Often the best PR is firmly based on real life stories. I was presented with a wonderful opportunity when a long-term customer of Otter Garden Centres came for a visit in June.
Lionel and his wife Barbara had been shielding since lockdown began due to their ages, and Lionel’s 95th birthday was approaching. As lockdown began to ease, Lionel’s son-in-law Tony thought the perfect present for Lionel would be a visit to Otter – he knew it would be a safe, caring environment.
Tony got in touch with Otter and the wheels rolled! The team were thrilled with the idea, and planned a warm welcome for Lionel with a red carpet, banners and even a birthday cake.
I went to the garden centre in Ottery St Mary armed with my camera to capture the moment. Lionel didn’t have a clue what was planned and his face was a picture. Managing Director Jacqui Taylor came over to say hello and wish Lionel a happy birthday.
Tony told me the backstory – after Lionel retired as a scientist some 30 years ago he moved to Devon with Barbara. Apparently his first question to their new neighbour was “where can a find a good garden centre?” His neighbour told him about Otter and he has been shopping there for all his gardening needs ever since. A lovely accolade for the business, which is still very much family-run and independent.
Afterwards, Lionel went off shopping, loading his trolley with essentials like compost – and lots of plants!
Plus 185 likes on the Facebook post, 76 likes on Insta.