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2020, a year in review

It was really hard to write this overview, a re-telling of the most extraordinary sequence of events, the hardships recognised and the successes necessarily celebrated. But for 2020, there is no one theme we can connect with, what is the takeaway? There have been highs and lows, sadness and success, hard work and more hard work. And for many, huge sacrifices. 

This time last year, we were celebrating an award win, the arrival of Sharp Relations’ second employee, (the wonderfully organised Claire Hernandez) and we were getting ready to wave Jo Rose off on maternity leave. Our clients were incredibly busy fulfilling their Christmas orderbooks, launching new menus and product lines, with our festive pro bono work fitting in betwixt and between. 

2020 has been hard. It’s been hard for everyone. We really miss our restaurants and food service clients a lot, and for them it must be heart-breaking to watch a business you’ve lovingly built diminish before your eyes. We felt so much of this anguish alongside our clients. There are many schemes to show support including, Produced in Kent’s Support Your Local, Hospitality for Homelessness and #CaringCustomer pledges. 

In February, the company employed an Operations Director just in the nick of time, with now three employees we needed someone driving the actual business as I was drowning in admin. Martin Stanning is very efficient and extremely detail orientated, as a result, the team is better able to focus on creating clear client strategies and making sure our communications campaigns meet our client’s unique business objectives. 

April was scary, May was intense. Jo came back from mat leave bringing her signature enthusiasm with her, giving the team a much-needed boost. June was extraordinarily busy and in July we were able to bring in more back up: The powerhouse that is Amy Goodier-Porter joined our team, who has already demolished one keyboard due to her vociferous typing!  

Moving into the Autumn, as a family-friendly company, we were all pleased to see our kids’ educational needs being handled by professionals again. Although brands still need help building longer lasting visibility, budgets are tight after this year so, alongside the traditional retainer style model, we’ve launched a results-based package for new clients. Put simply, we work until the agreed targets have been met. So far, it’s been proving popular. 

For brands that want to grow, it’s imperative that time and budget is not wasted pursuing the wrong communications activities. Sharpen Your Brand is a comprehensive brand analysis and communications strategy service to work with you to identify the best activities and platforms to meet your brand objectives. Only £299 for a fully actionable strategic growth plan.  

What will Post-Brexit 2021 bring? Here in Kent the lorries on the motorway continue to be a source of conversation, the vaccine and its roll out dominates the headlines and as I type this, I’m watching the news that the Oxford vaccine, AstraZeneka has been approved for use. We’re feeling tentatively positive about the future. 

If your business needs help, please ask us. We believe in playing it forward and we want everyone to survive and thrive. If we can help, we will. We look forward to seeing you in 2021. 

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