2019 was certainly not a quiet year in the media world. In fact sometimes it’s felt like the press and social media have leaped from one PR disaster to another. There’s been some great wins, too, so here’s Clarity’s look globally at some of the top stories and creative stunts of 2019.



January – Greggs

British bakers Greggs launched their Vegan sausage roll right at the start of January – owning Veganuary. But it was their trolling of former CNN presenter and breakfast TV host Piers Morgan with this tweet that really made the story. Hitting all your PR targets for the year on January 2nd – awesome.


February – Huawei Mate X

huawei mate failHuawei wowed the world – and got the jump on Samsung – by revealing their Mate X folding phone ahead of MWC. Just a shame for them that a few months later Trump’s trade war with China had cost their relationship with Android, leaving the company out in the cold.


March – TikTok

Charli Damelio

TikTok hit over 1 Billion in downloads at the start of the year and ended with over 1.5 Billion views becoming the breakout social media star of the past 2 years. Influencers have had their issues this year (with the Fyre festival documentary coming out in January) but new TikTok stars like 15-year-old Charli D’amelio earning thousands of dollars per post.


April – Samsung Galaxy Fold

samsung fold fail

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold initially got great reviews and notes from the journalists we know…. at first. But by April the phones were starting to break after early users tried to removed the protective screen, causing Samsung to pull the release of their star product.


May – Embarrassing Plastic Bags

Canadian shop East West Market came up with a novel way to shame users from using single-use plastic bags – make them as embarrassing as possible. The genius idea was picked up all over the world.


June – Led by Donkeys

led by donkeys

Trump’s visit to the UK was seized on by Led By Donkeys. Within moments of the US President landing in the UK he was already being trolled by the disruptive organization.


July – Paddy Power

paddy power

Our UK team loved this stunt from betting firm Paddy Power. Announcing one of the most over-the-top and hideous football kits of all time, they then went on to reveal an ‘unsponsorship’ removing their brand entirely to ‘give shirts back to the fans’.


August – Greta crosses the Atlantic

greta thunburg

Greta Thunberg lives her principals and, by crossing the Atlantic in a zero-emission yacht to attend the United Nations climate summit, drew even more attention to climate change. While there’s perhaps some cynicism that she is a ‘media creation’, by the end of the year she had become a best-selling author and Time Magazine’s person of the year.

global warming

More subtle was this online stunt from the University of Reading – showing global warming in an infographic for each geographical location. Clever and shocking you can take a look at yours at https://showyourstripes.info/ – Here’s the warming stripes for California from 1895 – 2018.


September – Samuel L. Alexa

samuel l jackson

If you’ve got the budget of Jeff Bezos, then why not get in Samuel L. Jackson to voice Alexa. Possibly playing on an 80 Gumdrops viral spoof from 2 years ago, nonetheless, it was an impressive use of a celebrity’s dulcet tones.


October – Female Role Models

crypto queen

2019 had its fair share of role models falling from grace in the so-called ‘Techlash’. Whether it was the trail of Elizabeth Holmes for Theranos, Greek STEM hero Eleni Antoniadou or One Coin founder Dr Ruja Ignatova, 2019 showed us that sometimes things in tech are not all they seem. We highly recommend the Bad Blood book on Theranos or the BBC’s ‘Missing Crypto Queen’ podcast to learn more on how these figures built their alleged scams.


November – Highlighting Prince Andrew

prince andrew

The less said on Prince Andrew’s car crash interview, the better (though if you want more – read our blog post). We’re not sure if this is an official advert for Staedtler, but whoever came up with this – it’s genius.


December – Peloton Failpeloton

December had its fair share of fails – from WeWork’s issues, Magic Leap’s poor sales to Peloton’s sexiest advert wiping $1 billion in value from the company overnight. But we loved how fast Ryan Reynold’s team at Aviation Gin turned this cheeky news hijack around:

2019 has definitely been lively – and that’s before adding any phone calls with Ukraine into the mix. But we hope you’ve enjoyed our wrap of the year and look forward to new a decade of creative PR in 2020.

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.”

“We are trying to build an agency that sits somewhere between the really big international global PR firms and the single market, single geographic area boutique firms,” he added.

Sami has been in San Francisco for a year now assessing his options and returned to his first – and most obvious choice – in DRSmedia and its founder David Speiser. McCabe has known Speiser for years. Please find more details in the release here.


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.

Meanwhile the FT reports that ‘With weeks to go before new data protection rules come into effect confidence has fallen sharply among British company bosses that their businesses will be ready in time. Only six in 10 members of the Institute of Directors believe their organisation will be fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.”

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.

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.

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.

Below are six tips to ensure brands make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. How many are you already implementing?

“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.

Here at Clarity we love an excuse for a great social event, and last weekend we were lucky enough to take a weekend trip to Berlin to network and spend some quality time with our global counterparts.

The weekend was jam-packed: meeting clients, new team members, new faces in the startup scene at the TechStars networking event in a thumping underground venue – in true Berliner party style!

The Berlin contingent were excellent hosts and hooked us up with the best venues so we got a real flavour of the city – sampling some real Bavarian food, and a considerable amount of German beer on our boat party!

After two super busy days, we had a bit of spare time to learn about Berlin’s culture too. Walking everywhere with a guidebook (and Bethany’s excellent narrating skills) meant we could soak up the city and learn along the way about Berlin’s history. We managed to cram a lot of hotspots into an afternoon, including the stunning Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.

The trip served as an invigorating reminder of why we do what we do, and how lucky we are to work with some of the most exciting startups across the globe. The weekend was also a great opportunity to meet our newest team members, Marie, Paul and Anthony who bring a wealth of experience and ideas to Clarity and will be dotted across the globe in London, Berlin and New York respectively.

It also gave us the chance to reflect and think about what’s next; with inspiring presentations in Berlin’s Rainmaking Loft from Bryce on the agency’s phenomenally fast growth, Sara on the future of our identity, Sami on our rebrand and Clarity’s short but eventful journey so far, with a brainstorming session at the end on what’s to come.

Rest assured there are more exciting things in the pipeline for Team Clarity… Prost!


“Tell me about what you would bring to the Senior Kitten Manager role”  

You’ve made it out of college and survived your first internship, your first day on the job, your first performance review, and your first office holiday party. Whether you’ve been at your first job for months or most of your adult life, at some point you may want to explore what else is out there. Your first job equipped you not only with the skills specific to your industry, but also how to function in a workplace environment.

From here, you can go anywhere. Finding your second job is different from your first. There’s no college career center to guide you, no campus recruiters inviting you to networking events. Instead, the most precious tools you have are your experiences, your network and your perserverance. Here’s how to get started:

Regardless of your organization or industry, attracting and retaining talent will always remain a priority. As the employment industry continues to rebuild itself after the 2008 financial crisis, employers are looking for ways to retain qualified talent. Finding a candidate that fits a role can be challenging. Ensuring that the talent you acquire stays engaged and committed is becoming another task that companies must dedicate resources towards.

According to a Gallup poll, less than one third of the U.S. workforce are engaged in their current jobs. For many growing companies, this proves to be a daunting statistic. Recruiting talent that is invested in the job, as well as your company, is crucial towards building a core team of internal employees. The more engaged your employees are, the more likely it is that they will represent your brand well, both inside and outside of office hours.

Here are six ways to retain talent and keep your employees happy:  


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  • If you're looking for a career with Clarity, you can find out more and submit your CV here.