The pub isn’t dead, it’s different…

As the Government relentlessly increases the tax on beer, pubs are suffering the most. According to the Campaign for Real Ale, 46 London Pubs have been turned into supermarkets, and a further 2,400 pubs have vanished completely from the capital. But it’s far too early to call time on the local. In London, many of our grand Victorian gin venues are being preserved and beautifully restored, as well as being revolutionised. A brand new breed of beer loving entrepreneurs are stripping back old pubs and revealing their bare essentials and restoring them to their former glory. But Sky Sports and cheap beer are nowhere to be seen. Craft Beer pubs around London can show just what can be achieved by disconnecting the old PA system and replacing it with micro brewed beers. London is witnessing the most active breweries and chain brands since the early 1900’s; but it isn’t just about the beer. The food has improved, nightlife has had life pumped into it – you are never far away from a quiz night, live music or open mic comedy nights. And now, to really outdo the competition, many pubs are hosting in house hairdressers, knitting groups and even vintage fashion boutiques are propping up the bar. With many reasons to stay in on a Saturday night, London’s pubs are offering reasons to get off the sofa and down your local. 

Working Remotely

Sporting summer may spell end of British office culture, as we know it.

The summers sporting events have boosted appetite for flexible working according to a survey undertaken by Vodafone UK.

Following their working experiences over the last two weeks, over 50% of workers in London have stated that they want and with would choose to work flexibly more often.

Almost a quarter of employed Londoners altered their normal working arrangements during the period, achieving better productivity. Over half of employers either already enable flexible working, or now appear to be more open it.

This legacy of the London 2012 Olympics may be responsible for a fundamental shift in British office culture. Employers are becoming increasingly open to allowing various and new ways of working.

Peter Boucher, commercial marketing director at Vodafone UK, commented, “It is not surprising that the events of the last two weeks are emerging as a turning point in the way Britain is working. For employers and their staff, this has been a taster for a different way of doing business, many will have found that this can be just as effective – and often more so- than the traditional nine-to-five at your office desk.”

However, even though many of the 24% of employees who changed their working habits claimed that working from home during the Olympics increased productivity, a smaller share complained of distractions and disruptions and struggled with technology and information access.

But many employees, even those who decided not to work from home, noted during the Vodafone UK survey that they felt that they had given all the equipment needed to work effectively while away from the office. The gap was more pronounced in the Public Sector than the Private Sector. 19% of all respondents stated that they use their own hardware to wore remotely, but more than one in five said they have to be present in the office to work.

Peter Boucher concluded; “with the cost of mobile ad broadband technologies coming down and initiatives such as “bring your own device” offering further cost and management advantages, there are fewer and fewer reasons for businesses to tie staff to their office chair. Productivity is best measured by results achieved, rather than by the amount of time spent in the office each day.”

Kindness UK

The London 2012 Olympics was the epitome of patriotism, sincerity, pride and British culture and attitude. When something big happens, we all come together and share the experience.  And we are sure that Great Britain will share this enthusiasm for the upcoming Paralympics also!

The legacy is the next topic of discussion, and whatever is decided, the London 2012 Olympics and the British attitude should continue, and Kindness UK are making sure that it will.

Kindness UK, a non-profit humanitarian organisation with the sole endeavor of sharing, promoting and uniting kindness, are soon hosting a General Assembly of the World Kindness Movement at their Cricklewood Headquarters from the 18th – 20th September 2012. The conference will bring together kindness movement from across the world including Australia, China, Dubai, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, the USA and obviously the UK. Chosen members of the public will join the delegates and Dr. David R. Hamilton PhD, a world expert in Oxytocin (the Happy Hormone) will be presenting.

David Jamilly, founder of Kindness UK said; ‘we are incredibly excited that London can once again be the forefront of developing a brighter and kinder future.”

 

 

FOOD: A CASE OF COUNTRIES

Jennyfer Taieb and Clemence Groseille are two French interns in Paris. They have come to London for two months to work for Through the Door Promotions. Below, in their blog post, they discuss the issues that they face being hungry students in the bright lights of the city.

As we welcome our second month and continue our affair with London, we are still experiencing a new culture, a new language and a new home.

Food is very important to us and we have been determined to do our own cooking, as we want to learn English recipes, we begun our English journey by writing a shopping list. However, we quickly realised that the price exceeded our simple student budget.

Therefore, because the price for healthier food is greater, crisps, sweets and fast food have become our staple diet. With the desire to eat equilibrium we admitted defeat, as the aspiration to live the high life in London including food, was deterred by the high prices in London.

Basic food prices are similar to those in France, but sincerely, the quality of meat and fish offered in supermarkets do not really inspire confidence. The best option is to go to a butcher or fishmongers, but we are wary of the cost.

But in a month, we have become savvy and have found solutions to this problem (not without difficulty). Buy basics in the bigger supermarkets that are still priced within our budget and make the rest of our purchases in low cost supermarkets. Therefore, we are not cutting quality, only cost. The solution works well, but London remains an expensive city, though this hasn’t removed its amazement, surprise or inviting ambiance.

Location Based Marketing

To put it simply – location based marketing is the art of transferring consumers shared location into revenue.

Location based marketing is very effective tool, that we all most probably use every day without even thinking about it.. But we’ll get to that later.

There are many different form of location-based marketing:

  • Location-based services (LBS): mobile apps such as foursquare and HotList that provide information or entertainment to users based on their location.
  • Near-field communications (NFC): technology that allows two devices that are in close proximity — between two and 20 centimeters — to exchange information.
  • Location-based advertising (LBA): uses tools such as GPS and geo-fencing to locate potential prospects and send them messages.

Out of the apps, Foursquare and Hotlist seems to be the most popular. Both these apps can be linked to Facebook, which is always nice! (It’ll make Facebook a bit more interesting for all of your stalkers.)

Foursquare offers users a fun way to explore their local area. The application works through a phone download. Users add the application to their phones then take it with them as they go out and do things.

HotList is another tool that can help users stay on top of where their friends have been, are and will be going. The application works by integrating Google Maps so users can get a visual on where others are. The user can see where their friends have been and discover places that they like to go. This allows the user to try new places and seek out new local attractions.

If you haven’t heard of these apps, I suggest you give them a go, you never know they might actually help you find something new.

The simplest form of LBM is going to have to be google maps. I think everyone has had that moment when you’re in an area you don’t know so well, and you are starving. The first thing you do is – Whip out the good old smart phone and type a key word like “food” or “Restaurant” into google maps. I’d suggest that all businesses register themselves on google maps, as it is honestly the first thing most of us will turn too.

Near Field Communications is one that has only recently come to the surface, due to the fact that it hasn’t been built into all smart phones (yet).  I’m pretty sure all Londoners have will know how it works, as the oyster card uses exactly the same principle. For example you could have a NFC spot on the outside of a shop and hold your phone up to it, and then all the information about the shop will pop up. You could potentially even do the same with products. I think this type of technology will still take anther year before it is actually used nationally. People always seem to be a little bit hesitant with new technology, especially something like this.

Location based advertising isn’t that big in the UK, but it works on the principle that – Say you are close to a fast food reasturant, and they are have an offer – You’ll receive a message on you phone with a voucher, which would obviously entice you to go there and eat a nice discounted meal.

I think in the next year or so this type of marketing will become the way forward. Most of us will have swanky smart phones that can do supposedly everything under the sun, and we are all on them constantly. So if a business wants to target the consumer, they should target them on smart phones, as we never go without them (Well at least I don’t).

Networking Event

This morning, Through the Door Promotions attended our first networking breakfast. Arriving at the RAF Club in Piccadilly at the bright but early time of 7am.

The networking breakfast happens once a week and is lead by a company called BRX, a business development group and a leading name in business networking.

As we arrived, we were ushered to the president suite where a breakfast was waiting as well as fresh orange juice, which was greatly appreciated in this hot weather. Multiple friendly faces greeted us and handshakes introduced the person attached to them and we were seated around a long table to begin the nuptials.

We expected a less formal event with standing and mingling involved. But instead everyone gave a formal one-minute presentation introducing themselves and their company and what they were looking to gain from the networking event. However, we realised that this was a far more efficient and organized strategy as it ensured that everyone was heard and placed in front of the correct decision makers, and companies could discover what other offerings and referrals were available.

Through the Door Promotions received positive feedback from a number of companies and received two referrals – one for a recruitment company and one from a public speaker. However, the most interesting aspect of the entire morning was receiving a range of cleverly and creatively designed business cards.

That Shit Cray

The ever modest Kanye West announced that “this is the best you will ever see in your life” as he dazzled under the spotlights of London 02 Arena. And last night, Through the Door Promotions was there to catch all of the action. Wearing a Givenchy leather T-shirt, Kanye West was joined on stage by a black clad Jay Z to present the biggest and most elaborate and electrifying show the 02 has ever seen! The two greatest performers nicknamed ‘the Throne’ who both have careers spanning over a decade, united to perform the track list from last years Watch the Throne album as well as diverting to their own extensive back catalogues. Jay Z’s best solo efforts provided well known songs including Empire State of Mind and Run this Town, while Kanye took the audience on a journey through his career performing songs from his first album College Dropout; Jesus Walks and All Falls Down as well as his more recent tracks All of the Lights and Stronger. And unsurprisingly, these solo choices were received with everyone out of their seats dancing and raising their glasses and with Jay Z a veteran of live performances, it is no revelation that he knows how to please a large crowd. And Kanye West must have been extremely satisfied to see over 23,000 people chant the lyrics to 2008 hit Heartless.

The opening sequence saw the pair stand aloft two vast pillars of light, upon which were projected scenes of wild animals. On such scene depicted an ocean view that hosted a great white shark swimming around, portraying the unnerving affect that the superstars were about to fall into their watery graves. Other animals featured included a cheetah and a vicious Doberman. And this animal theme was continued as they launched into ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ with images projected on a large screen including tigers, jaguars and cougars.

Other tracks featured further images that provided a respectful nod to the original music video. Otis came complete with a large American flag whist ‘No Church in the Wild’ offered a petrol bomb treatment.

Michael Jackson was also well and truly present at the arena; with Kanye claiming MJ had passed his gift onto the pair. And the banter continued during ‘All of the Lights’ where he stopped the track to announce, “This is the one time you can get away with it!” concerning the lyric following “Something wrong, I hold my head, MJ gone, our n**** dead!”

As Atlantic recently commented upon, one of the trademarks of the Throne tour has been the finale and Through the Door Promotions were not disappointed! “Big Pimpin”, “Gold Digger” and “99 Problems” were played in quick succession with the encore of “Paris” being played five times.  It is the biggest hip-hop song of the past two years and the entirety of the performance has now set a benchmark to which all stadium hip-hop will be judged.