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The PR Expert

The PR Expert locationLondon, London

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CLARA ELIZABETH FLOREY
Email: clara@theprexpert.co
Phone: 07943 774236

SUMMARY

I’m a marketing, PR and social media consultant. With me you'll get the best of both worlds - intelligent strategy along with impeccable implementation of the day-to-day activity.

With 20 years' experience behind me, I have worked both agency-side and in-house for leading brands. I've won numerous awards for the client work I've implemented and also for the success of BOTTLE PR, the PR agency I founded from my attic at 28 years of age and ran for nine years before selling out in 2013.

If you're looking for exceptional, creative, financially astute and results-driven support and someone who will give their absolute all to fulfilling their remit to perfection, then please do get in touch. I have lots to give, bags of initiative and the ability to think 'big'. I never settle for the status quo and I never accept second best.

During my PR career, I've focused on Business Development and Marketing - including business development strategies for lead generation, brand building and pitch training and pitch development. Whilst at BOTTLE PR, I had an impressive new business win rate and always delivered pitches which were extremely well researched and creative.

I am also experienced in the following disciplines; Marketing & Sales Strategy, Marketing Communications, Crisis/Issues Management, Social Media, Media Relations, Community Communications, Internal Communications, PR Strategy, Corporate PR and Consumer PR.
During my own career and whilst running BOTTLE, I deliberately adopted a diverse client base, spanning both brands and organisations from the worlds of b2b and b2c. For example, I led and managed the PR and communications programmes at the same time for Business Link, ING Direct, Poundland and IBM!

With a unique combination of extensive experience in both PR and business development, I am looking for a new role so I can combine these two assets within an organisation with challenges and opportunities, which sets clear targets yet welcomes fresh ideas and initiative.

EXPERIENCE

CEO, BOTTLE — 2004 - 2013
I started BOTTLE PR from my attic in Oxford. I named it such because I myself have 'lots of bottle' - a vital component to succeed in both business and PR. And that's the important thing. So many PR agencies don't succeed because whilst they get the PR bit right, they neglect the financial and growth elements.

As CEO of BOTTLE PR, I split my time between client services, people management and new business development. But most of my time was dedicated to building the BOTTLE PR brand via networking and in positioning the agency as thought leaders.

Lead generation techniques were adopted and scrutinised to ensure they were delivering against our growth and quality criteria. I developed the agency's pitches to perfection, utilising creative and appropriate methods to ensure the pitch team did the very best possible to give us the highest chance possible of winning.

Within a month of starting BOTTLE PR, I had secured several great contracts including ING Direct. Over the next nine years, I grew the Oxford-based agency to an award-winning 35-strong team, with revenues of nearly £3mn at the time I sold out in 2013.


SUMMARY OF EARLIER C AREER

• NTL (now Virgin Media) - 1995 - 1998: Regional PR and Marketing Manager for South, promoted to National PR Manager in 1997
• Dixons' Group - 1998 - 2000: Corporate Affairs Manager, responsible for PC World, Currys, The Link and the launch and IPO of Freeserve
• Hill & Knowlton - 2000 - 2002: Joined as Account Manager within the Corporate Team and promoted to Account Director in 2001
• Bell Pottinger - 2002 -2003: 12-month contract as Senior Consultant within their technology sub-brand, Landmark
• Business Link - 2003 - 2004: PR and Marketing Director and responsible for leading the communications around a new offering and for the regional PR efforts. Business Link then became a BOTTLE PR client for 4 years.


A LITTLE ABOUT ME...

I live in London with my two daughters, Gabriella (16) and Jemima (15). I can commute easily to London, The Midlands and the West Country - or can work from my home office. I am a pianist and a dog lover! I have three A’ Levels (Music, Law, English Literature) and got stuck into work at 17 - and haven't stopped since. I even went back to work just one month after the birth of each of my daughters!

I recently attended a Leadership course at Henley Management College and have a diploma in PR from the PRCA, among many one-day courses on PR and marketing (CIM and CIPR).

I had an amicable divorce from my ex-husband in 2013 and as a result sold my half of BOTTLE PR to him.

EXAMPLES OF MY WORK

"We appointed Claire to launch Be Un Limited, an exciting new entrant in the broadband space. Claire first asked us what our business objectives were for the PR campaign and what our exit strategy was. The latter was to sell to a major telecoms player within several years.

However, the sale came much sooner than anticipated; O2 purchased us for £50m just two years after launch. In addition to the consumer PR programme, Claire's brilliant sales strategy to support our exit plan from day one was to position us as thought‐leaders within the industry through high profile media coverage, in securing speaking opportunities and in a well‐executed analyst relations programme. In fact, as a result of one full‐page spread in The Times (which was on‐message and timed brilliantly), O2 made contact with us and we subsequently sold out. And, as they say, the rest is history. Although…watch this space because we have appointed Claire again to help us with our new business, Hyperoptic.” Boris Ivanovich, Founder, Be UnLimited










BRIEF
Organix are campaigners with a vision of a world where healthy, nutritious food is a real choice to everyone. The company wanted to re‐visit The Real Meal Deal report that was written in 2006 by the Soil Association and funded by the Organix Foundation, to tackle the poor quality of food fed to children in restaurants and attractions across the UK. I wanted to see what the current picture looked like in 2013.

INSIGHT
I knew from the The Real Meal Deal report that the restaurant industry in 2006 had a long way to go to offer an acceptable standard of food to children. And through Organix’s social media platforms throughout 2012 there was a significant group of parents who were still unhappy with the poor food offered for young diners in restaurants. It was this insight that made me want to re‐visit the issue in 2013 to put pressure back on the industry to make changes for good.

STRATEGY
Organix and the Soil Association again became campaign partners. The Soil Association conducted extensive research working with 40 families and the 21 most popular restaurant and pub chains across the UK. The research gathered information about the choice and food quality on children’s menus, as well as the environment offered to children. The findings informed the Out to Lunch league table, which highlighted the best and worst in the restaurant industry when it comes to children’s food. The league table was created as a media hook to call on the industry to improve what they were offering to children.
I also launched two supporting campaign toolkits: one for parents encouraging them to vote with their voices and feet to create demand for changes in the restaurant industry, and one for restaurants to support them in making change happen.

OUTCOMES
The Out to Lunch story delivered attention‐grabbing headlines in all the right places. High quality features appeared in The Guardian, The Times, i, The Independent, The Scotsman and there were interviews with BBC Radio 4 and Sky News Radio. Jamie’s Italian featured the news on its website homepage and in a dedicated newsletter that went out to over 80,000 people. Over 7,000 mums engaged with the campaign through Organix’s Facebook Page, and the #OuttoLunch hashtag was used 740 times on Twitter. And more importantly, several restaurants featured in the league table have pledged to work with Organix and the Soil Association to make improvements to their offering for young diners.





BRIEF
Rentokil Pest Control wanted to develop a strategic plan to position the brand as progressive and technologically innovative, and to be seen to be using social media effectively.

STRATEGY
From social media monitoring I knew that wasps were the most mentioned and emotive pest, and devised a promotion called #UKWaspWatch to engage UK Twitter users. People were encouraged to log sightings of wasps on map by tweeting using the #ukwaspwatch hashtag. As it was devised to appeal to the online community while also generating content for print media, the app enabled an extensive PR campaign to take place around wasp season.

OUTCOMES

During the duration of the campaign, enquiries for Rentokil’s wasp services increased by 25% year‐on‐year. Mass coverage of the #UKWaspWatch initiative included The Daily Mail, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sun, The Express, The Guardian, BBC News Online and Sky News Online. 76 articles featured the campaign in just three months.





BRIEF

Whilst I was CEO at BOTTLE PR, I worked with Poundland for seven years, managing their consumer and corporate PR programmes. One of the many campaigns I implemented was to create consumer awareness and drive sales of Poundland’s first ever celebrity range, the high street discount retailer’s biggest innovation for 2013.

INSIGHTS
I knew that partnering with actor and baking entrepreneur Jane Asher would help boost Poundland’s quality credentials and so this became the focus for our campaign.

STRATEGY
I decided to maximise media coverage opportunities with a partnership announcement, followed by a media event to introduce the full range and give key journalists the chance to speak to Jane Asher face to face.
I issued a partnership announcement, which generated extensive media coverage across news pages and key trade titles. I then hosted a drop‐in media event in London to showcase the full range. Jane Asher was on hand with baking tutorials using the range, plus journalists were given the chance to book interviews with her on the day. The event was followed by a proactive media relations drive to maximise opportunities.

OUTCOMES
243 items of branded media content and coverage in key titles including quality broadsheets and sites. This included in‐depth reviews and interviews in numerous national titles and sites.
The range sold double the figures expected in the first couple of months thanks to the stand‐alone PR campaign.





BRIEF

MusicMagpie.co.uk had challenging growth targets for 2013. To achieve these it wanted to raise awareness of its ‘cash for CDs, DVDs, games and tech’ service among a core audience of 18 to 45 year olds in the BC demographic. It needed to increase visits to musicMagpie.co.uk and, above all, it needed to increase conversions.

INSIGHT
My start point was to identify the motivations of the target market. I determined that their behaviour was driven by making spare cash and by de‐cluttering. I knew potential customers needed to see how simple and easy the process was, and that they had to trust the service before they would use it.

STRATEGY
I wanted to get influential personal finance experts on board with musicMagpie and to utilise success stories of existing customers. Targeting specific personal finance and consumer titles focused on our audience demographic, I drove coverage in prominent national and online media. Targeted titles included the likes of The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Nuts, Woman and MoneySavingExpert.

I also targeted publications for specific product categories. For example, Stuff magazine to target gamers, and Tatler for females who may be interested in musicMagpie’s clothing service. Desk‐side briefings were scheduled regularly with top tier journalists.

OUTCOMES
Between April 2012 and April 2013, musicMagpie’s media coverage surpassed targets by 30%, with 241 branded articles being published. 62 national placements exceeded our target by 78%, while 16 broadcast pieces exceeded our target by 167%. I also achieved 128 pieces of consumer coverage and 35 pieces of regional coverage. Placements included the likes of BBC Radio 4, Cosmopolitan, AOL, Mashable, Love Money and MSN. MusicMagpie achieved significant business growth during the period.





BRIEF

Global logistics provider Damco wanted to be seen as the defacto choice for mid‐sized toy wholesalers, distributors and retailers. In order to achieve this, it needed to engage toy manufacturers in the UK and Germany.

INSIGHTS
To stand out from other logistics providers and capture the imagination of the toy industry, I felt that the campaign had to be highly creative. It needed to push the boundaries of traditional logistics companies’ PR campaigns.

STRATEGY
In a departure from conventional logistics providers’ campaigns, I created a round‐the‐world trip of a lifetime. For toys. The Damco Toy Trip involved inviting toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers to contribute a toy to visit ten cities in three continents spanning four months.

Toy manufacturers and retailers in the UK and Germany were sent mock airline tickets for the UK and German Toy Fairs, where check‐in lounges complete with departure board, air hostesses, relaxation area and refreshments welcomed the toys. Their progress was tracked on a microsite, from which toys including Sonic the Hedgehog, Rapunzel and Matilda blogged as they visited New York, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Madrid. Updates and Damco emails were sent direct from Damco to toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers. At the end of their trip, the toys were donated to the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London and SOS Kinderdorf in Nuremberg.

OUTCOMES
The campaign caught the imagination of the toy media, and over 200 items of coverage in core titles appeared. In combination with direct contact with key targets, this enabled Damco to engage major companies such as Disney and LEGO. Over 200 business leads were generated, with four contracts won to date as a direct result of the campaign.




BRIEF

To combat Walkers dominant market share and media spend, Golden Wonder wanted to ignite buzz around the brand. After monitoring online conversations, I identified that the changing colours of crisp packets was an emotive issue. So I set about triggering debate and poking a stick at Walkers through social media channels.

STRATEGY
For maximum disruption, I devised an online petition where people could campaign for change, took two mascots on a protesting tour of famous landmarks and organised a series of on‐the‐ground ‘amnesties’, where people could swap rival crisps for Golden Wonder in the correct colour bags.

OUTCOMES
Within three months, online mentions of Golden Wonder grew by 285% and engagement rates on its owned channels increased by 350%. Over 4500 people signed the petition, which was covered in titles including The Sun, The Mail Online and The Grocer. Significantly, Golden Wonder’s year‐on‐year sales increased by 75%.

The campaign won a total of five awards at the CorpComms Digi Awards, the PRMoment Awards and the CIPR PRide Awards.


BRIEF
Integration of traditional and social media activity is a challenge facing many corporations. As a large and complex organisation with a highly diverse range of internal and external stakeholders, this was even more of a challenge for AXA PPP healthcare.

INSIGHTS
Integrating communications channels is one thing. But in doing so, I also wanted to position AXA PPP healthcare as a thought leader in its field. In order to do so, I felt that a full social media review and an invigorated approach to generating media coverage would enable sustained national media commentary and news.

STRATEGY
A detailed review of AXA PPP healthcare’s social media profiles enabled me to provide detailed recommendations on the tone, style and techniques needed in order to engage at a higher level with followers and bloggers. I worked closely with the management team to agree key topics around which AXA PPP healthcare could authentically comment within the media as an expert. And I also identified key events that would allow me to respond with expert comment on issues of national interest. This approach would enable AXA PPP healthcare to gain a regular presence in the business, personal finance and health pages.

OUTCOMES
Early wins included coverage for AXA PPP healthcare around Budget Day 2013 and the ONS stats released in April 2013. Coverage was carried in The Daily Telegraph and the print and online versions of the FT as well as across other national and trade media. This was supported by blog and Twitter activity, ensuring a seamless approach across all platforms. The integrated approach provided AXA PPP healthcare with a voice on key business issues such as the ageing workforce and stress in the workplace, positioning it as an expert on workplace health.















  • 2 hires on Bark.com
  • 3 hours average response time
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The PR Expert Education

Qualifications

PRCA

Various courses on PR, digital marketing and social media strategies

January 2016.

  • 2 hires on Bark.com
  • 3 minutes average response time

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