PR Interview with Lisa Bryant, director and founder of bumpPR
About the agency
What industry sectors does bump PR specialise in?
At bumpPR we focus exclusively in the nursery sector, specialising in baby, kids and parenting products or services. Some people say the name gives it away!
What is special about the agency’s approach to PR?
My mission was to create a hardworking, down to earth and friendly agency that focuses on results. We are an extremely approachable and enthusiastic team, with a commitment to our clients and our media contacts to provide the most efficient service for all. We always think creatively and look 'outside the box' to secure strong PR results.
The agency recently launched a new service – Pay as you bump. What was the inspiration for starting the service? What does it aim to achieve?
Pay as you bump was a natural progression from bumpPR's sister company, mini bumpPR, which provides a cost-effective solution to retained PR. This new project became important to me after many conversations I had with new business owners and entrepreneurs who felt PR would be a monthly cost they could not commit to. However, with this decision came the worry that PR is a vital ingredient to their success as it is difficult to spread the word without good PR. It got me thinking and I realised that as long as these individuals had the tools they needed, the PR rules, a clear focus, determination, confidence and enthusiasm, they can do it themselves. This is exactly what we aim to do – we have a PR pack with advice on writing a release, approaching the media, key contacts, the world of blogging, online platforms and social media. In addition to this we provide a two hour session, after which they will be ready to face anything!
You’ve also recently launched a brand new website. Can you tell us a bit about it? What’s new?
The new website was meant to be a second birthday present, but you know how it is…always doing other people's PR, so it took a little longer than planned but well worth the wait! I loved the original site, but I felt the website needed to reflect how bumpPR had developed since it launched. We have also launched the new blog 'Life's a Beach' to ensure we can share our thoughts on the industry, the great products and things we love!
How do you ensure your clients get the right coverage in the press?
We never give up, we are always thinking of new ways to reposition their products and search out every opportunity. The beauty of this industry is that it pretty much effects everyone, whether you are parents, grandparents, aunties or godparents – everyone knows someone with a little one!
What qualities do you look for in new recruits?
There are obviously a number of skills a good PR will have – to be personable, hardworking and determined are all vital, as well as having strong writing skills and a creative mind. But above all this, I look for natural enthusiasm – to me this is a key quality and one that you simply can't teach!
Is there a potential client you’d love to work for?
The one rule I have is that we only work for brands that we would buy ourselves, and normally a brand with a difference…not that we’re fussy! But I would love to work with a world leading buggy brand.
What has been your most outlandish campaign?
When I marched 60 mums from Green Park to 10 Downing Street to deliver 60 individuals messages (in a bottle) to the Government – sadly Sam Cam couldn’t come to the door but we still got to knock on it!
Which areas of the press do you communicate with the most and which media outlets or journalists do you find you work with the most often?
The parenting press are naturally our bread and butter and so important to us – both the national and regional magazines. However, as the family connects us all we often work with national and regional papers as well as lifestyle press. The nursery, toy and gift trade press is also extremely important to us.
What can you offer to journalists seeking a story on one of your clients?
We have a wonderful collection of products for review for mums-to-be, new parents, babies and the toddlers! Some might say we are a one stop shop for family related goodies. We are always here to coordinate samples and ensure we always go out of our way to create a great package. We regularly develop a lot of feature ideas whether it be educating the little ones in the summer holidays, the essentials to have at grannies house or of course ‘the Xmas wish list!’
How do you build and maintain strong relationships with journalists?
Cake! I often find our contacts are super busy and as much as we love a long lunch it is often too difficult to book in. A quick half hour meeting with coffee and cake on the other hand is ideal!
What was your inspiration for starting bumpPR? Is there anything in particular you hope to achieve with the agency?
It was certainly not a lifelong dream to work for myself and even a month before I took the plunge I didn’t know what was around the corner! I started to get frustrated with how things were run in my previous agency and I also didn’t agree with some of the ways we worked. I simply wanted to leave the business and, as they say, as one door closed another opened! I was willing to put in the hours and happy to take the initial risk, so it just made sense to give it a go…after a glass (or two) of wine one evening the name bump came to me and the rest is history! Without doubt the best decision I have ever made. As for my goals for the agency, it is simple – remain enthusiastic, work with great brands and do the best job possible!
What media do you seek out first thing in the morning?
I always read Sky news on my blackberry when I am convincing my body it is time to wake up, then the Metro entertains me on the commute and once I’m in the office I have to confess I love a bit of Daily Mail online action – I get all my celebrity gossip for the day!
Name three guests you’d invite to a dinner party and why.
Given that my three would probably be attractive male movie stars I think it best to avoid this question as I am sure you are looking for an interesting and thought provoking response!
What’s the first rule of good PR?
Stay true to the brand.