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November Update

November Update

We’re 12 days late with the November update and that is because it’s been another seriously eventful month. This week Sharp Relations is running five different events on behalf of our clients, involving 18 journalists and writers, most of whom have travelled to Kent especially to see our clients. I can’t do the stats for the whole month, but it’s a lot of reviews, press trips, experiences, lunches and masterclasses!

Posting, packaging and delivering client’s samples to writers for gift guides, festive food features and rounds ups has continued at a frenetic rate. This, of course, can only be a good thing. We’ve had to employ a cloud based management system to keep track of activities.

After receiving 72 applications for our role, we have found our new team member and we look forward to welcoming Claire Hernandez to the team in December.

AJ gave a lecture to the third year Marketing Students in the Sibson Building at the University of Kent at the end of October. She talked about future food trends, changing times in journalism and the effect of influencers on the media.

Finally, Sharp Relations has been nominated for two awards in the Kent Business Awards, Ashford group. Firstly, AJ is up for ‘Business Woman of the Year’ and secondly the agency is up for ‘Start-up Business of the Year’, we will hear the results at the Awards Dinner on the 20th November: There’s some seriously strong competition so we’re just chuffed to be finalists.

News from some of our Clients…

Well, where to start? There’s so much going on….. Nim’s Fruit Crisps have created a range of festive crisps including Brussel spout crisps, all air dried not fried so counts as one of your five a day. Brilliant healthier alternative for festive nibbles!

OGGs® Mince pies are flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked in Sainsbury’s.

Macknade has opened a dedicated wine shop and is hosting butchery masterclasses, wine events, pop up suppers and more.

The Pearson’s Arms has just released its winter menu and started lighting the fires, so do get down to Whitstable for a cosy evening.

Lost Sheep Coffee is reflecting on the success of the past year and looking forward to some very exciting plans for 2020, watch this space!

Thackeray’s is gearing up for a very busy Christmas, hurry and book if you want one of their quirky event spaces for your private party.

And new client Oast to Host is launching a very exciting category changing product range but it’s embargoed for now, more on that to follow!

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October Update

We’re going into half term with a bang!

October has continued on from September at a relentless festive-fuelled pace with client’s samples for gift guides and taste tests firing out in every direction across the London and the UK.

Many of the long lead glossy publications are already looking ahead to January. It’s certainly a good time to have a vegan or vegetarian friendly product range or menu, like our aquafaba-fuelled friends at OGGs® and new client Nim’s, an air-dried whole fruit and vegetable crisp producer – one of your five a day.

You may have spotted our adverts for new staff; we’ve had an overwhelming response with nearly 50 candidates applying for the role of office junior. And we’re hoping to confirm the new recruit by the end of the year, taking our little team up to four people.

PR Toolkit has doubled its members over the last month. The £14.99 a month DIY food and drinks PR service is really appealing to smaller and start-up companies looking to start building a brand reputation.

Supporting the next generation, AJ Sharp will be giving guest lecture at the University of Kent on 29th of October for its third year Marketing and Management students. She will speak for 45 minutes about the ever-changing media landscape and how to tailor content to fit multiple different sectors and outlets.

News from some of our clients:

OGGs® launched its ethical mince pies this month as well as a 2-pack chocolate cupcake in Sainsbury’s; Pearson’s Arms in Whitstable is preparing for an extremely busy half term with early child-friendly service in the restaurant and the new Wednesday night pie and pint for £10 is looking ahead for Christmas; new fine dining client Thackeray’s restaurant in Tunbridge Well has a completely new look and loads of exciting new dishes on the menu; Macknade has launched butchery masterclasses and plans are well in action for the new venue launch in Ashford in November; Lost Sheep Coffee is basking in the glory of some extraordinary sales success following on from its compostable capsules launch earlier this year; and new client Nim’s has launched a range of fruit crisps perfect for children. There are more equally exciting projects and news stories in the pipeline, which we can’t shout about yet, but there will be more on those next month….

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We’re Hiring!

Sharp Relations is looking for an office junior to join its busy foodie PR team in Kent.

Have you ever wanted to work in PR? Do you love food and drink? Do you like writing? Then this job might be the perfect role for you!

Sharp Relations is an award-winning PR agency based in Smarden, Kent. We work with some of the most dynamic and exciting food and drinks brands across Kent and the South East. We live and breathe food trends, events, exhibitions, new launches, new openings and festivals. We’ve taken on more clients, more personalities and more fun. So, we need an office junior to help us with the day-to-day running of the office and supporting across all our client accounts.

This is an ideal role for someone hoping to start a career in PR. We will provide entry level training for the right person to fit our little team. Perhaps you are a recent graduate looking for opportunities to kick start your PR career, or a parent looking to get back into work again needing flexible hours, or someone looking to reduce their working week. Whoever you are, drop us line.

The minimum hours required are 10-3pm Mon-Fri at the office in Smarden, TN27 8PG.

Please send your CV to aj@sharprelations.com

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September Update

Well, it’s certainly been a busy Summer! August used to be a quiet month but with ‘Christmas in July’ and festive samples flying to magazine houses all over London, it’s been far from quiet.

Our little team continues to grow with Jo and Katie working across all the client accounts. PR Toolkit is growing and developing as we get feedback from our clients. The summer has been filled with the usual planning meetings, photo shoots, ‘Christmas in July’, PR collaborations, food events and press trips.

Our clients are really pushing things forwards, special mentions for Macknade announcing the launch of a second site at Elwick place in Ashford, we’re expecting it to open sometime in Autumn. Our PR team is working on a press trip for national writers coming down to the Faversham site in September.

The team at OGGs deserves a shout out too as this company has not lifted their foot of the gas-pedal for a single second, something we have come to expect from this dynamic company. After a Sainsbury’s and Waitrose launch in July, we’ve generated a bumper Summer of coverage with 46 pieces of coverage in July and August. There’s no sign of a let up for this ethical egg-free, dairy-free cake maker.

The gorgeous Pearson’s Arms in Whitstable has been given some fantastic (well-deserved) reviews as we look ahead to Autumn and what delicious creations this innovative team has in store.

We’re kicking off September with several completely new programmes. We are delighted to see the return of Lost Sheep Coffee to the team, they have so much to shout about. Starting with the launch of a new decaf capsule (that’s hot to the press – get in touch for more details).

We will be supporting a local celebrity chef who has a lot of delicious projects afoot….more details later.

We have a few other new projects underway in the background, we can’t say any more for now but there will be more on those next month….

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Life After Winning An Award – A PR Guide

At this time of year, lots of award results are announced and if you are one of the lucky ones – congratulations! But do you know how to make the most of your award?

Here is our checklist on how to make the most of your award win:

  1. Update your website immediately. You can simply write the award details into the existing copy and overlay the award image next to your current product image.

  2. Post the news to social media straight away – the best place to begin PR is to reach out to an established network.

  3. Update your packaging as soon as humanly possible. If you have the capacity (and budget) you can have your packaging modified and reprinted. Many businesses do not want to wait so they add stickers to each and every product in the interim period. The perfect holiday job for someone.

  4. Get your pack shots re-taken as soon as your product packaging displays your award. This really is a priority for boosting your sales as well as your PR. If you have a designer who can create a mock-up that might work ok in the interim. We can also recommend several photographers who offer cost-effective options with single pack shots starting from £30.

  5. Update your online retailers once you have the new pack shots or mock-ups. If you have a good relationship with the retailer, ask to have your awards mentioned in the product descriptions too.

  6. Don’t forget to update the images on your website too.

  7. Use the feedback document to pick out some testimonials for your social media. “The most delicious coconut ice cream we have ever tasted”. Testimonials don’t need to be long sentences, something simple like “deliciously indulgent” would work fine. Use Canva to make Testimonial memes with text overlaying your most delicious looking product images.

  8. PR yourself! Send a newsletter to your list of clients, suppliers and/or customers.

  9. Write a blog or news story for your website (if you have one).

  10. Generate some PR by writing a press release for your local newspapersYou can follow a template or pay someone to draft a release and help you to choose the right media contacts. This is a lovely story for your local media, especially if you can build upon your story and tie it into another local news story. You can simply shout about all the exciting things going on in your business at the moment: An expansion story, investment partner or incredible new client will all add to the success story for your business.

Good luck – if we can help you know where to find us!

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