Giant Strides for growing PR business

SPECIALIST business public relations agency, Stride PR, has been recognised by its industry peers for supplying quality, creative communications for its clients.

 Stride, the approved PR supplier for the North East Chamber of Commerce, won the Outstanding Small Consultancy and Best Campaign Under £10k categories at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) awards.

 The Durham-based company launched in April 2007 by former national journalist and Business Editor, Mike Parker. Originally called Mike Parker Media, it rebranded as Stride PR in recognition of the growing expertise in a team which has experience working with a range of sectors including blue chip clients GlaxoSmithKline and PricewaterhouseCoopers, major public sector clients as well as a range of consumer businesses.

“Winning two gold awards caps off a really exciting year for us with a new office move and the rebrand,” said Mike. “We’re looking forward to growing our existing client base and coming up with even more innovative and creative campaigns which we hope will catch the judges’ eyes again in 2011.”

 The CIPR judging panel, made up of PR industry experts, recognised Stride’s efforts to build a strong and sustainable business while delivering high quality communications for its client base.

 The judges’ commendation read: “Stride is clearly building a strong brand. Their name change made perfect sense and has paid dividends in client growth. Existing client growth is truly impressive and client retention is also very commendable. The agency has made some great strategic hires, significantly strengthening its offer.”

 Stride won the Best Campaign Under £10k award for delivering high quality, creative national and regional PR for its client, Buckinghamshire-based Authentic Media.

 The winning campaign saw Stride shine a high-profile spotlight on an aspiring author. Activity included a double-page spread in the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine as well as television, radio and regional print media which reached an audience in excess of 2.5 million people. In addition to traditional media, Stride also used blogs and Twitter to reach new audiences.

 The resulting impact saw the books sell out on and the author, Claire Connor, outsold Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown in her home town of Scarborough.

 The judges said: “Stride has done an outstanding job helping to raise Claire Connor’s profile, as well as her new book. Considering the minimal budget and the time constraints, Stride was able to deliver a high-impact campaign on a shoe-string. The judges were impressed with the use of traditional media relations, teamed with social media and online communications, which helped to maximise coverage and drive book sales.”

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“Stride over-performed on all accounts - regional, national and international. We cannot praise the team enough."

John Sargent, The Ideas Mine Ltd

“Stride has provided NECC and other businesses with invaluable advice on how to react with regard to media enquiries. They always seem to have the right answer."

James Ramsbotham, North East Chamber of Commerce