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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???



With edgy hairstyling from the creative Connor & Company team, vibrant make-up by beauty business queen Grainne McCoy, photography by expert Glenn Norwood and unique garments from talented Ulster University fashion graduates – last week’s photoshoot was a hub of exceptional collaboration and creativity.

The photoshoot comes as preparation to celebrate the imminent opening of Connor & Company, an all-new concept salon located in the heart of Derry, owned by our innovative client and champion hairdresser Connor Grant.

Taking place at 1G1 Studio, the team embraced the grungy industrial surroundings as well as injecting plenty of neon, colour and fun to create a one-of-a-kind theme – the most fitting way to showcase Connor & Company’s diverse abilities and clientele as well as compliment their branding.

The shoot saw everything from quirky 70’s corkscrew curls to silky straight do’s; from dramatic high ponytails to freshly-coloured silver hair, all of which were effortlessly modelled by Chloe Spence, Hannah Watson, Dearbhla MacFarland, Grainne McCoy, Nicky Irvine and Austin Cush.

We also welcomed a number of eclectic Ulster University fashion graduate collections by designers Matthew Tanner, Chloe Dougan and Chloe Elliott.

Matthew Tanner’s intricate gothic pieces brought a vampy element to the shoot, allowing Connor & Company hair stylists Aaron Hutchman, Becky Gallen and Aislinn Kelly to show off their skills.

Chloe Dougan’s extensive range bought us something for everyone; including bright tassels, delicate sheer and heavy-duty chain mail which excelled in all themes of the photoshoot.

Recent graduate Chloe Elliott’s signature embroidered and embellished colour-block blazers proved the perfect match for Connor & Company’s bold branding, which was built from conception in-house by Rumour Mill and That Clever Ghost.

Speaking on the day, Connor enthuses: “The day was fantastic and better than expected. The success of the day was all down to the creative people who worked together to produce something special and outside the box. This shoot allowed us to capture the vision of Connor & Company and showcase our ability to create iconic, stylish and head turning looks. I want to extend a very special thank you to Matthew, Chloe Dougan and Chloe Elliott for kindly supplying clothes for the shoot – as their incredible looks took the shoot to another level. I can’t wait to see the finish images and we are already looking forward to the next photoshoot!”

Stay tuned see the release of the professional photos as well as the grand opening of Connor & Company. Watch this space…



Well would you look at that…not just one award win but two at the PRCA DARE Awards in Belfast.

  • Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year– Six by Nico
  • 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 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.”

Claire Murray, Acting Marketing Manager at the time in the MAC said: “It was not only the quantity of coverage but the quality of the features, and suitability of message and tone for the various audiences that made this PR campaign stand out. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Rumour Mill and their level of service is second to none. For Abigail’s Party the team at Rumour Mill created a strong and ambitious PR plan, our key Spring production and the most important one for us from a revenue point of view outside Christmas. We achieved all our joint objectives, securing coverage and awareness right across Ireland in both the Northern Irish and Irish markets which contributed to our overall box office success.”

Our boss lady thinks this is amazing news too…

“I am so proud of my team and this is testament to the hard work, tenacity and passion they put in everyday on our client campaigns. We love being creative and pushing the envelope in order to get the best results for clients.

“To win Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year for the second consecutive year is an incredible achievement. It is down to creating bold campaigns that deliver for our clients and challenge what has gone before.”

We have just submitted our entries for the annual CIPR Pride Awards, so hopefully we make the shortlist in July. Stay tuned!



Social media: we all use it, whether we love or – let’s be honest – sometimes loathe it. We have been rattling our social media brains to pick out some top tips to help you stay on top of your social media game, ensuring your content is hashtag on fleek!

  1. Authenticity

Focus more on communication than selling: Don’t make your engagement a sales pitch; work on forming relationships with your followers, get to know them and create engaging content that is of interest to them. This means stepping away from constant sales pitches, with a slant towards more social-focused posts, offering opportunities for followers to get involved and give their opinion.

In the moment content: Highly-produced content is influencing us to switch off and engage less. Current focus has moved towards authenticity and giving followers an opportunity to gain unfiltered access. This is helped by a recent surge in the use of ephemeral content across various social media outlets. Think less about the ‘perfect’ 15 seconds you are trying to create and shift your content to be more real life…no one likes over-produced content.

Give creative freedom: Content can very quickly become staged by giving people rules and guidelines to follow. Whether it’s your creative team, or that micro-blogger that you recently managed to get on board – it’s absolutely vital that you give them the freedom and trust to get creative with the content you require. Eagle-eyed followers are finding it easier to spot staged content and this presents a lack of integrity from both the brand and blogger.

  1. Community

Along with authenticity comes community: By creating authentic content and allowing followers to gain insight into the behind-the-scenes of your organisation, you can produce a community as people begin to feel more connected, with you and one another.

In the past, most company social media pages were managed by an invisible identity who acted as the one spokesperson for the company. Now, it’s all about getting to know the faces behind social media pages, which allows followers to relate to the organisation more. Knowing there is a group of like-minded individuals rather than one large company with one voice helps build on that community feel.

Selfie Central: You may have noticed the increase in speaking to the camera on various platforms, but mainly Instagram. Perfect for creating content for stories, this recent adaption from professionally shot informative videos, to more casual face-to-camera pieces show a move into more authentic content. This allows people to feel closer to the organisation as it comes across as more relatable.

These short face-to-camera video clips offer ways for followers to interact and share their opinions, rather than feeling like all communication with the organisation should be formal or corporate.


  1. Loyalty

Some may argue that using social media can impact and retain brand loyalty while others believe the contrary. One way or another, followers are going to come and go, so its about unique, fun and engaging content to make them stay.

Loyalty has become key when engaging on social media. With countless different social accounts for various businesses and organisations out there to follow, it’s easy for your followers to opt out and find new favourites. The focus is on offering real and authentic content, which helps your followers to feel a sense of community. This helps form a loyal connection to the brand or organisation.

Loyal influencers: Influencers are quickly becoming a great way to boost your brand awareness, but with so many great options to choose from, who is going to best represent your brand? It’s important to ensure that representors can remain loyal to the brand that they are working with. Don’t contact every influencer you spot, research them, find out if they fit your brand image and decide if you are a good fit together! It’s important to have representors who truly embody your brand and will be excited to champion your organisation.

Micro-Influencers: Micro-influencers are becoming first choice to many digital focused brands, as they exemplify a committed and authentic obligation to present their followers with good content and brands. It’s also a good opportunity for brands to target a certain niche – for example ‘mummy bloggers’ or ‘eco-focused families’ as there are many micro-influencers that have a loyal following from certain people groups.


At Rumour Mill Creative Communications, we work with various clients and influencers, who have successfully helped maintain and grow brand awareness. Having such positive relationships with influencers from across all sectors including fashion, food and business, we are confident we will pick the best people to represent your organisation. We want your brand to reflect your mission and help achieve your business goal. Let’s have a chat to see how we can help.



The annual CIPR PRide Awards, which recognises and awards excellence within the local public relations sector, took place on Friday 19 October in the Culloden Hotel.

On the night, Rumour Mill achieved FOUR silver wins for a number of client campaigns.

Speaking on the wins, MD Samantha says: “We’re thrilled to have won four silver awards. The team has worked extremely hard and I’m delighted that their creativity, tenacity and expertise has been recognised. This year Rumour Mill is celebrating five years in business, and this is the icing on the cake!”

“We always pride ourselves on doing an excellent job for all of our clients, but to receive an accolade from our peers is a great acknowledgement for everyone – we’re delighted!” adds Account Manager Sara.

Nationally, the awards this year attracted more than 950 entries, with more than 300 public relations teams, consultancies and individuals being shortlisted across six English regions plus national events for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.



Rumour Mill Creative Communications is seeking to hire an experienced PR Client Executive. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to provide communications support to a diverse range of consumer and corporate clients from a range of sectors, as well as managing digital media channels for clients.

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious individual to join a fun, growing and forward-thinking agency. This person should be capable of managing many projects at once while delivering consistent and high-level traditional media relations and social media results. In addition to creating and implementing solid media relations and social media strategies, this person will need to be a strong writer and demonstrate first-rate client service and teamwork skills. The individual must have a minimum of one years’ experience – ideally from an agency environment.

Role Requirements

  • Write press releases, news stories, online content, articles, case studies and product pieces
  • Pitch press releases and feature ideas by phone or email to national, regional and trade journalists, across print, broadcast and online, to interest them in covering our clients’ stories
  • Respond to phone calls and emails from journalists
  • Arrange interviews and editorial meetings with key journalists for clients’ spokespeople – in person or over the phone – and facilitate these meetings where appropriate
  • Attend and undertake client photocalls
  • Attend client events and industry conferences
  • Monitor media coverage and report results to the wider team and clients
  • Handle clients’ social media accounts such as their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn page
  • Deliver analytics reports on social media, reporting on traffic, engagement and follower figures
  • Brainstorm fresh ideas for PR campaigns

Essential Criteria

  • Degree (or equivalent qualification) in a PR or marketing discipline OR any degree (or equivalent qualification) plus a postgraduate qualification in a PR or marketing discipline
  • Minimum one years’ experience in a public relations and/or digital role
  • Must have good grasp of the media landscape in NI and ideally in ROI
  • A full clean driving license with access to own car

Desirable (not essential)

  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and undertaking CPD.

Key Skills

  • interpersonal skills, good presentation skills and confidence;
  • excellent written communication skills;
  • flexibility, determination, enthusiasm and the ability to cope well under pressure;
  • good teamwork and negotiation skills;
  • the ability to think strategically and good analytical skills;
  • business awareness and a good knowledge of current affairs;
  • excellent organisational skills, with the ability to work on more than one project at a time;
  • creativity and imagination


Negotiable based on experience. The starting salary for an PR Client Executive typically ranges between £16-£18k per annum. Additional benefits apply.



To apply for please send your CV to

Deadline: Friday 7th September 2018 @ 5pm



It’s nearing the end of the university year, everyone’s unwinding and chilling out – but you’ve bagged yourself an internship. PANIC? No! We’ve got some tips to help you prepare for your internship in PR in a calm and collected manner (…yes that is possible!)

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Rumour Mill recently appointed Hope365 as its charity of the year. Undertaking amazing work in Ethiopia, team member Laura Scott tells us all about her trip with the charity to Africa to see first-hand the work being done:

Shashemene was my destination, which is a five-hour drive from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis. We set off on Saturday ahead of Pancake Day, but unfortunately our arrival wasn’t plain sailing. Our arrival was during a time of political unrest, which had a significant impact on the amount of time we had left to carry out everything we set out to achieve. We were advised to stay indoors for approximately half of our trip, but thankfully with the help of staff from the centre, as well as local authorities we managed to make it to the Tesfa Manoriya Bota centre almost every day of the trip.

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Let us introduce our Charity of the Year for 2018…

Hope365 is an organisation that aims to rescue children from the streets of Shashemene, Ethiopia. There are between one and two thousand boys – some as young as seven who have no alternative but to sleep independently on the streets of Shashemene each night.

What do they do?

Hope365 aims to rescue these children and provide them with love, food, a place to sleep, as well as offering education and skills for life. Hope365 works with the government in Ethiopia, who refer on some of the boys that are in the most horrific positions. These children are brought to the Tesfa Manoriya Bota (Hope Home) centre where the Hope365 team, including psychologists and social workers, set about finding a long-term solution that suits each child that arrives at the home. Some are on the streets due to poverty, for others they may have been trafficked, while others are orphans with no one to look after them.


Michael Holmes, Chief executive of Hope365 said: ” I am delighted that Rumour Mill has offered its services to help raise the profile of Hope365.


“Hope365 relies so much on the time that others put in and people do this in so many different ways; some have contributed by donating items to our charity shops, baking and hosting bake sales to raise funds for us, others by using their photography hobbies to create calendars in aid of the charity, others offer monthly donations to offer financial help directly – there are endless ways to be involved in our team. We have lots of great stories like these to tell, and we’re appreciative that Rumour Mill can help us tell them.


“As there is such a huge need among the Street Kids in Ethiopia, most of our efforts are focused on trying to help improve their lives. As a relatively new local charity we simply don’t have the resources or expertise to be able to effectively communicate the good news stories from Ethiopia and the amazing generosity of the people in our country. Rumour Mill’s input is a real game changer for us.”


The Hope365 team has managed to rescue and reunite 22 children with their biological family during 2017 and expect to reunite approximately twice that number in 2018.


For the orphaned kids they offer the next best thing to a biological family, by creating small “family” homes where a maximum of eight children can grow together in a normal domestic house with specially trained house parents. The first of these family homes will be opening later this month, housing six children – the youngest of whom is approximately seven and the oldest around eleven. Having lived on the streets for so long the boys don’t know their age or even their birthday.

One of the Rumour Mill team will be visiting Shashemene early next month and will have the opportunity to see how the boys are settling into their new home.

We will be posting updates on her trip via our website and social media.

Learn more about Hope365 by following them on Facebook:

Check out their website:






We gauged public opinion on the recent revelation that Instagram now allows users to see when their friends were last active. Find out what our followers thought of this new feature.

Instagram stayed rather quiet over the weekend, as they gently rolled out a new update which focuses on increased visibility of users. With new social media platforms popping up fast – you would wonder how much more can be added to increase visibility even further?

Well Instagram has found a way – presenting the ‘Last Active’ feature.

Instagram now allows your friends and followers to track when you last used Instagram. When sending stories or direct messages, you’ll notice that beside their username, in grey writing you can now see when they were last active – the times are very precise, ranging from “active now”, “active 32 minutes ago” to “active yesterday”.

This won’t be a ground-breaking update for you if you use Facebook messenger or Whatsapp, as you should be used to that by now. However, this adds Instagram to the list of places where other people can monitor your activity heavily.

If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling Instagram as a de-stressor throughout the day, but don’t quite have the brain power to respond to your messages, we have good news. You can deactivate this feature easily to ensure that others (like your boss) can’t track your usage and send those nagging “Get back to work” or “I know you’re online…?” messages.

Step 1: Open your settings via the three little dots in the top right-hand corner

Step 2: Scroll down to “Show Activity Status”

Step 3: Click on the toggle to ensure that you have freedom to scroll, without feeling obligated to respond to messages immediately.

Voila! – you’re now free to live a semi-private life through Instagram again – sharing only what you choose to share, which likely doesn’t include your low-key addiction to scrolling.


How do you feel about Instagram’s new updates?

Instagram Poll

We asked our Instagram followers if they were aware of this new update, and 50% of our followers had no idea that Instagram was sharing their activity with others. Of those who had already heard about the update, 100%* of them had found out via friends/websites or blogs – no one found out through Instagram’s own news or social media pages.

This introduces the argument that new features like this one should be heavily advertised

to ensure users are aware of changes. It also poses the idea that new features like this one should automatically be inactive when updated, and Instagram should prompt us to turn it on if we wish.

We asked our followers if they would have chosen to share their visibility had they had the

choice; 69% of people voted asking for more space, disagreeing with this new feature. Researching further the 39% of followers who didn’t mind sharing their visibility, we found that this correlated with a higher follower count, as well as those accounts using Instagram as a business or blogger.

With more updates to come in 2018, we found this insight very interesting. Instagram seems to be verging towards more of a marketing platform – allowing for marketers, brands and businesses to seamlessly merge onto users feeds without much evidence. This is good news for businesses, but could increase the scepticism for casual users who enjoy Instagram as an escape from the marketing stance that Facebook displays.

Stay tuned for future Instagram advances and find out what they could mean for you and your business.

*This figure was correct as of 3pm 23/01/2018