More than half of marketers are planning to increase their Influencer Marketing Budget in the next 12 months.
And at least 309 million people are using ad-blockers on their devices*, which proves how important authentic influencers, PR and brand ambassadors can be to your business, instead of traditional adverts.
As a result of this growing trend of Influencer Marketing, Evoke Media Group (which is co-owned by professional journalist and vlogger Sophie Mei Lan) set up Blog Up North network to connect the best businesses, brands and influencers outside of London.
Part of our work through Blog Up North is offering Digital Skills and helping businesses and influencers work together effectively, as well as providing dynamic marketing solutions.
We are running an invite-only Blog Up North Day which is for professional influencers but as it will be useful for exciting brands and businesses, we decided to offer one free place to a business or brand up north.
WIN A PLACE ON OUR EXCLUSIVE INVITE-ONLY Blog Up North DAY!
Are you a business owner? Wanting to find out more about how to Make it in the Media? Do you need Influencer Marketing tips? And learn how to pitch and improve your Public Speaking? Plus find out how to get a book published!
As well as networking with top influencers/bloggers/vloggers/instagrammers...
On Tuesday December 11th BlogUpNorth.co.uk are hosting an event with Leeds Beckett Enterprise Centre in Wakefield from 10am-2pm.
TO WIN A PLACE, EMAIL SOPHIE@EVOKEMEDIAGROUP.CO.UK WITH YOUR CONTACT DETAILS. BY DOING SO YOU AGREE TO BE SIGNED UP TO EVOKE AND BLOG UP NORTH'S MAILING LIST. GIVEAWAY CLOSES FRIDAY DECEMBER 7TH AT 5pm.
* Statistics according to Influencer 2.0 Research on Influencer Marketing.
All-Female Northern Video Production & Media Company short-listed for Yorkshire Post Business Awards
An all-female video and media production company, based in Wakefield and Sheffield, has been shortlisted for Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2018.
Our Press Release:
Evoke Media Group has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2018 in the Diversity category.
Evoke (EvokeMediaGroup.co.uk), which specialises in Video Production, Media Consultancy and Influencer Marketing, has been short-listed for the second year running in these prestigious awards.
The all-female team is led by Multi-Award-Winning Journalist and media consultant Sophie Mei Lan and Bafta-nominated film-maker Daria Nitsche.
Ms Mei Lan said: "We're thrilled to be short-listed yet again with the region's top businesses. And we're very proud to be in the Diversity category as we champion many women in media and technology.
"We are also very proud of our northern roots which is demonstrated through Blog Up North Magazine and Influencer Network (blogupnorth.co.uk) and our new Yorkshire Families (yorkshirefamilies.co.uk) magazine.
"We can't wait for the awards and are wishing all the other finalists the best of luck."
Last year saw a record level of entries into the awards, which were hosted by broadcaster Steff McGovern at a glittering ceremony at The New Dock in Leeds.
The awards honour household names, and help to spot the rising stars of the corporate world. Over the last decade the awards have attracted a host of high profile speakers, including David Cameron, who attended when he was leader of the opposition, and the Chancellor George Osborne. Other senior figures who have spoken at the awards include the former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister.
Mark Casci, business editor of The Yorkshire Post, said: “The esteem and affection with which these awards are held is palpable from the interest and passion they provoke every year."
“In these ever-changing and evolving times, it is essential we celebrate and highlight the outstanding work that so many of our companies do on a day-to-day basis.
“I am continually stating how Yorkshire is a world-class centre for business and nothing sums this up more than these awards."
Read more at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/businessexcellenceawards/
A Channel 4 News investigation has uncovered serious allegations of homophobia and untrained staff at a government funded charity which deals with victims of trafficking and abuse.
Dozens of people who were referred to the City Hearts Charity in Sheffield have been speaking out about the homophobic attitudes of some senior staff, controlling behaviour from management and receiving counselling from people without training.
The charity is run by the Hope City Church and receives government-funding via the Salvation Army as part of the UK’s human trafficking contract (the Adult Human Trafficking Victim Care and Co-ordination Contract to offer specialist support services to adult victims of Human Trafficking in England and Wales), which it was awarded in 2011.
Channel 4 News’ exclusive report features two former residents of the City Hearts charity in Sheffield. One of those interviewed is Ameila – which is not her real name. She was trafficked to the UK from Eastern Europe but having escaped she ended up in one of the charity’s safe houses. She says that as a gay woman she was subjected to homophobia by some senior staff; “One of the staff said like you have the devil in you and you have to change that. They would ban any physical contact for me with people in the congregation well women. I found it quite humiliating as I’m not doing anything I’m not spreading disease. I’m not going to infect them. I’m not going to make them be gay”. She felt like she was in “some sort of weird cult”.
Another of the women is Holly. She’d previously been abused and controlled before being rescued by the police and taken to the City Hearts charity during 2011 to receive help. But instead Holly says that she was “completely controlled,” and claims:
“Although I’ve been abused by abusers in my past, this touches a different spot and is more painful.”
"Within the refuge you’ve got no control they completely control you from your finances to what you eat to your decisions and your communication with the outside world. If you did watch TV it’s monitored but any mail coming in they would open your mail and if they didn’t want you to receive it then it would be discarded"
The investigation has also heard from several former employees who talk about being untrained for their roles. One who features in the programme is Kat, a former lead pastor of Hope City Church and project manager of City Hearts charity. She explains how aged 20 she was put in charge of a safe house caring for vulnerable people, with no training or guidance other than prayer and worship.
She says: “As a shift leader, the person in charge of the whole shift, I remember I once walked into a room and one of the clients had self-harmed so horrifically.
you’re walking into a situation where someone’s lying on the floor and you don’t know if they’re alive or not.”
“There is blood everywhere and you also have a group of ten other women you’re also trying to look after, with one other volunteer.”
"I had to do one to one sessions with them give them advice give them pointers put plans together for them for their progression but with absolutely no training with absolutely no professional kind of guidance in that sense. It was just always thrown on and put in a way of like we'll pray use god or use a bible scripture or something like that." When asked for comment David Gilpin – the senior pastor at Hope City Church - declined to be interviewed but said he's sorry to hear about the allegations and that the charity is investigating. In a statement the charity said: "We seek to uphold the highest standards of excellence and diversity, and have been very disappointed to hear the allegations.” “We are of course investigating these matters and in the meantime it would be inappropriate for us to comment publicly.” “We will in any event review our policies and procedures."
A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “These are deeply distressing allegations which raise serious regulatory concerns and may point to failings on the part of the trustees of the charities in question.” “We are assessing Channel 4’s findings as a matter of urgency and require the trustees to respond to our questions. We will also be engaging with the charity’s funder, the Salvation Army, to ensure it is carrying out appropriate due diligence checks on the partners it works with.”
A Home Office spokesperson said:
“We are deeply concerned by the allegations and are working with the Salvation Army to urgently look into what happened at City Hearts. This includes seeking immediate assurances from the Salvation Army that all those receiving support as victims of modern day slavery are receiving the right standard of care”.
A Salvation Army spokesperson said:
“The support provided to the individuals identified to us by Channel 4 was given outside the specialist support subcontracted to City Hearts by the Salvation Army. However, in light of these allegations we are looking into this situation including bringing forward a regular safeguarding inspection of City Hearts.”
TX: Tuesday 14th March 2018 at 7pm on Channel 4 News.
Watch the news piece here: https://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-investigation-uncovers-alleged-homophobia-and-untrained-staff-at-government-funded-charity
Bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers were taken on an independent brewery tour of Leeds and surrounding areas.
Online influencer network Blog Up North (owned by us at Evoke Media Group) collaborated with Brewtown Tours to put on the event.
Founder of Blog Up North, Sophie Mei Lan, said: “There is so much online talent in the north of England who aren’t being utilised fully as most of the opportunities are down south and, we want to change that.
“So we were thrilled to host our first networking event for influencers in our team to meet one another and to sample some of the finest beers and ales Leeds has to offer.
“Obviously they made a lot of noise about the breweries and Brewtown tours on social media too!”
Brewtown Tours took the influencers to Yorkshire Heart, Quirky Ales and then their final stop for food and drink was at Northern Monk Brewery.
Two blogging and vlogging experts have joined up to host on a practical training course to help businesses, aspiring bloggers and wannabe vloggers.
Trainer and Virtual Assistant Michelle Poole has joined up with
Film-maker and publicist Sophie Mei Lan to run a One-day workshop called "Start your Blog, Boost your Vlog."
Mrs Poole, a Small Business Sunday winner, runs Practical Business Training which is based in Ossett.
She said: "It's really exciting to collaborate with a fellow media expert, to help businesses wanting to utilise blogs and vlogs as well as individuals who are interested in learning the skills as a hobby or as a future career.
"In our 1 day workshop we will share the tricks of the trade.
"So participants will learn all they need to know to start blogging and /or Vlogging."
"The intensive workshop will be very practical so that people will leave with a vlog and blog post as well as a schedule."
The workshop takes place on Tuesday June 20th 10am-4pm at Old Mill in Horbury.
For more information, go to: evokemediagroup.co.uk or email: email@example.com
To book tickets, go to: http://www.practicalbusinesstraining.co.uk/product/start-vlog-boost-blog/
A MasterChef quarter-finalist is set to pop up a fine-dining restaurant at a city centre cafe.
Chris Hale who wowed the judges on last year's BBC MasterChef is preparing to treat the paying public to a Europe-themed supper club at Mrs Atha's. Mr Hale said: "I'm really excited to invite Yorkshire food-lovers to 'A Taste of Europe'.
"You'll be treated to a drink on arrival followed by a sumptuous 7-course meal, taking you on a culinary tour around Europe in the wonderful surrounds of one of Leeds' best cafes!"
Mr Hale, who has launched his own restaurant business Pop Up North since starring in the popular TV cooking show is expecting a sell-out with only 30 tickets available for the fine dining experience.
A Taste of Europe takes place on Saturday June 17th at 7.30pm.
Tickets are just £45 per person which includes a drink on arrival & 7 courses. Tickets are available in advance from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-taste-of-europe-mrs-athas-tickets-34521024313?ref=estw
Any queries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call: 07899767279
The event is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/306581163112853/?ti=icl
--- Ends ---
For press interviews, call Chris Hale directly on 07899767279 or email email@example.com
An online parenting community and business network has been launched in the city "to take the stress out of family life."
Wakefield Mumbler aims to support families by providing relevant local information for free. At its core Mumbler is about supporting local families and bringing together parents and carers from across the district.
And as part of that they want to support parent and child related businesses by offering free and paid for online business listings as well as monthly networking events.
Owner of Wakefield Mumbler Heather Sweeney said: "To join our network your business needs to be listed on Wakefield Mumbler, your business should be based in Wakefield or you live in Wakefield. Mumbler businesses centre around parenting and child related products and services, or a local craft business owned by a parent,. You can also be listed in our trusted trades if our Mumblers recommend you. Full details of how to get your free basic listing or enquire about paid listing can be found on wakefield.mumbler.co.uk.
"We are a small and friendly network and we welcome speakers from any business to come to our networking events to give a speech on a suitable topic for our SMEs."
Previously Wakefield Mumbler's business network has heard from Practical Business Training about blogging and Evoke Media Group has spoken about PR.
Mrs Sweeney said: "We would love to hear from experts in marketing, SEO, IT and anything you think would be of value to our members."
Mumbler is a franchise which was started by mum Sally Haslewood in Harrogate originally as a Facebook group to meet other parents.
But the group quickly grew into also being a website and hosting events.
The hope with Mumbler is to create a sense of community for families in each area with hyper local support and listings.
Wakefield Mumbler’s Mrs Sweeney said: “I launched the Mumbler website and community in Wakefield earlier this year and we have already run events across the district as well as attracting hundreds of parents and businesses to our Facebook groups.
"As a mum myself I understand the daily challenges that parents face.
So I created the business network to help support other parents like me who are running businesses whilst contending with childcare and everything else!
"Although most of our business network members are mums to young children this is not a requirement. We run our meetings on an evening after our children are in bed but this is also to suit people who work in the day too."
Mrs Sweeney hopes Wakefield Mumbler will be a place where families can easily access the local information they need and to find a welcoming platform where they are free to ask for recommendations for groups, services, advice for family problems, ideas for days out and everything else in between.
"I hope Mumbler will take the stress out of family life for others in Wakefield, as Harrogate Mumbler did for me when I was a new mum in Harrogate.”
The social media savvy pregnant mum-of-one also works part-time as a teacher as well as running her new business as a franchisee.
For more information visit wakefield.mumbler.co.uk.
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or attend an event: Either of their family fun days to find out more on July 2 at The Ruddy Duck and a big family fun day in September.
One Woman, One World, One challenge...
An award-winning business woman from Wrenthorpe, Wakefield is cycling across Israel for charity.
Owner of One World Travel Samantha Harvey, 49, has set off on the journey of her life and is the only woman in the group of 50 people who will be riding across 600km of tough terrain.
The seasoned traveller is hoping to raise £6,000 for her chosen charities.
Mum-of-three Mrs Harvey said: "I love a challenge and I am passionate about raising as much money as possible to help communities across the world.
"Although I am nervous about this as I am the only woman in a group of men but I'm determined to do it for the girls."
Mrs Harvey, who set up One World Travel in 2002, had to overcome a bicycle accident and having her bike stolen, before even starting the ride of her life.
But the winner of the People's Choice Award at Wakefield Business Awards 2016, said that she is used to overcoming obstacles and her customers have spurred her on.
Mrs Harvey said: "Everyone has been so generous with their donations and their encouragement, that I'm determined to do this."
The ride which raises money for UJIA (https://ujia.org/about-us/overview/) and Smile for Orly (Facebook.com/smilefororly) starts in the North of Israel, over five consecutive days the team of cyclists will cover 600km to reach the south of the country.
But not one to rest on her laurels as soon as Mrs Harvey touches down on English soil she jets straight off to an international business conference.
But she said business to her is more about helping the community in which she lives.
Mrs Harvey said: "I love Wakefield and I've raised my family here so I try to do as much as I can for the area."
Mrs Harvey has run Wakefield 10K for the hospice and her company One World Travel hosts an annual gala dinner for the charity.
To follow the intrepid entrepreneur on her travels, go to: samoneworld.wordpress.com
Or find her at https://www.facebook.com/samanthaharveyrural/
Two blogging and vlogging experts have joined up to put on an exclusive event to help aspiring bloggers and film-makers.
Professional blogger Sophie Mei Lan, 29, has won awards for blogging about her family's daily life in the city as well as Vlogging (video blogging) about current affairs issues and mental health.
The Sandal mum-of-two started blogging at university and started her own human rights magazine as a result.
Since then, Ms Mei Lan took a break from blogging to focus on her career as a journalist at BBC, Johnston Press and the Daily Mirror.
She said: "I saw blogging as a launch pad into the media industry. I never imagined that I would do it as a career."
But when Ms Mei Lan's second child became seriously ill she left her "dream job" at the BBC to be a stay at home working mum. Ms Mei Lan said: "During the period in which my daughter was in intensive care, I started filming my experiences to help to keep me as sane as possible.
"Then when she was better I made my vlogs into a film which won media awards.
"So this inspired me to start vlogging and blogging about our lives."
Now the entrepreneurial blogger and vlogger runs MamaMei.co.uk in which she shares stories about her own mental health problems, attachment parenting alongside recipes and money-saving tips to help other families.
Ms Mei Lan, who also runs filming and PR company Evoke Media Group, said: "I really wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my work. But I love what I do and it means I get to work with some amazing brands which allows me to stay working from home."
And now she has joined up with fellow blogger and trainer Michelle Poole, from Ossett, to help others get in to blogging and Vlogging.
"It's really exciting to collaborate with a fellow media expert, to help businesses wanting to utilise blogs and vlogs as well as individuals who are interested in learning the skills as a hobby or as a future career.
"In our 1 day workshop we will share the tricks of the trade.
"So participants will learn all they need to know to start blogging and /or Vlogging."
"The intensive workshop will be very practical so that people will leave with a vlog and blog post as well as a schedule.
Mrs Poole who runs Practical Business Training said: "We pride ourselves on hands-on training that's great value and you don't just leave with a tonne of notes - you've also produced lots during the day."
The workshop takes place on Thursday May 18th 10am-4pm at Socialicious Cafe
1a WestMorland Street, Wakefield, WF1 1PN.
For more information, go to: evokemediagroup.co.uk or email: email@example.com
To book tickets, go to: http://bit.ly/2p91zA6
Find on twitter.com/EvokeMG
What the day involves:
How to start Vlogging: the basics
How to frame and shoot your vlog
How to Vlog like a pro
Presenting tips and techniques
Make your first Vlog
Learn about the different types of Blogs
Where to get your content
Leave with a Blog Template
Boosting and Sharing your Blog for maximum exposure
121 Surgery – get your question
For press enquiries:
Contact: Sophie Hale
--------------------------- ENDS ---------------------------
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Why you need to get Vlogging
By Sophie Mei Lan
Blogger & Vlogger at MamaMei.co.uk
Publicist and film-maker at EvokeMediaGroup.co.uk
Journalist at SophieMeiLan.com
We've all watched videos on social media platforms from documentaries on YouTube to funny Facebook lives and viral videos on twitter - but can such videos help you and your business?
The answer is, of course, yes!
Videos can add personality to your brand. You can go from being just a logo to people seeing the voices behind the business and in turn this allows you to connect more with your audience.
Simple but effective...
Vlogging can include Facebook videos, Facebook lives, videos on Instagram and twitter as well as obvious platforms such as YouTube.
Vlogs are more casual than traditional films and promotional videos, but they can be a great add-on to get your message and story across.
It's tempting to use vlogs just to sell sell sell - which is fine sometimes - but really you want people to return to your site because they're getting value from it, and in turn you're gaining their trust.
For example, I co-own a video production and PR company (evokemediagroup.co.uk) so our planned vlogs will include "How to tell your story", "The one Vlogging trick you need to know about," and "Why you need publicity."
Evoke Media Group - evokemediagroup.co.uk
Evoke Media Group produces, manages and publishes multimedia content for businesses and charities of all sizes.
We also offer training in the above areas so these videos are great teasers to what we do.
I also run my own family and lifestyle blog and vlog at MamaMei.co.uk so my target audience here is very different from Evoke.
So my vlogs include "a day in the life of" style videos so people can empathise with our crazy family life as well as vlogs on current affairs that relate to parenting etc.
These vlogs are more casual whereas the Evoke ones tend to be just shot on a tripod and piece to camera whereas the Mama Mei ones encapsulate a chaotic family life where I look far from polished!
So if you run a craft business you probably want people who appreciate the value of crafting and handmade goods. You may want to do vlogs on: "How to start to crochet," "Meet the family behind our business," "How to make a pop-up card," and "Why buy handmade."
If you run an events company you might want to do vlogs on, "How to create the perfect event," "Top 10 event ideas" or "How to be the perfect host for your guests."
Or say if it's a sports related business you might want to do vlogs on, "How to incorporate fitness in your daily life," "How improving the gym can change your life," and, "How to do the perfect home workout." This is something I offer in my online health club and on my Facebook.com/danceschools page for bellydancebySophieMei.com e.g. "How to bellydance whilst doing the cleaning..." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvf_VgF8HBk&t=1s)
To find out more, go to evokemediagroup.co.uk or follow them on twitter and Facebook @EvokeMG
For more on the blogging side of things, go to MamaMei.co.uk or follow her on twitter and Facebook @MamaMeiBlog
Why blogging is big business
Blogging means big business for companies and consumers, with a rising tide of businesses utilising vlogs and blogs.
Why? Well IT trainer and blogging coach Michelle Poole, said: "Brands and PR companies are now approaching bloggers rather than just the traditional media because they want voices that relate to their customers.
"So blogs which fit the niche market they want to target can be a great way of advertising.
"It's not just about the size of a blogs audience, it's also about how engaged their audience is and who their audience is."
These so-called online influencers don't all run traditional blogs either.
As Mrs Poole explains: "Some are micro-bloggers which means they may use just one social media platform to share their story.
"For example Instagram is great for fashion, food and beauty photos whilst twitter can be good for news and short text base stories."
But most bloggers tend to use a range of platforms.
Family, health and life blogger Sophie Mei Lan at MamaMei.co.uk agrees.
She said: "I love each platform for its uniqueness.
"You have to treat them all differently.
"I tend to use Wordpress for my blog posts and then YouTube for my longer form videos.
“Then facebook is my greatest referrer through live video content, photos and sharing other people’s blogs too.”
For more tips and advice, go to: Facebook.com/EvokeMediaGroup
When business budgets are limited, "extra" services such as PR and marketing are often the first to be cut.
But that's a big mistake which some SMEs make said Colette Lowe of Chew PR.
"When there's a down-turn, that's exactly when you need to invest in a good strategy for your business with PR and marketing being a huge part of that."
Mrs Lowe has joined up with fellow industry expert and trainer Michelle Poole, from Ossett, to offer businesses and individuals a smart way to invest in PR and marketing.
Mrs Poole, who runs Practical Business Training which prides itself in providing hands-on training, said: "We are offering people a cost-effective PR and Marketing solution all in one day.
"We will be teaching businesses and individuals the tricks of the trade and helping them to develop a PR and Marketing strategy which they can implement themselves.
“As always our guests on the day won't just absorb information but they'll do and plan some of the work we talk about."
Attendees will create their own Distribution List, and draft their first story.
They will also create their own Marketing Plan and a plan to dedicate time to deliver it.
Mrs Poole said: "They'll be in good hands too because Chew PR has managed the PR and marketing for some big businesses such as the Shackletons which helped them to achieve a 50 per cent increase in their profit.
"Our PR and Marketing course is very popular and dedicating a day on these two items will seriously impact your action."
The next course is on Wednesday April 26 at 9.30am until 4pm at Langham House, Westgate, Wakefield WF2 9SR, costing £150. To book, go to: practicalbusinesstraining.co.uk
Or for more information, call: 01924 580959 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Training on twitter.com/BusinessTrgand Facebook.com/PracticalBusinessTraining
The PR element will enable you to leave with:
A Distribution List
A PR structure for you to follow
Ideas on what stories you have to share
Your first PR piece started (if not finished)
The Marketing element will cover:
Your target audience
The platforms available
What you are going to say, where you are going to say it and how often you are going to say it
A Plan for your Marketing efforts for a month.
A Plan for dedicating time to deliver your Marketing Plan
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Sophie Mei Lan