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The ‘New Normal’

This week it was my husband’s birthday, the strangest one he will have had to date as, like everyone else, we are in lockdown! Coronavirus has hit the world hard and fast; just a few weeks ago it was unimaginable that the world would come to a standstill, but it more or less has.

I was supposed to write a post on my new downtime – pottery, I will tell you a bit about that another time – it is for now, like everything else, on hold. Instead I am writing about the new normal for Neat PR.

A few days before lockdown was announced, we made the decision to close the Neat PR office and start working from home. As a team, we hold morning and afternoon video meetings and have taken the time to share experiences as well as ‘talk shop’. It has been nice to see Nicole & Amanda’s children on zoom, and we all loved watching Mimi (Nicole’s just 1 year old), stand up and take a few steps for almost the first time, hearing Katie’s dogs barking for attention every time someone passes the house and Amanda’s family pop in and out of the room! We have shared food stories, such as recipes, what we had for lunch, and what food deliveries we have managed to get for ourselves and our parents – some who are far away – and we’ve talked what we want to shop for online but are holding back – just for now! The next step is a shared drink on a Friday night just before the working day ends.

There are many moments that have been lost as well as found. From our team, a significant lost moment will be for Rhiannon who was running a half marathon in memory of her grandpa. She has impressively continued running – a new found skill – and Rhi, I know this is a big deal for you, but you have certainly made the effort. The time will come again and you will have that moment.

Video calling is the biggest new normal. Not only has it allowed us to stay connected as a team, but also has allowed me to get together with family at the end of a week and share experiences. On my husband’s birthday we had a drink with our friends… a little bit of laughter with those we love goes a long way! Our kids ‘go to parties’ and speak to their friends around the world on a more regular basis than ever before and we are connecting with people we may have lost touch with – a good thing!

 

As a country we have become a sharing and caring community of people who just a month ago would happily have stood together on a train minding our own business. I wonder what the new world will look like when we come out the other end.

Over and out for now, stay well and safe everyone. Look after those around you and especially those who are more vulnerable.

Hilary
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The February / March Edit

With everything going on around us, we still would like to share our good news! Here at Neat PR, we are delighted to have achieved some great pieces of coverage featuring our clients products in titles nationwide. Take a look….

    

We hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe x

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Neat PR – My Safe Haven

2019 was, to be fair, a mad year for most of us, and (so far) the new decade doesn’t seem to be any easier! Taking on a house renovation with a new baby seemed like a good idea BEFORE she arrived (“Oh I’ll have loads of time to sort everything whilst I’m on maternity leave…”) and with two boisterous boys keeping me on my toes, coming back to work has been my ‘normal’ amidst the madness.

For three days a week, I leave my nappy bag at home and skip off to the office, to sit in a fun, creative and collaborative environment, where we celebrate success and talk each other through the anxiety of Covid-19! It’s a far cry from home, where there’s mess everywhere, demands for snacks thrown at me every 2 minutes, and a teething baby going through calpol like there’s no national shortage!

Being employed somewhere that appreciates the demands on a working mum has huge benefits. When the nursery calls to pick up the baby because she’s become unwell, I know that I can make up my hours later in the week. If there’s a class assembly at school, I know I can swap my days around to be there cheering from the audience without the guilt that I should be at my desk.

Even during my ‘gap year’ (as my husband helpfully called it) it was amazing to keep connected with the team at Neat PR for the occasional meeting or presentation preparation. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a newborn, and loved the time off during the summer months especially, pushing the pram in the park and being more present for my boys after school, but feeling included in important work events (an office move, pitches and, of course, the office Christmas party) gave me something extra. Something different to think about apart from nap routines and weaning. Something ‘grown up’ compared to rhyme time or another round of The Wheels On The Bus!!

Since my baby girl turned one, I’ve felt a sense of sadness that she’s no longer a tiny baby. She is certainly my last and as she passes big milestones and becomes more of a toddler, I worry about missing out whilst she’s not with me all day every day. But as soon as I sit down at my desk with a (hot!) coffee in the morning, as soon as I feel the buzz of a great piece of coverage or have an exciting chat with a client, I know that I want to be working at Neat PR.


#workingmum

#multitasking

#prmum

#lifewiththree
Image

WHAT A WEEK…! ‘Making a Splash’ at the launch of the Muddy Puddles SS20 Collection

Last week press and Influencers were invited along to the Muddy Puddles SS20 event at the brand new and chic London hotspot Maggie & Rose in Islington – what a venue!

Monday evening (the night before the event) saw Muddy Puddles and the Neat PR team kitting out three rooms ready for our guests the following morning.

10am saw the first guests walk through the door into a sea-themed venue, in-keeping with the all new ‘Save Our Oceans’ SS20 Muddy Puddles collection.

With the range hanging from the ceiling and adorning walls, you could look up and around and imagine swimming in the ocean through seaweed, whales and jellyfish.  It looked ‘fin-tastic’!

While breakfasting on pastries, fruit and hot drinks, we were super-excited to showcase the new capsule collection to our guests, and chat through the pieces in the range.

Not forgetting to introduce Muddy Puddles’ first ever foray into UV protective SWIMWEAR – what a response!

And best of all, the entire SS20 collection is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles – everyone loved this, who wouldn’t?

After guests had finished admiring the range, they were invited to kit out their little one’s in the fabulous outerwear, and then take a picture by the ocean selfie wall.  We loved seeing these images fill up our Instagram!

Once they had finished modelling the collection and favourite items had been chosen (an impossible decision we know!), the little Muddy Puddles adventurers took a seat at the creative stations where they made boats out of old egg crates and got their little hands mucky with fun hand-printing!

After the activity-packed morning, guests were given goodie bags filled with gorgeous fact-filled books, kit to take home, and a few delicious food treats for the adults.

We loved showing everyone the new Muddy Puddles range – who knew that clothing made from recycled plastic bottles could feel so soft and look so great!

A big thank you to everyone that came along and made it such a success.

Best of all, we loved meeting all our Influencers contacts with their little ones, and of course, catching up with our journalist friends – we hope you loved the morning (and the SS20 Collection!) as much as we do!

A little bit about the collection…

The ‘Save our Oceans’ collection, inspired by Muddy Puddles passion for protecting our planets and the oceans, is designed using bold, eye-catching prints depicting the ocean, the animals and nature inhibiting the seawater. In keeping with the theme, the whole collection is made entirely from Recycled Plastic Bottles.

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The January Edit

We have had a great start to 2020 at Neat PR!

Our fabulous products have been seen in titles nationwide…

Here are some of our January press highlights from:

Royal Opera House shop, London Transport Museum shop, ReChic, Matchstick Monkey, Muddy Puddles, Le Toy Van and babocush.

 

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A Day Out to the Royal Opera House

Last Monday, we were very kindly invited to the Royal Opera House to take part in a backstage tour and to see the Opera.

To begin the afternoon, we were taken on a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House. We were first taken into the beautiful auditorium where all of the main performances are. We learnt all about the history of the famous Royal Opera House, and got to see the very impressive (and huge!) backstage. As we sat in the stalls, we saw the backstage crew dismantling the set for La Traviata – the work that goes into setting up each performance is beyond amazing.

Our next stop was behind the scenes into the costume department, where all the absolutely stunning costumes are made and stored for every performance. Our favourite costume was most definitely the tutus – the attention to detail and designs are exquisite… and we weren’t surprised after being told that each tutu takes 8 weeks to make!

From there, we came to one of the ballet rehearsal rooms. We were really lucky to see two dancers in rehearsal for their performance – this was amazing to see so close up! Outside of the room were all of the various types of ballet shoes and we got an understanding of what each one was used for.

In-between the backstage tour and the Opera, we met up with the lovely team at the Royal Opera House and discussed many exciting plans for the year ahead!

To end the day, we got to go and see the famous La bohème. With half of us having not seen the opera before, we really did not know what to expect, but we were amazed and absolutely loved it! The acoustics in the room were incredible. A fun fact for you… there are no speakers in the room, which means not one of the performers or orchestra wears a microphone!

 

If you haven’t been to the Royal Opera House before and you just so happen to be in the Covent Garden area, we urge you to go and visit! Not only is the building amazing, but the performances, restaurants and the shop are all fabulous too!

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TOY FAIR 2020

Hilary said “Amanda, we’re going to the Toy Fair in a few weeks!”  And, it’s fair to say I was super-excited…with three children under the age of 12, toys have pretty much been my world for many years now.

They are top of shopping lists for the never-ending number of birthday pressies we buy, they take over my house with games which I didn’t even know we owned appearing out of cupboards on playdates, and they bring endless hours of entertainment, smiles and (lots of) role play when our little ones are playing with them.

So, on Tuesday morning I was literally the coolest mum in the eyes of my children, off ‘to play with toys all day!’, as they so eloquently put it!

To be honest, they weren’t far wrong. 

Entering Olympia on a frosty London morning to be welcomed by the striking stand in front of you, none other than our lovely client            Le Toy Van in all their splendour.

It was our first chance to see first-hand the stunning new 2020 catalogue celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Le Toy Van – and touch, feel and play with the innovative, colourful and all-round fabulous new lines that will be available to purchase this year. 

From the ‘must have’ 180-piece Royal Express wooden train set to the deluxe and bang on trend blue Oxford Kitchen, through to my personal favourites, the Sweets & Candy Set and Star Beauty Bag complete with lipstick and powder puff – too cute for words!

    

Hilary meanwhile could be found off having fun in the new and totally exquisite Showtime Puppet Theatre – entertaining the crowds with a show (or two). Yes, really…!

It was great to see so many lovely journalists and catch up over building blocks and doll’s houses – there’s really nothing quite like a face-to-face chat with people that we speak with on a regular basis, so thank you for making time to meet us.

We couldn’t let this moment go by without a little wander around Olympia where we met a few other familiar faces – a photo opportunity waiting to happen (obviously just to show the kids!)

 

It really was a fabulous day, filled with smiling faces and excitement around the new Le Toy Van products for 2020, and not forgetting the classics that every child (and adult) will always love. 

Thank you Marie and Steven for welcoming us to your beautiful Le Toy Van stand.

   

Bring on Toy Fair 2021 – we look forward to seeing you there!

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Introducing ReChic

We are proud to introduce our fabulous new client, ReChic – the UK’s one stop shop for recycled interiors.

For fabulous furnishings that are also kind to the planet, look no further than ReChic, exclusively selling homeware containing recycled materials.

From beautiful bowls and soft knitted throws made from recycled bottles, to stunning sustainable pendant lights and high-spec pots and pans made from scrap metal, ReChic enables guilt-free interior styling by offering a whole website full of eco-conscious, on-trend products.

Giving waste materials a new life as striking pieces of furniture and accessories, whilst at the same time reducing landfill is at the heart of the ReChic concept.

Sourced from like-minded retail partners, ReChic is actively encouraging us to be part of a circular economy, to ensure a better quality of life for our children and grandchildren, without compromising the present.

We’re so excited to have ReChic on board and are more than ready for all the amazing coverage that the future holds! Watch this space…

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The Christmas Edit – Part II

Here are some more examples of our many Christmas highlights…

We have had a great year, and look forward to seeing what 2020 brings for Neat PR and our amazing clients!


Silver Cross

 


Royal Opera House shop


London Transport Museum shop


Le Toy Van

 


Matchstick Monkey


Muddy Puddles

Neat PR would like to wish everyone a fabulous festive break and a very happy 2020.

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The Christmas Edit – Part I

The build up to Christmas has been exciting (and busy!) here at Neat PR…

We have seen our fabulous products feature in gift guides nationwide, achieving great impact on sales for our lovely clients!

Here are some of highlights this Christmas…


Royal Opera House shop


London Transport Museum shop


Le Toy Van


Matchstick Monkey

 


Muddy Puddles


babocush

Stay tuned for The Christmas Edit – Part II!

 


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