Author: Jonathan Saunders

Publicity Seekers’ Road to the BBC

8059AC90-8990-42C5-883F-7C38CA92BBD9

THE Publicity Seekers team headed out and about for a media day last week, catching up with contacts and sharpening our knowledge on exactly what content they are looking for.

We met Capital breakfast presenter, Matt Bailey, first in the reception of Global Radio. Matt gave us a brief tour of both the Capital and Heart studios and showed us to the boardroom, our planning hub for the morning. Here we began brainstorming the service we give our clients and how we could work to further enhance it.

The boardroom towered high above Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had a brilliant birds eye view of St James’ Park, so we didn’t find it too difficult to be inspired in such a setting.

From there we met with Martin Lindsay, the senior reporter at Global, in between his morning broadcasts. This was our opportunity to pick Martin’s brain about exactly what he looks for in a news story, what should be featured in his ideal press release, and how he puts together his daily news bulletins.

After our informative meeting with Martin and our lunch at The Alchemist, we headed to Blake’s to meet with Michael Marsh, news editor at the Chronicle. Michael was kind enough to take some time out of reporting on a murder case at Newcastle Crown Court to chat through a day in the life at his publication.

Unfortunately, he didn’t drop any hints as to the outcome of the case. He did however field our questions about the strategies Trinity Mirror is implementing and again, what things he would look for in a news release and how best to work alongside journalists to do our jobs.

We then came to the final stop on our tour of the Toon, with the team attending a panel debate at BBC Newcastle about what the future holds for local journalism.
As part of the panel there were a number of big names including Helen Dalby, editor of ChronicleLive and regional head of digital for Trinity Mirror; Gavin Foster, managing editor of the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail, Megan Lucero, head of Google-funded Bureau Local, Ted Ditchburn, managing director of North News and Andrew McKegney, policy and communication business partner at Newcastle City Council.

During the hour debate, there were a number of interesting points made by the panel. Gavin Foster stated that the rapidly changing ways in which people consume their news is due to the implementation of new technology and that some national media are still getting this massively wrong.

Helen Dalby said that digital is just a different mode of delivery for content and that as journalists they must not get caught up in analytics, as she said: “analytics don’t replace news sense or code of conduct”.

As for the next generation of journalists, Megan Lucero left the audience pondering whether or not journalism academies should leave space and time for students to be innovative in the way they deliver their news.

Days like this go a long way in helping our team to see and understand the other side of the coin. It ultimately allowed the newest members of the team to put to bed the apprehensions they have about meeting journalists and strengthened the relationship between the team and the publications we deal with on a daily basis.

Hart Biologicals double celebration at Made in the North East awards

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.58.36

Hart Biologicals celebrated not one but two major wins at this year’s Made in the North-East awards held by Insider Media.

The company was named Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m) and Exporter of the year on top of also being shortlisted in the Innovation category and the Apprenticeship and training category at the sixth annual ceremony at Redworth Hall in Darlington.

The awards are undertaken each year to ‘recognise and reward the manufacturing talent and skills that the North East has and to give local companies the opportunity to celebrate world-class quality and excellence.’

Hart Biologicals will now be going through to the national finals of the awards in Liverpool next year.

Alby Pattison, Managing Director of Hart Biologicals, said: “We’re incredibly honoured to have won both awards.

“All of the categories on the night were incredibly competitive and all of those shortlisted must be commended on the excellent work they are doing to bring manufacturing to the forefront of this region.

“We were shortlisted in four categories throughout, so to take away the prize for two of those was a brilliant feeling.

“The awards are a huge testament to our staff and the incredibly hard work they do every day. From our placement students and apprentices, to our Senior Management every member of staff should be proud of their contribution.

“We’re looking forward to going through the national final next year and meeting even more excellent businesses from the whole of the UK.”

The two new awards take the grand total of wins up to four awards in 2017 alone, after previously winning both the Innovation Award and Export Award at the Teesside heat of the North-East Business Awards back in April.

PRs and Journos: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

hands-coffee-cup-apple

With the fallout of the Middlesbrough FC and Gazette dispute still prominent in North East news at the minute, we take a look at the often-frayed relationship between journalists and companies (in particular the Public Relations professionals working within said companies), and why it’s important for both parties to work together harmoniously.

Many often believe that journalists look at PR professionals as a necessary evil and PR pros look at journalists as a means to an end. This isn’t necessarily true, as both professions are two sides of the same coin and both need each other to complete their objectives.

It’s fundamentally important for both to treat each other with respect and to understand the purposes and goals that each side has, so that situations like those with Middlesbrough FC and The Gazette don’t happen again.

Obviously it’s not the first time that a football club and a newspaper have fallen out in the North East. Famously, Newcastle United banned local and national press from reporting on any of the club’s business dealings in October 2013.

This animosity stems from the club’s public relations team not appreciating that journalists have a need to dramatise stories to sell papers. This is something that has been prominent in the press for a very long time.

It’s not a secret that journalists these days have to work to sometimes-unreasonable expectations. The demand on a journalist is astronomical. With 24 hour rolling news, social media, website stories, as well as traditional printed versions there is an ever increasing pressure to deliver. PR pros can use this to their advantage at times but ultimately the situation is beneficial to everyone.

According to comments by Julia Hobsbawm in The Guardian, 80% of news and business stories emanate from public relations sources. This is a huge number and it’s no surprise that PR pros use this necessity of constant demand for stories to achieve their goals and journalists use PR to give them the edge over other journalists.

If these two parties continue to put aside any perceived conflicts between one another and begin to understand they can work together, then work can begin to move forward together. If PR pros take time to understand the needs of a journalist and visa versa, then the future of PR and Journalism can, and will be, forever intertwined.

Total Recycling Services is encouraging employees to take a bike.

JS130800680

Almost a quarter of Total Recycling Services’ staff are now cycling to work thanks to a new employee initiative.

Out of 97 members of staff, 21 are now cycling their way into work each day thanks to the scheme in conjunction with CycleScheme, a cycle to work provider who runs the project in partnership with Total Recycling Services.

The council most recently released its Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2017, which showed that Darlington was way ahead of other areas in the UK with only 3.5% of analysed particulates relating to pollution in the air.

Carol Gee, Finance Director at Total Recycling Services who oversees the program, said: “A few members of the team initially came to us saying they would like to cycle to work and it snowballed from there.

“As a company it means a lot to see the staff taking on our company values and aiding towards continually improving our carbon footprint.

“We are constantly providing a consultancy to businesses about their environmental sustainability and waste management, so we always want to lead by example.”

The government-implemented scheme requires employees to apply to CycleScheme, who send the application back to Total Recycling Services for approval before sending out a coupon worth up to £600 to purchase a bike.

Carol continued: “It’s a great choice for our employees who want to do their part in helping the environment but haven’t got the option to go and pay for a bicycle out right. This way, they pay as little as £6 a week for their bike.”

The company most recently celebrated its ISO14001 audit, which sets out criteria for an environmental management system the company must adhere to, to lower its production of air, water, and land pollutants.

Total Recycling Services is one of the UK’s leading waste management providers, specialising in commercial recycling, hazardous waste recovery and industrial services. Based in Darlington, the recycling company recently set a target to double turnover by 2020.

Total Recycling Services makes further progress towards its 2020 Vision

DSC_0098-min

Waste management firm Total Recycling Services, has celebrated a turnover of £15m, with hopes to increase its employees in the next six months.

Currently collecting over 100,000 tonnes of recyclable waste annually, Total Recycling Services is striving to double turnover to £30m as part of its 2020 vision.

The plan includes the further acquisition of a site, allowing the company to expand on its already successful areas of the business, which includes commercial recycling, hazardous waste recovery and industrial services.

Alex Foreman, Founder and Managing Director at Total Recycling Services said: “Over the past eight years Total Recycling Services has grown from strength to strength, alongside building up a large portfolio of high profile clients in the North East, including Caterpillar, TRW Systems and Aldi.

“The region is currently going through a period of growth and we are delighted to be growing with it. We have already embraced the increase in demand through our newly established industrial cleaning services division, which resulted in the creation of 3 new jobs.

“We believe the current market condition is promising and overall I feel very confident. Looking at it, we feel it’s the right time for an acquisition as the market is strong and robust.“

Total Recycling Services received further support towards achieving their 2020 turnover goals when they received backing from the Business Growth Fund in the form of a £6.7m growth capital investment in August 2015.

Ross Smith, Total Recycling Services Non-Executive Chairman said:

“In a short space of time, Total Recycling Services has developed into a profitable business with solid roots in the North East and I am confident the business will continue to move forward and achieve its ambitious target.

The Business Growth Fund was delighted to provide Total Recycling Services with financial support because of its strong management team and clear plans for the businesses future. The companies ambition and drive is admirable and they set a brilliant example to other SME’s in the region.”

Total Recycling Services currently manages a 30+ strong fleet of vehicles, operates from 2 custom-built sites both within Darlington.

Publicity Seekers scrum together with local rugby lad

Adam Ainley with Sam Lee (left) and Alice Midgley (right).

Publicity Seekers is delighted to sponsor Adam Ainley, from Hartlepool Rugby Club, for the 2017/18 season.

Adam, who is from Newcastle, has played for Hartlepool RFC for five years, previously being first team captain at Gosforth RFC and playing for Blaydon RFC in National League One.

The player made his decision to come to Hartlepool after settling down with his partner and securing a job as a PE teacher.

Adam, said: “Every year it’s tough to get sponsored and after asking round at work one of my colleagues got in touch with Samantha Lee at Publicity Seekers.

“I was delighted when they agreed, not only because it allows me to continue playing the sport I love but it strengthens the clubs’ community project of trying to create solid links between the club, the public and local businesses.”

Hartlepool RFC’s community project includes the hosting of a series of events aiming to continue building the relationship of the club with the people of Hartlepool.

A previous event saw the club play host to Neil Back, the Rugby World Cup winner who visited Hartlepool for a talk and meet and greet with rugby fans in the community.

Adam, added: “The three pillars of the project are Teamwork, Friendship and Respect. Things that everyone should hold dear whether they are part of a sports team, or in the workplace.”

Samantha Lee, Managing Director of Publicity Seekers, said: “It’s vital for local businesses to be continually giving back and at Publicity Seekers we support a selection of sports clubs and local charities every year.

“Supporting Adam was an absolute no brainer, he’s a lovely lad and is passionate about Hartlepool and the community initiatives linked with the club.

“From all of Publicity Seekers we wish Adam good luck in the new season and will be cheering him on all the way.”

Hartlepool RFC currently play in the Durham and Northumberland two league after being relegated by just one point last season. The club will begin its season against Sunderland on 2nd September.

To follow the progress of Hartlepool RFC or for more information about the club, click here.

Gus Robinson Developments celebrates £9m contract wins

gusrobinson

NORTH EAST building contractor Gus Robinson Developments has celebrated starting work on three new schemes with a combined value of over £9m.

The business, that has employed 11 new members of staff over the last year, is working towards a financial target of £20m turnover by September this year.

Since January, the company has started works on two projects with Karbon Homes, at the former St Mary’s School in South Shields and at the former Newbottle Community Centre near Houghton-le-Spring, which will see 54 new homes being completed throughout 2017.

Works have also commenced on the firm’s first collaboration with Bernicia Homes with 11 new bungalows and houses under construction in Fawdon, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Bernicia Homes is working with Newcastle City Council and The Homes and Communities Agency to deliver 11 much needed affordable homes in a popular area of the City.

In June, works will commence in Shiney Row, transforming a disused brownfield site into 24 new affordable homes, further strengthening the relationship between Gus Robinson Developments’ and Karbon Homes.

These new developments are part of Gus Robinson Developments’ growing pipeline of work and business plan, which is set to exceed £20m in each of the next two financial years.

New team in place

Gus Robinson Developments Managing Director Steve Bell said: “We’ve grown over the last three years and what we are seeing now is the culmination of a lot of hard work from everyone within the company.

“To deliver these projects onto site we’ve needed to add to our team in order to keep pace with the growing volume of work across a much broader geographical area to that which we have operated in over the last few years.

“The new additions to the Gus Robinson team compliments the existing members of staff and give us a great balance of skills and experience to move forward with.

“It’s important to have a mixture of experience and new blood to strengthen the team.

“We have brought in some very experienced people over the last 12 months including Andrew Cullum who is a Senior Quantity Surveyor, Chris Wardell into the role of Design Co-ordinator and Claude Farron as a Senior Site Manager.

“With an eye on the future we have also recruited Rebecca Hodge as a trainee Quantity Surveyor, brought Caitlin Eales into the technical team and Carl Flory has joined the accounts team.”

Steve added: “We’re a family business and the people who work with us are the lifeblood of the company. Skills and experience are really important in the delivery of our projects, but so too are people who fit in with our ethos of being a trusted and reliable contractor partner.

“Gus Robinson Developments has had a long tradition of training and developing its staff. With the current growth of the company, we needed to bring in experienced people but did not want to lose the tradition of developing young people now to lead the business in the future.

“We wanted people who we can train in the Gus Robinson way and used our current workload as a launch pad to bring in new talent to join our already established team.”

In addition to contract wins and new staff, the company has introduced a new look website, detailing all current projects, previous work, news and people.

Steve, concluded: “The website came for a number of reasons, it marked our 40th anniversary, our growth and of course allows us to share our latest news and projects.”

Hartlepool College are rated good with ‘outstanding’ features

HCFE_ofsted

HARTLEPOOL COLLEGE has been awarded an overall good grade with a further two ‘outstanding’ grades by OFSTED as the college continues to demonstrate its successes across all of its provision.

An ‘outstanding’ grade in apprenticeships demonstrates once again why the college is the second best performing college in the country and the top performing in the North East for apprenticeship achievement.

OFSTED has also awarded the College an ‘outstanding’ rating for the personal development, behaviour and welfare of its students stating the students at the college “demonstrate very positive attitudes to their studies, take pride in their work, and produce work of a high standard.”

Darren Hankey, Principal of Hartlepool College, said: “We’re delighted with the outcome from our recent OFSTED inspection and in particular the two ‘outstanding’ judgements. Hartlepool College has a long and well-established history of providing high quality vocational education across all levels and sectors. Our achievement rate is one of the best in the country and our employer feedback is extremely positive.”

The report goes onto comment, ‘as a result of well-planned teaching and learning activities, learners develop good practical and technical skills that prepare them very well for employment or apprenticeships.’

Darren added, “We do not achieve these successes in isolation. In particular, the ‘outstanding’ apprenticeship grade is a result of the collaboration with the many high-quality employer partnerships we are grateful to have. It is thanks to those that we continue to offer outstanding opportunities for apprentices.”

After being awarded an overall ‘good,’ the report goes onto mention the quality of teaching

and learning at the College, acknowledging the resources to support teaching as ‘outstanding’ and commending the staff as being ‘highly qualified teachers’ that use ‘’their up-to-date vocational experience well to help learners to link theory to practice.’

Darren added, “The staff at the College have quite rightly been recognised as excellent throughout the report and in particular for their dedication and passion toward developing all learners to their maximum potential.”

The OFSTED reported leadership and management as being “highly effective in creating a college that includes and supports all learners from a wide range of backgrounds; behavior is good and learners respect each other’s differences.”

To find out more and read the full report go to www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk

England footballers thank Hartlepool College of FE after international cup victory

HCFE_Footballers_Shahban&Connor

HARTLEPOOL College of Further Education is celebrating triple sporting success.

Two of its footballers were instrumental in leading England to victory in the Centenary Shield against the Home Nations. One captaining the team while the other scored the winning goal.

The College’s Head of Football Ian Clark was awarded his UEFA A Licence this month while hot shot golfer Cameron Wallace was named AoC National Golf Champion.

Shahban Mohammed, 17, who is studying engineering at Hartlepool College of Further Education and Connor Short, 17, who is studying a BTEC in Sport both represented England Under-18s at the competition which is organised by the Schools Association Football International Board.

Both Shahban and Connor play for the College football team in Division One of the English Colleges Football Association North East League as well as playing for Stockton Town and Marske United respectively.

In order to win the tournament, England had to beat Wales by 5 goals in their 5-2 match after a heart-breaking defeat to Northern Ireland previously.

Shahban, who was Captain of the winning England squad, said: “I’ve been playing football since I was ten years old and I’ve always wanted to be a footballer.

“My family has supported me throughout and it was my brother who sang the praises of the College. He came here before me and persuaded me that the facilities here were brilliant for someone like me.

“The staff at the College have helped me a lot. Especially Tommy Miller, Danny Maddison, and Ian Clark, who nominated me for a position in the England squad and helped me through my trials.”

Both players list Clark, former player for Hartlepool and now the Head Coach at the Colleges academy, as the greatest influence for them.

Shahban, said: “The facilities the College has such as the ice-baths, free massages and gym membership along with Ian’s coaching and mentoring really worked hard to develop me and my skills, his encouragement has definitely made me into a better player.”

Connor, who scored the goal against Wales which won England the tournament overall on goal difference, said: “Ian has helped me to develop new skills and techniques as a player. By being at the college it’s opened up opportunities as well.

“Recently we got to visit the Etihad Stadium and we had a training session at the Aon Training Complex, which is Manchester United’s training ground. It’s just been amazing”

Shahban, added: “Winning the Centenary Shield was an amazing feeling and we’ve been getting congratulations from all of the staff at the college and students too.

“None of it would have been possible without the help of the College and I definitely encourage any young people looking to do sport alongside a career to sign up. I do an engineering course but because of my involvement with the football team I’m given free access to all of the facilities and amenities available and it really does help.”

To find out more about what opportunities Hartlepool College of Further Education has to offer, head to its website at http://www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk

Award winning estate agent: ‘the housing market in Middlesbrough could soon be strongest it’s ever been.’

harveybrooks_estateagency

AWARD-WINNING estate agency Harvey Brooks believes the housing market in Middlesbrough has the potential to be the strongest it’s ever been.

David Abrook and Harvey Abrook, father and son directors of Harvey Brooks estate agency believe that now is the time to buy and sell in Middlesbrough.

David, said: “The pipeline is the strongest it has ever been which tells us that the market is continuing to grow quite strongly and houses are being sold.

“Rather than just the spring and summer boom we are seeing houses selling all year round.

“The market in Teesside is improving a lot at the moment. This is mainly because of the change in availability of mortgages.

“Add that to the better rates people are seeing on these mortgages, meaning that most mortgage payments in the area are equal to or lower than rent.”

Harvey Brooks was recently crowned the Gold Winner for Middlesbrough at this year’s British Property Awards. Earning the opportunity to represent the town at the regional finals later this year.

Harvey said: “It’s good to be recognised for the hard work and determination we all show every day.

“We believe we won because of the consistent service we give to our customers. We’re a team who are tight knit we regularly operate outside of business hours if that’s what our customers require.

“We live within the heart of the area we cover and would often go the extra mile to visit clients at times that suited them, which were often out of office hours.

“It’s not unusual for us to receive a call on a Saturday for a viewing and within the hour we’ve set it up and are there for our customers.”

Family history

Harvey Brooks started life in 2008 when David and Harvey took on a small office and rebranded.

David previously spent 28 years as an Independent Financial Advisor while Harvey studied Business at Middlesbrough College

Harvey said: “It couldn’t have been a worse time to start up in the industry really, with the state of the housing market at the time and the recession taking hold of the country. Since then prices have been slowly creeping back alongside the retail price index.”

David said: “In our time we’ve really stuck to our traditional roots as a bespoke agent that offers a personalised service to each and every customer.

“As much as we have adapted to the advances in technology and online selling, it is always backed up by our face to face service. Which is what we believe sets us apart.”

Harvey Brooks covers the TS7, TS8, TS5 and TS6 areas and are located in Marton. For more information, head to http://www.harveybrooks.com or call 01642 506 800.