Social media: a powerful tool that will connect you to your audience and help spread the word about what your brand has to offer.  It is of course another platform that can encourage sales but a recent campaign had us thinking about how social media does not necessarily need to lead to an increased ROI.

Have you ever thought about putting baked beans on your Weetabix?  I’m guessing your answer is no.  Well, it turns out that Weetabix have thought about it, to the point that they got tins of Heinz Baked Beans and delicately placed them on top of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereal.

On the morning of 9th February 2021, the Twittersphere went into meltdown with calls from Twitter users for Weetabix to delete its account.  It’s safe to say people were disgusted.  But it’s the disgust that carried this campaign to the point that the tweet became viral.  Weetabix’s tweet currently stands at 36K retweets, 65.6K quote tweets and 124.2K likes.  It’s certainly not a brand partnership that people would be expecting but that’s what makes the campaign so successful.  Pairing two foods broke the internet and catapulted the Weetabix and Heinz brands straight onto headlines.  The tweet was covered by media titles including, Sky News, Telegraph, Manchester Evening News and Daily Mail.


Piers Morgan even tried it on Good Morning Britain, adding to the conversation on social media and giving the campaign an even bigger boost to those who don’t have an online presence.  The campaign was given an opportunity to get another bite of the cherry, as Piers sampling the new delicacy made headlines and gave Weetabix and Heinz even more press coverage.


It wasn’t just the general public that made their opinions known on Twitter, other UK brands joined the conversation too, making for a hilarious Twitter thread.

Other brands were even trying their own disturbing Weetabix combinations…

Innocent Drinks are well known for running outrageous campaigns and causing a stir on social media.  At the end of 2020, Twitter descended into chaos as they claimed they had teamed up with Heinz for a ‘Beanz Machine’ breakfast smoothie.

So, it was all too funny when one Twitter user replied to the thread saying, “@innocent levels of chaos on the Weetabix page today.”

What followed was yet another strange brand collaboration, Weetabix took it even further…


The campaign worked so well because the country is living through lockdown 3.0 and everyone is in serious need for something to laugh at.  Plus, food combos are always a popular topic of conversation, Weetabix created a large-scale conversation that lasted for days.  The campaign brought everyone together, even if it was to share their disgust with Weetabix.


It’s evident from these types of campaigns that social media is not all about pushing sales messages and products.  It’s all about brand-building and gaining interest from the target audience.  A brand won’t go viral by simply tweeting about what they have to offer.  As the other brands started to respond to the Weetabix tweet, they were opening up a conversation for their own followers.  This was purely organic social media content and Weetabix only needed to spend money on Heinz Baked Beans.


You can almost guarantee that people had Weetabix on the brain for the rest of the day and added it to their shopping list for the next food shop!


Find out how we can support your business with its social media management by emailing us on louis@sourcepr.co.uk or calling 01829 72078.



As the new year begins and we enter a third lockdown, now seems the right time to think about what will make the best PR agency for clients whether in Manchester, Liverpool or the North West.  Here, we share our thoughts on what makes a PR and social media agency successful and how good client relationships are the secret to taking marketing results to the next level.

Key Characteristics Of The Best PR Agency

Know the client. I mean really know the client

One key skill for PR executives working in agencies is the ability to juggle various client demands at any one time. It can be very challenging working in a PR agency, but it does allow executives to get a broad range of experience under their belts, which in turn adds value back to clients.  You can really become mini experts in a number of different industries in no time, and the best PR agencies will always be the embodiment of this skill.  After working client side, I realised that there’s always more to know about a business, to understand its strategic decisions and its relationship with stakeholders.  If you can take this in-depth approach and apply it on the agency side, whether for B2B clients or B2C clients, you not only offer better communications advice but can also help shape the client’s business direction.

Put substance before style

I’ve never been a big fan of the PR stunt or more general ‘PR puff’.  Although creative ideas remain the backbone of what we offer, the best PR agencies should always consider whether the proposals are achievable and whether they deliver real returns and impact for clients?  There’s nothing worse than a Mr Negative in a creative brainstorm or planning process, however the best PR agencies always keep an eye on the prize and an effective balance between style with a healthy dose of substance behind it all.  Over promising and under delivering is the worst of all worlds.

Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

When looking back on my career, I do recall a moment when working in house for one of the UK’s leading retailers and we were advising the board on how to handle the media in light of a poor set of annual results.  The CEO was his usual bullish self, pushing for us to make this claim or that.  I realised then that my boss, a very successful director of communications, was essentially the grey man of the boardroom by only telling the CEO wanted to hear.  I made a vow to myself never to be that grey man and to always offer honest PR / communication advice based on experience.  Clients are at liberty to adopt or ignore it but for effective relationships, always be honest (perhaps that’s why I never became a Director of Corporate Affairs..!?). To us, this is one of the most important things that makes the best PR agency.

It costs how much?

The days of big spending PR campaigns may be over, but the requirement for showing a return on investment is omnipresent.  It has never been more important and the best PR agency will always demonstrate that great ideas shouldn’t cost the earth to deliver. We live in a quicker, more transparent society and one that does allow great stories and content to be shared easily.  Also, if you know your client, you should know what they need to spend to succeed – don’t turn your back on big budgets but always be aware of what will be delivered in return.

Know what PR campaigns work

You’d be amazed how many clients still view being on a breakfast TV sofa as a success.  Be honest from the outset and tell B2B PR clients that sales of their new widget are rarely achieved after an interview with Phil or Fern.  Be targeted, selective and know their customers and where their products or services need to be – this adds real value.

Be supportive and flexible

With Covid 19 still causing business disruption, the best PR agencies will continue to be flexible and supportive of their client’s changing needs and priorities – including knowing how to handle a crisis situation.  Having the right strategy and the flexibility to evolve it ensures a client’s business remains focussed on priorities and the changes on the ground.  Our work with Combermere Abbey is one such example of a business that faced hardship due to lockdowns but came out stronger on the other side.  Let’s hope the same is true for other businesses as we eventually emerge from this pandemic.

If you’re looking for a PR agency or social media agency in Manchester, Liverpool, Cheshire or the North West, please get in contact and let us show you why we are the best PR agency.


Throughout my PR career, the advice has always been for corporates to steer clear of politics, religion or criticising the competition in the belief that it’s better to lead by example than to criticise others for the actions they take.

It now seems that view is behind the curve when looking at Ben & Jerry’s latest tweet to @PritiPatel which challenges UK policy on the management of illegal immigration as well as the crisis that is currently happening in the Channel.

On the surface, it makes a lot of sense to raise awareness of the social issues and highlight the fact that we are all people living together on one planet.  It’s also right to raise the issue faced by people caught in wars and torture as well as the brutal realities of climate change.  But should an exclusive and pricey ice cream brand to be leading the charge?

In fairness, the messaging reflects the views of B&J’s customers, the hippy ideology of the founders as well as the brand’s long-standing social principles.  It’s also positive that a business with more than 450k+ twitter followers is using its might to raise awareness.  Even from a communications perspective, at least they are taking a stand and saying something rather than the bland, generic guff that many corporates are guilty of sprouting.

Virtue Signalling or Virtual Posturing

However, before being so bold you need to make sure your own house is in order as your actions will invite scrutiny.  This scrutiny will not, and should not, be limited to the topics the brand chooses to engage in – but all areas of its operations.  This could include; what is the company doing to support climate change, how can it justify the price / profiteering of its products, are they ignoring the critically high obesity levels in the population or even what action is it taking to actually support the plight of refugees?

This scrutiny could also be applied also to the parent company Unilever who bought the brand for $326m nearly 20 years ago.  Only yesterday, ‘Unilever’ was one of the top trends on Twitter throughout the day, as many pointed out that they have issues closer to home that such as whether they are guilty of marketing a ‘skin lightening’ cream to people of colour, the exploitation of vulnerable parts of the world or even tax avoidance – that indirectly leads to less money being made available to house refugees?

To gauge people’s views on the matter my colleague @jessicapardoePR undertook a quick twitter poll and found that two thirds of responders (75+) were in favour of the company’s stand.  Although just a snapshot, this is revealing as it’s clear consumers want the brands they associate with to reflect their own ideology.

With the growth in social media and more direct communications, brands are now better placed than ever before to manage their own messages.  Previously they would have had to use the media as a mouthpiece and face the additional scrutiny that this entails.

Social media platforms are however notorious for having a life of their own with innocent or well-meaning tweets often spiralling out of control when twisted by a ‘woke world’ or those with an axe to grind.

The virtue signalling of Ben & Jerry’s latest tweet has indeed attracted such criticism, but as with most effective PR strategies, this has just extended its message and helped to position the business as a champion of cause related campaigning.  It’s a risky route to take but in the case of founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, fortune seems to favour the brave.



Businesses in the countryside are showing great resilience in these testing times and with clever use of strategic PR for rural businesses they are winning valuable goodwill which, along with the positive use of social media, they must ensure continues post Covid-19.

Many farm shops and rural outlets have adapted their operations to run doorstep deliveries and are overwhelmed with demand as supermarkets become unappealing places to visit. While this is proving a lifeline to the elderly and isolated, the opportunity must not be lost amid the Corona chaos of highlighting the quality of local produce and its sustainability when delivered locally. Much of this demand is based on trust and a back-to-basics appeal of receiving safe, affordable, traceable, local food in troubled times. Such appreciation will potentially lead to future loyalty and maintaining a strong PR and marketing message is important.

Social media messaging

Internet use has predictably risen during the crisis and as such it is the best way to raise the profile of an individual business. Rural business owners may now have the time to upgrade their social media and PR messages – this is the moment for the sector to shout about its strengths and capitalise on the wave of goodwill. A communications plan is needed to share with stakeholders and customers to keep them informed about how a business is functioning now and its future plans.

Rural = Safe

Post lockdown, our rural areas will potentially see an upsurge in visitors as foreign holidays may be put on the backburner for the rest of the year, with the UK regarded as a safe place to be. Businesses such as holiday cottages, camp sites and outdoor experience ventures need their websites and marketing strategies to be ready for this.

Appreciation of rural businesses, especially food producers, is now at a high and while it is keeping many of them afloat, it must be sustained by fresh business thinking. Now is the time to build your brand before normal life resumes; that will be the time to launch promotions and offers which can be prepared now.

For strategic PR for rural businesses or advice on using PR and digital marketing to strengthen your rural business contact Source PR on 01829 720789 or email gill@sourcepr.co.uk


We’re all feeling the strain of self-isolation. Whether you’re working from home, a key worker rushed off your feet, or a hassled parent trying to keep your children entertained as well as educated, there’s nobody out there who hasn’t been in some way affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.




As the connected generation we are, one of the ways to keep in touch with wider friends and family that has boomed in popularity in the last two weeks has been the app Houseparty. A little like Skype or Zoom in nature, but with the added ability to play games with your friends, Houseparty has seen a surge in popularity as users look for new and interesting ways to keep in touch with friends far and wide. You can video or voice call with multiple people, do quizzes, draw with friends and chat with ease.


Keeping in contact with loved ones is a vital way of maintaining good mental health; experts put keeping in touch, caring for others and asking for help in the top 10 ways to look after your own mental health.


It looked like Houseparty, along with a few other niche companies, was going to enjoy a rapid increase in success from the COVID-19 outbreak.


That is, until yesterday, when reports from social media began to flood in accusing the app of hacking their social media and bank accounts.

Tweets showing screenshots of email accounts reporting password changes and unusual banking activity began to flood in.

It’s not clear exactly how users thought they could tell the hacking attempts were due to Houseparty, but due to the online frenzy, users were rapidly deleting the app, and their accounts, instructing others to as well.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company. The usage of Houseparty, since the coronavirus outbreak, has increased exponentially. Where once it was a blip in the download charts, it has now grown a worthy rival to Skype: though Zoom continues to eclipse them both.

Google searches for Houseparty have also increased 100% in the past year – almost entirely in this month alone.


Houseparty has now alleged that the hacking rumours are a ‘dirty tricks smear campaign’, and are offering a huge $1m bounty for any proof of its app causing the issues users are said to be facing. A spokesperson for Epic Games, the owners of Houseparty, said, ‘We’ve found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts.’





While social media has become an important tool in holding companies accountable for unethical or unsatisfactory practices, Houseparty’s confidence in its own app security suggests that this might well have been an orchestrated attack on an up-and-coming app.


Speculation has begun to arise on just who might be the perpetrator – but until there’s proof of exactly who it was, it seems that it’s safe to continue using the app.


Unfortunately, social media’s great power has the potential to be used with great irresponsibility, with no corporation or individual too big or small to come under its fire.


At Source, we understand the importance of best practices on social media, including how to avoid misuse and maintain professionalism. For advice on social media, digital marketing and PR, give us a call on 01829 720789, or follow us on Twitter (source_tweets), Instagram (prsource) and Facebook (Source PR).


As more farms are facing the financial crunch, many are looking to diversify and explore new and different options to sustain their businesses and bring in revenues.  Marketing and PR play an important role in supporting these businesses and helping them reach their full potential.

One such example is the growing of cannabis for both medicinal use and as industrial hemp, increasingly being explored by the farming industry.  This venture needs careful marketing and PR to support this initiative as cannabis is a controversial crop; however, it is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition if markets can be secured.

The UK is already one of the world’s largest growers of medicinal cannabis and now the opportunities from growing non-psychoactive industrial hemp are gaining traction as farms look to diversify further. The uses for hemp are wide-ranging and include cooking oil, dietary supplements and biofuels from the seeds and textiles. The stem contains strong fibre which can be used in building materials and even car bodywork panels. Hemp was widely grown in the UK in the Middle Ages when it was used for making sails, ropes and fishing nets and its oil was burned in lamps.

Farm Diversification

Farmers are taking advice on the many regulations surrounding growing cannabis and what makes a suitable site. Hemp requires dry, light soils and thrives in hot weather. It also absorbs carbon and grows quickly, establishing a sunlight-absorbing canopy which blocks the light preventing weeds from growing, therefore pesticides are not required. Hemp aerates the soil and releases nitrogen into it making it ideal for crop rotation. A drawback is that harvesting requires specialist kit.

A government licence is required to permit the growing of industrial hemp. Sites will be monitored by the Rural Payments Agency to ensure plants do not contain over the legal limit of 0.2pc of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive substance of cannabis.

It’s easy to see why this crop is popular with farms looking to diversify as in 2019 the worldwide legal cannabis industry generated around £11.5bn in revenue and this figure is expected to escalate. Prescriptions of medicinal cannabis were legalised last year and are set to rapidly increase. Whilst lucrative, growing high-grade medicinal cannabis to extract CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not straightforward; it is cost-intensive requiring climate-controlled glasshouses: lower-grade industrial hemp is an easier option.

The profits to be made have caught the attention of financiers and institutions. While the biggest profits are set to come from CBD extraction, industrial hemp appears to be a strong prospect if markets are secured for its many and varied products.

For businesses looking for marketing for farm diversification, contact our specialist rural PR division at Source PR for advice on PR, marketing and social media.


PR agencies are often bemoaned for cliché campaigns around specific nominated days, weeks or months, whether National Donut Day, Apprentice Week or Movember, but one that I have a personal soft spot for however is “Random Acts of Kindness Day”.

It’s a great concept and one that helps lift our heads from the daily grind in order to make a small contribution to others that will either bring a smile to their faces or possibly a more profound change.

Ironically it is also the exact day that my son had an horrific accident that put him in a coma for 15 days seven years ago.  It also became a day that opened my eyes to the simple acts of kindness we received as a family from friends, relatives and even people we had never met.

In support of Random Acts of Kindness Day this year, the Source PR team thought it would be great if we led by example and contributed our own act of kindness.

Random Acts of Kindness

So, we are proposing to give six months of free PR support and advice, social media management and content creation to a nominated charity.  We’re encouraging readers of this blog to simply nominate their charity of choice and we can contact them to offer our services as a simple, yet random, act of kindness.

Over the last few years we have been involved in supporting a range of charities as various organisations come in contact with our lives.  I have been lucky enough to have been able to privately raise funds or donate to charity and equally I have been ‘unlucky’ enough to have been at the receiving end of charitable support.

It is not until you are at the point of need that you really understand the incredible work that they so selflessly do.  Some of the charities that have touched my life include:

  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Brain Injury Trust
  • Oscar’s Angels
  • National Autistic Society
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Nominate your charity

If I was to ask readers who are the top five charities that have touched their lives, everyone would be different – there are no right or wrong answers, but just ones that matter to you.

If you have a spare moment, let us know which charity you’d like to nominate via this form or drop me an email at Louis@sourcepr.co.uk and we will do the rest! Keep an eye out on Facebook as in a week’s time we’ll ask you to vote for one of our shortlisted charities.

Nominate here: https://forms.gle/2EoNNTCj8YQhwTCk8

Follow the journey on our social:

Instagram: @PRSource

Twitter: @Source_Tweets

Facebook: Source PR

LinkedIn: The Source


The high standards of British agriculture will be heralded at a London rally organised by the NFU in a bid to make the Government think twice about allowing food into the UK which is produced to lesser standards in any trade deal.  By undertaking a programme of effective stakeholder communications, the farming and food community is set to raise awareness and deliver the results and assurances they need.

The rally, on March 25 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster, aims to secure a commitment that UK standards will be safeguarded in trade deals to be negotiated this year with Europe and the rest of the world.

It will feature speeches from environmental and consumer spokespeople, animal welfare professionals and farming leaders. The message is that UK farmers produce safe, traceable food and this excellence must not be sacrificed in the necessity to strike free trade deals.

MPs will be invited and the event will undoubtedly put pressure on Government to avoid kow-towing to other countries. The Conservative manifesto also pledged to not jeopardise UK animal welfare standards; further influence comes from a letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 60 groups including the RSPCA and Soil Association urging the protection of food standards.

Campaign publicity

Farming is not generally an industry which takes to the streets of the capital to make demands. There’s a swathe of public support for maintaining our food standards and not allowing items such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef into the UK. The unpalatable history of big landowners receiving the largest subsidy payments is now receding, which may also generate support for the industry as it adjusts to provide public goods in return for subsidy payments: this bedrock of support lessens the potential for cries of self-interest to be levelled at farmers.

The publicity campaign surrounding the rally has already succeeded in highlighting the standards of UK farming and coverage in the weeks before the event could add further weight: the power of the campaign will undoubtedly exert pressure on Government.

For advice on successful campaigning and strategic PR, contact the team at Source PR.


Adding income streams through diversification projects is focusing the business brains of many farms and estates in this post-Brexit landscape. And while a new farm shop, glamping enterprise or festival requires concentrated attention, it’s also vital to think about PR and marketing for your rural business to actually tell customers about your rural business or scheme.

People are wanting more from the countryside – more to see, do and experience – and this behavioural change creates opportunities. Estates and farms may be thinking of outdoor film nights, festivals, high-end camping experiences or demonstrations of local goods: these are all great stories to tell via social media and structured PR.

Rural Marketing and brand building

Take the example of creating a high-end product by rearing extensively farmed meat;  research shows that some customers are keen to pay more and travel further to make a special purchase of say, Longhorn beef. The story that needs to be told includes the health benefits of the meat, the welfare enjoyed by the cattle, the rearing system, (e.g. a grass-fed diet) and interesting breed traits. By promoting provenance, you can build a brand.

The benefits of nature are increasingly cited as helping with mental health problems; this offers opportunities for creating low-cost schemes such as walking and cycling routes or woodland glamping. With the possibility of outdoor therapy being prescribed by the NHS in future, these are good stories to tell. Likewise, with broadband and the prospect of 5G opening up rural areas creating opportunities for diverse businesses, it’s important to publicise an exciting enterprise, engaging with the local community as well as broader  promotion.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the detail of setting up a business. A different perspective on reaching out to a wider customer base can be illuminating – that’s where professional PR and marketing come in and can pay dividends.  Get in contact with our specialist rural PR and marketing team for a free business consultation.



If you’re a regular user of social media, you’ll know that so-called ‘Blue Monday’ has not long passed. This extremely successful marketing scheme, originally created by Sky Travel in 2005 to sell holidays, is debunked yearly. Yet despite the pseudoscience, it seems to resonate with people: we have post-Christmas fatigue, aren’t drinking or going out so much, and it’s cold and dark. January continues to be the month in which advertisers for travel companies spend the most money, as the trends indicate that this is when people want to start looking forward to a holiday.


One of the most sought-after destinations, largely popularised by influencers and celebrities, is the Indonesian island of Bali. In 2017, Bali was voted as the world’s best tourist destination by TripAdvisor reviewers. It can regularly be seen in the backdrop of Instagram influencers, and is a popular destination for Love Island contestants past and present. The appeal is clear: once the pricey flights are paid for, the cost of eating, drinking and travelling within the island are low by comparison to more traditional holiday destinations. Money aside, it’s also one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It boasts white sands, blue beaches and waterfalls, to name but a few of its ecological attractions.


The price to pay for popularity?


There are some downsides to the huge surge in popularity for the island. Bali fares better than its neighbouring island of Lombok. Due to Lombok’s Muslim population and governance, it has tighter rules around alcohol, pork and adult entertainment. This severely impacts its popularity. However, the Indonesian government is still pushing for other islands to be visited, since the influx of tourists to Bali is reaching a maximum capacity. Over five million tourists visited the island last year, a million more people than the island’s actual population.


Over-exploitation by tourists has led the Indonesian government to declare a ‘garbage emergency’. It now plans to build ‘ten new Balis’ in order to keep up with the demand for tourism.


A similar incident occurred on the beach of Phi Phi Leh, the beach made famous by the novel and Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. It has now closed until 2021 in order to recuperate and let the wildlife thrive. As many as 5,000 visitors per day came to ‘The Beach’, causing a surge of population that the infrastructure and habitat couldn’t handle.


Social media campaigns to blame?


The over-popularity could be due to the increased awareness of the island’s beauty from social media. TripAdvisor now offers so-called ‘Instagram tours’ around Bali. Does this indicate the true intention of many of its tourists might be less about observation and appreciation, and more about likes and showcasing? Likupang, an Indonesian island similar to Bali, suffers from ‘empty beaches’ despite its beauty. Eliza Borello writes for ABC Australia, ‘With almost no one in the water, there’s a sense tourists are bused to the beach for a selfie and bused back to town not long after […] Beyond the Instagram veneer, rubbish is a problem.’


The nature of Bali may carry its own appeal to Westerners. As somewhere less accessible, and in many cases a less conventional place to holiday, it might be seen as a more ‘exotic’ destination than a Spain, Greece or Canary Islands trip. Its exoticism therefore increases its appeal, and it becomes the more sought-after destination for influencers and young travellers.


New horizons


With any luck, the Indonesian government will be able to curb the over-exploitation of what is a beautiful and unique destination. Whether this comes down to the promotion of islands that are similar to Bali, or creating entirely new destinations, it would be regrettable if an island which appeal stems from its seclusion becomes unable to cope with its capacity for tourists.


Whatever happens, Bali’s success story shows the power of social media and influencers. At Source, we can give you the low-down on the latest in the digital world, including social media and online communications. Get in touch with us on 01829 7208789 to learn more, or follow us on Twitter (@source_tweets), Facebook (@SourcePublicRelations) and LinkedIn (The Source).