Could 2021 be any worse than 2020? That’s what we were all thinking this time last year. And let’s be honest, 2021 has done its best to be almost as bad. But amidst the face masks, the lockdowns, the PCR tests and the penalty shootout traumas, it turns out 2021 has given us some good memories too.
At the start of the year we welcomed the first of two new little stars: our director Kate gave birth to Seb in January so now she has double trouble in the form of two handsome little boys!
We also said hello to our new Charity of the Year in January: Help Us Grieve (HUG) is a Newark-based charity set up in 2017 by mum Amy Everatt after she lost two babies within a 12-month period. She and her husband Oliver have a website and an app to signpost people to help and support after they have lost a baby. It’s been a real pleasure to spend the last 12 months supporting Amy with pro bono marketing, PR and social media support to help raise the charity's profile.
In February we welcomed our first paid intern since 2019. Leeds Beckett University journalism graduate Molly Hare was interviewed on Zoom and started working with us while staying at home – all very strange for everyone concerned, but she did so well that she now has a permanent job with us as an Account Executive.
Despite the pandemic, the lockdowns and the Covid restrictions we carried on attracting new clients at the start of the year, including Oceans toilet tissue and British Power Group, two businesses which are embracing the environmental agenda.
Oceans toilet paper is 100% plastic free and the company donates 25% of its profits to support the Marine Conservation Society, while British Power Group invests in large-scale renewable energy projects such as solar power, voltage optimisation and electric vehicle charging.
In the spring and summer, as Covid restrictions started to ease and everyone began to feel more optimistic, we welcomed some new faces and the return of a familiar face! We recruited two new Shooting Stars – Maz Davis as Account Manager and Amy Harrison as Account Executive – and we were pleased to see Sam Clarke back in the fold as our Digital Marketing Manager after a year working for Visit Lincoln. We also expanded our team by creating the post of Social Media Executive, a role which Melissa Orchard has carried out with great skill and enthusiasm!
We also took the opportunity in the summer to re-open our office three days a week, and it was a real pleasure to work together as a team and share ideas and inspiration. Sadly we’ve since gone back to working from home as the omicron variant has taken hold, but everyone in the team has shown tremendous patience and flexibility as we all try to navigate a path through the pandemic.
In October we celebrated as we notched up 15 years in business! Directors Kate Strawson and Jez Ashberry launched Shooting Star PR (as it was then) in 2006 and despite recessions, credit crunches, pandemics and Brexit we’re still here and still going strong!
October was notable for another celebration: our Senior Marketing Manager Emma had a baby too (her second), and she decided to call him… Sebastian! So now we have two baby Sebs vying for our attention.
In the past 12 months we’ve also welcomed our first work experience student since before the pandemic, we’ve expanded our professional video production service and we’ve given countless talks, workshops and webinars on marketing, SEO, digital PR, social media – you name it! We’re good at what we do and we like nothing better than passing on to others the secrets of marketing success!
If you’d like to know more about our marketing, PR and digital services, or if you need help getting your business noticed, drop us a line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01522 528540.
Here’s to an exciting and Covid-free 2022! JA