Balloon Bar launch and quarry visit

Hard hats to high heels

Working for a PR consultancy can throw up all sorts of random opportunities. But sometimes what we do surprises even us! In what other industry could you explore a quarry in Oxfordshire in the morning, then swap your hard hat for high heels for the launch of a cocktail bar later the same day?

At the crack of dawn, we were on the road for the Institute of Quarrying heading to Oxfordshire. We’ve developed an editorial calendar for Quarry Management magazine and this month we’re researching an article about knowledge and innovation in the mineral extractives industry.

Step up Ben Strickland, quarry manager at Smiths Bletchington’s Gill Mill Quarry. He talked to us about the application of technology to improve operational efficiencies, delivering real cost savings for the business. Plus, an added bonus, Ben provided an access all areas tour of the Gill Mill site, including live extraction and site restoration.

Ben explained that part of the planning permission for extraction requires Smiths Bletchington to restore areas post extraction, creating what will be the largest reed bed in the south west of England. This is the often overlooked positive side of mineral extraction, which is about creating community assets that improve people’s lives.

Back on the road, we battled the obtuse June weather and heavy traffic, heading north to Belvoir Castle‘s new Engine Yard retail development in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir. A quick change and off we headed to attend the press launch of the new Balloon Bar cocktail bar, ahead of the official opening on June 15th.

We invited a wide range of regional media and social media influencers along to enjoy an exclusive preview, with complimentary food and drink. The Duchess of Rutland welcomed everyone to the event and outlined her vision for the Balloon Bar and the Engine Yard, creating a social space for people from the Vale of Belvoir and beyond to enjoy and meet.

We captured the evening in film, stills and interviews with the Duchess of Rutland, which provide content for our ongoing social media campaign. We also created an online press pack for media, with images, video and news release all in one place. The coverage has been exceptional, including the West Bridgford Wire, Lincolnshire Today, Grantham Matters, Dluxe Magazine, Nottingham Post, Leicester Mercury, social influencer Spencer’s Arc and lots more.

Quite a different audience, quite a different challenge and quite a different role, but all in a day’s work in the public relations industry.

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