Posts from April 2017

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Refresh PR makes the cut for Gourmet Meat Club

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        has appointed Refresh PR to lead a new campaign to raise awareness of its membership based meat delivery service.


Here at Refresh, we have been tasked with increasing awareness of the e-commerce brand, while also building its SEO, via a hard-working back link campaign, using in-depth consumer research and targeted media relations.


Using an in-depth survey of the UK’s meat eating habits, we will explore a number of different themes to generate media coverage in a range of online and print titles. The research will allow us to develop relevant content for a number of different titles, ultimately driving customers back to the Gourmet Meat Club website and raise awareness of the brand.


We will be continuing our commitment to collaboration by working alongside Manchester based creative agency, Modern English, to enhance the brand’s digital offering, ensuring the new website, which launches in June, offers users a seamless customer journey.


We are delighted Gourmet Meat Club has given us the opportunity to work alongside Modern English in order to raise brand awareness and improve the customers’ online shopping experiences.



Tagged with: Food & Drink

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Food Porn Winners Announced


On the second day of NRB, the Refresh PR team joined headline sponsor Stephensons, STM Photography, White Noise Media and this year’s compere, Virgin Radio presenter Tim Cocker, to make the highly anticipated winners announcement in front of the 2017 finalists and other leading industry professionals.


After months of searching the north for the most delicious looking food, plus holding four cook-offs and one judging day, the finalists were excited to finally hear the judges’ decision.


Our esteemed judging panel had the task of pouring over the final images from STM Photography, determining a winner for each of the Alternative Eats, Fine Dining, Casual Dining and Boutique Pubs categories, as well as the overall winner for the North West and Yorkshire.


This year saw entries from some of the north’s most prestigious eateries including Manchester hot spot Tattu, Iberica in Leeds and the Grand Hotel and Spa in York.


The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House took the title for the North West, for its Laksa with Barbary Duck, while Black Swan was crowned victorious for Yorkshire, for its Pan Fried Snapper.


Category winners: 



             Fine Dining – The Grand Hotel and Spa, York – Autumn Vegetables

             Boutique Pubs – The Star Inn, Harome – Fridlington Beetroot Terrine

             Alternative Eats – Shoot The Bull, Hull – My Version of A Smore

             Casual Dining – Black Swan, Leeds – Pan Fried Snapper


North West


             Fine Dining – The Flixton, Urmston – Prosecco and Gin Cheesecake

             Boutique Pubs – My Thomas’s Chop House, Manchester – Corned Beef Hash

             Alternative Eats – Menagerie, Manchester – Cloud Affogato

             Casual Dining – The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Windermere – Laksa with Barbary Duck


After another fantastic year of the Food Porn Awards, we will be opening entries for the 2018 competition in June, and for the third consecutive year will be encouraging restaurants from across the north to submit their most mouth-watering dishes. For regular updates on next year’s competition, follow the awards on Facebook (Food Porn Awards), on Twitter (@Foodpornawards) and on Instagram (FoodPAwards).





Tagged with: Food & Drink, Food Porn Awards, Lifestyle

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A perfect mum? No. A perfect PR campaign? Perhaps.


One of my closest groups of female friends each have an additional few years on me. So while I’m 27 going on 31, some of them actually ARE 31. And like millions of other 30-something women, they have recently become new mothers (or are preparing to be).


It’s been a privilege to watch them morph from their party animal, not-a-care-in-the world selves, into empowered providers to little people who depend on their every whim. To me, they are stronger and more beautiful than they ever have been because of that, and I do my best to tell them often.


But they don’t always think that – in fact, I’d say they rarely feel that way. And one new PR campaign from Baby Dove has proven exactly why.


Donning the slogan ‘Is there a perfect mum?’ alongside an image of a highly polished young woman cradling her (also perfect – it has no cradle cap or skull bumps) baby, at first glance you’d disregard the campaign as yet another attempt to make new motherhood appear breezy and beautiful. And many have, with the campaign receiving a mixed opinion on social media.

“Where does she get her hair done?” ask some. “How does she find the time?” ask others. “Where is the manic look in her eye?” – one of my favourite questions posed.


However, there is more than meets the eye to this campaign. The woman in the picture, Aimee, is actually a graphic made up of artificial intelligence gathered from other new mother advertising and PR campaigns. Aimee is an amalgamation of thousands of images real mums are exposed to in the media, mainly UK women’s lifestyle and parenting magazines. And therefore, Aimee isn’t a real mum.


Round of applause to Baby Dove. Yes it takes further research to find out the reality behind the campaign, but its simple posing of the question ‘Is there a perfect mum?’ is enough in itself to start challenging the ideal.

Yes Aimee looks perfect – but you can guarantee that, if she were real, there would be a minimum of 10 times a day where she looks a bag of rags, is exhausted, questions why she made this choice and wonders when it will ever start getting easier. Because THAT (I’m told), is normal. And that is what makes the perfect mum.


So if you’re a new mum out there, take a look at this campaign and see it as an opportunity to disregard the flawless women you see In the pregnancy/parent press. They’re even less real than Aimee is – and only YOU know what is perfect for you and your little one.


I hope there will be more PR campaigns of a similar ilk coming our way (if one could tell me it’s okay to eat fast food three times a week, that would be grand).







Tagged with: Lifestyle, Marketing, PR

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It’s the final countdown!

In our last newsletter, we were riding high on our success at the 2016 Construction Marketing Awards, which saw The Heating Installer Awards claim first prize in the Best Use of Press and Public Relations category.

Fast forward four months and hundreds of entries later, we have now announced the regional winners of the 2017 campaign.

Representatives from the awards’ sponsors, Continental Underfloor, Danfoss, Graham the Plumbers’ Merchant, LG, Pegler Yorkshire, Sentinel, Vaillant UK and Installer Magazine attended the judging day in March, whittling down hundreds of entries down to a top ten. The panel was also joined by Dennis Hollingworth, winner of the inaugural Heating Installer Awards in 2016, to help select the finalists.

The judges considered each entry against four criteria: technicality, professionalism, expert service and happy customers. Those selected each demonstrated a desire to go above and beyond in order to deliver incredible levels of service for their customers, using innovative solutions that improve the quality of life of families and businesses across the UK.

After much anticipation, we announced the regional winners via Twitter. This showed us just how powerful the community of installers is on social media. Every day we’re inundated with messages asking us how to get involved, encouraging family, friends and followers to vote and showing us what a typical day in the life of an installer entails. Be sure to follow us on @HIAwards to keep up with the action.

But now the heat is on as we’re on the final countdown to find out who will be named the UK’s Best Heating Installer 2017. Following the online public vote, the winner will be announced at Installer2017 in May.

Votes closed at 9pm on 30th April 2017.



Tagged with: Food & Drink, Heating Installer Awards, Social Media

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Search For the UK’s Best Window With a View is back!

Following a hugely successful campaign in 2016 (which saw us scoop a Construction Marketing Award in the best mid-range budget campaign!), we are once again launching the Window with a View competition with our client,


And this time, the campaign has a twist! As well as hunting down the best view through a window from the UK’s tourist attractions, we’re also looking to see which lucky homeowner has the very best view from their property, with the launch of Home with a View which is supported by Rightmove.


Shining a spotlight on the UK’s thriving tourism industry, the Window with a View competition received widespread entries from thousands of people who wanted to share the views which they believed to be the UK’s most stunning. Furthermore, the competition made headlines across the country with a healthy rivalry between the regions emerging early on in the campaign.


The best four images from each region were selected by a panel of expert judges and then put to a public vote, with the regional favourites put forward for the national shortlist.


Announced in September, the view from the People’s Republic Gallery at the Museum of Liverpool won the inaugural crown of the UK’s Best Window with a View. Those from the North West might have seen or heard coverage of this on several of the local TV and radio stations!


The 2017 campaign follows exactly the same process, and also works in the same way for Home with a View. Those who feel their home has a special view deserving of recognition should submit a picture taken from inside their house, with the window frame in view, and enter it soon. This new element of the competition goes to show how important a view can be when a home goes on the market.


Entries close on 31st May 2017. A regional shortlist for each category will then be decided by a panel of experts, with a public vote to decide the two national winners which will be announced later this year.


For full rules and details about the Window with a View and Home With A View competitions, visit:






Tagged with: Built Environment, Campaign, PR, Window with a View

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We reveal the results of Refresh 101

Taking advantage of having so many industry experts under one roof, we decided to ask visitors to our stand one burning question – “what would you like to see rid of in the marketing industry”.

Encouraging them to write their bug bears, gripes and grumbles on one of Refresh 101’s balls, they then got to throw it into the ball pit, with the hope of it one day disappearing from the industry.

Here we share our top three findings, do you agree?

1. Communication

Apparently everyone at Prolific North Live works in the communication industry in one way or another yet communication – or lack of - was the most popular submission into Refresh 101. From too many emails and not enough face-to-face to too many conference calls or simply not listening, these were just some of the communication related comments.

For an industry that is meant to make people sit up, listen, talk and engage, it appears to be lacking the basics on a professional level.

At Refresh we have taken this insight seriously and are now making even more effort to pick up the phone or meet up for a coffee, but ultimately stop hiding behind emails – whether that’s with our clients or collaborators.

2. Bullsh*t

Following on from how we are communicating, it seems that what the industry is saying is also grinding on people.

BS Bingo was a hot topic at Refresh 101, with people ranting and raving about buzzwords and overcomplicated jargon. Every industry has its own ‘language’ but it seems marketing may have taken it too far and now, rather than making professionals sound knowledgeable, it has a negative impact.

So off the back of this, here is our pledge to you: “We (Refresh PR) promise never to tell you to deep dive into the essence of a brand, describe a consumer as low hanging fruit or use the latest buzz word to try and impress. We will always keep our language simple.”

3. Briefs and Budgets

Visitors at Prolific North Live also got passionate about briefs and budgets at Refresh 101, or more importantly the lack of!

But, as an industry it seems like something we have come to accept – often doing ourselves a dis-service. Reluctant to challenge a brief, or request more information, as agencies we spend our time trying to interpret what our clients (or potential clients) could mean, rather than brainstorming creative approaches that deliver on the business needs.

Once you’ve uncovered what needs to be achieved, the budget comes into play and more often than not, the two do not align.

Yes budgets are tight and as marketeers we are more conscious than ever before not go into pitches with all singing, all dancing campaigns – we have to be smart with how we spend the money. But in the same breath, we cannot continue to undervalue the creative.

Our value is in our creative thinking and expertise, and to continually give that away for free is damaging our business and the industry.

This is a topic that our MD, Laura and head of consumer, Caroline spoke about at the Prolific North Live and something that everyone agreed needs to be tackled by the industry as a whole.

So do you agree or is there something else you’d like to put into Refresh 101 – let us know on Twitter @RefreshPR #Refresh101

Tagged with: Networking Event, PR, PR agencies Manchester, Prolific North Live

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Refresh PR Runs Social Media Bootcamp Alongside Industry Experts

This month Refresh PR enlisted the help of our industry collaborators and friends of the agency to put on a social media bootcamp for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Alongside Jaw Digital and Bearded Fellows, we discussed all things social media including utilising Facebook for business, how to create video content and maximising micro-influencers for a brand.

The attendees, including marketing managers and students from across the north, joined us at Manchester Metropolitan University to build their very own digital communications plan, based on the information provided by the panel of experts.

Julaine, founder and marketing director of JAW Digital, kick started the day covering off Facebook and working with the attendees to explore the back-end of the social media platform – showing them practical ways to boost their pages’ capabilities and reach.

This was then followed with Refresh PR’s head of consumer, Caroline and consumer account manager, Christy, talking about one of 2017’s hottest marketing trends – micro-influencers. Currently a relatively untapped approach for many marketeers, it is one that has proven very powerful to brands which are early adopters of the method.

Case studies (good and bad) were shared, as were top tips on legislation and evaluation, to give attendees an insight into how to use these influencers, effectively and ethically.

Finally, Bearded Fellows’ MD, Joe, finished off the day talking about the strategy behind using video to engage with customers. With figures showing that 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video by 2019, now is the time for marketeers to start planning this into their communications strategy.

Joe took the group through Bearded Fellows’ strategic approach, with the emphasis on design, empathy and play and again shared case studies that had real impact.

Despite the three very different topics, there were a number of take-outs that resonated throughout including: know your audience and how they behave online; don’t create content for the sake of content; and constantly evaluate, learn and adapt. Social media is an ever-evolving platform and therefore the communications strategy has to mirror this – don’t be afraid to try new things.

If you’d like to talk more about your social media strategy, get in touch with the team at Refresh via



Tagged with: CIM, Collaboration, Facebook, Social Media

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Memes speak louder than words

We’ve all come to appreciate the power of social media, and no longer underestimate its influence when it comes to consumer opinions and purchasing.


However when brands miss the mark, social media is always there, ready and waiting to shine a spotlight on any mistakes. This doesn’t just come down to spelling and grammar, using content that doesn’t align with your brand identity is also something that often gets picked up on. Therefore it’s important to be in tune with what’s happening in the world of your audience at all times, regardless of the business objectives.


Here are three times social media owned marketing and some of its mistakes from the last few weeks: 


1.       Wendy’s ‘beef’ with McDonald’s

I’m a great supporter of fun social media activity by brands. It gives them personality, making it more appealing for consumers to engage with them. Take Wendy’s ‘beef’ with McDonald’s that made headlines worldwide for its quick and witty response.


McDonald’s used Twitter to announce that by mid-2018, all of its Quarter Pounder burgers will be cooked with fresh beef in the majority of its restaurants. Wendy’s, a popular fast food chain in the US, used this as an opportunity to show its fun side, and ask what most of us were probably thinking. Not only did this gain thousands of retweets, it also made national headlines, gaining coverage for Wendy’s off the back of it.

Although this garnered a round of applause for Wendy’s social media team, it’s important not to forget that anyone in the world of social media can be just as quick to point out anything you do wrong. And remember, a negative opinion is always louder than a positive one.


1.       The Gucci meme


Memes are images intended to be funny through relatable captions, the majority of these are sent between 20-something millennials. Recently however, Gucci, a luxury fashion brand, launched its #tfwgucci campaign, a series of fashion-focused memes that poked fun at the social media culture. Although this is a blatent attempt by Gucci to tap into a younger audience, for me it just didn’t work.  Gucci is a luxury brand and this is a try hard attempt at being something it’s not.

Some people love it and some hate it, but the people that hated it seemed to have a louder voice.




Social media is a natural phenomenon that brings people together through their shared sense of humour, culture, hobbies and aspirations, and memes are proven to work well in achieving this. But as a luxury brand trying to cash in on this, it takes away from the light-hearted nature of sharable content, and is a step away from the premium origins of the brand.


1.       The Kendall Jenner Pepsi Advert

If you don’t know about the Pepsi advert released this week, where have you been? Less than 24 hours after going live, the advert has already been pulled due to its insensitive nature, leaving the brand labelled as tone deaf to today’s political climate. However, it wasn’t advertising experts that triggered this, it was social media that gave people’s reactions a platform leading it to be covered worldwide. 




The advert didn’t need people to sign a petition, or an investigation by the ASA, as the backlash brought it down almost immediately.




This reaction is my personal favourite:



So what should brands take away from this?

That you can never be too aware or too prepared, and that you can’t control the opinions of others.

The need to always carefully consider your contents, platform and format. For example, is Snapchat or Insta-stories right for your brand and your target audience?

Is it potentially risky?


Consider all of this, but then remember you can never be too prepared as the thoughts of the public will always find you. Because memes speak louder than words.




Tagged with: Product Placement, Public Relations, Social Media