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Welcome to 2020!

The January Update!

The new decade has started at an exciting pace for Sharp Relations. Unless you’ve been living in a media black-out you will certainly have heard about Thackery’s shock launch of its new 5-course Honesty Menu. Our phones are literally ringing off the hook (hence why this blog is 19 days late!). Last Friday, we had the honour of experiencing a sneak preview tasting of the menu, it was in-cred-ible. Such an innovative, inspiring and, quite frankly, enormously instagrammable experience that I’m going to have to go back with my husband. What makes it honest you ask? So, after experiencing what I would describe as an absolute culinary extravaganza, you are asked to simply ‘pay what it means to you’. Already this innovative concept has generated over 25 pieces of coverage capturing the interests of numerous national newspapers, radio stations and even TV’s Jay Rayner.

Meanwhile, in case you didn’t know January is now known as “Veganuary”, a time some people like to try making vegan swops, so for our ethical London-based cake client OGGs, it’s been a busy time with samples going out to around 80 different national writers, magazine editors, bloggers and influencers wanting to dip their toe in. There’s no stopping this brand, we’ve rolled straight into Veganuary following a festive period which saw the generation of 54 piece of coverage on their ethical mince pies alone – phew!

Other vegan options have been the incredible Edible Teas from Nim’s Fruit Crisps. If you haven’t yet tried them – do! Available currently on their website for the discounted price of £5 a box, personally my favourite flavour is the Pineapple and Kiwi, here’s the link – you’re welcome. Our health writers are calling in samples left, right and centre so you’d better be quick! And keep an eye out for Nim’s new Redlove Apple crisps, the perfect crimson beauties which are good for your heart in more ways than one.

Oast to Host has launched its game-changing flour range for home-bakers living with coeliac or gluten intolerance. But what we discovered is that it’s extremely hard to tell the difference. The new flour range is going down very well with cookery editors at the big food magazines, watch this space for more exciting news.

Lost Sheep Coffee has some very thrilling plans afoot with the business expansion very much underway. This brand’s growth has been extraordinary – with the 2019 launch of its air-tight compostable Nespresso compatible capsules – it’s generating a lot of interest from investors. We have a press release waiting in the wings so we’ll reveal more next month.

Macknade is gearing up for the Ashford Launch….more to follow on that very soon too.

And we are delighted to welcome Fallen Brewery back to the agency and its fantastic range of Scottish craft beers all inspired by the old Kippen railway station in which the brewery is situated. There’s a lot of exciting changes afoot for the brand and we’ll be sure to keep you updated. Such a gorgeous range and it gives me a chance to flex my beer tasting muscles again after judging the beer category for the Great Taste Awards last June.

And to the real heart of our business, our people, they make up the very essence of our little agency.

We have been really excited to welcome experienced Account Manager Claire Hernandez to the team, she started with us at the end of November and she has had to hit the ground running negotiating opportunities for clients across all media channels. Despite one of the busiest periods the agency has ever seen Claire has more than stood up to the challenge – proving  her ability to take phone calls and type emails simultaneously – and already generating some absolutely fantastic opportunities for our clients in national newspapers and consumer magazines alike.

The awe-inspiring Katie Anderson continues to add value in everything she does, from updating the website, to keeping client coverage books looking awesome, to driving our social media to spotting the latest trends, blog writing, idea generation and much more.

We are also very pleased to welcome the very talented Klara Matusewicz a final year Marketing Communications undergraduate from the University of Kent, she is already adding so much value to the team, not least for her incredible knowledge of the Microsoft package, welcome Klara!

We were certainly sad to say “adieu” to the lovely Jo Rose as she set off on maternity leave at the end of December. We are sending her all the good vibes and excitedly awaiting news of her newest arrival. And we are very much look forward to welcoming her back later in the year.

As for me, I’m ever grateful that Aber – the office dog – takes me for a fresh air mindfulness walk every lunchtime.

AJ x

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December Update

This month has been BUMPER in every possible way. Our clients have appeared in The Evening Standard, the Metro, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, BBC Good Food, Good Housekeeping, Olive, delicious, The Index Magazine, Vegan Living, Vegan Life, Fine Food Digest, Kent Life, The Index Magazine, InsideKENT, Chef Magazine, Speciality Food, Women’s Health, The Grocer, ‘Cene Magazine, KM Group as well as hundreds of bloggers and websites to boot. Too many to mention but our coverage reader as logged nearly 300 pieces this month alone. WOW!

Christmas is still going in earnest as the last few national newspapers call in samples for Christmas but we’re starting to wrap up the festive antics at last. Long lead we have Vegan January, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day on the brain….

There are so many exciting new projects on the cards for 2020 and we will be releasing exciting news about them as and when we can.

We’re shining a light on Thackeray’s Shock Launch of a 5 course Tasting Menu coming up in January, find out more here.

December is the season for giving and we’ve been involved in a lot of pro bono work this work this month. It’s really important to us to put back into the community and the best way we can do this is by sharing the incredible work and stories of others. 

This month we are supporting Dockers who have pledged to deliver 10 loaves of bread to the Winter Shelter Appeal at the Rainbow Trust every week between December and February.

We are also support Primal Roots, who together with The White Cliffs Hotel, are launching wellbeing retreats. Where for every place sold, Primal Roots will donate a day of Primal Health and Fitness to a person experiencing homelessness this winter.

Festive Greetings one and all!

AJx

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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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