August Update

Hello!  

This is my first time writing the monthly update for Sharp Relations.  I can’t believe it’s already the end of August, where has the summer gone?! Or did it even begin?  
 
You might assume August is a quiet month with lots of clients and media away, yet we’ve had a very busy month…! Tell us about your holidays! It’s super important to take a break and our team has enjoyed some wonderful staycations and trips across the country, from the West Coast of Scotland to Cornwall, Devon to Oxford, Lyme Regis to Broadstairs and lots of trips to the gorgeous beaches along the South coast. Nothing like taking a break away to reset, charge your energy stores and come back with more ideas, better processes and inspiration for creative accounts. 

New Clients 
We’re really excited to be running a project for Kent’s oldest vineyard and winery, Biddenden Vineyard, over the next couple of months. They are already well known, especially in Kent, for producing lovely wines, cider and fruit juices. But we’ve been asked to help them to tell a rather special story, all will be revealed soon enough but our lips are tightly sealed for now… watch this space! 

This month we’ve also seen the exciting return of Lion Brewery Co which is back after a 72-year slumber. Subscribing to the era of mindful living, Lion Brewery Co beers are unpasteurised to preserve the flavour, yeasts and enzymes and are made with all-natural ingredients to ensure the freshest, tastiest and highest quality beer. Sounds good to us! 
 
Now, who doesn’t love cheese? We’re all huge cheese fans here in the office so we were thrilled to begin working with artisan cheese brand, Blackwoods. Blackwoods Cheese Company make DELICIOUS unpasteurised, cow’s milk cheese at an organic farm in Kent, and when we say it’s delicious, we really mean it! The team and I were very happy to do a taste test of their Graceburn varieties last week (Original was the winner for me!). 

Launches 
We launched another new addition for OGGS® this month, their new 1L Egg Alternative Aquafaba which is perfect in food service and for restaurants looking to cater for their plant-based visitors. Think stiff peak meringues, crowd-pleasing Yorkshire puds, fluffy brunch pancakes, and even Gin Fizz cocktails… Aquafaba can do it all! 

Vimto [meets] Cheesecake – The Vittles team has been busy launching Vittles Foods’ latest cheesecake flavour after partnering with iconic British soft drink brand, Vimto. Exclusively for Iceland and Food Warehouse, the velvety baked cheesecake, set on a digestive biscuit crumb base and topped with a vibrant Vimto original flavoured glaze was happily welcomed in the office for another tasting this month (we do work, we promise!). 

Kent’s leading food and drink experts, Macknade, has revealed further details of its growth plans as they announce a partnership with family-owned department store, Hoopers in Tunbridge Wells. With an early September launch date, be prepared for all-day dining experiences which take customers from breakfast and brunch to light, lunch suppers and leisurely drinks, as well as a delightful retail offering of wines, beers, ciders, fresh produce hampers and flower bouquets. I know what I’ll be doing that weekend! 

Have you heard about Produced in Kent’s year-long campaign, Change one Thing? With the aim to encourage and support a more sustainable attitude to food, Floortje Hoette, Produced in Kent’s Chief Executive, says it’s easier to change one thing at a time and shares some helpful tips and advice on how to buy and eat smarter. For the month of August, the focus is on ‘eating the seasons’, and with this month being known for great quality potatoes, courgettes and aubergine – we don’t think it will be too hard! 

The family friendly  Kent Life Heritage Farm Park has been in full swing over the summer holidays, keeping little ones busy with lots of fun activities. With restrictions lifted last month, we’ve been busy shouting about Big Top Shows, visits from Flip the Clown, Halloween Spooktaculars, Firework Spectaculars and even visits from Santa, not forgetting the farm’s adorable fury friends. Are you visiting the famous Ice Cream Festival this Bank Holiday weekend? If ice cream is not your thing, then come back for the Hops ‘n’ Harvest Festival taking place on the 11th and 12th of September.  
 

Team News 
It’s bittersweet to wave goodbye to our superstar AE Klara who was offered a place on a very prestigious Master course at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands this September. Klara will be starting a pre-masters, and then a masters in International Media Studies.  Best of luck Klara, we’ll all miss you terribly, come back soon and visit us, we wish you well in everything! 

We’re Hiring! 
We’re hiring (again!) We’re looking for a talented junior to join our busy foodie media team. Absolutely MUST be excited about food and drink and a confident communicator. Please introduce yourself by emailing jobs@sharprelations.com. We welcome applications from everyone and anyone! Salary will match the person and their experience, but the bracket is £18 – 22K. All training will be provided on the job, we tend to be drawn to creative people with passion and spark!  

What training do Kent Business Owners Want? 
As an industry partner for Produced in Kent Limited, we’ve been asked to provide some support training to its members’ but we can’t decide which is most useful so we’re putting it up for a vote! https://lnkd.in/d6nSyJnP It only takes 10 seconds!  

Growth Mentoring 
Have you heard? We now offer Growth Mentoring programme which offers brands and businesses one-to-one sessions with our very own founder and entrepreneur, AJ Sharp!  

The Growth Mentoring sessions allow the business owner to set the agenda and pace, allowing them to focus on what’s important to their business.  

AJ says: “From pricing to platforms; marketing to motivation. You can ask me anything. Together we will work through your individual challenges and I will help you to drill down into what it is you want from your business and how you might be able to achieve those goals and dreams.” 

If you’re ready to transform your business and take it to the next step, then book a session with AJ. 

To read more and book your slot now, click here

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PR Tips: 

  • The long-lead media have well and truly filed their Christmas stories now so it’s worth getting ready to approach the mid-lead titles as they seem to be starting earlier and earlier each year. Think national supplements, Women’s mags and typical Trade titles.   
  • There’s still lots of opportunities for this year to shout about to mid-lead and online titles, think Back to School, Sober October, Halloween and Fireworks night, and of course Christmas and New Year – if you’re launching a gifting hamper or advent calendar, the media want to hear from you! 
  • You’ll blink and it’s 2022 – if you’re a free-from brand, or if you have any alcohol-free products, you should be thinking about reaching out to long lead glossies with your Veganuary and Dry January products and recipes. Eye catching photography is a must! 
  • This time of year, lots of titles are looking for competitions and giveaway prizes which can work brilliantly to raise awareness for your brand (and if on social media, can significantly raise your following) so think about holding one if you can. 
     

And if you’d like to learn more about how PR can help you grow your business, come and talk to us! We love sharing our experience and expertise with businesses looking for help with PR and brand-building, and we’d be delighted to have a coffee and a chat – especially now that in person meetings are allowed, how lovely and refreshing would that be?!  

We’re ready when you are! 
 
Anna x 

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