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January 2012 in the Smoking Gun study

It’s traditionally the slowest month of each year, though you wouldn’t think so to look at our diary. With keynote speeches, youth project work, charitable gestures, and another two award nominations the last four weeks have been hectic as ever.
Happy New Year, if it’s not too late already now January’s done and dusted. So 2012 is well underway, and if national news opinion polls are anything to go off it’s going to be another tough 12 months for businesses. The recession has already run our economy ragged, and by all accounts we may be about to fall back into a similar, double-dip situation. The jobs market reflects this, and with the increasing cost of university to boot we’re delighted to be involved with
More and more young people are now looking at alternatives to higher education. Big Dog offers advice, tailored job and apprenticeship searches, event notices, and articles for 16-24 year olds on the hunt for vocational routes into a career. We’ve been working to raise the website’s profile amongst the public and would be users alongside founder Nick Chadbourne, a chap who has already helped some 5,000 young people train for work in just over two years.
Back in December we decided to donate a percentage of last year’s profits to the Starlight Children’s Unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in South Manchester after doctors and nurses there cared for a critically ill child of the Smoking Gun directors. Now Panda Liquorice is also getting in the charitable mood by sending a proportion of the sales from its new Strawberry Bears to Edinburgh Zoo, after successfully shaking hands on an affiliate deal tied in with the arrival of two giant pandas- click here for more on that story.
We’re also delighted to say Panda Liquorice, our favourite health food manufacturer, will continue to use our services for all press office and digital PR responsibilities this year. After a successful partnership in 2011 that resulted in award wins for both Smoking Gun and the all-natural brand, each party understandably has high expectations for the coming months…
…and what better way to kick start 2012 than with another award nomination for the Panda-Smoking Gun team, with our Giving Nasties the Blues project up for Freshest Social Media Campaign at the Fresh PR Awards. On top of this we’re in the running for Freshest Small PR Team too, so fingers crossed for March 1st.
Elsewhere we’ve also been called upon to offer industry wisdom and help bring another group of business people up to speed for the New Year. At a recent conference of the British Confectioners Association Smoking Gun MD Rick Guttridge was called in to advise on trends in cultural events, technology, and media for 2012, with more professionals benefiting from our sector-specific knowledge of marketing and PR tools.
So January’s not been very sleepy at all, but then we wouldn’t have it any other way. Aside from all this following our recent succession of new client wins we’ve been busy conjuring up some typically innovative campaigns for the future, whilst more major contracts currently sit on the table. So much to do it’s probably time to get back to it, with all eyes set on what already looks like another standout year.

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