Viewing posts from the CIPR category

The True Value of Diversity 

There’s no denying that we are extremely proud of our wonderful team, and it goes without saying that when they do something extra special we like to shout out about it!

One of our newest recruits, account executive Katie Rattigan, has recently gained a rather impressive ‘first’ from her ‘PR and strategic communications’ Master’s degree. Within this degree, Katie undertook a module titled ‘PR Skills’ which was in partnership with the CIPR. Part of the written assignment was to write a blog post addressing the lack of diversity in the public relations industry. At the end of the module, senior lecturers and the CIPR judged each student’s blog. We’ll give you one guess who came first!

That’s right, the University and CIPR were so impressed with Katie’s blog post that she won the competition and was granted a complimentary CIPR membership. Additionally, her blog post was published on the CIPR’s official blog.

You can read her full blog post below. Congratulations Katie –a well-deserved win which we are sure you will all agree with!


The True Value of Diversity 

The lack of diversity in the public relations industry is an issue that has been brought to light by CIPR in their “From Diversity to Inclusion” report. The report reveals that only 9% of PR practitioners are from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. It also reveals that the industry typically favours young people in the recruitment process. As a postgraduate PR student at Leeds Beckett University, the findings of the report were highly surprising to me.

Unlike the industry, public relations education is an extremely diverse environment, comprised of students from a wide array of cultural backgrounds, religions and ages. The ethnicities of students on the Master’s degree range from English, Eastern European, American, Nigerian, Arabic and more. As an English national, being part of such a multicultural class has enriched my University experience and equipped me with the intercultural communication skills necessary to thrive in corporate communications.

Teaming up with students from diverse cultural environments in group projects undoubtedly contributed to the success of our campaigns. Since constructing effective campaigns requires creativity, insight from multicultural team members so different to me was invaluable. One of the most crucial things I learnt during my time at Leeds Beckett is that our culture affects the way we think. As a result, people from diverse backgrounds tackle projects differently, leading to increased creativity and better informed campaigns.

In the first semester, we worked alongside a Leeds-based PR agency to deliver a PR pitch to them. My team consisted of students of English, Arabic and American backgrounds. The fact that our team was so diverse meant that the scope of our ideas was unlimited. Consequently, the agency was extremely impressed with our efforts and we were awarded a First Class mark.

Similarly, in the second semester, we worked alongside IKEA to produce a PR campaign which would result in increased engagement with students in Leeds. Since the client is a large multinational corporation, it was imperative that our team demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the multicultural environment IKEA operates in.

Our team was diverse in terms of the age range, gender and culture of its members. As a result of the contribution from students from Eastern European and Nigerian backgrounds, we achieved an increased understanding of the cultural factors that affect student’s buying habits. The diverse characteristics and demographics of our team showed us that students were not a homogenous group, which became a crucial theme throughout our campaign. Without the involvement of multicultural students, our team would not have produced such a highly informed campaign and won the IKEA pitch.

The contrasting perspectives of the diverse teams I have been involved in have typically produced more optimised campaigns. As a result of my experiences with diversity at Leeds Beckett, I became more culturally enriched. Diversity and inclusion in PR environments means that agencies are more likely to have an in-depth understanding of their diverse clients. Lastly, multicultural individuals may identify cultural implications and potential adverse reactions our campaigns may encounter that we might not have realised ourselves.

As a creative profession, both public relations students and professionals should actively embrace the differences we encounter as individuals. True creativity can only be gained from a variety of contrasting perspectives. The truth is, the insightful, valuable things I have learnt from my multicultural University colleagues could never have been taught in a lecture theatre. That is the true value of diversity.



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!

Prohibition wins Prolific North’s Best Integrated Communications Campaign

It’s almost time to get dressed up, bring out the bow ties and pop the Champagne as the shortlist for this year’s CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire PRide Awards has been released.

The awards, decided by industry experts, recognise and reflect the hard work PR professionals across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have put into our PR campaigns throughout the year and to our excitement, we’ve been shortlisted once again for a number of awards.

This year sees our ‘Dial a Direwolf’ campaign shortlisted for Best Low Budget Campaign thanks to the help of our furry friends who roamed around Leeds, creating a buzz about the new pop up Game of Thrones bar in The Light Shopping Centre. We have also been shortlisted for Best Use of Digital and twice for Best Use of Social Media for our ‘Making Christmas ‘Real’ Again’ campaign and our work with Watches of Switzerland over in Switzerland for Baselworld.

Finally, we have also been shortlisted for the prestigious award of Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy, something we could have only dreamed when we were a small team of three back in Chris’ garage.

Much to our excitement, we have already seen one win this year at the Prolific North Awards from our work with florist, Interflora, for Best Integrated Communications Campaign. As a specialist PR and social media agency, integrated PR campaigns are our thing – so it was great for our expertise to be recognised at this year’s awards.

The campaign was birthed from our research, which found the worst and best dates to have a birthday, and was implemented during Christmas time. As any PR practitioner will know, it is difficult to ‘cut through the noise’ during the festive season, so it was hugely important for us to focus on anything but Christmas gifting.

As a team, we came to the decision to run a second phase of the campaign the following summer, focussing on the best date to have a birthday, which was in July.

Along with both of these campaigns creating a significant amount of coverage and online conversation, it was decided to go one step further and create ‘The Ultimate Birthday Surprise Video’.

The video saw a huge surprise birthday party stunt in Southampton, which included a flash mob, a horse-drawn Disney themed carriage and afternoon tea with all of her friends and family at an exclusive Southampton hotel. The content received the greatest organic reach ever for a piece of content on Interlora’s Facebook page.

Overall, the campaign was hugely successful and achieved more than 146 pieces of radio coverage and 140 pieces of national and regional print coverage, with a total circulation of 337 million for print and 355 million opportunities to hear for radio, and genuinely drove online conversation.

Following the success of previous years (and already this year), there are high hopes in the Prohibition office that a winning streak is on the cards. In 2016 we managed to scoop up Best Consumer Relations Campaign for the ‘Worst Birthday’s’ campaign with Interflora and in 2015 we won Outstanding Small Consultancy, so our fingers are crossed that the 2017 PRide Awards brings us something to smile about.

We find out if we have been successful on the PRide Award night on the 30th November so you can count on us keeping you updated then. In the meantime, fingers crossed!



Prohibition Shortlisted in the CIPR Excellence and Prolific North Awards

weve-been-shortlisted-graphic-w800 - Copy

Summer is on its way and the sun is certainly shining at Prohibition HQ today.

The end of a tax year is important to most of everyone, but it has been extra special for us as we finish this year on a high. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ at the 2016 CIPR Excellence Awards due to our work with Interflora for a campaign we delivered last Mother’s Day. The awards are the longest-running and most-rigorous scheme that rewards best practice in public relations.

The entries are evaluated by more than 85 judges to draw up a shortlist of the best for each category (see a full list of all shortlists here) The judging isn’t over yet though, our directors will be going down to the big smoke next Friday (15th April) to be put through their paces by expert category judges at panel interviews, hosted at the CIPR offices.

This is great news for Prohibition, especially as we have also been shortlisted for a Prolific North Award and back in November we even won two Pride Awards for this campaign and Outstanding Small Consultancy 2015.

The team are all looking forward to visiting London for the awards evening on Weds 8th June, so keep your fingers crossed for us. We will keep you all updated once we find out.

Prohibition – Outstanding Small Consultancy in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed that this week was the CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards.

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

It’s always nice to win awards, and we were particularly thrilled to scoop two. Outstanding Small Consultancy and Best Integrated Campaign for our ‘Motherhood – the hardest job in the world’ campaign with Interflora earlier in the year.

The CIPR said “The judges were highly impressed by Prohibition’s ability to deliver a creative response to a very challenging brief, utilising a variety of channels and achieving high audience reach across traditional, social and online media. The strong evaluation data presented within the entry, especially in relation to metrics on audience shares of content, made this entry stand out as a worthy winner.”

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

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we developed an app that allowed mums to input the different tasks they carry out, along with their average working day. This was cross-referenced with our central data to produce a salary. Users could then share their scores on their social networks and challenge their friends. We also recruited a mum mentor/online influencer, Jessica Chivers, to provide advice on motherhood with guest features.

The aim was to secure at least 25% share of voice around Mother’s Day. The result led to Interflora having a share of voice of 83%, beating brands like Moonpig and M&S.

We specialise in integrated campaigns – but creative ideas and strategic insight also need to be rooted in campaigns for them to be successful and we are thrilled that our work has achieved such prestigious recognition.

80PRide-2015-Gold-Winner-ButtonOutstanding Small Consultancy was a surprise and honour to win. The judges recognised our hard work and said: “Prohibition’s entry showed that they went through a period of strategic soul searching and have created business objectives that are clear and achievable, providing the agency with clear differentiation in their market sector.

“Prohibition’s commitment to nurturing the industry’s young talent is not just laudable, but also has a clear business goal as they seek to build a regional powerhouse.

“A clear sign that the agency is well on the way to achieving this goal was demonstrated by a campaign for Interflora that was one of the most creative uses of PR techniques to generate conversation that the judges have seen in a long time.”

Thanks to our wonderful team for their hard work over the past year and we look forward to creating more award winning campaigns in 2016.


Prohibition PR CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards 2013!

We are thrilled to announce that Prohibition PR has been shortlisted for both ‘Best Use of Social Media’ and ‘Best Use of Digital’ for the CIPR awards for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

We have been shortlisted for both of these awards because of one of our current campaigns ‘The Student Knows Best’. This is a campaign for a client of ours, Phoenix Software ‘Student Store’ who wished to engage with students more effectively. Central to this campaign was the creation of the new online community Studentwire. It focuses on all aspects of student living from how to make cheap meal to the cheapest holidays. In order to ensure we engaged with students, we created the online community to be written by students for students.

We are so proud to be shortlisted. The team here at Prohibition PR have been working really hard on achieving the highest quality PR and online communication…and it looks like all the hard work has paid off!

We are now looking forward to the dinner at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.

For any more information about CIPR and the full shortlist, please click here.

Prohibition PR MD Writes Chapter for Best-selling Book!

Prohibition PR MD Chris, along with three other Yorkshire PR professionals, has written a chapter for ‘Share This Too’: the sequel to the best-selling PR book of 2012, ‘Share This.’

‘Share This Too’ is a practical guide to social media, supported by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).  Based purely on pre-sales figures, the book is already at the top of Amazon’s hot new releases in Sales and Marketing, and is also in the top 20 PR books.


The 33-chapter book is full of tips and guidance from PR, social media and digital marketing experts, and is an ideal read for anyone looking to professionally manage their online communications presence. ‘Share This Too’ evaluates what is current in the theory, delivery and evaluation of 21st century public relations and organisational communication.

Chris’ chapter on ‘Crisis Management’ includes practical guidance on how to effectively manage communications in an unforeseen crisis, and best practice for this scenario with regard to managing reputation and communication with its publics.

Share This Too is widely available from today in both hardback and digital formats with an RRP of £19.99.  Congratulations Chris!

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

The best PR people in Yorkshire fight for the title of Quiz team of the year

Last night I was a busy bee again hosting my one big charity event of the year – it almost kills me. No doubt if you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen me banging on about the charity pub quiz I organise for the regional committee of the CIPR. I bore myself with the amount of ticket pushing I do but as it’s all for a good cause so I try and make sure I do it just the once a year.

The event was in its third year, and if I am honest, seems to be creating a bit of a cult following – for which I am very grateful. Most of the regions’ best PR agencies took time out of the busy schedules to meet up at the Alea Casino and get together to have some fun. I chose the casino as it means we can collectively take over the entire top floor and have the bar all to ourselves as I know how thirsty some in our industry are.

We had well over a hundred people again this year and the proceedings went on until late with several different quiz rounds from pot luck, general knowledge through to music in films. It was an extremely close run thing this year with the longest game of lucky numbers (a legally different game to bingo you understand) I have ever played packed in between rounds. Unbelievably, last year’s champions QUIZ TEAM AGUILLERA brought their trophy with them and boldly told me they were going to win again. Even more unbelievably they actually did it. So well done to their team on a great result. I wonder if they will be bringing both trophies next year? In the first year, the table I was on actually won but sadly this year it wasn’t to be but we we didn’t do too badly as we came joint sixth with a quiz name that I am not repeating.

I just wanted to write this post just to say a huge and special thank you to everyone that came along and bought tickets to last night’s event. I know how busy everyone is and I know we all have homes and busy social lives to enjoy. So to see friends and former colleagues from across the region from the likes of Grayling, Hatch Communications, Raw Creative, the University of Leeds, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Finn, Clear Silver, Network Marketing, IseePR, Brand8, Turnkey, Approach, Campus and my lot from Prohibition PR and Lucre was truly brilliant and that is one of the reasons I love doing it.

It’s a fun event and it’s great to get everyone from the PR industry in one room together rather to have fun. We have a great industry in this region and I believe we should have more social events which get us together. With that in mind last night we managed to raise well over £1,000 for the cancer charities that looked after Nigel Scott in his final days  – so that means I am very happy today.

And in case you are wondering, last nights leader board looked like this:

Leeds PR agencies battle it out to find the best in CIPR Yorkshire pub quiz

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year, but we are very excited here at Prohibition to be involved in organising the annual CIPR Pub Quiz, in the memory of an old dear friend, journalist Nigel Scott.

As many of you may know, Nigel, the former business editor at the Yorkshire Evening Post, sadly died of cancer in 2009, and for the last two years our MD, Chris Norton, has organised the quiz event which invites PR consultancies, freelancers and in-house PR teams from across the region to remember Nigel and to raise money for the charities that helped him in his final days.

The previous events have been a great success with more than 200 people attending last year and a fund of £2,000 being raised for the chosen charities – Prince of Wales Hospice, Pontefract and Macmillan Cancer Support. Nigel’s close family attended the previous event and we all look forward to inviting them back again this year too.

After last year’s success, the CIPR has decided to hold the event at Alea Casino at Clarence Dock again and are inviting people from the Leeds PR and Media world to have fun and battle it out for the ultimate title and raise some money for a couple of great causes in the meantime.

The event will be on Thursday 4th October and proceedings will kick off early evening. Tickets are priced at £20 per person, which helps towards the cost of the food – supplied by the award winning James Martin restaurant – and the rest of the proceeds will go to the chosen charities. You have the option to book a table for ten for your group, or a spot just for yourself.

Unfortunately as a team we have never won the quiz, but the Prohibition PR team is already swatting up for success at this year’s event. It would be great to see some new faces this year so why not book yourself a place now:

See you there.