Date: October 2008
COTSWOLD PR CONSULTANCY BUCKS THE ECONOMIC TREND
Success stories in the world of Gloucestershire marketing and PR may become a bit harder to achieve in these credit crunched times, but Cotswold based PR consultancy LawsonClarke is bucking the trend as it welcomes three new consultants to its team.
What makes LawsonClarke so different and well placed to weather the economic downturn, is that it is a semi-virtual agency. With office support at the head office in Cirencester, and a team of individual consultants located across the region, the company provides specialised skills for specific clients including kitchen and homeware brand Brabantia, estate agency Butler Sherborn, Peugeot and luxury retirement village operator Richmond Villages.
LawsonClarke is not only able to provide a dedicated and focused team of consultants for each client, it can do so on a realistic and reasonable budget as its overheads are minimised, thanks to the majority of its PR consultants working remotely or hot desking at the company’s 300 year old offices in the centre of the Cotswold town.
Managing director, Jeremy Clarke, says he has found this mode of working - which some may regard as somewhat radical - has huge benefits to both clients and the consultants. “By using consultants with specific skills and backgrounds, from ex-journalists to PR and marketing executives, we are able to provide specialist teams for our clients, and without many of the large overheads of a more office centric company, we can also help keep budgets streamlined.”
With a strong track record in automotive, lifestyle and brand PR, Jeremy is highly experienced at advising clients on reputation management and crisis PR - all sectors that are likely to see more activity across the South West during the economic downturn.
After an initial briefing, LawsonClarke draws together a dedicated consultancy team, ensuring that each client gets exactly the right mix of skills and experience to fulfil their PR ambitions and objectives. Consultants are the key to LawsonClarke’s success and very much an inclusive part of the consultancy operation, attending client meetings as well as being instrumental in attracting new business.
David Reaves, marketing manager of Richmond Villages, who has been using the services of LawsonClarke for the past three years, says the level of service he receives is excellent and more akin to having an in-house PR team. “No matter what time of the day (or night!) there is always someone available. The ‘semi virtual’ set up has been a real benefit, and with modern communication systems it makes sense both for the consultancy and ourselves, and helps to keep costs down. But essentially, and with so many different facets to our business - property development, health and nursing care, retirement, lifestyle, B2B, local/community PR, even crisis management - having so many specialist consultants available to us is a really valuable asset."
LawsonClarke currently has six consultants located in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties working across a broad range of clients. All are well practised at dealing with the media at both a local and national level, and their expertise spans consumer and business-to-business communications, marketing and event management.
This year LawsonClarke has rapidly expanded its team. New consultants to join the business include Sally Rowland, an experienced consumer and travel journalist as well as an ex-BBC and Channel 4 television producer; Maria Graham-Martin, a versatile PR professional with an international marketing background who has worked for a number of consultancies across the Midlands; and Paula Cole who has specialised in medical PR, both in-house for GlaxoSmithKline and at corporate PR agency Burson-Marsteller in London.
The new recruits join Anne Toomey, an established national property journalist who has contributed to The Sunday Times and Good Housekeeping, and now specialises in PR for the residential market; Seph Kenton, a highly experienced Bristol based consultant with specific skills in trade and technical writing, and Becky Charman who has over 20 years in-house and consultancy experience in the fitness, leisure and wellbeing sector.
All the consultants are supported by an office based team led by Sue Hitchcock, who has worked for the company for over 25 years. “The semi virtual aspect of LawsonClarke works very effectively. We work closely with our consultants who handle press calls on a day-to-day basis just as if they were full time employees sitting at their desks upstairs,” says Sue. The team also includes Tracey Bretherton who arrived at LawsonClarke after a successful career in City recruitment in London.
To see who’s who, visit www.lawsonclarke.com
|L-r: New consultants Paula Cole, Sally Rowland
Maria Graham-Martin, and new client services
administrator, Tracey Bretherton
|L-r: New client services administrator, Tracey Bretherton, with consultants Sally Rowland, Maria Graham-Martin and Paula Cole|
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Sally Rowland/Jeremy Clarke
Tel: 01285 658844
Fax: 01285 650080