Chris Norton

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Prohibition wins the CIPR’s Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy 2017-18

Thursday night saw the biggest night on our social calendar – the CIPR’s Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards.

This is the night where all the staff get glammed up and ready to celebrate (or commiserate), with a few glasses of fizz along the way and it’s always a bonus if we win.

Therefore, we are thrilled to announce that we won Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy 2017!

The CIPR said:

 “Prohibition was a clear winner in this category. Whilst demonstrating clear business growth and new business wins, the agency really stands out thanks to its commitment to nurturing talent and keeping it in the region. Our industry is changing rapidly, but the agency demonstrated that its focused on staying ahead of the local competition by ensuring campaigns are fully integrated, combining social and digital with traditional PR.”

Not only did we win the highest award of the evening, the team also received the Silver Award for ‘Best Use of Digital’ with ‘The World’s Largest Sleep Census’ for our client Sealy UK, as well as ‘Best Use of Social Media’ for our campaign called ‘Making Christmas Real Again’.

Thanks to our wonderful team for their hard work over the past year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

A day in the life of….

PR – if you work in the sector, you will be more than familiar with the blank face that greets you when you tell your family and friends what you do for work. “No Mum, I don’t wear roller skates and hand flyers out” must have crossed the lips of many a PR professional.

With this in mind, we’ve recruited the help of our team to shed some light on the age-old profession we call PR… so, if you’re a student wondering what your working day will be like, a professional trying to explain your role to your friends and family or if you’re just interested in having a nosey into what we get up to here at Prohibition – say hello to our day in the life! We hope you enjoy.  

This week we speak to Natalie – a seasoned PR Executive and fully-fledged member of the Prohibition PR team here in Leeds.

 

What is your official job title?

My official job title is Account Executive or a PR and Social Media expert – which sounds much fancier.

 

Do you have an unofficial job title?

Over the past couple of years I have earned the title of ‘Celebrity Knowledge Guru’ as I seem to know a weird amount of useless information about Z-list celebrities (I blame the Daily Mail’s ‘sidebar of shame’).  I’m also pretty nifty when it comes to quizzes – in fact, along with our Account Director Vicky, I’ve scooped the big bucks (usually a bottle of Processco) at our bi-annual staff quiz. Unsure if that is something to be proud of or not…?

 

Why did you choose to work in PR?

I managed restaurants on and off for ten years and desperately wanted a change. After becoming a mature student – studying Marketing and Advertising Management degree at Leeds Beckett University – I found that I really enjoyed the PR and communication side of things. I decided to look for work experience in this field and came to Prohibition PR after my first-year exams. I loved it, they loved me, and I have been here ever since!

 

What is a typical day at Prohibition like for you as an Account Executive?

The thing I love about this job is that every day is different. I could be selling in a story to a national newspaper one minute and helping to arrange an event the next. It would be impossible to say what a typical day is like here! But in a nutshell, fun, busy, varied and quiet often unexpected!

 

How do you consume news?

I watch Sky or BBC news a lot at home and follow what people’s thoughts are on various subjects using social channels such as Twitter and Reddit. I do admit I read the Daily Mail online a lot, but try to ensure a non-biased opinion by reading the BBC online too.

 

What is your favourite thing about PR and social media?

Most definitely the people. I think you need to be a certain type of person to work in this field and I couldn’t ask for better colleagues. I also love how the industry is constantly changing, which keeps our work interesting and fast paced. I enjoy consumer writing too, which is a huge bonus as you do a lot of that here at Prohibition!

 

Do you prefer PR or social media?

I enjoy both equally, but if I had to choose it would be social media as it’s a fascinating subject. It has literally transformed the world as we know it, from how we consume news, to how we interact with people. I am always excited to see what technology will be next to take the industry by storm.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in PR?

Be willing to work hard and ensure you love the work you do. The industry is so fast paced and ever-changing, so you need to stay on top of everything!

 

What is the best thing about working at Prohibition?

My colleagues who are also great friends. We support each other and have a laugh together. It makes the working day a breeze – no matter how much stress or pressure we are under.

 

What has been your favourite campaign to work on?

I really enjoyed working on some of the campaigns we rolled out for Leeds based retail and entertainment complex The Light. We’ve launched loads of innovative campaigns for them, such as Student Hub and The Light Lunch. It was great interacting with the people of Leeds and watching everything go live. We really felt like we had accomplished something once it was over.

 

How many coffees do you need to survive the day?

I am one of those weird people that doesn’t drink tea or coffee. However, I do have a diet coke once a day to see me through.

 

And finally, the most important question of them all…. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Always. Although I prefer anchovies, which is even more antisocial of me.

Leeds PR Account Manager Job Vacancy

It’s been another exciting and busy period for us all here at Prohibition. We won Prolific North’s and the CIPR’s Agency of the year and we had a record year with a number of exciting new account wins, including several high street brands, and as a result we need to expand our growing team yet again. As you’ve probably figured out, we’re no relics when it comes to clever public relations. While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a specialist PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening,  brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video creation and seeding.

CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Pride Awards 2015. Aspire - Leeds 26.11.15 ©Steve Pope - FOTOWALES

CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Pride Awards 2015.

Here’s what we’re after:
We’re looking for someone with at least 2 year’s PR experience, with a definite interest in all things social media. You need to have solid media relations skills, have managed talented PR executives before. You need to know your blogs and Foursquare from your Snapchat, and at least pretend to understand Google spiders.

But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

So basically we want a talented, organised and motivated account manager to work across a range of enviable high street brands in an exciting PR/social media role. A minimum of 2 years’ PR experience is a must. This is an exciting position; we’re a fast-paced, innovative team, and we’re growing.  Get in touch if you think this is you!

We are looking for an experienced public relations manager to work in a growing fun team of 12 in Leeds that has been winning awards for the last five years. This exciting new role has been created due to our rapid growth and winning of new business, it includes several well known high street consumer brands as well as some interesting B2B clients.

This account manager will be responsible for managing excellent day-to-day client work, generating high quality traditional and social media coverage, and building relationships with clients and the media. An integral part of the team, you need to be passionate about the media agenda, knowing what makes a great story and delivering innovative and creative campaigns that have a commercial impact for clients. We are looking for someone who enjoys working in a fast paced environment and thrives on getting results.

As an agency we are committed to our employee’s career development and every year you will be provided off-site PRCA and CIPR training to ensure you stay up to speed with the latest developments in the industry.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
*Devise creative public relations strategies that fit the client’s profile
*Develop effective PR plans using appropriate strategies and tactics
*Organise and coordinate PR activities
*Use a variety of channels to maximise the company’s exposure
*Arrange for interviews or public speaking events and construct press releases
*Advise company on handling sensitive public issues to preserve reputation
*Assess opportunities for sponsorships and other partnerships and manage relations
*Analyse results of PR campaigns or efforts and prepare reports
* Plan and implement cohesive PR strategies.
* Working to raise the media profile of clients alongside increasing their brand reputation and displaying them as experts in their field.
*You will be directly responsible for three account executives.
* Play a supporting role in New Business.
* Maintaining the standard of press material and that any crisis are managed effectively.

REQUIREMENTS:
*Experience as public relations executive or similar role of at least two years
*Experience of managing junior team members
*Solid knowledge of social media
*Excellent communication and presentation skills;
*Ability to build strong relationships with key people or organizations
*A desire to learn and develop your career
*Strong understanding of both traditional and digital public relations
*Digitally savvy
*Curious – a desire to learn, improve, apply new knowledge and develop self
*Excellent grasp of clients’ marketplaces, audiences and routes to market
*Excellent written and verbal communication skills
*Creative thinker and problem solver
*Commercially aware and decisive
*Confident networker
*Organised with excellent time management skills
*Supportive, inspiring and motivational team player
*Personal drive and passion for the industry
*Self-aware and able to adapt personal style and approach to clients and team
*Ability to juggle multiple and changing priorities
*Ability to assimilate information quickly and recommend a practical response
*A creative mind partnered with the ability to find the best practical solutions
*BSc/BA in PR, marketing or similar field

We’re growing fast, so if you’re interested in growing with us, and rolling up your sleeves to get involved in all aspects of our client work then get in touch.

Send your CV to hireme@prohibitionpr.co.uk  along with a brief overview of your favourite campaign of the last 12 months.

No agencies please.

Leeds PR Agency Prohibition PR is looking for a PR Executive – is it you?

It’s been an exciting time at Prohibition PR. What with new offices in Chapel Allerton and a raft of new account wins, we need to expand the team.

PR Job VacanciesAs you’ve probably figured out, we’re not old fashioned when it comes to PR. While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening,  brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Job details:
In this Account Executive graduate job, your role will include:
• Establishing an understanding of clients’ business objectives and relevant wider industry issues
• Coordinating PR programmes to support clients’ business objectives
• Developing working relationships with clients, media, and other advisers
• Drafting and editing press releases and articles
• Promoting news stories both over the phone and in person to relevant media
• Liaising with advisers to discuss PR and social strategies
• Dealing with new business activities
• Collating and analysing media coverage
• Organising meetings and conference calls
• Attending press launches
• Researching the media and conducting background research

While we do ‘the traditional stuff’ very well indeed, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what you would expect from a PR agency. So that involves lots of exciting things like online community building, social media listening, brand audits, online crisis management, content marketing and video seeding.

Role responsibilities
• Be responsible for the day to day tactical activities and delivery of press office items i.e. press releases/case studies/features tracking
• Be responsible for admin issues on the account and employ good filing systems
• Stay on top of coverage at all times (scanning, filing, sending and analysing)
• Demonstrate your ability to identify coverage opportunities and target successfully
• Support your account manager on day to day account activity
• Report back to your team effectively, esp if any delays or problems occur
• Ensure you have excellent time management skills
• Be a ‘news junkie’ – regularly monitor key publications across all clients
• Seek opportunities to build relationships with key media
• Stay on top of core media features tracking
• Demonstrate/develop excellent writing skills
• Demonstrate ability to work effectively across multiple accounts

Person specification
We’re looking for someone with a definite interest in all things social media and PR. But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

Skills & experience
All applicants must have a degree.
Degree: • At least a degree with a 2:1
• Prior knowledge of public relations and social media is desirable
• The ability to develop a network of contacts with journalists and influencers
• Fantastic presentation skills, both written and verbal
• Great analytical and administrative capabilities
• Good knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)

Here’s what we’re after:
Preferably we’re looking for someone with at least 6-12 month’s PR experience, with a definite interest in all things social media but if you don’t have any don’t worry. Someone who blogs, knows their Foursquare from their flickr, and at least pretends to understand Google’s spiders.

But more than anything, a hunger to learn and the right attitude is key. We want someone who has their finger firmly on the pulse of digital and PR developments, as well as popular culture.

We’re a small team but growing. If you’re interested in growing with us, and rolling up your sleeves to get involved in all aspects of our client work then get in touch.

Send your CV to hireme @prohibitionpr.co.uk along with a brief overview of why you think we should hire you.

No agencies please.

Live stream revolution: Twitter embeds periscope – what will it mean?

2016 can be seen as the year live video was pushed into the mainstream. Facebook’s monumental roll out of Facebook live is a testament to just how serious tech giants are taking the live stream movement. Cisco estimate that by 2020, 75% of mobile data usage will be video. Twitter and their subsidiary Periscope have been pioneers of the livestream, and they recently announced that the app would become embedded into Twitter itself—a prediction that many have held for a while. But what will this mean for the app and the industry?

Twitter live

Twitter boost

The embedding of periscope directly into Twitter is a boost for the site’s general functionality. It’s no secret that the firm has struggled with its valuation for a while, and a lot of this is due to the inability to attract new younger users. Live stream embedding which can be retweeted like a traditional tweet could help spread interest in the app, and give it a vital dose of innovation.

Opportunities

Opportunities for those who deal with social is huge. Businesses can use this new form of content to provide commercial communications like interesting Q&As with influencers and behind the scenes content for hardly any budget at all. Although it’s been around a while now it’s still a fresh and exciting way to communicate for brands and influencers alike, and while this is unanimously true for all live streaming platforms, twitter live has the vital retweet component, meaning the right content will spread, and spread fast. Twitter is about news and about the now – much more than any other platform – it’s one reason so many PR people use it.

Spontaneous revolution

The overriding reason for excitement in live streaming is due to its spontaneous nature. Any user can pull out their phone and stream all around the world instantly although for our more luxury clients this isn’t how we would do it. This raises great opportunities for small firms looking to use social, but also major issues. For example, a PR disaster could be spawned when something isn’t going quite right and there’s a user on hand to capture it all live. Livestreaming is revolutionising social PR, both for better and for worse, and firms must be ready for it but personally I love it. I mean who didn’t enjoy watching the puddle in Newcastle being live streamed last January.

Examples so far

An exciting snapshot of how Twitter live could function came in the form of the US debates earlier in the year. Live coverage was combined with relevant tweets and it was by all accounts a slick experience – one which could well become the industry standard. Furthermore, they are set to do the same for the Golden Globes. Watch this space in the New Year, where we will expect to see huge increases in usage in Twitter’s new offering, and live streaming as a whole. I will certainly be using it for some of our bigger brands next year.

A new social media timeline for 2017

As social media continues to grow and become increasingly critical to our day to day lives, the number of niche platforms available for us to express our likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams is at an all-time high. No matter what you need to talk about – be it a new TV programme or a new girlfriend/boyfriend – there is always an app to help you get chatting and connecting. From eBay to Tinder and Instagram to Snapchat, our social platforms continue to adapt and develop the PR and marketing landscape. We all seem addicted to checking for WiFi everywhere we stop, and that compulsive need to be connected to those around us is stronger than ever.

I lecture at universities and at various social media conferences and I was acutely aware that I was often talking off a poorly designed timeline and I felt I could do a better version which included the main channels. So I had one created back a couple of years ago and I called it the top 10 game changers in social media. However, that included a lot of sites such as Friends Reuntied – remember them? So now we are back with a new and improved timeline that includes a few more recent additions. We welcome the inclusion of Vine, YikYak, and Instagram – demonstrating how visual, and easy to use platforms, are the perfect channels for connecting not just friends but brands to almost all demographics.

But all is not well in social right now, many brands have tried to create social platforms have failed such as Apple’s Ping and Google’s many platforms and Twitter is struggling with an identity crisis right now as the millenuals and the next generation move to anonymous a more fun networks.

Here is my timeline for social media.

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Prohibition Agrees Strategic Partnership With World Class Social Media Platform

Leeds-based social media specialist agency, Prohibition, has agreed a strategic partnership with social media management platform SocialSignIn, which will see the two businesses work together on strategic thought leadership events, feature developments and new business activities.

SocialSignIn, based in Birmingham, has been operating since 2012 and enables its users to track every item of content, web clicks and social traffic, ensuring that the end user and the client gets a much more accurate ROI calculation of their activity.

The partnership – which was agreed following attendance at a Prohibition event forms part of the agency’s huge investment in its strategic service offering. The two companies have agreed to work together to provide a series of thought leadership workshops to senior marketers, which will be delivered across the country and collaborate on high value new business opportunities.

Prohibition is currently Prolific North’s and the Certified Institute of Public Relations’ Agency of the Year 2016. In the last twelve months its board has invested in several best-in-class digital tools and provided extensive management training to help ensure the Leeds agency stays ahead of the curve and continues to deliver its award-winning work.

Chris Norton, managing director at Prohibition, said: “We felt this partnership would be mutually beneficial and enhance our service offering to our clients, we currently use a variety of social listening platforms but we wanted something extra to help calculate a clear return on investment on all of our campaigns and this platform is the best in class at doing just that. Our team are all fully trained in this platform and there are clear synergies between our two businesses. For instance we both believe in constant innovation, and we both invest heavily in new tools, because they help our teams to do their jobs more effectively. Tools aren’t the panacea but they provide insight and that is the future of social media and digital marketing. We felt the team understood what we are trying to do – we want to enable clients to act on genuine data and insight.”

SocialSignIn which boasts a client portfolio including National Express, Iceland, the Scottish Government and Thames Water, focuses on delivering clear business impact through social media. Stuart Banbery, Marketing Manager at SocialSignIn, said: “Social media ROI has moved on from fluffy metrics of the past like reach and follower growth. Attention is now shifting to how social media makes a tangible contribution to sales, customer service and PR. We have developed a platform that enables our clients to implement, measure and continuously improve their social strategy. We see a natural synergy between ourselves and Prohibition and look forward to working on many exciting initiatives in the future.”

Prohibition helps Interflora celebrate the best birthday ever! (video)

This week has been really rather busy at Prohibition HQ, with the phones ringing off the hook. Following on from our integrated campaign late last year with Interflora in which we discovered the best and worst times of year to celebrate your birthday (Daily Mail), we used the trusty Birthday calculator app we created to help identify the very best date, which was found to be today! (July 28th)

Tasked by the client with highlighting this special day in July, we commissioned some social media listening to identify insights and decided to deliver an experiential stunt to raise awareness and share the love. We identified one lucky Interflora customer from their database whose birthday actually fell today, before planning a very special birthday celebration which took military style organisation.  Interflora Surprise Bir

Katy, who turns 29 today, was given a surprise of epic proportions in her hometown of Southampton. A surprise dance and fairy tale themed flash mob greeted her with a specially designed routine. This was followed with her fiancé, a serving marine who had been away on active duty, appearing in a stunning fairy-tale style horse-drawn carriage. Her fiancee presented her with a beautiful bouquet and then whisked her away for a special Birthday afternoon tea with thirty of her friends to celebrate properly.

You can find the full video of our stunt below or read more about it on our campaign microsite. Here’s a mention of it in The Metro, it’s also been in today’s The Sun, Telegraph, Irish World and loads of more media we are just glad it all went smoothly.

A very happy birthday to Katy from all of us here in the Prohibition team. I hope everyone involved had a brilliant day and it was brilliant to see months of planning in action.

I have cross posted this on my own blog too here.

Students and social media: how do millennials really use social?

According to new stats, Millennials actively use MORE than four social networks. As a soon-to-be graduate, I feel I can offer some first-hand perspective on this issue, and I’ve looked at a number of the key social media used by my peer group, including Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Yik Yak to provide you with the inside track on exactly how we use these tools. Well, for now at least, by next month I’m sure the trends will have changed again!

Snapchat

Hannah and Natalie using geo-targeted filters

From filters to face-swaps, stories and even texting, Snapchat is now one of the most popular ways we communicate with each other. It was recently reported that 77% of students use Snapchat every day and I can confirm that this is most certainly the case. However, it’s not only the ‘sending photos’ feature on Snapchat which is regularly used, with the instant messaging element of Snapchat also big news.

I’m not ashamed to admit that we also use Snapchat to follow celebrities, this includes: Kim Kardashian, Calvin Harris and even Justin Bieber. If you are interested to see what celebrities are on Snapchat, Capital FM has put together a great list, with Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore recently hitting an impressive one million followers on Snapchat.

And what about brands? Snapchat is the perfect way for “big bus

iness” to target the lucrative and elusive millennial market – from filters to live stories, these are all ways brands can interact with consumers. I’ll give you an example that grabbed my attention: in 2014,

Having a bit too much fun with the facial recognition

Hollyoaks was an early adopter to Snapchat and increased its following and awareness by revealing “Who Killed Fraser” before the TV programme was aired. Hollyoaks has continued using the app by giving away spoilers of the upcoming episode.

There’s one main reason I believe Snapchat is becoming more and more popular and this is due to the limited advertising on the platform. You can watch Justin Bieber’s Snapchat story four or five times, send numerous selfies and even catch up with the latest stories from The Daily Mail, under the discover function, and only see limited adverts. If users do see one they can easily skip past the ad or they tend to be included in a fun filter, which  makes the whole experience very un-obtrusive. Bonus!

 

Facebook

Facebook still wears the crown, even among us millennials. Although, Facebook is probably not used
in the same way as it was five years ago, it
Facebook 2was recently reported that 88% of millennials get their news from Facebook; whether that’s about brands, families or upcoming events, chances are it’s heard here first. More anecdotally, Facebook seems like it has turned into a cook book with millennials interacting with thousands of videos, which simply explain how make a meal/dessert. Useful given the BBC is said to be cutting its recipe section online.

I believe the reason why Facebook is still number one, with a massive 92% of millennials actively using it, is because it is still incredibly effective at connecting people. Given the majority of my peers are going through a transitional period; either moving to university or gaining their first job, Facebook still plays a role in helping people stay in touch. Adding new friends on Facebook seems less intrusive than asking for a phone number but with the use of Facebook Chat, writing on user’s walls and updating status’ everyday certainly seems to be a thing of the past – supported by stats that we’re collectively sharing less on this platform.

Twitter

ITwitters Twitter dying for millennials?  Personally, I would say yes in terms of us actually sending tweets and interacting. Twitter’s shares dropped by 13.6% recently as the company did not exceed the forecasted revenue while its user base is plateauing across the globe. According to Contently, 19% of millennials rarely or never use their Twitter accounts. However, it would be interesting to see how this has changed over time. From my own experience I believe it could be since the algorithm was put in place, which doesn’t allow you to see all Tweets in chronological order. Twitter states that the algorithm ensures that you see the most important tweets from your favourite people, but if we all see it this way is certainly questionable.

 

Instagram

INSTA2

Instagram and millennials work together like selfies and millennials – the older generation don’t seem to really understand it. This is reflected in the stats; 53% of users are 18, and it is estimated a further 11 million users are under 17.

So how and when do we use Instagram? According to Iconsquare, we use Instagram all day, every day: 69% look at Instagram when we’re at home, 39% while going to sleep and 33% of when we wake up, which could be mid-afternoon for many students.

From sharing our own pictures, to browsing for fitness inspiration and funny memes, Instagram provides endless hours of fun. It’s also a great chance for brands to show their personality and interact with younger demographics.

For now, at least, Instagram really is a win-win app, for users and brands. Let’s just hope the new, algorithm and increasingly aggressive advertising model doesn’t have a negative effect on us.

Yik Yak

Yak2Yik Yak is an app which was designed to help people discover their local community. It was created by two students on a university campus and targets students specifically. It is very similar to Twitter, however, you have the choice to be anonymous and the majority of users take up this offering.

So what do we Yak about? Well, everything and anything. From funny comments heard in the library, to moaning about family members or simply updating users on their day. The idea is that you write an original, humorous Yak, and other users can “up or down” vote it. If your Yak gets five down votes then it gets removed, and if gets a certain amount of up votes it goes on to the ‘hot’ tab. Strangely enough, the University of York was the first university in the UK  (and the only I believe) to appear on the “Peek near” list. This basically meant that every single Yik Yak user was able to see the Yaks which were sent on the University of York campus.

Yik Yak has recently pushed out a chat function which allows anonymous 1:1 chat. Although I’m a Yik Yak fan, I am a little skeptical of this as it feels a bit like a dating site but am interested in seeing how successful this element is going to be.

So, there we have it, that’s how us millennials are currently using social media – from my experiences at least. What do you think will be the next big millennial app? Will Facebook be number one in five years’ time or will it get overtaken? We’d love to know what you think!

Prohibition Scoops Best PR Agency at Prolific North Awards

Spring is here, kind of and it has definitely sprung for us here at Prohibition HQ.

The first awards nomination of the year have been judged and the results are in. Last night we were triumphant in receiving the award for best ‘Small PR Agency’ at the Prolific North Awards in Manchester! It may have come as a pleasant surprise at first, but we are thrilled to be recognised for delivering “best in class” work.

We are all very proud to accept this award and add it to the growing cabinet of prizes rattling around in our office. Let’s hope this acts as a stepping stone to us winning again at the CIPR Excellence Awards in London on the 8th of June this year. I am on holiday until 7th June so it will be something to look forward to. Awards are great but just being shortlisted with so many fine agencies is good enough for me.

Thanks for your continued support.

Prolific North Awards