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Sharp Relations Team

28th October 2020

We caught up with AJ from Sharp to talk about their work with Produced in Kent

Sharp relations is an award winning food & drink creative communications agency

Why is Sharp Relations keen to work with Pink in particular?

Sharp Relations is keen to work with Produced in Kent as we are a specialist food and drinks Public Relations (PR) agency, working with products, brands and venues all over the county and beyond. We can add a lot of value and save huge amounts of time, energy and money for members wanting to promote their brand or product range. We get the same buzz working with start-ups at the beginning of their journey, as we do with bigger established national or multi-national brands looking for a well-planned results-driven communications strategy.

Since we started the agency 10 years ago, we have worked with many Produced in Kent members over the years and have really relished playing our part in seeing them thrive and grow. Our small team based in Smarden, near Ashford, is made up of PR specialists, writers, social media experts, food entrepreneurs, food and drinks judges, event planners and even an ex-military operations director that keeps us all right! For us, Pink is as much about support as it is about community, from networking events to workshops to informal second opinions and introductions.

Pink members are faced with many challenges post-Covid: no physical events to meet customers and buyers, lost B2B trade, threats of further lockdowns, a potential hard Brexit – how important is PR and communications in this volatile economic climate?
PR and communications has just become the most important baguette in your picnic. There is no other way of communicating a variety of complex and highly specific messages to a spectrum of demographics, other than media relations and PR. Over the past six months, our job has been as much about pushing out good news stories as it is about controlling any negative messaging and responding to an ever-changing newsreel.

As for the future, it’s not just about working harder, it’s about working smarter. There’s no point driving all your energy into the wrong tactics and activities. Every week we take part in numerous webinars and media workshops led by the major magazine houses, the newswires, the BBC and press agencies to get the latest insights from the media and the F&B industry at large. The way we work as an agency has changed almost unrecognisably and it’s so important to be working with a communications partner you can trust, especially in these challenging times.

What positives have come out of the Covid crisis that you feel our members, with your support, can build on going forward?
Although it feels a bit strange to try to think of positives from such a devasting situation as this pandemic, it is the British way to search for silver linings.

The businesses that seemed to have made the best of these tough times were the ones that communicated really effectively with their customers. In essence, those that invested time in their public relations. You don’t necessarily need an agency to achieve good communications, but you do need to be clear about what you are saying, and to whom. Otherwise you’ll waste a lot of time and energy boosting the wrong social media posts or buying adverts in the wrong publications. When budgets are tight and time is scarce, it’s more important than ever that you are strategic and considered in your approach to communications.

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