Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We would like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! What a fantastic year we have had!

Here’s to a successful year of gardening!

Graham & the team

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

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Puja Kotecha (left) and Sarah Bryan (right) joined Paskett PR in November

 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new employees.

To manage the influx of new business and existing clients, Paskett Public Relations, the UK’s leading specialist gardening and lifestyle PR agency, has hired social media expert Puja Kotecha as an account executive. With more than three year’s experience in retail, marketing and social media, Puja joined the team early in November.

Joining Puja to support clients – which include big brands such as BASF, Forest Garden and The Posh Shed Company – is former journalist and account executive Sarah Bryan. In addition to her newspaper experience, Sarah brings with her a background in technology and business PR as we as social media expertise.

Commenting on her new appointment, Puja said: “It’s been great getting involved with both new and existing clients and helping to achieve the best possible results. I’m really looking forward to utilising not only my writing skills but also my social media expertise to help assist the team in the strongest way I can.”

Sarah added: “I am thrilled to have joined the Paskett team at such an exciting time for the business. I have always had an interest in B2C communications as well as gardening so combining the two together is a perfect fit for me. I look forward to embarking on this new adventure.”

Graham Paskett, managing director of Paskett Public Relations, added: “I am pleased to welcome both Puja and Sarah to the Paskett team. Both ladies have great experience and enthusiasm which has shone through right from the onset. With some big plans and ideas for 2019, I look forward to working with the new team to bring it all to fruition.”

Paskett Public Relations specialises in gardening and lifestyle PR and social media support for many household brands.

Striking the Right Balance Between Work and Life

National Work Life Week takes place in October – an initiative created by Working Families that gives employers the chance to showcase how they provide work life balance for their staff.

How can we as individuals take responsibility for our own work life balance? Here are some tips that you can implement into your day-to-day routine…

1. Don’t be afraid to speak up if work demands and expectations are becoming too much. If you are overloaded with tasks, it is okay to let your boss and colleagues know so that they can pitch in and help. Staying silent will leave you feeling isolated and worried, and could cause problems for your employer further down the line.

2. Prioritise urgent deadlines and try allocating a set amount of time to tasks, focus on these tasks and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by emails or phone calls. Completing them in a structured way will give you a deserved sense of achievement when ticked off your list.

3. Take a proper lunch break. A recent survey by Eggland’s Best found that fewer than half of British workers leave their desk at lunch time, and the average lunch break is 30 minutes or less. It is important to step away from your desk, and the office if you can, to pause and refresh ready for the afternoon.

4. Exercise is a great way to destress, as well as giving you an endorphin kick. Make time for hobbies, too, as focussing on something that you are passionate about is stimulating to the brain and helps to ward of feelings of anxiety.

5. Put down devices before you climb into bed. Many office workers will spend hours every day using screens, then watch TV at home, then browse their phone or tablet before finally closing their eyes to sleep. Try putting down your device at least 15 minutes before you go to bed – scrolling through social feeds right up until you switch off the light will keep your brain active, making it more difficult to drift off to sleep. (Apple’s iOS 12 update includes a feature that tells you how much time you have spent on your apps!)

6. Leave work at work. It isn’t always possible, but try and leave work at the office when you are finished for the day. Of course, during particularly busy periods, it’s necessary to check your emails whilst your out of the office, but not at the expense of your health. If you do have to work from home, try and do it in a dedicated area of the home and keep it there, away from areas where you relax and rest.

You can also read our 10 tips for a productive workday here.

Social Media is Very Good for Business

The recent wave of international bad publicity for the various social media platforms should not deter the business community from taking advantage of this exciting and constantly evolving tool. Well managed and responsibly created social media content is a positive communication in its own right and also forges strong links to other public relations and communications channels.

At Paskett Public Relations we provide both stand-alone social media support for clients as well as campaigns that are fully integrated into broader PR and marketing activity. Consumers and journalists alike view social media as an essential port of call when investigating brands, products and current affairs. Absence from this platform could result in lower sales than otherwise possible – the same is true for media coverage – if your company does not have a presence on social media then you are unable to fully share positive stories about your brand.

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Managing social media campaigns is time consuming.  Someone must be monitoring activity on a daily basis. This is where our specialist support pays dividends. In many cases supporting the social media output is simply an additional task for an already over-burdened marketing executive.

It can present challenges for businesses, but the opportunities provided by an effective social media strategy, spanning all the appropriate platforms, is key to enhancing brand reputation and value.  It is one of the marketing activities that has a direct influence on sales.

Here are our top five tips to boost the performance of social media activity:

  1. Identify the target audiences you wish to reach. The various platforms are used by specific groups of people of differing ages and interests;
  2. Make your content engaging and relevant to the audience. Put yourself in their shoes; would you be interested in that message?
  3. Take time to talk to people. Share and respond to comments, engage in conversations relevant to your product/business;
  4. Original content is vital; quality photography, videos, blogs and campaigns all contribute to your audience’s experience of your brand, whether they are a potential or existing customer and help boost your position in search results too;
  5. Remember, social media is not a vehicle for over-zealous sales pitches and should be about quality content and conversation.

For further information about Paskett PR, or to discuss how social media can help your business, please contact georginamackintosh@paskett.co.uk or call the office on 01332 258 335.

Another Year, Another Successful GLEE Show for our Clients

We’ve had a busy few days attending GLEE this week. Many of our clients had a presence there, so the preparation work had been well underway in the run-up to the show, organising editorial previews to give people a glimpse of what to expect this year, and arranging to meet journalists and bloggers at the show.

E.P. Barrus’ three key gardening brands, Wilkinson Sword, WOLF-Garten and Town & Country unveiled a staggering 150 new products at GLEE this year, including a number of great gifting opportunities and extensions to hugely popular lines to create more opportunities for retailers and stockists.

EP Barrus at Glee

All three brands could be found at one large stand, divided into clear sections – all the gardening tools and accessories you’ll need in one place.

Westland Horticulture also announced new innovative products to the market, including one of the most exciting breakthroughs in growing media for many years – New Horizon BIO3™ – a compost produced from three natural and sustainable ingredients that is indistinguishable in performance, appearance, smell and texture from 100% peat based products.

Westland at GLEE

Many of Westland’s leading brands, including Resolva, Unwins, Peckish and John Innes also announced new products, packaging and branding ahead of the 2019 season. Its new Deadfast Rodenticide range received ‘Best Garden Care’ New Product Award in the Chemicals, Fertilisers and Growing Media category.

Victorian Tall Wall Greenhouse from Forest Garden

Our client Forest Garden partnered up with Thorndown Paints to display its extremely popular Victorian Tall Wall Greenhouse painted in pastel Skylark Blue wood paint. ‘Grow your own’ continues to be a big trend, which was evident at this year’s show, but the emphasis continues to shift towards making gardening more accessible to those who do not have as much outside space as homeowners with large gardens or those with access to an allotment.

Our days were jam packed with appointments and catching up with journalists to show them around the stands. Now it’s back to the grindstone to follow up on all the enquiries to secure coverage and start raising awareness of all those new products!

For more information on any of the companies mentioned, please call the office on 01332 258335 or email hello@paskett.co.uk

We’ve Been Awarded Marketing Campaign of the Year!

We have won ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2018, after playing an integral role in promoting the record-breaking gold medal-winning garden for Hillier Nurseries at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Account director Holly Daulby
Account director Holly Daulby

Our campaign, called the Memory Tree, formed part of Hillier’s exhibit, and allowed visitors to the world’s most famous flower show to become part of RHS Chelsea history.

As part of the campaign, we invited celebrities and members of the public to leave their most-treasured gardening memories in a special memory book and on tags which were then hung on the tree. Gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL was the first to leave his memory, and other stars included Joanna Lumley, Dame Judi Dench, Carol Klein, Anton Du Beke, Nigel Slater, Chris Evans, Matt Baker, Alex Jones, Jo Whiley, Piers Morgan, Nigel Havers and Cerys Matthews.

Alan Titchmarsh
Alan Titchmarsh MBE signing the gardening memory book at RHS Chelsea

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards recognises the brilliant work of businesses in the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire regions.

We are thrilled that the Memory Tree has been recognised at these awards. It was great to see our idea come to life with so many famous faces getting involved!

Account director Holly Daulby at RHS Chelsea
Account director Holly Daulby at RHS Chelsea

Celebrities left their memories on copper tags which were auctioned off, with all proceeds going to Hillier’s charity partner, Wessex Cancer Trust.

Managing director Graham Paskett
Managing director Graham Paskett

From Planning to Planting

We always trying to identify new audiences for our customers, and with gardening there are so many people out there for us to communicate with. Gardeners can be segmented into many different categories – you have the keen gardeners who dedicate hours every day to maintaining their garden to the highest standard; you have homeowners who enjoy dabbling in gardening as a means of improving their house whilst also enjoying trips to the garden centre and seeing what they can bring home to nurture; you have people you see gardening as means to an end and simply want to keep on top of it and keep it tidy; you have grow your own enthusiasts; and you have those in cities where property size is of a premium and gardens are non-existent but who still want to embrace urban gardening.

It’s our job to communicate our clients’ messages with all of these audiences! Each sector requires a different message, a different strategy and a different vehicle. Identifying all this takes quite a lot of planning, and whilst it naturally evolves as we go through the year, this largely shapes up at either the beginning of the year or when we begin working with a new client.

We are thrilled to now be working with Lechuza, and since they appointed us in July we’ve submerged ourselves in all things planting and planning to work out the brand’s key messages and how to convey them.

Lechuza planters remove the need to regularly water plants so are perfect for city dwellers, urban gardeners and dare we say it, millennials. Broadly speaking, these customers are assumed to be short of time but wanting all the results. Enter Lechuza! This audience are a big contributing factor in the 32% growth in the indoor plant market, however they may buy plants but do they know what to do with them and how to look after them? Or are plants becoming a new disposable commodity?

Houseplants can quickly transform how a home feels and can also improve the air quality within the four walls but looking after them isn’t always straightforward. Watering isn’t always as easy as a daily dose; each plant has its own specific requirement and over or under watering can cause damage. The Lechuza system counters this and takes away all the effort!

Discovering all this has had us thinking about indoor plants and the benefits they can have. Our favourite is the Monstera (and not just because it’s called the Swiss Cheese plant!), and we also love the Sansevieria Snake Plant, Begonias and Hibiscus. You also can’t go wrong with a classic bonsai tree!

Monstera
Swiss Cheese Plant

To celebrate all things indoor planting we’ve started a new hashtag. Search for #OfficePlantPower to see some of our favourites, and please do tweet your photos to us!

Why Product Reviews are Important

The importance of great product reviews is simple – people trust the opinions of others more than they trust advertising when choosing which product to buy.

With the majority of our clients in the gardening industry, with practical products such as lawnmowers, sheds and tools, that may require some assembly, maintenance, or may be completely unfamiliar to beginner gardeners, we are strong believers in securing as many product reviews as we can. It helps potential customers know exactly what they’re buying, how it works and importantly, how well it works.

Our clients know it is a worthwhile investment to send journalists products to test for themselves, and then write about it in their publications. We secure honest product reviews for our clients which are then published online and in print.

We also work closely with a large number of gardening, lifestyle and family-focussed influencers and bloggers, who carry out product reviews for us. Many of these bloggers have tens of thousands of followers, all of whom are the prime target audiences for our clients. These followers trust bloggers and see them as the “font of all knowledge” so a review from them truly is a glowing endorsement that can have a noticeable impact upon the sales of a product.

It doesn’t have to be a product review, either. Thanks to the nature of gardening products, many of them are only truly put to the test over a period of time. We’ve set up various trials with different bloggers to report on their experience using the product initially, and how, over time, they have found the product performs. All of this provides the bloggers with great, original content for their blog, which encourages comments and engagement from their audience, and provides us with more valuable coverage for our clients.

If you’d like to discuss how Paskett PR can help your business grow, contact hello@paskett.co.uk or call 01332258335.

Paskett PR’s client portfolio continues to grow!

Lechuza CUBE self-watering planter in lime green and white

We are delighted to announce that we have been appointed by Lechuza, manufacturer of innovative and stylish self-watering planters, adding a new brand to our growing portfolio of clients in the gardening and lifestyle sectors.

Lechuza self-watering planters

Lechuza, which is part of the same group that also owns Playmobil toys, approached us with a brief of achieving more consumer coverage, increasing brand exposure and reaching new audiences for its range of colourful, practical and stylish planters.

Lechuza CUBE self-watering planter in light green and white
Lechuza CUBE self-watering planter in light green and white
Lechuza CILINDRO self-watering planters in sunset orange, white and slate
Lechuza CILINDRO self-watering planters in sunset orange, white and slate

With over 1,200 pieces of coverage achieved for our clients so far in 2018, and a history of successfully launching products into the sector with creative campaigns, we think they’ve come to the right place and can’t wait to get started!

Hillier RHS Chelsea Flower Show Exhibit – What’s Happening

RHS Chelsea Flower Show – What has Hillier got planned?

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

For many people, the Hillier exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show is one of the “must-see” gardens at the show with visitors flocking, eager to see which new plants will be launched each year.

As Chelsea’s most successful exhibitor, and holder of the world record for having the most consecutive Chelsea gold medals, Hillier always puts on a fantastic display. This year is no different, with a whole host of ways for visitors to interact with the garden throughout the week and gain inspiration to take home to their own gardens.

If going for a 73rd gold wasn’t enough to keep the Hillier team busy, they are also creating a special installation for the RHS. As well as the main exhibit, the team is also creating “A Royal Celebration by Hillier”, which will be at the entrance to the Great Pavilion. This is the first time that Hillier has been involved in a Chelsea installation outside of its own exhibit, and is also the first time that the RHS has created a floral entrance to the marquee.

At the heart of the entrance will be impressive corten-steel staircases, which will give people a taster of what is to come in the main Hillier exhibit within the Pavilion. These will be adorned with beautifully royal-themed floral displays to welcome visitors and celebrate the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

This year’s “Stihl Inspiration” by Hillier is the first year of many that Hillier will be working with world-famous garden tools manufacturer, STIHL, as part of a wider sponsorship agreement between the two companies. Inspiration is a key theme in all Hillier Chelsea activity this year, starting with the garden design. The garden has a walkway to provide visitors with opportunities for greater interaction with all elements of the exhibit. Taking people on a journey through “work, rest and play” zones, the garden offers visitors ideas to easily re-create the Chelsea look at home.

The growing team has been busy tending to every need of the latest Hillier plant varieties which will be launching at the show. This year, these are Eryngium ’Blue Waves’, a hybrid developed solely with Hillier Nurseries in the UK, along with Hydrangea aspera ‘Gold Rush’ which is also exclusively grown by Hillier Nurseries in the UK.

Eryngium Blue Waves

As Chelsea’s most decorated designer, having won nine gold medals, Hillier’s designer, Sarah Eberle, knows the challenges of creating a Chelsea garden perhaps better than anyone: “No Chelsea is ever the same and each year throws up new challenges! The weather of course is always one of the biggest factors and significantly impacts on the way the plants grow – it certainly keeps us on our toes! This year we’ve gone from blizzards to 28 degrees, the poor plants don’t know what’s going on, so the Hillier growing team have had to really closely monitor them, and the environments that they are grown in, to make sure they are perfect for show time.”

A key ethos at the heart of Hillier is inspiring future generations to be involved with horticulture, as chairman Robert Hillier OBE said at a recent Hillier press day, “they’re the future.” To reiterate this, Hillier will once again be holding its unique “Young Hillier” takeover on the Friday of the show. Now in its fourth year, the Hillier takeover gives the younger members involved with Hillier the opportunity to man the Chelsea exhibit and be at the forefront at the world’s most famous horticultural show.

Martin Hillier, Senior Manager of Hillier Trees and a fifth generation of the Hillier family, commented: “There’s a concern in the industry that not enough young people are getting involved with gardening. However, here at Hillier we are keen to counter that and passing on horticultural knowledge and expertise through generations is imperative for us. As a family run business, we are keen to ensure that future generations are involved and encouraged, and it’s certainly something we actively promote at Chelsea with our Young Hillier takeover.”

As part of Hillier’s focus on future generations, at this year’s show, Hillier has commissioned 15-year-old art sensation, Kieron Williamson, whose work has sold for thousands of pounds, to paint a series of pieces portraying the “Stihl Inspiration” by Hillier garden at the show. After the show, Kieron’s pieces will be auctioned to raise money for Hillier’s charity partner, Wessex Cancer Trust.

Kieron Williamson

For more information, and updates from the show, please visit www.hillier.co.uk, follow @HillierGarden on Twitter or @HillierGardenCentres on Facebook.