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Focus PR

Hilary Crossing
Hilary Crossing

Focus PR

www.focuspr.co.uk

Shand House

First Floor

14-20 Shand Street

London

SE1 2ES

Longest-held clients

Piaggio – Feb 2000 (12 years), Pernod Ricard Travel Retail – Feb 2003 (9 years), Affordable Art Fair – May 2003 (9 years), Harveys – April 2006 (6 years), Collection – August 2006 (6 years), Eylure – August 2006 (6 years).

New business contact

Sara Balme, director, sara@focuspr.co.uk, 020 7845 6637

 


 

CEO/MD

Hilary Crossing (née Meacham), managing director

hilary@focuspr.co.uk

020 7845 6602

Describe your agency in five words.

Results-driven, strategic, creative, ambitious.

How would you sum up 2011 at your agency?

Over-delivery. And as a business we focused on protecting our profitability while building sustainable growth in order to continue to invest in our team.

What was your agency’s high point of 2011?

Celebrating our first twenty years with the whole Focus PR team and their families in June.

What was the low point?

Cadbury Cocoa House going into administration.

Please give an overview of your staffing through 2011, including significant hires and internal promotions.

 Our team settled around the 30 mark.  Creative director Lily Pickard was appointed to the board, Lucy Kenyon-Jones carved out a role for herself leading the charge in digital and former associate director Rhian Pearson returned from sabbatical to focus on new business development.  Crucially half our team have been with us 3 years or more and a third have 5+ years under their belt.

What were your three best campaigns of 2011?

  1. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: our lifestyle media relations campaign helped deliver the best annual sales figure in the 107-year history of the brand and reaffirmed Rolls-Royce’s position at the pinnacle of the ultra luxury segment.  And we’ve been re-appointed for 2012.
  2. Harveys: we brought our ‘Harveys Half Hour’ creative strategy to life in an engaging way, sampling over 110,000 target consumers and successfully changing perceptions of this brand.  Consequently, Harveys, the sherry category champion, finished the year 17% ahead of its sales forecast.  And we’ve been reappointed for 2012.
  3. Masterpiece London: we achieved in-depth national and international editorial including multiple TV broadcasts, and increasing footfall by 58% to this annual world-class antiques and collectibles fair. And we’ve been re-appointed for 2012.

What were your most exciting client wins of 2011?

Masterpiece London, Parker, Red Stag by Jim Beam. 

Of which achievement in 2011 are you most proud?

We converted Rolls-Royce Motor Cars from a project to an annually retained client; no mean feat when Focus PR was their first ever consumer PR agency.  The client’s record sales speak for themselves.

What trends did you notice throughout the year in the industry?

A frustrating and expensive number of pitches where no agency was appointed (higher than in previous years) but, conversely, a large proportion of new business opportunities from current and former clients, proving that our focus on delivering return on investment is paying dividends.

A significant share of the client fraternity is still unsure about the importance or measurability of digital.  Some companies dismiss digital without fully understanding how their own target audience uses it in their everyday lives.

We are still asked sometimes to supply AVEs as a means of comparing the success of PR campaigns. We discourage this – AVEs are no measure of effectiveness.

Tell us how your digital work became more measurably effective in 2011.

We’ve built a 20,000-strong Twitter following for Eylure from scratch in under 12 months, and the high level of engagement we’ve achieved with target consumers and opinion formers has resulted in visible sales peaks of several products.

What’s your priority for the agency this year?

Sustainable growth

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