Posts from April 2012

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Refresh PR and Acorn hop across Manchester to MediaCity:UK

Acorn Treatment and Refresh PR visited MediaCity:UK earlier today to go live on air with Andy Crane at BBC Radio Manchester (follow from 1hr 18.49) Acorn gets ready for the interview - Refresh PR Manchester


The reason?  As Russell Brand was making national headlines for his appearance in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee, where he expressed his opinions on treatments for those with drug and alcohol addictions, Acorn was there to talk about the solutions that those living in Manchester have at their disposal.


Acorn Treatment works across Greater Manchester, with centres in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, Stockport and Tameside to name but a few.  From introducing its clients to its RAMP programme, it works with those with drug and alcohol addiction to help them achieve abstinence.  Acorn also works with its clients’ families to ensure everyone involved receives the support they need, and even helps its clients to integrate back into the community by helping them to secure long-term employment opportunities.

 The Acorn Team at Media City UK - Refresh PR Manchester


Represented by Billy and Daran, the Acorn team chatted with presenter Andy Crane and told him about the Acorn Treatment programme.  They described how they welcomed the media attention that Russell Brand has brought to the issue of treatment programmes and supported his view that abstinence-based programmes are indeed effective.  Daran, who also appeared in the Manchester Evening News a few months ago, turned his back on drugs and now works for Acorn, the charity which helped him through his recovery.  He told an audience of up to 3.5 million drive time listeners how the abstinence-based approach has worked for him and encouraged anyone in Greater Manchester to call Acorn for help and advice. 

 Laura with Acorn at Media City UK - Refresh PR Manchester

Acorn Treatment can be found online at and on 0161 484 0000.



Tagged with: Manchester, PR, Public Relations, Radio campaign

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Refresh PR geeked it up this week attending The Gadget Show Live with Otone Audio. The huge seven day event held at the NEC is a favourite with anyone who likes to know about the latest gadgets and gizmos that are launching.

Otone Audio was at the show launching its new range of lifestyle inspired speakers and has been inundated with people wanting to know more, Otone has set up an Xbox with Otone Speakers giving any gamers who are interested in testing out the speakers the opportunity to hear the quality of the speakers for themselves. Available to buy now from Amazon Otone Audio is set to be a big hit in 2012. Anna and Jason

The Refresh PR team spotted some famous faces in the crowds, with 50 Cent launching his range of headphones - he was the major celebrity spot of the event! Refresh PR’s very own Anna grabbed a quick pic with Jason from the Gadget Show - a lovely chap who was more than happy to smile for the camera!

The Gadget Show is on until Sunday 15th April

Tagged with: PR, Public Relations

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The Future of E-Commerce

The CIM Manchester branch and Manchester Digital teamed up to host an event at Manchester Business School (MBS) on Tuesday 10th April, entitled The Future of E-Commerce.  Refresh PR was there to report on the event for the CIM Manchester blog, so we thought we’d share the details with our e-fans too.


A busy lecture theatre at the University listened as Tony Kane from Touchpoint Communicatons (and current IMRG chair) began by providing insight into key e-retail milestones.  Reminding us that the first iPhone arrived in 2007, YouTube in 2005 and the Amazon Kindle in 2008, he was able to quickly demonstrate just how much progress has been made in such a short amount of time.  Clearly shopping habits have been transformed by technology, and quickly too: 74% of consumers are now likely to buy flights and holidays online, and six in 10 use it to do some form of grocery shopping.


The IMRG provides in-depth information and data on the UK e-retail industry.  Through its knowledge base it provides data in 56 countries together with economic, internet and demographic indicators.  From this base, Tony was able to provide key stats to the audience.


From 2000 – 2011 UK shoppers spent £300bn online, and in 2012, 1 million British jobs will be either directly in, or supporting, e-retail.  This progress means that 50% of UK customers expect to shop online by 2020, according to IMRG.  Some other facts we gleaned from the event include:

·         The Government is currently looking at how the UK can grow via export-led, e-commerce growth

·         Optimal Government support could increase growth by 1.5m jobs/500k business in 2015 and 3m job/1m business by 2020

·         To support this the Government continues to roll out broadband to rural areas, provide support and incentives for start-up businesses, and look at legislative issues

·         The barriers to this international development remain trust (62% of people fear fraud in ordering goods from European countries) and confidence (that the order will be fulfilled)

·         Best Practice guidelines and a Trust Mark standard are being considered to reveal legitimate retailers (and those unregulated too)


Globally, world internet users will reach 3.7b in 2015 and the BRIC countries are taking the lead with China’s B2C e-sales up 130% in 2011.  However, the UK remains the second B2C e-sales market behind the USA, with Japan ranked third.


Finishing by showing the audience the popular YouTube video by Erik Qualman - – Tony’s talk certainly provoked a lot of debate afterwards.


Following Tony was John Hinchcliffe, ex-marketing director at NBrown amongst other top companies here in the North West.  John’s very entertaining, and very informative, talk focused on e-marketing to the silver surfers – the 50-65 year old audience which is booming online. 


Providing case study examples from the world of fashion, not only did the audience learn more about the buying habits of 40, 50 and 60+ year olds, we were also treated to a quick analysis of just how wrong it is to show off those bingo wings – ladies beware! 


John finished his talk with an overview of markets he expects to experience significant growth online in the coming years.  Why not consider ‘the really old’, those aged 80+?  After all, in 10-15 years, the silver surfer boom will be in this age bracket, and will still be shopping online, if businesses can provide the products they require of course – it’s time to act now!  In addition, how about segmenting that 50-65 year old group? 


All in all, it was a worthwhile event - and we've enough stats about the rise in E-Commerce to convince us of where the future lies!

Tagged with: E-Commerce, F-Commerce, PR, Public Relations

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Samantha Brick: The self-publicist

Samantha Brick has hit the headlines in the last few days as she speaks out about her bad experiences as an attractive woman.


Recently, in the Daily Mail, Samantha divulged her life story of flowers from strangers, bottles of champagne from pilots and free drinks from waiters. However, according to Samantha life in the pretty lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Her article on the Daily Mail Online describes the abuse and coldness she has received from other women, and she has come to the conclusion that “women do not like attractive women”. And it’s this, not her opinion on her appearance, which has attracted huge outrage.


There has been an overwhelming negative response against Miss Brick as tweeters brand her an arrogant, self-absorbed woman, who is deluded about other women and their opinions of her. And this may be the case, but there is something more prominent to be noted than her opinions of herself. That is the effect of self-PR.


She has become an overnight ‘star’ – out of one simple article for the Daily Mail, her name has become a national phenomenon. Celebrities have been tweeting about her, she appeared on This Morning and she’s even written a follow-up article about the response from her initial article. Samantha is clearly a publicity-hungry individual, and she’s succeeded in getting the publicity she wants. She is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame, and the scale at which it has escalated overnight purely demonstrates the power of the internet, including twitter.


So, what can we learn from Samantha Brick? The fact that the response to her article has been overtly negative is beside the point. She certainly knows how to sell herself, and that is the most important thing to take out of this whole media frenzy. Now, she can turn her bad publicity into good publicity, or go back to her idyllic home in the French countryside. Whatever she chooses, she’s certainly made her mark. 


Blog by Katherine Mountain, PR Assistant at Refresh PR

Tagged with: Celebrity, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, Public Relations