AM Marketing – Star Business of the Month – July 2014

AM Marketing Owner AmyAM Marketing, Digital Marketing, Canterbury, Kent McManus started her career in retail, managing a home and cosmetic store in Whitefriars, Canterbury. After developing a knack for marketing her store and products locally, she was headhunted by her first marketing firm at 22 years old and worked globally on health and beauty products with large clients such as Holland and Barrett, Amazon and Harrods. Her first product launch went on to win NBTY Europe’s New Product of the Year and New Innovative Product Awards.

In April 2012 at 24, she went freelance as a marketing consultant and landed a 14 month contract with DFDS rebranding the commercial areas of their new vessels and managing onboard marketing and communications for the Channel routes.  AM Marketing was born in October 2013 and this month features as our Star Business of the Month!

So Amy why did you start AM Marketing?

Amy McManus AM MarketingSince I was a child I have always wanted my own business. My parents had jobs which they regularly expressed a dislike for. They were (and still are) hardworking, honest people who seemed constantly under-valued and stressed. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story and after entering the job market I found myself in the same position.

I wanted to make my own business choices and make sure that those who worked for me were in an open, happy environment.

AM Marketing is an absolute joy to run and I love every single day. We provide marketing consultancy and management to large and small businesses; from local pubs to global brands. This includes strategy, digital, social media, PPC (Google Adwords), branding, websites, design, videos, photography and everything in between. We are particular specialists in PPC (Pay-Per Click) Advertising with all accounts set-up by our Google Certified and Bing Accredited Specialists. Our clients come from all over the UK (with a couple in US and Europe). As every client is individual with many diverse goals and requirements, we handle each account as such. Every proposal is bespoke to that client and their objectives to create the best results.

AM Marketing is a young company and I am a young entrepreneur. This can be a disadvantage when competing in the marketplace with larger and more established agencies. However, we tend to find that our clients prefer our lack of bureaucracy which allows their accounts to be more flexible. Regardless of our size and my age, the service we provide and results we achieve for our clients speak for themselves.

My business tip comes from my Dad:

“If you want to take the steps to start your own business, run a marathon, travel the world or anything else you could possibly dream of, don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t do it. If you’re prepared to work hard you can accomplish anything.”

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5 tips on writing a Press Release for your business startup

A clear and concise communications campaign can play a key role in the ultimate success or failure of a business start up, writes Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director of Ashford-based public relations agency Quantum PR.

Business survival is a highly debatable subject in the UK but it is often quoted that eight out of every 10 new start ups cease trading within the first 18 months. It is clear that gaining and then retaining customers is vital for any new business venture.

After all, a business without customers – which equate to income and, hopefully, profit – is not a viable business.

Communications, the means by which a business promotes its products/services to potential customers, should therefore form a key component in any start up’s launch plans and subsequent business promotion activities.

Through a carefully-crafted PR & marketing campaign, start ups can share core messages with target customers thereby generating the sales required to enable the business to prosper.

One of the most effective ways of beginning conversations between company and consumer is through the writing and issuing of press releases to local and trade publications, which can then be quickly reworked into blog and social media posts.

For a start up, the first press release to be considered is likely to be the official launch of the business.

Here are some top tips for how to approach this press release:

1 – Unique Selling Point

The press release should focus on the USP of the business – how the working processes or products/services differ from existing providers and, most importantly, what this means to consumers.

2 – Pyramid

The information contained in a press release should be ordered so that it fits into a pyramid; with the most important piece of information – the ‘news’ – at the top. The intro should be kept to around 30 words maximum and should grab the reader’s attention. This should be followed by further relevant information (see below) and also include company details, quotations, web links and contact details.


Every press release must contain answers to the following questions; Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. These answers will help substantiate the news and USP contained in the intro. Keeping WWWWWH in mind will make sure the release is comprehensive while also simple and straight to the point.

4 – “Quotes”

A good quotation can add extra depth and interest to a press release. It provides businesses with an opportunity to offer a greater insight into the relevance of the release to consumers; how the news will affect them. An independent third party quotation, perhaps from a customer, will also add authenticity to your release and ensure it is seen as more than a self-promotional piece of advertorial.

5 – Call to action

Make sure to include a direct call to action so that you can fully capitalise on the coverage gained. This could include a telephone number, website link, social media links and office location. This call to action is usually the last line of the press release.

For more information on how to build and deliver a tailored communications programme to meet the needs of your company, visit 

A Blast! creates a real buzz about business start-up in Kent

On Tuesday 10th June Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs in partnership with The Enterprise Foundation hosted a whole day of business support activities in Maidstone under the working title ‘A Blast!’.

Wilkins Kennedy

The sequence of events kicked off with the Maidstone Business Breakfast, followed by two business start-up workshops all topped off with a large business networking evening to celebrate business in Kent.

The Breakfast was kicked off by guest speaker Paul Nixon, Wilkins Kennedy who told the audience:

“The most enjoyable clients I work with have to be business start-ups. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing a seemingly small idea transformed in to something much bigger. Being a part of that process on the way is highly rewarding.”

More than 30 people who were looking at creating their own employment through starting a business attended workshops. A range of people attended from the unemployed right through to students from Mid Kent College who were considering their career options after their studies.

Amy McManus AM Marketing

To conclude the day young entrepreneurs, business start ups, established businesses and professionals from all across Kent joined a celebration of business at A Blast! The room was a real hive of activity with 10 young entrepreneurs exhibiting and three of them being interviewed on stage. Gemma Blacker – This Art of Mine kindly took charge of the stage to interview Amy McManus (below) and Lucy Hall of Kent Social Media.

Young entrepreneur, Amy McManus of AM Marketing expressed her gratitude on Facebook saying:

“What a great evening with some fantastic Kent businesses exhibiting! A fabulous event with the gang from Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs. Some great businesses and people showing off their products and services!”

Philip Gearing of Foster Gearing the guest speaker for the evening spoke about his journey in business and how the support from Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs back in 1990 spurred him on to never give up.

Philip Gearing Guest Speaker “It all started off at a small market one day where my business partner and I had sold next to nothing. But we learnt something special that day; never to be beaten. To always get back up again, never say no, try again and you will succeed”

Philip who is the man behind the WW1 memorial arch being opened by Prince Harry in Folkestone on 4thAugust this year went on to say:

 “Don’t be scared. I don’t think anyone is ever completely ready, so the moment to do it is now. If you don’t ask you don’t get. I remember calling up my first potential large client with a proposal to rebrand their business and what did they say – YES” 

None of these events would have been possible without the funding and support from Community First, Golding Homes, Wilkins Kennedy, Let’s Do Business Group, Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council.

 A picture says a thousand words…Click here to watch the event unfold in pictures thanks to Photographer Tom Phillips. 

Check out the young entrepreneurs that exhibited:

All of our services are provided free of charge to Kent’s young entrepreneurs, so if you would like to support our work please donate through Charity Choice.

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