A five minute media news update with a little news from the agency too.

Three marketing/media/PR stories. Two agency updates. Read in five minutes.

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A new survey from PR industry title PRovoke, reveals that total PR budgets have dropped by 13% in 2020. The survey of the world's most powerful brand and corporate communicators indicates that the majority have seen budgets remain flat with a significant number of them reporting cuts. More than half (56%) said this was down to the financial impact of Covid-19. Although overall PR budgets are down agency spend appears to be up. PR budgets cover an increasingly wide range of activities. Corporate reputation is the biggest sector with traditional public relations still used by two thirds of the companies surveyed. Paid social media is growing with 36% saying they expected paid social to be a significant area of spend, up from 29% last year and 19% in 2018. Organic social media is the biggest growth area with those investing in organic social leaping up from 29% to 55%. That is also reflected in spending on content development (up from 38% to 45%), data and analytics (up from 24% to 36%) and measurement and evaluation (up from 26% to 36%).
A view from Rule 5...  The Harvard Business along with many other expert sources says that recessions are not the time to cut spending. It is well documented that brands that increase budgets during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.


BBC One’s A Question of Sport has resumed filming at dock10 studios, under new coronavirus shooting guidelines. The longest continually running quiz show on TV was forced to take a hiatus earlier this year, after celebrating its 50th anniversary in January. It’s now returning to the studios to record ten episodes, with Executive Producer Gareth Edwards sharing that new shooting guidelines have led to some big ‘obstacles’ for his production team. For the first time in the show’s history, there will be no live audience. There’s usually about 250 people present, but regulars on the show have said they’re actually finding it more relaxing to take part, likening it to a family quiz on Christmas Day. Also, due to social distancing rules, each team member must now be two metres apart – a major challenge for a show which usually sees teammates work so closely together. New desks were built to ensure that the panellists were socially distanced and the gameplay was tweaked. The long-standing bonus point has now been dropped, due to teammates no longer being able to confer quietly.
A view from Rule 5...
A Question of Sport is just one of many shows that have had to change a long-standing format. It’s interesting to see how TV shows are adapting to this ‘new normal’, from newsreaders forced to do their own makeup, to Perspex screens between actors and clever angles and editing.


Marketing Liverpool is launching a campaign today encouraging visitors to the city region, as part of UK government’s Enjoy Summer Safely programme. They will focus on visitors within a two-hour travel time, promoting Liverpool as a destination for an overnight visit in the coming months. The visitor economy is one of the most important sectors to the region, worth £4.9 billion per annum before Covid and employing 57,000 people. Marketing Liverpool was one of a handful of successful destination marketing organisations taking part in the UK government’s campaign, following a competitive process.
It follows on from the Love Your Liverpool programme, the first stage of the recovery plan which encouraged residents back into restaurants, shops and attractions in July and August. Chris Brown, Director at Marketing Liverpool, said: “While the last couple of months have been encouraging for our visitor economy businesses, we can’t rest on our laurels now. As we head into the traditionally quieter autumn months, it’s vital that we attract new audiences from outside the city region. We will use targeted advertising, encouraging people to tailor their visit and experience Liverpool their own way.”

A view from Rule 5...It's a great campaign but we don't understand why it's part of the government’s Enjoy 'Summer' Safely programme given it is September now.


Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group has appointed Rule 5 as its retained PR agency. The ground-breaking business is responsible for the development and creation of the most advanced wellbeing resorts in major cities around the world and will be bringing the concept to the UK.  Leading on the group’s UK corporate communications, Rule 5 will also be advising on global PR strategy. The role will see the team support with announcements and the ongoing PR programme surrounding Therme Group’s first UK site, with a predicted investment of £250m, due to open in Manchester in 2023. “With Rule 5 we have a partner that shares our belief in wellbeing for all” said Duncan Newbury, VP of Brand Strategy at Therme Group. “They are an integral part of our team, raising our profile and sharing our story as we engage with all stakeholders to bring the Therme Group concept to the UK.”


Rule 5 has launched Twenty Twenty, a publication to help keep leisure and hospitality businesses in the public eye during the pandemic and beyond.  Fixing a spotlight on destinations such as tourist attractions, bars and restaurants, Twenty Twenty features news on how businesses are coping with restrictions and their plans to bounce back. The platform is an entirely not for profit initiative and won’t take advertising or sponsorship. The agency wants to support, not compete, with existing media and the publication will be used to promote all destinations with a story to tell, no matter how big or small.  Rule 5 Managing Partner, Rob Brown, commented: “As a team, we found ourselves with some extra time on our hands, so whilst restrictions are still in place and some of our favourite spots still shut or operating with restrictions – we wanted to try and help keep them front of mind.”


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Issue 53
September 2020