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With pop-up locations in London multiplying on what seems like a weekly basis, the Cadbury Crème Egg Café in Soho and the Dogs Trust Valentine’s Day ‘MicroChippy’ in Clerkenwell are the latest to have caught our attention. The UK is wholly embracing the pop- up phenomenon and according to research undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, pop-up stores contributed £2.3bn to the British economy in 2015. With high business rates and ever increasing rent prices, the continuing amount of empty locations will see this passion for the pop- up continue throughout this year.

The Cadbury Crème Egg café on Greek Street has already heavily dominated the press, despite Easter being weeks away. The café which is open a mere two and a half days a week from 22nd January to 6th March is situated in a prime consumer location, in lively Soho. With its appealing exterior creating the perfect Instagram opportunity, it is a perfect example of the impact that social media can have in maximising the exposure of a PR stunt. The novelty factor here is essential and with rumours of an interactive ball pit and crème egg toasties for £2, there is no surprise that interest in the café has been enormous.  With extortionate rent prices in this area, limited opening hours and cheap prices there can be no intention for the café to run a profit. However, what Cadbury have achieved is a huge amount of buzz and excitement surrounding this novel idea. With tickets for reservations sold out weeks in advance and a strong media presence, the crème egg café epitomises the essence of a pop- up with a combination of exclusivity and innovation.

Cadbury Creme Egg Cafe. Image courtesy of Certified Nosh

Cadbury Creme Egg Cafe. Image courtesy of Certified Nosh.


The Dogs Trust recently announced their charity pop-up in Clerkenwell which will open over this Valentine’s weekend, 13th and 14th February offering pet owners a Doggy Date venue. Aptly named, ‘MicroChippy’ the aim is to raise awareness of the upcoming change in legislation which requires dog owners to have their pets microchipped. It is a perfect example of tapping into a consumer holiday and offering an alternative from the romantic, oversaturated Valentine’s day offerings which are largely directed at men and women, rather than animals.  The location, a pop-up 1950s diner complete with booths, dog bean bags and treats for the pooches offers dog owners the chance to enjoy a romantic meal with their pets. Visitors will be able to sample champagne and hotdogs provided by Bubbledogs with all proceeds donated to the Dogs Trust. Although the successful business reality for this venue is minimal, what ‘Microchippy’ will do is offer a unique experience while also providing information and raising funds for charity.

Pop-up venues allow for a variety of creative ideas and entertaining customer experiences. We’ve seen that established brands launch them to either freshen up their image, test out a new location or engage with customers.  However, small emerging brands can use temporary locations as a means to further their customer base, and continue to project their brand awareness.

BOXPARK in Shoreditch is the perfect example where established brands like Adidas and Nike sit next to emerging designers and restaurants. For online sites, a physical location offers the opportunity for a physical representation of their brand, and for high-end restaurants, we’ve seen pop up locations as an extension and often more accessible version of their offerings. There are a huge variety of success stories where businesses that once started out in a temporary location have now become household names, or return to the same successful are, year in year out much like the hugely popular food and drink pop up that is Street Feast.

BOXPARK is the perfect pop-up example.

BOXPARK is the perfect pop-up example.

Social media is an extremely powerful tool for pop-ups in order to maximise their exposure and 2016 will see the power of this continue to grow. Ensuring that a pop-up has a catchy, yet unique hashtag and that the décor and signage are on brand is key. If you search #CremeEggCafe you’ll be astounded at the sheer amount of posts on social. Similarly, the temptation of uploading a snap of dinner with your dog will no doubt ensure that social channels are flooded with images of ‘MicroChippy’ this weekend. Befitting the neon lights of Soho, the Cadbury crème egg café has also displayed neon Cadbury signs in the windows, creating the perfect Instagram opportunity for passers-by. If you are interested in extra pointers to help make your brand insta-famous do follow this link. Finally, by inviting key figures and publications to a pre-opening of the pop-up, it is possible to create a trending hashtag and for teaser images to start flooding social media. This results in tempting customers with the excitement of the opening, via social media results in a further excitement on the opening day and beyond.

As 2016 unfolds there is no doubt that the sheer scale of pop up bars, shops, restaurants and animal café’s will continue to multiply. With the encouraged notion of here today, gone tomorrow. You’d better act quickly or you’ll miss them!

The Power of the Pop-Up


Following the nomination in August, we’re incredibly proud and excited to announce The PHA Group have won Best Public Relations Campaign at the B2B Marketing Awards.

The awards were hosted at The Honourable Artillery Club in Central London and are known for recognising organisations of all sizes – from Google and Barclays to Worldpay and now QinetiQ with The PHA Group.

The award feels particularly poignant. Not least because both The PHA Group and the B2B Marketing Awards are celebrating their 10th Anniversaries this year, but also because just a quick glance at the nominees for each category conveys how fierce the competition is.

When it comes to public relationship campaigns, at The PHA Group we’re known for a journalistic ethos that brings stories to life. And that’s precisely what we achieved with our work for QinetQ and the 5% Club.

Founded in 2013 by Defence technology company QinetiQ, The 5% Club is an initiative aiming to redress the problem of youth unemployment and the skills gap. As an industry-led campaign involving several listed and privately owned companies, it calls on all businesses in the UK to sign up and pledge that within five years, their workforces will comprise 5% apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

Why? Because there is a burning need for young people to develop relevant skills and confidence in the work place. Moreover, those who are best placed to make a difference are not governments or charities, but businesses.

This is the 5% Club message.

It is time to invest in the next generation.

It is time for the business world and its captains to step up to the plate in creating demand for apprentices and graduates if Britain was to be competitive with the rest of the world.

Out of dozens of agencies, QinetiQ chose The PHA Group to launch this campaign, which has grown from the original eight signatories from the Confederation of British Business, to having over 125 members. These include Vision Express, Airbus Group, Croudace Home Group, Ofcom, the National Nuclear Laboratory, and the Ministry of Defence. There are lawyers, marketers, engineers, surveyors and recruitment specialists involved. It has featured in national newspapers, has spokespersons interviewed on national broadcast platforms such as Sky and BBC’s impressive Today Programme. In total, there have been countless pieces of coverage for the 5% Club.

Such results were the effort of The PHA Group’s long-term media plan, which in truth could only be realized with the commitment and dedicated of the founding membes of The 5% Club and those companies which have joined over the past two years.

From delivering an impactful launch through broadcast, online and print media, and though various social media channels, to continuing the momentum through thought-leadership in key titles and profile raising coverage for the campaign.

The PHA Group are immensely proud of what The 5% Club has achieved for young people in Britain and in our role in helping its message reach the UK.

B2B Awards

Best Public Relations Campaign  ‘The Five Per Cent Club: Investing In a Generation’ for QinetiQ by The PHA Group


The PHA Group Win Best PR Campaign at B2B Awards

To gain a broader understanding of the world of public relations and fashion, I made the decision to embark on an internship at The PHA Group having heard lots of positive things about the agency. After spending a week with the Fashion & Lifestyle team, it is certainly safe to say I have achieved this and more!

On my first day at PHA, my mentor, Naomi, tasked me to help her to update a beauty and lifestyle client’s twitter account. With no prior experience of managing social media channels, this sounded like something I would be able to learn a lot from and I was extremely keen to help. Starting my week with this task was a brilliant way for me to see how varied the job of a PR executive can be.  Having the responsibility of creating tweets gave me a chance to see how fast-paced social media is and what is entailed in the upkeep of a channel such as Twitter.

Later on in the week, Suzanne, one of the account managers at PHA, allowed me to accompany her on a desk visit to meet a reporter at one of the national newspapers. This gave me the chance to observe her while she spoke about a product on behalf of a client and provided insight into how crucial maintaining strong relationships with the press is for a PR professional.

Public Relations spelt out on some dice

One task I particularly enjoyed during my internship was writing copy for a short press release, on behalf of one of the fashion brands represented by PHA. I am not a particularly confident writer, so this helped me to improve my skills in this area and it was very helpful to have some pointers from the team. I worked specifically on e-alerts which, I learnt, were a punchier alternative to press releases in terms of getting a message out to the press. I enjoyed the chance to be creative by picking suitable products from the range of clothes and accessories. I enjoyed the chance to use my knowledge of fashion trends and the challenge of having to think outside of my usual fashion choices.

Throughout my week as an intern with the Fashion and Lifestyle team, I have accomplished a variety of tasks and have been able to learn from the different responsibilities that are expected of a PR professional. Seeing how many different elements there are to being in public relations has surprised me and shown me how expansive the skillset you need to possess is. The staff at PHA are really nice to work with and It has been made clear that in order to succeed in this type of fast-paced environment you have to be determined, proactive and receptive.

My experience at PHA has allowed me to adapt my interpersonal skills as well as my ability to write press releases, use social media and liaise with journalists.

I am grateful for being given the opportunity to learn more about the industry and I feel the knowledge I have gained from PHA has driven me to seek out similar learning opportunities and will benefit me a great deal in my future career!


My week as a PHA intern

It’s that time of the year again where we are visually transported to the French Riveria and invited to experience the Festival de Cannes celebration of film and cinema. With the Festival’s 66th birthday this year, we are sure not to be disappointed with this year’s line-up. Scheduled to preview fresh films of all genres from around the globe the Festival kicked off on the 14th May. From emerging directors, to regular Hollywood superstar attendees, Cannes is one of the most anticipated and international events of the year.

Since its birth in 1946, the Festival’s founder Thierry Fremaux has traditionally showcased some of the most important European films in cinema history, making it one of the most sought-after public platforms for raising the profiles of film-makers and actors. English director and writer Mike Leigh explains, ‘If you’re a film-maker, it’s the centre of the universe’. With British talent attending the event including Robert Pattinson, Matt Smith, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton we hope to make an impact on the Festival.

Image Courtesy of gem_106,

Eva Longoria Cannes Film Festival

Cannes, would not be Cannes if it wasn’t for its media metropolis manifesto, and glamour under the sun fashion. Public relations and Cannes go hand in hand together. With a number of journalists flying out to capture the booming festival (which has multiplied by 5 in the last 40 years), publicity has never been so vital for the Festival’s success.

From a PR perspective, this is the perfect opportunity for filmmakers all over the world to promote their masterpieces, of all genres, to the public and get the recognition it deserves, particularly independently produced films. Without Cannes, or the media coverage that comes with it, it’s likely these films would go unwatched.

As with any major event involving celebrities, fashion choices are fundamental to boost personal status. With the red carpet dress code at Cannes, black tie, designers are given the ultimate opportunity for press coverage and recognition. Who will you be routing for this year?


Hello Cannes