An immersion excursion
Before I joined Cirkle, just over 18 months ago, I’d had some great PR experience. Having worked solidly on the Tesco account for four months and having switched between a multitude of food, drink, festival, restaurant and clothing clients at a busy central London agency for six weeks, I thought I’d experienced a fair bit! From running around Shoreditch looking for pizza patterned ribbon, to working a gin event on a fancy terrace in London, there was no place I thought I hadn’t been in the world of PR. Unbeknown to me, there was a whole other side that I’d not yet properly experienced and that was foodservice.
Fast forward 18 months and I’m feeling extremely clued up on all things foodservice, sat in a professional kitchen at our client, Premier Foods’ head office, about to be put through my culinary paces as part of a Cirkle client immersion day. After learning about planned NPD and brand innovations; we donned our aprons and were faced with a menu of seven dishes to create in under two hours. Split into two teams we were put against each other, marked on taste, presentation, teamwork, timings and cleanliness, we got into our competitive spirits. At 12:30 we presented our dishes to the foodservice team and our team took home the prize. We pulled together and this won us the victory (as well as the added advantage of our very own resident baker, Vicki Carr, being on our team).
After a morning in the kitchen, we heard about the wider business strategy, fully immersing ourselves in the vision, future plans and sector/market trends so that we understood the businesses challenges and comms objectives. There’s a rise in veganism on the high street, is this something caterers are also facing in care homes? How is the child obesity crisis affecting which Premier Foods’ products schools are buying? Is the rise in healthy eating affecting what products pubs are cooking with? All great insights to dissect and provide opportunities for our PR strategies.
The hands on and interactive approach to the day made it so much easier to absorb all of the information and I certainly feel even more familiar with the world of foodservice than I already did. We fundamentally believe in the value of immersing ourselves in our clients’ businesses – we call this ‘client INmersion’, immersing ourselves in our clients’ worlds in order to be the best partner we can be. This is also the name we give to our annual Client Satisfaction Audit – which has different criteria for clients to score our performance against including how ‘on it’ we are, how much value we add to their business and how much of a trusted advisor we are.