PR

Andrew Sheridan, Sosban - Great British Menu PR

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Chef Andrew Sheridan of Sosban in Llanelli in South Wales, was one of three Welsh chefs competing on Great British Menu on BBC Two this autumn. Great British Menu branded Andrew as the ‘maverick chef’ for his bold style turning traditional dishes like chicken soup and rice pudding upside down with his own unique spin.

This year Great British Menu is paying tribute to 70 years of the NHS and tasking 24 chefs from around the UK to create exceptional dishes for a banquet as a thank you to NHS heroes from around the country. Andrew went head-to-head against Chris Harrod from The Whitebrook in Monmouthshire and Jason Hughes from Chateau Rhianfa, Anglesey. The chefs were tasked with preparing a starter, fish course, main course and desert judged by a veteran chef Paul Ainsworth. Andrew was in the lead on points when he and Chris Harrod went through to the regional final on Friday to be judged by Andi Oliver, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton OBE. The judges loved Andrew’s dishes and two of them scored his Apple Rice Pudding 10 out of 10, but at the final reckoning they picked Chris Harrod to go through to the banquet.

We developed and implemented a media campaign for the national, regional Welsh and trade media with the aim of not only creating a buzz around his appearance, but also building awareness of him as a chef to watch and Sosban as a destination restaurant. We continue to work on securing national coverage for Andrew including other broadcast opportunities.

The brief for Great British Menu was to thank our NHS heroes and Andrew tackled the brief by not only celebrating the Welsh founder of the NHS, Nye Bevan, but also his great grandmother who worked as nurse in Liverpool until the grand old age of 82! Andrew said “Rebecca worked for 62 years in the NHS - a lifetime’s commitment and a true inspiration to me when I was designing my dishes!”

He said of the experience of the competition “it was intense but also incredibly rewarding! I met some amazing people and it has also made me release how far I have come in my career.”

www.sosban.wales

Michelin-Star Restaurants - PR

Gareth Ward - Ynyshir

Gareth Ward - Ynyshir

Lisa Goodwin-Allen - Northcote

Lisa Goodwin-Allen - Northcote

Working for Peers Communications, I provide PR consultancy and implementation to Michelin-star restaurants Ynyshir in Wales and Northcote in Lancashire.

 Ynyshir is a destination restaurant and rooms, led by chef Gareth Ward and Amelia Eiriksson. Over the last two years, Ynyshir has been through significant refurbishment, with each stage moving further away from a traditional country house hotel, towards an exceptional destination. These developments have been recognised by numerous awards. In 2017 Ynyshir was awarded five AA Rosettes - the first ever restaurant in Wales to achieve that accolade and one of only three restaurants in the UK to reach that standard. Ynyshir also scooped the Decanter/Hine Restaurant of the Year 2017 and  The AA Wine Award for Wales 2017-18. It has retained its Michelin Star and is number 12 in the Good Food Guide 2018. 

Our focus has been to:

  • Reposition Ynyshir as a destination restaurant, not country house hotel.
  • Secure visits and reviews focussed on the tasting menu and cooking techniques in food press and luxury publications such as The Telegraph Ultra, Food & Travel, Country & Town House.
  • Raise Gareth's Profile as a Chef to Watch with interviews and profile pieces.
  • Secure appearances for Gareth at major events like Hotelympia and Abergavenny Food Festival.
  • Explore opportunities for Gareth to appear on radio and television.
  • Advise on website content and use of social media.

Northcote is a luxury, independent boutique hotel located in Lancashire. The restaurant  has held a Michelin star for 20 consecutive years. Northcote’s kitchen is led by Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, who took up the reins in October 2017 when co-founder Nigel Haworth stepped back to become Chef Ambassador. 

  • Raise Lisa Goodwin-Allen's profile with interviews, profile pieces and recipe placement.
  • Secure opportunities for Lisa to appear at trade and consumer shows like the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show.
  • Announce the line-up for Northcote's annual gastronomic event, Obsession, and manage press invitations to the London launch as well as the month-long event.
  • Report monthly on coverage achieved.

Café du Marché - Full Service Communications

 
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Tucked away down a cobbled mews in historic Smithfield in London, Le Café du Marché is an authentic and atmospheric French restaurant, run by the same family for over thirty years.

Le Café du Marché serves delicious classic French cuisine in the ground floor restaurant that has many loyal customers and has received praise from critics including Marina O'Laughlin. The restaurant has a unique and characterful private dining room on the first floor which is popular for corporate events as well as parties and wedding celebrations.

The owners of Le Café du Marché came to me looking for support with a full range of marketing and PR activity. Work commenced in December 2017 and continues with the aim of increasing bookings for the private dining room, securing restaurant reviews in the London and national media online and in print and improving communications with customers.

I am working closely with the owner and management team:

  • PR - restaurant reviews, chefs profiles, recipe placement and trade expertise and opinions.
  • Private event sales - improvements to marketing of the venue including writing and creating a new brochure; updating and adding to online listings including specialist wedding and events sites.
  • Planning and creating a communications calendar including blogs, social media and newsletters.
  • Writing blog content and creating an email newsletter.
  • Event management for an exclusive open day event for event organisers and wedding planners.

British Dal Festival - Curation and PR

 
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I am part of a small team to launch the first British Dal Festival in 2018. The festival will celebrate the magic of dal and similar pulse dishes from around the world through a week of events across the city of Bristol next month. The aim is to will highlight the cultural richness, flavour, and affordability of dal and in particular pulses grown in the UK, as well as their contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. 

I have been involved in the development, planning and PR for the Festival including:

  • Developing the Festival's objectives, story and brand.
  • Creating a website and social media profiles for British Dal Festival.
  • Inviting high profile chefs and food writers to share dal recipes and memories for the website.
  • Curating a programme of dal cookery demonstrations for the Festival's Grand Finale.
  • Developing and implementing a creative PR campaign to launch the festival to the national press, and working alongside a colleague who focussed in the Bristol media.
  • Securing coverage in national titles and local radio including a feature written by Diana Henry in Waitrose Weekend, a feature on pulses in The Observer and listings in Olive and Delicious magazines.

 

Tastesmiths - Consumer PR and sampling

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Tastesmiths produce authentic home cooking curry kits designed to make it easy for home cooks to rustle up a delicious curry without the hassle of buying all the dry and fresh ingredients separately. Distinct from many curry kits all the ingredients (chilli, garlic, ginger) are fresh and spices freshly ground.

Tastesmiths had rebranded under new ownership in 2015 but never undertaken any proactive PR. A new listing with trade distributors Cotswold Fayre in autumn 2017, created an opportunity to build awareness of Tastesmith's with the UK media.

In a short and focussed PR exercise, I created a press release and targetted editors of the UK's leading food publications including Olive, Delicious, and BBC Good Food as well as trade publications like Speciality Food and Fine Food Digest. A very high conversion rate secured coverage in many leading titles.

 
Olive Magazine

Olive Magazine

 

Connecting with chefs & writers - Hodmedod

When Hodmedod started business selling British-grown fava beans in 2012 I helped them to get off the ground by reaching out to our network of journalists, chefs and food writers and encouraging them to try the beans which led to some

Three years later they have a diverse range of products including quinoa grown in Essex, British baked beans, a full range of dried pulses and gluten free flours.  The small team was stretched and they needed some regular marketing support as well as to engage with more chefs, food writers and bloggers to tell them about the new products.

Through sending samples to a new wave of food writers and chefs like Sabrina Ghayour, Olia Hercules and Honey & Co, we have achieved some high profile coverage for Hodmedod on Twitter and Instagram and got Hodmedod beans and peas on the menus of some London restaurants.

2016 is the Year of the Pulse and I will be working closely with Hodmedod to raise the profile of British grown pulses through creating new blog content, recipes, and events for the press and food community.

 

Branding - Lawson's Delicatessen - Slate

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Lawson's Delicatessen was an award-winning deli on the Suffolk Coast which is now known as Slate. In January 2017 it was taken over by new owners father and daughter, Clare Jackson and John Ormerod who planned to rebrand the business to Slate, to open a new shop in Southwold and to start an ecommerce business.

I worked closely with the new owners before the the change of ownership and throughout the rebranding process. I advised them on communications about the change of ownership to their loyal customers, the local community, their suppliers and the small team of staff. This involved developing a new website, setting up an email newsletter, creating press releases for the consumer and trade press, re-establishing their presence on social media and facilitating a staff away day and workshop

I brought in specialist creative agency, WHAT Associates, to create a new brand identity and managed the development and implementation of the new brand.

I provided a full marketing service to the team including

  • Strategic and practical marketing advice.
  • PR to local and national media as well as the trade press.
  • Writing blogs, including a monthly Cheese of the Month feature
  • Developing and writing a monthly newsletter (including growing the database).
  • Social media implementation and analysis
  • Managing the website, creating an online shop and reporting on engagement.

Trade PR - Skinner's Brewery

Trade PR for Skinner's Brewery

Skinner’s Brewery, a renowned Cornish community brewery in the heart of Cornwall, brewed its first pint in 1997 and has gone on to winner numerous awards; but, until recently, has prided itself on being a secret to the South West and has not been available in the rest of the UK.

In early 2016 the brewery underwent a major review of its marketing and sales strategy resulting in a complete brand refresh, as well as major investment in production facilities and a renewed effort to expand distribution to both the on and off-trade.

We were brought on board to support the marketing team with PR to both the consumer and trade press as well as freelance beer writers and bloggers. We developed a sustained media campaign that secured significant coverage of the developments in the influential trade press including the Publican Morning Advertiser, The Grocer, Imbibe and and CAMRA publications. We also organised for samples to be sent to relevant beer bloggers for review on their websites.

Alongside traditional PR we secured a number of opportunities for Skinners beer to appear at interesting and relevant food and drink events including a book launches for chef Dan Doherty's new book and Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler.

 

Engaging with influencers - Hillfarm & Hodmedod

 

Twice a year we are lucky enough to hold a lunch with Mark Hix at one of his London restaurants. We bring together food writers, chefs and journalists and allow Mark and his team’s food to demonstrate to do the talking.

Mark and his team are pioneers in sourcing quality British products to use in their ever growing restaurant group and buy all their oil from hillfarm and we have recently introduced them to our clients, Hodmedod's British pulses and British quinoa.

In October, 14 of us gathered in the beautiful private room at one of Mark’s newest ventures Hixter Bankside, just behind the Tate Modern. We were joined by writers from the Guardian, Sainsbury’s Magazine, Country and Townhouse and chefs including Lucas Hollweg, Oliver Rowe and Tony Rodd, finalist on Masterchef 2015. A highlight this time was that we were joined, not only by Mark, but also his Executive Chef and right-hand man, Kevin Gratton, who had developed the menu and talked passionately to guests about how he uses hillfarm oil and other parts of the plan from the greens to the seeds.

Over cocktails of white port and tonic we enjoyed some fantastic British Roasted fava beans from Hodmedods.

As we sat down for the introductions there was a noisy crunching on scrumpy-fried rape greens. The Hix restaurants have been evangelists for the young flower stems of rapeseed which have a mildly peppery taste and these had been deep fried in a light batter. Alongside them proud Yorkshire puddings roasted in hillfarm oil, perfectly crisp on the outside and soft in the centre.

Next came Game scotch eggs with mayonnaise made with hillfarm cold pressed rapeseed oil, then beautiful golden Manx queenies delicately marinaded with cucumber, wild chervil and oil.

The highlight was the main course of Poached fillet of cod with rapeseed greens and Hodmedod black badger peas. The contrast of colours and textures on the plate was beautiful.

Conversation was flowing and all the hillfarm team moved around between each course to make sure we got to talk to everyone. By our pudding of Temperley (Somerset Cider Brandy) Mess with honeyed madeleine with rapeseeds that crunched subtly and gave a hint of nuttiness against the sweet pudding.

We are hugely grateful to Mark and Kevin and all the team at Hixter Bankside for making us feel so welcome and sharing their enthusiasm with our visitors.

 

Writing and Content Creation - Aspall

We developed and implemented an integrated communications strategy for Aspall over a two year period. We worked closely with Aspall's owners, brothers Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild, brand consultant Deborah Taffler and communications expert Robert Phillips to develop a strategy and plan focussed on key themes of authenticity & heritage; modernity & evolution; expertise & craft; brand & terroir and markets & marketing.

Stepping away from a conventional PR approach of blanket press releases and measuring success in column inches our strategy was 'Aspall don't say much but when they do it's worth listening'. All communications centred on the new Aspall web site and blog driving consumers, journalists and trade to there from email marketing, social media, editorial and advertising. 

Aspall has a wonderful rich heritage of nearly 300 years of cyder making in Suffolk. It is one of the UK's oldest family businesses and the brand's reputation for quality cyder, vinegar and apple juice is known and respected across the UK and the rest of the world.

Aspall has many wonderful stories to tell from the family archives which include founder Clement Chevallier's 1728 diaries, letters about the family's role as co-founders of the Soil Association in 1947 and experience of the traditions of cyder making across the centuries. There is also a present-day business story - huge investment in production facilities, increased production, focus on quality liquid with high juice content and opinions on the current state of the UK cyder market. 

We trippled Aspall's audience on Twitter and Facebook and introduced them to Instagram and LinkedIn. We generated significant coverage in trade publications like The Grocer and The Morning Advertiser, features in The Telegraph and Guardian and coverage in Sainsbury's Magazine and Waitrose Kitchen.

Our particular focus now is on vinegar, the unsung hero of the Aspall range.

PR - Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

We managed PR for the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival for four years until 2014. We built relationships with the local press and radio as well as national journalists, food writers and influential bloggers to raise awareness of the Festival and reach new audiences.

We aimed to secure publicity in the run up to the event working with publications long lead times to achieve both full features and diary listings in publications like BBC Good Food, Delicious, Food & Travel Magazine, Condé Nast Traveller and Country Homes & Interiors. The Festival was regularly named by publications like The Guardian and The Telegraph as one of the UK's top food festivals.

Each year we brought a prestigious list of journalists to and experience the Festival and the magic of the Snape marshes for themselves.  In 2014 journalists from The Telegraph, The Guardian, Waitrose Kitchen, and Country Living attended as well as some of the UK's most influential bloggers like Mrs Marmite Lover, The Botanical Baker and Lavender & Lovage generating significant activity on Twitter and Instagram and valuable online content.

Getting off the ground - Hodmedods

Hodmedod sources British grown pulses and quinoa and sells directly to the public and toindependent retailers.

When Nick Saltmarsh and Josiah Meldrum founded the business in 2012 we led a marketing workshop to help identify their key messages and audience before creating some introductory info for food writers, journalists and chefs. We used our large network of contacts to generate interest in the Hodmedods story and products resulting in Hodmedods building a long term relationship with River Cottage, press coverage in The Guardian and reference in Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby’s Leon Fast Veg book published in 2013.

By 2014 Hodmedods had achieved a great reputation amongst the public and the food world and we regrouped to review the current marketing strategy with a half day workshop and detailed marketing strategy for the team to follow as they continue to strengthen the brand, launch new products and tap into new audiences.