Giant footsteps are coming to Liverpool…!

It’s a very exciting weekend for Liverpool as from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th October, the Giants Spectacular will be taking over the city once again. Brought to life by Royal de Luxe, this year’s story is entitled Liverpool’s Dream and will be the final instalment of the Giants Spectacular saga. Liverpool’s Dream will see The Giant washed up from a shipwreck on the shores of the Wirral and the Little Boy Giant’s adventures through the city whilst he tries to find him.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to visit Liverpool over the weekend and venues across the city are rolling out the red carpets to welcome The Giants and visitors alike. We take a look at some of the best goings on from our clients across the city…

Delifonseca

Delifonseca is set to welcome the return of the Giants with an all-day dockside celebration.

With the Giants set to make their way along the waterfront and down Sefton Street between 10.15am and 4.00pm on Sunday October 7, the restaurant will be opening an hour earlier to kick-off the merriments. With service starting at 8am, guests can indulge in a proper, hearty breakfast to set them up for the day’s activities.

Bystanders can enjoy Delifonseca’s outside BBQ, exclusive for the Giants Spectacular, which will be serving Hot Chorizo and Halloumi Sandwiches alongside Hot Mulled Cider and Mulled Apple Juice.

With a number of road closures throughout Liverpool this weekend, Delifonseca is the ideal place to cycle to whilst the Northern Line at Brunswick Station will remain open and is just a two-minute stroll from the restaurant.

Throughout the weekend, Delifonseca will be open as usual serving a range of dishes from its Blackboard Menu.

For more information visit www.delifonseca.co.uk

 

The Brink

The Brink will be giving The Giants a proper Liverpool welcome as they make their way down Duke Street this Friday.

The dry bar and café, owned by national charity Action on Addiction, will be serving up Giant Scouse Pie with Chips and Green Beans for £6.95 for local residents and tourists alike.

The Giants will be passing close to The Brink between 4.15pm and 7.15pm as they make their way from Princes Park to Queen’s Wharf for their evening sleep.

As well as Giant Scouse Pie and Chips, The Brink will be serving its regular menu, featuring paninis, burgers, and meals for the little ones from their Kids’ Menu.

For more information visit www.thebrinkliverpool.com

 

Silk Rd

Silk Rd are preparing to celebrate the return of The Giants for final time in Liverpool this weekend.

The upper story restaurant located in Beetham Plaza will be offering prime viewing opportunities on both the Saturday and Sunday as multiple Giants, including the mischievous giant dog Xolo, pass along The Strand.

Spectators can enjoy delicious tapas and small plates whilst the Giants pass by or warm themselves up after watching them down on street level.

The venue will be serving 3 for 2 on tapas until 6pm all weekend from Thursday to Saturday alongside a variety of drinks deals. Kid’s meals are priced at £5, making Silk Rd the perfect spot to enjoy the Giant Spectacular with family and friends.

The Giants will be leaving Liverpool for the final time along The Strand from 10.15am on the Sunday morning.

For more information visit www.silkrd.co.uk

 

Trattoria 51

To help wish the visiting Giants a proper farewell, Trattoria 51 will be opening its Liverpool restaurant this Sunday exclusively between 11am and 7pm.

The Giants will be departing Liverpool for the final time, making their way along The Strand towards Stanley Street between 10:15am to 12pm.

Spectators can then make their way to Trattoria 51 on Old Hall Street to warm up and enjoy its A La Carte menu which includes dishes such as authentic Italian pizzas with a variety of toppings and home-made pasta to name a few.

The Prosecco and Fizz bar will also be serving up classics like the Kir Royal and Aperol Spritz for those looking to celebrate the occasion.

For more information visit www.trattoria51.com

 

Tiger Rock Hawker

Tiger Rock Hawker is set to be right in the heart of the action this weekend as the Giants make their way through Liverpool.

Multiple Giants, including the new Little Boy Giant, will be in and around the city close to Tiger Rock Hawker’s central location as they make their way through Castle Street, Dale Street and Victoria Street all day on Saturday October 6 between 10am and 5:45pm.

Spectators can work up an appetite following the Giants through Liverpool’s streets before heading to Tiger Rock Hawker on North John Street to enjoy some delicious, fresh East Asian cooking.

A range of dishes will be available from the restaurant’s regular menu including Suis Mais, Chilli Ribs, Thai Beef Salads, Green Curry, Char Sui Rice and Pad Thai to name just a few.

For more information visit www.tigerrockhawkerliverpool.uk

Christmas comes to Pink Media HQ!

Nope, we can’t quite believe it either – festive fever has officially hit the Pink Media office! Ideal for party planners or fellow early-birds, our clients have began to announce their Christmas offerings.

Read on to find out more about what’s going on this December in venues throughout Liverpool…

 

Leasowe Castle

Leasowe Castle is set to celebrate Christmas with seasonal merriments ideal for the whole family.

The 16th century Wirral venue will play host to a range of culinary packages including Festive Lunches and Afternoon Tea.

‘Festive Lunch’ comprises three courses including starters such as Pumpkin & Fennel Soup and Chicken Liver Pâté with Homemade Chutney & Toasted Brioche followed by Traditional Turkey with All The Trimmings or Winter Vegetable Wellington. Diners can indulge in warming winter desserts including Chocolate Brownie with Dark Chocolate Sauce or Classic Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce & a Berry Compote.

‘Festive Afternoon Tea’ combines traditional Finger Sandwiches, Scones and Cakes with a selection of Loose Leaf Tea, all with an appropriate yuletide twist. Sandwiches include fillings such as Roast Turkey & Cranberry whilst Scones are served with a Cinnamon Sweetened Cream.

Festive Lunches are priced at £18.95 per person and Festive Afternoon Tea is priced from £16.95 per person. Children’s options are also available.

For more information or to book visit www.leasowecastle.com or call 0151 606 9191

 

Trattoria 51

Trattoria 51 will be re-introducing its trio of festive menus, which are aptly named after the colours of the Italian flag, in the form of ‘Menu Verde’, ‘Menu Bianco’ and ‘Menu Rosso’, all available between November 26 to December 24.

The ‘Menu Verde’ and ‘Menu Bianco’ boast Italian Antipasti appetisers and include delectable main dishes such as Slow Roast Pork Porchetta, Grilled Seabass Fillet with Vegetable Risotto and Homemade Goats Cheese & Sundried Tomato Ravioli served with Courgettes and Cherry Tomatoes, alongside sumptuous desserts including White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake and Zucotto Panettone to name a few.

The indulgent ‘Menu Rosso’ offers mains such as Slow Cooked Lamb Shank with Red Wine Sauce, Creamed Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables as well Fillet of Beef Mignon with a Green Peppercorn Sauce.

The ‘Menu Verde’ is priced at £15.95 per person, the ‘Menu Bianco’ is priced at £19.95 per person and the ‘Menu Rosso’ is priced at £29.95 per person.

For further information or bookings visit www.trattoria51.com or call 0151 236 4739.

 

Delifonseca

Delifonseca is set to serve up a multitude of festive-inspired dishes in the run up to Christmas.

The Dockside eatery is set to launch its indulgent Christmas Menu on December 1, offering diners three-courses of seasonal favourites. As part of a Sharing Starter Platter, diners can tuck into Savoury Christmas Puds, Akvavit Cured Salmon and Delifonseca Cured Bresaola to name a few, whilst main course options include the likes of Slow Braised Brisket Beef, Fillet of Sea Trout with Buttered Spinach and Artichoke Puree or Persian Spiced Cauliflower Steak.

Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy a selection of yuletide desserts including Poached Pear with a Mulled Wine Reduction & Bramble Sorbet and Baileys Crème Brûlée served with Cinnamon Shortbread.

The Delifonseca Dockside Christmas menu is available between December 1 and December 24 and is priced at £35.00 per person.

For more information visit www.delifonseca.co.uk or call 0151 255 0808.

 

Suites Hotel & Spa

Suites Hotel & Spa is offering its guests a real festive treat in the form of its seasonal Afternoon Tea offering.

Ideal for yuletide get-togethers with friends and family or a well-deserved rest after a Christmas shopping trip, the package includes Handmade Sandwiches, Freshly Baked Fruit Scones, Festive Cakes & Fancies and Freshly Brewed Tea & Coffee to name a few.

Festive Afternoon Tea is priced at £14.95 per person or £19.95 per person with a glass of fizz.

For more information visit www.suiteshotelgroup.com

 

Tiger Rock Hawker

Tiger Rock Hawker is set to welcome the festivities with the launch an East Asian-inspired Christmas Menu.

With a duo of locations in the heart of Liverpool City Centre and on Smithdown Road, close to the popular Allerton area, the eatery will be celebrating the season with a three-course set menu boasting a delectable selection of meat, fish and vegetarian options.

Tiger Rock Hawker’s includes dishes such as Turkey & Pork Cakes and Chilli & Garlic King Prawn Tempura followed by the likes of Steamed Monkfish Fillet with Ginger & Chilli, Thai Style BBQ Chicken and Vegetable Massaman Curry all served with a portion of Jasmine Rice. Diners can indulge in a delectable dessert in the form of Banana Fritters with Cheshire Farms Coconut Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce.

Tiger Rock Hawker’s three-course set Christmas menu is priced at £25 per person.

For more information about Tiger Rock Hawker visit www.tigerrockliverpool.uk or call 0151 734 1496 (Smithdown Road) or 0151 236 7655 (City Centre) to book.

 

Silk Rd

Silk Rd is set to host a very culinary Christmas with its festive three-course menu, inspired by dishes from the Pacific to the Mediterranean.

Diners at both the Beetham Plaza and Heswall venues will be treated to a consortium of starters including Mushroom Croquetta, Halloumi Saganaki and Chicken Satay before indulging in mains such as Cauliflower Steak, Lebanese Rolled Turkey and Fillet of Sole topped with a White Wine Sauce to name a few. To conclude the merriments, dessert will be served in the form of Petit Fours, a selection of bite size treats.

Devised with parties of four and more in mind, Silk Rd’s Christmas menu is priced at £24.95 per person and is available between November 26 and December 24.

For larger groups of 10 or more looking to secure their Christmas party venue, bookings made before October 14 will receive a £50 voucher, redeemable between January 1 and November 30 2019.

For more information visit www.silkrd.co.uk or call 0151 345 3536.

Pink Media Bloggers’ Evening at Chilli Banana

Here at Pink Media, we love our local blogger community and you may have spotted us hosting our regular Bloggers’ Evenings at some of our client venues across the city.

Earlier this month, we headed to our the popular Lark Lane restaurant Chilli Banana to introduce some of Liverpool’s top food and drink influencers to the art of true Thai cooking.

With the theme ‘Thai isn’t just Pad Thai & Green Curry’, we showcased some of the restaurants most popular menu items including refreshing cocktails followed by a cooking master-class from the restaurant’s founder, May.

During the evening, our influencer guests had the chance to network with one another and find out more about each other’s blogs and work and to share top tips when it comes to curating the perfect blog.

To end a fantastic night, all of our guests headed home with a personalised Chilli Banana cookbook to try out some new favourite recipes from the comfort of their own homes. We can’t wait to find out what they’ve been cooking up at our next event!

Check out some of our favourite photos…

If you’re a North West blogger and haven’t connected with us yet, be sure to drop us a line on rsvp@pinkmedia.co.uk and we’ll keep you in the loop about any of our future events!

Let the fun be-gin for World Gin Day!

With World Gin Day taking place this Saturday (9th June), we take a look at some of our clients who are celebrating with delicious cocktails and concoctions…

 

Delifonseca

Delifonseca is celebrating the upcoming World Gin Day (Saturday 9) with a consortium of unique and interesting gins available in its award-winning Food Hall.

The foodie-establishment has recently welcomed its ‘new gin kid on the block’ in the form of the Three Graces Pink Rose Gin, which pairs perfectly with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic and cucumber and rosemary garnishes.

Also available are options from The Ginsmiths of Liverpool’s Merchant Navy Gin, Turncoat Cascade Gin and Liverpool Gin in flavours such as Valencian Orange.

Proprietor of Delifonseca Candice Fonseca said: “Summer in Liverpool certainly tastes like gin, and what better way to kick-start the merriments than with World Gin Day celebrations taking place this Saturday. To mark the occasion, we’re stocking some of Liverpool’s favourite spirit brands, allowing our customers to mix, match and experiment when it comes to different tonics and toppings. I’ll have another one, please!”

For more information about Delifonseca visit www.delifonseca.co.uk

 

Leasowe Castle

Leasowe Castle’s in-house Wreckers Bar will be treating customers like royalty this World Gin Day (June 9).

Alongside serving up the locally-brewed Tappers Gin, which is made in Wirral, the castle is offering a variety of gin-based cocktails including Martini, Long Island Iced Tea, Negroni and Gin Old Fashioned.

Operations Manager Joseph Williamson said: “The team at Leasowe Castle loves all things local and we’re excited to introduce Tappers Gin to both our resident and non-resident customers alike.

“On the novelty day, we’ll also be serving up a range of flavoursome gin cocktails, while our wide selection of spirts can be enjoyed in the classic gin and tonic form.”

For more information about Leasowe Castle visit www.leasowecastle.com

 

Silk Rd

Silk Rd is letting the fun be-gin this weekend as part of World Gin Day (June 9) celebrations.

Throughout the day and night, the restaurant will be offering two-for-one Gin & Tonics across its variety of gins available.

Owners Chris Williams and Javier Mellado said: “Here at Silk Rd, we love the chance to celebrate an occasion and World Gin Day is certainly no different.

“With the weather set to stay warm throughout the weekend, what better way to enjoy our exclusive offer than at our Liverpool site’s newly opened outdoor terrace? See you at the bar!”

For more information visit www.silkrd.co.uk

 

Suites Hotel & Spa

Suites Hotel & Spa is preparing to celebrate World Gin Day (June 9) courtesy of its deliciously exclusive Gin Menu.

Served throughout the award-winning venue, there are a range of gins available from the popular Tanqueray to the local Liverpool Gin and even the limited Arber – offering something for everybody to enjoy.

In order to create a match made in heaven, the venue is also serving up a selection of classic and flavoured Fever Tree tonics.

Managing Director Lyndsay Stanistreet-Tyer said: “Here at Suites Hotel & Spa, we’re looking forward to letting the celebrations be-gin this World Gin Day and can’t wait to be sharing our delicious Gin Menu with our residents and non-residents alike.

“Our expert bar team have curated a menu of eight refreshing gins offering a consortium of tastes and flavours. When paired with our tonics, there are so many combinations to enjoy and there’s no better opportunity than the official annual celebration of the nation’s favourite spirit.”

Gin prices start from £3.50 for 25ml.

For more information visit www.suiteshotelgroup.com

 

Trattoria 51

Trattoria 51 is adding a classically Italian twist to World Gin Day celebrations this Saturday, June 9.

To mark the calendar day, it’s exclusive ‘Gin Sweet & Sour’ cocktail will be available, comprising Gordon’s Gin, Grenadine and Cranberry Juice.

General Manager and Co-Owner of Trattoria 51 Toni Karemanaj said: “Cocktails are certainly our speciality here at Trattoria 51 and for us, there’s no more fitting way to celebrate World Gin Day than with a signature cocktail to add to our specials menu.

“The ‘Gin Sweet & Sour’ is ideal for a summer afternoon garnished with raspberries and blueberries and is available for one day only!”

The cocktail is priced at £6.95.

For more information visit www.trattoria51.com

Does the Bank of Mum & Dad need its own bank manager?

Guest blog on behalf of our client Parsonage Financial Planning

Following the news that the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’ is officially now the ninth biggest mortgage lender in the UK, Managing Director of Parsonage Financial Planning Flora Maudsley-Barton and Director Malcolm Wallace explain the importance of careful financial forecasting while taking a look at how helping a loved one on to the property ladder could really cost you.

With over 60% of under 35s seeking help from friends and family to purchase their first home, how can parents ensure that they are in a position to support their children whilst protecting their own assets in the long-run?

Flora said: “It’s no secret that property prices are continuing to rise across the board, and it’s the seemingly unobtainable 10% deposit that keeps would-be first-time buyers off the property ladder and has spawned the modern ‘generation rent’. It is understandable that parents want to help where they can, but it is crucial that they are aware of how much they can afford to give and how best to gift money to ensure that both parties reap the benefits.

“Last year, a whopping £6.5b was loaned or gifted to those purchasing a property from friends or family, with parents torn between wanting to help out where they can without handing home-ownership over on a silver platter. This covers a range of family circumstances, with some able to pay forward the cost of a home to their children, while others are looking at loopholes which mean that cash is only parted with for a set period of time. With so many routes to take and options to consider, having a plan in place to guarantee a level of financial security to the next generation is essential and eliminates the risk of parents being left out of pocket later down the line.”

Malcolm said: “At one end of the spectrum are the parents who are fortunate to be in a position to simply gift a property deposit (or even the entire value of the home) to their children, and though this may appear to be the most straight-forward answer for those who can afford it, there’s still lots to think about. For example, the mortgage lender will need proof in writing from the parent that the deposit was gifted (i.e., they won’t be asking for it back!), and if the parents’ assets are above a certain threshold, inheritance tax could be payable on the sum if either parent were to pass away within seven years. At this point, we also sit closely with our clients and make a full, detailed analysis of projected and predicted spending in the coming years to ensure that parting with a lump-sum of money now won’t affect them in the future.

“For parents with cash in savings that they can afford to part with in the short term, but may need access to further down the line, there’s a plethora of options available ranging from the likes of ‘Springboard Mortgages’ available from one of Britain’s leading multinational investment banks, whereby the 10% loan is released (with added interest) after 3 years right through to joint mortgages (shared between the parent and child). It’s worth bearing in mind that the higher the LTV (loan-to-value) on a home, often the higher the interest rate on the mortgage so here we’d recommend looking carefully at all of the available options before making an informed decision. This is where we work closely with clients to find the solution that best suits them and their financial decision, with typical charges being around 0.1% of the total loan, averaging £200 depending on individual circumstances.”

Flora added: “Above all, we advise our clients who are looking to help out with getting their children on the property ladder to consider their own financial forecast, too – although gifting a lump-sum of cash may not feel like such a hit now, will this pocket of money be something you may need for yourself further down the line? For those with younger children, does it make sense to utilise efficient financial planning to prepare for such scenarios later in life?

“Wherever you may be in life and however your finances may sit, it’s always worth taking an objective look at your financial future to make sure that getting someone else on to the property ladder doesn’t see you fall further down the rungs. Although it may seem like a lot to take in, we would encourage anybody who is currently looking to purchase their first home to consider planning ahead for their own children, preparing for the future and alleviating any monetary concerns in the years to come.”

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For more information visit www.parsonagefinancial.co.uk

What is SEO and why is it important for my business?

Google now processes around 40,000 search queries per second, and with so many businesses popping up across the internet, how do you make sure yours is the one that gets seen?

The short answer is by using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which by definition is ‘the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results’. Effectively, a search engine such as Google ‘optimises’ the most relevant website results to a user’s search, ranking them in order of best to worst on the page, and the higher your website appears, the more likely it is to be visited.

Using SEO for business is a long and ongoing process that needs to be carefully considered to achieve the best results. For our latest blog post, we’ve created a fictional tailoring business based in Liverpool to explain the basics of how a business can achieve ‘Search Engine Success’.

The first step in creating an SEO campaign is research. If a potential customer isn’t searching for your business by name, then what are they looking for? A business needs to pick the search terms or phrases its clients are searching for, for example, for our fictitious business, these may be: ‘Liverpool, Tailoring, Men’s Suit, Bespoke Suit, Handmade Suit, Wedding Suit, Alterations’.

From here, it’s good practice to investigate your competition. Using your keywords and phrases, head to Google (or any other search engine) and enter them in – the top results are your competition. Take a look at the key words they’re using and the content on their websites to see what they’re doing that you aren’t.

Now you’ve researched a little into SEO and what it can do for your business – how do you put these tools (keywords, phrases) in to practise to boost your business’ online presence? Content!

Step two is content creation, also referred to as content marketing, which can manifest in a number of formats. Content is by far the most important step when it comes to becoming ‘Search Engine Successful’ – the copy on your site needs to be engaging, informative and coherent while ticking as many of your keyword boxes as possible. Starting with re-wording your existing web copy to include all of your keywords, there are a number of ways you can begin to encourage a search engine to correlate your website with your search terms.

Search engines favour websites whose content is regularly updated, and the best, most SEO efficient way to implement this is by blogging. Uploading regular blogs to your website enables you to not only utilise more of your keywords and encourage more SEO, they also allow you to talk directly to your target customers and promote your messaging such as company news while profiling your business as an expert within its field. For example, our tailor may blog about ‘Top Tips for Choosing a Wedding Suit’, ‘A Day in The Life of a Tailor’ or ‘Six Suit Styles to ‘Suit’ Every Man’. Not only are these informative and interesting to the reader, they’re ticking a lot of boxes when it comes to keywords and phrases.

From here, it’s good practice to shout about the fantastic content you are creating, and the best tool for this is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Websites with analytics tools can also view where its traffic is coming from, and it’s always interesting to reflect on just how many visitors come to your website by finding its links on social media.

The finally puzzle piece in our beginner’s guide to SEO is link-building. Creating fantastic content is all good and well, but what about making sure other people see it? For example, linking to your other web-pages within your posts – if you’re blogging about your ‘Top Tips when choosing a wedding suit’, link to website pages of your past work, other relevant blogs about the topic and of course, your ‘Wedding Suits’ page.

Pink Media’s extra tips and tricks:

Whilst content marketing is undoubtedly the most important factor when it comes to boosting your search engine rankings, take a look below for our extra tips to help you sneak in a few extra keywords and work your way up the Google results.

  • Hide your keywords in the back-ends of your website – If your website or blog posts contain images, name them! Rather than using the generic image name you have on file, such as ‘IMG2018’, rename the files things like ‘Bespoke Wedding Suit’ or ‘Handmade Tailored Fitted Blazer’. Your website visitors won’t notice these – but Google certainly will.
  • Use keywords in the URL as well as the post – For example, naming your blog post’s latest URL pinkmediasliverpooltailor.com/latest-blog will significantly underperform in comparison to www.pinkmediasliverpooltailor.com/importance-of-tailoring-your-wedding-suit

If you’re keen to find out more about Search Engine Optimisation or the digital-marketing strategies we use to boost website engagement, get in touch with a member of our team or call us to arrange a coffee.

We’ll also be at Suites Hotel & Spa on Wednesday 16th May hosting our very own Online Marketing Masterclass with Knowsley Chamber. From blog writing to social media and, of course, SEO, we’ll be talking tips and tricks for online success and answering questions from attendees. Find out more or sign-up to the event by visiting Knowsley Chamber’s website

Prolific North’s The Wrap: Liam Bailey, Director of Maxweb

It’s been an interesting week for virtual reality as vTime has firmly put Liverpool on the map by securing funding for VR platform while The Grand National utilised new technology with the announcement of a screening of a virtual race between past and current contenders.

Director of Maxweb Liam Bailey gives his take on the tech headlines of the last seven days as part of Prolific North‘s ‘The Wrap‘ feature…

The Wrap: Director of Digital Agency Maxweb Liam Bailey

I couldn’t help but notice some common themes making headlines this week, with one hot topic being Virtual Reality.

VR is still a somewhat scary enigma to many (The Matrix springs to mind), but nobody can deny that it is slowly but surely dominating tech news. Can we expect a takeover in the years to come?

Specialist social networking company vTime is putting Liverpool on the map after securing a cool £5.4 million in funding for its VR platform. It is phenomenal to hear that the interactive platform has attracted over a million downloads, which suggests to me that we are seeing the start of a virtual revolution.

Sticking to Merseyside, it seems that The Grand National is also utilising new technology with the screening of a virtual race between champions of old and this year’s top contenders. Is this simply a novel gesture or is it scientifically accurate? It will be interesting to see if it can predict the results of Saturday’s race (after successfully placing Cause Of Causes in 2017) and even more so, if the results of a virtual race will have a stake in the betting odds… watch this space.

One story that particularly struck me was the news that developer roles are experiencing a 16% pay rise following a skills shortage. Developers are certainly in demand at the moment and we have seen this first hand for ourselves. However, I predict that the tide will change, and I expect to see more of the younger generation opting for a digital career, which I hope will result in an increase the number of developers and coders in the job market.

It’s fantastic to see Prolific North getting behind ways to nurture such new talent as part of the University Entrepreneurs Grant business competition. It is also so refreshing to see the variety in each of the shortlisted candidates’ business ideas, which I think completely captures the millennial consumer market. As a fellow entrepreneur, I am excited to see initiatives like this in place and wish all of those competing the very best of luck!

The North seems unstoppable at the moment and the rise of the Northern Powerhouse continues as we see Indian tech giant Tech Mahindra launch its Manchester base. Not only will this business move create new jobs in the sector, it also offers some reassurance in what can be described as an uncertain time for the UK economy – the region remains a force to be reckoned with.

And finally, the Prolific North Awards 2018 has released its highly anticipated shortlist – and we are delighted to have made the list! It is amazing to see so many companies getting involved and it certainly demonstrates the incredible talent amongst us.

From the whole team at Pink Media, we’re wishing Maxweb the best of luck in the upcoming Prolific North Awards 2018!

What I learned… about styling a Big Four Fashion Week show

Andrew Manion, of AJM Hair in Liverpool, shares his need-to-know tips after leading his first Big 4 fashion week show this February…

“I’m certainly no newcomer when it comes to planning and working on fashion shows, but up until this season, I’d always been involved in multi-designer presentations. Such events are usually spread over a number of days, and can feature up to eight shows per day, meaning that it’s logistically impossible to plan a unique hairstyle for every designer’s collection. This type of format requires the skill of being able to create quick and simple looks on models, with no more than two styles per day – when models have to quickly change between runways, there’s often no time to style a whole new look!

Working on a single-designer show for Milan Fashion Week, however, proved a totally different experience. Here are the key things I picked up during what turned out to be a career highlight…

KNOW YOUR BRIEF
When faced with a new project, it’s easy to get carried away and rush to get hands-on straight away. Instead of throwing yourself in at the deep end, it’s always important to take the time to fully understand the brief at hand.

The first step in my involvement at Milan Fashion Week was meeting with the show’s designer, Chanel Joan Elkayam, whom I had worked with previously in 2014. We discussed exactly what our aims were and the practicalities of how we would create the look required for the models. To compliment the outfits, we knew that we wanted the hair styling to have vintage elements and one of our key decisions was that we didn’t want to use hair extensions. By taking time at this early stage to pinpoint what was needed to bring our vision to life, it helped to inform future decisions (such as castings) and made pulling together a consistent look across our 30 models that much easier.

BE ADAPTABLE
Every head of hair is different, and it’s vital to be flexible and ready to face any challenges that may come your way when considering styling options for a diverse line-up of models . For example, when researching and putting together a mood-board for vintage hairstyles, it was obvious that many classic looks were suited to short hair, yet a number of our models’ hair was very long. While this was initially a challenge, we adapted our plans to encompass four styles rather than two, enabling us to create looks that better suited the different hair types and lengths of the girls who would be walking in the show.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY
When working within a large team, communication should be your main consideration. You all want things to run as seamlessly as possible, and keeping in touch regularly with your colleagues ensures that there are no surprises when show day arrives. It also lets each member of the team rest easy in the knowledge that everyone is working towards the same goal. In the twelve weeks running up to the Milan show, the team and I shared over 100 images and ideas.

From there, I carried out over 20 practice styles within the salon and invited Chanel to come and see the looks in person to discuss logistics, alternative possibilities and any issues that had arisen. It’s key that your clients understand your process and the way you work.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
For any big event – whether it be a fashion show or a wedding day – practice makes perfect when it comes to styling. Ahead of the show, I liaised with my hairdressing team at AJM Hair so we could practise and prepare for our landing in Milan. With four different hairstyles to master, we had to look closely at technique. We considered different hair types and textures and experimented with products from our sponsor, Maria Nila Stockholm, who also provided products in the goodie bags for show attendees. By working ahead of time, you can rule out any issues and errors, which is key when you know you’ll be working to a tight schedule.

USE YOUR TIME WISELY
Be realistic about your timeframes and consider any factors that may alter them. You may have the tools to create an elaborate and ornate up-do, but will you really have time on the day to replicate this across 30 models? As Chanel’s show took place in the middle of the Big 4 Fashion Week calendar (covering New York, London, Milan and Paris), many of our models were flying in from all over the world. As a result, we adapted our usual schedule, with fittings taking place well in to the night ahead of the show.

STAY CALM
When the big moment arrives, it’s important to relax, stay calm and really enjoy seeing your work come to life. As with any fashion show, nerves and excitement build up backstage before the models walk the runway. At this point, it had taken twelve months of planning for a team including models, hairdressers, make up artists, nail technicians, backstage dressers, photographers and videographers (to name just a few!) to come together, and we couldn’t wait to see our finished product – make sure you take it all in!

Visit Creative Head to read the article in full and take a look at the magazine’s other education pieces…

Social Media and the ever-changing algorithm

It’s no secret that social media has become a vital tool over the past few years when it comes to marketing your business or simply keeping up with friends and family.

Over the 10 year period from 2005 to 2015, the number of adults using social media rose from just 7% to 69%. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion monthly users, whilst Instagram boasts an impressive 800 million and Twitter follows with 330 million users. It has been estimated that by 2019, there will be 2.77 billion social media users worldwide. With such a large number of the population utilising these platforms on a daily basis, social media is a powerful means for businesses to target and connect with its audiences on a more meaningful and interactive level – no matter their size or industry.

Not only does social media allow you to grow public awareness of your brand, it can also provide valuable information about your existing and potential customers when using relevant campaigns and carefully monitoring the results. Did you know that 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand if they have had a positive experience with it on social media? With such high stakes resting on your online image, it’s vital to ensure you present your business in its best light.

We often speak to business owners who tell us that while they try and remain active on social media, they just don’t seem to be seeing the results or engagement they’re looking for – and this is where utilising the social media algorithm comes in to play.

What exactly is the social media algorithm?

The ever-changing algorithms that dominate the online world can make it difficult to get your content seen. In other words, you may notice your business’ posts are being pushed to the bottom of the feed and are rarely placed directly in front of your customers.

The algorithms are a complicated set of equations and formulas which monitor social statistics such as frequency of posts and ongoing engagement, which result in social media content being displayed on a platform’s feed based on relevance to the user as opposed to in chronological order. Facebook, for example, prioritises posts from family and friends which is why you will notice you mostly see this type of content at the top of your Facebook feed. Whilst this makes for a more enjoyable experience as a user, it can create difficulties for businesses in terms of getting their content noticed and can sometimes be disheartening when a company has taken the time to create content that doesn’t make a splash.

How do I use the algorithms to ensure my content gets seen by the right people?

First and foremost, it’s essential to stay up to date with each platform’s algorithms and the type of content they are currently prioritising. These formulas can change regularly and vary from site to site and platform to platform.

For example, whilst Facebook ranks personal content as the most important, it also favours informative, entertaining and authentic posts, which is highly useful information to bear in mind when it comes to planning a well-thought out social media strategy.

User engagement is another factor social media platforms consider when arranging their posts, and the higher the engagement of a post is, the more people it will be shown to. To encourage this, it is important to create original and relevant content that social media users will want to interact with – this can be anything from topical news stories within your industry to behind the scenes videos of your business.

The algorithms can be certainly confusing at the best of times and with ever-changing equations, it can be difficult to keep up.

Want to know more about the formulas at hand or the best platform on which to place your business? Give us a call on 0151 909 2231 and one of our resident social media experts will be happy to help.

Feeling hot, hot, hot…!

When it comes to goings on, Liverpool is a city never short of things to do. From musical events to bingo with a twist, there’s something for everybody to enjoy and recently, our friends at Bond Events Group have added something slightly spicier to the ever-expanding events calendar.

In just a few weeks’ time, the infamous Bombed Out Church (St Luke’s Church) will be feeling ‘hot, hot, hot’ thanks to the arrival of the Chilli Carnival, and aptly put by Liverpool Echo – ‘If you’re hosting a festival that’s going to get hot, it helps if you hold it somewhere without a roof’!

Already, the Pink Media team have had so much fun working with Bond Events Group to shout all about the event, and you may have even spotted us around the city centre with our giant chilli in tow during our photo-shoots. With just over a month to go, we’re busy planning for the two-day spice extravaganza which will showcase a range of chilli-fuelled concoctions courtesy of a number of suppliers that have recently been revealed by the event’s organisers.

From cooking shows to cocktails and even a chilli eating competition, the weekend will be packed with things to do, offering the people of Liverpool the chance to sample dishes from the mild to the top of the Scoville Scale and everything in between.

Keep your eyes peeled for spicy clues and exciting news as we count down to the festival – see you at the Chilli Eating Competition!

Chilli Carnival will take place on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at St Luke’s Church (Bombed Out Church). Tickets are priced at £5 per day or £8 for a weekend pass.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.chillicarnival.co.uk