Barclays seeks PR support for revamped small business drive

Barclays is revisiting PR support for its £500,000 small business competition, Take One Small Step.

 Barclays: shakes up Take One Small Step campaign
Barclays: shakes up Take One Small Step campaign

The PR brief for the competition, which offers up to ten regional winners up to £50,000 to boost their business idea, is currently handled by Fishburn Hedges.

But after two years with the agency, Barclays is now in the early stages of reviewing its PR account to promote the competition.

It is understood that the new brief includes promoting Barclays’ support of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with a media campaign to drive entries and to encourage public support for local shortlisted businesses.

A spokeswoman for Barclays declined to give any details on the brief but confirmed that a review was under way.

The Take One Small Step competition is open across Great Britain for established small and medium-sized businesses or budding entrepreneurs looking for a financial boost to take their ventures forward. A panel of Barclays judges shortlists three ideas per region from thousands of entries, with the winner in each region being decided by a public vote.

Launched in 2010, the competition first attracted more than 3,500 entries from across Great Britain, with entries growing to more than 5,000 in 2011.

A spokeswoman for Fishburn Hedges said: ‘I can confirm that we’ve worked with Barclays Business to deliver the Take One Small Step campaign for the past two years.’

Fishburn’s previous campaign for the competition included a media-driven programme targeting lifestyle and small business media. The agency also worked with supermodel and businesswoman Elle Macpherson to drive the public voting phase of the competition.

Earlier this year, media agency Walker Media, which devised the competition for Barclays, picked up the Most Effective Campaign award at the 2011 Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards.

Also read: UK banks change tactics after collective PR drive fails to boost lending

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