Shropshire company shortlisted for top business award

A Shropshire PR firm has been shortlisted for a top business award just weeks before they are due to celebrate their first anniversary.

J&PR, formed by directors Rhea Alton and Kirsty Smallman, is the only county company in the running for the Free 2 Network Start Up Business of the Year title.

And the company has seen a rapid expansion since its official launch in January this year.

Rhea Alton, from Shrewsbury said: “We are so proud that J&PR has been shortlisted for this award alongside some great companies - we faced competition from start-up businesses across Shropshire and North Wales.

“The idea behind J&PR was to help small companies to compete with larger firms and use effective PR to increase their presence in the local media within an affordable budget.

“We do our best to ensure companies are making the most of their public relations opportunities and showcasing what they have to offer.

“We have grown so much since our launch as J&PR Ltd in January this year. We now have a team of 10, comprising two directors, six account managers, a training course co-ordinator and a photographer.

She said: “All our writers have been hand-picked for their expert skills in the media field and all were former journalists.

“They all have extremely good knowledge of the area, the fantastic county businesses and take great pride in their work.”

Kirsty said: “We are currently based at the E-Innovation Centre in Telford but we are now in the midst of moving into our first office at the Glebe Centre in Wellington.

“We felt it was important to establish our own permanent base and the central location of Wellington was ideal for this.

“It’s been a busy time for us and especially Rhea who even managed to fit in having her second baby during the expansion.”

The pair said their team, including Simon Alton; Ed Bagnall; Becci Dutton; Lorna McCann; Lisa Rowley; Jane Shaw; Maria Wilkinson and Dani Wozencroft, were working together to expand the portfolio of clients on a daily basis.

Kirsty said: “Part of the secret of our success is our team and the fact that we all work together to work effectively for every client.

“We have many years’ experience as journalists, which we are able to bring to the work we do now.

“For those who know Rhea and I will know it is our passion for the best businesses of Shropshire which ensures we drive the business forward.

“We are extremely positive about the future and expect to double the client portfolio again within the next 12 months which will create further job opportunities within the company.”

Rhea and Kirsty, who are mothers of four young boys between them, will hear whether they have won the title at a ceremony at the St George’s Hotel in Llandudno on Friday. (November 29)

This year’s judge and awards host is former Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, Rachel Elnaugh, who founded experience gift company, Red Letter Days.

She said: “There have been so many outstanding entries, it really is quite inspiring reading all of them.

“It was very hard to choose a shortlist. There are some wonderful businesses out there doing some great things.”

Sarah’s Embroidery, based in Penley, Wrexham, have also been shortlisted as one of the five in the same category as J&PR.


Pete White Pete White

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