Animal crackers

‘Ahhhhhh!’ This is the reaction in our office each day as the newspapers showcase the latest crop of animal pictures from around the world.

The other day we did a count of how many animal pictures featured in the national newspapers and we were quite amazed at how many were used – we counted 34, which is quite a lot considering how much hard news there is right now. The animals ranged from polar bears, horses and tigers to rats.

These pictures aren’t your average cutsie shots of kittens in teacups; these are pictures of animals that add more than a sense of humour to the shots than any sentimental greeting card ever could:

Francois Langur baby at Howletts Wild Animal Park

Some are just fantastically shot images that could easily be considered as a work of art focusing on and accentuating the amazing colours of these creatures, such as the image used on the front page of The Times (below). This shot insists the viewer takes in the majestic beauty of the tigers. The photographer struck lucky when he aimed to capture the tiger and her cub as he also caught a third approaching or even spying in the background, which to me takes the image to another level.

Back in August, which is traditionally ‘silly season’ – an optimum time of the year to get the lightest, picture-led stories into the papers – I noticed that instead of the expected seasonal shots of giant tomatoes and the like, the papers were full of stand-alone images of animals – exotic creatures in their natural habitats and the latest additions to a zoo. This trend didn’t stop in September when the news agenda traditionally returns to its normal pace and content, it just kept going.

Photographers and newspapers have got wise to the impact animals have on humans – especially cubs and baby monkeys, and it seems as though photographers are increasingly being allowed access to nature reserves and zoos spending hours waiting to get the right shots:

Animal pictures in newspapers act as great antidotes to the horrors and misery of what is the majority of the news. It seems that these kinds of pictures are competing with the usual PR images, so with this in mind, stand-alone images need to be impressive and eye-catching enough to get picture editors’ attention – making them choose the synthetic over the natural.

Post by Nicola Charalambous, Head of Photography @ TNR Communications

What can you do if you cant get your weekly shop in the back of your car? Stick it to the bonnet, obviously! Not sure it’ll be much success driving down a busy motorway (unless your stuck on the M25 in rush hour, in which case you MIGHT be able to keep all your purchases in tact) but this is what Tesco did in order to rasie awareness of their new petrol offer.

The supermarket chain decided to pimp their ride with carrots, eggs, toilet roll, and cheese, catching the eye of bewildered passers by at a petrol station.

Tesco Car Small


This masterpiece appeared last week in a Tesco in Watford to support their research which showed nearly half of us are claiming fuel prices are preventing us from seeing their loved ones. As there was no news hook to the story (research by Tesco to promote Tesco Clubcard offers) it is important to think of other avenues to make it appealing to the online media. So to make a story like this more exciting and to give it more appeal, we made it as visual as possible by sticking food and cleaning products to a hatch back!

In the world of PR no day is the same and the joys of working alongside brands and agencies for varying projects means we work on some of the strangest stunts. Although not entirely bizarre – who doesn’t want to carry their beans on their car from the shop back home(!) – this one did get some great pick up online from the likes of the Mail Online, BT.com, AOL and Yahoo, and at the end of the day, it’s pretty random and subtly gets the message across.



Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications

This week we attended a Gorkana Breakfast meeting with Jonathon Boseley, Head of Programming, and Vikki Cook, Head of News and Current Affairs at London Live. As the new channel launches at the end of the month, it is important to understand how PR’s and the channel coordinators can work together and benefit from a hyper local channel – one of 19 to launch this year around the UK.

London Live’s main focus is supporting new talent and will be the only channel which has 3 hours of peak time original content. For comedy writers, budding drama creators and filmmakers not to mention budding presenters, this gives them a massive step up in their career.

But as the call to action may appear to be directed towards programming content this does not rule out the importance of a PR to help produce content (both news and other). PR’s can not only submit ideas forward for programmes – as long as they have a pilot episode prepared (this can be brand based but do bear in mind that it is still Ofcom regulated). One example series for this is a weekly show focused on one influential figure so perhaps PR’s can think about putting forward, for example, a new entrepreneur their client may have waiting in the curtains.

Another great opportunity is that whilst the channel only has a small news planning team, there is scope for PR’s to promoting London content (people/places/launches) which may otherwise be overlooked by national broadcasters and their London counterparts. London Live have a massive 5 and a half hours of news content to produce every day and it’s not just focused on the doom and gloom dominating some other London outlets coverage.

The news department will be looking at the news agenda at the beginning of each week and morning. PR’s are being encouraged to keep up social interaction as the channel are launching the London Eye – a section reaching out to bloggers and members of the public who can provide them with original content and commentary on stories. In terms of the running order, there will be a breakfast show from 0600 each morning that will look at the big questions of the day while the lunch time show will be 1 ½ hours long focused on news and current affairs (still maintaining a strong output of politics, business and social news), and the evening show which will look at more entertainment news.

It’s a really interesting shift to incredibly local content and bespoke news for regions. While it only targets a really local audience, it could be a fantastic opportunity to connect with them and engage them on a far deeper level that national media would allow.

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications

Expect the unexpected is by no means incorrect when it comes to the National Trust’s allegedly leaked ad campaign. If you haven’t already been seen it, you won’t be disappointed. The video could be mistaken for the charity changing direction in their target audience however, according to the Telegraph, they had nothing to do with it.

It was in fact uploaded by a YouTube user a week ago and now has over 40,000 views despite being uploaded 1 week ago. It seems that this is the only video Frank Close has uploaded and has no obvious links to the charity.

While it is certainly worlds apart from other campaigns launched by the charity it would certainly make us want to get out and see some of the fantastic places the National Trust is linked to around the UK.

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications

As most will know by now, it has been announced that Facebook are to buy Whatsapp to “make the world more open and connected“, but with wide reports that Facebook users were on a decline and could be down 80% by 2017 I can’t help be a tad cynical about the whole thing.

The social network was founded in 2004 and is worth $84bn, so there is obviously no doubt that Zuckerberg can just go and spend $19bn to expand the empire.  The fact that internet messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, are becoming increasingly popular amongst Facebook’s target audience must have something to do with the move.  However, it does feel like they are scrambling around to make sure they don’t just become a piece of internet history, seen in some tech museum in the distant future.

Taken from Mashable:

Facebook released Poke, a messaging app that mimicked Snapchat’s self-destruct feature, last December.  Thanks to the social network’s imprimatur, it zoomed to the top of the download charts, according to App Annie.

Poke fell out of the top 25 quickly after, and as of mid-March or so, it began a free fall out of the top 1,000.  Among social networking apps, Poke is ranked around No. 300.

Facebook originally wanted to buy Snapchat but when they declined Facebook must have gone searching elsewhere. During the announcment, Zuckerberg said they “want to build services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want”.

With all he has achieved at the age of 29, the fact my colleague reminded me that Facebook now own Instagram and after writing this blog post, he probably DOES  have a trick up his sleeve.  Without question, Facebook nailed the user generated content arena and it looks like Facebook don’t want to change the current state of Whatsapp.

I would hope that buying the messaging service is not just something for monetary gain, however, more about combining the two to create a new service that will indeed enhance people’s capabilities to share content.

Post by Daniele Baron, Producer @ TNR Communications

Usually a quiet month, January has been keeping us video and radio lot on our toes.  Just over the past week or so we have touched a plane, heard some inspiring stories from Midwives and helped raise awareness of cervical cancer.

First up, the launch of the rail-fly partnership from Singapore Airlines, in partnership with First Great Western and Heathrow Express.  The service takes travellers from railway to runway in just one booking, opening up the South West of the country to the rest of the world.  Previously travellers making the journey would require three separate bookings with different transport providers but can now travel in just one booking.

To mark the launch of this service Singapore Airlines held a photocall on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport, next to the runway.  As you can imagine, it involved a train and a plane.  You can see the news edit we produced on our Youtube.


Next was the launch of  Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s (JCCT) new ‘Put Yourself in the Picture’ campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer.  We held a Radio Day at our offices in London Victoria where British actress Sara Stewart and Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, did back-to-back interviews with radio stations across the country.  Our Project Manager Daisy Bambridge wrote up a bit more information for the TNR Blog, if interested.

Radio Day studio shot edited

We have supported Johnson’s Baby with their Midwife of the Year Award for two years running now and what a year this one was.  We heard some incredible stories from the nominees with the north England winner, Joan Ellard, telling us, “to be recognised by one individual to this public level is amazing”.

Post by Daniele Baron, Producer @ TNR Communications

Research, case studies and a strong news hook are integral to a successful Radio Day. This week we had the pleasure of working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (JCCT) on the launch of their new ‘Put Yourself in the Picture’ campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

Cervical cancer dominated the media when Jade Goody passed away in 2009. At the time it highlighted the illness, which is the most common cancer among women under 35. As a result there was an increase in women taking up cervical screening. Since then however, it has dropped off the radar and this new research now shows women’s lack of knowledge and fear of examination – all of which is putting them off life saving tests.

TNR were enlisted to conduct and manage the entire radio day from helping to shape the story to making sure the clients key messaging was delivered. On the launch of the national campaign, our media relations team targeted radio stations across the UK with regionally broken down data and locally sourced case studies. As a result, we were able to secure nearly 50 interviews including almost 20 regional BBCs, Radio 1’s Newsbeat and other top commercial stations. Our sell-in and advisory also prompted BBC Look East to contact us and arrange a TV interview with a case study.

Back to back interviews meant our guests: actress, cancer survivor and JCCT supporter Sara Stewart; and Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, had barely any time out of the studio, but they were pro’s at getting across key messages and speaking from either an expert point of view (Robert), or from a personal point of view (Sara) which is imperative for a story such as this.


Robert Music and Sara Stewart


To amplify the story further and reach a wider audience, we interviewed both our spokespeople to produce some video content which we offered to the Press Association Video Wire. The wire distributes video content to a wide variety of online media and ISP’s. It was not only used for this, but it also provided the client with some new content for their website.


It’s great to be part of such a widespread campaign which has achieved some great coverage, while delivering a very important message. If you fancy having a look at the campaign yourself check out their website. Great start to radio for 2014!

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications



Video of the week

We thought this would appeal to those counting down the last hour of the working week.

I really enjoyed the gradual build in the first minute before everything goes slow mo and the Parkour guys do their thing – jumping off and over walls in the middle of London.  It is good to see a brand, such as H&M, invest in this kind of video content to promote a new clothing range. Enjoy!

Post by Daniele Baron, Producer @ TNR Communications

Snapshot is a regular feature giving an insight into the different people working within the Media & Communications industry. James Bunting of Kaper tells us about private zoo’s, Fresh Meat and a pop-up restaurant in Old Spitafields market…

James Bunting

In a sentence describe your typical day…
Media relations is a huge part of the job at my level, but the lovely thing about PR is no two days are the same. One day I might spend writing a document, the next calling the newspapers, the third at a private zoo in Oxfordshire (true story).

For you, what is the most prominent story of the year so far and why?
We work with a lot of food brands, so the horse meat scandal was very big. Seeing the sudden focus on product provenance has changed how we approach our stories, and seeing how badly some brands handled it kept us entertained.

At work I am most likely to…
Be offering everybody chocolate and proofing things.

Favourite campaign you’ve worked on?
There’s been many, but probably the Le Drunch campaign we did with Maille. It was such a big, integrated campaign involving media outreach and experiential. We even ran a pop-up restaurant in Old Spitalfields market for two weeks in the coldest March in forever. A hugely rewarding challenge.

On the TV you like to watch…
Fresh Meat. It has to be one of the best comedies since Peep Show first broke.

The video or photograph that has impressed you the most recently is…
I’m not a huge cinema buff, but this mash-up of films in 2013 was hypnotisingly brilliant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DiMjOWlbmM

On the radio you like to listen to…
I listen to the Today Programme every morning. John Humphries is one of the best interviewers around.

Instagram or Vine?
Instagram. Vine is great, but it simply hasn’t caught on yet.

If you would like to feature in Snapshot please email our Marketing Manager Alex Waite on alex@tnrcommunications.co.uk.


Best images of 2013

Just before everyone decided to shut up shop and drive home for Christmas we posted the best images of 2013 taken by TNR photographers to our Facebook page.  It’s always a tough job to select a handful of images that stand out, but we have picked our own personal favourite from each month of the year. Would be great to hear your thoughts on your own favourites…

January – Mr Darcys launch Cadbury’s Crispello


February – Magnolias in bloom at The Nare Hotel in Cornwall


March – CAFOD’s ‘Enough food for everyone IF’ campaign launch


April – Mo Farah announces the launch of the National Lottery Anniversary Run


May – Boris Johnson at the launch of Longine’s Global Champions Tour


June – Gyuto monks from Tibet to perform at Glastonbury


July – The launch of UKTV’s new Drama channel


August –  First-ever public tasting of lab-grown Cultured Beef burger


September – LEGO celebrate London Fashion Week


October – The opening of the Cheapside Hoard exhibition at Museum of London


November – Canal & River Trust drain Camden Lock in London


December – The opening of The Anatomy of a Suit exhibition at Museum of London


Head over to our Facebook page to like any of the photos in our album.