WHAT IS MAKING THE HEADLINES?

DENROY INTRODUCES ‘BUBL’- A TRANSPARENT FILTRATION MASK

DENROY INTRODUCES ‘BUBL’- A TRANSPARENT FILTRATION MASK

One of the world’s leading innovators of high-tech, critical components for the aerospace and medical industries, Denroy, has launched ‘bubl’, its solution to making face coverings more empathetic.

Based in Bangor, Denroy has designed a transparent filtration mask, a first in the UK market with a unique transparent component, coupled with a replaceable eight-hour filtration system, making it 100% reusable.

The ergonomic design means the mask fits snugly around the bridge of the nose, cheeks and chin. It is also designed to a high spec allowing the wearer to breathe easier. The transparent visibility allows for natural, empathetic communication by reducing barriers caused by traditional masks. The benefit of being able to see facial expressions, read visual cues or even lip read, is a huge benefit. The newly awarded CE mark gives consumers confidence that bubl conforms with health, safety, and environmental protection.

Bubl was born out of a time of uncertainty for Denroy due to the devasting effect the current pandemic has had on the aerospace industry. As a team of innovators and solution focused creators, bubl has been able to harness the passion of its team and secure all jobs within the business.

Speaking on the development of bubl, Kevin McNamee CEO of Denroy said: “Lockdown has challenged us to pivot the business in a slightly different direction from what we are used to. But what a fantastic product to do it with! Our design team has poured the same passion and invention into creating the bubl, as they would have for any other highly engineered product. It is comfortable, reusable and most importantly transparent.  Seeing someone simply smile behind their mask, could make a real difference and positively impact many industries who may consider swapping their tradition mask for the bubl.

Lead designer of bubl, Marcus McCay adds: “We are delighted to launch bubl, a product that we are really proud of and something that was developed out of the COVID-19 crisis. From fighter jets to front-line heroes, we have diversified within the business to create a barrier mask that eases communication and fits snugly on your face. During lockdown, we also collaborated on the ‘Hero Shield’ visor that has already been supplied to over 1 million NHS workers. Now, the bubl mask is available for everyone and it will eradicate some of the pressures that those working in person facing occupations are up against.”

Bubl is a type II medical mask and comes with 60 filters to be changed after eight hours of use. It retails at £29.95 and replacement filters are £9.95 per pack. bubl can be purchased online via: https://denpro.co.uk

ETHICS EXPLORED: CUT THE CRAP AND TELL THE TRUTH!

ETHICS EXPLORED: CUT THE CRAP AND TELL THE TRUTH!

Liar, Liar, pants on fire….is how the saying goes! But you don’t want anyone saying that about you or your business…do you?

#fakenews

In a media era were #fakenews is always in the spotlight it is so important that you keep your brand on an ethnical path and avoid the temptation to manipulate the narrative. Be brave and stay open, transparent and honest in your communications to protect your reputation.

The public aren’t fools; they are savvier than ever when to comes to spotting fake news or identifying misleading communications. We are in an era of transparency; the public will be the first to call out a brand that is lying. If you are caught being generous with the truth be prepared to lose more than money in trying to limit the damage. 

Words May Lie, But Action Tells The Truth

But telling the truth is a given. Right? No! Sadly, brands think it is ok to bend the truth, to influence reality and paint a different picture to that being actioned. Yet, in the words of Mr. Weasley in Harry Potter “the truth will out”.

Never has trust been more sought after. If your audience don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you or buy into you. So, focus on building that trust, and be honest as well as innovative in your marketing and communications efforts.

For instance, if we take the current communications from world leaders around the best approach to Covid-19, the majority of people do not trust what they are being told. Why? The damage has been done. Leaders are rarely forthcoming with transparent information – allowing doubt and mistrust to grow.

Honesty must be built into corporate culture. This takes more than the publication of a list of corporate values. Leaders must behave honestly and openly at all times. Walking the talk is essential.

Positive reviews and feedback is great but you cannot afford to ignore even a single negative review. Proactive action and strategic planning is much better than damage control, knee-jerk reactions and tactical approaches.

Remember to sell honestly, never sell your honesty.

RUMOUR MILL NAMED SMALL CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR

RUMOUR MILL NAMED SMALL CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR

Public relations and digital content agency, Rumour Mill Creative Communications was named Small Consultancy of the Year at this year’s PRCA DARE Awards, along with taking home a further two awards for its campaign work.

These industry accolades recognise communications excellence within each of the key regions of the UK from practitioners working in both consultancy and in-house environments across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. During the virtual awards event, it was revealed that Rumour Mill achieved three wins; Consumer Relations Award; Digital & Social Media Campaign of the Year and the prestigious Small Consultancy of the Year. The two campaign wins were awarded for the agency’s impactful work launching the app Gander into the Northern Ireland market.

Director of Rumour Mill Creative Communications Samantha Livingstone said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved, and the announcement has come during a time of great uncertainty for our industry, so this is a real boost. We are living in a digital first world and everyone wants to stand out. That is why we love to create whacky, innovative campaigns to engage audiences and generate talkability. We build trust with our clients and they see instant results. What it affirms for me is that as a team we provide bold, inventive campaigns and we will continue to set new standards for digital communications.

“I am particularly proud that Rumour Mill is Small Consultancy of the Year, which is testament to our amazing team and their hard work and dedication. We are looking ahead to some very exciting client projects coming up over the next few months as well as the launch of something we have been working hard on during lockdown so keep your eyes peeled!”

Rumour Mill has also been shortlisted for a number of additional industry awards,  for its work on Gander, that are yet to announce its winners: UK Agency Awards, PR Week Awards and Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

Rumour Mill Creative Communications is always keen to work with like-minded people who want to get their product or services noticed, whether that be to enhance their communications digitally, or traditionally. To have a chat with a member of the team, get in touch via rumourmillcomms.com

HEALTHY KIDZ EMBRACES TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS MAINTAIN THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF PUPILS

HEALTHY KIDZ EMBRACES TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS MAINTAIN THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF PUPILS

Healthy Kidz has built a strong reputation for delivering hugely successful in-school health programmes, that focus on holistic physical activity that encourages general health and wellbeing. However, with the result of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthy Kidz have not rested on its laurels. Instead it has created a pioneering online platform that will encourage pupils to maintain healthy lifestyles that can be sustained outside the classroom.

Harnessing the power of technology, this new online platform allows teachers to access a wealth of engaging and fun cross-curricular lesson plans and educational activities via the Healthy Kidz dashboard.  It covers physical, wellbeing and general health and each lesson completed adds to every child’s health profile, with comprehensive health and activity reports generated on an individual, class and school level. These reports are instantly available for boards of governors, principals, teachers, pupils and parents.

In addition to the dashboard, every pupil has access to the free Healthy Kidz app. The app further encourages all children to continue their health and well-being journey outside the classroom. Pupils redeem points awarded for completed lessons and recorded at-home activities, enabling them to upgrade their Virtual Buddy avatar and move up the Healthy Kidz class league tables.

Healthy Kidz Director of Coaching Paul Carvill said: “We have been working extremely hard on this exciting new venture for Healthy Kidz. Developing our digital programme over the past number of months has resulted in a one of a kind online platform that will help teachers to deliver, record and report on their pupil’s health and wellbeing.

“As the result of schools closing, we had to be inventive.  Our virtual sports day in June was a huge success with over 500 schools signed up to take part in Northern Ireland.  This online solution worked, so school began requesting more online resources.  Now we have an online platform that we are really proud of and its potential impact to schools and pupils globally.”

Paul adds, “We understand time constraints that principals and teachers are under, so the platform’s bespoke design is easy to navigate for teachers and live reporting functions mean the schools can access downloadable data at the click of a button.”

Principal of Hart Memorial Primary School and one of the first local schools to sign up to this year’s new digital solution, Julie Shipley said, “I’m thrilled to be on board and believe Healthy Kidz has a huge part to play in our school this year, especially when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our pupils.”

Whilst Healthy Kidz is open for schools across Northern Ireland, it is also calling on local businesses to partner with them in order to support the implementation and further development of the programme.

If you would like to know more about Healthy Kidz Digital Programme, register your school or how to get involved as a corporate partner, please get in touch at https://healthy-kidz.com/

EXPLORE A HAVEN OF SICILIAN CUISINE AT SIX BY NICO BELFAST  INTRODUCING ‘SICILY’

EXPLORE A HAVEN OF SICILIAN CUISINE AT SIX BY NICO BELFAST INTRODUCING ‘SICILY’

They say the culture of a country is best reflected in its cuisine. True to his Italian self, Chef Nico Simeone is to bring a haven of taste and authenticity to Six by Nico Belfast this Autumn as he launches the restaurant’s latest theme.

A taste of Sicily is coming to Belfast. If you have ever experienced the breath-taking landscapes and amazing food of Sicily, you will know those foodie memories are unforgettable.

Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, just off the “toe” of Italy’s boot, is one of the few places in the world that manages to combine a wealth of aromas and flavours together. Today, Sicilian cuisine is a singular combination of Arab, Greek, French, Spanish and North African influences, with myriad Italian flavours thrown in for good measure.

With this in mind, Chef Nico Simeone has created a tantalizing tasting menu to recreate a trip to Sicily, reminiscent of time spent exploring the town of Palermo, bringing home flavours from some the most richly textured culinary heritage anywhere on earth.

The new six course tasting menu includes, Arancini – Cacio é Pepe & Egg Yolk Jam. Red Pepper & Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach & Gorgonzola & Pickled Walnut; Sicilian Lamb – Aubergine Caponata, Olive Tapenade & Lemon Gel; Hazelnut Ragu – Saffron Pappardelle & Aged Parmesan; Seabass – Fregola Sarda, Cherry Tomato Puttanesca, Caper Raisin Dressing & Crispy Cavolo Nero; Porchetta 
Salsiccia, Pickled Fennel, Mustarda & Pistachio Crumb.

In a country instilled with a penchant and a passion for sweets, it wouldn’t be a complete Sicilian menu without an Italian treat. Diners at the restaurant will end their food experience with a Sicilian Lemon Tart – Basil Sablé, Creme fraiche Sorbet, Red Wine Gel, Crystallised Pine nut & Rosemary.

Chef Nico Simone said: “From perfect Porchetta to Arancini, Sicilian food is world-famous but many will be very surprised by just how varied and diverse Sicily’s cuisine is. It’s a veritable melting pot of flavour. While much of it is clearly Italian (there’s plenty of pastas, olive oils, wines and seafood) there are some commonly used ingredients that clearly stand out and this is what our guests at Six by Nico will discover on our new menu.”

Diners can book a table now for ‘Sicily’. Open from midday, Monday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon to night. The menu will be priced from £29 per person with the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine and specialist drinks pairing for an additional £26. As ever, there is a vegetarian alternative available for every course, as well as Mediterranean snack sides.

Nico added: “Last summer our team spent time on the Italian Island soaking up the scenery and eating some of the best food in Europe. Raisins and saffron crop up in the island’s most famous dishes, and cooking techniques differ from those found on the mainland. We have brought our experiences back to the restaurants and we look forward to showcasing these inspirations with a flavour-filled menu.”

To make a reservation and to book now, visit www.sixbynico.co.uk/belfast

‘Sicily’ will run from Monday September 7th – Sunday October 18th 2020.

OVER 20,000 SIX BY NICO FANS TUNE IN TO WATCH LIVE NATIONWIDE COOK-ALONG

OVER 20,000 SIX BY NICO FANS TUNE IN TO WATCH LIVE NATIONWIDE COOK-ALONG

Over 20,000 customers tuned in last night to watch Chef Nico Simeone cook the steak pie from his most iconic menu yet, The Chippie.

With all of Six by Nico restaurants reopening across the UK from Monday 13th July, including the new London site, the 40-minute live stream event on Facebook was hosted by Simeone as a thank you to loyal customers who had missed the restaurant during lockdown.

The live demonstration was a first for Simeone and proved to be a viral hit with over 20,000 customers tuning in to watch and 1,000 lucky customers cooking alongside him from the comfort of their own homes. Earlier this week the restaurant invited a host of lucky customers to join in, with ingredients and home kits distributed in Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and London.

Chef Nico Simeone said:

“It seemed like the perfect time to do this for our loyal community and give our customers across the UK a chance to cook up one of the most famous ‘Chippie’ dishes at home. This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this and was great to meet so many of our customer virtually, I was so impressed by some of their presentation skills and we’re now really looking forward to reopening our restaurants again.”

The conceptual dining experience, brainchild of celebrity chef Nico Simeone, will present ‘The Chippie 2.0’ at its restaurants across the UK to reignite the series of evolving dining experiences. Manchester and Liverpool restaurants will open first on Monday 13th July, Belfast on 15th and Glasgow and Edinburgh on the 17th. The NEW London Fitzrovia restaurant will open for the first time on Monday 20th July.

In April, Chef Nico Simeone launched Home by Nico across Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh to allow people to experience Six by Nico from the comfort of their own homes. The home delivery kits proved a huge success from the restaurant brand, who have served over 100,000 customers to date during lockdown.

Home by Nico will be paused as the teams focus on re-opening all Six by Nico restaurants and plans for the food delivery business will be revealed later this year.

Diners can now book a table now for ‘The Chippie 2.0’, which will run from Monday 13th July – Sunday 6th September 2020. Open from midday, Monday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon to night. The menu will be priced at £29 per person and diners will have the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £26. (London prices are £35 per person and £33 for wine pairings).

Bookings are now live. To make a reservation or to find out more, visit www.sixbynico.co.uk/

SIX BY NICO BELFAST REVEALS ‘THE CHIPPIE’ AS REOPENING MENU

SIX BY NICO BELFAST REVEALS ‘THE CHIPPIE’ AS REOPENING MENU

The much loved Six by Nico restaurant in Belfast will once again open its doors on Wednesday 15th July serving up ‘The Chippie’ menu.

The conceptual dining experience is the brainchild of Scottish-Italian chef, Nico Simeone – the man behind the cherished restaurant brand.

Following 12 weeks of closure due to Covid-19, the team can reveal that the eagerly anticipated first six-week menu is ‘The Chippie 2.0’. The popular theme first introduced to launch the Belfast restaurant in 2019 has been elevated and refined to offer Six by Nico customers an extraordinary new food and drink adventure.

‘The Chippie 2.0’ will re-ignite the series of evolving concepts – which includes a six-course tasting-menu, providing a nostalgic nod to the traditional fish and chip shop. Items on the menu are creatively re-imaged with an extra contemporary twist, giving people a fun and unexpected dining experience.

Dishes on ‘The Chippie 2.0’ menu includes; Chips & Cheese (Parmesan Espuma & Crisp / Curry Oil / Brandade Croquette / Vinegar Powder / Brown Sauce); Scrabster Monkfish(Cheek / Dill Emulsion / Gribiche / Peas / Beurre Blanc); Steak Pie (Speyside Beef Shin / Burnt Onion Ketchup / Mushroom Duxelle / ‘Meaty Salsa’); Fish Supper (Shetland Cod / Pickled Mussels / Confit Fennel / Samphire / Beer Emulsion; Smoked Sausage (Trio of Pork / Apple / Black Pudding / Salt Baked Celeriac / Choucroute) and finally back by very popular demand, Deep Fried Mars Bar for dessert (Chocolate Pave / Blood Orange Sorbet / Cocoa Nib). A separate vegetarian menu is also available.

Chef Nico Simeone said; “The Chippie was originally designed to bring a sense of fun and nostalgia, and when talking to our team and Six by Nico community about which menu we wanted to re-open with, it was clear we wanted to bring those feelings back.

When we first opened here in Belfast, ‘The Chippie’ was hugely popular so not only does this mean our existing customers get the opportunity to experience a new version, but it gives us the chance to share it with even more people the second time around”.

The restaurant will re-open with a reduced capacity, allowing 60 guests to dine in one sitting.

Nico added; “I’m really proud of the work the team has put in behind the scenes throughout the pandemic. The Six by Nico experience is something that is really special to us and while we have a reduced capacity, the experience will not be compromised.”

Six by Nico continue to work extremely hard behind the scenes to make everything as safe for their team and customers as possible. With this in mind, they have introduced a new ‘Wellbeing’ policy across their restaurants in line with UK government guidelines. Please visit, www.sixbynico.co.uk/wellbeing to learn more.

In April, Chef Nico Simeone launched Home by Nico across Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh to allow people to experience Six by Nico in their homes. Home delivery kits proved a huge success from the restaurant brand serving over 100,00 customers during lockdown. Home by Nico will be paused as the teams focus on re-opening all Six by Nico restaurants and plans for the food delivery business will be revealed later this year. Six by Nico London, located in Fitzrovia, will also open for the first time ever on Monday July 20th.

Diners can book a table now for ‘The Chippie 2.0’, which runs from Wednesday 15th July – Sunday 6th September 2020. Open from midday, Monday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon to night. The menu will be priced at £29 per person and diners will have the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £26. ‘The Chippie’ themed snacks of Sourdough Bread, Shellfish Butter and Filo Cannelloni / Taramasalata / Lemon Gel / Keta Caviar are also available at £5 per person.

From today, Six by Nico bookings are now live. To make a reservation or to find out more, visit www.sixbynico.co.uk/belfast

FOYLESIDE SHOPPING CENTRE DETAILS REOPENING PLANS

FOYLESIDE SHOPPING CENTRE DETAILS REOPENING PLANS

In line with government Coronavirus guidance Foyleside Shopping Centre is welcoming the reopening of its non-essential stores from Friday 12th June. During lockdown, Foyleside Shopping Centre has supported essential stores to remain open throughout this period as well as maintaining the safety of all shoppers and staff alike.

The health and safety of customers and employees continues to be the top priority and Foyleside has introduced enhanced measures to keep you shoppers safe. Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place while Foyleside Shopping Centre provided vital access to essential services during the lockdown period. Hand sanitiser stations will be present throughout the centre and signage to ensure visitors stay socially distanced that will not only meet all requirement but go ‘above and beyond’.

It is advised that visitors have PPE with face masks on entering the building and the Centre will also be utilising its in centre people counting system monitoring the number of shoppers in the Centre at any given time. All staff have received specialist training in line with Covid guidelines and ongoing staff training is in place to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Speaking on how the centre has adapted, Fergal Rafferty, Centre Manager said, “As Foyleside is one of the larger shopping centres in the country, we are in a fortunate position whereby we can manage the customer journey throughout the centre  and in all the stores. As well as heightened hygiene measures across every touch point, we have technology to monitor footfall and flows and ensure social distancing is practiced, as well as the benefit of onsite security customer services teams to carefully control the measures at all times”.

Fergal continued, “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of all of our customers, retailers and colleagues. We have considered carefully how to create an operating environment that allows the centre and all stores to reopen safely. Throughout the mall and within all of our stores, we will display clear information for consumers on how to shop in this new environment. Our team have been working incredibly hard to keep our centre clean and safe during the lockdown and we are hugely grateful to them. We would also like to thank our customers and visitors for all their cooperation and patience so far”.

Other measures which will be introduced include encouragement for shoppers to use contactless payment for transactions, safety reminders on in-centre digital displays and safety announcements over the tannoy system.

For more information and a list of stores which will be opening please visit www.foyleside.co.uk

ENTERPRISE BECOMES ISO CERTIFIED DURING LOCKDOWN AS IT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE BUSINESS SUPPORT VIRTUALLY

ENTERPRISE BECOMES ISO CERTIFIED DURING LOCKDOWN AS IT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE BUSINESS SUPPORT VIRTUALLY

Carrickfergus Enterprise has been awarded its ISO certification during lockdown to mark its continued and constant commitment to provide high quality services to its clients and local businesses.

ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organisations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. The accolade has been awarded for the 21st year in a row and it is a positive boost for Carrickfergus Enterprise as it continues to support and mentor local businesses through this challenging time.

Continuing with business support since lockdown began, Carrickfergus Enterprise has been hosting weekly ‘Coffee & Catch up’ sessions. They have enabled local business owners and staff to collaborate via virtual calls to network and interact. Businesses have been encouraged to get involved with a focus on those located in the Mid and East Antrim area, the Causeway Coastal Route, Tourism & Hospitality Businesses as well as Women Entrepreneurs.  Businesses are connecting from Carrickfergus to Limavady and across to Rathlin Island.

Kelli Bagchus from Carrickfergus Enterprise said: “Now more than ever, we need to stay connected with one another and it is our aim to work with local businesses and clients we support, ensuring they meet their business and employment goals. This can be an isolating time however we have maintained our output during lockdown, proven by the recent ISO certification. We have adapted the way we work by introducing services such as our weekly virtual calls.  Activities like this have ensured we continue to maintain a high standard and keep connected with one another.”

Kelli Bagchus adds, “Sometimes, a coffee and a chat is all it takes to give someone the motivation to make a positive difference to their day. The meetings are actually giving businesses that don’t usually connect, a chance to have a chat and even collaborate for the first time, so it is proving to be a great success.”

One business owner who runs Ballyeamon Barn Hostel in Cushendall, has benefitted from the virtual meetings. Liz Weir said: “It’s quite a shock, you suddenly lose all your income with a snap of the fingers. Living alone in a remote but beautiful area can lead to depression and feelings of isolation. The regular virtual coffee and conversation sessions have kept me connected to other tourism providers discussing similar issues of concern. Apart from offering useful practical support, these sessions have raised morale and given me hope during a period of worry and economic crisis.”

PR STUDENTS – BEAT THE BOREDOM

PR STUDENTS – BEAT THE BOREDOM

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 hello@rumourmillcomms.com. At Rumour Mill we are keen to support and develop the next generators or communicators and content creators.