Money

UK Government announces Grant to Revive the Hospitality Industry

Restaurants, hotels and nightclubs are just a few of the businesses under the hospitality umbrella that have suffered as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. The industry has bared the brunt of the cycle of lockdowns during the course of the global crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world and has affected everything in its wake and continues to persist. The hospitality industry was far from immune to the effects of the pandemic. The industry has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, resulting in catastrophic consequences for some businesses.

However, there does seem to be hope yet, as Boris Johnson’s announcement of his roadmap out of lockdown indicates that the hospitality industry will be able to begin operating to its full capacity once again. Not only this, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £5bn restart grant scheme in his budget this week, which will award hospitality business’ payments of up to £18,000. This action from the government offers optimism, as they have a big role to play in aiding in the revival of hospitality businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Closed Pub

Despite the obvious blessing that this grant scheme presents, it may not be the golden ticket that it seems. The series of closures and the many restrictions have caused several businesses to crumble under the weight of it all. Though the grant does provide grace, it may not be enough to resurrect businesses from the serious damage caused by the pandemic. The hospitality industry has been abandoned for so long, the grant being offered is only one step in the lengthy recovery process.

Whilst this grant scheme may feel like too little too late for some, it will offer a vital helping hand that businesses in the industry have been yearning for. Many businesses’ cash reserves have been drained as a result of forced closures, so the designated money will provide the relief needed by so many. With any luck, it will be the kick-starter to businesses finding their feet again and being able to sustain themselves through and beyond this crisis. The grant provides substantial hope for the businesses who believed that they may not pull through this challenging time.

It has been a long road of uncertainty for the hospitality industry and the proposed grant scheme is the light at the end of the tunnel that so many businesses so desperately need. This will hopefully be the spark that will reignite the industry initiating a return to its full glory.


Hotel Room

Airbnb Co-Founder believes PR is the best form of Marketing

Airbnb Co-Founder believes “PR is the best form of marketing and doesn’t plan on using much of the paid adverting in the future” is this a strategy you would take?

After generating the same percentage in online traffic as the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Airbnb has revealed they are making a permanent cut in the investment towards paid performance marketing for the foreseeable future. 

The American vacation rental company states they are never going back to the same paid marketing pre-pandemic expenditures. Following the annual reports, Airbnb recorded a 58% spending reduction on brand and performance marketing in 2020, but have still managed to generate a massive 95% online traffic surge. After a successful year with the greater number of traffic coming from either direct or unpaid services, the new strategy for the increasingly growing brand is now following a full-funnelled marketing approach with PR starting at the top. 

PR is the art of managing a successful brand and its reputation. Public relations is unquestionably one of the key aspects of marketing when focusing on increasing brand awareness and generating leads. Brian Chesky, co-founder and chief executive of Airbnb, described that the “brand identity was practically built through PR and press”. He added that Airbnb had featured in an impressive “0.5 million articles in the last year, of 2020, and had as much share of a voice as most of the other major travel companies”. 

The courageous move to slash paid performance advertising by a huge $800m has caused controversial strategic marketing plans for future campaigns. To the likes of larger companies, like Facebook and Google, who are extremely data-driven, is this a risk that businesses are willing to take?

Dave Stephenson, the chief financial officer of Airbnb, still deems performance marketing to be an “absolutely important lever” to the strategy of building a successful brand. He continues to explain that “paid performance advertising will be implemented where it makes economic sense too”. Due to the pandemic having such a negative impact on the travel and hotel industry, other businesses like Booking.com have also had to adapt to these strange circumstances, by cutting their marketing expenses by 61% to survive this never ending nightmare.

The risks of paid ads can weigh heavily on small businesses if they do not pay attention to the analytics. Nevertheless, keeping track of PPC ads can avoid unwanted costs, and if monitored regularly, paid adverts are beneficial in producing targeted, customisable and measurable data.

Is the risk to cut paid marketing, a bad move or a smart one?

For more information on how Posh Cockney can create a bespoke PR strategy for your brand, Click Here.


Future Star Programme

Meet the Posh Cockney Future Star Programme Class of 2021

After months of planning, we can finally share our exciting news with you!

Posh Cockney have created a Future Star Programme to help young people gain on the job, real life work experience in PR and Marketing – an opportunity that the pandemic has hindered for many.

This opportunity will allow them to learn first-hand what it takes to work in the busy world of PR and Marketing – particularly as the hospitality sector begins to reopen, whilst being guided and supported by the Posh Cockney team. The Future Star’s will have a tailored, three-month plan allowing them to study, work on real accounts and ask all the questions they need to in a safe space.

“We decided as a team to give back and support people on a three-month crash course style internship. People can come and work with us for us three days a week and deal with real clients whilst getting great training and one to one mentorship from our team. They can meet people from within the lifestyle and hospitality industries and start building connections.”

“This is the first class of the future star programme and we have brought in nine unique and talented young people who we feel could be future stars within the marketing and PR world. We all know that most people learn best by doing, so as great as university is, there is no replacement for on the job learning.” – Liam Norval, Posh Cockney CEO

This is a great opportunity for anyone that wants to better themselves and an incredible steppingstone into future employment. All work is done remotely and around individual schedules.

After the three months, Posh Cockney will be looking to hire some of the interns, whilst helping others to find employment.

“We are really excited about this scheme as there seems to be a huge gap for young people today. It is often impossible to get experience if you don’t already have experience! We are excited to be able to give people opportunities where they can work hard, learn and gain future work with our guidance.” Liam added.

Want to meet our class of 2021? Click Here.

Sophia Kearney, Future Star

“Having the chance to work so closely with the Posh Cockney team and their clients from the get-go has been amazing. Whilst only in the first week, I have already gained such valuable experience and industry insight. I am very much looking forward to what the next 3 months will bring!”

Katy Townshend, Future Star

"I am so excited to be able to work alongside the Posh Cockney team on real accounts and be given the opportunity to learn and immerse myself into the creative, challenging and dynamic industry of marketing and PR with training from Posh Cockney team managers".

Alice Bugnoni, Future Star

"This opportunity represents the first step towards the work world, and I am honored to start my career from here."


Models on Catwalk

A digital makeover for London Fashion Week

Always wanted a front-row seat at London fashion week? You’re in luck because this year, we are all invited.

After the huge success of last year’s semi-digital London Fashion Week, the event is back. This time, fully digital, with the support of Clearpay.

From Friday 19th February (today!) until Tuesday 23rd February, you can watch Global Designers show off their latest collections from the comfort of your own home.

Models on Catwalk

This year, for the first time ever, both Menswear and Womenswear will be exhibited alongside each other in a gender-neutral show. There will also be a number of Podcasts, Webinars, Designer Showrooms and Collection Presentations available to all.

Josephine Jones, model and the first transgender designer at LFW, told Sky News:

“Clothing, to me, has always been about creativity and never boundaries… except breaking them, that is! Some of the chicest girls I know dress like boys anyway, and vice versa.”

Josephine, like many designers, is excited by the progression in London Fashion Week.

Usually, London Fashion Week would see 5,000 people flock to the capital, excited to take their seats at this world-renowned event. Whilst we can all agree that digital is no replacement for live events, this is a historic move for the fashion industry.

Head to, London Fashion Week’s Website to tune into the Live coverage.


Eat Out to Help Out

Eat out to Help Out 2.0 – a good or bad idea?

Last summer, the Eat Out to Help out scheme was used 100 million times, but should it be brought back?

For many businesses, the scheme was a massive help. But for some, particularly in seaside towns where the summer months are already incredibly busy, it led to staff being hugely over worked. Police presence was required at one venue in Leicester when things got out of hand there.

There is also data to suggest that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme led to an increase in Covid cases and was a cause of the start of the second wave of the pandemic, with Boris Johnson agreeing with this in a press conference in October.

Frederick Szydlowski, Co-founder of Embargo and Hospitality Titan disagrees with this:

“The problem with the general perception of last year’s Eat Out Help Out Scheme comes mainly from the misleading data that the public is fed. Many assume that it has led to a major increase of cases. However, three weeks ago Rishi Sunak said that there is link between the EOHO Scheme to the spike of cases during Q4 2020. Looking at the actual data of where cases have been coming from, hospitality has clearly been one of the safest places to be. I strongly believe another similar scheme should definitely be considered as hospitality needs a significant boost and there is no doubt that venue operators have shown that they take safety measures extremely seriously.”

Deliveroo and hundreds of other restaurants have called for the scheme to be reintroduced, along with a number of other measures to help the hospitality industry to survive. These include an extension of the furlough scheme, a 5% vat reduction on food and prioritising hospitality staff for testing and vaccinations.

Eat Out to Help Out

We spoke to Morris Greenberg, Hospitality Titan and Managing Director at CDG Leisure about this:

“In my view, the government needs to be focused on the process involved in getting the leisure industry reopened, whilst limiting redundancies, as much as possible, that will inevitably have to be made when furlough stops. This includes landlords taking premises back due to back rent owed causing liquidations and a surplus of empty premises coming back to market. So for me I would like to see more focus on policies extending the VAT reduction, extending the business rates holiday for another year and reintroducing the job retention grant. Perhaps some intervention between landlord and tenant negotiations once protection is lifted such as landlords to agree to a percentage of what is owed to be paid over a term. All of this will help the industry to reopen and then once reopened, whilst I am sure the resurgence of people going out will be quick, if it is felt the industry needs help in getting kickstarted policy’s like the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to be reintroduced. Although it will need to be amended in order to take into account the problems that occurred last time.”

What is the Eat Out to Help Out scheme?

Eat Out to Help Out gave diners 50% off their food bill (up to £20 per person) at participating restaurants from Monday – Wednesday. Thousands of restaurants across the country signed up.

Do we need an incentive to get back to pubs, bars and restaurants? Or will we all be eagerly waiting outside on the first day of re-opening, with or without a discount?

 Read more about the first Eat Out to Help Out Scheme here.


“Another nail in the coffin for the Hospitality Industry”

Fears are rising within the hospitality sector amongst speculation that pubs, bars, and restaurants may have to remain closed through much of the spring. And when they do finally open, the ‘rule of six’ and socially distancing restrictions will all be very much still in place.

There has been talk that restrictions won’t be eased until all over 50s have had their vaccination, which is expected to be around August time. And this is only for England, who seem to be ahead in terms of vaccination numbers at the moment, compared to other UK regions.

“This would be another nail in the coffin for the hospitality industry. For nearly a whole year, the entire UK hospitality industry has been decimated by rules and regulations. It will mean a graveyard for the hospitality industry once this pandemic is over unless change happens now. The Government needs to support with much more funding, and much more targeted funding to people that really need the help right now.”  

“Posh Cockney has several clients that are going through a lot of pain right now. They have had a year of turmoil and we have helped them through such times. But with the re-opening dates being pushed further and further back, we run the real risk of losing our beloved hospitality industry. “

– Liam Norval, CEO Posh Cockney.

Businesses are frustrated. They have repeatedly been forced to close, staff have been let go, bank balances have been run dry. All without clear guild lines or timelines for when these businesses can reopen.

The UK needs a summer full of Hospitality and Tourism to help the economy fight back. The continuous extension to restrictions is making that increasingly unlikely.

 


Co-Marketing: The Power of Collaboration

Over recent years, we have seen an increasing number of brands join forces and collaborate. But why would you team up with another brand, sometimes even a competitor?

Co-Marketing allows brands to increase their consumer reach. Two companies can share databases, social media reach and hopefully, customers. Collaboration can often be a fantastic way to create innovative new products that would have previously not been possible. It is also a great way to gain press coverage. Attention grabbing campaigns, unexpected team ups and exciting new products make great stories. This of course leads to increase coverage, links to your company and will almost certainly result in higher sales.

This could be as simple as including the leaflet of a brand in your product package and be as extreme as using another company’s branding on your products. We take a look at some of our favourite brand collaborations.

 

Uber and Spotify

These two, well-known brands, teamed up to create a more customisable taxi experience. Spotify Premium customers are able to link their account inside an Uber and be in control of the music from their Uber or Spotify app on their phone.

This allows Uber to offer users personalised music in a very simple way – no need to develop their own system. It also gives Spotify another reason for users to sign up for their service.

Sounds like an uber great idea to me! (sorry…)

 

McDonald’s and Burger king

Yes, two lifelong rivals did indeed team up (sort of) for a recent campaign. Although, many would argue that one brand came out on top.

In 2019, McDonald’s Argentina announced that for one day, they would donate all profits from the purchase of their Big Mac to the charity Children with Cancer. In response to this, Burger King launched ‘Day Without Whopper’. Not only did they remove The Whopper from their menu for the day, but they actively encouraged people to go and buy their burgers from their competitors, to raise more money for the charity.

Whilst Burger King may have lost some sales that day, they won their place in the hearts of many. Press coverage and social media noise were huge – PR success can be measured in more ways than immediate financial gain.

 

McDonalds and Burger King Collaboration 

Cheetos and Forever 21

This is just one example of brands teaming up with clothing retailers, to create unique products. Collaborations like this turn customers into walking adverts for the brand, hugely increasing brand awareness, and create new and innovative products for the retailer.

 

BrewDog and Aldi

What began as a spat between two brands on Twitter, became a fantastic PR campaign. Shoppers had seen similarities between Aldi’s Anti-Establishment Beer and BrewDog’s Punk IPA, to which BrewDog responded by suggesting it would create ‘Yaldi IPA’.

To this, Aldi said, “We would have gone with ‘ALD IPA, send us a crate and we’ll talk…”.

So, BewDog did just that, and two months later, ALD IPA was stocked on the shelves in Aldi stores around the country.

This gained fantastic coverage on both social media and in the press. Both brands became a big talking point and sales increased as a result.

 

Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston has teamed up with many brands over recent years, allowing the iconic prints to be seen by unexpected consumers. Brands include Heinz, Slydes and most recently, the game Animal Crossing.

Each of these collaborations has gained great coverage. It isn’t every day you see a can of tomato soup featured in glossy magazines! Consumers love an exciting brand story, and collaborations like these create exactly that.

Kath Kidston and Heinz Collaboration

 

Posh Cockney are specialists in brand collaborations and would love to help you grow your brand today. Email liam.norval@www.poshcockney.co.uk and find out what we can do for you.

 

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The rise of Independent Businesses

Is the era of large chains behind us?

Independent shops, cafes, and restaurants are becoming an increasingly familiar sight.

At the start of 2020, there were 5.9 million small businesses in the UK, a rise of 1.9% on the previous year. And whilst the pandemic has created many struggles for small business owners, it has also given many people the time to finally put plans in place to create the small businesses they have always dreamt of starting. More than 95,000 new businesses were created between July and September, according to a recent analysis of VAT, HMRC, Companies House data, and business surveys, marking a 5.3 percent increase on the same period last year, and a 7.2 percent increase on the previous quarter.

Hundreds of people were made redundant from their long-standing, time-consuming jobs, or put on furlough and told to stay at home. While some made banana bread, others used the time to pivot their skills and become entrepreneurs. As well as this, people all over the country pledged to shop local and support small businesses in their time of need.

Amy Gwynn who owns Amy’s Personal Paints, a small business specialising in hand painting Gower Beaches says, “What’s been really exciting for me as a new business owner during the pandemic is seeing how many people want to support local businesses through buying gifts for family and friends they’ve been unable to spend time with this year.”

Shopping local helps to instill a sense of community. It allows customers and business owners to build up trust and a friendly relationship, meaning people are far more likely to keep on coming back.

This is an exciting time for new business. With lots of shops and restaurants sadly closing down and buildings standing empty, for those that are able to find investors to back their ideas, there has never been a better time to jump-start your business. Our towns and cities are going to look very different on the other side of this pandemic, but this could be the shake-up that our high streets have been waiting for.

Do you have a new business or product that you need help launching? Posh Cockney can help. Get in touch today at liam.norval@www.poshcockney.co.uk.


The very best Home Cinema set up inspiration

Wondering why you need a home cinema kit when you have a perfectly good TV? We are about to show you.

We have put together some of our favourite home cinema setups, perfect for families, couples, keeping the kids quiet, or just having some you time.

 

Garden Cinema

This is a great one to get the kids involved with – Turn your garden into a cinema! Lots of us spent the summer giving our gardens a makeover, so why not get the most out of them through the winter too. Pour yourself a hot drink, snuggle up under a blanket and enjoy your favourite family movie.

What you need:

  • Blankets
  • Firepit
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Snacks
  • Warm Drinks
  • Large Fence/Wall

  

 

Duvet Day

Watch your favourite movie or TV show, without even needing to get out of bed! Our projectors can project directly onto your ceiling, making them the perfect addition to any duvet day.

What you need:

  • Your bed/sofa
  • Duvet
  • Chocolate

 

Pub

I don’t think any of us can pretend that we don’t miss a trip to the pub, especially if you’re a sporting fan. So, why not turn your dining room/lounge/spare room/man cave into your very own pub!? (Sticky tables optional.)

What you need:

  • Comfy Chairs
  • Salted Peanuts
  • Selection of Drinks

 

Superbowl

Always fancied the Superbowl experience? Now’s your chance. This is only really possible if you have a driveway or a space to reverse your car into so that your boot is facing a large enough space. Pop up our projector screen and fill your boot with blankets and pillows. Obviously, no Superbowl experience would be complete without hot dogs and beers! Try it out for yourself on 7th February, thank us later.

What you need:

  • Car with largeish boot
  • Big Wall/Garage Door
  • Hot Dogs
  • Beer/soft drinks

 

 

Den

I challenge you to find us anyone who wouldn’t love to turn their living room into a den made of sheets and pillows. This is the perfect spot to cosy up with your family and watch a movie. Got work to do? Let your kids create a den for themselves – sure to keep them quiet for a while.

What you need:

  • Pillows
  • Sheets/Duvets
  • Nice lighting
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

 

Date Night

Valentine’s day is fast approaching and with the usual options of a trip to the cinema or a meal at a restaurant off the table, it’s time to get creative. Impress your loved one by creating a romantic valentine’s experience from the comfort of your own home.

What you need:

  • Bubbly
  • Popcorn
  • Fancy Lights

 

Relaxing in the Bath

Why not take that relaxing bath one step further? Turn off your notifications, tell everyone you’re busy and run yourself a bath. Turn on your favourite TV show, project it onto the ceiling, light some candles and enjoy some you time.

What you need:

  • A bath
  • Candles
  • Wine/Tea
  • A lock on the door

 

Our client Celestial Cinema recently launched their new Home Edition cinema kit. Make sure you go and check them out for the very best cinema-in-a-box experience!

Have you found more exciting ways to use your Cinema in a Box kit? We would love to see them! Tag #poshcockney in your photos across social media and we will share our favourites!


Club House – The app every Entrepreneur needs to be on

The brand new, audio only, social media app that everyone is talking about.

If you enjoy thought-provoking conversation, networking, and motivation, this is the app you’ve been waiting for. And you may even find yourself having those conversations with A list Hollywood celebs – want to know more?

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse lets you drop into different chat rooms and listen to or join conversations, a bit like dropping into your favourite podcast or radio show, but this time you can join the conversation (if the chat moderate allows this). The app has even been used for X Factor-style auditions for Broadway shows such as Hamilton and Dream Girls.

In a world where social media has been having incredibly negative effects on people’s mental health, mainly due to body image, this app could hold huge benefits for the future of social media.

The idea, a spokesperson told The Evening Standard, is to create “a social experience that is focused on connection, learning, and authentic conversations, where people close the app feeling better than they did when they opened it because they have deepened friendships, met new people and learned. The focus is on dialogue and connection, rather than likes or followers.”

The conversations cannot be recorded, allowing people to speak more freely, without what they have said hitting the headlines the following day. This also gives an extra layer of exclusivity to anyone who has joined the chat room.

How do I join?

The app is currently running on a member only basis. To become a member, you must be invited, and each member is allowed to invite one person (with three extra allowed after some time).

Current users include celebrities such as Oprah, Estelle, Drake, and Ashton Kutcher. The star-studded app has a very Hollywood vibe to it, however, it is slowly starting to grow in popularity in the UK.

One current drawback is that the app is only available on Apple devices, leaving Android users feeling like they are missing out. And this is certainly the case according to our CEO Liam Norval, who recently downloaded the app.

“I have recently joined Clubhouse and my mind is blown. It seems like the perfect app for someone like me who, last year, started the Posh Cockney Podcast and Posh Cockney TV. I love connecting with inspirational people and on Clubhouse, it seems that there are inspirational chats going on with some of the biggest names in the world, every hour of every day, across so many different industries. There is so much sharing and so much positivity, it really does look like the future of social media. People are connecting with people on topics that they are genuinely interested in. I am really excited about this app. I’m just 24 hours into being a member and I’m planning how I’m going to use it to the best of my abilities. Watch this space because Posh Cockney and Liam Norval will be making waves on Clubhouse very soon.”

The app is currently still in beta testing stages and may look to be made available to all soon. This is certainly just the beginning of things for Clubhouse and we are very excited to watch how it develops.

If you are already a Clubhouse member, give your CEO a follow @poshcockney.