February 2016 in the Smoking Gun study

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Dare we ask how everyone’s Valentine’s was? Busy? Relaxing? Romantic? Fun? Just plain drunken? Despite this month being the shortest of all 12, meaning the day of love was only two weeks ago, it seems like much more time has passed since then. Which is unsurprising, considering how busy we’ve all been.
Not least at the Prolific North Live event, which took place in Manchester on 2nd February. Bringing together the great, good and upcoming of the region’s creative industries, Smoking Gun PR acted as partner agency, immersing ourselves in the programme whilst learning a little in the process. Exactly the kind of date we like.
We’ve also been inundated with shortlists of late, too. PR Moments has given us no less than nine nominations, which is very nice of those responsible. We’re in competition for SoSocial Media Campaign of the Year (Magnet Trade – It’s All About The Trade); Best Use of Research (twice- It Pays To Play The Launch of BrightHR and Silentnight’s The Value of Sleep); Best Consumer (Silentnight); Best Use of Evaluation (Silentnight, again, this time for Earning A Place At the C Suite); Automotive and Transport Campaign of the Year (Steering Holt Lloyd to Success); Not For Profit (Cats Protection – Older Cats); Media Relations Campaign (Silentnight, once more); and Consumer PR Agency of the Year- so please wish us luck.
The ceremony takes place on 9th March in Manchester, so needless to say everyone here is counting down the time between then and now, and hoping we walk away with at least one or two new accolades. After all, nobody wants to be greedy, do they?
As ever, our MD, Rick Guttridge, has had a busy time of things, rubbing shoulders with high profile industry bods at the Insider retail event, and then the CIPR Measurement and Evaluation evening, sharing his expertise gleaned from countless years running campaigns for shops and stores, and trying to alter perspectives on how we should gauge success effectively to offer the best value for money to the clients we serve.
Elsewhere, the in-house team has been engaged in more training, this time with the focus on improving digital PR and SEO skillsets. Two incredibly fast moving areas, although we consider ourselves experts in each, it’s always a good idea to remain one step ahead of the game, not to mention the competition. Add to this two exciting new account wins we’re keeping under wraps for now (watch this space for some big news in the coming weeks), and we can be forgiven for forgetting there ever was a 14th February. Nevertheless, here’s hoping you had a good one, and are looking forward to the imminent arrival of spring. See you next time then.