NEW YORK: UK-based restaurant chain Pret A Manger has selected Sharp Communications as its first PR AOR in the US as it expands its business in the country.
Lewis PR previously managed the brand's communications globally, said Jennifer Nelson, marketing director for Pret A Manger USA. She added that the firm is still handling PR for the chain in the UK and will work collaboratively with Sharp.
Nelson declined to give details on the review process, but said a “couple” of agencies competed for the US business.
Sharp won the account because of its experience in the food space, as well as its “creativity and passion,” she added.
Pret A Manger decided to bring on a PR agency in the US because of the growth the company is seeing in key markets, including New York, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC.
“It's so important that we make sure we communicate our ‘made today, gone today' message,” explained Nelson. “We make food fresh every day, we donate it to local charities, and with the amount of effort we put forth, the ingredients we source, and the passion our team members have, it's a wonderful time to make sure our message gets out there.”
Sharp's main responsibilities include consumer brand marketing, media relations, special events, and support of the company's philanthropic arm, the Pret Foundation.
With a team of four staffers on the account, the agency will engage press outlets and bloggers who cover the general consumer, food, and health and wellness categories, said James Brodsky, president and CEO of Sharp.
Social media is handled internally at Pret A Manger, said Nelson, but Sharp will help the in-house team with idea generation for social channels.
She added that the initial contract is for one year. Budget information for the account was not disclosed.
In addition to hiring Sharp, Pret brought on Walrus for US marketing and creative work in March, Nelson said.
Pret A Manger, which launched in London in 1986 and debuted in America in 2000, has more than 240 locations in the UK and more than 50 in the US.