Making a PR match
“To be honest, when we started out we didn’t realise we were doing anything special — it was just what we did,” says Ruth. “We had a great launch event as part of an integrated campaign [Ruth had studied marketing and design]. We had street posters, trade marketing, Facebook and beautifully designed point-of-sale materials. We also sent baskets to the media with the product and the story of who we are, where Cheeky Rascal comes from and how it’s made. We like to share cheekiness, innovation and good design in everything we do.”
The Gallaces knew that building awareness for Cheeky Rascal would demand more time, but that was time which they’d much rather spend with their two young girls. Still, it took them a year to find a PR rep who shared their values. “Most of the PR people I spoke with were trying to impress me with statistics, spreadsheets and spin,” recalls Ruth. “As a client, if I think it’s spin, what will customers and the media think of it? Then we met Kirstie [Bedford] and we just clicked. She runs her own show. She’s not like those PR directors saying ‘this is PR and how you work a campaign’, then handing you over to a junior.”
Cheeky Rascal and Bedford have scored more than 100 media stories in their first six months of working together — an impressive number, whether it’s on a spreadsheet or not!
Cheeky Rascal’s PR tips:
- Hire a PR rep early: “Even if you can’t afford to engage them ongoing, a good PR rep will help you understand and define your story, who you are and what you’re doing that is newsworthy,” advises Ruth. “It’s really important you develop a plan with some clear objectives, [because] there’s a lot of distraction out there.”
- Work with PR people that ‘get’ you: “Kirstie [Bedford] probably knows the story of the business better than we do,” observes Matt. “[And] because she gets us — and she’s helped us get us — she finds the stories that are really interesting within our business,” adds Ruth.
- Focus on what the reader wants: “Kirstie doesn’t work with a fixed formula like other PR reps do. She comes more from the content side: with all that’s happening in the business, it’s about finding who’d be interested in reading the story and sharing the things they actually want to know. Really, it’s all about the reader.”