The Wonderful World of PR

Julia Coles, Senior Account Manager, Clarion Communications

PR is as busy as it is varied and it’s not very often that I take stock of the experiences I’ve had and the amount of random stuff I have had to learn.   I’ve experienced sponsoring London Fashion Week shows and seeing what it’s like behind the scenes, as well as putting on a fashion show for Fearne Cotton when she launched her own label on, which were both very glamorous.

I’ve got huge satisfaction from launching Magners Cider, and helping to change the perceptions of cider in the UK – and I’ve even done my fair share of charity initiatives; the Giving Welly appeal sticks in my mind, everyone remembers the different coloured Hunter Wellies, when Kate Moss made them sexy, but little realise each colour represented a different UK charity.

It’s a somewhat misconstrued industry, it’s certainly not all champagne and long lunches, far from it; learning new skills, quickly, and becoming mini-experts are both par for the course and since joining Clarion last June has been no exception.  Some of the most important things I have learnt are:  John West’s fish is not in a tin, it’s in a can, fact.; celebrity recipes are a hell of a lot easier to place in consumer media and potatoes are indeed fat free – I KNOW FAT FREE…

One of the most unusual projects I’ve been a part of is for Potato Council.  We launched a fully integrated campaign called Master Spud, fronted by Michelin starred chef – and rather handsome Frenchman – Jean-Christophe Novelli.  The campaign’s objectives are to encourage home-cooks to upload their quick and tasty potato recipes to a website where winters were selected to take part in five regional roadshows, judged by Jean-Christophe.  From here, five finalists won the unique prize of staring alongside the man himself in a national TV commercial.

After three months of planning and a few late nights, the winners were chosen and we were running around the Novelli Academy alongside film crews, sound engineers and extremely high levels of adrenalin.

The result: a three-minute TV commercial announcing the winner of Master Spud, which ran on national TV for a month, a happy client and for me, yet another string to my bow in the life of a PR….

To see the fruits of our labour go to

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