Two friends (one enjoying life as a sole trader and one loving life as a crime correspondent) + three preschool aged children = one question! Should those two friends go into business together?
We laughed about it for a while as Rhea often rocked up to my house during my maternity leave so she could crack on with her business, whilst I entertained the three boys!
We questioned it for a while and we asked others what their thoughts were! It ranged from “Oh my goodness yes, you two would be amazing together” to “the business might last but your friendship definitely won’t!”
“What the heck” – that’s what we said! I took redundancy and said farewell to my job as crime correspondent of the Shropshire Star and Rhea and I worked as two sole traders to see if it worked – and that it did!
Fast forward six months and we incorporated the business and J&PR Ltd was born.
Over the last 10 years we have gone from two women working at their kitchen tables to hot desking, to our first permanent office and more recently a move to our new home with three separate offices, our own kitchen and toilets and our very busy training room.
The team of two has grown to eight and our clients have expanded in size and region – lockdown forced us into offering social media training all over the UK (with a few global clients too!)
Our business has grown year on year with record breaking figures recorded at the end of our last financial year – we didn’t see that coming during a pandemic!
The pandemic saw the loss of many of our event management clients but saw many more client wins as businesses faced an urgent need to communicate effectively!
From high street retailers who had never used social media to internal communications to ensure our clients’ staff members knew exactly what was happening and when – we did it all.
Communication was key and we are so pleased to have worked with and continue to work with many leading businesses in Shropshire.
So now our PR and digital teams offer the full range of services from PR campaigns and consultancy; content creation from blogs to website content; case studies to newsletters; social media management and training and of course crisis management – and most importantly we love doing it all!
Our clients have come from most industries over the last 10 years from a leading legal firm recently featured on BBC Panorama; funeral directors; care homes; tourism and hospitality; charities; accountancy; high street retail campaigns; manufacturing industries including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise winner Jesmonite; technology and creatives and so much more.
The comfort of the salary and a company car are a distant memory for both of us but we wouldn’t change a thing!
It was a risk setting up the business – we could have easily failed but as journalists we were trained to work hard and that’s what we have continued doing every second of the day (and often the night!)
We are so proud of our team – they make J&PR what it is today.
We haven’t had a chance to pop open the bubbly as yet – simply because we’ve been too busy doing what we do best – servicing our clients, but the nicer weather is here and we are sure there is a beer garden calling for Team J&PR very soon.