A no-nonsense approach to strategic media relations has helped an independent communications specialist secure a number of new client wins.

Cucumber PR, which is run by husband and wife team Russ and Joan Cockburn, is on course for its best-ever year after being appointed by Berriman Estate Agents, MET Recruitment and Pebbles Care to deliver a series of proactive campaigns.

The trio of contracts comes just a week after it was successful in a competitive tender to provide media relations support for the Manufacturing Growth Programme, a provider of specialist support for manufacturing SMEs in England.

This award will see the Albrighton-based agency become the press office for the organisation, responsible for developing case studies, thought leadership articles and securing national coverage for the Manufacturing Barometer – the largest survey of its kind for small to medium-sized manufacturers.

“I don’t think any business could plan for what 2020 has thrown at us,” explained Russ, who moved into PR in 2003 after stepping down as Editor of Midlands Business Magazine.

“When Covid-19 hit the UK in February, we had five of our regular clients put us on hold and we went back to basics, working out what we needed to break-even each month and, like many businesses, identifying where we could cut costs.”

He continued: “Suddenly things started to change, with a number of our existing clients requiring additional media relations support to promote their roles in the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium or the efforts they were undertaking to lead the fight back against the virus.

“We had customers creating virtual Ventilator engineers, another making nose clips for face masks and In-Comm Training launching the Skills Pledge to protect hundreds of apprentices during the pandemic. It was a real show of British strength and ingenuity and it was great to get the stories out to local, regional, national and global audiences.”

Cucumber PR provides strategic media relations for more than 20 customers across the UK, ranging from a small fastener producer and fruit crisp manufacturer to a driverless pod world leader and one of the globe’s largest automotive suppliers.

The company’s contact book and ability to secure national and international coverage is what sets it apart from agencies five times its size, with print, online and broadcast features secured in the last six months on the BBC, Financial Times, Guardian, ITV, New York Times, Sky, The Telegraph, The Times and Wirtschaftswoche.

In fact, over the last twelve months the agency has secured more than £20m of coverage for its clients and, more importantly, generated in excess of £10m of sales opportunities.

Joan concluded: “The recent wins are a great way to finish the year and also helps to broaden our client base into residential property and specialist care for young people for the first time.

“Whilst 2020 isn’t what we expected it to be, it has proven once again how SMEs can adapt to even the most demanding situations, collaborating and innovating our way through the tough times to emerge stronger than ever.

“This has been especially true in our sector, with our strategic partnerships with Be Bold Media, Eleven10Creative and S2F Marketing providing a great sounding board and source of new business.”

For further information, please visit www.cucumberpr.co.uk or follow @cucumber_pr_ on twitter