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2018 in the Smoking Gun study

Wow. What an incredible 2018 it has been here at Manchester’s most ingenious and innovative PR and comms agency.

We kicked off with a January that saw MSD Animal Health join our beloved client list. MD Rick Guttridge judged the Southern region’s PR Moment Awards and offered wisdom to students at Manchester Metropolitan University. Meanwhile, our hugely successful guide to earned media was also launched.

In February we signed up Little Sports Coaching as the latest addition to our family of brands. PRMoment nominated us for eleven awards across nine categories, and we bagged column inches by the bucketload on behalf of Silentnight for the UK’s first speed dating event to take place in bed.

When March came we managed to harness the power of public advocacy to help one of our clients sell out its products across the UK and bag headlines across the globe after publicising how its product can help chronic eczema.

This was followed in April by Willerby Homes, the UK’s largest manufacturer of holiday homes and lodges, extending our remit to include PR and social, and two nominations at the PRCA Dare Awards.

May, on the other hand, was all about the ABTA Advanced Travel Marketing Seminar, which we sponsored for the second time. Smoking Gun also launched its first ever graduate scheme, giving the next generation of comms talent a foot on the career ladder.

As summer arrived the heatwave did too, and we were also on smouldering form, with six nominations from the CIPR PRide North West awards in July, alongside a new contract to provide services to the charity Melanoma UK. And August was defined by fantastic efforts for auto brand Simoniz, with more than 200 media hits following a campaign on improving car care.

The most recent of our in-depth guides, this time on marketing to millennials , was launched in September at an event we hosted here at HQ exploring the millennial mindset. We also attended the PRCA’s annual conference at BAFTA, and extended our ‘early-finish Friday’ policy into autumn, a clear sign of our commitment to staff job satisfaction and engagement.

Despite summer fading we launched a huge campaign for travel client On The Beach, dedicated to treasured childhood holiday memories, just in time for October’s school half-term. Our staff also hit the road themselves, heading to Copenhagen and Malmo to learn more about why Scandinavian business culture is so successful.

All of which almost brings us up to date. That is apart from the #NativeCreative event we partnered on, running the social media and PR zone at an expo aimed at encouraging students from our region to get involved in creative careers.

Not to mention the two CIPR PRide Awards we recently won— Gold for Media Relations and Silver for Consumer Relations, that AMEC Gold Award for Effectiveness in PR, and our current status as CIPR Outstanding Agency of the Year.


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