UK blogs get parent power as Mummy blogs influence 50% of Consumers.

According to Tots100, the UK’s largest community of parent blogs, 50% of women have made a purchase based on a blog recommendation and 93% use social media to research new products before buying.

Tots100 published the largest ever survey of parent bloggers, the 2012 Parent Blogger Benchmark Survey, which asked 850 members of Tots100.

Parent blogging is gathering momentum in the UK, with over 4000 active blogs listed in the Tots100 directory. Mums, who say that blogging is a way to explore their creativity, capture precious family moments and focus their energy upon, write 97% of these sites.

The recently increased popularity in these Mummy blogs have also identified that closer, more trusting relationships need to be built between bloggers and brands. One third of bloggers surveyed have been asked to not disclose a paid relationship with a brand on their blog. In addition, 70% of bloggers say most information they receive from brands is simply not relevant to their blog.

Commenting on the survey, Sally Whittle, founder of Tots100, said; “The results suggest that blogging is becoming an increasingly important source of income for many families, and it’s the perfect time for brands to build relationships with parent bloggers. However, brands and PR professional must invest time and effort in to these relationships to reap the many rewards available.”

Other findings within the survey include:

50% of bloggers have met up with other bloggers in the local area, while 45% have attended an event hosted by a brand or PR agency.

The number of bloggers accepting paid links has fallen from 47% in 2011 to less than 20% in 2012.


Half a week until half a marathon…

Less than a week to go until Run to the Beat and Through the Door Promotions is polishing up our training schedule and developing a running strategy:

Where does our iPod go?

What water bottle do we use?

There are water bottle stations, so do we use a plastic water bottle or a flask, and where do we dispose of the plastic bottle or how do we transfer the bottled water into the flask without stopping?

What music are we running to?

What clothes are we wearing?

What material of clothing?

Do we have the right trainers?

What do we eat beforehand or after?

Do we need to have a bun bag to carry valuables in?

If you can’t tell, panic is swiftly setting in. This is our first race so we are unsure of the protocol so it is complete guesswork, however, we are hoping (beyond hope) that we will be fully prepared on Sunday.

We have been training vigorously and this week is no different. We are aiming to run five miles each evening and two miles on Saturday morning so we can warm our muscles and prepare ourselves mentally for the 13.1 miles ahead on Sunday. We are also participating in other exercises including weights, yoga and spinning so we can improve our stamina and energy levels. Everyone running has seen an improvement in fitness and fitness levels (we are no longer crawling up the hill) and we are no longer terrified of the words half marathon. We are laughing in the face of fear, and running (13.1 miles) until it goes away.

Through our training regimes, we have learnt several tips on how to improve our technique, fitness, stamina and pace. We have listed below our top five tips to improve your run…

  1. When running up hills and slopes, run on your tiptoes. This strengthens your calf muscles and reduces your stride strength meaning you will slow your pace. Visualise pulling yourself up with your arms, and lean forward slightly.
  2. When you reach the top of the hill, widen your stride and land on the middle of your foot. Running downhill can be extremely taxing to the body and these tactics will reduce the impact on your knees and will improve the overall speed and efficiency whilst using less energy.
  3. When running, lean forward. This will send a force through your leg and foot into the ground and help you get an equal and returning force up your leg, propelling you. Leaning forward places your centre of gravity lower allowing you to accelerate more easily.
  4. Warming up is a beneficial way to tell your body that you are about to embark on physical exercise. This way, your heart and legs will adjust properly. Start with a brisk walk followed by easy running for a couple of minutes or so.
  5. When you finish your running, take a few minutes to cool down by running very slowly and walking in the last minutes of your workout. Finish with a stretch.

Good luck to everyone running in the Run to the Beat Half Marathon, and we look forward to meeting you at the start line.

Through the Door Promotions are Running to the Beat…

At Through the Door Promotion’s we are passionate about giving back. We give back to the community in which we live and work, and we are always looking for new ways to raise money for various charities.

On 28th October, Through the Door Promotions will be taking part in Run to the Beat powered by Nike; London’s Music Half Marathon (13.1 miles). 18,500 runners will Run to the Beat as they pass multiple stages featuring the best music talent all the way to the finish line where the main stage will be playing the best music to greet them after such a triumph.

Through the Door Promotions will be running the half marathon in aid of Medic to Medic. Medic-to-Medic is a charity that sponsors medical students in underprivileged countries. The aim of the Medic to Medic is to guarantee the tuition fees for healthcare students who have academic potential, but are in financial need. With this consistency of income, students are able to focus on their studies until graduation.

Through The Door Promotions is raising money through Virgin Money Giving. We would really appreciate your support, sponsorship and donations to raise money and help Medic to Medic to continue their ongoing and important work to sponsor medical students in Malawi and provide medical help to those who need it most.

We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

Make a Difference…

Follow our training @through_thedoor

Mantis teams up with Top Gear

BBC flagship show Top Gear has a huge influence in the motoring industry attracting an estimated 350 million viewers per week in no less than 170 countries according to CBS news. Since Top Gear’s re-launch in 2002, 18 seasons consisting of 147 episodes have been made and its Christmas specials are eagerly anticipated. This is a testament to the shows originality, wit and consistent format whereby its features include; vehicle reviews, challenges and of course the iconic figure “The Stig”.

There is no doubt that Richard Hammond’s love for Porches inadvertently encourages fans to buy this car over others. Each time Jeremy Clarkson makes a snide remark about Rovers, viewers are less affectionate towards it. Ultimately, Top Gear has a substantial selling influence within the motoring industry, and products affiliated with the show are likely to gain in public favour.

Car cleaning company Mantis strived to capitalize on this opportunity by launching a limited edition range of products cleverly advertised (slightly tongue in cheek) to suit the presenters. Shine by Jezza (Jeremy Clarkson) was developed by Mr Clarkson himself and has been approved by the Lorry drivers union. Stig Shine (Stig) is a secret formula good for polishing helmets. Hamster Brite (Richard Hammond) works on cars, bikes and helicopters, although it is noted that it does not come with a free Genesis CD. Mantis has cleverly found a mass appeal marketing route into the automobile market, and their limited edition novelty range and bound to fill stockings this Christmas.

Step to the Beat Generation

Jack Kerouac created an entire generation; an explosion of new thinking, freewheeling and experimentation and exploration. Kerouac’s classic fifties novel On The Road defined the iconic and captivating beat generation of writers and poets and singers. Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” to characterise a perceived underground, anti conformist youth movement in America. Many thought that the use of the adjective beat reflected the tired and beaten feelings of the younger generation, but Kerouac expanded the meaning to include the undertones of upbeat, beatific and the musical association with being on the beat.

Central elements of the cultural phenomena included experimentation with drugs, exploring sexual orientation, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism and the idealising of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being, all of which were documented and inspired many of the artistic interpretations that developed from the Beat Generation.

As well as On the Road (1957), William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (1959) and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1956) are among the best known examples of Beat Literature. Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that ultimately led to the liberation of publishing in the USA.

The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists who celebrated and thrived off spontaneous creativity.

In the mid 1950’s the original Beat Generation writers who met in New York, ended up together in San Fran Cisco where they became friends with members of the poignant San Fran Cisco Renaissance. Then, in the 1960’s elements of the expanding Beat movement were incorporated into the Hippie counterculture.

Now it has been given the Hollywood treatment bringing the beat into the 21st century, inspiring a new wave of beat. Kerouac originally wanted Marlon Brando to play the leading man, and wrote a letter asking him to take on the role. However, Brando didn’t respond and Kerouac died before seeing his masterpiece adapted to the screen. In the seventies, Francis Ford Coppola bought the rights to the film, and over the years there has been a great speculation to which actor will play the lead. Now, fifty-five years after it was published, On The Road has finally been adapted to the big screen by Brazilian director Walter Salles. Starring Sam Riley as Sal and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, the film is reintroducing the beat to a new generation.

Today’s beat artists include Patti Smith, Gabby Young and Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny all inspired by original beat member Janis Joplin.

Museums are also paying homage to the beat, with Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon – a fashion photographer who documented the Beat Generation – displays in museums across the world.

So strum that guitar, dust of your Dylan record and open your mind. The beat is back!

Booking tables Vs. Reservation free

Booking tables Vs. Reservation free has been a debate that has been going on for years. Which way do we prefer to dine? Do Brits prefer to book in advance at a known restaurant so there are no surprises, or do we prefer to be spontaneous and go where we find?

Sometimes life is thinking outside the box and leaving your comfort zone, and not knowing exactly where you are going to eat. This can lead to some of the best restaurants, and some of the worst. But isn’t life all about trial and error and trying new things. How can you taste new experiences if you visit the same restaurant and order the same dish every week? Would you go on holiday and eat British food the entire time? No booking required not only gives you restaurant leverage and life experience it also gives dining an edge.

However, queuing half an hour for a table is not fun, and unless you visit an unpopular restaurant, then queuing and waiting are the ultimate sacrifices. It is a great feeling when the maître d finds your name and ushers you efficiently to your waiting table. There is also a quality of dining, which can only be achieved when reserving a table, and this is beneficial when you bring guests and business prospects. Familiarity of a good venue and great food provides a relaxing experience without any unwanted hiccups.

There are strong arguments for and against, and it is all about individual preference and situation. Finding new restaurants can be just as exciting as dining at old ones, but the comfort and recognition within a good restaurant cannot be beaten. What do you think? Do you prefer booking or reservation free?


Success all round for Team GB!

This previous weekend was a monumental one for Team GB! Now with 16 gold medals, 11 silver medals and 10 bronze medal as well as being third in the medals table, Britain are putting Great into the Olympics. Saturday was especially prodigious with three gold medals achieved by Olympic and nation sweetheart Jessica Ennis, Tennis pro Andy Murray and Olympic hero Mo Farah.

Jessica Ennis triumphed in the last stage of her heptathlon and Andy Murray recovered spectacularly from his final defeat at Wimbledon and Mo Farah proved his weight in gold and was congratulated by his heavily pregnant wife and young daughter for his 10,000m win.

Great Britain was overcome with sincere emotion and the champions were commended and praised with overwhelming applause and cheers. Tears were shed from both the athletes and the audience and the country united over the athletes accomplishments. Records were smashed, personal bests were beaten and athletes were placed at the top of their game and we cannot wait to see team GB continue to prosper in the London 2012 Olympic games.