Consistency is Key

Create a list of buzzwords for your brand and make sure you use them across your business to build a consistent image and message

Throughout the duration of running your business, you will notice that you subconsciously create a list of words that you would prefer were used to describe your brand or products. These are your Buzzwords. Equally, you will come up with a list of words that you don’t want to be used, that just don’t fit the brand. Your No-Go list.

It would be a good idea to keep track of these words somewhere, maybe on a whiteboard on the wall of the office, not just so that you and your team respond in a consistent way to questions from your customers, but also to ensure that your business remains “on brand” at all times.

For example, “alternative” may be preferred to “substitute” or “Direct to you” rather than “Takeaway”

Follow these tips to help you remain consistent.

1-Responses to Customer Feedback.

Every business, be it a service provider, an eating establishment, or manufacturer, will receive feedback from customers.

Perhaps you have a couple of sticking points that you hate talking about. Is your product very expensive? Or have you been unable to switch to environmentally friendly packaging yet?

Then it’s a really great idea to find a quiet moment to sit down and draft the perfect response. Perhaps your product is expensive because the ingredients are very high quality and the process very arduous. Perhaps you have actually struck a deal to switch to more environmentally packaging but due to Covid it is taking a while, or you have to use up the older packaging first.

Either way, have your responses, be happy with them and circulate to your team especially anyone customer-facing, or managing social media or communications in any way so the responses are consistent.  

2-Responses to Press.

Quite often when journalists write asking for further information, they are looking for more of a story. It is important to try and read between the lines of their questions and think carefully about whether you want to go “off script” and draft a quote.

Always ask for their deadline so as to allow yourself enough time to reply in a careful and consistent manner. Check your response over with your team, your spouse or your neighbour, before you submit it. Make sure your buzzwords are included in the messaging and that none of the No-Go words have been used.

3-Writing a Press Release.

Whether you’re writing your first or your tenth press release, consistency is key. When putting together a press release for your company, be it for the launch of a new product or the expansion of your business, whatever the subject matter, make sure that the message is on-brand and consistent.

Also, make sure that the press release is written in the present tense. You wouldn’t want your press release to quickly become irrelevant. For example; “Joe Bloggs Vineyard launched a brand-new red wine” already sounds out of date, whereas the same news item would be far more likely to receive media interest if it read “Joe Bloggs Vineyard is launching a brand new red wine just in time for (insert relevant national day or celebration here)”

Try to include some statistics that back up the need for this new product or service and make it relatable to current situations where you can.

Now you’re ready to get going with your buzzword and No-Go lists. Get scribbling and perfect the communication across all aspects of your company.

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Our top 5 tips for Writing a Newsletter.

Our Top Five Tips for Writing a Newsletter.

You sit down to write a newsletter to send out to your customers, but where do you start?

It’s important to have a think about how long it has been since you last wrote to them.

What has been happening in your business that is noteworthy and relevant to them?

Here are our Top Tips to help you to put together a newsletter that will grab onto and hold your customer’s attention and also encourage them to continue supporting your business.

1-The Title

If the title of the newsletter doesn’t immediately grab your reader’s attention, then the chances are, they won’t read the main body of the newsletter. Make it sharp, punchy, relevant and to the point. i.e. Brand New Product Launching Soon.

This is the initial point of contact between you and your readers, the first time that they may have heard from you in a while, it’s your chance to capture their attention in a split second. Put some real thought into it. It might be that the title of the newsletter doesn’t come to you until after you’ve written it.

Think about your own inbox, I’m sure there are many emails that you’ve deleted because the message title hasn’t caught your attention!

2- Stories from inside your business

Consumers and clients love to hear what you’ve been up to behind the scenes, especially at the moment. Have you redecorated during lockdown, refined your skills or brushed up on some training which will elevate your offerings in some way once the business is ready to function at 100% again? Tell them what you’ve been spending time doing and encourage them to visit when they are able. Even if you don’t think you have much to tell them, your customers would enjoy hearing that although you may be closed to the public, you’re still working hard behind the scenes. Perhaps you could share that your staff are safe, orders are being received and processed, albeit slightly slower, and that you are grateful for the support.

3-Any new products or incentives

Are you developing a new product? You could put up a notice here asking for volunteers to try out new products and give you feedback.

Have you launched a new product or service? This is a great way of enticing visitors to your business and exciting them about what they are missing. Try not to give everything away, leave them wanting to know more and that way they’ll look for more ways to interact with you.

4-Special offers

Tell your customers or visitors about any special offers, deals or online voucher codes that you have running. Make sure you include the discount code, a link to the website and the expiry date. Could you launch a code that is exclusive to your newsletter readers? Make them feel special.

5- Colour

Make your newsletter eye catching and try to keep it on brand. Use the same font and text size for every edition. Keep the layout similar by adding in text blocks and use imagery that is relevant to the content. Also ensure that your social media icons are added into the layout and that when clicked on, they work correctly and take the reader straight to the correct page.

Ensure that the newsletter has a personal feel. Make the customer feel like you really care what they think and that you’re enjoying spending time writing to them, don’t let it feel rushed

Now you’re equipped with the basics, go forth and write to your followers.

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A Father’s Day To Remember For All The Right Reasons!

Help your customers to make it a Father’s Day to remember for all the right reasons.

With Father’s Day just around the corner and online shopping being the norm right now, why not grab your smartphone and check if your website is reactive (which means that it adapts to whatever size screen it is displayed on). This will ensure that you provide your customers with an extremely easy shopping experience which they can do from anywhere (without the need for getting out the laptop)!

If you had your website built for you, then chances are, it will already be responsive. The best thing to do, is open your site up on your phone, tablet and laptop and see if it adapts to each screen size automatically.

If your website isn’t reactive, don’t worry, simply spend some time making sure that there are no bugs on your website and nothing is going to interfere with your customer’s online transactions. Customers are known to leave a website if they encounter too many issues when trying to place an order.

So, your website has had the once over? Now to make sure your business is set to give your customers what they need and what they don’t even know they need! There is still time to put new business initiatives into place if you haven’t done so already. Here are some interesting ideas from around the county that could inspire you.

  1. Online order service like Macknade. This forward thinking company has launched an online order service so that their regular and new customers can get hold of their father’s favourites. They have added an order form to their website and are taking orders over the phone. By offering local delivery and a collection service, this helps all their customers whether they are in isolation or not. Have a look at their order system here Is this something that you could do?
  2. Home delivery service like The Heritage Chef Company. If you run a hotel or restaurant and you’re unsure when you’ll be opening again, why not think about implementing a home delivery system with a set or limited menu. Chef Daniel Mcgarey of The Heritage Chef company has set up a no contact delivery service of 3 course menus. Daniel pulls out all the stops to deliver a fine dining experience in the comfort of his customer’s own home. Is your restaurant known for its brunch menu? could you deliver “Breakfast in Bed(room)” or a luxury “afternoon(nap)tea”? Make sure it is all paid for over the phone or website and delivered to the doorstep to minimise contact and stick to the social distancing regulations.
  3. Buy Now Spend Later scheme. Is your business operating a “buy now spend later” scheme whereby you can issue gift vouchers by email or post that customers can spend on site once this is all over? Why not take a leaf out of Anno Distillers book. They have very cleverly launched experience vouchers for their “Buy now, tour later” distillery tours. Give your customer’s the option to buy their fathers something to look forward to when lockdown is over.

Let us know what works for you, we would love to hear about it.

Help make your customer’s lives easier and they’ll come back, time and time again.

PR Toolkit team. x

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Top Ten Tips for Live Radio

Radio Presenter

A fun way to generate PR for your business is to get in touch with your local radio station. Find a programme that covers local news and pitch stories direct to the producer, you should be able to find the contact details on the website.  Listen to the show to ensure your story is a good fit and put yourself forward to be interviewed, either in the station or over the phone.

For many people talking live on the radio can feel a little nerve wracking but with our top tips we can help take away those nerves:

  1. Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Why are you being interviewed? Think carefully about what you are going to say. How will you tell you story? Keep it interesting and try to tie your business key messages to the story. i.e. “Because all our products are hand-made the traditional way, the local school children were able to come into our pressoir and press their own fruit juices, we find this gentle method naturally preserves the exceptional flavours of the fruit.”
    • Write down any key messages you would like to mention on the air before going in so you have something to refer to if you get stuck during the interview.
    • They are likely to ask you to talk about yourself and what qualified you to discuss the subject matter. Prepare to answer the who, what, when, where, why questions, so prepare for these.
    • Write your crib sheet in your own words, even if someone helps you to put them together, your own words will flow and feel more familiar.
  1. Practise the night before, over dinner with the family, with your partner or with yourself in front of the mirror. If you work in a sales type role you are probably very used to explaining what it is you do, if not it is better to practice.
  2. Ummm…! If you need to think about your answer it sounds far better to pause quietly for a second or two, rather than “umming” and “erring” which is distracting to the listener. You can use filler lines to give you time to think like; “that’s an interesting question” or laughing (if appropriate!) can fill a gap and give you time to think.
  3. Try to speak in short sentences as it is clearer for listeners and helps you keep track of what you are saying.
  4. Timing. Don’t rush your words, it should be a little slower just like when you talk to a stranger. Take your time. Look at the presenter. It’s a conversation afterall
  5. Breathing. Don’t be put off by the sound of your own breath in your earphones. If you find it off putting, ask them to turn your earphones down or take them off.
  6. Listen to the radio presenter and carefully answer the question that you are asked.
  7. Wait for him/her to finish the question, so you aren’t at risk of butting in, interrupting the flow or not fully answering the question.
  8. Clothing. Be careful that you aren’t wearing something that will make a noise or that you are constantly fiddling with a jangly bracelet or a jacket that crackles or needs readjusting.
  9. Smile! Smiling will naturally relax you and inject personality and tone into your voice.


Good luck! If you’re a PR Toolkit Member feel free to ping over your script for us to proofread.

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How To Use National Awareness Days to Generate PR for your business


Food, Drink and Lifestyle businesses can use national days of celebration or special days as an excellent tool to boost sales.

If you’re looking for inspiration see how many opportunities there are on our Media Planner.

Here are PR Toolkit’s Top Tips for food, drink and lifestyle brands:

  1. Produce a special limited edition product or range in honour of a special day. This product could be a genuine one-off only available for Christmas or summer or whatever suits your production capabilities.  Ideally you would do this at your quietest time of year to perk up your turnover and ease cashflow. Customers who are already loyal to your brand are likely to take it up and you might even find that you attract customers outside your usual target market, giving you a chance to convert newbies or trialists to brand loyalists.
  2. If producing a new product is not possible for your small business then consider repackaging. Choose one of your current product lines and repackage it in line with one of the Special Days; for example your men’s shower gel range could become Champion Dad Shower Gel’ or ‘Mother’s Perfect Pamper Gift’ for Mother’s Day. This is a great way to encourage customers looking for gift ideas.
  3. If you can’t afford time or finances to repackage, why not print a simple sticker to add to the outside of your packaging which states; ‘Perfect Gift For Mother’s Day’. You can be as random as you like. Just because your business doesn’t make chocolate-based products there’s no reason that you can’t make suggestions to potential customers such as: ‘Easter treat for non-chocolate lovers’, it will appeal to someone.
  4. Perhaps you sell a service rather than a product range; you can still use special days to your advantage. Special Days provide a fantastic way of offering a limited period deal i.e. 20% off until Easter.
  5. Get the word out there, use Social Media to your advantage whilst your special offer or product is available, remind your customers daily; tweet it, retweet it, Instagram it, Google+ it, talk about it on LinkedIN and share it with your Facebook fans.

From a PR point of view there are lots of publications which will plan a special day feature such as ‘Ideas for Mother’s Day’, ‘Gifts for Father’s Day’, ‘Picnic Ideas in Summer’ etc. If you have produced a special range for an occasion you can put your product forward to be considered for inclusion. Publicity in the media can make a huge difference to the sales of a small business.

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A PR’s guide to the Press Release: Grammar Rules


A PR’s guide to the Press Release: Grammar Rules

When conducting PR for your business it is important you get the press release grammar rules right.

The IT rule: Your company is a singular not a collective

This is the one rule that really annoys writers: Your company is always referred to in the singular not in the plural, even though you know there are lots of people working at the company, always use “it” and “has” rather than “they” or “have”.


Wrong: Smoothilious have just launched a new drink, they have called it Banarama.

Right: Smoothilious has just launched a new drink, it is called Banarama.


Affect v Effect

Lots of people get this wrong. The way we remember it is:

  • Affect is the action word (“A” for Action), it is a verb, a doing word. To affect something is ‘to make a difference to it’. In terms of press release writing we often use “affect” for something that is happening now or in the future.
  • Effect is the eventuality (“E” for Eventuality), it is the result or influence, it is usually a noun but it can occasionally be used as a verb in formal contexts i.e. “to effect change”. In terms of press release writing we often use “effect” for something that has happened.


Wrong: This new launch is really going to effect the retail market

Right: This new launch is really going to affect the retail market

Wrong: The launch had a profound effect on the retail market

Right: The launch had a profound effect on the retail market


There, They’re Their

  • There = a place. i.e. The product is created there.
  • They’re = they are. i.e. They’re going to product another variety.
  • Their = belonging to them. i.e. That is their


Your and you’re

  • Your = belonging to you. i.e. Is this your business?
  • You’re = you are. i.e. You’re going to produce a new product.

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Life After Winning An Award – A PR Guide


At this time of year award results are announced and if you are one of the lucky ones – congratulations! But do you have a PR plan of how to make the most of your award?

Here is PR Toolkit’s check list on making the most of your award win:

  1. Update your website immediately. You can simply write the award details into the existing copy and overlay the award image next to your current product image.
  2. Post the news to social media straight away – the best place to begin PR is to reach out to an established network.
  3. Update your packaging as soon as humanly possible. If you have capacity (and budget) you can have your packaging modified and reprinted. Many businesses do not want to wait so they add stickers to each and every product in the interim period. The perfect holiday job for someone.
  4. Get your pack shots re-taken as soon as your product packaging displays your award. This really is a priority for boosting your sales as well as your PR. If you have a designer who can create a mock up that might work ok in the interim. We can also recommend several photographers who offer cost-effective options with single pack shots starting from £30.
  5. Update your online retailers once you have the new pack shots or mock ups. If you have a good relationship with the retailer, ask to have your awards mentioned in the product descriptions too.
  6. Don’t forget to update the images on your website too.
  7. Use the feedback document to pick out some testimonials for your social media. “The most delicious coconut ice cream we have ever tasted”. Testimonials don’t need to be long sentences, something simple like “deliciously indulgent” would work fine. Use Canva to make Testimonial memes with text overlaying your most delicious looking product images.
  8. PR yourself! Send a newsletter to your list of clients, suppliers and/or customers.
  9. Write a blog or news story for your website (if you have one).
  10. Generate some PR by writing a press release for your local newspapers. You can follow a template or pay someone to draft a release and help you to choose the right media contacts. This is a lovely story for your local media, especially if you can build upon you story and tie it in to another local news story. You can simply shout about all the exciting things going on in your business at the moment: An expansion story, investment partner or incredible new client will all add to the success story for your business.

Good luck – if we can help you know where to find us!



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A Spiffing Slice of Social Flan

social flan

Until recently, repurposing and reusing were not words often associated with the food industry but the tables are turning. It’s scary to think that over one third of all produce never reaches our plates but there is a growing emphasis on social responsibility for food and beverage businesses, and we love it.

Our top favourite repurposing brands at the moment include: Sustainable delicatessen Bean & Wheat owner Adam Handling, who aims to make his restaurant The Frog completely zero waste by selling off-cuts, by-products and delicious leftovers. We really love Rubies in the Rubble, a company turning supermarket rejected fruits and vegetables into jams and chutneys. And deserving a mention is food retailer, Pod with its range of ‘wonky’ fruit juices,.

From America, we found a company making snack bars from used brewing grains called ReGrained flavours include Honey Cinnamon IPA and Coffee Chocolate Stout – (YUM!). We also like the idea behind Pulp Pantry a company that uses leftover fruit and vegetable pulp from juice makers to great a grain-free granola.

What are the by-products of your business and could you be using them?  Could the left over fruit pulp become health bars? Could any discarded vegetables be made into chutney? Can the waste potato peelings be made into crisps?

Cherry Tree

Inspired by these wonderful stories we decided to give it a go ourselves and tackle the enormous cherry tree at the foot of our garden. Suddenly, I feel guilty that this beautiful tree is churning out incredible fruit year after year and we’re not doing anything with it.

The easiest recipe so far is that same one for Cherry vodka, Cherry Brandy and Cherry Gin.

The recipe is super easy.

¼ – sugar (300g sugar)

¼ – fruit (300g cherries)

½ – spirit (600ml gin/vodka/brandy)

Simply combine your washed fruit, sugar and spirit in a large Kilner jar and keep it in a dark cupboard for the next 3 months. If you remember it is good to turn the jar every day. Our friend’s mother keeps her infusing sloe gin under a blanket in the boot of her Volvo for a several months; she says the constant movement creates the best flavour.

After 3 months, strain it and bottle it and keep it for a further 3 months. The longer you leave it the better the flavour.

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How to use your wall planner

Wall Planner

No one has ever made a media planner like this one before and it’s no wonder they are selling fast at just £29.

To get the most out of this awesome resource we have put together a top guide on how to use your media planner. Click here to buy yours. Once ordered it takes about 5 days for delivery via myhermes.

How to use your media planner:

  1. Get it up on the wall somewhere you will see it every day.
  2. Circle all the National Awareness Days which are relevant to your business, for most sectors there are usually one, two or three obviously relevant days, but there are usually another handful of days which can be tied into PR opportunities.
  3. Look ahead at the Awards coming up and decide which are a good fit for your brand and circle the deadlines. It is better to enter one or two awards rather than try to enter them all. Great Taste Awards are a fab place to start.
  4. If Events are right for your brand at this stage, highlight which of the big consumer or trade food and drinks events or exhibitions will be a good fit.
  5. A media planner should be constantly developing and updating as time goes by, the media is never static and nor is business so keep it up to date as you go, adding in the events and awards which are specific to your particular region or niche. With help from our initial PR strategy consultation call you will have a better idea of which direction you are heading in.
  6. Look at the publication lead times for each month and make sure that the press releases are tailored appropriately for what each publication type is working on.

The media planner cannot cover every single possible date in the food and drinks calendar it would have to be the size of a house to include every last regional food and drink festival but we have put our heads together to make sure that we have covered all the national food, drink and lifestyle events, awards and national awareness days.

Buy yours here for just £29.

Look out for our blogs offering tips and advice on how to generate PR for your business.

In the meantime join the PR Toolkit Business Club on facebook for free group.

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Welcome to PR Toolkit, a one-stop-shop for all your food drink or lifestyle business PR needs.

We have put together the toolkit you need to promote your food, drink and lifestyle business. We really believe that the most passionate person to create PR for your business is you. Now, with the help of PR Toolkit, you’ll have affordable tools and training to produce great PR opportunities for your food, drink or lifestyle business.

Although PR Toolkit is web-based we are a real team of people behind the platform. You can arrange to speak with one of our experienced team members at any time and you’re just as likely to get our founder AJ Stanning to advise you on your PR strategy. Just click here to schedule a call.

There’s so much to benefit from joining PR Toolkit. As soon as you sign up for you’ll be asked to book an initial telephone consultation to set your PR objectives for the quarter. We will put together a PR Strategy with the use of your media wall planner to define what will be right for your brand. You will have access to press release templates, live press alerts, trade press forward features, special offers on training workshops and access to bolt-ons to boost your PR activities whenever you need them.

Look out for our blogs offering tips and advice on how to generate PR for your business.

In the meantime join the PR Toolkit Business Club on facebook for free group.

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