Posts from July 2017

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Refresh PR proves a success for start-ups

As an entrepreneur, launching a new business is an incredibly exciting time, but also one that carries overwhelming commitment and often, a lot of stress. It is therefore important for any entrepreneur to be working with companies that are equally excited and invested in the business’ success.


For new, often unheard of businesses, PR can play a significant role in raising awareness of a brand to their target market; introducing them to a potentially lucrative audience. Get it right, and it’s a worthwhile investment for the business owner and can help build the foundation for a successful future.


In order for PR to be effective for new businesses, the start-up and the agency have to be completely aligned on the business objectives. The start-up businesses have to be clear on what they want to achieve from PR – from listings and sales to brand awareness or improved SEO, while also taking the professionals’ advice on the best approach to achieve these goals and what will most benefit the wider business plan. An open and honest relationship from the start, as well as clear account direction, is required to deliver strong results.


Over the past few months, Refresh PR has worked with some impressive start-ups, including SkinnyBrands, the producer of Skinny Lager and Skinny Cocktails, and Calla Shoes, a bespoke shoe designer for women with bunions.


With each client, we worked to deliver results quickly and efficiently, understanding the client (and any investors) would need to see return on investment within weeks, not months.


For Calla, we carried out a press trip introducing the brand to some of the UK’s largest consumer magazines including Prima, Good Housekeeping, and newspapers including the Daily Express, all of which offer the perfect reader demographic for Calla.


Earlier this month Calla was included within the Daily Mail’s round up of brands that were set up by entrepreneurs looking to solve their own health issues. This feature went into the Daily Mail and the MailOnline, a combined reach of nearly 240 million, increasing traffic to the Calla website and resulting in a considerable increase in sales, a phenomenal and potentially pivotal achievement for a start-up brand.


For SkinnyBrands, trade press was a huge focus in order to secure listings in the UK’s major multiples, a target the brand quickly achieved. Buyers in Tesco and Morrisons, which now stock the product, expressed that they have been impressed by the brand’s unique product offering, as well as its strategic PR and marketing campaign running parallel to the sales success.


Seeing the tangible difference that a piece of coverage can make to sales isn’t always something you encounter every day in PR, but with start-ups, this impact is noticed and hugely appreciated.


If you are a start-up and would like to have a conversation on how we could support you, then please give us a call on 0161 871 1188 or email




Tagged with: creatiive agency Manchester, Good product placement examples, Leisure, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR for start-ups, Public Relations North West, Wellbeing

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The great big gaping gender pay canyon

If you haven’t seen pictures of Chris Evans and Gary Lineker splashed all over the front pages, social media, news websites and probably your WhatsApp this week, where the hell have you been hiding?

If you didn’t know, the country is currently in uproar as to the huge fluctuation in wages being paid to male and female stars of the BBC, after the corporation published the figures to the masses.

The numbers show that men who work for the BBC are being paid wages significantly higher than their female counterparts. Evans, Lineker and fellow presenter Graham Norton, the three highest paid males at the Corp, earn an average of £1.6m a year – EACH. In comparison, the three highest paid females – Claudia Winkleman, Alex Jones and Fiona Bruce – earn an average of £400,000 a year each. That’s a great, big, whopping, £1.2m difference in pay.

Back in May 2016, when it was announced the salaries of the BBC’s top earners would eventually be released, information from Companies House was uncovered by national journalists who challenged the BBC on the numbers. They hinted at this most recent outcome, but the BBC refuted it, saying the information was misleading.

But now, 14 months down the line, the prophecy has been proven.

And I’m shocked. Not at the wages (I saw it coming), not that the country is upset (I saw it coming), but that this is even still a THING. Perhaps it’s because I work for a PR agency that would never dream of paying members of staff differently based on their gender. But, regardless, I simply fail to understand how it could ever be justified in any organisation – least of all one paid for by the public.

Yes, a lot of organisations still have a long way to go in getting the pay split right, but the BBC should be the one setting the standard, telling people this draconian practice is unfair and unjustified. Unfortunately, in this instance, it has taken its duty to be a fair representation of the nation a little too seriously.

By the way, if it were the other way round, I’d be saying the exact same thing but in favour of the fellas. Inequality really grates on me, and to find out the shows I’ve been watching, headed up by dynamic male/female duos are rewarding said couples differently, leaves a bitter taste.

Given that just five days ago, the first ever female Doctor Who was announced, I wonder whether the BBC will be heading forward paying Jodie Whittaker less than they did Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tenant, Christopher Eccleston… 

Tagged with: Lifestyle, Pay, PR

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Hat trick for Refresh PR

This morning was very tense at Refresh PR HQ.  As we sat refreshing the CIPR Awards Twitter page, the shortlists for each category were announced and Refresh PR appeared not once, not twice but three times!

The hard work we’ve carried out over the past twelve months for the Heating Installer Awards and Food Porn Awards meant both were shortlisted for the best Corporate and Business Communications Campaign, which had the office jumping for joy.

Recently launched for the third year, the Food Porn Awards was created to find the finest looking food from eateries across the North-West. From restaurants, pubs, bars or pop-up bistros, the Food Porn Awards were open to every chef, cook or caterer across the North of England. With 350 entries, the finalists, selected by a team of experts, went head-to-head at the regional cook-offs with winners announced at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show last March.

The Heating Installer Awards set out to disband stereotypes of cowboy installers and celebrate the good work in the industry. Accepting entries from, and on the behalf of, installers, the winner was announced at trade shower, Installer 2017, in May of this year. The hardworking campaign saw coverage achieved in a range of regional, national, trade, and broadcast media, including BBC Radio and The One Show.

Refresh PR was also nominated for Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy, which created a great atmosphere in the office on another wise grey Friday morning.

It’s great to be shortlisted with other agencies in Manchester and the wider area and we look forward to the awards dinner later this year. The awards ceremony will take place on the 2nd November at the Principal in Manchester, we can’t wait!

For more information about Refresh PR, visit or call 0161 871 1188. Follow on Twitter @RefreshPR.


Tagged with: Creative Agency, Manchester, North West , PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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We helped ease the pain of exercise with one of our consumer clients

This month, Refresh PR helped organise an event for our client SkinnyBrands, teaming up with another Manchester based company, Magna Pass to create an exclusive cocktails and conditioning event.

The team enlisted Train Manchester to put a host of fitness enthusiasts through their paces, as they rowed, squatted and burpee’d their way through the class, so they could enjoy a Skinny Cocktail at the end.

At just 90 calories, the great tasting Skinny Cocktails are the perfect ready-to-drink cocktail for those wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle, while still enjoying a drink and with Magna’s pay as you go approach to fitness classes, it was the perfect brand partnership.

As SkinnyBrands continues to grow, including new listings and NPD the team at Refresh will work to further build these relevant brand partnerships while also securing trade and consumer coverage to help showcase its fantastic range of great tasting, low calorie and low sugar products. 

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Christmas 2017 - ho, ho, ho-w not to get it wrong!

Whether you’re an online retailer or a property developer, the festive period will effect on your business in some capacity, so careful planning and preparation at this early stage could mean the difference between a positive or negative outcome.


Here are our top tips on how to make sure the festive season for your businesses is the icing on the Christmas cake of a fantastic year!


1. Remember how Christmas impacts the buying habits of YOUR customers

Whether this is seeing a spike in sales, or a dip while people shy away from big purchases, if you have predicted and planned these buying habits into your budgets, then it won’t come with quite the same sting or stress.


For food suppliers, gift retailers and convenience stores, Christmas has always been, and will always be, one of the busiest times of the year. Handled correctly, you will see sales soar, brand awareness increase and potentially secure new or returning customers for the foreseeable future. However, if not planned correctly customers and employees could be left with a sour taste in their mouths, as orders are missed and the pressure is piled on.


2. Fight for your Space

Refresh never condones violence. But, brands have to fight hard for space during the noisiest time of the year and this is especially true at Christmas time. We come to expect the major supermarkets and their big budget advert productions, but this doesn’t mean that smaller brands have to lose out. From timely and effective media relations to strong social media campaigns that resonate with your audience – there’s always an opportunity for cut through in this noisy landscape. Don’t be put off by budget restrictions – if time is on your side, then there is always something that can be implemented to meet business objectives.


3. Make Life Easier

Whether your business caters to consumers or businesses, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year for a customer. So as a business, take the time to step back and consider how you can make life easier for them. Whether that is sharing top tips on how to cook up your leftovers on an e-shot in early December or ensuring their website won’t crash under high pressure during Boxing Day sales, your business has the opportunity to become a source of advice, ultimately making you a source of useful and relevant knowledge. Providing relevant information to you clients could ultimately become a lifeline for your business when the new GDPR rules come into place (watch out on the Refresh e-shot for more on that…)


4. Order in advance

It’s highly likely you use external suppliers to support your business – whether you use a construction team to build your developments, or a manufacturer to fill your physical and online shelves. Remember, they too will encounter all the stresses of Christmas, and are probably putting their plans in place now like you. To ensure you don’t leave your own customers hanging, or are left high and dry with no communication at a time you were expecting it, get in touch with all your suppliers today and find out when you need to place final orders, any anticipated issues with stock and who – if anyone – will be available during emergencies.


5. Be available

Christmas time is family time, and everyone expects communication from your business to go quiet during this time. But if you have advertised yourself as a 24/7/365 business, it is essential you remain true to this and have support in place for any major issues that need addressing. Your internal teams will be fighting it out for the best days off during the Christmas period, so let them know now the expectations that will be on them in terms of internal/external contact, social media presence, emergency telephone lines and more. Dropping this on them any later in the year might lead to upset team members, meaning any issues that do happen between January 25th and January 2nd aren’t handled as well as they could be.


If you want to talk to the Refresh PR team about making your Christmas a winter wonderland rather than a burnt turkey, call us on 0161 8711 188.




Tagged with: PR agencies Manchester, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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Award winning creative PR campaign launches year three

In the most mouth-watering event of the year, the Food Porn Awards 2018 has returned bigger than ever in its search of restaurants, bars, pubs and eateries to find the North’s most food-porn worthy images.


Encouraging chefs across the region to enter images of their most visually impressive dishes, the awards is opening entries up to the North East for 2018, following a successful expansion last year into Yorkshire and Cumbria.


This year’s awards was kicked off with a launch party at Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery on 15th June, celebrating the stunning food photography images from the last two years of the awards, as well as inviting restaurants to hear more about the 2018 campaign.


Refresh PR, along with the Food Porn Awards curator, STM Photography, welcomed renowned Manchester based artists Fanny Gogh, Amy Coney and Maria Frances along to live paint some of the stunning images in their own unique styles. The final pieces of artwork from the event were auctioned off to support the Real Junk Food Project, who also joined us at the awards to tell us a little more about the work they are currently doing in Manchester to help alleviate food waste.


2017 finalists Restaurant Bar and Grill and Albert’s Chop House joined Food Porn Awards sponsor Stephensons Catering and drinks sponsor Hops & Barley to get the third year off to an exciting start.


Entries are now open for the third year of the awards, so what are you waiting for?





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Body glitter brand appoints Refresh PR for product launch campaign

Refresh PR has been tasked with securing coverage for Wish Upon a Sparkle in key national and consumer media publications, as well as influential blogs and celebrity outreach, while increasing the brand’s visibility at key calendar events.


Based in Manchester, Wish upon a Sparkle offers high quality glitter body makeup for festivals, corporate events, weddings and a range of other occasions.


This summer, it will be attending a number of festivals throughout the UK and we’ve been hard at work inviting key bloggers, journalists and celebrities to join the brand and add some extra sparkle to their festival experience.


Since the start of the campaign we have achieved a number of opportunities for Wish Upon A Sparkle, including celebrity representation at V Festival, blogger representation at Boardmasters as well as a double page spread on brand directors Clare and Jade. We’ve even managed to put the product in the hands of some of the UK’s most influential publications, including Glamour magazine.


Talking about the campaign, Wish Upon A Sparkle’s director and co-founder, Clare Cherry, said: “With our busiest period of the year in full swing, we were keen to have a strategic PR plan in place to help support the brand during this exciting growth period.


“From our early conversations with Refresh PR, we were impressed by the combination of creativity and genuine excitement the agency demonstrated. This partnered with their strategic approach in order to meet the business’ needs and knowledge of blogger outreach was the perfect combination for Wish Upon A Sparkle.”


To find out how Refresh can help you, contact the office on 0161 871 1188.




Tagged with: Product Launch, strategic PR

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Two new B2B PR contract wins sees trade side of business growing fast

June was a significant month for Refresh’s B2B team, seeing us sign two new built environment clients following competitive pitches.


CityBlock, a leading provider in the development and management of high quality student accommodation across the UK, has selected Refresh PR to manage communication around its exits from several markets across the country, as well as its entrance into new areas.


Combining influencer outreach, social media, direct marketing and online PR, the campaign will work to reinforce CityBlock’s established position and heritage in the student accommodation arena, highlighting the organisation’s dedication to student welfare.


Our second new client, CFS, has more than 30 years’ experience in the supply of commercial floor coverings.


Refresh PR has been appointed to raise awareness of CFS’s expertise in the education, healthcare and retail sectors as part of a strategic rebrand by the organisation. We will use our extensive knowledge of the flooring and specifier press to promote CFS’s product innovation, research and performance ensuring it retains its position as the UK’s leading flooring supplier.


July will see us kick start these campaigns, and we can’t wait to see where they might take us.




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Leicester plumber is winner of Heating Installer Awards 2017

The public vote to decide the national winner of the Heating Installer Awards 2017 has been revealed.


Peter Booth, of Loughborough, can officially introduce himself as the UK’s best heating installer (until next year’s awards at least). Taking place at Installer 2017, the award announcement drew in large crowds and huge support from across the industry.


With a total rebrand and dedicated press office, the awards have been a roaring success, exceeding all of last year’s results. The number of award entries was up 50 per cent, with more than 2,000 votes cast throughout the campaign - a 33 per cent increase year on year. Throughout the campaign we gained the support of eight sponsors and dozens of industries bodies, including CIPHE and Pimlico Plumbing’s Charlie Mullins.


The Heating Installer Awards reached a record number of people, through the use of our B2B PR campaign. Our 2016 winner, Dennis Hollingworth, was on the one show, and we reached over 357,000 people on Twitter alone.


We were inundated daily with messages of support and encouragement, both for the regional shortlist and the awards themselves. Over on Facebook, the awards reached 115K people.


From our presence at Installer 2017 and ongoing social media activity, we have already had hundreds installers register for the 2017/18 awards. Entries will open in the Autumn and we’re expecting to further exceed last year’s target.


If you want to get involved, we’re still looking for sponsors, so call us on 0161 871 1188 for more information.





Tagged with: B2B PR, B2B PR agency Manchester , Heating Installer Awards, Manchester PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR Agency Manchester, PR campaign, PR campaign essential

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Refresh appointed for online PR strategy and event management campaign

Refresh PR has been selected to implement an online PR strategy and event management campaign for fellow Manchester-based digital specialist, Kagool.


Kagool, a Sitecore Platinum partner, offers expertise on the complete life cycle of a website, from digital strategy including design, UX and build, to SEO and PPC. It has unequivocal know-how in Sitecore, with extensive experience in automation and personalisation – hot topics in the marketing world as consumers become increasingly demanding of easy-to-access content tailored to their needs and interests.


Having already undertaken successful backlink-building campaigns for a variety of trade, B2B and B2C clients, Refresh PR is implementing the same tactics as part of its campaign with Kagool. We have already secured a wealth of online coverage – including links back to the Kagool website, imperative for SEO – in relevant regional and sector press, focusing on Kagool’s thought-leadership and expert advice.


Furthermore, we’re supporting Kagool during a series of events to promote its partnership with Sitecore, to further establish its position as a Platinum provider.


Erin Heywood, head of B2B at Refresh PR, said: “Kagool is at the top of its game, with a senior leadership team that is ambitious – without being unrealistic – about digital marketing’s future capabilities. As an agency, we have extensive experience in working with digital clients and are delighted to be able to work with Kagool, bringing together both sets of expertise to create a digital campaign with impact.”


If you need an online PR strategy delivered for your business, get in touch.


Tagged with: digital marketing, online PR, PR backlink building, SEO PR

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Refresh’s award winning PR campaign is back with new element

In 2016 we launched our award-winning campaign for, Window With a View and now for 2017, it’s back bigger and better than ever.


For three months the British public submitted the best views from windows at public locations across the UK, culminating in our judging panel generating a regional shortlist at a top secret judging day in May.


This year the judges also had the additional task of whittling down entries from homeowners, as we also launched the very first Home with a View competition, our bid to find the best view from a British residence.


Made up a of a team of six experts from the interiors, glazing, photography and tourism industries, the judging panel assessed each entry on three criteria; the view, the use of the window frame and the quality of the photography.


We then declared the competition open for votes – and so far, thousands have been cast making the competition even tighter than year one.


To find out more, you’ll find coverage of the competition in publications across the UK; from the Lancashire Telegraph and the Birmingham Mail, all the way down to the Portsmouth News, the UK is getting excited about the best views in Britain.


The public vote is open until 31st July 2017 so you still have a few days to get involved. The two attractions with the most votes will go head to head, with a final winner decided in September of this year. 


To vote in both competitions, visit



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Want to know how to run a memorable PR event? We may have just the answer

Refresh PR’s head of B2B, Erin Heywood, is presenting part of a seminar focusing on the importance of engagement with customers in the construction industry at an event in London, this November.

Facing a variety of challenges such as the impact of Brexit, localised competition, price rises in the supply chain and effective communication with their own customers, construction businesses can benefit hugely from PR campaigns that champion the hidden gems of the industry.

Refresh PR’s Heating Installer Awards and Window with a View campaigns are examples of this, and as such, Erin will be explaining to a crowd at The Building Centre, on 8th November, exactly how award schemes and events are a great way for businesses of all sizes to extend their reach and bring in new opportunities (as well as achieve much earned credibility for their hard work).

To sign up for the two hour event, click here: 

Alternatively, get in touch with Erin for more details on




Tagged with: PR campaign essential, PR event

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Being passionate in PR

99 per cent of PR professionals are passionate about what they do. A love for telling a great story, the buzz of media relations and the fast-paced nature of the job is what gets us up in the morning. Sometimes, however, a love for the industry is just not enough.


If you work in a PR or creative agency, chances are you will have clients in a range of fields. From glitter to plumbing, we have it all at Refresh PR and that old cliché, no two days are the same, rings very true. In order to do justice to your clients, a love of their industry, as well as your own is imperative.


PR’s speak with dozens of journalists in a day, and we need to persuade them that what our client has to say is more valuable than their competitors. Unless you speak about your clients with true passion, you’ll get nowhere. If the news doesn’t excite you, how do you expect a journalist, who’s received 40 similar calls that day, to be enthused? If you love what you do, and love working with your clients, this will come across. 


Being fully engrossed in your client’s work will eventually lead to your PR agency being an arm of their company, rather than a supplier-customer relationship. Once this happens, you’ll automatically be kept in the loop regarding company news, be able to contact everyone and anyone when that golden opportunity comes through and be totally honest with them- a valuable but often over overlooked trait in our industry. At Refresh PR, we promote hot desking at our clients’ offices, giving us a chance to see what they do, and how they work day to day. Realistically, can you ever really get a true insight into your clients from just a bi weekly WIP call alone?


You’re much more likely to want to learn about an industry or topic that you’re interested in. Whether it’s cosmetics, food and drink or heating installations, find what excites you and you’ll never work a day in your life.









Tagged with: alcohol, B2B PR agency Manchester , Beauty, Built Environment, Construction, cosmetics, creatiive agency Manchester, Creative Agency, drink, Food, glitter, heating installation, Leisure, Lifestyle, Manchester, Marketing, North West , plumbing, PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Product Placement, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Retail, Social Media