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Our client executive, Amy gives her advice on how PR students can beat the boredom and stay focused during this lockdown.

“As a recent PR & Comms graduate and a current Client Executive, you are trained to handle whatever the world throws at you. Right?!

“However, at unforeseen times like now, being proactive and motivated can be tough – but these are key skills of any PR practitioner. As we’re part of an ever-changing industry, there’s luckily plenty going on to keep on top off and ahead of the curve (plus, most importantly, shake our boredom!).

“Despite universities being closed and at-home work commencing, it’s so important not to lose momentum on what keeps your brain ticking and your creativity flourishing. Whether you’re a student, a graduate or a practitioner – if you’re in PR, you should always find yourself boosting your education on the latest trends and tactics, as well as advancing your skills in these for the future.

“Textbooks may seem like a heavy load to start off with – so keep up-to-date with what’s going on by subscribing to useful online trade magazines including PR Week, Marketing Week and The Drum. Their articles are punchy, succinct and a much easier way to digest news updates from a relevant PR perspective.

“There are also the obvious platforms we all resort to when boredom strikes: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat – and now TikTok.

“Why not take the extra time you have to understand these existing and new social platforms better? That way, you can apply this when normal life resumes, either for creative uni assignments or idea suggestions for clients. For example, this short yet interesting article by PR Daily explores TikTok’s background, statistics and projected staying power in the world of PR.

“LinkedIn Learning offers a free trial month and is worth delving into if you want to enhance your knowledge on Google Ads, Google Analytics, writing ad copy and understanding SEO to name just a few. By completing these short courses, you will be ahead of the game as well as be able to pop these on your CV!

“Or, if you’re looking for something to do that’s interactive and allows you to unleash your creativity, why not try starting up your own blog? If you want to kick-start a career in PR, there’s nothing better than having your own personal portfolio to impress prospective employers with. You heard it here first!”

It will get better, and it will soon – just remember to look after yourself, keep busy and #stayhomesavelives. 

If you are a PR student looking a placement in September or any industry advice please get in touch via At Rumour Mill we are keen to support and develop the next generators or communicators and content creators.



In February 2020, Tik Tok reached a whopping 1.5 billion downloads globally. There were 615 million new users who downloaded the app from the App Store and Google Play store in the past 12 months, an increase of 6% from the previous year. But why is it so successful?

Tik Tok is a hugely popular video-sharing social-platform owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012. Content creators take existing formats, such as jokes, memes and songs, and reinterpret them in their own way. A song is lip-synced by hundreds of creators, each adding their own twist to it. The content shared via TikTok can be described as mostly frivolous, but users don’t care. They have fun creating it and don’t seem bothered by public scrutiny.

Unlike Instagram, TikTok isn’t about you or what you’re doing. It’s about entertaining your audience. It’s not spontaneous chronicling of your real life. It’s about inventing characters, dressing up as someone else and acting out jokes. It’s not about privacy and friends but strutting on the world stage. And it’s not about originality — the heart of Instagram. TikTok is about remixing culture — taking the audio from someone else’s clip and reimagining the gag in a new context by layering it on top a video you record.

Should Instagram be worried? TikTok is unlikely to replace Instagram, but it could become a good alternative source of entertainment for users. Most users won’t abandon Instagram for TikTok, but the amount of time they spend on Facebook’s photo-sharing app could decline. TikTok is almost the opposite or a deliberate parody of what’s on Instagram; its users seemingly go out of their way to denounce the latter platform’s aesthetics, high-profile production values and originality. If anything, the majority of TikTok creators embrace the silliness to the fullest, and in that lies its biggest strength: setting the entry bar very low. TikTok enables anyone to jump in quickly and create content, without the work that goes into polished production.

TikTok has a relatively younger user base than Instagram. Nearly half of its users are teenagers, and more than 65% users are under 25 years old. The app is equally popular among male and female users. However, a large number of millennials and boomers install the app out of curiosity and end up ditching it after a while. It is fun to scroll through these videos for a half-hour every now and then, but it eventually becomes repetitive and loses its stickiness after a while.

While both Instagram and Facebook are pretty ad-heavy, TikTok isn’t (not yet at least). They started showing short ads in January 2019, and they now have an advertising system, but it isn’t driving people away from their platform yet. TikTok generates revenue through in-app purchases such as digital gifts and emojis. But it’s also ramping up its advertising business, showing you portrait-mode video ads. Unlike Instagram, TikTok has access to both the Chinese and international markets for advertising means. Facebook’s apps don’t have access to 1.4 billion people in China.

Teenagers are gaga for TikTok. And with the advertising floodgates wide open, brands are too. Chipotle, Nike, Skittles, Fenty Beauty, Pepsi, and Universal Pictures are among the many companies that have already been lured by TikTok’s warp speed success.

So, is it time for your company to start TikTok marketing? The team at Rumour Mill has had a play around with the app and we are all unanimously sold. The platform acts an endless feed of short entertainment bursts which are light-hearted, warm and often funny. This is a welcome alternative to the perfectly polished aesthetics of the gram. We especially love the ability for everyone to get involved in Tik Tok. The app actively encourages people of all ages to try the latest dance trend or lip sync their favourite comedy skit. We can certainly see how it would fit in the marketing mix in the near future. Restaurant clients making quick fire food videos, fashion brands doing sassy runway shows and much more. It is essentially Instagram Stories on steroids, and we are here for it!

Tik Tok grew by over 400 per cent between 2017 and 2018 and is now a mainstream app. The question is, will this explosion continue? Or, are we approaching the ceiling whereby user growth will flatten a la Snapchat and Twitter? Time will certainly tell.

Give it a go this Easter Weekend or follow our Rumour Mill Social Media Guru Ciaran for a few giggles: @ciaranmullan04. Once we get past Covid-19 and we are all together – Rumour Mill TikTok will be born to entertain you all.



Are you new to this whole working from home thing? Us too! Companies around the world are adapting to mandatory remote working, including us. We are having to adapt to a new environment, primarily our living rooms and kitchens; spots in our homes that may not usually lend themselves to productivity.

Whilst we are missing each other and the daily banter – plus the tea making rota; there are ways to keep positive and avoid going stir-crazy. Over the past few weeks, we have been adapting, and figuring out what works for us individually, from setting up a good workspace, to the way we keep in touch as a team. Here are a few of our top tips.

Communication is key: At the start of each working week, we always have a client catch up. Then each day, a mini task focused chat to establish what our day will look like. In the office, communication is easy and effortless. Rather than doing this face to face, we now have a team Skype call every day, at the same time. This helps encourage a routine and we can each establish what tasks we have planned for that day and plot out the rest of the week. We also have our team WhatsApp group chat and when we aren’t sending each other memes, we can send quick voice memos to check something that doesn’t merit a phone call.

Rather than client meetings, we are arranging Skype or Zoom meetings, which are great for those clients who are used to seeing you in person. If all else fails, a good old phone call does the trick.

These are uncertain times for us all, so we continue to check in with our clients, via phone calls and emails, reassuring them we are here to help. At the end of each day, we send a task update to the team via email. It only takes a few minutes to do this and it is a simple way for us to check on where we can support each other to complete tasks if needed.

Create a workplace setting: We are all so used to the same routine, getting up, going to work, getting to the office and setting up at our desk. Most of us who don’t work remotely are unlikely to have an office space at home, so we have had to create one. OK, confess, who has joined their team conference call in their pjs? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! Get up, take a shower and get dressed, treat your day like you are at work.

If possible, change your setting. If you can work in your living room one day, try the kitchen the next. If the sun is out, like we have been lucky to have the past few days, bring your work outside for some much-needed vitamin D! A change of scenery can really boost your mood!

If you are working from home and you live with other people in your house, set some boundaries to minimise distraction. Agree tea breaks and your lunch time so you can have a break together and you can work towards enjoying a break in your day.

Positive vibes only: Now is a great time to dust off the pom poms and be one another’s cheerleaders. We are all in a rather stressful and unknown territory right now and keeping morale high can be hard. Keep in touch with your colleagues throughout the day. You can’t see them, so a message to check how they are will make them feel less isolated and reassure them that you are all in this together.

Keep in touch with your family and friends. There are so many great platforms out there now, that are making it really easy to communicate. We are loving WhatsApp, Zoom, TikTok and House Party.

Ensure that you are getting your daily exercise and if you can get out for fresh air, even better. But reminder to stick to the government guidance. Exercise has been widely proven to help reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Yes please!

There are lots of celebrities supporting online right now with this. Facebook lives and IGTV free workouts we are loving right now are Joe Wicks, Alexandra Cane, Tyson Fury and Rio & Kate Ferdinand.

Stay in touch, stay at home and stay safe. #StayHomeSaveLives



Quarantine can be a bit of a slog – there’s only so many thrills you can get from going on your 100th trip to the fridge, or aimlessly scrolling through Instagram looking at people’s throwback pictures of previous holidays.

Believe it or not, this important period of isolation has proven to bring people together in ways they never would have – with innovative socialising apps being downloaded by the second, creating new cultures on how we’re making the most of our time.

From games to quizzes, group chatrooms to viral videos for the purposes of leisure or work – the possibilities are truly endless. Living in a digital age isn’t all bad in times like these!

Here’s a couple of Rumour Mill’s top favourites during this lockdown:


After becoming iOS Store’s most downloaded free app in the UK this month, Houseparty really is everywhere! It is basically a virtual version of a massive get-together. If your friends are ‘in the house’, you can chat with them one-to-one – or you can gather a group in a room to talk or play games, either locking that room’s door or leaving it open for new people to walk in and join you. Its great for changing things up when you’re feeling particularly bored and offers more entertaining elements than your typical Skype or FaceTime.


TikTok is now firmly embedded in our everyday lives now. The video-sharing app is used to create short-form dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos – showcasing a lot of ridiculous yet addictive content. It’s ability to spark viral-worthy videos is unparalleled compared to any other app, with fresh content constantly evolving each day the more users put their own spin on what’s trending. You can read more about our thoughts on TikTok later this month and see the author himself, Ciaran Mullan, master the fine art of the app @ciaranmullan4.

Netflix Party

We all know there’s no greater betrayal than when someone swears, they won’t watch a Netflix show without you, and then watches a sneaky episode when in quarantine. If, like any of us, you daren’t break the Netflix bond with your friend or partner – this is the perfect way to keep that promise and tradition rolling. Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that lets you watch movies and shows remotely, with synchronised video playback and an added group chat – making it a real-time experience for you and your fellow viewer, as well as making long distance that little bit easier.

Our top Netflix picks at the moment are Tiger King, Lost Girls, RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Stranger.


It would be wrong of us not to mention Gander. The world-first app we helped launch last year, that tells you in real-time about reduced yellow-labelled items in your local SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOXtra store.

When buying food responsibly has never been more important, Gander can help you protect your savings and reduce any food waste. Now more than ever it is important to avoid the perils of stock piling and buying for the sake of it. We have all seen images emerging of the amount of foods going to waste, as a result of the recent panic buying pandemic. Be smart, use Gander to find reduced food in your local store, manage your food budget, freeze and prep; then enjoy your food in the knowledge you have done your bit to protect the environment. Remember yellow-labelled food is just reduced in price and not in quality.

What apps have been getting you through this quarantine? Let us know! Remember to adhere to government guidelines, keep each other safe and #stayathome.




Boredom struck? Feel yourself going crazier each day? Fear not, as the Rumour Mill team is here with the next instalment of its ‘Rumour Has It’ podcast. Recorded remotely due to Covid-19 (so excuse the reduced quality) we chat through what is keeping us entertained and, most importantly sane, during this unprecedented time.

Listen here:

Week #1 of working from home has its ups, and certainly its downs (our raid on the biscuit tin is intense!). But while we adjust to this strange time we are currently calling ‘normality’, our work WhatsApp chat has not slowed down once, as we check-in on each other, get the latest client updates, plus bizz about what we’re doing to keep ourselves sane away from the emails.


The perfect (and at the moment, very necessary) escapism from reality – there really is nothing like good book to get stuck into. Our top favs at the moment are:

  1. Good Friday by Lynda La Plante

A gripping crime fiction that tells the story of newly graduated detective Jane Tennison in 1975, after an IRA bomb hits London.

  1. Good to Great by Jim Collins

An insightful management book that describes how companies transition from being good to great, and how most companies fail to make the transition – perfect for times like now when we all need a little motivation!

  1. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

For the romcom lovers out there! This award-winning journalist gives an unflinching account of the bad dates, the heartaches, humiliations, and most importantly, the unbreakable female friendships that helped her get through it all.


Where would the world be right now without Netflix and Disney+? The team have well and truly been delving into what’s on offer across both streaming sites, with some of our top suggestions being:

  1. Lost Girls on Netflix

A dark drama about a desperate woman determined to find her missing daughter, who launches a personal investigation that leads police to the unsolved cases of murdered sex workers.

  1. The End of the F***ing World on Netflix

A strangely apt series for this time – this show sees two 17-year-old outsiders embark on a road trip to escape life as they know it. Together, they get caught up on a trail of violent events that grow increasingly more ominous as their quest progresses.

  1. Coco on Disney+

A highly-acclaimed movie that follows aspiring musician Miguel, who despite his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.


The best way to get your head in the zone. We’ve been listening flat out to BBC Radio 2 and Radio 1 – they’re perfect for a good mix of music as well as broadcasting just the right amount of news updates without being too overwhelming! Podcasts are an obvious choice for us too, there’s nothing better than good earwig to distract you and learn something new! Our usual ones are:

  1. What’s the Tee? by RuPaul and Michelle Visage

From pop culture’s finest to the divas of drag, this weekly comedy podcast spills all the tea on a wide range of topics.

  1. Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett

A weekly podcast where entrepreneur Steven Bartlett shares his personal diary, giving you an insight into what life is like behind the scenes alongside special guests.

  1. Happy Place by Fearne Cotton

For those wanting to unwind and embrace their inner ‘zen’, Fearne Cotton chats to incredible people about life, love, loss, and everything in between.


We all need a distraction that doesn’t involve doing house chores, or snacking. We’re loving playing Mario Kart multiplayer with each other, experimenting with new cooking recipes, and boosting our brains with free courses online.

‘Have you done your Joe Wicks today guys?’ is a common question we ask each other too. From his YouTube P.E. classes to his ‘Seven Days of Sweat’ challenges – this will make sure we’re burning off those biscuits!

We’ve also developed a soft spot for the ‘dance of the day’ and ‘song of the day’ challenges on TikTok – they’re a great way to entertain yourself and each other!

We hope you enjoy our latest podcast and we have some more fun episodes planned for the months ahead. Remember to follow government guidelines, look after each other and #stayathome.



Today like no other, fake news is not what we need to see and read, yet it is happening daily. Reliable information is more crucial than ever in the midst of this global pandemic. Our news feeds, social media accounts and WhatsApp groups are continually being updated with the latest news, government guidance and some laugh out loud memes, that are giving us all a bit of light relief at this crazy time.

We were all waiting with bated breath for Boris Johnston’s announcement last night. Now that the government is implementing a strict lockdown across the country due to COVID-19, most of us will find ourselves spending a lot more time at home and let’s be honest, on our phones. Most likely, we will be spending more time keeping an eye on latest news updates, scrolling on our mobiles for hours and praying for some good news to come our way soon.

But be on your guard; there are some people out there who are sharing hoaxes and fake news stories about Coronavirus. Yes, they must be very bored, not to mention extremely irresponsible.

Facebook appears to be doing its part to stem the tide of misinformation and fake news. The company has also vowed to ban ads and commercial listings for masks, hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 testing kits.

WhatsApp is attempting to tackle the issue and has launched a website to help combat misinformation surrounding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The Facebook-owned company has partnered with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to create helpful material. For more information visit:

Twitter will do the same and has vowed to remove tweets that run the risk of causing harm by spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19.

Ignore speculation, delete any accounts that are producing blatantly incorrect and disruptive information and only follow reliable sources.

Keep your head space in the right space. And remember, #stayathome!



Communication is the cornerstone of every organisation’s success. It’s even more important in times of crisis. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an affect on everyone and there are no signs of the spread slowing down anytime soon.

As the news unfolds daily, we are in unprecedented times that no one could predict. Quite often a crisis communications strategy is on standby in the instances of avoiding a certain situation. No matter how large or small, your business or organisation will not be able to avoid what is going on right now.

It is however key to have a communications plan in place that will assist in you sharing accurate, honest and trustworthy information, both internally and externally.

External Communications

It would be a real luxury to have a communications plan in place for COVID-19, but we did not predict the severity of its impact.  Now is the time to put communications into play – if you already have some form of communications plan in place, great. It is most likely changing daily as the government guidelines are continuously evolving. If you have no comms plan in place, you must!


Know your tone of voice and team member(s) the messaging should come from. It is important that the messaging is trustworthy and from a reliable member of the team or management.


At times like this, communications can feel overwhelming. Ensure all content shared is factual, having following guidance from professional or government guidelines.


Depending on the nature of your business or organisation, you may already use a variety of communication outlets. Emails, marketing material and social media will all have their uses. In times like these, social media is of great benefit to generate proactive messaging which is essential during a crisis. Using social media channels allows for content to be updated regularly and accurately. However close media monitoring should be implemented.

Internal Communications

Not only is this a troublesome time for your clients or customers, you most likely will have staff to think about. Do not overlook your employees or avoid communicating with them. This may lead to:

  1. Employees becoming worried and confused
  2. Employees being misinformed
  3. Chaos and negative atmosphere develops within the workplace causing disruption to operations

Management should keep things simple in a time of crisis: Be honest and produce facts.

We have provided valuable crisis communications support over the years. We will never forget when the famous NI tourist attraction, The Gobbins opened, then five months later had to close suddenly Dec 31st…we managed the comms for this as the bells rang in the New Year. Crisis comms at its finest!

Remember, effective crisis communications can define or destroy your business. Having a helping hand can save you precious time, resources and reputation. If you would like to find out more about how Rumour Mill could help, get in touch today at



When thinking of influencer marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is often young people attending events, showcasing the latest must-haves or raving about cosmetics and fashion in videos. However, in addition to these advertising faces on Instagram and YouTube, there is another type of influencer that may already be on your payroll and often comes across as much more authentic and credible. A company’s own employee base may be the best possible brand ambassadors on social media channels.

No matter what resources you use or how much money you spend to build your brand externally, a disgruntled employee or one customer’s interaction with an employee who can’t articulate what your company stands for, can lay all that time and money to waste.

There has been a series of instances in recent years were brands have got it totally wrong when they undervalued the power of the employee.

To ensure that brand promises, and identities are clearly communicated through every customer touch point, savvy companies MUST invest in internal communications. Smart hiring, comprehensive training and regular monitoring can help empower and motivate employees to become brand champions, whether they’re on the front lines, in middle management or behind the scenes.

Once employees are onboard, the employee handbook is an ideal place to establish the brand identity and how employees are expected to convey it. If you can distil that brand message down to a couple of sentences that employees can become interested in, grab onto and use in their own words, they will be able to communicate it e­ffectively.

Here are three easy-to-follow tips to ensure you achieve and maintain employee brand loyalty:

  1. Make sure your workplace conveys the same brand messages to staff as it does to customers;
  2. Involve your staff in major brand campaigns as it’s a great way of boosting morale and spreading the word;
  3. How do you know if your staff are living the brand? Basic signs to look out for: do staff recommend your company to others? Do they enjoy wearing company uniforms? Do employees look happy, and go the extra mile?

Take your employees on the journey! If they feel like a valued member of the team and see their ideas listened too or even implemented, then they will want to see the business thrive. The stronger the foundation, the bigger the success.

If you are unsure of how to harness the power of your employees or encourage them to embrace the brand values of the organisation, contact Rumour Mill Creative Communications for advice on 028 90682185 or email



What a year! 2019 was a year full of fantastic milestones and projects, that even as I type this blog it is hard to recall it all.

We kicked 2019 off with our rebrand from Rumour Mill PR to Rumour Mill Creative Communications. This signalled how far we had come as an agency. Not only do we have more experience working on a wide range of consumer, corporate, public sector and charity campaigns; but we now offer a wider mix of services beyond just public relations.

Whilst our bread and butter has been a thriving public relations consultancy, many say public relations doesn’t work like it used to. That’s simply not the case. Rather, the world has changed, and we are changing with it. It’s not as simple as pitching to reporters and getting quick hits anymore. Like everything else, public relations has evolved and as a result, do did we. From how reporters communicate to leveraging social channels, it has been essential that we as an agency stay ahead of the curve in this digitally obsessed world.

Digital platforms have introduced us to new ways to communicate with target audiences and channels to pursue. As a result, PR is no longer just about communicating a message with an audience. Rather, it’s about having a conversation with audiences. And we love to talk! While it may be hard to tell what the future of PR holds, at Rumour Mill Creative Communications we are positioned to ensure we can support clients’ cross-over between public relations and the digital world.

Along with our rebrand came our move to Lisburn. We relocated to a new collaborative workspace called Cubic Co Work in Lisburn, allowing us to invest more in our team, vision and services. Cubic Co Work houses several local businesses, all sharing a collective desire to push the boundaries, create and collaborate.

And whilst we are talking about creating and collaborating…what a year we have had working with some fun and innovative brands on launches, announcements, events and social media!

From launching Gander, the world’s first real-time app to help reduce food waste; introducing the amazing six-course tasting experience, Six by Nico to Belfast; announcing the arrival of Holiday Inn Express in Derry; unveiling the new American Holidays hub in Belfast City Centre to so much more; it has been an eventful year.

We have loved working with our clients and welcoming new brands onboard, such as United Wines, Carrickfergus Enterprise, City Picnic, Prime Cut Productions and Jonzara.

In 2019 we also added to our trophy collection with two wins at the annual PRCA Dare Awards and a silver win at the CIPR Pride Awards.

  • PRCA DARE AWARDS: Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year– Six by Nico
  • PRCA DARE AWARDS: Low Budget Campaign of the Year – Abigail’s Party at the MAC

Both campaigns were truly exciting and by working with clients that allowed us to be our creative selves, this enabled us to produce activity that exceeded all expectations.

In a very competitive category, the judges remarked that our launch of Six by Nico was ‘well-executed and a clear winner”. High praise indeed! This is a campaign that we are extremely proud of and demonstrates the strength of our social-first approach. We triumphed in this award category last year for our launch of Revolucion de Cuba – another amazing and fun client.

The judges commented that our campaign for the promotion of Abigail’s Party at the MAC delivered “great results for a tiny budget” and in fact “what they did with a small budget was extremely effective.”

Towards the end of the year we picked up Silver for Best Small Consultancy at The Pride Awards. This demonstrates how far we have come and is motivating us to get Gold in 2020 and beyond.

As for 2020! Well, we have big plans in place and over the next year you will see a lot of changes and advancements with Rumour Mill Creative Communications.

As a team we extremely passionate about what we can deliver for clients; not only will we be adding to the team, our services, our channels and our skill set but our clients also have a lot of exciting new plans in place for 2020 that we are super excited to be working on and announcing to you all shortly.

So, hello 2020…lets be having you! We are ready…are you???