The era of the digital food critic

You’re planning to go out for dinner, you want to try somewhere new, so you hop onto Urbanspoon and make your judgement based on the customer reviews.

It’s a regular habit and as Khoury pointed out in her post, businesses are finding their products and services challenged by negative online opinion.


Negative review on Urbanspoon

Negative review of Chapel St’s Fonda restaurant on Urbanspoon

Negative food review on Urbanspoon

Negative review of Melbourne restaurant Chin Chin on Urbanspoon


The emergence of user review sites such as Urbanspoon and Yelp serve as innovative tools. Businesses should understand and take advantage of this tool to increase their sales and traffic.

According to David Legget from UX (a publication dedicated to making the web a better place) reviews create conversation. They create a silent dialogue between the customer and the business. Businesses and their PR representatives need to be equipped with the skills to engage in this conversation.

Kate Conroy a product specialist at Google Australia wrote an article on Mumbrella on how to handle online customer reviews. Businesses need to stop fearing negative feedback and channel that energy into exercising professional constructive responses. Conroy asserts that this can be done by responding publicly  in a calm, professional way, apologising and explaining how you fixed or will fix the problem in question. She also emphasises the importance of responding to positive reviews as well, as this strengthens the rapport between a businesses and its consumers.

A business even uses humour to make the most and put a spin on a negative user review

Businesses can even use humour to make the most and put a spin on a negative user reviews

According to an article published on Gartner – the worlds leading information and technology research company – 10 to 15% of social media reviews will be fake and paid for by companies.

Alison Eveleigh, a solicitor and author of this relevant article on Mumbrella, cannot stress enough how important it is for businesses to not give in to the temptation of deliberately posting false reviews or paying for positive ones. Not only will this jeopardise integrity, ethical business practice and transparency it is illegal as confirmed by the ACCC. The ACCC guidelines are here and the implemented legislations here.

Khoury touches on the argument that more should be done to monitor these online platforms. It is therefore worth exploring services such as Power Review that can help businesses monitor and screen customer content to ensure accuracy, fairness, authenticity and brand protection.


The Devil wears Prada and discloses it, unlike some fashion bloggers today

Do we really know how much fashion bloggers earn from their presence in the digital world?

An investigation by the Australian Women’s Weekly (AWW) has provided an insight regarding the business practices of fashion bloggers.

In its recent March issue, AWW published the Instagram rate card of Roxy Jacenko’s fashion blogger agency Ministry Of Talent.


Prices varied from $850 to be featured on Sydney Fashion Blogger’s instagram to $200 to get broadcasted on her daughter Pixie’s Instagram.


Fashion Bloggers and popular social media personalities are becoming human billboard spaces that brands are increasingly willing to pay for.

There is no issue with bloggers being paid or choosing to engage in business rapports with brands. It’s innovative and forward thinking. What is an issue jeopardising the authenticity and credibility of fashion blogging as an industry is the lack of transparency and disclosures of commercial arrangements.

Jacenko spoke to Mumbrella, saying that ‘social media is a new territory and given this there is going to be challenges in finding a clear path’.

It is our job as PR professionals to steer and encourage this new manifestation of business in a direction that is transparent and law-abiding because it can be done without compromising the essential nature of fashion blogging – it just needs to become a regularity. The quirky sister duo from the How Two Live blog provide a good example with their highly acclaimed collaboration with Windsor Smith shoes.




Laura McWhinnie, a blogger and digital creative wrote an article for Mumbrella here, highlighting the importance of disclosure and the ease with which transparency can be achieveed in the industry. It all comes down to trust. Consumers don’t want to feel duped by people they follow on social media. It’s as easy as disclosing everything, using third-party services and staying true to your brand.

Adhering to these simple recommendations is given greater incentive by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), ruling new regulations stating that fashion bloggers who continue to talk up products on their social media accounts without disclosing financial compensation run the risk of breaching the law.

Tools such as compliance software for social media need to be established and used. Strategic Services Agency, Social Media Explore wrote an article highlighting the glaring hole in helping brands create and manage more effective disclosures. PR professionals have the opportunity to take initiative in this niche of the industry and help create tools to facilitate fashion bloggers in disclosing their business rapports.



Listen Out Melbourne

So on the weekend I went to this really cool party in an enchanted garden location and the likes of Azealia Banks, Disclosure, Classixx, Duke Dumont, Touch Sensitive, Rüfüs, TNGHT and Aluna George were all there. No, it wasn’t a dream it actually happened. Crazy huh?

I feel that it is more appropriate to say that on Saturday I attended a really rad outdoor party as opposed to a music festival. That’s the vibe of the fresh new event known as Listen Out that took place and debuted for the first time in Melbourne on Saturday, nestled within the city at the beautiful botanical gardens.

Organizers of Listen Out intended to strip away all the things we punters don’t like about major music festivals (such as serious timetable clashes, painful hikes to various annoyingly spread out stages, teasingly short sets and overwhelming crowd numbers) to create a new redefined way of experiencing music live.

The line up manifested the philosophy of ‘the best’ not ‘the biggest’ which I thought was clever as it meant each act was able to interact intimately with their audience and perform a longer more thorough set.

The weather gods of Melbourne put on a perfect 25-something-degree day with the right amount of sunshine to chill out and set the day right. Upon arrival around 2, I realized how small the event vicinity was which I saw as a good thing as it meant I wouldn’t have to leave any artist early to make it in time for another.

I started my day of with Rüfüs at the Atari Stage cleverly positioned in some shade (nothing worse than looking up at an act and being blinded by the sun). The Sydney-based trio has been one of the most talked about acts of the year and has become one of the most requested artists on Triple J. I was super excited to see these guys, as I was one of the many unfortunate to miss out on their sold out multiple Melbourne shows. Sundream and Desert Night were absolute standouts from their set for me. As soon as dreamy lead vocalist Tyrone sung the opening lyrics the fellow members James and Jon followed through with such soft and smooth rhythms that it would’ve just been awkward to not move a little and embrace the feel good tunes.

Following Rüfüs at the Atari Stage was UK producer Duke Dumont who I know as the creator of the infectiously catchy tune Need U 100%. Being a one-man show he didn’t have the interactive stage presence the previous act had but I did love his set for the fact that it made me feel like I was transported to some Vegas pool/day club. Staying at the Atari stage to catch a few discoesque sublime beats from Classixx (live) was a smart move. The L.A DJ duo won me over with their French inspired beach vibes summer charmer Holding On. It’s very hard to believe that the Listen Out tour has been the first time they’ve played live in Australia. We should definitely have them over more often.

Quarter to six I made my way to the other main stage called the 909 in under 4 minutes (thanks again to the neat set up). Here I was awaiting AlunaGeorge – UK duo comprised of the angelically sweet vocals of Aluna and production prowess of George. Opening the set with the very cheeky Just A Touch track AlunaGeorge were killing it, I knew they were because when I looked behind me to get a glimpse of the crowd all I could see was hands in the air, grinding and grooving bodies everywhere. ‘I love it when I see you having fun’ she sang and I’m sure she could tell everyone was having A LOT of fun. They’re best known for their highly talked about and popular track Your Drums, Your Love so unsurprisingly as soon as that came on the crowd got even more into it singing along. The chorus in that tune is nothing but pure bliss this along with the sun well and almost set on the Botanic Gardens, AlunaGeorge’s set was one of my favorites of the day.

Now let’s just take a moment to discuss the series of events that happened down at the Atari stage just after 6pm. Azealia Banks had a bit of a shit one in the Sydney leg of Listen Out as she stormed off stage 20 minutes into her 50-minute set due to people in the crowd chucking rubbish at her. Her Melbourne crowd was cool, calm and collected. I was pretty excited because I knew her set would be incredible with lots of new tracks she’s been working on since her last visit (In March for Future Festival). 6:25pm came around and the Harlem rapper hit the stage with her two baben’ dancers, opening the set with the new ATM Jam track.  90 seconds into the performance a full beer can was thrown at Azealia. She consequently let go of her mic, walked off stage never to return and tweeted a quick apology saying ‘Sorry to all the festival-goers in Melbourne!!!!!! See ya tomorrow in Brisbane!!!!!!’. A mixture of cheering, booing and even crying erupted from the crowd with lots of mixed opinions about the whole situation.

Just after 8pm the Atari stage was the place to be. It was actually the only place to be as the other two stages were done and closed off for the night. The well-planned set times meant that everybody was able to see the massively awaited Disclosure. Considering the release and success of their album ‘Settle’ – the crowd was buzzing, lyrics were memorized ready to be belted and everyone was getting geed up by the famous disclosure face done up in pyrotechnics. I had my fingers crossed that this set would go off on a grand scale note to really make Listen Out worth its while. And it did. It went beyond that; the UK-based brother duo exceeded my expectations. Opening their headlining live set with F For You was the perfect way to tease the crowd for what was yet to come. Intricately layered beats, smooth synths and deep UK house pervaded each track they played from the older stuff like Boiling and my personal absolute favorite bouncy Flow to their newer ‘Settle’ tracks such as You & Me and When a Fire Starts To Burn.

Despite a favorite act cut short due to crowd stupidity and a lack of food options Listen Out really did live up to its boutique party vibe hype. I can definitely see it becoming an Australian staple music event.



Celeste Tesoriero High Summer 13/14

Who: Celeste Tesoriero

What: Designer

Where: Sydney based

Why: She’s designed for other labels in the past but only recently invested herself into her own project. Her brand is a mere few seasons old, however if you suss out her 13/14 summer collection titled ‘High Summer’ you will come to realise that it’s no surprise that things have taken off very well and very fast for this emerging Aussie. She is different, she bends the rules that everyone seems to stick by when summer comes round. You think bold splashes of colour and clashing patterns for summer, whereas Celeste goes against this and creates a refined collection with an active wear vibe. Think of a monochrome colour palette, with textured fabrics that just speak for themselves – it’s just fresh and invigorating. I can definitely see myself wearing one of these pieces on my tanned body this Summer.


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KS Swim SS 13/14 Lookbook ‘Ruins’

I want to purchase one of Karla Spetic’s  sophomore swimwear pieces and demonstrate a testament to the history of my home country – Egypt. Her latest collection soon to rein supreme come summer is an obvious ode to the pyramids, hieroglyphics, ancient desert inspired prints and anything monumental to the lavish era of ancient Egypt.  Click here to have a look into making some of this rad swimwear yours.


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This track has got me through a seriously stressful swotvac period, a myriad of GRIT strength training sessions AND the infamous hot bikram yoga classes that I’ve done this week. Thank you Rustie and Flume. Owe ya one!