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Work life balance in the PR sector: It does and should exist



I’m sure everyone who works in PR agencies has read the (sometimes amusing, sometimes relatable) articles which poke fun at the work life balance found in the agency world.

 

So, in an industry that is renowned for its lack of work life balance and a time where the internet means people can arguably never switch off, how does the team at Refresh manage work, relationships, hobbies, downtime and all other parts of life? I’ve pulled together what I believe are the top three things to be mindful of when trying to achieve what you believe to be your optimum work life balance.

 

Stay organised

In PR you are going to be pulled in at least ten different directions every single day. Being organised means that whilst it’s important to be flexible, you are always aware of what needed to be done to begin with and can return to it after being pulled away. It also means you can set realistic goals and expectations, allowing others to plan their time and therefore helping their work life balance too.

 

Be present

Although this may sound simple it can be a tricky skill to master. One of our account directors is a strong advocate for the discipline of yoga which definitely helps with this one! But in the work place this can be small changes such as switching your emails off for an hour to truly get into a piece of work or switching your phone off so no social media notifications can distract you. Being present whilst you are at work means that you’re more likely to get everything done and therefore you can enjoy your time out of work too. To summarise, being present means that you are essentially being more efficient and can therefore be present at home too, rather than continuously merging the two.

 

Take time to (excuse the pun) refresh yourself

At Refresh PR we all love a holiday. A month rarely goes by where someone isn’t jetting off for a week on the slopes, a weekend in an exciting city or some well-deserved tanning time in the sun. But taking a break to reenergise yourself doesn’t always have to be a luxury holiday. As an example, our most recent social to celebrate the end of the 2018/19 financial year took place on a Tuesday night. We went to Total Ninja in Trafford and then for a delicious Nando’s after. Whilst the evening may have caused physical aches and pains for a week, an evening to focus on nothing but succeeding at the next obstacle course and then what to order for tea, left everyone feeling refreshed and raring to go the next morning.

 

Work life balance can be hard to find, especially within PR agencies, but it’s important to help us avoid burnout and to make sure we come into work feeling refreshed!

 

 

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

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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 info@refreshpr.co.uk.

 

 

 

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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Refresh PR's Christmas gift guide 2016



December is in full swing and it’s the season of giving, but we all know it’s not so easy to pick the perfect present for the loved ones in your life. Here at Refresh, we’ve compiled a Christmas gift guide with the help of our client Arbonne that not even the fussiest of family members could refuse.

 

1.      For the one waiting under the mistletoe

It’s hard to find the perfect red lip to enhance your look during the festive season, but Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick will leave your lips super soft and with the perfect pout, ideal for kissable lips under the mistletoe! Elle Magazine recommend Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick in Hibiscus, as the perfect deep red shade in its Christmas Gift Guide this month.

 

2.      For mum

Mums deserve extra love and attention at this time of year, especially after they’ve most likely prepared most of the Christmas dinner and done most of the shopping! Cosmopolitan thought the Olive Blossom & Eucalyptus Gift Set is the perfect treat for any mum underneath the Christmas tree.

 

3.      For the toddler

It’s sometimes difficult to find a gift for a toddler as they become more independent and want to take on the world, but their little hands aren’t quite capable yet! This is where Arbonne’s Leaf it to Me Gift Set comes in. Recommended by B Baby Magazine, the parent and child friendly bottles have larger pumps, giving children the confidence to use it on their own, and the clean refreshing scent is bound to be a hit with both parents and grandparents this Christmas.

 

4.      For the teenager

For the teenager that no longer springs out of bed on Christmas morning, a revitalising hair mask is just what they need.Treat their tresses after a lengthy lie-in; cotton pillowcases can dry out the hair, which can leave a serious case of ‘bed head’ - a big no-no for any stylish teen. Popular TV streaming service Hayu recommends Arbonne’s Pure Vibrance Hair Masque in its gift guide for reality TV lovers.

 

 

5.      For the vegan

More and more people are turning to veganism, not just for the health benefits, but also for their concerns about the environment and the treatment of animals. The experts on all things ethical, Veggie magazine, also included Arbonne’s Olive Blossom & Eucalyptus Gift Set as the ideal luxury gift set, which includes a cleansing body polish and body butter that will help keep dry winter skin at bay and you feeling good that it’s 100 per cent cruelty free.

 

 

Tagged with: , Christmas, gift guide, Gifts, Health & Beauty, Leisure, Lifestyle, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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Rose Tinted Glasses



I’m proud to consider myself an ‘Equalist’. I choose not to focus too heavily on gender disparities, and instead quietly celebrate the wins – fair treatment of men and women, which believe it or not, does happen and quite often. I do so because, in a lot of cases, gender stereotypes and instances of sexism are quite hard to scientifically prove. Men aren’t always stronger than women. Women are actually quite good drivers. Etc.

But at the moment, something is troubling me. It’s the ongoing discussion of the Pink Tax, which, if you’ve not heard of yet, is described as the ‘inexplicable’ mark-up in pricing which sees women paying a premium on the same products as men.

A petition has been launched following a recent investigation that found the average difference in price between men and women’s products – things like razors, shower gel, and t-shirts (i.e. things we all need whether we’re a Sam or a Samantha) – is 36 per cent. The petition has received over 41,000 signatures from people calling on stores that participate in this practice to stop in their tracks and treat us all fairly when it comes to the products we buy – and need, to live a healthy life.

Because of its time in the spotlight, discussions on the Pink Tax reached Parliament earlier this month.

Pre-blog research, the words ‘Pink Tax’ filled me with dread; it’s the typical phrasing intended to raise awareness of equality, but which eventually becomes as demonised as equality itself. However, after doing some reading round into several social experiments – articles from journalists armed with shopping baskets heading out en-mass to their nearest shopping centre to investigate price differences – it appears the Pink Tax might be an actual thing. And it’s worrying.

The prime culprit, and the basis of the 41,000 strong petition, is Boots. A look at its Gillette razors sees a pack of 10 men’s disposable razors come in at £4.25 (40p each), while a women’s pack of just four disposable razors comes in at £4 – a whopping £1 each. Imagine paying for 10! It doesn’t stop there. Boots appears to up-price everything from its eye creams and moisturisers, to its deodorants and shower gels, if they’re packaged and marketed with a female buyer in mind.

But Boots is not alone, it seems. Topshop – or Topman, whatever takes your fancy – is selling the same plain, white T-shirt for both men and women, with the female, shaped version at a 50 per cent higher price point. You could argue the women’s version takes longer to create due to its shaping. But another would argue that only results in using less material.

Argos is selling children’s scooters in blue and pink – identical, apart only for the colour and price, for the pink toy comes in at £5 more expensive. Don’t bring the kiddies into this!

Boots has insisted on Facebook: "Our products are priced individually, based on factors including formulation, ingredients, and market comparison." That’s basically a claim that women’s products always have that added extra, a little something special, which requires a higher price point that shouldn’t be questioned.

I for one would be particularly happy to just own a razor that works, and pay a reasonable price for it – I don’t need it to be sparkly, with a soothing, aromatic gel pad to make me feel like a woman. Similarly, I don’t need a shampoo packed with gold leaf extract and smelling like papaya to have clean hair. I just want clean hair. And so does my fiancée. But I’ll be damned if he pays less than me for the luxury.

Every now and then, the world has five minutes where it goes truly barmy. The Pink Tax is one of these moments, and it’s going to take time to resolve, unfortunately. Whether you’re a woman, or a man who loves woman – be it your mum, sister, girlfriend, wife, friend or whoever – you’ll surely agree this isn’t fair. Sign the petition, then come join me in the equality camp where we all get along.

Until the issue is resolved, you’ll find me in the men’s toiletry section. Or the £1 shop, because as far as I know, this is one place that certainly can’t get away with this.

 

 

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

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Refresh PR wins UK contract for Arbonne International



Award winning Manchester agency, Refresh PR, has secured a retained account with Arbonne, the international health and well-being brand, following a three-way competitive pitch.  

 

Refresh PR will run a national press office complemented by events and stunts to raise awareness of the brand’s product offering, as well as its business model, which is based on direct marketing via a network of consultants. The company currently has over a million consultants worldwide and offers products ranging from cosmetics, haircare and skincare through to nutrition and sun protection.

 

Arbonne’s senior marketing manager said: “Refresh PR presented its ideas with creative flair and enthusiasm, impressing us with its presentation style and ideas as well as its understanding of our business vision. We’re looking forward to seeing these plans materialise into what will be an exciting 2014 for Arbonne.”

 

Sophie Smith, account director at Refresh PR, said: “Working with Arbonne is a fantastic opportunity for us and an excellent start to our year. The team and I are excited to get to work on a range of activities, including a number of key product launches, to raise awareness of the brand via national, consumer and business press.”

 

This new contract follows an award winning year for the agency. In 2013, Refresh PR won the Recommended Agency Register (RAR) Award for Public Relations (under 30 staff) and Best Use of Press and Public Relations at the Construction Marketing Awards. This accompanied a nomination for Best Small Consultancy at the CIPR North West PRide awards.

 

Refresh PR is currently recruiting for new team members. For more information visit www.refreshpr.co.uk.

 

More information about Arbonne is available at http://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/.

 

 

 

Tagged with: CIPR , Health & Beauty, Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Wellbeing

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Refresh PR launches Weight Watchers® Instant Hot Chocolate flavours to the nation



What a fantastic start to the year.  The experienced food and drink team at Refresh PR has been briefed to launch three new flavours of Weight Watchers® Instant Hot Chocolate, themed around a selection of the nation’s favourite cakes, to the consumer markWeight Watchers Instant Hot Chocolate and Refresh PRet.

 

We'll be will be working with long standing client, Aimia Foods, to exclusively preview the new range of Weight Watchers Instant Hot Chocolate to the press. New flavours include Chocolate Cherry Brownie Hot Chocolate, Jaffa Cake Hot Chocolate and Cappuccino Cream Cake Hot Chocolate, all of which will be available across selected UK supermarket chains and selected high street and independent stores from February.

 

Launch activity will include a press trip to meet key food and drink journalists from target publications in the women’s interest and lifestyle sectors, combined with sampling, blogger relations and ongoing press office activity.

 

The product launch is timed specifically to coincide with both the arrival of winter and the nation’s ‘new year, new you’ fixation that comes to the fore every January.

 

Refresh PR can be contacted via www.refreshpr.co.uk or on 0161 8711 188. Alternatively get in touch via Twitter @RefreshPR.

 

 

Tagged with: Food & Drink, Manchester, North West , PR, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Wellbeing

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Calling all voters!



Refresh PR recently found out that our client Modern Herbals has been shortlisted for Best Product in the Natural Lifestyle Awards and naturally this has made us very proud indeed!  We’ve been working with them for a few months now and we’ve got everything crossed they will walk away with the top spot. 

 

We’ve just caught up with one Modern Herbals customer who has been using Syno-Vital Hyaluronan – here is how she’s getting on:

 

Patricia Green - “After suffering with knee pain for a fair few years and undergoing an operation to replace my left knee just over two years ago, I was naturally somewhat distressed when I started to experience some pain in my other one.   While these ailments are certainly related to the wear and tear that comes with age (sadly), I’m not keen to rush back to endure the pain and discomfort of having my right knee replaced.  Not yet anyway!

 

“I’d been doing quite a bit of research on alternative treatments and looking at ways to help ease the pain that is being caused from my bones rubbing together and the loss of movement between my joints.  I’d heard about a product called Syno-Vital Hyaluronan, certainly a mouthful to repeat, which helps to replenish the synovial joint fluid which depletes as we age, and decided to order it in the hope that it would perform miracles. 

 

“The instructions advised me to drink the contents of the sachet each morning in a glass of water for at least four weeks.  Within the first month I can certainly say that I’d started to feel the benefits of this product - the aches in my joints have drastically reduced and I’m finding it much easier to move around.   Three months on and shopping isn’t a problem anymore either, although I do need to remember that I’m not as spritely as I used to be (I’m approaching 70!).   While I now only take a sachet every second day, I’m happy with the results and my skin is looking much healthier and plumper too, certainly an added benefit when most things travel south these days!”

 

We’d like to encourage everyone out there to get behind Refresh PR’s client Modern Herbals and vote for Syno-Vital Hyaluronan by logging on to www.nat-lifestyle.com/awards.  Good luck!

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, PR, Retail, Wellbeing

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The Restaurant Show 2010



The Restaurant Show 2010 got underway today at Earls Court 2 and the Refresh PR team was there to run the press office and PR activity for the show.  Albert Roux opened the show at 10am - it was a huge honour to meet him - and as the industry's press gathered throughout the day we just kept hearing lots of fantastic comments about the show.

So much so, when we went on our break, we had a quick wander round to have a gander for ourselves.  And it didn't disappoint.  From the Young National Chef of the Year competition - which was won by Mark Stinchcombe from the Lucknam Park Hotel - to the World Chocolate Masters series, there was so much to take in.  We are grateful we are there for all three days!  Some of the pics from today are here to give you a taste (!!) of the show if you can't make it yourself, but if you can we'd definitely recommend it.

Refresh PR and The Restaurant Show 2010

 

Refresh PR and The Restaurant Show 2010

 

Refresh PR and The Restaurant Show 2010

 

Refresh PR and The Restaurant Show 2010

 

Tagged with: Food & Drink, Lifestyle, PR, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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Alexandra Worsley wins National Award



Refresh PR got some fantastic news over the weekend - Alexandra Worsley Health & Wellbeing (www.alexandraworsley.com) won a prestigious national award which was presented to the team on Saturday 23rd October at a ceremony in London.  Beating off competition from all over the UK, and from many well established businesses, the team walked away with the CAM Clinic of the Year 2010.

CAM Expo is an annual event where complementary healthcare professionals in the UK come together at Earls Court in London.  Each year there are major industry awards attached to the exhibition which are judged by a group of industry professionals.  The Clinic of the Year award is regarded as ultimate recognition that can be bestowed on a clinic that has made a truly outstanding contribution to the complementary and natural therapy industry.   Refresh helped by drafting the award entry and then submitting it with fabulous photos taken of the luxurious therapy rooms.
 
This is the second award that the store has been nominated for this year.  In the summer Alexandra Worsley Health & Wellbeing finished as runner up in the National Association of Health Stores awards, only beaten by a business which has been trading for more than 20 years. 

Well done to the whole team over there, who thoroughly deserve this win!!  Having worked with the team over the past six months, it is so easy to see how everyone is so passionate about making the store work for all its customers.  It is unique, vibrant and stylish - and people from all over South Manchester will agree when we say that we hope you all celebrate in style.

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, PR, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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National journalists love our new client



Recently Refresh PR had a great day walking around London - in our heels! - meeting with the national journalists and telling them all about the Modern Herbals brand Syno Vital. 

 

This fantastic 'miracle molecule' works to maintain soft, young looking skin, healthy joints and eyes.  It is really good, in fact it's one of the most hydrophilic molecules and described as 'nature's moisturiser'. 

 

With all the news in the press at the moment about Botox and the cowboys out there administering it incorrectly, knowing that you can simply add a sachet of Syno-Vital Hyaluronan to a glass of water each morning to help smooth wrinkles and sagging skin that naturally comes with age is definitely something to seriously consider.

 

Syno-Vital is natural and easy to take - it's a proven anti-ageing treatment used by celebs who don't want painful injections in their faces every six months.  And with lots of special offers on a month's supply, it won't dent your bank balance like Botox!  We're off to treat my sore feet now!

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, PR, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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Try Alternative Therapies for Osteoporosis



Refresh PR's new client www.ModernHerbals.com wrote a good blog about World Osteoporosis Day (today) - and we thought we'd share it with you in case it can be of help to anyone you know. 

Try Alternative Therapies for Osteoporosis

Wednesday 20th October marks World Osteoporosis Day, a day dedicated to informing and educating the public about a disease which affects a massive one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 in the UK.

These people will, at some stage, fracture a bone mainly as a result of osteoporosis and yet the cause of the disease is still not completely understood.

Osteoporosis literally means 'porous bones' and is often referred to as the 'fragile bone disease' - those with the condition are often unaware they have fragile bones until they first fracture one.  It is imperative that people with the symptoms of osteoporosis obtain and then follow medical advice immediately.  However sufferers who have been diagnosed have discovered other ways in which the symptoms can be relieved, so here is our guide to easy and alternative treatments to try:

  • Increase your exercise regime, particularly walking.  Not only is this good for your body in general, it also helps to build up the muscle supporting the bones and helps circulation too
  • An adult should take in 700mg of Calcium a day, however for Osteoporosis suffers this increases to 1200mg.  Ensure your diet is filled with Calcium-rich foods such as milk, certain types of fish and wholemeal bread - even boiled spinach makes the list
  • Supplement your diet with both Calcium and Magnesium tablets - it may sound simple but we all know bones are strengthened by these and something as simple as taking a supplement once a day could really help
  • Get some sunshine as Vitamin D helps our bones from drying out.  If that's not possible, as Winter approaches try a simple Vitamin D supplement
  • Eat a balanced diet to ensure you get as many nutrients as possible at meal times.  Cut down on proteins such as meat and cheese as these make body acids which drain the body of calcium and weaken the bones
  • Take Syno-Vital Hyaluronan - a sachet a day in a glass of water can help retain the moisture in the collagen within our bones, preventing them drying out

For more advice, visit the National Osteoporosis Society at www.nos.org.uk or email the team at info@modernherbals.com.

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, Wellbeing

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Spreading the wellbeing message



Refresh PR works with Health and Wellbeing companiesIt's not long before the clocks go back (already - eeek!!) and we all need something to cheer us up when those winter nights draw in.

With this in mind Refresh PR is working with our client Alexandra Worsley to help the team over there launch Wellbeing Wednesdays for women (and men!) across South Manchester and Cheshire. On the first Wednesday of every month customers - old and new - will be invited to come into the store for different events. The first one, which is completely free of charge, will be held on 6th October and focuses on skincare. Everyone who comes to the shop between 6.30 -8.30pm will get time with Liz, the Dr Hauschka expert. They'll also get to try out new products that the therapists have all given a thumbs up to.

I can't wait to get along to this event - and this is just the first of four that are planned before Christmas too. Maybe I'm a little biased as Refresh PR has helped to plan it (and clearly therefore tailored it around things we want to try out!!), but fingers crossed the events will go down really well - particularly with this plug on the blog too!

Tagged with: Health & Beauty, Lifestyle, PR, Public Relations, Wellbeing