PR Tips: Food & Drink Start Ups


Recently, I’ve met several amazing start-up food and drink companies who have hatched interesting and original products, from innovation in teas, sauces and marinades, to healthy snacks and ethical spirits. This got me thinking about the following pointers every start-up needs to know about PR.

Timing Timing is king and deciding on the right time to invest in PR should be an important part of any start-up’s business planning. It can be tough to know the right moment, but often you will reach a pivotal point that will help you make this decision. It might be when you are on the cusp of a major retail listing (or when you need help securing this); when you are about to invest in new production technology; or just a gut feel that it’s time to take your brand from the kitchen table towards a more serious proposition.

Briefing Providing a good written brief to your agency will help ensure your PR activity is aligned with your goals. You wouldn’t ask a builder to build you a house and not tell him where you want the windows and doors, so be clear about what you want your PR campaign to deliver from the start. Remember to include specific areas where you want support, such as new listings or activities, details about your target audience and any new launches in the pipeline. An idea of budget will also ensure everyone is clear as to the scale and type of campaign you can afford.

Photography Good photography is important for PR success for two reasons. Firstly, the old adage that pictures speak a thousand words is never more relevant than in our increasingly busy world. A photograph and how it is styled can say so much about your company and what your brand stands for. Think of Yeo Valley dairy products and how they are always photographed in a farm or green field setting. Secondly, good photography will increase your chances of media attention and more or less essential now across all forms of social media.

Integrate PR is much more strategic than simply getting coverage. A good PR campaign will help you curate an image for your company, product, service or brand and establish a dialogue between you and your customers. Making sure your PR agency is aware of other marketing or sales activities you are undertaking (and vice versa) means that everyone is working together for your business.

Get the Most from Your Agency Viewing your relationship as a partnership and not just a service you are buying is important. Trust is a key factor and listening to advice on what will work and what won’t will save you time and money. Feedback is vital too – good and bad. When a relationship like this is in place, it will help your agency be enthusiastic about your business, fostering loyalty and a genuine desire to help you succeed and prosper.

Measuring for PR Success

If PR success was measured by the amount of publicity one receives then Teresa May would be doing very well indeed. Except of course, the reality is rather different. There’s an old saying that goes ‘all publicity is good publicity’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The wrong sort of publicity can ruin reputations and end careers. And sometimes the job of a PR professional is to keep their clients out of the news, rather than in it. Continue reading

The Taxing Problem of Trust

trust-e1436536636481The tax affairs of the rich and powerful in the headlines this week had me thinking about the issue of trust – that most precious of assets that takes time to win yet only moments to lose. In a recent poll just 21%* of Britons trust politicians to tell the truth, so even with the latest scandal to hit Parliament, Government ministers don’t have very far to fall in the eyes of the public. But while politicians may be perhaps a lost cause in the trust stakes, what about the rest of us?
Continue reading

3 Tips Every Campaigner Should Know


Getting publicity for an issue you are passionate about can be tough. One reason is because you’re not alone in wanting a share of the limelight. Take for example the staggering 800 plus special days or ‘awareness weeks’ already planned for 2014. From ‘National Compliment Day’ in January to ‘Orangutan Awareness Week’ in November, there are light-hearted and serious causes vying for attention nearly every day of the year. Continue reading