Blog : Rumour Mill PR



Belfast is set to welcome a pizza revolution that will shake up the Cathedral Quarter next month and you will want to be a part of it!


Pizza Punks is an artisan and wood-fired pizza eatery with a difference. Its philosophy is simple: giving choice and value to their customers. You can have anything you want on your pizza at no extra cost., that’s right, unlimited toppings for one flat fee. Anarchy, right?


Pizza Punks has become famous for its legendary artisan wood-fired pizzas, their Sourdough base is handmade on site every day and proved for 24 hours for maximum flavour. Boasting a range of bases and unique toppings to suit every taste (vegan, gluten free and Halal). Its giant wood burning oven will also be front and centre in the new venue, so you can see first hand your creation coming to life.


Plus, it doesn’t stop at pizza! Pizza Punks is set to cause a stir with an incredible drinks menu on offer. Retro ice cream floats? Got it. Champion cocktails? Yup. Those crazy Insta-famous freak-shakes? Of course. All of that along with wine on tap, and a great selection of craft beers all served up alongside a great soundtrack – there really is something for everyone including the little punks in your life who can create their own pizza and ice cream from their own children’s menu.


The punked up look and feel of the Cathedral Quarter venue marks a new spot for locals, inviting the food lovers of Belfast to come in and hang out amongst the neon signage, wooden worktops and unique atmosphere. If that wasn’t enough, Belfast Street artist, Visual Waste is jumping onboard as a collaborator to punk up the interior even more.


The Pizza Punks team have created the perfect combination of menus for every occasion, whether it’s a brunch date, grabbing a slice on your lunch break, or a full-on pizza party with your crew they’ve got it covered.


Launching in April, stay in the know by following Pizza Punks Belfast on Facebook.


Power to the people, we say.



One of Northern Ireland’s leading providers of tyres and automotive services has affirmed its commitment to invest up to £2million in the business, creating at least 15 new jobs and a new training facility upskilling the next generation of fitters.

Kerr’s Tyres & Auto, a family-run business first established in 2002, has announced plans to invest in its current premises throughout the province with plans to open a further two additional centres over the next two years.

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North Time & Data Ltd, (NTD) specialist suppliers of state-of-the-art time management systems for workforce monitoring, has installed the latest in their line of biometric facial recognition terminals for one of Northern Ireland’s leading FMCG manufacturers.

NTD was tasked by Mash Direct to implement a workforce management system to effectively monitor employee attendance and track working hours.

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It may be premature to say the press release is dead but the idea that you can write it, mass distribute through your email…and expect results is no longer a given.

This year in Northern Ireland, not only have we witnessed the continued decline of circulation figures for our leading print publications; but more and more local newspapers have closed or merged, there has been a buy-out of our local television station, and a host of seasoned journalists laid-off. This has been accompanied by an unprecedented rise in contributors and online news platforms – with the PR world grappling to stay ahead of this new era of content driven media.

In this 24/7 media cycle, we find ourselves needing good content—and that can come in the form of something produced internally, so long as it’s targeted to the publication’s readers and is valuable enough for them to want to publish and share. If you have engaged social networks and can prove you are influential in your own right, media outlets will continue to want to work with you, if only for the sole reason that you’ve increased their page views and maybe even their audience base.

The Evolution of Digital

In the past, online coverage was often seen as the poor relation to print and broadcast media, but today it is paramount. Digital coverage allows us to reach audiences quickly and allows us to measure and track the effectiveness of an article against our clients’ website viewing figures, which is vital in helping to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the articles that we place.

Social media has allowed ‘word of mouth’ to move at a very rapid pace and, now more than ever, digitally savvy consumers are debunking traditional advertising methods and seeking the opinions of friends, industry experts and celebrities. PR managers must respond faster than ever to keep up with the increased demand for 24/7 news and social media output, and we now have many new platforms from which to communicate, including blogs, video and mobile platforms as well as a vast number of quality online magazines.

It’s the hit viral video that links to engaging Facebook and Twitter accounts with interesting articles, blogs, competitions and company endeavours that really make an impact.  The ability to easily use these sites to find a product, peruse user reviews and recommendations, or voice customer service concerns, is what fulfils the needs of the ever more demanding customer.

Creating a TV commercial that drives excitement over a new mobile app, and the mobile app that leads a customer to the nearest store location to make a purchase, is what is now considered PR ‘gold’.

The entire puzzle is a complicated one that demands calculated integration, and PR will most certainly continue to change and evolve as traditional media roles become outdated. Companies that have the most initiative to invest in integrated communications effectively will ultimately be the ones to reap the benefits and survive in the long term. PR professionals are experts in developing content but they now need to translate this across traditional as well as new online platforms.

I was once asked if PR was dead and digital is the new and only way to connect with target audiences. No. PR does exactly what it says on the tin (build relationships with the public) and will continue to do so. But one thing is clear PR managers are becoming content managers and marketing departments rely heavily on our ability to connect them with their target audiences.

For this reason, we have seen a lesser reliance on the traditional media release and the emergence of new roles being advertised in the sector for ‘Content Producers’, ‘Digital PR Executives’ and ‘Head of Content Development’ etc. However, at our first CIPR NI #CommsPRDigital conference in Belfast, Former Press Secretary to the Queen, Dickie Arbiter reminded us that nothing beats face to face communication. There is still a need to move away from the computer and talk direct to journalists and influencers, and build vital relationships.

With that all said, one thing that will remain a challenge in 2017, is the ability to bring clients up to speed with this new way of communicating. Clients always want to see their face in the paper…and when they get a call from their mum saying ‘oh I saw you in the local paper’ then they think we have achieved a result. This issue of educating clients to believe in the power of new forms of communication is a challenge we as PR professionals will encounter increasingly over time. Explaining to them that a tweet, a blog post by a thought leader or a content-driven campaign on an online media site is just as significant and is equal in value to what they have done in the past, means we still may have a job to do.

by Samantha Livingstone, NI Regional Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Download the full report here and read what other practitioners, from across the UK have to say: 

Ariana Clothing designs flattering Autumn & Winter Collection

Ariana Clothing designs flattering Autumn & Winter Collection

Ariana Clothing Local Belfast-based womenswear brand Ariana is proud of its Autumn/Winter 16 collection. It hosts flattering and expertly designed pieces, created to cater for those who want great quality, beautiful clothing at affordable prices. There is something for everyone’s personal style in this collection.

Each distinctive Ariana piece can take the wearer from day-to-evening with ease, using smart, contemporary and forward-thinking designs that enhance your silhouette and ensure you stand out from the crowd.

This collection features beautifully designed dresses, tops and coats in stunning jewel prints, striking jacquards, quirky animal prints and retro-inspired tailoring.  With colour palettes spanning from rich cranberry, autumnal mustard, deep indigo to rich chocolate and chic greys, this effortlessly chic collection will appeal to all style conscious women.

Utilising hints of the seasons key trends Ariana has created a modern wardrobe with touches of cutting edge style that any woman can wear.  Ariana Clothing has everything you need to look stylish and chic this Autumn/Winter.

The Ariana collection is designed in Belfast, Northern Ireland and available in local boutiques and throughout Europe. Check out its website for more details on the collection and a list of stockists:

Retro 60s Geo prints shift dress £150 2331a

ariana648 ariana673



Kennedy Centre
Pictured with Adam Lockheart is Santa, Angela Lamont from Enchanted Events and John Jones, Centre Manager for Kennedy Centre

West Belfast’s Kennedy Centre – often dubbed ‘Curley’s’ – is leading the way forward on accessibility and inclusivity this Christmas with extended support for children with additional needs when visiting the centre’s magical Christmas dome to meet-and-greet Father Christmas.

Teaming up with Enchanted Events, Kennedy Centre is offering relaxed Santa sessions this holiday season for children with additional needs. Relaxed Santa sessions cater for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), physical disabilities and other additional needs by opening the centre from 9am to 1pm every Sunday until Christmas so that any potential anxiety or mobility issues caused by large crowds of Christmas shoppers is alleviated. Centre retailers also remain closed and no noise or music is emitted from PA systems.

Recent reports show a 67% increase in the incidence rate of school age children diagnosed with ASD rising from 4,570 to 6,046 between 2011/12 and 2014/15 (Department of Health and Social Care, 2015) further cementing the need for such services in public venues.

Commenting this year’s relaxed Santa sessions, John Jones, Centre Manager, said:

“Kennedy Centre has always been a cornerstone of the community here in West Belfast. We are a community-based shopping centre and with that comes the responsibility to ensure we take into consideration the additional needs and support members of the community within the catchment area require.

“We’re delighted to have the Enchanted Events team return to Kennedy Centre again this Christmas to support us as we continue to deliver our services to all members of the local community.”

Now widely adopted in Northern Ireland, Kennedy Centre is largely credited for introducing the concept to fast-paced shopping centres in 2015.

“Visiting Santa should be a magical and memorable experience; one without mobility issues or anxiety. However, not all children are afforded this luxury. Similar relaxed Santa sessions are now a regular feature in the Christmas events calendars of shopping centres throughout Northern Ireland, who open their doors at midday on Sundays. But, Kennedy Centre is leading the way forward by extending these sessions from 9am until centre opening hours of 1pm,” explained Angela Lamont, owner of Enchanted Events.

Should a child become anxious, frightened or if access issues arise during their visit, Santa will greet them at a more convenient point around the Christmas installation for photographs.

Kennedy Centre relaxed Santa sessions take place every Sunday (9am – 1pm) until December 18th.

For more information, contact Kennedy Centre on 028 9030 0734 or visit



(L-R) Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road Pic 1
Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road

Spoon Street, the brand largely credited for introducing the recent frozen yogurt craze to Northern Ireland, opened the doors to its third store on the Lisburn Road in South Belfast. The opening of this new Lisburn Road self-serve ‘froyo’ branch, which is creating 13 local jobs, marks yet another milestone in the brand’s short history here – three thriving stores in just over two years.

First experiencing self-serve frozen yogurt while working in New Jersey, entrepreneurial couple Katie Waddell (24) and fiancé Harry Wang (31) soon adopted the US-inspired concept and began the process of transporting it to Northern Ireland in 2014.

A relatively new phenomenon to Northern Irish taste buds, ‘froyo’ – a popular acronym used to describe the treat – is a frozen dessert most commonly made from yogurt and is a popular treat of choice among young consumers.

Growth in the frozen yogurt market has been significant in the UK. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream by as many as two in five ice cream and frozen yogurt users* which highlights the potential for the segment to grow further.

Spoon Street has garnered endless awards and built up a strong, loyal customer base in a relatively short period. Speaking on the opening of the Lisburn Road store, co-owner of Spoon Street, Katie Waddell, said:

“This new store marks our commitment to expanding our business offering in Northern Ireland and is reflective of our success. This is our biggest opening to date and we have introduced new state-of-the-art technology to elevate our service delivery and ensure our customer experience is first-class. We are trying to create a multi-media experience and customers can now expect to find tablet flavour screens, iPad POS systems with customer display units, feature lighting and an area dedicated to screening family-friendly films.

“It was only last month that we celebrated the two-year anniversary since the opening of our Ballyhackamore store in East Belfast. We had always set out to create a chain, one that embraced creativity in a fun setting and the Lisburn Road was the next logical step in that process, bringing the Spoon Street brand to an entire new audience.”

Talking on the job creation, Katie adds:
“As we continue to expand the Spoon Street brand, we are also continuing to grow the Spoon Street family. We’re delighted that the anticipation and expected customer-base around opening of our newest store has allowed us to create an additional 13 jobs.”

Built upon a motto of cool creativity, Spoon Street affords consumers complete freedom in creating their preferred frozen yogurt treat; from self-serving the yogurt itself, to the broad choice of toppings which include, but are not limited to, mixed fruit, berries and nuts, as well as more indulgent options such as jellies, biscuits and all manner of chocolatey treats.

Spoon Street prides itself on the ability to source weird and wonderful toppings from around the world, such as Japanese Mochi, Taiwanese juice balls and coconut jelly. It also offers a wide range of dietary requirements including dairy free options, gluten free options, lactose free options, sugar free options and vegan friendly options.

For more information, visit or connect via Facebook and Twitter.




To mark Harvest month this October and as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is giving local schools the opportunity to win all they need to grow their own produce.

With some of the best producers and growers based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh area, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is keen to encourage the next generation of talented growers and is calling on green-fingered local pupils to submit a poem about the importance of Harvest.

This initiative is intended to broaden children’s understanding of agriculture and to promote healthy eating options with a balanced fruit and vegetable-filled. Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden at your school is a fantastic way to demonstrate the link between the food we eat, the seasons and the land.

Participating schools will have the chance to win a set of allotments, enabling pupils to fully immerse themselves in the harvest season. The prize includes two wooden allotment frames, soil, seeds, guides and a visit from an experienced gardener who will host an educational lesson on planting and tending.

Cllr. Uel Mackin, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh’s Economic Development Committee, explained the benefits of instilling this interest at a young age.

“I would encourage all local schools to reach out and get involved in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Harvest Competition. The aim is to encourage the younger generation to get involved in, and fully appreciate, the process of growing, harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.”

“Those involved will reap the benefits of seeing first-hand how their hard work and care can produce an array of fruit and vegetables. It will be exciting process to chart the progress of each allotment and see local school children’s hard work come to fruition,” added Cllr. Uel Mackin.

To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize for their school, pupils are requested to submit a poem around the theme of Harvest to a select panel of judges.

To enter, simply submit your harvest-themed poem by Friday, October 21st to LCCC Harvest Competition, C/O Rumour Mill PR, First Floor Cranmore House, 611A Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GT or email



BM2Relishing the chance to explore new markets, Irish family food company Ballymaloe Foods, producer of the award winning Ballymaloe Original Relish, has launched into Northern Ireland. Through securing a partnership with Valeo Foods as its province-wide distributor the company has since secured supply to participating SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO & VIVOEXTRA, SUPERVALU, CENTRA & MACE, Dunnes and Independents.

Speaking on the transition into Northern Ireland, Maxine Hyde, Sales & Marketing Manager for Ballymaloe Foods, says:

“Now, more than ever, seemed the most fitting time to expand the Ballymaloe Foods range into Northern Ireland. As a family business through and through – developed and grown over three generations – we are ecstatic to be working alongside Valeo Foods, and look forward to showcasing our products to the Northern Irish market over the coming months.”

“In recent years, while the popularity of Ballymaloe products has grown, availability has always been an issue. But, through our new supplier partnerships, Ballymaloe Foods has the opportunity to match the supply with demand.” Maxine added.

Joanne Beattie, Brand Manager at Valeo Foods adds: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Ballymaloe Foods and looking forward to introducing this fantastic product to the NI market. With its strong heritage and track record for producing great tasting products, we have no doubt it will be a great hit with consumers.”

Ballymaloe Original Relish, has been the recipient of numerous industry awards over recent years including the McKennas’ Guides Award (2015), gold in the Great Taste Awards (2015) and numerous Georgina Campbell Awards, the longest running hospitality awards in Ireland.

Ballymaloe Foods will be introducing an initial five products from its growing range into the Northern Ireland market. The retail range includes Ballymaloe Original Relish (210g) and Ballymaloe Jalapeno Pepper Relish (195g).

Ballymaloe Foods’ offering in Northern Ireland will also include wholesale catering sizes suitable for a diverse range of cuisines; Ballymaloe Original Relish (3kg and 5kg) and Ballymaloe Jalapeno Relish (2.75kg).

Established in 1990 by Yasmin Hyde, daughter of Myrtle and Ivan Allen of Ballymaloe House, the recipe for Ballymaloe Original Relish that proudly stocks supermarket shelves throughout the Republic of Ireland has remained unchanged since the 1930s when Myrtle Allen was left with a plethora of tomatoes following husband Ivan’s struggles to sell them to merchants at local markets.

The official launch, organised by Rumour Mill PR, for Ballymaloe Foods took place on Friday 5th August at the James Street South Cookery School where celebrity chef and graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School Rachel Allen hosted a cookery masterclass.

For more information on the Ballymaloe range, visit