Today is a hugely exciting one for Clarity PR as we announce the purchase of San Francisco PR company DRSmedia.

With this acquisition, Clarity has offices in four key locations: London, New York, Berlin and now San Francisco.

Our founder and CEO Sami McCabe, told PR Week;

“This is in step with our growth strategy, one of the pillars of which is expanding our physical locations. We’ve always had clients on the West Coast. And in the Bay area we have primarily worked with tech companies so it’s long been in our plans to have a physical presence there.”

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Noticed that you are receiving a lot of communications from companies asking you to opt in to their emails recently? That’s because we are now just days aways from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the EU and potentially massive fines for companies who transgress it (up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater).

In spite of its imminent implementation there is still a lot of discussion about how publishers, agencies and brands should respond to it. For example, the publishing industry and Google are still at loggerheads as to how they will work together in the future. Two weeks ago execs of four major groups; Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance and the News Media Association, which represent over 4000 publishers, issued an open letter to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, criticising the company for its plans for GDPR which it unveiled last month.

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A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to attend a conference curated by the Midlands branch of the CIPR – the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, at Birmingham City University.

There were many great sessions, which among other things looked at the how the BBC serves the Midlands and how technology will change the way PRs interact with the media in the future.

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It might not surprise you to discover that the Clarity team are serious news junkies. We spend mornings combing through round up emails, poring over the papers old school style and checking online feeds for live updates.

The source that invariably delivers the news quicker than anyone else though is of course Twitter. Sure the platform has had its ups and downs recently, and clearly has an issue with extremists, but it is an invaluable part of any PR toolkit.

It is interesting to note too that recently publishers and news companies have started to get more interested in the platform once again. While at the same time Twitter, which has been dogged by financial poor performances and a lack of confidence from the investor community, has posted a profit for the first time.

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So what do you think are the key trends that will shape earned media in 2018? Are they likely to be technologically-driven? Or are the most significant changes going to be cultural ones that are a response to the ever evolving world of news media?

Gorkana asked a series of experts for their predictions for 2018 and came up with four major trends, two tech and two cultural, that it believes anyone in earned media needs to be following. Among the experts who peered into their virtual crystal balls for Gorkana was our very own MD Sara Collinge.

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There was a time when Black Friday was mainly an American phenomenon. The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season that climaxed at Christmas. However the growth of online shopping has taken the concept global . So given that Britons spent nearly £6 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year – of which £2.8 billion was online shopping and Americans spent ten times that figure – it’s critical that brands take steps to maximise their efforts to reconnect with existing customers and grow their consumer base.

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“When is the best time to send my email?” In marketing, there is a host of analysis, best practice and science behind answering that thorny question.

In public relations, not so much. This is an industry that has long relied on qualitative tactics and gut instinct.

Until now. Because data can, in fact, validate whether key press strategies can work for a brand.

Take the case of Ryanair. No stranger to publicity, Ryanair is usually keen to generate as many headlines as possible. But, when it was forced to cancel around 1,900 flights due to administrative errors last month, the airline resorted to a common industry tactic – minimising attention by sneaking the announcement out late on a Friday afternoon.

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Twitter’s shares took a tumble on Tuesday with the announcement that tweet character limits might jump from 140 to a massive 10,000 characters.

What will this look like? Re/Code reported that your feed will essentially remain the same on the surface. Longer tweets will display as normal – in 140 characters – and then, if someone is interested enough, there’ll be functionality to click and reveal the full content.

Critics have slammed the move, saying the expanded character limit takes away from Twitter’s simple elegance. Regardless of what you think of the announcement, the reality is that Twitter will still remain an important news channel.

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Day in day out, at Clarity PR we work with startups of all shapes and sizes, so attending the Web Summit was a no brainer for us. This year’s edition was more special than most others as it was the last Summit to be held in Dublin for at least three years.

This year’s event was the biggest yet, boasting 40,000 attendees and 1,000 speakers from around the globe, with some of the hottest startups in the world showcasing their wares. Thankfully, this year really did live up to the hype and at Clarity we were lucky to meet some really great startups who have the potential to grow and grow. We highlight the ten most interesting startups below (in alphabetical order):

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It goes without saying – in the 2015 media landscape, content is king. The days when an entire country was reading just a handful of publications to get their news and entertainment are gone. Now, in addition to skimming the investigative long form story on the New York Times homepage, consumers are flitting through interactive quizzes on Buzzfeed and the latest viral video from Coca-Cola posted on Facebook. The line is blurred – popular content no longer just originates from the journalism school grad. It can come from anyone.

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