dwindling these days let’s hope Starbucks have started a trend that will spread to other businesses.