Two New Hires for Rule 5

The agency has strengthened its team with two new appointments.

Shauna Hill and Oliver Leigh both join the MediaCityUK agency as Junior Account Executives and will be working across a varied portfolio of consumer and B2B accounts.

Hill holds a degree in PR and Journalism and whist studying wrote for a number of online consumer and lifestyle magazines; she joins the Agency following the completion of a four week placement.

With a Masters in Public Relations and Global Communications Management, Leigh joins Rule 5 to support with its growing roster of B2B clients, including Leep Utilities, EventCity and K7 Media.

Speaking on the growing team, Rule 5 Managing Partner, Rob Brown, said: “Shauna and Oliver have joined the business at a really exciting time; we are working with a diverse range of clients on some fascinating and exciting projects.

“At Rule 5 we are passionate about nurturing talent and providing an opportunity to those just starting out in PR. Since starting in the summer, Shauna and Oliver have impressed the team with their creativity and enthusiasm.”

A Month at Rule 5

Portuguese communications professional Beatriz Alves reflects on a month with the MediaCityUK agency.

With a stint as a journalist under her belt and having worked for some of Lisbon’s most exciting creative companies and global brands, Beatriz reflects on her four-weeks at Rule 5.

Imposing buildings, smiling people and an unequalled atmosphere with cameras, screens and the time passing quickly, was my first impression of MediaCityUK. Having arrived from Portugal, with a desire to learn more about the UK communication’s industry, I was excited to be joining an award winning agency with a range of exciting consumer accounts on their books.

Over the next four weeks, Rule 5 brought me into the fold and gave me a place on the team. I had hoped for the opportunity to shadow the team and learn more about their clients and how UK PR professionals work. In reality, I was rapidly integrated into the team and invited to share ideas, highlight how working practices differed from Portugal and even contribute to client projects. 

Working at Rule 5 provided me with invaluable insight into the emphasis that is placed on organisation and planning and how this can benefit campaign activity. It’s something that I have passionately been seeking to improve in my own career development. It was amazing to work as part of a credible agency with such high standards as I was able to absorb huge amounts of valuable practices from the team’s industry expertise and experience. 

It was inevitable I would make comparisons between my experience working in Portugal and what I have observed whilst in Manchester. As a Portuguese Comms professional who loves to work in my country, there were things I noticed immediately. It was great to experience a totally new culture. According to my experience, without wanting to make any sweeping generalisations, the main things that stood out to be are:

Scheduling

In the UK I experienced the famous British punctuality, everyone is always on time and meetings are conducted as long as planned. Something that stood out at Rule 5 was their diligence recording the hours they spend servicing accounts. In Portugal, it is common for meetings to start late and run long, which can be good for networking and building strong relationships with clients, but can be difficult for time management.

Planning

I noticed that in the UK, particularly at Rule 5, almost everything is planned far in advance and that is an unlikely luxury for many of the Portuguese companies. It might be impossible for Portuguese agencies to plan December’s activity during the summer, because of market pressures and the constant desire to have a first mover’s advantage.  The majority of the clients ask for an annual plan, but plans in Portugal appear to be more fluid and change in response to daily trends, at times on a daily basis.

Working Hours

This is probably the most significant difference I found. In Portugal, it is very common to find people being expected to stay at their desk well past the end of the working day. It is so common that is considered as a cultural norm. However, attitudes are changing; I’ve spoken to senior professionals from a range of industries who agree that the industry’s attitude towards working hours need to be readdressed. Some companies have already begun changing, offering greater support to help their teams work more efficiently. I feel this is already the case in the UK, and Rule 5 is a fantastic example of the importance of respecting employees free time and working hours.   

It is important to note that, both countries have common points. I recognise the same level of motivation from the team; mutual respect for colleagues; the importance of having senior team members being on hand to offer advice and guidance and the value placed on meaningful and detailed feedback being some the most similar areas.

I have been lucky that my professional journey, to date, has been in award winning companies and the quality of work and commitment of the team is very similar to that at Rule 5. It was great to see how another office works and have my first opportunity of working in the UK – hopefully it won’t be my last!

Ultimately, I would be unable to make a judgement about which country’s working practices are most effective. I’ve learned huge amounts whilst in the UK that I will be able to implement when back in Portugal. However, I believe that the UK would benefit from experiencing the way we work in Portugal and have the opportunity to pick up new skills.

Rule 5 Celebrates New Awards Nominations

Photos by Tangerine Event Photography [www.tangerineeventphotography.co.uk]

Following the recent award win at the PRCA Dare Awards, Rule 5 has been nominated for four more awards at the upcoming 2019 CIPR PRide Awards.  The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the trade association for the public relations sector in the UK and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the professional body for public relations practitioners.

Based in MediaCityUK, the agency’s work with the ‘Legoland Discovery Centre’ has been recognised in the Low Budget Campaign and the Travel, Leisure or Tourism category . The agency has also been nominated for Best Use of Media Relations and as Small Consultancy of the Year. 

The CIPR PRide Award nominations come hot on the heels of a win at the PRCA Dare Awards, with Rule 5 recieving the award for Charity/Not for Profit for their work with giving platform Wonderful.org. Since Rule 5 launched in 2012, the agency won awards every year.

The CIPR PRide awards will take place on 29 November 2019 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Rob Brown, Managing Partner at Rule 5 said: “Insight, thought, creativity and hard work from everyone in the agency goes into these campaigns. We are lucky also to work with great clients on engaging campaigns. The PRide Awards are really important to Rule 5”

2019 is the seventh consecutive year that Rule 5 has been recognised in industry awards.

Hawksmoor’s Winegate

PR Stunt or Genuine Cork-up?

In certain PR circles it has been suggested Hawksmoor’s media domination in the last 24 hours after two lucky customers were accidentally served a £4,500 bottle of red wine, was a full-bodied PR stunt. The mistake came to light in a tweet from the restaurant:

As an agency with several restaurant clients we decided to put the theory to the test.

In the red corner, the half-case for the prosecution:

  • Neither the member of staff nor the customer has been named. Admittedly the staff member would need a lot of bottle to come forward, but the same doesn’t apply to the diners. It conveniently makes it difficult to check the facts.
  • The £260 bottle ordered and the £4,500 bottle don’t look remotely similar, as Hawksmoor Founder Will Beckett said, the similarity doesn’t go beyond the fact that: “They’re both 2001 Bordeaux and there’s a “P” in there somewhere.” The member of staff has been described as manager level so it’s an unlikely mistake for an experienced employee.

The case for the defence:

  • The story was announced with one tweet at 1.15am. That’s hardly a carefully planned, multi-channel strategy calculated to deliver maximum impact.
  • There’s a definite authenticity to the tweet. Despite the forgiveness they say “One-off mistakes happen”. Why the implied warning not to do it again if it didn’t actually happen?

The view from Rule 5 is that it was a genuine cork-up, and someone correctly spotted that it might make an amusing piece of social content. When the tweet started to go viral the PR machine sprang into action to maximise the media opportunity.  There is one aspect of this story though, that we find hard to swallow – who orders wine priced at £4500?

Leep Utilities Hires MediaCityUK Agency

Leep Utilities, a joint venture between the Peel Group and Ancala Partners, has appointed the agency to raise its regional and national profile.

The company owns and operates utility networks at several sites across the country, including MediaCityUK, Liverpool Waters and Canary Wharf.

“Rule 5 impressed us with their understanding of the business and its values. We believe the agency’s knowledge and skills will be a fantastic asset to Leep Utilities as we continue to expand,” stated Louise Manfredi, Leep Utilities’ Managing Director.

The appointment comes as Leep Utilities seeks to obtain an Independent Gas Transporter licence, which would mean it can adopt gas networks and provide a full multi-utility offering.

“Since entering the market in 2017, Leep Utilities has sought to make last mile utilities easier to navigate and the entire process more transparent. We are working with the team to enhance their reputation across the North West and nationally,” added Rule 5 Founding Director, Rob Brown.

Rule 5 Lands Five Awards Nominations

IMG_5803Rule 5 has just picked up a total of five award nominations from the PR industry’s two professional bodies.

Earlier this month, the agency was nominated in the national Chartered Institute of Excellence (CIPR) awards. Over the Easter weekend, the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) DARE Awards were unveiled and Rule 5 received four nominations, including ‘Outstanding Small Consultancy’.

The agency’s work with online giving platform Wonderful.org has been recognised in both award schemes with a campaign for Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester  nominated by the PRCA.

The CIPR Excellence Awards will be unveiled on 25 June 2019 at The Artillery Garden in London.  The PRCA Dare Awards will be announced three weeks later at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester.

“It’s a real honour to be nominated for awards by both of the PR industry bodies,” said Rule 5 Managing Partner Rob Brown. He added, “It’s a privilege to work with clever, motivated and creative people, both clients and colleagues, who deliver great work every day. If you want to know how agencies win awards, that’s your answer.”

Rob Brown in PR Power Book

Rule 5 Managing Partner, Rob Brown, has been listed in the 2019 PR Week Power Book. The book of leading PR professionals selected by the PR industry’s bible PR Week, was announced at the Soho House White City last night.

The book is an extensive list of the most influential and respected communications professionals in the UK today. The guide, complete with Q&As from each of the 400 entrants (from an industry estimated to employ 40,000), is available online:

Click here to see the full PRWeek UK Power Book 2019

The book was unveiled at the members club from the Soho House Group on the site of the former BBC HQ in West London.  The list also includes Matthew Freud, Brunswick’s Sir Alan Parker, Executive Director of Government Comms Alex Aiken and legendary showbiz PR guru Mark Borkowski.