Beyond Robin Hood: Exploring Nottingham’s hidden gems

By Amber Macey

In the heart of the East Midlands lies a city with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and modern charm.

Welcome to Nottingham! Where every cobbled street whispers tales of legends past, and every corner holds the promise of a new adventure.

Nottingham’s history dates back centuries – renowned for its lace-making industry and the legendary home of the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, the city wears its heritage proudly.

Perched majestically on its rocky throne, Nottingham Castle stands as a guardian of Nottingham’s past. Originally constructed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle has witnessed countless chapters of England’s tumultuous history, from medieval conflicts to royal intrigues. But Nottingham’s history isn’t confined to the castle walls alone. Wander through the Lace Market, where the echoes of Nottingham’s industrial past resonate through the beautifully preserved Victorian architecture.

If you were told Nottingham’s home to over 500 caves going all the way back to the dark ages, would you believe it? Dating back to the medieval times and originally quarried for their sandstone; these caves served a range of purposes from homes, workplaces, storage spaces and even air raid shelters during World War II. Guided tours lead visitors through a maze of passages.

Nottingham also provides a haven of contemporary expression for art enthusiasts. The city is home to several galleries showcasing both local talent and internationally acclaimed artists. One such gem is the Nottingham contemporary, a world-class gallery renowned for its thought-provoking exhibitions and innovative programming. Situated in the Lace Market, this architectural marvel not only houses captivating artwork but also serves as a hub for students and professionals to peacefully work.

For those who revel in the great outdoors, Nottingham offers an abundance of green spaces to explore. Lose yourself in the beauty of Wollaton park, where the grandeur of Wollaton Hall never fails to impress, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Trent. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse flora and fauna of Sherwood Forest – cycle, hike or simply bask in the serenity of nature.

But Nottingham isn’t just about its rich history and cultural offerings, it’s also a city brimming with opportunities for growth and prosperity, especially for students. Home to two prestigious universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, the city boasts a thriving academic community. Compared to other major cities in the UK, Nottingham offers relatively affordable living costs, making it easier for students to manage their expenses. From accommodation to dining out and entertainment, the plethora of offers, means students can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

So, Nottingham is far from just a city – it’s a living, breathing tapestry of history, culture, and opportunity. Whether you’re strolling through the historic Lace Market district or exploring the winding tunnels of the City of Caves, there’s truly something for everyone. It’s a city where tradition and innovation coexist, where the past informs the present and paves the way for future.

Unlocking the power of social media – here’s what brands searching for success should be harnessing

By Tate Foxell, Jennie Holland PR

Social media is constantly changing and evolving, and it can be challenging to stay up to date on the latest trends and insights. Whether you’re an individual user or a business owner, it’s crucial to understand the latest developments in social media to effectively leverage its power.

Here are some of the most significant social media insights to keep in mind:

  1. Video content is key

In today’s digital age, video content has become increasingly popular on social media, with platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube leading the way. It has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to grab the attention of viewers and engage them in a way that text or images alone cannot.

By incorporating this into your social media strategy, your business can showcase their products and services in a more dynamic and interactive manner, with the added bonus of the algorithm favouring video content.

Video content can also be used to share valuable insights and expertise, helping business establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries.

  1. It’s all about UGC

User-generated content is content that is created and shared by users of a particular brand or product. UCG can help provide a more authentic and relatable perspective on a brand or product.

By encouraging customers to share their experiences and opinions through posts, comments, and reviews, businesses can tap into the power of social proof and create a sense of community around their brand.

Sharing user-generated content showcases the authenticity and diversity of a brands customer base, while also building trust and credibility with potential customers.

Not to mention, UGC can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviours, helping businesses improve their products and services based on customer feedback.

  1. Ecommerce on social media

While social media has always been a place for users to encounter promotions, it has now evolved into a marketplace where users can make direct purchases.

With this shift, businesses have a unique opportunity to promote and sell their products or services in the same place, turning their social accounts into lucrative sales channels. Within just a matter of clicks, brands can make sales through a seamless and convenient purchasing process.

Platforms like Instagram shop and TikTok shop have all grown in popularity over the past year, encouraging more brands to try out this new avenue of selling.

Yet it’s important to note, this change also means that social media users are now being exposed to more commercial content, so it is vital that your brand stands out in this competitive environment.

  1. Algorithms

Algorithms determine what content a user sees on their feed. However, these algorithms are constantly evolving, so simply posting content is not enough to guarantee success- it is vital to understand the algorithm to achieve optimum engagement.

For example, Facebook’s algorithm now prioritises content from family and friends over business or promotional content, whilst Instagram prioritises content based on engagement rate, and TikTok’s is primarily based on the users’ interests.

We’ve put together a few ways brands can take advantage of the algorithm:

  • Consistency

The more frequently a brand posts, the more likely its content will be pushed out to its users.

  • Hashtags

Relevant and trending hashtags are an easy way to increase the reach of your content, making your posts far more discoverable.

  • Engaging with your audience

By actively engaging with your audience through comments, direct messages and other forms of interaction, businesses can signal to the algorithms that’s their content is engaging and generating discussion.

So, whether is creating high-quality video content, encouraging UGC, or leveraging e-commerce features, social media presents endless opportunities for growth and success of your business.

For advice on how to grow your company social channels, get in touch with one of our team!

The importance of influencers in PR campaigns

Social media influencers are everywhere today, and subconsciously or not we are influenced by what they say. Followers trust what their favourite influencers say, so working with them is crucial to your marketing strategy for your PR campaigns. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach $16.4B (£13.5B) in 2022.*

What is an influencer?

Influencers, as you may have guessed, influence people via social media by sharing what they do in a day, what they may be buying and their hobbies, typically with a significant following. Not all influencers have millions of followers … nano and micro influencers, for instance, might have between 1,000 and 50,000 followers, whilst celebrity influencers, such as Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande, will have hundreds of millions.

What do influencers add?

Companies will choose the influencers they want to work with based on their business goals. They may want to choose people who reflect their characteristics, such as a baby company wanting to collaborate with a mum; or a company may want to target its audience at an older or younger demographic. When done right, influencers can be the key to boosting a company and its profits.

Successful influencer campaigns

  • Daniel Wellington: In 2011, founder Filip Tysander used $15,000 to launch an influencer campaign on social media, which he now owes much of his success to. In a time when influencers were not everywhere you turned, Tysander took a chance on this new way of marketing, and it paid off. He would exchange a watch to micro influencers in return for a post featuring the watch, quoting the brand. Today, Daniel Wellington is worth an estimated $35.87 million** and partners with the likes of Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner.

 

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 2020 saw the then most followed person on TikTok, Charli D’amelio, collaborate with Dunkin’ Donuts releasing a drink titled ‘The Charli’. Her 95 million followers responded extremely positively to the campaign, and over the next year, Dunkin’ held a competition on TikTok with the #dunkinmenucontest gaining 43.5 million views. Charli and Dunkin collaborated on merchandise that sold out and ‘The Charli Cold Foam’ was released. Since the first drink came out, 3/4 sales skyrocketed; there was a 57% increase in app downloads and a 20% increase in cold brew sales.*** This campaign also allowed Dunkin’ to expand their consumer base to teenagers and children.

 

  • Levi’s: In April last year, the brand worked with six celebrities/influencers, from rapper Jaden Smith to youtuber Emma Chamberlain to climate activist Xiye Bastide, in their ‘Buy Better, Wear Longer’ campaign. For Levi’s, the ad was ‘a call-to-action for Gen Zers, urging them to reuse, repurpose and reduce their consumer footprint.’**** The various industries the influencers came from, and their different supporters, brought a wide variety of potential new customers. After the first half of 2021, Levi’s profits were up 198% … yet another great example of influencer marketing.*****

 

The influencer marketing industry is rapidly growing, so if you are not using this strategy, it may worth your time of day!

Contact our team at Jennie Holland PR for a chat on how influencer marketing could work for your next project.

 

* https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-marketing-statistics/

** https://www.networthspot.com/danielwellington/net-worth/instagram/

***https://neoreach.com/the-charli/

****https://www.thedrum.com/news/2021/04/19/levi-s-enlists-jaden-smith-top-gen-z-influencers-first-global-campaign-3-years

*****https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleykohan/2021/07/08/levi-profits-skyrocket-198-as-denim-trend-continues-to-evolve/?sh=37ef554f4b0d

Marketing trends to transform your strategy

The marketing sector is ever-evolving and at times it may feel overwhelming to keep up with all the tips and tricks to smash your marketing strategy. We know how that feels, so that’s why we have taken the load off for you and compiled some trends we think you should be honing in on.

  • Evoking emotion

Content that evokes emotion or hooks consumers to your message are more likely to succeed. In order to do this, you really need to understand your audience and work out what type of content works for them and what doesn’t. This means exploring with your content and analysing how each post performs, giving you a clearer insight into what your future content should also look like.

  • Utilise video content and live streaming

According to LearnHub, video content is 1200% more successful than other content – meaning that it can generate more shares and likes than both text and image content combined*. Beyond video content on stories and reels, 80% of consumer stated that they enjoy interacting with live videos and streams as this allows them to engage with influencers to discuss products and services in real time.

  • User-generated Content (UGC)

Named one of the most compelling ways to build your brands credibility, UGC is on the rise more than ever as consumers tend to trust in brand reviews made by other customers over claims made by the brand itself. When done right, UGC will drive awareness, increase conversions and social engagement, expand reach, and cost-effectively grow your business.

  • Share your values

Showcasing your brand purpose is essential for growth with 77% of customers claiming that they prefer to buy from brand who share their values**. Consumers have started holding brands even more accountable, and have shifted to mindful purchasing habits (which shows no signs of slowing down). Using your platform to showcase your brand’s values allows your audience to connect with your brand further.

We believe incorporating these points into your marketing strategy will open your brand up to a more engaged and loyal audience – ultimately resulting into more sales and leads.

Do you need help putting your strategy into practice? Get in touch and to see how you can make the most out of your marketing strategy via our email hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk or call us on 0115 998 3048.

* https://www.future-marketing.co.uk/how-to-use-live-video-streaming-on-social-media/

** https://bit.ly/3M7hJk2

How work experience can help you on your career path

Graduating is such a minefield and can be a really daunting time. I have experienced this intimidating unknown twice now. I finished my undergraduate degree in the summer of 2020, which was overwhelming for obvious reasons. And while I knew everyone else was in the same position, it was difficult to not compare myself to those (and only those) who seemed to have their whole life sorted.

Now, I am facing my second experience of graduating. I am at the end of my Broadcast Journalism MA at Nottingham Trent University, a course that I applied to after the pandemic panic took a firm hold of me the first time around.

I knew I wanted to go into media and I figured by gaining more skills and experience in the subject, I would be in a better position a year on. And I definitely am. I am so grateful and glad I took the opportunity to pursue a Masters because I have learnt so many transferrable skills. So, what is the next step for me?

This choice can be huge and frightening, which is why I endorse anyone who wants to do work experience.

Gaining valuable professional experience is a fantastic way to learn more about not only your chosen sector but also yourself and how you work best; your preferred ways to work, your favoured tasks, your passions and what excites you. A placement can be the step you need to make sure that the direction you’re going in is right for you. While academic experience is extremely valuable in so many ways, I think it misses the mark on the learning you can do in a professional setting.

For me, my time at JHPR has shown me how creative and exciting the industry can be and how creativity is something I definitely need in my future career.

For example, I love how social media is all about the users’ and customers’ experience, and how impactful this can be for a business. I spent a lot of time creating social media content during my work experience, contributing to clients’ overall business strategies, considering target audiences and tailoring my work according to each platform. It’s highly rewarding to see the process from start to finish – planning content, writing, creating artwork, scheduling and monitoring, and seeing how well our content performs.

Not only was my time at JHPR valuable in terms of learning about the industry, but I learned so much from being a part of the lovely JHPR team. My ideas and questions were always encouraged and welcomed, and I was trusted and supported in trying different tasks for a variety of sectors, from writing press releases and listicles, to writing and scheduling social media posts.

If I can pass any wisdom on to other students and graduates who are currently wading through the uncertainty is that you can only benefit from a placement.

You will learn and develop the skills you already have and it will give you the confidence you need for your next step. Do research into the sector beforehand so you have an idea of what the placement will bring but also to ensure it’s a sector you see yourself going into. And finally, make the most of your work experience, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, and enjoy!

Interested in applying for work experience at JHPR? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email with a few details about yourself, what you’re studying and why would you like to join us to hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk

By Lucy Hilton

An ode to Nottingham – why we love our city

We are proud to be based in the heart of the bustling city of Nottingham, with so much right on your doorstep.

From quirky bars to charming independent restaurants and historic tourist hot spots such as Nottingham Castle, it’s no wonder the city has seen an increase in the number of people re-locating from the capital over the last few years.

As well as affordable housing, with the average house price in the city now £210,977*, extensive easy transport links and a diverse cultural offering, the city has a lot to offer to its current residents, visitors and those looking to move.

We love the buzz and vibrancy of Nottingham, and that’s why we’re based in the Lace Market, right in the heart of the action.

As things start to reopen – we have compiled a list of the reasons why we love our city, including our favourite watering holes, haunts and beauty spots.

Rich heritage

Nottingham’s rich heritage can be admired all over the city, stemming from the glorious grounds at Wollaton Park, to the historic corners of Nottingham Castle. From the legend of Robin hood, to the surrounding carved caves.

Whether you’re after a picturesque walk around stunning grounds, or seeking something a bit more intriguing, the history of the city covers every aspect.

Bars

Nottingham’s collection of bars is diverse and the city is home to some of quirkiest establishments around, including the likes of Coco Tang, Pepper Rocks and Hockley Arts Club, to name a few.

Wander down the city’s winding cobbled streets, and you can find many hidden gems and independent restaurants – it’s also home to England’s oldest inn, nestled beneath the cliff on which the castle stands, and the views from the outside are incredible.

Nightlife

Whilst it’s evident we are all excited to get back to the dancefloors again, Nottingham is a great port of call for a night out on the tiles. This diverse city is home to an extensive range of clubs and bars, covering all kinds of music genres – from RnB to indie, pop to rock, the choices are endless. Nottingham is also home to the famous ‘Rock City’, renowned for being the UK’s leading live music venue and club.  From club nights to live gigs, we are excited to see it restored back to its former glory, once restrictions are lifted.

Sports

Nottingham is renowned as a sporting hub and is home to Motorpoint arena, Trent Bridge Cricket Club, Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Club – so whether its football, cricket or ice hockey you want – Notts has you covered.

Shop

If you’d rather spend a day perusing the shops, Notts is home to the likes of John Lewis, Flannels, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, as well as The Victoria Centre arcade which houses a variety of retail brands. Many independent hidden gems can be found down the streets just off Market Square, and the Lace Market. One of our favourites include White Rose – a chain of eight vintage fashion boutiques dotted around the city, selling retro items, all in aid of a good cause.

Cuisine Culture

Nottingham’s buzzing restaurant scene offers everything from Italian to Asian fusion, American and beyond, with the likes of Oscar & Rosie, Mowgli and Sexy Mamma Loves Spaghetti – from street food vendors, to fine dining – the city has you covered in terms of dining for all kinds of occasions.

Riverside Views

Running alongside the River Trent, just a fifteen-minute walk from the city is the picturesque Victoria Embankment, with sweeping views of the river and easy connection to great walks along the canal path and to country parks such as Colwick and Holme Pierrepont.

The riverside area is currently undergoing vast regeneration, with several developments under construction such as The Yacht Club, Trent Bridge Quays and The Waterside Apartments, providing central waterside living options for all, nestled in between West Bridgford and the city.

Transport Links

With a tram line running through the heart of Nottingham, rest assured if you’re running late, a tram will only be a few minutes away, ready to transport you to the other side of the city in no time. Offering an airport, trainline and extensive bus routes, there are plenty of travel options for commuters, and trains run from Nottingham to London regularly, the fastest route being an hour and 32 minutes.

*https://www.thehrdirector.com/business-news/covid19/covid-19-accelerates-migration-from-london-as-1-6m-plan-moves-out-of-the-capital/
*Analysis of the ONS’s “Internal migration: by local authority and region, five-year age group and sex” dataset, published 24th June 2020 and covering the period 2014-2019

Optimising work space: The benefits of inviting the outdoors, inside your home

As the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown is now underway, we begin our journey back to normal life (again).

Although, this begs the question – what is ‘normal life’ going to be like? Whilst it’s evident none of us are sure on when our lives will resume as before, due to the ever-changing rules and restrictions, we need to continue adapting our methods of working, socialising and living whilst under these rules, ensuring we do so in a way that enriches our lives and well-being as much as possible.

Whilst the government has stated that employees will commence working from offices again in ‘a few short months’, a recent study found that 89% of participants in the UK would be happy to work from home for at least one day a week, if not more in the future.*

Since the pandemic hit last March, 87% of employees reported their businesses have adapted to hybrid working, and it’s looking likely that organisations will adopt a hybrid working model for the foreseeable, with the workforce divided between working remotely and in the office.*

We understand that sometimes, it can be incredibly difficult to self-motivate at home when in work mode, especially if you’ve been affected by the pandemic burnout. So, we’ve compiled a list of benefits to help you understand why inviting the outdoors into your inside working environment will set you on the right track to a more focused, calm and optimised mind set.

Letting light in

As we step into spring, the sun begins to grace us with its glorious presence. Letting the light into your home creates a more comfortable, breathable environment, allowing your area to feel more spacious whilst connecting us to the outside world. Therefore, our cooped-up space feels bigger and less claustrophobic.

So, open a window, draw those curtains back, and bask in the ambience of natural lighting.

Sunlight exposure

In addition to this, the sunlight also increases our serotonin levels, which provides us with copious benefits such as:  improving our sleeping pattern, helping us to focus better and making us happier. A recent study shows that since the start of the pandemic, 58% of participants sleeping patterns have been negatively affected, therefore exposing ourselves to a generous amount of sunlight is key to our psychological well-being.*

Earthy tones

Dulux’s colour of the year for 2021 has been voted for as ‘Brave ground’, a warming neutral shade inspired by the peaceful simplicity nature presents to us.

After spending a year indoors more than ever before, we have found comfort in being outside within nature, and quite frankly, we crave it.

By introducing warmer earthy tones throughout your house, enables you to create a calming ‘sanctuary’ for yourself, whilst helping to uplift your spirit as a sense of connection to the outside world is created, all in the comfort of your own humble abode.

Sage greens, inky blues and pastel pinks are key shades to help create the perfect palette.

Houseplants

Not only do they add to the aesthetic appeal of a room, houseplants actually provide us with an abundance of benefits in terms of our well-being. It’s been found that house plants improve the air quality around the house. Not only do they transform the carbon dioxide around them into oxygen, but they also increase humidity levels – which is perfect if you’re an allergy sufferer.

Houseplants also increase our productivity levels as air purifying elements help us to balance the levels of CO2 within our bodies.

Finally, if you’re finding yourself suffering from headaches after the end of a tiresome day, houseplants have been found to help reduce levels of ‘formaldehyde’ in the air – which is a chemical found in many indoor environments and is often a common cause of headaches. So put the paracetamol away, and pot the plants instead!*

Natural materials

By introducing natural materials such as wood throughout your household, without even knowing it, you are in fact reducing stress and blood pressure, whilst increasing levels of creativity and productivity.* Who knew?

Ultimately, spending time within nature is the remedy we all need for a rejuvenated lifestyle, but whilst it’s not always feasible for us to enjoy the delights nature presents to us due to hectic work schedules – there are certainly adjustments we can make to our environments, allowing the exposure to enhancing assets that nature poses to us, as much as we possibly can.

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.

References –
Stats – https://voxeu.org/article/working-home-revolutionising-uk-labour-market
*VoxEU, 2021.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/27/coronavirus-boris-johnson-workers-will-return-to-offices-in-a-few-short-months
*The Guardian, 2021.
https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2021/02/15/research-reveals-how-we-really-feel-about-working-from-home/
*Microsoft, 2021.
https://www.realhomes.com/advice/benefits-of-houseplants
*Real Homes, N/A
https://www.creategiftlove.co.uk/blogs/blog/natural-materials-and-biophilic-design#:~:text=By%20incorporating%20natural%20materials%20such,while%20increasing%20creativity%20and%20productivity.
Create Gift Love, N/A

Life after lockdown: How can we look after our mental health now and in the future?

After marking one year since the UK first entered lockdown, we wanted to explore one of the hidden consequences of the isolated lives we’ve all been leading over the past 12 months – the effect it has had on our mental health and wellbeing, and what steps we can take to ensure we continue to cope and thrive through challenging times.  

It has been reported that as many as ten million people in the UK now require new or additional mental health support as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Adrian James, predicting that the lasting effects of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing will be felt for years to come.  

As many of us faced uncertainty in 2020 – be it over our health, employment, living and working from home situations, or through concern for family and friends, the pandemic has understandably sparked a wave of national anxiety, as we grow increasingly eager to return to normality.  

But just as we had to adjust to lockdown life, we will also have to readjust once again when restrictions are finally lifted. Though not an officially recognised mental health condition (yet?)Post Pandemic Stress Disorder is a term being used already.  

Lockdown has presented us with some valuable learnings and opportunities tooin terms of revaluating our lives, identifying our priorities, putting things into perspective and setting new goals for ourselves 

So, what can we do to continue to remain strong through the remainder of lockdown, and get ready for returning to normality?  

We’ve shared our top recommendations to help with moving forward, to ensure we’re prepared.

Work-life balance 

As many workers made the transition from the office to home during lockdown, we adapted and developed new daily routines in order to continue our work from the safety of our homesA stressful time for businesses both large and small, as a flexible and fast response was required to keep companies running smoothly despite the upheaval that closing offices caused.  

Working remotely, though challenging, has revealed some of the qualities that are needed to do it effectivelyIt strips away all of the other ‘stuff’ that goes along with being in an office – the commute, what you choose to wear, the vending machine chit-chat, making sure you shout loudest about how busy you are – instead, it just boils down to the work, and the quality of work, that you achieve in a day.  

This change highlights the importance of a work-life balance, which has become a hot topic of discussion over the last few years, long before the pandemic hit.  

Learning how to switch off at the end of the day and not worry about all the things you have to do the next day, is a real skill – and one that is vitally important to your mental health.   

Little things like switching off your phone, or not checking your emails outside of office hours, will allow you to reclaim some valuable me-time that you can spend how you wish.  

Reach out to loved ones 

Lockdown life meant that many families were separated, unable to travel to visit one another and were reliant on telephone and Skype/Zoom calls to connect. 

The isolation we’ve all experienced from friends and family members can be used as motivation to reach out to those we haven’t spoken to in a while – as a lack of social interaction can remind us how important it fundamentally is to us, as humans. We are sociable creatures, so once lockdown ends, we will all be more grateful than ever to meet up with familiar faces once again.  

Since lockdown has helped to put aspects of our lives into perspective, it may also be the perfect time to reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with – school friends or estranged family members for example  or if you know anyone who has a history of mental health issues, reaching out with a simple message to see how they are doing can be a very powerful way of reminding them that they are remembered and heard.  

Make time for yourself 

Similar to creating a healthy work-life balance, making time for yourself will allow you to enjoy that all-important me-time.  

Instead of sitting on the couch scrolling through your phone or watching your favourite streaming platform, decide to spend your time in a slightly different way. Self-care comes in many forms, and really depends on what you enjoy doing, what relaxes you and what fills you with passion.  

If you have a hobby, or have something you’ve always wanted to get into, take steps to make it happen and spend some time on it each week. 

If you’ve always dreamed of painting – paint, if you’ve always wanted to try pottery – take steps towards making that a reality, whether it’s purchasing a beginner’s kit, or booking a class once they’re (hopefully) open later in the year.  

Set your own goals 

It might not be a new year, but the plan to relax lockdown restrictions over the spring and summer months feels like a reset – a chance to start again. With that in mind, setting goals for yourself for what you’d like to achieve professionally and personally will be a great way to stay focused, work hard and look after yourself.  

There is little point in creating too many goals, as you’re bound to set yourself up for disappointment (how many New Year’s resolutions do we really successfully stick to?) – instead, choose two or three things that you’d like to change or work towards.  

It can be small or large – go for a walk at least once this week, spend two hours studying an online coursetry a new recipe once a week, give up meat on Mondays – it’s up to you, but achieving your goals, no matter how small, is a very rewarding experience and helps you practice self-discipline. 

Celebrate your resilience 

The past twelve months may have taught you something new about yourself or your life – you might have realised you don’t enjoy your job; you need a new car or a new home, you want to start a family – whatever it is, using the time we’ve had in lockdown, staying at home and reflecting on what’s taking place in the world, may have helped to put some things into perspective for you. 

Remember – you’ve made it this far, faced uncertainty and anxiety and that shows true strength. What would the current you say to yourself 12 months ago, having lived through lockdown? Celebrate your resilience, and with hindsight and reflection, allow yourself to realise that you’re stronger than you think.

Useful charities, helplines and websites: 

  • Mind – providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.  
  • Samaritans  free confidential helpline, 24/7, offering support for anyone wishing to talk about problems or concerns they’re experiencing.  
  • Shout UK – free confidential texting service, 24/7, offering support for anyone in crisis. 
  • CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably  a leading movement against suicide, offering support and advice.  
  • The Mix – a leading support service for people under the age of 25 experiencing mental health problems.  
  • Rethink Mental Illness – helping people with mental health issues through local groups and services. 

Lockdown 3.0 and the property market – should the stamp duty holiday be extended?

Despite the uncertainty of the last few months, as well as the government announcing a third lockdown at the start of the year – the property market is one sector that remains strong and buoyant in a period of economic turbulence.

As PR specialists based in the East Midlands, we work with many clients across the country in the property and construction industry, keeping up to date with the latest market news and monitoring its overall performance and ups and downs, to ensure we provide the best service for our clients.

In 2020, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday until 31 March 2021, its aim, to increase public demand for housing and help buyers cut some of the costs associated with getting onto the housing ladder. These efforts to boost the sale of properties during a difficult period proved to be much-needed fuel for the economy.

Moving house during lockdown
Image: www.pexels.com

During the changing lockdown restrictions and circumstances of 2020, the housing market initially suffered a slump during the second quarter when it came to a halt. Following the reopening of the market, pent-up demand saw house prices and sales rise rapidly as people looked to buy and sell quickly and take advantage of the time-limited stamp duty holiday in order to save money.

House prices have since seen a dramatic climb over the last few months – the highest ever in fact – with the average house price in the UK now at a record £253,374*.

As the March 2021 stamp duty holiday deadline looms closer, leading property experts and businesses are calling for the government to extend the holiday to take the third lockdown into account and further drive forward the market.

The positives of extending the incentive would benefit prospective homebuyers and the market as a whole, and given the current lockdown, an extension may be the slice of good news buyers need to take the plunge and complete house purchases.

Despite the housing market adopting a position of ‘business as usual’, the restrictions on staying at home mean that transactions are taking longer – with people unable to complete and submit paperwork quickly, and estate agents, brokers, solicitors and lenders working from home and having to adapt to new methods and practices to accommodate the demand from customers.

Therefore, an extension of the stamp duty holiday would ease some of this pressure, allowing more time for transactions to be completed.

Though there has been some criticism towards the stamp duty holiday, with experts claiming that it may have hindered some buyers from purchasing a home rather than helping them, there is no doubt that the incentive was always designed to be a temporary fix to bolster the market, which seems to have been effective on the whole.

As one of the biggest drivers of the economy, it is seen by many in the industry as vital that the government extends the scheme once more, as we potentially face many more months of national economic instability.

Jennie Holland PR has extensive experience and expertise working with dynamic companies in the property, construction and law industries, including FHP Living, G F Tomlinson, JMP Solicitors, Taggart Homes, ALB Group, Influence, Howard Ward Associates and Land & New Homes Network. We implement targeted PR and digital marketing strategies to bolster your brands online and offline presence; by securing articles with backlinks in high domain authority media and providing a result-driven social media management service.

We can help you become famous amongst your target audiences. Contact us today to start your new year PR journey and let’s meet those targets together in 2021.

*https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1381445/house-prices-rishi-sunak-extend-stamp-duty-deadline

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021 – here’s the music that powers us through working from home

It may be the start of a new year, but the events of 2020 continue to impact our everyday lives.

With many of us spending more time indoors, working remotely and looking after loved ones in our homes, we wanted to highlight one thing that always picks us up, keeps us moving forward and helps us stay motivated – music.

At the end of 2020, streaming platform Spotify released its intriguing ‘Wrapped’ feature, identifying the world’s favourite artists, songs and genres over the last twelve months, and insightful stats including how long we all spend humming along to our favourite tunes.

But what are the most popular music genres to listen to whilst you’re working from home? And what effect can music have on our general outlook, wellbeing and productivity?

Listening to music working from home

From feel-good to fierce, the top genres that got us through 2020 included hip hop, rap, alternative rock, punk and house music. Not surprisingly, mainstream artists and chart-topping tunes were amongst our favourite songs, with The Weeknd’s hit ‘Blinding Lights’ taking the crown for most played song, with almost 1.6 billion global streams.

Our music trends also reflected the unpredictable and unsettling nature of 2020 – as many of us turned to nostalgic playlists to perk us up. The most popular decade of music played was the 1980s – the peak of new wave, electronic and hard rock – perhaps a sign of our collective emotional mindset and effort to seek comfort throughout the year.

In line with the nation’s shift away from the office due to lockdown, the creation of working from home-themed playlists grew by more than 1400%, proving our need for inspiring and motivational music to power us through our new working routines.

Spotify Wrapped 2020
Image: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2020-12-01/the-trends-that-shaped-streaming-in-2020/

From relaxing chill out tunes, to fast-paced and uplifting dance anthems, the music we listen to can really optimise our concentration levels and help with overall positivity. Whether you’re looking for a melody to keep you calm or a beat to get you marching through a project, listening to a variety of music during working hours helps to lift your mood and focus throughout the day.

We can also be inspired by our favourite film soundtracks or classical masterpieces – as often the absence of lyrics can serve as less of a distraction when looking for background music.

Podcasts enjoyed a rapid growth in popularity during 2020, and with The Joe Rogan Experience and TED Talks Daily topping the list – it is clear that we search for content featuring inspirational guests, interviews and ideas delivered straight to our earphones.

So, what are team JHPR’s go-to genres to keep us feeling positive, creative and productive?

Our managing director Jennie loves a bit of 90s dance – love, life and laughter is all she believes!

Senior manager Becky has an eclectic taste in tunes, but you can usually find her singing along to 70s disco – young hearts run free, Becky!

Senior account executive Eloise chooses liquid drum & bass to power through her work – high energy and melodic beats combined, sounds like a winning mix to us.

Account executive Tamara can’t resist some RnB – much success, no stress and lots of happiness is her mantra.

Copywriter Georgina loves some chillstep electronic music to help her stay focused throughout the day – relaxed music = a relaxed mind!

Contact us today at Jennie Holland PR – as your PR agency, we can adapt and implement new strategies, strengthening your brand and business.