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Prohibition Pirate Takeover

Here at Prohibition HQ, we love creative social campaigns of all natures, and video content is no exception. So when our lovely city centre client, The Light, informed us that they would be hosting another pop-up bar – after the success of the Game of Thrones-themed Stark’s Tavern – we couldn’t wait to get creative. The theme this time? Pirates.

The launch of the bar was set to coincide with the release of the much-anticipated fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales. The bar itself was to feature Caribbean cocktails from in-house mixologists Turtle Bay, pirate props and a steel band playing everything from Caribbean calypso to traditional sea shanties.

Our response was simple: create an engaging and humorous video. In order to encourage excitement and buzz around the bar and drive footfall to its launch, we called on ultimate Jack Sparrow lookalike, Simon Newton, to create (a lot of) mischief in and around Leeds city centre on one particularly gloomy Monday evening.

Our strategy was to release three micro videos over the weekend, teasing the people of Leeds about what was to come, and one full length video afterwards, driving people to the bar’s opening on May 26th.

The results were incredible, with the video achieving a reach of almost half a million people, all in Leeds, drove 128,000 video views and encouraged a total of 13,000 likes, comments and shares.

Did you see the video? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Check it out here.

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.

Prohibition reviews Fire Lake Grill House and Cocktail Bar at Radisson Blu

To celebrate the launch of Radisson Blu’s brand new, standalone Cocktail Bar and Grill House – named Fire Lake with reference to its Minnesotan roots (for those of you who aren’t aware, Minnesota is known as ‘the land of 10,000 lakes’ and actually has 11,842) – The Light’s social media team was invited for lunch to experience first-hand what the new venue has to offer.

Although Fire Lake has only just officially opened (back on June 1st), we’ve already heard a lot of great things about it. We were especially excited to visit Fire Lake after reading the official restaurant review in the Yorkshire Post last week, in which the food and service was given a massive five out of five stars. Surely it must be good?

The word ‘good’ doesn’t cut it.

Words that do spring to mind following our lunch experience are ‘amazing’, ‘sophisticated’, ‘delicious’, ‘ ‘TO DIE FOR’, ‘presentation’, ‘FUSION’, ‘refined yet down to earth’ and  ‘Yorkshire’ (of course)!

There really is no other venue in Leeds quite like it, and here’s why…

On arriving we were led to one of the chef’s tables – a long-high bench – positioned with a front seat view of the kitchen. It’s easy to get distracted, as you take your seat, by the colourful delights adorning the chef’s pass, including mini chilli plants and jars of pickles.  You’re surrounded by details and Fire Lake has got service ‘off to a tee’, from the tiny pegs designed to attach your napkin to your clothes and the ice cold water containing summer berries.

Once seated, the attentive staff talked us through the menu; a treat in itself. The waitress points out the subtle nods to Yorkshire scattered through the menus, such as the starter ‘Buckets O’Mussels’ and the main course of ‘Line Hooked Seabass’ accompanied by ‘Bradford Onion Bhajis’, which she tells us are proving to be a fast favourite. The specials boards include speciality meals created by each of the chefs – as if the menu wasn’t overwhelming enough.

What’s unique about Fire Lake is that all of its meats are cooked in a josper, a special charcoal oven which helps to bring a smoky flavour to all grilled meats. This form of cooking gives the meats a taste that’s like no other and the staff, who clearly know their stuff, urge steak lovers to sample the delights from the grill.

Following a lot of big decision making, we finally made our choices and ordered. One of the team is a vegetarian, and as any veggie knows, a grill house can be a bit tricky. You often get stuck with one option (normally a salad) as you watch the rest of your party get excited about the vast array of choices before them. Not at Fire Lake!! Many of the dishes are veggie-friendly, or adaptable (all detailed in the menu) and the staff are eager to offer assistance to make your meal as special as the meat eaters’ in your party. Our resident veggie opted for pea soup to start (without the Yorkshire ham which normally comes on the side), followed by the falafel-in-mushroom burger for main. And for the meat lover in the team, a starter of fried melting crab croquettes and with ‘The One and Onglet’ butcher’s steak for main.

We were served works of art, presented to the highest standard with extreme attention to detail. Just take a look at the pictures which speak for themselves…

Pea soup

pea soup

The pea soup came highly recommended by two members of staff and it did not disappoint. Extremely tasty, the dish was simple yet moreish and each spoonful went down a treat. The accompanying bread melted in the mouth – it took a lot of restraint not to lick the bowl!

Falafel-in-mushroom burger

falafel burger

The bun-less burger came wrapped in protective paper with hummus and seasonal veg on the side. It was simply delicious and was finished far too quickly. A hearty option for the vegetarians out there.

Melting crab croquettes

crab croquettes

The crab croquettes were an absolute ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ delight. Containing no potato, the little balls were bursting with crab meat and were seasoned to perfection. The accompaniment of the red onion relish was a fantastic pairing for the dish and added just the right amount of bite! Crispy, tasty and an all-round winner.

‘The One and Onglet’

steak

This was the real shining star of the meal. They say the josper brings a whole new taste to the steak and boy does it do just that. Ordered medium rare, the steak was supremely succulent and had been marinated in a special marrowbone gravy –  the only way to describe the taste is heaven! Although the steak came with a sauce of your choice, béarnaise in our case, it was unnecessary as the juices of the steak were too good to mix. This was nothing like any steak we’ve tasted before and even though it was only lunch time, the whole plate was cleared!

For drinks (it was lunch time after all) we stuck to a small glass of white wine each. The menu does boast an extensive list of cocktails and on returning, we would most definitely opt for one of the barman’s fruity masterpieces – the one’s we peered at from across the bar looked amazing!

A meat lovers last thoughts:

A beautiful restaurant that caters for all occasions. Be it lunch, a romantic dinner or a special celebration, there’s a part of the restaurant for everyone. The food is first class and the steaks are to die for! My recommendation for steak lovers would be to look no further than the butcher’s block (aka the steak section) when ordering.

A veggie’s verdict:

Not what you’d expect from a grill house, where salad is often one of the only suitable choices on offer. You can relax in the sophisticated and stylish surrounding, while you pick out the minor details scattered around this utterly transformed venue. If you visited before the renovations, you’re in for a lovely surprise. I plan to visit again and again.

Prohibition shortlisted for 2014 CIPR ‘Outstanding Small Agency’ award

What a way to end the week! Here at Prohibition, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the Outstanding Small Agency award at the 2014 CIPR Awards.

Blog Rebecca Wharmby (L), Will Ockenden, Vicki Murphy, Blog Adam Worrall, Chris Norton, Emily Moult (R)

The CIPR PRide Awards for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region are hosted yearly at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, and recognise the highlights from the PR industry in the area for the calendar year. Dedicated to showcasing the work of leading PR teams and consultancies, we’re delighted to say that we’ll be in attendance, enjoying the event again this year.

The nomination for 2014 isn’t the first time the Prohibition team have been acknowledged by the CIPR, having taken home the Gold Award in 2013 ‘Best Use of Digital’ category for our Student Wire campaign.

The great news continues to add to what has been a record breaking year for us, which has already seen our agency double in size, move to larger office and appoint a number of new staff members. We can’t wait to head to celebrate at the Queens Hotel on 27th of November and face off against some of the best agencies in the area. Fingers crossed, and we’ll see you there!

Launching “housemate speed dating”

Housemate Speed DatingHow do you make an estate agent relevant and appealing to the notoriously fickle student market? That was the brief Parklane Properties set Prohibition, and we relished the challenge. 

We responded with a programme of creative executions spanning traditional PR and social media channels, aimed at engaging with the student audience in a meaningful way, while ensuring we directly drive signups and footfall. One key campaign tackled the age-old challenge of finding compatible housemates, with the launch of “housemate speed dating” a series of events that put a new twist on the tried-and-tested matchmaking activity.

Housemate speed dating was aimed not only at those students who were new to Leeds and seeking accommodation for the first time, but also at those moving from halls or looking to establish new friendship groups.

The mechanism was simple; students were able to scope out potential ‘roomies’, or several housemates for a house share, by taking place in a series of timed ‘dates’, as well as games and activities aimed at assessing compatibility, for example, attitudes towards tidying. Along with the ‘speed dating’, students also had the opportunity to find out more about Parklane’s portfolio of student properties – crucially, helping drive new signups.

Leeds: Creative Agencies in abundance

The creative and digital sector is broad in definition but is nonetheless an important and thriving component of the UK economy. This sector covers areas such as media, computer services and marketing, with the common feature between them being technology and a flair for creativity. A 2008 study showed that the GVA (Gross value added) of the creative and digital sector was £59.1 billion, which equated to 5.6% of the GVA for the entire country. This is a measure of the value of goods/ services produced by an industry, area or country. Leeds City

West Yorkshire has developed into one of the leading business regions in the country with Leeds in particular going from strength to strength. Its GVA contribution as a city is £1.5 billion, but it is the creative and digital sector which has really shone in recent years. The industry has seen considerable growth over the last decade with advertising and architecture in particular seeing the most improvement.

Leeds is now the largest new media city outside of London with only Birmingham being on par. Its growing reputation and valuable network means that it is one of the prime locations for new businesses, while its recent growth could also have been attributed to its proximity to the Media City in Salford which sits a mere 40miles away.

According to a 2011 survey conducted by the Creative Leeds group, there are nearly 3,400 creative firms in and around Leeds. Creative and digital businesses in Leeds make up for over 50% of those in West Yorkshire and around 35% within Leeds city centre itself. Despite the large number of businesses, around 70% are considered to be ‘micro firms’, meaning that they employ 10 people or less. In fact, a 2005 study showed there were 2000 self employed people within this sector. These figures reinforce the notion that this industry is prime for entrepreneurs and tends to be start up focused. Taking a wider look at the sector we find that there are over 30,000 people employed in creative firms throughout the city. However, there has been a decline in employment in this area with an overall fall of around 11% since 2008. The areas to be hit most are TV, video, advertising and radio which have seen a slump of 30%.

Prohibition PR is one of the companies that have recognised this growth in the digital and creative sector, both regionally and nationally, and has based its business plan around this trend. Prohibition PR is a company which focuses mainly in online PR and marketing and aims to strengthen its clients presence in an ever evolving digital and social media market. It stands out as one of the leading PR firms in the region and can boast such clients as Audio-Technica, Park Lane Properties and Keepmoat Homes. Managing director Chris Norton, is an award winning PR practitioner and his blog is listed amongst the top 100 marketing blogs in the world.

Some of the other prominent Yorkshire firms in this sector includes Numiko. It is a digital communications agency that creates campaigns and internet applications, whose clients have included the BBC, the NSPCC and Channel 4. They currently employ 24 people and this puts it into the minority of businesses, i.e. the 30% who are not classed as a ‘micro business’.  In 2011 the company had a turnover of £1.5 million and has gone on to win numerous of awards. In May of this year, their multi-platform project, ‘Foxe’s Live: Wild in the City’, won the award of best website at the Rev awards 2013. This project, which collaborates with Windfall Films and Channel 4, also won the award for Best Mashup and Data Visualisation at the BIMA awards in 2012. Some of the other leading businesses in the city include DS.Emotion, which is a marketing and digital specialist and Elmwood which specialises in brand design. Elmwood recently made some redundancies but insists it is still growing ahead of the market. They have also recently appointed a new chief executive in David Godber.

The biggest trade association for this sector is the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA). BIMA try and support and promote the British digital industry as well as sharing knowledge and communicating with other bodies. Other associations include Pact, NESTA and Chinwag.  As for recruitment, Orchard is the largest Digital, Creative and Marketing recruitment consultancy in the north of the country. Leeds Metropolitan University are also helping the industry as their new technology institute is offering 90% discounted courses to help train creative and digital micro businesses.

The sector in Leeds has been given a further boost with plans for a £90 million investment to create a digital centre in Westgate being approved by Leeds City Council. It is thought that the renovation of a grade 2 listed building into a creative and digital workspace, with a high spec infrastructure, will create 40 jobs in the next year and a further 300 jobs in the Leeds city region by the year 2026. It is also predicted that it will create an additional £95 million GVA in that period.

It is clear to see the importance of the creative and digital sector, not only for the national economy, but also for the success of a region or city. It is anticipated that the sector will continue to develop in Leeds with a 6% growth expected in the next 5 years, consolidating the city’s position as one of the UK’s key creative hubs and the largest media city in the north of the country.

Image credit to Tom Blackwell.