House PR’s top venues for London winter cocktails

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By House PR – entertainment pr london

The cold nights are upon us, a time when the British capital comes into its own. London lifetstyle agency House PR is on hand with its little black book of the best places to spend time in this exciting city. What’s more, each has its own speciality signature cocktail – a fab way to spend cosy times with friendly crowds.

A Disaronno Wears ETRO at the Radio Rooftop Bar, 10th floor ME Hotel in Covent Garden

Take in amazing London sights, monuments and vistas from the top floor of this central London hotel, as you tuck into House PR’s recommended cocoa delight – an irresistible combo of Half/Half , subtle syrupy caramel, Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur and Disaronno.

A Mince Chai at Dirty Martini – various venues across London

The international chain of upmarket cocktail bars is embracing the Christmas buzz with its own collection of yule tide cocktails, infused with all those subtle tastes and smells of this special time of year – caramel star anise, walnut and ginger bread. House PR’s number 1 pick is the Mince Chai cocktail, made from Chai Tea syrup, fresh pressed apple juice, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram Liqueur, Bold London Spirit and syrup of ginger bread.

A Maple Old Fashioned and supper in a Coppa Club igloo overlooking historic Tower Bridge

Think luxury igloo experience and various things come to mind: a fabulous meal, incredible drinks, a unique setting and everything you need to feel snug and warm. Just by the world famous bridge by the Tower of London, the Coppa Club comes up tops with its unique décor of eye-grabbing igloos just by the River. House PR’s favourite cocktail at this venue is its Maple Old Fashioned – a mouth watering mix of orange, bitters of maple syrup, hazelnut and bourbon.

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House PR presents OpenTable’s new global booking functionality feature

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By House PR

The online restaurant booking service OpenTable is going global with an exciting new web and app global booking functionality thanks to which diners will be able to reserve a table at more than 38,000 restaurant across the globe in five languages. It knows that for all travellers – from families to skiers, business people and gap year students – eating out at exotic eateries is a key activity of a trip abroad.

Supported by the London lifestyle PR agency House PR, the presentation of OpenTable’s global booking functionality gained extensive coverage in many media – technology, travel, mainstream and trade. Reports of the global booking functionality feature appeared in The Daily Mirror and Mashable UK; The Caterer; and Tech Crunch. Also, when Christa Quarles, the chief exec of OpenTable, came over from San Francisco to support the launch, House PR arranged further coverage with interviews in Director magazine and The Sunday Telegraph.

One goal of OpenTable’s global booking functionality is to respond to the requirements of all of its non-English speaking users. The new feature thus allows for reservation to be made in either French, Japanese, English, German or Spanish. This should save diners much time and chin scratching when they are trying to book a table in a different language. Another goal of the global booking functionality is to create a single multi-lingual ‘Global Dining Passport’ app.

Christa Quarles says the new feature is a major milestone for OpenTable and is supported by a study by the company of some 14,000 restaurant goers from across the globe. It found that for almost all of them (97%), dining out featured at least once a day when they were travelling abroad. For British travellers, dining out is the second most enjoyable activity when travelling internationally after sightseeing. And almost half also say that eating out when abroad gives them valuable insights into the countries they are visiting.

With its ‘Global Dining passport’, OpenTable is aiming to support this process and hoping its new feature will become a permanent fixture of travellers’ international dining toolkit.

House PR announces Beano goes digital with new online platform

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By House PR – Pr Agency Londonbeano

Last month on September 25, House PR organised a launch event to celebrate the new digital feed of cult comic brand The Beano with its all-new Beano.com.

Described by Beano HQ and House PR as an “Ultimate Feed of Awesome”, the new platform will bring together an incredible selection of new content for its key 7-10-year-old fanbase, including interactive games, competitions, videos and fun pics from around the Web. Beano.com will also give fans the chance to interact with Popjam, new Beano apps and hilarious YouTube videos.

The Beano-House PR event brought together top celebrities, including Donna Air, Kate Garraway and Kate Fleetwood, as well as journalists from the British National press, including The Sun, The Mail, OK and Hello magazines, and The Guardian.

The big emphasis of the event was mischievous fun and mayhem, with secret missions of gunge, tanks filled with gunge and massive catapults. Another feature was that it was the cult comic’s loyal kiddie fanbase who were put in charge of the no-rules event. So the call went out: “Parents, you’d better watch out!”

Organised by the comic’s new Beano Studios, attendees got to check out the new Beano digital network, which will allow its loyal kiddie fanbase to have a totally different kind of interactive online experience.

The exclusive VIP launch took place at a top secret London location to hail British comics’ naughtiest kids and the cult brand’s fun-packed new entertainment channel.

The event was reported on in various online media outlets, including Telegraph Online, Evening Standard Online and Mail Online.

The Beano is one of the UK’s longest-running comics and was first published in 1938. In 2009, its 3,500th edition was published and in 1950 its print run almost hit two million copies. House PR and Beano HQ see the new Beano.com as key to the brand’s continuing success.

House PR’s recipe for London rainy day summer fun: culture, movies and food

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By House PR

To keep everyone in London smiling despite the disappointing rainy summer, House PR has the perfect recipe of inspiring culture, wowing movies and fabulous food.

Its culture top tips of the moment include two headline-grabbers:

The Height of Summer at The View from The Shard – The Shard, 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG (until 18 September)

Enjoy a quintessential  one-off experience of the English Garden on the 72nd floor of the highest building in Europe to celebrate this icon of English culture, famed the world over. Marvel at the views of London from this man-made eagle’s aerie, with a chilled glass of champagne or a specially made cocktail by the Shard’s ace cocktail creators.

David Hockney RA: 82 portraits and 1 still life – at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD (until 2 October)

This great show presents 82 exercises in portraiture, with every subject sitting the same chainr albeit slightly differently and each painted with the vibrant colours the famed artist is known for in a way that highlights the unique individuality of the subject. Each painting has been created on canvases of the same size and with exactly the same hue of blue as a background colour.

House PR movie recommendations are no less the ideal panaceas for feeling sunny whatever the weather, with Empire Cinemas, the UK’s largest chain of independent cinemas:

First off, a slew of sure-fire soon-to-be big screen favourites: the movie remake of the Roald Dahl classic, The BFG; the new, non-stop action Star Trek movie, Start Trek Beyond; and last but by no means least, the long awaited sequel to family favourite Finding Nemo, Finding Dory.

Second, the film all comic book fans have been waiting for, Suicide Squad. Starring Hollywood mega-star Will Smith as the iconic Dead Shot, the film also features Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto as her crazy eyed paramour and archduke of crime, The Joker. And don’t forget that super-large box of popcorn and chocolate munchies!

Finally, no House PR bid to escape a rainy day would be complete without a list of essential eating venues right across the London area. House PR also recommends the restaurant booking service OpenTable that offers up many useful features for the dedicated foodie, including customer reviews from across the UK and timely info about where to find speciality cuisines.

East London: Beach Blanket Babylon – 19-23 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA

This super trendy eaterie is just as popular with visitors as locals and showcases a delicious offering of yummy dishes for lunch, dinner and brunch. The venue is also a meeting place magnet, boasting an impressive drinks menu – innovative cocktails as well as excellent champagnes and wines. Wash away rainy days and feel hip in Shoredicth!

Central London: Cutter & Squidge, 20 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F 0SJ

Spend a rainy afternoon enjoying that other icon of English culture with Cutter & Squidge – teatime with scrumptious cakes and cookies. What marks out this unique eating spot is its warm and welcoming atmosphere and its beautifully coloured cakes and cookies. A perfect place to enjoy staying indoors when it’s grey and miserable outdoors.

West London: Annie’s, 36-38 White Hart Ln, Barnes, London SW13 0PZ

A definite place to try out for lunch, brunch or dinner, this restaurant is famous for its unusual interior design, an eclectic mix of different styles, colours and furnishings, all to creating a truly unique eating experience.

News shift to social media platforms huge opportunity for PR firms – House PR CEO Ginny Paton

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According to a new major report on the impact of social media and the consumption of news by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, social media platforms have now overtaken TV as the major source of news among young people. Ginny Paton, the CEO of House PR, a leading lifestyle PR agency in London says this is a wakeup call to her fellow professionals and that all future work around branding and communication must be integrated within an overall strategy around social media.

But, says Ginny Paton, the experience of her lifestyle PR agency in London is that this presents a massive opportunity around the impact of PR and communication work. Indeed, a news item that is Facebook’s top trending story has the potential to be seen by significantly more viewers that on the TV news.

Indeed, the findings of the report are that 28% of so-called Millennials – the key 18-24-year-old range – say that social media platforms are their main source of news as opposed to 24% who say it’s from TV. Few are without their smartphones and this is a new fact that the industry, including her own lifestyle PR agency, needs to address. Moreover, she says that her industry needs to forget about the traditional TV sources of news and rather remember that Facebook is the world’s leading source of news.

Ginny Paton adds that this is the new ecosystem that the work of the lifestyle PR agency must respond to, with all of the differences that social media platforms allow in terms of analysis, comment and chatter, a shining example of which how the recent Brexit campaign was played out on Facebook and Twitter.

She points to another challenge for the communications industry: according to the report, in less than 50% of cases is there even an awareness among users of the brand of the news provider that has produced the news piece they are consuming.

Ginny Paton also highlights the warning in the report that these changes will go on to cause a “second wave of disruption” to affects the world’s news groups, with “potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production”. She says this have significant ramifications on publishers as well PR in general and the London PR agency sector in particular, altering how social media and lifestyle campaigns are managed in the future.

This will create a uniquely challenging situation for news production teams and publishers: while with Facebook there is the potential to reach very large numbers of users, in terms of brand recognition, the platform itself works to reduce brand awareness. Furthermore, these producers and publishers of news are not only finding a significantly large part of their income is also lost in this process that finances their greatly appreciated journalism, but also they are in effect no longer in control of their output.

Ginny Paton says that this shows the PR industry and in particular firms like her own PR lifestyle agency in London that they urgently need to acclimatise themselves to these fundamentally changed ways in which news is consumed. She says viewers are no longer referring to brands like Fox News, the BBC and CNN, but rather consuming news pieces irrespective of their provenance. Thus, all news pieces are in a competition around merit and interest rather than a user choice based on the brand position of its producer.

She feels that the often quoted differences between print and TV are now moot. There’s only one channel and it’s social media, with the millions users who populate it. There exists now a total integration between digital skills and media relations and that the dichotomy that a London PR agency would have dubbed old versus new media is completely outdated.

 Unfortunately, many firms like her own lifestyle PR agency in London haven’t adapted to this new landscape around trying in their work to maximize a story or news item’s ‘sociability’, and this is particularly the case for entertainment PRs. Today a campaign’s success is much more dependent on a PR agency’s understanding of the algorithm running Facebook that all of their industry connections.

House PR presents Empire Cinemas’ poll of science fiction fans to promote Star Trek Beyond

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By House PR

Ahead of the release next Friday of Star Trek Beyond, the latest instalment of the Star Trek saga now in its sixth decade, House PR teamed up with Donna Scott, head of the British Science Fiction Association, to look into which sci-fi film fans believe have come across as the most realistic.

star-trek1Analyses of such movies are extremely frequent and so it is particularly timely that this latest enquiry, which involved the opinions of two thousand sci-fi fans in the UK, should be happening just prior to Star Trek Beyond hitting our cinemas screens.

Indeed, it has long been said that the iconic Star Trek series correctly predicted many aspects of today’s technological advances – from the mobile phone and 3D printers to tablets and touch control hand-held devices. We might be a long way off from teletransportation and travel at speeds in excess of the speed of light, but nevertheless it was an incredible feat of Star Trek writers that so many features of daily life in 21st century were intuited by these non-scientists when colour TVs were still a rare novelty.

Empire Cinemas is the biggest independent cinema group in the UK and according to the research it has undertaken Apollo 13, released in 1995 and starring Tom Hanks, came up tops for realism attracting 29% of the votes. At the other end of the spectrum, the Alien prequel Prometheus, released in 2012 and starring Luther star Idris Elba, only scored 2%.

Another surprise low-scoring film of the poll was the dystopic Elysium (2013), starring Jodie Foster, which took today’s trend among higher earners’ for gated communities and created a residential idyll in space away from the mass poverty that dominated the Earth’s surface.

House PR passed on the results of the study to the UK’s lifestyle, film and entertainment press and together with Dona Scott gained coverage in various specialist press publications, including Battle Royale With Cheese, the Vulture Hound Magazine and the Sci-Fi Bulletin.

Votes for the most realist science fiction movies were:

  1. Apollo 13 (1995) 29%
  2. Gravity (2013) 8%
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 7%
  4. The Martian (2015) 6%
  5. Independence Day (1996) 5%
  6. Alien (1979) 3%
  7. Interstellar (2014) 2%
  8. Elysium (2013) 2%
  9. Moon (2009) 2%
  10. Prometheus (2012) 2%

Donkey from Shrek tops House PR/Empire Cinemas’ poll of cinemagoers’ favourite movie animal character

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By House PR – Media Brands & Entertainment public relations

In a unique poll organised by House PR and Empire Cinemas, the cheeky Donkey character from the hit Shrek movies scored the highest score of cinemagoers’ favourite animal character.

The research was carried out ahead of the release at the beginning of July of the new animated blockbuster, The Secret Life of Pets.

Empire Cinemas is the UK’s biggest independent chain of cinema theatres and the research was yet another sign of our unique relationship with our pets and other animals. And the producers of The Secret Life of Pets – Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment – are banking on this. The fact is, don’t we all really want to know what our pets are doing once we scuttle off to our day jobs and they are left home alone?

The animated comedy production, directed by Chris “Despicable Me 1 and 2” Renaud, is the fifth collaboration of the two companies and stars the voices of some of the biggest names in comedy – Kevin Hart, Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet, as well as Albert Brooks, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress and Bobby Moynihan.

Jon Nutton is the Head of Marketing at Empire Cinemas and he says that animals come up time and again as moviegoers’ favourite characters, both in animated films such as The Jungle Book and real-life productions like Howard Bound. He also says that he expects The Secret Life of Pets to become a firm favourite that the whole family will enjoy.

The research into moviegoers’ tastes also highlighted the enduring appeal of other famous movie animal characters.

Simba from The Lion King came in at second place attracting over a quarter of all votes. However, this result is just an average of all respondents to the survey. For young adults, Simba scored a whopping 33% of votes cast.

The forgetful Dory of Finding Nemo and the soon to be released Finding Dory fame came in third position of favourite movie animal characters.

The recent film remake of Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel The Jungle Book also put Baloo the bear in the top five ranking, reminding us of the astonishing impact of the loveable character, an appeal that one can now say stretches over several decades.

The fascinating research also threw up differences in preferences based on the gender of respondents. 23% of female cinemagoers voted for Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh, 9% more than male cinemagoers. Female cinemagoers also voted more than twice as much compared to male cinemagoers for Marley from the hit film Marley and Me.

Waiting staff lose out when diners ‘Go Dutch’ – House PR

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By House PR – entertainment public relations london

It may be convenient for diners when the bill comes, but restaurant waiting staff are losing out when customers split the bill evenly, also known as “Going Dutch”.

The findings come out of research carried out by the world’s premier online restaurant booking company, OpenTable, and House PR.

According to the research, when customers split a restaurant bill, the amount that is left for a gratuity for waiting staff falls. In the UK, 23% of restaurant customers say that when they split the bill, they leave a smaller tip for their waiter.

This figure is also backed up by restaurants themselves as 42% of restaurant proprietors confirm that when customers “Go Dutch”, the tip they leave waiting staff is much smaller.

Adrian Valeriano, a senior executive for the European arm of Open Table says that although there is an obvious mathematic convenience to splitting a restaurant bill evenly among diners, restaurants themselves note that this seriously impacts of the amount of tips left by a typical table.

The results of the research received widespread coverage across various online media outlets, including Eat Out Magazine Online, and the online editions of The Sun, Reveal Magazine and The Daily Mirror.

The research also pointed to the fact that customers themselves may be losing out by ‘Going Dutch’ when the bill comes, because many are paying for more than their fair share. According to OpenTable and House PR, this figure can be as much as £8.73 per restaurant visit for the average Brit, which works out at lifetime overpayments of over £33,000, enough to put down as a deposit for a property purchase.

Diners themselves are aware of this inequity, which is supported by the research that says that 38% of them estimate that they paying for more than their fair share.

58% of subjects in the research cite convenience as the main reason they put up with the feeling that they have overpaid, while 34% say for them it’s a concern that they don’t want to appear ungenerous with their friends.

Interestingly, of those who don’t go “Go Dutch”, 54% said they don’t split the bill evenly because their fellow diners order more alcoholic beverages than them, 49% said they order less food and 27% said this happened when they were not eating with their close pals.

£20 for new Sailor Jerry tattoo Bottle Wrap – presented by House PR

House PR – Entertainment PR London

The collectables market was abuzz with news that the iconic American label Sailor Jerry was releasing a limited edition series of collectable bottle wraps for £20 decorated with a unique tattoo inspired by the celebrated father of tattoo artistry.

House PR organised a press gathering to reveal which designs by Norman Collins, who was professionally known as Sailor Jerry, will be featured on the new products.

What was unique about Collins’ style was how he combined aspects of the traditions of the East and the West. His influence is beyond dispute in the tattoo world, with designs that continue inspire the most popular designs today.

At the House PR event, it was announced that two design would be released in April – first the Gypsy, then The Homeward Bound Ship, and later in the year The Pin-Up Girl and lastly The American Eagle.

Dave Hort, a senior Sailor Jerry executive, said the new bottle wraps were a token of thanks to loyal customers and hoped that they would make for an attractive and worthwhile acquisition. It isn’t often that collectors get to own such an exciting piece of Americana.

Collectors were also reminded that the Sailor Jerry Bottle Wraps were going to released as a limited edition and so were advised not to delay a purchase.

Assembled journalists were very keen to report on the event and coverage to date has included articles in the music, trade and gay press. It also featured among news stories that were heard on Rock FM. House PR were very happy with what reported on in market leaders the NME (music), Rock FM (radio), Gay Times (gay world) and Bar Magazine (beverages trade press).

The bottle wraps will have a black matte finish and be available nationwide. Organisers expect that in years to come they will become prized items in collections everywhere.

Countryfile in bid to cash in on TV show’s success with Countryfile Live fair this summer

In a bid to cash in on its huge popularity, the hit BBC TV show Countryfile will attempt to offer its 8.7 million viewers the first ever Countryfile Live fair this summer, supported by the House PR Countryfile Live team.

With TV viewing figures making it the most popular programme on British television, journalists from all of the UK’s major national dailies were invited to the launch of the event, which will be taking place at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire from 4th-7th August 2016.

bbc-countryfile-liveGiven the expected success and popularity of the event, it came as no surprise that the assembled press, both national and regional that included The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph, were as enthusiastic about the launch as the House PR team.

Countryfile Live will feature many items that its dedicated viewers will already be familiar with, as well as an authentic village green and the biggest garden pub ever seen in the UK.

John Craven and Ellie Harrison joined fellow Countryfile presenters Adam Henson, Matt Baker, Tom Heap and Anita Rani for an exclusive photoshoot on top of a 16-foor haystack.

Organisers are banking on Countryfile Live becoming a permanent fixture of the UK’s festival calendar. The big difference with other festivals though is that in keeping with the countryside theme of Countryfile Live, attendees will be positively encouraged to come along with their dogs. This will mark it out as very different from other festivals.

For the photoshoot, the Countryfile presenters were photographed by the attending press posing and laughing out of the haystack’s windows, cuddling up to the lambs and chasing chickens across Blenheim Palace’s sumptuous grounds.

Countryfile Live will be a sponsored event, with support from investment management firm Quilter Cheviot and the UK’s National Trust.

All of the Countryfile presenters will be at Countryfile Live for the entire duration of the four-day event.

For more information visit www.countryfilelive.com