Sue on sofa

Happy New Year

I can’t believe that another year has passed, and we’re into 2019. Old news I think – as it’s now January 7th (get over it, Sue). 2018 was quite a year for In The Right Order, with several new clients coming on board alongside my longer-term clients.

PR & Copywriting

I was delighted to secure some superb PR for clients. The highpoint was seeing Chilcotts featured on ITV Westcountry and in a number of local papers with a heartfelt story that fitted perfectly with the Armistice 100 celebrations. I undertook a quickie (!) for Acorn Ecology’s 15 year anniversary that resulted in some lovely coverage, and helped Exe Mortgages to up its profile in the local area. For Devondale Electrical Wholesalers, I enjoyed putting together case studies and PR for their successes and was proud to secure the first trade by-line for the MD. It was really good to work with Helen Bottrill of The Creative Business Network to make Escot’s first Artisan Market such a success. One of my favourite moments was receiving a copy of the Diespeker Magazine, which I worked on with agency Terra Ferma Media. Can’t beat print!

Awards

It takes a lot of work to get an awards submission right – I’m becoming a dab hand. Highlights included Norman Hartnell of The Family Law Company being named ‘Legal Hero’ Award in the Devon & Somerset Law Society Awards. Rusty Pig made the top three in the Best Restaurant Award at the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards (they didn’t win but we were definitely the loudest table). In London, Diespeker & Co won the Tomorrow’s Tile & Stone Awards and were finalists in the Southwark Business Awards. I was nominated (for the third time) myself in the 373 Group Awards. My belief is that being a finalist is almost as good as winning…

Social Media

It was an interesting year on social with Twitter flattening out and Facebook receiving a backlash due to Cambridge Analytica, amongst other shenannigans. As a result, ‘likes’ on pages slowed down. However, Facebook advertising is still proving a winner for many businesses, however and has certainly influenced bookings for one of my newest clients, Treaslake Farm Cottages. LinkedIn has increased in strength; sometimes I’m not sure it knows what it is but it’s a great place for referrals. Instagram continues its upward trend as illustrated by my teenage daughter glued to her iPhone last night. I’ve recently started boomeranging. Look it up.

Features

My visit to Simon Hulstone’s Michelen starred restaurant The Elephant (go, it’s brilliant) must be one of my favourite ever commissions from Devon Life – not the 6am start with a visit to Brixham Fish Market, but a day spent in the kitchens learning about fish from Simon, and a fantastic lunch to boot. Other features over the year included Colyton Tannery, Segways at Escot House and my most challenging feature about trends in sinks for Devon Home. Taste Buds Magazine gave me a hard time, sending me to review Occombe Farm Cafe, Duke’s Restaurant and the Lamb at Longdown. It’s a hard life.

Coming up

I’m looking forward to finding out what this year has in store. For starters, I’m thrilled to be working with my newest client, Nourish of Topsham, a zero waste store flying the flag for a plastic free shopping experience – good things happening there. I’m hoping to write my next feature for Devon Life about a fabulous lady chef (hail to the chef). I have several awards nominations out and I’m chomping at the bit to find out if the clients have made the shortlist. And this year – maybe I’ll crack the Western Morning News Awards….

Happy New Year, here’s to 2019.

 

Happy New Year

The year that was, the year that will be

2016 was a ‘cracking’ year in more ways than one. My small (but-perfectly-formed) agency worked with some superb businesses in Devon and London and enjoyed its best year yet not only in terms of coverage and client awards, but also collaboration and making connections.

I had great fun working with Amos Lighting through the year. Amos sponsored the very first Exeter Living Awards – they were also shortlisted and although they didn’t win, we all had a great time at the awards event at Exeter University’s Great Hall.

I was delighted wheWinners!n The Family Law Company picked up a number of prestigious awards, including Family Law Regional Firm of the Year, South in the Jordan Family Law Awards, and Team of the Year at the inaugural Devon & Somerset Law Society (DASLS) Awards.

I was later called in to manage PR for DASLS via Wall to Wall Sunshine with my associate Sharon Goble of If…Media. Sharon and I worked together to manage PR for Exeter Philharmonic Choir’s Lord Mayor’s Concert, too.

Another long-term associate, Alison Jobson of Straight Marketing asked me to collaborate on a PR contract with Trinity Fire & Security, which went well, achieving coverage for projects in Heathrow and Warwick. Trinity then became sponsors for an award category for this year’s green awards run by the Devon Environmental Business Initiative, which I am a Director of (wheels within wheels, you see).

I continue to work with Ottery businesses the Volunteer Inn and Rusty Pig and through their recommendation, I was taken on by entrepreneur Stuart Phillips to promote his new baby, Tickety-Boo – a coffee shop and play kingdom. This called for the creation of a website, setting up and managing social media, and helping to organise the launch event.

Social media management for another Ottery client, Otter Nurseries, became almost a full-time job in the run up to Christmas 2016. With over 6,700 likes, the Facebook page is extremely lively, with customers asking all sorts of questions – about plants, Santa’s Grotto, parking, etc. I said to the Otter Nurseries team that I need a ‘batphone’, I’ve called them so many times over the past two months. It’s great fun, luckily!

As well as retained clients, In The Right Order takes on short-term project work – not just PR but also copywriting. This year I have written website copy for several businesses, including Fresha Cafe and Escot House, and I am currently working on copy for Space’s new website.My first cover story

I have also been busy writing features for magazines including Devon Life, Exeter Life, Devon Home, Taste Buds and my first piece for Exeter Living. This year, subjects have included the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir, Mears Boatyard, goats milk chocolate, white goods and wine storage as well as several restaurant reviews (can’t wait to make a return visit to the Phoenix at Chudleigh). I wrote about a cookery course, and I had my first cover story with a flooring magazine, as well.

The end of the year saw some contracts finish, but filling the gap, Escot House came on board as a retained client in November. I am delighted to be working with the Kennaway family (who I have known for some years) to increase awareness of their gorgeous venue for conferences and weddings.

Christmas meal with 373I have occasionally been so busy that I haven’t stopped for lunch (or, sometimes, dinner), and my networking over the year slowed down considerably – a situation I’m going to correct in 2017. However, I managed to attend the 373 Group‘s Christmas lunch at Deer Park Hotel just before Christmas, and out of that came some work, a lovely bonus.

Just writing this has reminded me what an amazing year it has been – I haven’t even mentioned the half of it – Chilcotts Auctioneers, Life is Good and Devondale Electrical Wholesalers, for example. So, to everyone who has been involved in my best year in business, many thanks, and Happy New Year – here’s to an equally wonderful 2017!