Thursday, 18 December 2008

16th DECEMBER, 2008

This week, we were getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas sing-along at Selfridges to help raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation. X Factor star Ruth Lorenzo led the carols, inviting some thrilled children onto the stage to sing Jingle Bells - although she did admit to not knowing many English carols - being Spanish! She did a great job and her versions of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas and Prince's Purple Rain were fantastic - what a voice!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

This week we've told the nation that recessionistas will not be cutting back on their beauty basics this Christmas with Superdrug's survey showing that British women will spend £3 billion this party season on making themselves sparkle!

Viewers to GMTV have been jamming the switchboard with calls on their fantastic Christmas decorations and where they can get them - they are of course courtesy of Selfridges. And Selfridges had a rock n roll visit this week from Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas who was supporting the Mac counter - one of the most successful Mac counters in the World!

This week we went to Cardiff to see our friends at Peacocks who are enjoying the party season as their fab party dresses are flying off the hangars along with leopard print dressing gowns!? Oh well we can't be responsible for all the trends!?

With the news that we're all be getting back to baking next year as we embrace the more simple things in life our colleagues at Lakeland are seeing their Bakingenious range receive fantastic feedback and on that note have you made your X Factor Cup Cakes for this weekend's final?

Monday, 8 December 2008

The first week of December saw us all very firmly in good Christmas Spirits! We undertook a very fashionable shoot in the Christmas windows of Selfridges with the fashion editor of the Daily Mail which created quite a stir on Oxford Street! Over at the GMTV studios the Selfridges VM team decorated the studio for them and how fab it looks on screen today.

Snow up North didn't stop us from trekking up to the Lakes to visit our friends at Lakeland to talk about plans for 2009 which was very well timed so that we could visit their flagship store too and pick up a stand for all the Christmas cards that are flooding in to our office, a Christmas Pudding basin for our boss to make a Christmas Pudding with and also their famous Australian Liquorice for the team!

Finally, Friday saw us all get together for a teambuilding session where we discovered what our Belbin self perception and team observation roles are ... from Shapers, to Plants to Implementors and Resource Investigators ... we've got the lot and more at ZPR!

We finished the week off with blow drys and manicures at Bloww before heading out for our Christmas night out - cocktails followed by dinner at Cipriani and the hard core even made it to the dance floor at Annabels.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Last week ended on a festive note with GMTV, filming in Selfridges Grotto. Our little elf - Lucy Gillis was up at 4 am ensuring that the Santa Express was running on time and that presenter Matt Arnold had his best festive jumper on for the live links from the GMTV studio to the Selfridges grotto.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

As the credit crunch continues to bite, the ZPR girls continue to help the nation’s recessionistas survive the season with the latest hot deals

With everyone retreating indoors, Lakeland’s sales of comfort factor products have shot through the roof – everyone’s making stews and wrapping up in front of the fire. On the occasional night out they’re partying like it’s £19.99 in Peacocks’ most fabulous party dresses and accessories, taking advantage of Superdrug’s great budget beauty and fragrance savings, or if they can’t afford to splash out on that latest designer dress from Selfridges – they’re sucking it all in as sales of Spanx soar by over 100%, updating their look with a new lipstick, a new handbag and getting their Louboutins re-heeled!

Sales of Spanx and contour underwear are on the up as the nation seeks comfort in chocolate over credit. Sales of chocolate are up by over a third at Selfridges, including the latest cult ‘Credit Crunch’ bar to the bizarre-yet-surprisingly-tasty bacon flavoured chocolate by Vosges …we’re calling it the credit munch!

We’re sparing a thought for our friends at Woollies right now who are enduring the toughest of times ever and we’re all got our fingers crossed that a rescue plan will be put in place before it’s too late.

Over in Kensington, our friends at Crabtree & Evelyn held a cool reception last week at the Metropolitan Hotel last week hosted by India Hicks to celebrate the imminent launch of her new fragrance ‘India Hicks Island Nights’ which launches in the New Year.

And as we ran up Park Lane from the Metropolitan Hotel to the Drapers Awards at Grosvenor House on the same night, we were just in time to see our friends at Selfridges collect the award for the Best Department Store … we couldn’t agree more … particularly this week as we’re spending our way through our Friends & Family discount vouchers for an extra 20% discount on some already great discounted products.

We’ll keep you posted in the coming weeks with more news of partying and shopping in a recession! And leave you with our final tip as you start to buy and write your Christmas Cards (100% charity ones of course from Selfridges) … don’t forget to get your stamps from Superdrug at 5% off!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sorry for the delay in updating our ZPR girls blog – October has been a busy month!

During October we have had oodles of coverage for Selfridges’ Pinkridges partnership with Breast Cancer Care from limited edition Miller Harris candles to Alexander McQueen scarfs those pink products have been raising thousands for Breast Cancer Care.

Sticking with pink, Superdrug opened its newest pink flag ship store on Oxford Street at Marble Arch and received a visit from the Princess of Pink herself – Katie Price who was launching her new beauty electricals range.

October has been the month for skin care too as Selfridges sold out of Planet Skincare (with added fake snake venom!) following coverage we achieved on TV and sales of Superdrug’s Vitamin E moisturizer and Optimum Serum also went through the roof following multiple write ups and appearances on TV.

Meanwhile, we invited fashion journalists to join us at a West End salon for treatments and a sneak preview of Peacocks fantastic Christmas party frocks and fabulous accessories which was a really fun, girly day out.

Last week, Selfridges windows launched and they look amazing! With Santa in every window – they’re sure to put a smile on everyone’s face this Christmas as we all seek the comfort factor in the current economic climate. Our home comforts are made all the easier as Lakeland this week publishes its countdown to Christmas …every domestic goddesses guide to getting ready for receiving all those visitors at home over Christmas. And when it all gets a bit much Crabtree & Evelyn this month launched its amazing Aromatherapy Distillations range which has everything you need to give yourself the ultimate stay at home spa treatment and that together with a copy of October’s must-have DVD – Sex in the City, courtesy of Woolworths is exactly what our MD did after she completed the London Half Marathon raising £1500 for Great Ormond Street!

Friday, 19 September 2008

It’s a male cover up with Touche Éclat, Selfridges beauty gets stung with Snake Venom cream coverage and Superdrug stays savvy in Vogue!

The ZPR girls have been keeping themselves busy this week.

Our crazy story on Planet Skincare’s anti-wrinkle snake venom cream caused a stir last week with blanket coverage across the globe – highlights being a dps in Daily Mail, interview on the BBC Radio’s Chris Evans show with Selfridges’ beauty buyer, GMTV’s Lust List, as well as features in The Evening Standard and the London Paper. News travelled globally - reaching as far as Malaysia, Japan, India and Romania. Just as our snake venom story hit the headlines, within hours the Selfridges buyers were reporting that our coverage had created an in-store frenzy with product flying out of the shop floor. All stock sold out within days and emergency repeat orders were shipped in to cope with the demand.

Don’t worry boys, we didn’t forget about you. YSL launched their iconic Touche Éclat for Men exclusively at Selfridges and ZPR kicked off the campaign with an international bang. We reeled in make up wearing Stuart from Big Brother for the launch and landed coverage in every key national newspaper including features in The Times, Metro and the Independent as well as Sky News who plastered our pics of Stu on their screens across key sites in London seen by 3 million people.

Continuing on the beauty front Superdrug took over the Vogue beauty pages in the latest issue with their ‘new savvy approach’ as quoted by the beauty editor. Positive words continue in the Daily Mail with a glowing 10/10 report for the Vitamin E cream, and so they should as Superdrug have been doing some positive things of their own with their fantastic Teenage Cancer Trust campaign which over the summer has raised a staggering £325k to date.

The Pinkridges coverage continues to flow with a dps in the Evening Standard on Sadie Frost’s auction, followed through with coverage in the Guardian and The London Lite as Sadie offers up a pair of Kate Moss’ shoes; signed, sealed and available to buy as part of the Pinkridges campaign!

Watch out for next weeks update as we glam it up with the fashionistas at Peacocks’ xmas show, offering our lovely media ladies a pamper session amongst this seasons glam party outfits. And then over to Woolworths for their marathon xmas event where you might just walk away with one of UK’s first copies of Sex and the City - you heard it hear first!

In pure Z PR style we close the week with some deep breaths in and out and 6 sun salutations later we are ready for the weekend….until next time dear friends of Z PR have a great week ahead.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Elephants and Royalty meet at ZPR...

It’s been a week of yet more festivities at ZPR. Last Thursday morning, Selfridges’ Christmas Shop was unveiled amidst the flash of nearly 50 photographers by none other than The Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson) accompanied by a herd of life size topiary elephants! The elephants came courtesy of the elephant family, a charity dedicated to helping protect endangered Asian elephants and working with local communities that live near wild herds. As Patron of the elephant family charity, The Duchess was also there to launch Selfridges’ most sought-after ethical Christmas gift for 2008; the elephant family‘s Date an Elephant’ pack.

Another highlight of the week was the opening of Selfridges brand new Toy Shop complete with a 125 carat £43,000 Steiff bear and Paddington Bear – did you know that inspiration for the original Paddington novel came when its creator Michael Bond visited Selfridges on Christmas Eve 1958 and taking pity on a lonely looking bear took him home for his wife? Well you do now!

The nation’s beauty bags were also buzzing last week with the launch of Lancome’s oscillating mascara – a new vibrating mascara which launched exclusively at Selfridges and will change the way us girls apply our mascara forever!

The Superdrug team was busy too with Zaria (our MD) airing Superdrug’s sun tax campaign on Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and the hugely successful Taxi Man launch is still proving to be a hit with the media! Who would think make up for men would be so popular!

Crabtree & Evelyn also launched its A – Z of aromatherapy ‘distillations’ range and the team is now busy planning the next India Hicks event at a suitably stylish venue in London town.

And it’s now less than a month until the fantastic Pinkridges campaign launches at Selfridges with its selection of fabulous pink exclusive product available to buy and designed by some of the world’s leading fashion, beauty and home designers such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Elie Tahari. Donations from all items purchased will go directly to Breast Cancer Care. Head down to Selfridges in September to snap up some amazing products!

See you next week!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Press Show Mania at ZPR...

It’s been a week of events this week at the ZPR HQ! Starting off with the Woolworths Christmas Press Show which was a fantastic success, over 200 journalists arrived at the Hellenic Centre in Marylebone to see all the new latest Autumn/Winter 08 homeware, the ‘top 10’ toys for Christmas, children’s clothes, Ladybird fashion show and festive Christmas decorations and trees – our favourite being the bright pink version! After all the preparation that went into the show it was great to finally see it in action. Biscuit the dog, the Wii fit and Pleo the dinosaur were all huge hits, and the free Pic n Mix went down a treat with the journalists! It’s fair to say, the event was a big highlight that everyone in the office also got to enjoy! Roll on Christmas.

Another highlight of the week was the Peacocks A/W 08 Collection preview and dinner at the ultra trendy Sanderson hotel. 20 Journalists packed in to see the stylish chic fashion show in getting an insight to what Peacocks has to offer next season. After enough champagne drinking and schmoozing everyone headed to the glamourous terrace for a yummy 3 course meal and lots more champagne drinking! The feedback was fantastic, everyone loved the new collection and the night was a huge success. After a late night and an early start in ZPR offices, full English breakfasts were the order of the day the next morning!

Saturday night was yet another fabulous event, Superdrug held an outstanding charity ball at the swish Grosvenor House Hotel. A champagne reception was followed by a 3 course meal and various fund raising activities. Circus style performers amazed the crowd with dancing and impressive flexibility- inspiring us to get to yoga on a Friday morning! The ZPR table had an amazing time and danced the night away to a live PA by Booty Love! The event raised a staggering £325,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, Princes Trust and Kids Co. charities.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

From an X Factor winner, to a Welsh Warbler, to a designer trunk show and a jumbo sausage… just an average week in PR for us!

We welcomed the new Mrs Mountstevens back from her honeymoon this week, although she did turn up a day earlier than we expected – no reflection on her holiday, just a miscalculation on the dates! As well as gorgeous wedding pictures and a sparkly ring she also brought us back her amazing wedding cupcakes yum yum!!

We officially started working for Woolworths last week and threw ourselves into it ZPR-style contacting all of our journalist contacts to let them know about the up and coming press show, placing product and we worked our way through three huge bags of pick n mix!

We announced the next phase of Superdrug’s summer Shun Burn campaign; a charity headscarf designed by Leona Lewis which will be available to buy online soon with all money going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Also if you’re passing a Superdrug this weekend, you should check out their summer beach parties when staff will be donning their bikinis or trunks in store to boost the fundraising total.

Our Cardiff Peacocks store had a special visit on Friday from The Charlotte Church Show. Helen went over to make sure everything ran smoothly as five girls picked themselves clothes for a night out. The final outfits, all under £30, looked great and you’ll be able to see their shopping spree on air when the series returns to our screens this summer.

Top style editors, fashion royalty and socialites viewed next season’s designer must-haves at an exclusive Halston trunk show held at Selfridges. The event, hosted by Tamara Mellon and Ann Pitcher, allowed the crème of London’s fashion circuit to stay one step ahead and pre-order their favourite pieces before they hit the shop floor with our Kate was on hand to guide them to the ‘It’ bags of the future.

Finally, with Father’s Day this weekend, specialist sausage eatery ‘Banger Brothers’ have gone the extra mile to launch their new store in Selfridges. The ‘Big Daddy’; a special 15 inch sausage, is available until 15th June so get there quick to pick up the limited edition must-have for food loving Dads.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Birthdays, Weddings... and lots of PR of course!

ZPR saw two birthdays last week and it felt like there was cake in the office everyday – so this week we are diet PR!
Kate turned… 21 (again) while Lucy turned 25. The team went out to celebrate on Friday, one drink turned into many…

On the work front:
Superdrug saw many coverage highlights last week including one of its own label brands – Vitamin E recommended on Gok Wan’s How to Look Good Naked. This resulted in a 3000 per cent uplift showing the extraordinary power of PR.
Peacocks were also on TV with some key summer pieces appearing on This Morning – Let’s hope we see the same sales uplift there.

Kate has been working on a glamorous Wonder room story for Selfridges – all of the jewellry from Cannes available from just one place and there were many coos when some lovely jewellry samples came into the office.

Peacocks are looking forward to opening its new store in Liverpool and Lucy landed a great double page spread in The Liverpool Echo to publicize it.

This week Superdrug is launching its summer skin care campaign with the Teenage Cancer Trust fronted by X Factor winner Leona Lewis. We’ve had a double page spread in now Magazine as well as The Daily Express, The Sun, The Star and Metro and the Superdrug Team will be working hard this week to ensure it lands everywhere else.

We’re really excited to be welcoming new member Rachel to the ZPR team today she’ll be working on Woolworths which we start on officially next week and we hope she settles in well. Lastly Hayley is off to get married this weekend, returning in a few weeks as Mrs Mountstevens we’ll be taking her out for a glass of bubbly to wish her well and welcome Rachel to the team….

That’s all for this week!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Footwear is the story of the hour

It has been a busy week in the world of ZPR with several of our clients getting some great coverage. The biggest story was landed by Kate this week for Selfridges. After spotting Gwyneth in several pairs of very high heels she looked into the sales stats at Selfridges and the results showed that high heels were selling fast. The story landed in not 1 but 7 publications, the highlights being the Independent, the Telegraph and ES magazine. After such positive coverage Kate is looking for a more in depth story.

Helen had a fun end to her week when she picked up the Drapers footwear award for Peacocks in the category best Value Retailer, beating George at Asda and Matalan. So that was a cause for celebration. However there was no time to celebrate too long as she had to get to Cardiff first thing Friday to start looking at the top buys for Autumn/ Winter.

As the weather hotted up the team gathered sales statistics for all clients and got on the phones to sell them in. Do you know that sales of foot care products at Superdrug are up 25%!? Must be all those summer sandals causing blisters.

On a personal front Miranda celebrated her 25th birthday and got engaged all in one week. So the team are out to celebrate tonight! Looking forward to another fun-filled week next week, lets hope the weather is just as nice.