Leading independent PR agency, The PHA Group, announced the launch of its Manchester office from August 2, 2021.
The launch is the first major growth initiative delivered by joint MDs Shelley Frosdick and Stuart Skinner since taking over the day to day running of the business in 2020. The new Manchester office will drive organic growth by taking a stake in the exciting northern economy and allow the agency to explore the rich northern talent pool, whilst offering existing PHA talent a second UK base to work from.
Recruitment of local industry experts has been an integral part of this expansion strategy, including the appointment of Director of Regions, Sarah Lawless. Following over a decade of experience and numerous award wins including Media and Creative Professional of the Year in the Made in Manchester Awards and Business Insider’s Marketing and Media Professional of the Year, Sarah has established herself as one of the region’s most well-respected PR industry leaders. Sarah will support the launch in Manchester, as well as working closely with Joint MDs Shelley Frosdick & Stuart Skinner on future regional and international expansion strategies.
The PHA Group’s Northern HQ will be led day-to-day by Hannah Craig, who takes on the role of Head of PHA North. Hannah joins PHA from Finn Communications where she led several high-profile brand accounts in the development and execution of strategic and creative PR, influencer, and social media activations. Prior to a move back to her Northern roots with Finn, Hannah also sat as the UK and EMEA communications lead in an integrated agency team at Saatchi & Saatchi. The launch team is completed with Senior Account Manager, Jess MacDonald, who joins from Rule 5.
The Manchester team brings a wealth of both PR and social media expertise. They have worked on a broad mix of corporate and consumer clients between them, including Natwest, Oral-B, Cushelle, Plenty, Neutrogena, John West, Gosh! foods. Taylor Wimpey, Turley, Northwest Cancer Research, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Hoover.
The Manchester office is in Bloc on Marble Street in the Spring Gardens area of the city. The office will launch with a roster of clients including Bonnet Electric, Hometree, Elevate and Open ECX.
A comprehensive secondment programme as well as regularly collaborative working across accounts will ensure a regular flow of talent between both offices.
Joint Group Managing Directors, Stuart Skinner & Shelley Frosdick, comment: “The opening of our Manchester office is a major milestone for PHA. It is the realisation of many months and years of planning and reflects our passionate belief in the northern economy and our excitement at the prospect of working with more brilliant brands, businesses and individuals based in the north.
“By bringing in local experts to lead expansion in the regions, we are making a long-term investment in growth and expect key account work to run across London and Manchester, so clients see all the benefits of increased coverage combined with our existing credentials and 16-year track record.
“Local industry knowledge and connections are critical for many clients, so recruiting the very best talent in the region was vital when considering our launch strategy. As we expand, we will continue to invest in local talent, and are delighted to have Sarah, Hannah and Jess join us as our initial Northern recruits. In just a few months, their creativity, drive, and insight has already demonstrated the huge opportunity that lies outside of London.
Chairman, Phil Hall, comments: “The Northern economy continues to grow at pace and is home to a range of hugely exciting established and start-up businesses. Following extensive market research, we identified the immense potential in particular in several key industries that align well with our existing experience and expertise. Centring our HQ in the region and combining our 16-year track record with local industry knowledge makes perfect sense as The PHA Group continues to grow.
“The launch of our Manchester HQ will also provide exciting opportunities and a greater level of flexibility to our existing team. Bringing new skillsets to the agency will allow us to develop faster as an agency and having an office in Manchester will be welcome news for many of our long-term clients who are based in the area.”
Director of Regions, Sarah Lawless, adds: “Manchester is a place I’ve always been proud to call home and it’s been fantastic to see the city experience such a boom over the last decade. Now is the perfect time to introduce PHA to the region, as the agency offers something completely different for the Manchester market.
“We are excited to grow The PHA Group network and continue to provide the award-winning service we have become known for over the last 16 years.”
Head of PHA North, Hannah Craig, adds: “Having always been passionate about the talent, culture and thriving business opportunities available in the North, it’s very exciting to now be able to pair that with the expertise and tenacity that The PHA Group is known for. As Manchester continues to thrive, the opportunity across the region is undeniable and we take great pride in being part of that growth as we begin to execute our exciting plans for PHA in the North.”
About The PHA Group
Established in 2005, London-based PR agency The PHA Group was founded by Phil Hall, the former editor of the world’s bestselling newspaper and Director of Editorial Development at Trinity Mirror Group. The agency, formerly known as PHA Media, has recently rebranded to reflect its significant growth and expanded list of services, which includes Consumer PR, Sport & Fitness PR, B2B PR, Technology PR, Third Sector PR, Influencer PR, Healthcare PR, Crisis & Reputation Management, Public Affairs and Personal PR. www.thephagroup.com