IT’S GOOD TO SHARE!

September 11, 2013

LAWSONCLARKE PR APPOINTED TO LAUNCH SILVER SHUTTLE – THE BEST VALUE DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE FOR HEATHROW & OTHER LONDON AIRPORTS

Consumer PR agency, LawsonClarke PR has been appointed by Silver Shuttle to launch its new transfer service for London Heathrow and other London airports. The new service is designed for those living in or visiting London and South East England, and offers unbeatable prices with door-to-door convenience through online booking. Image Whether travelling on business, as a couple, small family or group of friends, Silver Shuttle offers great money-saving prices especially on its shared service options where similar journeys are matched together.  With such low prices, transfers to London airports now come within the reach of the most budget-conscious travellers who can benefit from a stress-free service without any of the normal hassles associated with getting to the airport.

The PR campaign will focus on the national and consumer travel media, as well as press, online and social media to reach business travellers, women travelling alone, families, the retired and students.

Silver Shuttle will collect passengers from their office, home or hotel and get them to the airport on time, in comfort and with complete peace of mind.  No more worries about what time to leave, which terminal to go to and lugging heavy luggage around, and there are even ‘Best Price’ and ‘On Time’ guarantees. 

Image

Speaking to Gorkana, Jeremy Clarke, MD of LawsonClarke PR commented: “The Silver Shuttle concept is one of those ‘great ideas’ everyone has had while standing in a long queue waiting for a taxi. If you only knew who was going in roughly the same direction, you could get to your destination more quickly and share the cost. Silver Shuttle solves just this problem for anyone travelling to and from the airport. Currently focused on Heathrow, it will be rolled-out to other airports in due course.”

Online booking at www.silvershuttle.com is quick and easy, and provides one way journeys (to or from the airport) as well as return bookings, with three different levels of service: SuperSaver Shuttle, Saver Shuttle and Standard Shuttle.  Alternatively, you can call +44 (0)330 223 0100.

SuperSaver Shuttle is the best-priced of the three service options, and is suited to those people who can be more flexible with their timings.  Journeys will almost certainly be shared with up to three other bookings, and the journey will take a little longer depending on the route.  Bookings need to be made by 2.00pm on the day before travel, with confirmation of actual pick-up times by SMS text messaging and e-mail by 6.00pm.

Saver Shuttle offers competitive pricing with a 50% possibility of sharing the vehicle with at least one other booking.  Ideal for families of up to four individuals and the more time-conscious travelling on a budget, bookings need to be made by 2.00pm on the day prior to travel.

Standard Shuttle is for individuals or small groups of up to eight passengers travelling direct to the airport (or vice versa) by car or MPV depending on the number travelling.  Savings of approximately 50% can be expected compared with a licensed London Taxi (Hackney carriage), and the deadline for booking is 8.00pm on the day prior to travel.

Image As well as the simplicity and convenience of booking on-line, including a pick-up time calculator, the Silver Shuttle service keeps travellers fully informed by e-mail and text messaging. Check-in luggage is charged separately and minor amendments can be made to the booking up to the booking deadline at no extra cost, after which there is a modest cancellation fee.

“Silver Shuttle has been designed to take the anxiety and hassle out of getting to and from the airport,” says James Stait, one of the founding directors behind the new service.  “Whether it’s about check-in time, which terminal to arrive at or your baggage allowance, there’s always so much to consider, so we ensure the journey to and from the airport is one less thing to worry about.  From clicking on the website to stepping out of the car, travelling with Silver Shuttle is a seamless and pleasant experience with excellent service at the heart of what we do.”

Image The company works with licensed private hire operators and provides reliable and experienced drivers with quality saloon cars or MPVs.  A ‘meet & greet’ service is provided for airport collections, and scheduled airline arrival and landing times are monitored so passengers can be reassured that the driver will be there even if their flight is delayed.

Full information is available on: www.silvershuttle.com

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LawsonClarke PR to promote five-property portfolio in Umbria, Italy

June 11, 2013

Monte Nibbio Estates has appointed consumer PR specialists LawsonClarke PR to handle its media relations, and will be announcing the opportunity to purchase one or more properties comprising its rare portfolio of five historic buildings.

The consultancy which specialises in property PR, will be handling communications with the media in the UK and Europe, while also looking to secure international coverage especially in North America, the Middle East, Russia, India and Far East.

 Villa San Benigno  Iconic Umbrian view  Vineyard at Monte Nibbio
Villa San Benigno – ready for occupation Iconic Umbrian view Vineyard at Monte Nibbio
 

The Monte Nibbio portfolio comprises:

  • One completed property with its own vineyard – Villa San Benigno – €1,350,000
  • One ready to be completed property – Monte Nibbio – €3,200,000
  • Three properties available for development from €350,000
  • All five properties – €6,000,000

Surrounded by iconic Umbrian countryside and located close to the historic town of Todi – approximately 30 kms south of Perugia and mid-way between Florence and Rome – the five individual properties offer a wide range of possibilities to the private owner or institutional investor. While the smaller properties are perfect for development into private homes, Monte Nibbio and Villa San Benigno could potentially become a boutique hotel or spa.

Several of the properties have historical provenance, none more so than Monte Nibbio which dates back to medieval Christian times when it offered sanctuary to returning Crusaders in the 13th century, and was a Benedictine convent in the 16th century.

The properties all enjoy wonderful rural locations, deep in hidden valleys, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, or positioned on a private hilltop with 360° panoramic views and accessed via an ancient country road.

About Monte Nibbio Estates www.montenibbio.com

The portfolio of five properties now for purchase has been assembled over the past 15 years by businessmen and friends, Peter Mullin and Kieran Hedigan.

A successful Irish-American businessman, Peter Mullin is based in Los Angeles with interests that extend to reinsurance and financial services.  He is a highly regarded car collector and over the years has assembled one of the greatest collections of Bugattis which can be viewed at his own museum in California:www.mullinautomotivemuseum.com

Kieran Hedigan first visited Todi in 2000 and has had a home there for over 10 years.  He divides his time between Todi, Qatar and the United Kingdom, and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the properties and their redevelopment.


30 years at LawsonClarke – you get less for murder!

May 2, 2013

“It seems like a lifetime ago,” says Sue Hitchcock who received a letter dated 23rd September 1982 offering her the position of part-time secretary/PA to the managing director of Cirencester based PR consultancy, LawsonClarke PR, her first job after secretarial college.  Sue Hitchcock

“Indeed it has been a lifetime, and as the joke goes, you get less for murder,” adds Sue, who still works in the business as office manager and ‘right hand person’ to the company’s MD, Jeremy Clarke.

“The business has always adopted a flexible approach to employment.  I started working four half days (16 hours a week) – effectively job sharing.  This quickly developed into a full time role, and over the last couple of years, I have chosen to reduce my time so I have longer weekends.

“As with any service based business, the workload is determined by the number of clients you have, the number of staff, and inevitably the economic conditions, but it’s the variety and interest of the work that has kept me in the same role for so long.

“As a hedge against the cyclical nature of the economy and with the increasing cost and bureaucracy attached to employing people, the company adopted a new way of outsourcing to professional and specialist consultants some 20 years ago.  While this was seen quite radical and certainly unusual in the early nineties, it is now a method of working that many PR companies have adopted.

“So while there may not always be that many people in the office, there are colleagues working remotely, and many of these have become good friends over the years.

“We specialise primarily in consumer PR, so I am regularly talking to journalists in the national, consumer and broadcast media.  We worked with Brabantia, the housewares brand for 24 years, and do a lot in property where we have several clients including Monte Nibbio Estates in Italy, and the Cotswolds property specialists Butler Sherborn.  Automotive is also a core market, and we are the press office for the Korean car maker, SsangYong, so there’s always something different when I walk in each morning, and no day is ever the same.”

Said Jeremy Clarke: “At a time when people seem to change jobs quite frequently, it is a remarkable achievement to remain working with the same company for over 30 years. Those who have known us for a long time often ask ‘is Sue still working for you?’ and are truly surprised that she is, speaking more about her than her employer I suspect!

“As I said when we celebrated her 25 years with the company, her dedication, commitment and loyalty are rare qualities, and hugely appreciated,” he added.


We are where we are – deal with it

February 15, 2013

New image 2013

OnStrategy consultancy launched to deliver real world advice

Whether we are on the brink of a triple dip recession or not is irrelevant.

No amount of navel gazing, wishful thinking for how things ‘could have/might have/should have’ been or indeed ‘once used to be’ will make things any different.  We are where we are and it’s not going to change any time soon.

Smaller budgets, reduced resources, greater demands for more from less are the new vernacular of business, sales, marketing and frankly anyone trying to cope financially.  Whether talking about your domestic housekeeping, a Government Department or an organisation’s marketing and PR budget, the language is much the same.

But whatever the current financial landscape there’s still a job to be done.  So could smart thinking be the way forward?

Of course the answer is yes; but where’s this thinking going to come from.  ‘Bright young things’ have bright, young – and largely unproven ideas and suggestions, which was all well and good in the Silicon Valley-esq and Nike ‘Just Do It’ way of the late 1990s and early Noughties, but…

Well exactly: there’s a but.  That was then and this is now.

Maybe the time has come to invest in some real world experience. Experience that will deliver a pragmatic, risk reduced way forward and one that needn’t cost a banker’s bonus especially if you buy it in by the day rather than add it to the payroll.

With this in mind, welcome to OnStrategy – the consultancy solution from LawsonClarke.

And the difference is?

It’s pure consultancy that’s delivered simply

  1. Meet – the first meeting is free
  2. Tell us your problem, discuss openly and honestly
  3. We’ll apply our lifetime experience gleaned from many years of brand engagement to come up with some pragmatic solution options, all to a pre-agreed scope, scale and cost.

What for?

  • Strategic thinking
  • Reputation auditing
  • Review of issues/crisis management
  • ‘What if’ scoping
  • Review of resources, internal and external
  • Recommendation of solutions

Simple.  End of.

If you’re a client business, we promise not to sell you anything else.  If you’re an agency, we’ll happily work alongside you to the best of our combined ability for the good of your client.

Real world advice.  Drawing on our intuition and born out of 40 years brand/marketing/PR management experience, and over 30 years creating and running our own successful business.

Call us.  The initial meeting is free.

Tel:     +44 (0)1285 658844

E-mail: onstrategy@lawsonclarke.co.uk


LawsonClarke promotes Bond ‘double agent’ turned author

November 22, 2012

With all the talk of Skyfall, the latest Bond film at the moment, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share the recent news of our very own Bond link – actress Fiona Fullerton who played KGB double agent Pola Ivanova in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill

We have known Fiona for a number of years, originally through our work in the property world and were delighted when she approached us to launch her new book Dear Fiona – Letters from a Suspected Soviet Spy this autumn.  Initially the brief covered just print media, but as the project progressed Fiona also asked us to handle broadcast media.

The story of a high profile, glamorous actress having a ‘pen friend’ relationship with a real suspected and imprisoned Soviet spy sounds both romantic and unlikely.  But this true story is a fascinating insight into both their lives and how they supported each other against all odds and forged a 30 year friendship.  We won’t spoil the ending, but it really is an amazing read and has had great reviews.

We achieved some fantastic results including BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4, BBC South Today,  as well as coverage in The Daily Mail, Woman and Home and regional print media and radio nationwideSo we just thought we’d share a snippet of the editorial coverage we achieved here.

Double click on images to view

 
     

The overall campaign gained an Opportunity To See (OTS) of an audience in excess of 30 million.  For those of you not in the PR world, this literally means the number of people who had the opportunity to see, read or watch coverage of the book launch!

Neither shaken nor stirred by having to give all those press interviews, Fiona was very happy with the resulting media exposure for the book which is already selling well.

 

How happy are you with your PR?

January 25, 2012

Journalists can be a very critical lot, and have high expectations of the service they receive from PR people.  So we asked 100 consumer journalists what they thought about the service they receive from us. 

“If you attended LawsonClarke’s recent press event, how useful did you find it?”

100%

Very Useful or Useful

0%

Neither Useful nor Unuseful

   
   

 

“How satisfied are you with the quality of the press release writing?” 93.3%Very Satisfied or Satisfied

6.7%Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied

 
   

 

“When contacting the LawsonClarke press office, how satisfied are you with the overall service including response and the level of product knowledge?” 90.3%

Very Satisfied or Satisfied

9.7%

Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied

 

 Additional positive feedback:

 “I received price info and high-res images almost immediately after requesting, very pleased with the service.” Sainsbury’s Magazine

“I have worked with the Lawson Clarke team for many years and have always received a fast and professional service.” SHE Magazine

“Keep up the good work!” Freelance journalist

“Extremely happy with the professional, efficient and friendly service that Lawson Clarke has always supplied over the years.  Long may it continue.” Freelance journalist

If you’d like to improve your brand’s relationship with the press, improve your reputation or discuss any other aspect of your PR communication, just get in touch with us.


PR Interview with Jeremy Clarke, MD, LawsonClarke PR

May 31, 2011

Reproduced from FeaturesExec Media Bulletin, 31 May 2011: http://www.featuresexec.com/bulletin/news.php?newsid=XiEig

Every fortnight, our PR interviews profile an agency head to find out more about their work, their clients and working with the press. Jeremy Clarke, managing director of consumer agency LawsonClarke PR, shares his advice on choosing a PR consultancy and using social media.

About the agency

What areas of PR does the agency specialise in?

LawsonClarke PR is primarily a consumer agency, specialising in automotive, property, home interest and lifestyle, which embraces everything from travel, children’s interests, sport, health & wellbeing. The business was founded in 1981 – 30 years ago this year, and has broadly remained in these market categories, although property has developed strongly as a core pillar over the past five years.

What is special about your agency’s approach to PR?

We have a dedicated team of experienced consultants – not uni-fresh youngsters – who work hard and see things from both the client’s and journalist’s perspective. We know what both parties want to achieve, and aim to meet these requirements quickly, effectively and cost efficiently.

How do you ensure clients get the right coverage in the press?

I believe we have a fairly relaxed approach to how we work with journalists, by working with them rather than bombarding them with material they’re not interested in! We start by targeting the right people – increasingly freelancers, finding out what they want, tailoring our clients’ news and having secured their interest, bending over backwards to meet their timescale and need for interviews/quotes/hi-res images etc.

We say that half the job is about being proactive, the other half reactive which simply means having an effective press office in place to help. Journalists often say they come back to us because they know they’ll get what they want quickly and efficiently, which isn’t the case with many other agencies.

What do you look for in new recruits?

Experience, enthusiasm, commitment and flexibility.

We only field specialist consultants – either with particular market sector experience or communication skills – who get the job done without the fluff and flaff!

About clients

What advice would you give to clients choosing a PR consultancy?

There’s a lot for a client to think about when appointing an agency, and I’ve touched on many of these points in my recent blog post, ‘Choosing a PR consultancy and getting it right’.

While relevant experience, creativity, knowing the press, a successful track record and social media skills are all important, chemistry seems to be the clincher for most enduring client/consultancy relationships. Finding a fair and equitable budget level that meets the expectations of both parties also removes the angst that can scupper a relationship further down the line.

Tell us about the clients you are working with at the moment. What sectors are they in, and how are the campaigns for them going?

Brabantia the housewares brand has been a client for over 20 years, but there’s always something new to talk about. Last year we took them in to social media in a big way, launching @BrabantiaLife on Twitter, a blog, Facebook and Flickr. This year the brand is broadening its offer by moving into casual dining, and we have a major press launch next month at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Richmond Villages has been a client for several years. The company designs, builds and operates luxury retirement villages. We are profiling the company’s five villages and positioning them for their aspirational lifestyle, and with great success. Coverage in the last week has appeared in key target media such as The Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Lady.

SsangYong is a Korean car company and has appointed us to help profile the brand in the UK, and launch its new crossover model, the Korando. We have been involved on a ‘soft launch’ of Korando which started with an international press preview in Mallorca, resulting in some extremely positive media coverage, including an unprecedented seven pages in Autocar.

Clients Butler Sherborn, Ecospace, Manningford Croft, and The Bay at Talland keep us busy on the property front. With a wide variety of stories – from million-pound country properties, to eco homes and designer garden offices, we have had a lot of different angles to pitch to the national and consumer property media, and again with spot-on targeted results.

Is there a potential client you’d love to work for?

We have worked with major corporates, international brands, public sector clients and SMEs (small and medium size enterprises), and for us, doing satisfying work for appreciative clients who we enjoy working with and for a fair return is the name of the game. It’s certainly not about massaging our egos by representing brand x, y or z.

Which campaign are you most proud of?

Our ongoing work for Brabantia is continually satisfying. As the brand has evolved its product range in line with developing trends in design, food, cooking and casual living, we have adapted our messages and outputs to the media, which has itself evolved by spawning a raft of new consumer titles focusing on theses areas, as well as online.

About you

Do you use social media? If so, how useful do you find it?

I was an early adopter of Twitter and definitely an advocate of social media, or online PR as I prefer to call it. My recent blog post entitled ‘Social media made easy’ is designed to help those not yet using it or who remain unconvinced, and to demonstrate that it’s only a small step on from using e-mail or the internet.

Useful? It’s invaluable, and I use it for keeping current and building relationships; we’ve even been offered work by tweet!

Do you attend networking events? If so, which are you attending soon?

As someone once said to me, “You can’t do PR from behind a desk” – meaning you’ve got to get out there. I try to attend a varied mix of events – professional, sectoral, regional. You never know what you’re going to learn and who you’re going to meet. As a member of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association http://www.mippa.com I attend a number of their events which can be training focused (currently on social media), meeting other PRs or journalists.

My next, albeit slightly unusual networking event will be taking my old TR6 sports car on the annual Guild of Motoring Writers classic car trip to France; it’s a great opportunity to catch up with motoring hacks in a relaxed environment without a story pitch being involved!

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