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Siren’s Joe Holmes Milner, first found out about Substack after discovering food writer Jonathan Nunn. Nunn travels around the suburbs of Greater London, shining a spotlight on the local eateries that are the beating heart of their communities, with a healthy drizzle of Jamie Oliver-bashing to boot. Nunn’s excellent Vittles newsletter is available to read via Substack, but only accessible on a subscription basis. As a PR & Comms agency, we’re always on the lookout for new trends, and we’re noticing Substack being used more and more among journos. So what is Substack, and why is it on the rise?

The digital era has changed traditional media outlets for good. The recent ‘State of Journalism UK’ study by Muckrack, the media database for PR firms, found that among the top concerns facing journalists were limited editorial freedom, a lack of funding and an increasingly fragmented audience. From this scorched earth has risen Substack, which has emerged as a beacon of hope for journalists seeking independence, creative freedom, and direct engagement with their readership. With its innovatively monetised model and user-friendly interface, Substack is moving the goalposts in journalism, attracting an increasing number of journos opting to go solo and build their own subscriber-based publications.

The origins of Substack

Founded in 2017 by three friends, Substack was conceived as a simple email newsletter tool aiming to offer a direct connection between writers and their audience. Since then, Substack has evolved into a comprehensive platform for journalists, empowering them to build their own subscription-based publications and monetise their work independently.

Cutting out the middle man

Substack’s appeal lies in its ability to provide journalists with a level of creative and financial independence that writing in broadsheets and tabloids may not allow. It empowers writers to explore their passions, experiment with writing styles, and cover niche topics that may not receive attention from mainstream outlets. Instead of buying a paper to access your favourite regular column, you only need an online subscription. In this way, Substack enables journalists to foster a more intimate and interactive experience with their captivated readership.

Own your own content

One of the most significant advantages of Substack is in how it incentivises journalists. The platform enables journalists to monetise their content by offering subscription-based newsletters, with readers paying a monthly or annual fee to access premium content. Vittles newsletter, for example, charges £900 for an annual subscription, giving their contributors a bigger piece of the pie. Substack takes a small percentage of the subscription revenue, allowing journalists to retain the majority of their earnings – a positive symbiotic relationship. This model provides a sustainable income stream for journalists, while challenging and encouraging them to consistently produce high-quality and engaging content. Win, win right

Redefining relationships

Substack has become a catalyst for journalists to build their personal brands and develop a loyal readership, as Nunn has. By allowing writers to directly engage with subscribers through comments, Q&A sessions, and even exclusive events, Substack buttresses the central relationship between writer and reader. This consequently empowers journalists to better understand their readers’ interests, preferences, and feedback, while providing financial stability and creative freedom during the rising cost of living.

Criticisms and challenges

While Substack has garnered significant popularity and praise, its critics are equally robust. Some argue that it perpetuates the trend of the ‘attention economy’ – at a time when distrust in the media is growing, especially in light of the historic phone hacking at The News of the World, sensationalistic headlines can be used to drive engagement. Others raise concerns about the potential lack of editorial oversight. Substack does not enforce traditional journalistic rigour of an editorial process, leading to concerns it may only serve to slipping standards and an increase in disinformation.


Substack has emerged as a game-changer for journalists, offering an alternative path to success beyond the formulaic approach of traditional media. With its emphasis on independence, creative freedom, and direct engagement with readers, Substack has become an appealing platform for journalists seeking to build their personal brands, monetise their work, and cultivate a loyal audience.

This is important because, as an industry-leading PR agency, we have to stay on top of media developments to help our clients navigate Substack and achieve best media results. We recognise that Substack is changing the landscape of freelance journalism and encouraging more freelancers to write stories about their passion projects. For us, it may change the way we pitch to journalists in the future, with more of an emphasis on specialism – one of our key skills at Siren Comms. If Substack continues developing, we will be keeping a close eye on the knock-on effect on the power and reach of traditional media outlets and keep tabs on how it shapes the future of journalism. In the meantime, Joe will keep reading Vittles with gusto and we will experiment with targeting specific media with credible communities to work with.

Ask you team if you’d like to know more about Substack and then contact one of our experts at Siren Comms –


business, client news, corporate, marketing

April 2023, London: The charity, The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) has appointed comms and digital marketing agency, Siren Communications to amplify its important work with digital marketing.


As part of the project, Siren Comms will deliver refreshed messaging and provide robust comms planning around the RSL’s active calendar of events and campaigns. Meanwhile, the agency will also plan and implement a series of digital engagement campaigns to reach new audiences for the RSL.

The RSL is an independent charity that celebrates and supports writers at every stage of their career, as well as readers, and writing of all kinds. Its core belief is that literature changes lives, and everyone should have access to it. 

Founded in 1820, the RSL is a community of, and for, readers and writers. At the heart of the RSL is its Fellowship, which encompasses some of the most distinguished writers working today. Led by authors, the RSL’s Council, Chair and President are responsible for the direction and management of the charity alongside the executive staff team based at Somerset House. 

The recent recipients of B Corp status, Siren Comms’ work will be led by Stacey Stockwell, the agency’s director for purpose and sustainability on the comms and messaging side, with Jack Taylor, client director for digital marketing leading on all things digital.

To find out more about The RSL, please visit


For more information about Siren Comms, please visit

For media enquiries, please contact Stacey and Jack at

 About Siren Comms:

Siren Comms attained its B Corp status in November 2023.  Its team of handpicked communications experts, work with ambitious and purpose driven organisations and businesses seeking to embrace best practice in areas of sustainability, purpose and audience engagement.

Current work spans retained and project work for businesses in purpose & not for profit, sustainable travel & transport, food & hospitality and sustainable lifestyle sectors including several other B Corp businesses.


business, client news, corporate, marketing
Luna Benai

Siren Communications is excited to be expanding its client portfolio within the luxury sector with their recent appointment of contemporary art and fashion brand Luna Benai. The Siren team will support founder Katia Luna Benai on launching the brand to a UK audience targeting HNWI, driving partnerships, securing media exposure and developing brand messaging.

Luna Benaï creates luxurious contemporary Objets D’Art inspired by ancient Amazigh heritage and tradition. Every artifact tells a unique story and brings new meaning to wearable art. With Amazigh heritage, founder Katia Luna Benai lived her early years with her maternal grandmother and six aunts in a female-dominated household in Tébessa, Algeria. As a result of her family’s work and her father’s occupation as a diplomat, Katia spent her adolescence travelling, living in the Ivory Coast, India, Singapore, Paris, and London – ultimately leading her to pursue postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Arts.

This constant immersion in new and diverse cultures was the catalyst for her interest in traditional artforms, which now shapes the Luna Benai story. Luna Benai draws on traditional culture and heritage to create ‘wearable pieces of art’. The debut collection consists of two limited-edition geometric handbags – Nyx and Zazia – which are inspired by Amazigh history in their design.

For further information please visit

The team will be led by Siren Comms Director Katie Wright and supported by Senior Account Director Dimitra Papoutsakis.

business, client news, corporate, marketing
Following on from our B Corp certification, the Siren Communications 2022 Impact Report is here! Read on to find out more about our focus on sustainability and social responsibility, particularly in regards to our governance, people, community, the environment and our clients.

Click the link here to read the report – Siren Impact Report 2022

business, client news, corporate, marketing

Check out the website we created for our new client Four Corners Hospitality Group that cleanly demonstrates their expertise, values and approach providing leading global hotel support.

We were tasked by Four Corners Hospitality Group, one of the world’s leading providers of global hotel ownership support, with reviewing their website. After a robust appraisal, we offered our services to build a website from scratch. We duly delivered a sleek corporate website fit for 2023 and the future that illustrated the brand’s central tenets. This has demonstrated Siren’s ability to adapt and achieve clients goals that extend from the more traditional PR remit through into the digital space of website build and design.

View the website here –


business, client news, corporate, marketing

As we all know, the world is facing significant challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and environmental degradation. As businesses, we have a responsibility to play our part in creating a sustainable future for all. This is where B Corps come in.


B Corp, or Benefit Corporation, is a certification that businesses can earn by meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Corps are businesses that are committed to using their profits and growth to create a positive impact on society and the environment and this fits comfortably into Siren’s values.


With the current global situation, it’s now more important than ever to work towards being a sustainable business. At Siren we’re proud to be a certified B Corp, and we believe that every business can play a role in creating a more sustainable future. Let’s work together towards a better future for all.

#BCorp #sustainability #socialresponsibility #positivechange #sustainablefuture


business, client news, marketing



FLSK has appointed Siren Comms to handle the UK consumer launch of its premium reusable CUP and FLSK drinking bottles ranges. The agency will support across direct-to-consumer comms and focus specifically on campaigns to differentiate FLSKproducts in this highly competitive retail sector.


FLSK is available in the UK for the first time directly from and via Amazon UK. FLSK products have achieved successive nominations, shortlist placements and awards for several significant recognitions over the last five years.  The awards have all been made for design, performance and sustainability values, most notable of these are the Red Dot Awards, German Design Award, the Green Product Award for innovation and sustainability excellence and the German Brand Award in 2022. All FLSK products are carefully crafted with stylish design, high quality, peak performance, longevity, and sustainability in mind. 



The team behind FLSK is committed to creating high performing, stylish products for people who want to reduce their impact on the planet and that only want to invest in the best quality products to ensure no spills, no leakages and ultimate temperature regulation of drinks. 1% of the company’s turnover is invested in the FLSK Future Fund which supports other sustainabilityfocused enterprise and social impact projects.


FLSK is proud of its corporate partnerships which include other peak performing brands such as Audi, Google, Lufthansa and more.


Key design and performance features of FLSK bottles are their high-quality VICC®-Technology which keeps drinks ice-cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 18 hours. Using high-quality 304 stainless steel, the CUP and FLSK bottles are vacuum insulated and are completely leak proof and airtight – this means all gas and liquid is kept inside the bottle and so keeps sparkling beverages very fizzy. 


On launching in the UK, Xaver Hesselberger co-founder of FLSK and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Kusaba Brands, said, “We are excited to bring our premium FLSK products to the UK. It is a hugely competitive marketplace, and we know the competition is strong. We are confident our beautiful products will delight and impress UK audiences seeking a completely reliable drinking bottle or CUP. These products look so stylish and outperform others. We have removed all the niggles associated with alternative brands (leaking, spillages, poor insulation) and improved our design and performance. This is why it is the German market leader. It works.


Dimitra Papoutsakis, Client Director Lifestyle and Jack Taylor Client Director Digital will lead the FLSK Business at Siren Comms, a recently B Corp certified business.


For more information, please visit FLSK | The Original Stainless Steel Water Bottle. – FLSK Products UK




For more information on FLSK, Siren Comms or our work please contact Dimitra Papoutsakis or Rachel O’Connor



business, hi-tech, marketing, technology
Last week we jumped into the future and experimented with ChatGPT and saw how we can leverage this tool for our business, here’s our perspective;

Dimitra Lily Papoutsakis – Was I convinced about ChatGPT before trying it myself? Absolutely not. Am I now that I have played around with it myself – a little more yes. ChatGPT truly is all the rage at the moment, and we can see why. It’s impressive and I’m excited to use this tool as just that – a tool to help facilitate brainstorms, writing tasks and to help us think outside the box. But am I ready to lean on it as we do with real life team members and client partners, no. What ChatGPT cannot do yet is understand content, evaluate the ever-changing media and news landscape that we assess on an hourly basis, understand the backstory of a product, a brand and the emotions behind the people running the companies we work for and with. Until then, we remain proud and confident at leading in this space.

Stacey Stockwell – We’ve all been having a play with ChatGPT over the last week or so and the novelty factor has been fun. But looking at it from a practical point of view, it has the potential to be a great new tool in the comms arsenal. While nothing can replace human creativity and the wealth of business and sector knowledge required. The nuance of really good comms cannot be replicated by AI (yet?), but as a source of inspiration and increased efficiency it’s useful. It does love to roll out a cliché term or two, however, so it needs a close eye and policing to sift out those classic PR faux pas. It’s like having an extra team member who’s full of enthusiasm to help, but who is brand new to the team and very, very green.
Katie Wright – I admit it: I’ve been playing with ChatGPT for the past few days and I love it. I mean, beyond the novelty of asking it to write in the style of *insert celebrity or the fact I am a long term lover of a pun in copy (as and when the right client/brand allows for it) – it is helpful and makes us think that little bit harder about our content. 
I would be lying if I didn’t admit I am intrigued to see what the next year holds for AI. For comms professionals, I don’t think we should be panicking though. We need to embrace it and understand how we harness it in our roles, but what AI can’t do is offer wise counsel as a true client partner, figure out the hook or story or come up with an original or unique idea. That’s where the real value in our roles lies and it isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Jack Taylor – It’s fascinating and exhilarating. The potential to utilise this to increase productivity and efficiency is huge. Looking forward to using other OpenAI platforms to utilise even more tools. The future is here and I for one look to lean into it so we can continue to stay sharp to our clients by showcasing our ability to adapt to new tools.

#ChatGPT #AI #CustomerEngagement #BusinessGrowth #sirencomms #siren #agency #agencylife #agencywork

(Image generated by Dall-E 2)


business, marketing
Siren Communications is a certified B Corporation.

We make it our duty to be sustainable and to educate our audience and partners in sustainability.

By offsetting our emissions through ClimateCare’s Climate Impact mixed portfolio, we are supporting projects that make a measurable difference to people’s lives as well as protecting the environment.

All carbon credits are independently verified by an internationally-recognised carbon standard, including the Gold Standard, Verra’s VCS Program and the UN CDM.

For more information about our agency and what we can do for you, get in touch.

#bcorporation #sirencomms #siren #agency #pr #sustainability #sustainable

business, marketing

A rolling stone gathers no moss, which is why Siren is always evolving, innovating and staying relevant. 2023 brings a brand new Sizzle Reel to promote the work and success of Siren and gives you that little insight into what we can do for you.

Clients come and go but Siren’s work ethic and reliability to deliver the goods has and will always be in tact. Take a look below at the new Sizzle Reel and for good measure, share it with someone you think might need to see it.

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