PR

The Strong Agency Scoops Three Accolades At The PRCA DARE Awards

It’s been a proud few days for Strong, with the agency over the moon to have been awarded a hat-trick of accolades at this week’s 2021 PRCA DARE Awards.

The prestigious awards, decided by a team of the UK’s leading industry experts, strive to seek out and reward the very best PR & communications professionals in the country.

The Strong Agency was acknowledged in two campaign categories – Best Launch / Event and Best Low Budget campaign, for its work with independent women’s outdoorwear brand ACAI Outdoorwear; with Strong Founder Jules recognised in the individual categories and awarded the coveted title Professional of the Year.  The award recognises individuals for their strong leadership, initiative, performance and contribution to the industry.

Speaking on the agency’s success, Jules said:  “To have been able to support our clients through this difficult time has been a privilege.  To have that work acknowledged by our industry peers, humbling.

“It’s been a challenging 12 months with countless obstacles to campaigns presented; we’ve navigated each and every one of them head on however with the commitment, drive and determination that runs throughout Strong.  To see our clients come through the pandemic not only fighting but flourishing, and to have had the opportunity to play a part in that is the biggest reward we could ask for.  This recognition from the PRCA is the icing on the cake; it means a lot.”

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body and represents more than 35,000 PR professionals in 70 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Singapore, Dubai, and Buenos Aires, the PRCA is a global advocate for excellence in public relations.

The awards were announced at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday June 29th.  A Grand Prix ceremony will be hosted later in the year.

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Simon Jersey Kits Out Team GB for Tokyo Olympic Games

Leading uniform company Simon Jersey has revealed Team GB’s official formalwear for the Tokyo Olympics.

The bespoke suits were unveiled at an exclusive launch event hosted at the company’s headquarters and attended by British Olympians Elinor Barker, Dan Bibby and Mahama Cho.

The official formalwear supplier to Team GB for the third consecutive Olympic Games, Simon Jersey’s specially designed suits will be worn by athletes, coaches and staff at all formal engagements at the delayed Summer Games, which open on July 23.

We were pleased to support the Cheshire-based company in taking news to the press, working closely with the brilliant team at Simon Jersey and Team GB.  It was an absolute pleasure for Strong Founder Jules, who counts seven years working with British Cycling to promote a wide range of international cycling events and her experience of working with GB Taekwondo to host the 2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix, amongst her career highlights, and a welcome opportunity to combine the agency’s sport and retail expertise.

Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion cyclist, Elinor Barker, was the first to showcase the chic blue slim-cut trouser suit, complemented with a red low tie blouse and matching clutch bag, which will be worn by Britain’s female Olympians.

She was joined by fellow Team GB athletes, Dan Bibby, whose rugby sevens side won silver at Rio 2016, and taekwondo star, Mahama Cho, who competed at Rio 2016 and secured a silver medal in the World Taekwondo Championships a year later. They unveiled the formalwear for Britain’s male athletes, which includes a stylish slim-fitting blue suit, paired with a white shirt and blue tie.

Speaking on the final preparations for kitting out Team GB for the Tokyo Olympics, Simon Jersey Managing Director, Matthew Stead, said: “Dressing Team GB is a real privilege and it’s down to us to make sure our Olympic athletes look and feel their best during formal engagements. Our team is highly experienced in working alongside Team GB and formalwear for the Tokyo Olympics has been specially designed with athletic body shapes in mind, delivering both comfort and style in equal measures.

“Our preparations for the postponed Olympic Games began in 2019 and with the challenge of a significantly extended time frame between our first sizing sessions and final fittings, we’re going to great lengths to make sure each and every suit is a perfect fit. We’re incredibly excited about seeing Team GB suited and booted in Simon Jersey formalwear to enhance their winning reputation. I’m sure they will do us proud, and we’ll be cheering them on every step of the way.”

Widespread national, regional and trade coverage was enjoyed.

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Five Nominations for Strong in the 2021 PRCA DARE Awards

The agency is over the moon to be nominated in the 2021 PRCA DARE Awards.

The shortlist, announced yesterday (April 22nd), sees the Strong Agency nominated in five categories, making it one of the most recognised agencies in the North West.

Nominations include the prestigious Small Consultancy of the Year award and, for agency founder Jules, Professional of the Year.  The agency’s work with client ACAI Outdoorwear is recognised in three categories including Launch of the Year, the Low Budget Campaign Award, and Consumer Relations Award.

Speaking on the news Jules said:  “The last 12 months have been difficult for all.  To have had the opportunity to keep doing what we love and support businesses through what has been one of the most challenging periods in our lifetime has been a privilege.  To see that work recognised by the industry’s leading governing body is incredibly humbling and something of which I’m beyond proud.

“We cannot wait to get together with our industry peers and to raise a glass to all nominees.  It promises to be a great night.”

The PRCA DARE Awards strive to seek out and reward the very best PR and communications professionals across the UK, decided by a panel of respected industry experts across the country.  The awards uncover impeccable talent and celebrate PR professionals far and wide.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Manchester Hall on June 21st, 2021.

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Third Restaurant From Simon Shaw, Habas, To Launch This Spring

Simon Shaw, chef patron and creative director of El Gato Negro & Canto, has revealed plans for his third restaurant, Habas.

Opening this spring, the modern Middle Eastern restaurant and bar, located in the lower ground floor of a beautiful Grade 2 heritage building in Manchester, will provide premium drinks, dining, and live music until late.

The restaurant will be headed up by the multi-award-winning chef patron, supported by senior sous chef, Craig Rutherford.  It will focus on Shaw’s modern interpretation of Middle Eastern dishes, influenced by the region’s rich and varied cultures, with a greater emphasis on group dining alongside intimate dinners.

We’re keeping details of the design under wraps for now although diners can expect a total transformation of the expansive space with elements of the historic building lovingly restored in-keeping with Shaw’s sibling restaurants.

In Shaw’s own words; “It will be the type of venue that I like to go to.”

Upon launch Habas will be the third restaurant from acclaimed chef Simon Shaw, joining multi-award-winning El Gato Negro and sister restaurant Canto.  Both restaurants were recognised in the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland, 2021, with El Gato Negro, Manchester, awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the fifth consecutive year, and Canto awarded a prestigious Plate MICHELIN.

Habas will be located at 43a Brown St, in the heart of Manchester.  For further news and developments sign up to the restaurant and bar’s newsletter at habas.co.uk or follow Habas on @habasmcr

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El Gato Negro & Canto Recognised In The Michelin Guide 2021

This week saw some welcome good news for the hospitality industry as the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2021  was unveiled.

There was much to celebrate at El Gato Negro as the acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the fifth year running.

The King St restaurant is the only Manchester city centre establishment to be honoured with a Michelin Bib Gourmand in this year’s list and to receive the accolade for five consecutive years.  El Gato Negro, Manchester, is led by Head Chef Milan Sojka for whom this is personally a second accolade, having also steered the King St restaurant to success in 2020.

Introduced in 1955 the Michelin Bib Gourmand list puts a spotlight on restaurants for providing “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.”

Providing further cause for celebration sister restaurant Canto was also listed by the prestigious guide.  Launched in September 2018 in the heart of Cutting Room Square, Ancoats, the Mediterranean tapas restaurant has, under the tutelage of Creative Director and Chef Patron Simon Shaw, and Head Chef Carlos Gomes, quietly established itself as one of Ancoats’ best restaurants and bars, loved for its laidback atmosphere and consistently good small plates.

Speaking on the success of El Gato Negro and Canto, Chef Patron and Creative Director Simon Shaw said: “In what has been such a tough year for everyone, to get the news that we have been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand is incredible and has given all involved a real lift.  It is one thing to be awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand but to keep it is massive and a real testament to the work of Milan and the team.

“To see Canto listed alongside El Gato Negro is something else.  To be recognised by the Michelin Guide in such a short space of time is a great achievement and hopefully something we can build upon from here.  He’s not a fan of the spotlight but this is deserved recognition for Carlos, and I couldn’t be more pleased for him.  It’s exciting to think what we could continue to achieve.”

El Gato Negro is one of the country’s most celebrated modern Spanish restaurants and Canto a real rising star.  We couldn’t be more proud to work with the team and are raising a glass to all involved.

Read more at The Business Desk, I Love Manchester, Manchester Evening News, and Manchester Confidential amongst others.

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Building On The Festive News Agenda

The doors to Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester may be temporarily closed as we navigate the second national lockdown but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.  To the contrary, it means there’s an even greater requirement for it.

With the majority of Manchester’s festive celebrations cancelled due to the pandemic, we’ve been pleased to sprinkle a little seasonal magic on the city working with the leading family attraction to harness the media agenda and recreate many of Manchester’s much-loved Christmas events in miniature LEGO form.

The incredible build, created by Master Model Builder James Windle and including the iconic Christmas markets, Santa Dash, and ice-rink amongst other features, was unveiled to the public on Thursday night in an alternative, virtual Christmas light switch on.  Over 3,700 fans joined in online counting down with LEGO Santa to the official launch.

The response was fantastic, not just from the attraction’s A-list media who provided widespread feature coverage on the event and highlighted it as their ‘pick of the week,’ but from young families across the region who flooded Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester with thanks for “creating a wonderful bit of magic.”

It certainly provided us with a warm festive feeling.

You can read about it over at I Love Manchester or join over 85K people in viewing Manchester Miniland on The Manc, just two of the campaign’s highlight features.

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester is scheduled to reopen in December, subject to government restrictions.

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The Strong Agency Named New Consultancy Of The Year

The agency is thrilled to have been named New Consultancy of the Year at the 2020 PRCA Dare Awards (North).

The win was announced in a virtual ceremony on Thursday August 13th and sees The Strong Agency recognised for its client retention / acquisition, innovation, implementation of creative ideas and financial performance.

The awards celebrate outstanding practice and cover three regions including the North East, North West and Yorkshire.

Strong founder, Julie Wilson, said: “It’s incredible news and only just starting to sink in.  The Strong Agency was founded with one ambition – to deliver great work with great people.  I’ve been blown away by the response to the agency and am grateful to all our clients for providing Strong with the opportunity to do what we love.

“In the last 12 months we’ve launched award-winning restaurants, delivered campaigns for world-class attractions, promoted pioneering new retailers, championed the work of Bafta-winning production companies, shaped strategies for global food brands and partner agencies, and consulted on the North’s largest hospitality and art events.  We couldn’t have hoped for a better first year.

“To now be recognised by the PRCA, the industry’s leading body, and across three regions, is the icing on the cake.”

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body and represents more than 35,000 PR professionals in 70 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Singapore, Dubai, and Buenos Aires, the PRCA is a global advocate for excellence in public relations.

A Grand Prix ceremony will be hosted later in the year.

 

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Love On The Rocks For Sea Life’s Giant Green Sea Turtles

The pressures of lockdown have seen many a relationship tested and its been no different for Sea Life Manchester’s giant green sea turtles, Cammy & Ernie.

Introduced in 2017 the leading family attraction’s star creatures immediately hit it off leading to high hopes that they would one day breed.  Recent weeks have, however, seen a noticeable change in their behaviour, with the duo developing a clear lockdown rift.

Not ones to miss a story opportunity we’ve been pleased to wade in, along with Sea Life’s expert creature welfare team, to help counsel the bickering duo and share how the deep-sea love doctors are working to reignite the turtles’ passion for one another.

A playful story we loved developing, leading to feature coverage on page three of The Times, The Daily Telegraph, BBC Radio 4, The Sun, The Scottish Sun, The Daily Star, The Manc, About Manchester and Inside Express amongst others.

 

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Unlocking The UK’s Hospitality Sector

It’s been two weeks since UK restaurants were permitted to reopen and what a two weeks its been.

We’ve been thrilled to work with Individual Restaurants in promoting every one of the group’s amazing restaurant’s return, with 23 venues reopened across the UK to date.  An ongoing, phased roll-out scheme will see the doors to the entire estate open in just a few weeks.

The safety of all guests is Individual Restaurant’s number one priority with the team working tirelessly to create safe and stylish dining environments for guests to enjoy.  The following linked video produced by the Group and on which we were pleased to support, documents just some of the new safety measures introduced.

An incredible job delivered by an incredible team.  Generating coverage for each and every reopening has been our pleasure.

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ACAI Outdoorwear Appoints The Strong Agency

The agency is delighted to have been appointed as the national retained PR agency for premium women’s outdoorwear brand, ACAI.

The leading outdoor clothing company revolutionised the women’s outdoorwear market in 2016 with the launch of its Skinny Outdoor Trouser, legwear that fits like a skinny jean but has all the performance benefits of an outdoor trouser.  Now, following another record year, the business is expanding with an extended collection and new premises.

The Strong Agency will handle the brand’s national trade and consumer PR, with a focus on raising brand awareness, driving online sales, and partnership amplification.  The agency will also work on ACAI’s content strategy, building a community of women with a shared love of the outdoors.

Work is already underway with the team supporting ACAI throughout the pandemic, a period which has seen the pioneering business enjoy exponential growth, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

Speaking on the appointment, ACAI Co-Founder and Managing Director, Joe Bromley, said: “Contrary to the difficulties many businesses unfortunately face at this time, our investment and growth are continuing.

“We’ve ambitious plans and are pleased to work with The Strong Agency to grow our brand awareness.  The agency’s expertise in the retail and outdoor sector combined with its passion for ACAI impressed us from the off.  We’ve no doubt that Strong’s creative and strategic approach, combined with its established network of contacts, will be of significant value to the business.”

Founder of The Strong Agency, Julie Wilson, added: “This is a brilliant appointment for the agency, playing to both our sector strengths and our personal interests.

“With over 15 years’ retail PR experience we are well placed to contribute to the continued growth and success of ACAI.   The collection is incredibly strong, combining high-end, fashionable shapes with the latest in technological innovation, to achieve a range that delivers on both style and performance.  We couldn’t be more pleased to work together.”

 

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