Monthly Archives: January 2018

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet – The Guardian says Ciao to Berliner

Jake Setterfield – Account Manager

Last Monday, Guardian News & Media (GNM), publisher of The Guardian and The Observer, produced its daily newspaper in tabloid format for the first time in its history.




Touted as a brave move appealing to readers’ ever-changing media consumption by advocates of the redesign, critics cite the move as an unashamed cost cutting measure.

The change is the latest since the paper’s move to the modern Berliner format in 2005. The Berliner redesign was greeted with international design awards and welcomed with a rise in circulation from readers, enjoying the easy to read format of the eye-catching, full colour paper. At the same time, and with extraordinary prescience, Roy Jeans, the managing director of Magna Global UK predicted: “I believe that in ten years’ time, all newspapers will be tabloid” ….

However, despite the initial warm reception, the decade since hasn’t been so kind on the Berliner, with circulation halving to 161,000, resulting in a reported £38m of losses last year alone. The change to tabloid is hoped to return significant savings for the paper, forming part of its three-year plan to break even by 2019.

The paper has guaranteed that it will continue to offer quality journalism in a tabloid format, but it will be hard for the public to shake the conception that a newspaper’s class and quality is intrinsically linked with its format – something that will be put to the test in the paper’s forthcoming circulation reports.

As for design, the new masthead and typeface has been compared with that of the Evening Standard, seemingly a step back from the paper’s colourful predecessor with a rather traditional appearance.  The content is however driven by striking images, with ad placements popping out of the page and screen. It is also 40% smaller than the Berliner, which will affect ads sold on size, raising some concerns in the ad-world.

We work closely alongside our partner agency, Better, on creative rebrand projects. John Taylor, Creative Director of the Middlesbrough based branding experts, comments:


“Tabloid is certainly a lot more comfortable to hold, but from a design perspective the new format, somewhat counter-intuitively, offers a larger canvas area for the front page. This is because it neatly removes the need to cram content above the fold of the Berliner format, which should excite the designers by offering more personality, impact and flexibility.


“In terms of heading and masthead, it’s a pleasingly crisp and sober evolution rather than a radical change. Reintroducing the uppercase T and G in the masthead adds authority and confidence, while Commercial Type’s new ‘Guardian Headline’ font feels familiar yet sharper and more precise. A fitting solution for a newspaper that prides its journalism on clarity. I’m not 100% sold on the lock-up, it looks and feels much more authoritative.


“Only time will tell if it delivers towards longer term financial goals but the immediate impression is a more concise, sharper, cleaner experience with added gravitas. Refreshing and unlikely to alienate existing readers.”


Editorially, the paper was also criticised on its content last week, as it was seen as lacking character and hard-hitting scoops. However, investigative stories from the paper in the past (the likes of the Panama Papers and the phone hacking scandal) are few and far between in their occurrence and it could be forgiven for avoiding a big sensationalist splash to coincide with its reformat.


In summary, the content is intended to work seamlessly across the outlet’s platforms both in print and online, in order to assert the importance of impartial reporting in a digital world. On the launch, the outlet commented: “Guardian journalism itself will remain what it has always been: thoughtful, progressive, fiercely independent and challenging; and, witty, stylish and fun”.


In a similar move, Acceleris’ client, the Maritime Trade Union, Nautilus International, has very recently redesigned its Telegraph newspaper, an outlet keeping its maritime professional membership base up to date on a wide range of industry issues.


Sent free to union members and available for subscription, the paper moved from a similar Berliner format towards an eye-catching, easier to read magazine. The move was a response from members’ requests for a bigger, better and faster manner for communications as they make the move to more digital driven content.


The Union wanted to retain the award-winning print outlet, but also taking advantage of digital opportunities, delivering news to members as it happens, accessing it wherever and whenever they want. Nautilus’ General Secretary, Mark Dickinson announced: “We need to provide news in a more immediate and dynamic manner… [the magazine] will provide readers with top news stories over the past month, together with in depth analysis and features on the industry”.


Through our copywriting division, Writers Inc, we work closely with our clients on creating engaging and eye-catching content, whether it’s an anniversary publication, a staff magazine, or an annual report. Feel free to get in touch (, if you’re thinking about changing your branding or considering a refresh of your collateral.

All About Experience – An Intern’s Insight

Joe Sanderson – intern at Acceleris

The age-old problem for recent graduates is lack of experience. We’ve all heard it in countless interviews, or seen it on graduate job advertisements. How can I be expected to have experience when nobody will give me any?! This is what I was asking myself as an email popped up from Acceleris, inviting me to do a two to four-week internship in Harrogate through the Acceleris Academy Programme.

I had heard about Acceleris from the Prolific North website, on which they are listed in the top 50 PR agencies in the North. Great, I thought, this is a really good company and they’ve offered me an internship, starting immediately – what’s the catch? It turns out there wasn’t a catch; Acceleris is just committed to giving graduates and young people a platform to boost their career prospects, and this is something I’m extremely grateful for.

After graduating from Newcastle University in 2015 with a degree in History and Politics, I worked as a recruitment consultant for nine months. It’s safe to say it wasn’t the job for me, so I left and decided to go back to university, Leeds University to be exact, to do a Masters degree in Political Communication. I’ve always had a passion for politics and an interest in communication and, if I’m being honest, I had no idea what profession I’d like to work in, so it seemed like a good option.

I started the course on a part-time basis and would have finished in September 2018. However, as it often does, life got in the way, and my long-term girlfriend and I found out we would be having a little girl. I decided to leave university and pursue full-time work to support my family, and I set my sights on PR. I had learned a great deal about PR theory during my Masters course and thought it would be a great way to combine my passion for writing and communication and my interest in business and the corporate world.

My lack of experience wasn’t a problem for Acceleris; they were happy to give me an opportunity, and I’ve been given a real taste of the world of PR. Acceleris interns don’t just make the teas and coffees (although I made, and drunk, my fair share!), you really are treated like a contributing member of the team. During my time here, I’ve been given real responsibility with client work, from writing press releases, blogs, and working on a large copywriting project, to in depth research tasks and saving client coverage. It’s been a really diverse few weeks.

Acceleris interns are not simply assigned any old task that needs doing; I’ve been given the chance to express what it is I enjoy the most and get involved in that side of the business. For me, that has been Writers Inc, the copywriting division of Acceleris. So much so that I’ve stayed for four weeks rather than two, which I guess means I must have done something right!

Overall, it’s been a great four weeks with great people and interesting work. As I write this, I am half way through my last day and I will definitely miss the place and the people. I’m genuinely grateful to have come across a company that doesn’t focus on the fact that you don’t have enough experience, but on how it can give you experience. I hope to take what I’ve learned and use it to gain my first full-time position in the industry and who knows, I might even come back one day in the future!

The Acceleris Academy provides work experience placements and internships to students and graduates looking to get a head start in the industry. To see how the Academy could help you, drop us a line!

Top Tips for Media Mastery

Hania Thompson – Account Executive

For many 2017 has been the year of Fidget Spinners, Oscar Fiascoes and Brexit however for those in the world of PR, 2017 will always be the year of one of the biggest scandals to hit the industry in decades. Bell Pottinger was one of the most respected PR agencies in the world, until its collapse in early September after its association with a controversial campaign used to stir up racial tension in South Africa. During the Newsnight interview co-founder Lord Bell was put through his paces and cracked under the pressure. He appeared flustered and unsure of how to dodge the metaphorical bullets which presenter Kirsty Wark was firing at him. Perhaps he needed some media training…

I recently attended a media taster event where my eyes and ears were well and truly opened to the intricacies of journalism and the media. During the event I had the daunting opportunity to experience being interviewed for TV and radio programmes in professional studios and hear from the journalists’ mouths what they’re looking for when they’re interviewing.

Into the Spotlight

The purpose of this was to see what it was like to be on the receiving end of an interview and to express the importance of media training. Firstly, knowing the subject you are speaking about in great depth is key, a bit obvious but it does help! I was given fifteen minutes to gather my thoughts before being thrust into the spotlight and grilled about whether The X Factor had run its course (in my opinion it probably has). But sweeping, sensationalist comments like this must be corroborated with strong facts to hold up to scrutiny from journalists.

Lights, Camera, Action!

As I stepped in front of the camera the tell tales signs of nerves kicked in; the dry mouth, your heart trying to escape out of your chest and the inevitable sweat (attractive I know!). I was assured that I relaxed as my interview progressed, however I could feel my face getting redder by the minute! It was at this moment I realised I was not going to be the next Fiona Bruce…

Face for the Radio?

Radio (in my opinion) was a more calming experience, I didn’t have to think about a lens pointing at me, where I should be looking and whether the camera would make me gain ten pounds. I was put at ease throughout the experience as myself and DJ Daz discussed the important issue of Black Friday and whether it is a bargain or a bit of a rip off (again I think the latter).

For those of you who are radio novices (like me!) you may not be aware that as you are being interviewed you can hear both your interviewers and your own voice, which makes you think ‘do I really sound like that?’ Maybe I have the makings of the next Chris Evans? Here’s how I got on…

Top Interview Tips

This overall experience has made me realise how important media training is. You might have the facts nailed, but make sure you brush up on your interview techniques beforehand, so here are five top tips for a life in the media spotlight:

  1. Understand the subject you are being interviewed on like the back of your hand
  2. Be clear and concise during an interview and always refer to your key messages
  3. Make sure you are prepared for challenging questions or potential pitfalls as this can make you feel more confident
  4. Whilst on the radio, choose your words carefully and be wary of the tone of your voice – this also applies to television, but body language and facial expressions are added factors. Take your time, talk slowly and clearly and remember to breathe!
  5. When on television it’s important to keep your eyes focussed on the interviewer, as rapidly moving eyes can make you look untrustworthy and unsure of your subject

Although there are many guides and tips describing how to conduct yourself in front of the media (such as mine above), there is no better way to master this art but by practicing and getting used to the sensation of being put under the spotlight. Even the most experienced of professionals can struggle during interviews, especially when they are live (anything can happen!).

Media Mishaps

The first video is an oldie but a goodie which graced our screens in 2006 and will forever be in our hearts! When Guy Goma left his house for a job interview at the BBC, little did he know that he would end up on live national news, it is certainly a day he will never forget…and neither will we!


The second video went viral earlier this year and has had over 25 million views on YouTube alone. Professor Robert Kelly was prepared for his interview, he knew his subject, he was dressed professionally; if only he hadn’t left his door unlocked…he was not prepared for what happened next!

As you can see both these videos prove that even if an interview doesn’t go your way, don’t be too downtrodden. Our media training service has helped our clients arm themselves for interviews for a decade!

If (like me), the idea of interviews will keep you up at night, give us a call and Acceleris’ team will give you the essential media tips! Email us at to get the conversation started or visit our website.