Just a few of the projects I have worked on recently:
FOOD & DRINK:
Abergavenny Food Festival
Now in its 21st year, Wales’ most famous festival has attracted top food heavyweights such as: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Monica Galetti, Jane Baxter, Jose Pizarro and Valentine Warner, to name but a few. By engaging with influential chefs, commentators and journalists both nationally and internationally, it has grown to become one the highest profile food events in Britain.
This year I have joined the small, freelance communications festival team to help deliver PR support, and secure pre-event coverage with press, bloggers and influencers.
Dusty Knuckle started life in late 2014 as a pop-up pizza business owned and run by husband and wife team Phill and Deb Lewis. They started by trading at local markets and festivals until June 2016, when they eventually moved into a permanent home at The Printhaus in Canton.
In early 2018, I helped them launch a new eco-friendly initiative; they became the first pizza restaurant in Wales to start selling sustainable, reusable take-away pizza boxes. The story was picked up by Wales Online, Cardiff Life Magazine and BusinessGreen.com, and ‘Dusty Knuckle’ was trending on Twitter in Cardiff thanks to tweets and shares from the city’s influential food bloggers and influencers.
Word reached the Italian press, and national interest there has resulted in Dusty Knuckle becoming the sole importers and distributors of the reusable boxes to the UK restaurant trade.
I now work on a retainer basis with the Dusty Knuckle team, and recently helped them raise £43,000 via a 30-day Kickstarter campaign, to help them open a brand-new, city centre restaurant in late 2019. www.dustyknuckle.co.uk.
Heaney’s Cardiff Launch
In early April 2017, Great British Menu chef Tommy Heaney announced that he was to open his own very restaurant right here in Cardiff. Over a four-month period, I managed a short, locally-targeted PR campaign which helped push Tommy’s fundraising Kickstarter over the line (reaching the £40,000 target) and launch his temporary pop-up restaurant on the site of the former Fat Pig Deli in Pontcanna.
Cardiff Heaneys officially opened to the public on the 10th October. A drip-feed of content to the Welsh media in the weeks leading up to the grand opening resulted in a double page spread in both the Western Mail and the The Echo on Saturday 6th October, a ‘first look’ at the new restaurant in Wales Online on the 7th October. Following a VIP launch event and media preview meal, the first (resoundingly positive) reviews started appearing in blogs and local news sites on the 11th and 12th October.
Olive Magazine visited on the second day of Heaney’s being open to the public; their review likened the menu to “a glossary of en-vogue ingredients, though every namedrop on the lengthy bill (kohlrabi, kelp, sea vegetables et al) earns its place on a plate which is well balanced and impeccably presented.” www.heaneyscardiff.co.uk
DIRT Pop-Up Launch
After selling his 80 cover restaurant Arbennig, chef John Cook asked me to help him give his new vegetarian pop-up concept DIRT the launch that it deserved. We worked together to set up the social media accounts and ticketing elements for the first supper club events, and via a campaign which focused solely on PR and social media, launched with the first four dates for sale.
The creation of John’s new supper club concept was covered by local media including It’s On Cardiff, Wales 247 and Wales Online. John’s first ever DIRT event was attended by London food writer and instagram influencer Felicity Spector, as well as journalists from Olive Magazine, Red Handed Magazine, and Media Wales; and both Cardiff Life Magazine and Western Mail Weekend Magazine supplement have since published glowing, double page reviews.
As a result, DIRT’s first four pop-up events in Cardiff, Cowbridge and Ogmore were fully booked within a matter of days of tickets going on sale. Future dates for the pop up are now selling out up to two months in advance. www.dirtpopup.co.uk
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Strawberry, meringue, buttermilk custard… the fabulous dessert at tonight’s all vegetarian @dirtpopup dinner in Cardiff by @dirtchef – swipe on for two of the other courses – wonderful smoky courgettes with salted ricotta and mint, and smoked beetroot with pickled raisin and chicory – it’s all been really delicious! Having a really great evening with my brother and @cardiffgirlblog – and thanks to chef John Cook for having us along tonight! Summer, done right. 🍓🍧💕🌟🌿👌🏻😊
BITE festival: The art & craft of food
BITE is Cardiff’s brand-new summer food festival; an event that aims to encourage discussions around ‘real food’ and the people who make it. Founded by Phill Lewis (Dusty Knuckle) and Simon Thomas (formerly Street Food Circus) the inaugural event took place in the gardens of Insole Court mansion in Llandaff on Saturday 14thJuly 2018, and featured 25 top chefs each cooking a single, £3 dish.
Support and attendance on the day was generated entirely via a two-month PR and social media campaign (there was no advertising budget), with coverage ahead of the event appearing in The Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales Online, Cardiff Life Magazine, Visit Wales, and It’s On Cardiff, as well as being featured by a variety of influential local food blogs.
During the month of July, tweets from the @bitecardiff account generated 186,000 impressions and on the day, we recorded 1,244 mentions from festival-goers, featured chefs and the media.
The event was a resounding success, and we recently announced that the festival will be returning to Insole Court on 27th July 2019, adding ten more chefs and two more bars to the line-up. The response on social media was rapturous, and within just one week more than 6,000 people had clicked ‘attending’ or ‘interested’ on Facebook.
The DEPOT is a 24,000 square foot, formerly derelict warehouse that has now become the natural home of Cardiff’s most celebrated and creative pop-up events. I have worked with the DEPOT team for more than four years, and their events now feature regularly in the local press as well as in national publications including Olive Magazine, Sainsbury’s Magazine, and The Guardian.
The DEPOT’s 27-year-old founder founder, Nick Saunders, has been shortlisted for a number of awards and accolades along the way, and has won Young Businessperson of the Year at the Cardiff Business Awards in 2016 & 2018, before becoming part of the esteemed judging panel in 2019. depotcardiff.com.
Oscars of Cowbridge Refurbishment
After more than ten years of success on Cowbridge High Street, Oscars was starting to look a bit tired. Welsh design agency Wonder did a cracking job of bringing it bang up to date with a striking new look, and an eight week media relations and blogger campaign introduced the revamped venue to a new, younger audience.
Rave reviews from Cardiff’s food-blogger girl-gang (including Welsh Girl Problems), combined with targeted local media coverage in Wales Online, Buzz Magazine, Cardiff Life Magazine and Cardiff Now Magazine – all helped to give this local’s favourite a new lease of life. oscarsofcowbridge.com.
Bengo Media is an audio production agency based in Grangetown, who specialise in creating branded podcast content. They have worked with clients ranging from independent small business owners, to elite athletes, the Welsh Government and national healthcare brands.
I work with Bengo Media on a retained basis, helping to manage their social media presence, generate case study and blog content for their website, and assist with new business via outreach to public relations and content marketing agencies in the South West and beyond. www.bengomedia.com.
Siml is a social media consultancy owned by ex-Head of Social Media at BBC Wales, Owen Williams. Siml helps publishers to maximise their creative content, reaching the right audiences to engage key demographics; simply, making social simple.
I work with Siml alongside other freelance content creators on a project-by-project basis, assisting in strategy development, and general project and community management. Twitter.com/simlsocial.