60 second start-up: The Tonic Communications

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

National boutique PR agency with offices in the East Midlands and North East.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We provide national PR services but from two regional offices which means brands based outside of London can enjoy strategic PR consultancy without having to travel to the capital and we can provide a cost effective service.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We have regional agency competitors in our home cities of Newcastle and Nottingham alongside London agencies that specialise in the sectors where we have a great deal of experience, including retail, financial, food & hospitality, travel, technology, motoring and housing.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

National PR consultancy on the doorstep for brands based in the Midlands and the North.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?


25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

We have both worked in PR for over a decade, primarily in agencies. Kelly worked in-house at Sheffield Hallam University before moving to Australia and working for internationally renowned integrated agency Porter Novelli with brands such as Doritos, Visa, P&O Cruises and 3 mobile. Georgina has always worked agency-side for brands and organisations including Skoda UK, Hilton International and the Department for Transport.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

After working together in a previous agency we identified a complementary skillset and PR experience which offered the potential for us to grow our own business based from two locations in separate regions of the UK. We also shared a drive to succeed, and deliver compelling and results-driven campaigns for our clients.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Taking the plunge! It is hard work but we’re relishing the challenge of having our own business and growing it month-on-month.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Thinking we could do it all ourselves and not asking for help! We put a lot of pressure on ourselves at the start to make sure everything was perfect, but we’ve realised that taking time to build the brand is the best approach, as well as learning from the experiences of others who’ve done the same.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Twix! Two complementary biscuits that are best enjoyed together but are standalone treats – our clients get the full benefit of the combined expertise of both directors, but they tend to work with either our Newcastle or Nottingham office based on where they are located to support a cost effective service.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

While we pride ourselves on our strategic consultancy, it’s always a kick to see a stunt executed to perfection if it is brand-relevant, and delivers the right message to the right audience in a compelling and cost effective way.

As the world’s media was camped out to see Shane Warne appear with Liz Hurley outside his Melbourne love nest when their relationship was revealed, lubricant brand KY Jelly scrambled a branded vehicle and delivered boxfuls of product to the gate, with the picture of the delivery going around the world).

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Our dream is to have each office operating with its own teams, so by this time next year, we hope to have additional staff working with us in our two locales.


To find out more about The Tonic Communications, click here, or follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.


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