Amber Valley Borough Council has signed-up Poppy PR to underpin its communications strategy, giving the agency its first local authority contract.
The council invited tenders in July for an initial 12-month contract following the announcement by its longstanding PR support, Jeremy Hall, of Newark-based Shout! PR, that he was retiring this year.
Poppy PR was picked after a three-tier selection process, involving an initial Zoom pitch, written proposal and a final face-to-face meeting with the council’s management team at Ripley Town Hall.
The agency, which has built a strong reputation through its proactive recruitment of seasoned ex-journalists, will be providing Amber Valley Borough Council with full public relations, social media and crisis communications support from September.
Tina Clough, owner and managing director of Poppy PR, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. This was a contract that we really wanted to win. I’m so glad that Amber Valley Borough Council has put its trust in Poppy PR.
“Adding the first local authority to the long list of clients and sectors we’ve supported over the years makes this a double celebration, and we’re so looking forward to showing the council what we can do.”
A Marketing Derby bondholder, Poppy PR was launched by Tina in Ilkeston in 2015 and last year moved to its current premises in The Old Vicarage, Castle Donington.
The firm has clients operating in numerous sectors, from construction to recruitment, packaging to software, architecture to retail and education to veterinary care.
Tina said: “I prefer to recruit experienced journalists, as they work quickly, write well and are used to working in many different fields.
“And, given that they are also trained in matters of law, politics and local government, gives us a real advantage when it comes to working alongside councillors and officers at Amber Valley.”
Julian Townsend, executive director (operations) for Amber Valley Borough Council, said: “I’d like to congratulate Poppy PR for its impressive pitch. We are looking forward to working alongside Tina and her team – and ensuring our communication with Amber Valley residents and other stakeholders is the best it can be and the best value it can be.
“We’ve been very happy with the service provided by Jeremy at Shout! PR over the years, and we wish him well. His departure nevertheless presents a good opportunity to put a fresh pair of eyes on the council’s communications approach, which is never a bad thing.”
Amber Valley Borough Council is run by the Conservative Party, having regained control from Labour during elections in May this year.