Harrogate agencies see growth in lockdown

Two Harrogate-based PR agencies are enjoying a Covid rebound due to a move to digital lead generation and online profile by B2B firms.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:37 pm
Paul Snape, Sarah Hone and Richard Lee; (bottom row) Quinn O'Connell, Emma Kennett and Susan Reid of Harrogate-based Appeal PR, which has seen 20 per cent growth over the last year.

Sister agencies Appeal and GBM have seen Q1 2021 sales rise to £120,000, up more than 20 per cent compared with the same quarter of 2020 before the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have also appointed Emma Kennett to manage the Harrogate office, their second hire during lockdown.

Appeal specialises in PR and digital media profile, while GBM caters for the US market from its Boston office.

The firms have diversified into services to attract direct sales enquiries from online content, which started to pay dividends during lockdown.

“Over the past year, the shift towards digital has obviously accelerated and, fortunately, as we already offered a number of unique online services, we have been able to help businesses adapt to some of the challenges of lockdown,” said managing partner Paul Snape. “Clients want to see the value of all marketing spend these days and we’re able to draw a clear line between the investment they make and the sales return, and that’s particularly compelling at the moment when every penny spent is scrutinised by sales and marketing directors.”

Local, long-standing clients of the award-winning business-to-business marketing specialists include JCT600, law firm Clarion, Begbies Traynor Group, Eddisons and Reed Boardall, as well as new clients such as water-mist fire-suppressant business iMist in Hull and Brighouse-based welded steel mesh products manufacturer Siddall and Hilton Products.

Further afield, the team represents US-based logistics experts Coast to Coast, software scale-up Covernet from Northern Ireland, and oil and gas platform operator Fraser Wells Management based in Great Yarmouth and Aberdeen.

Appeal director Susan Reid said: “The reset in global marketing has played to our strengths as sales and marketing directors are now more open to trying innovative new approaches, and our investment in developing these digital services since 2017 has been a real bonus for us during some challenging periods.

“Times are tough for a lot of businesses, and we’re hoping to be able to keep growing and make more hires by providing really measurable marketing services that drive sales to a wider and wider range of clients in the UK and US.”