Alston Bar & Beef is opening its second UK restaurant in Manchester this autumn and has appointed BIG Partnership to handle PR for the high-profile launch.

After BIG delivered a successful launch campaign for the original restaurant in Glasgow, Glendola Leisure approached the agency’s North West team to deliver a campaign that will put Alston Bar & Beef firmly on the Manchester food and drink map.

Alex Salussolia, managing director of Glendola Leisure, said:

“BIG Partnership did such a great job for us up in Glasgow, we knew we had to work with the Manchester team for this opening.

“We want to spread the word that Alston Bar & Beef will offer the best steak and gin in the city and we’re confident that Big will be able to do just that!”

Alston Bar & Beef is the latest client to join BIG Partnership’s North West portfolio, following a record first year in Manchester.

Sarah Lawless, Head of North West Operations, said: “BIG Partnership has a great track record of working with food and drink clients across the UK and we’re really excited to demonstrate these expertise here in Manchester.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the Alston Bar & Beef team so far and we’re confident that we can get people across the city just as excited about this launch as we are – after all, who doesn’t love outstanding steak and gin!”

BIG Partnership, which was first launched in 2000, has five offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife and now Manchester. The multi-disciplinary agency employs 100 people covering PR, marketing, digital, design and events.

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Standards matter. At BIG Partnership, we want to do great work for our clients which delivers great results. And we want to do it the right way.

So, we’re very pleased to have retained the PRCA’s Communications Management Standard, the gold standard of service for public relations agencies.

The internationally-recognised standard is awarded after an extensive independent audit.

It assesses agencies in key areas such as leadership, planning, quality control, systems, client satisfaction and people management.

We’re proud to continue to hold the CMS ‘badge’.

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BIG Partnership has added to its extensive menu of food and drink clients after being appointed by Equi’s, the luxury ice cream to manage its trade and consumer PR.

The multi-award winning family business based in Hamilton celebrates its 95th anniversary this year, and is looking to secure additional listings for its premium range of ice cream.

The campaign will be managed by BIG Partnership’s consumer team in Edinburgh, headed by Account Director Sarah Bailey.

She said: “Whilst working on the brief from Equi’s we were immediately struck by the rich heritage of the brand, which combined with the exceptional quality of the product made this a really exciting proposition. What’s also exciting is that we have a wide range of flavours to get to know…could be one of the most hotly anticipated client inductions at Big Edinburgh yet!”

David Equi, managing director, Equi’s ice cream added: “We have some ambitious targets for what is a very competitive sector, but we have full confidence in our product. The PR strategy that Sarah and the team prepared for us completely hit the brief and we can’t wait to get started.”

Equi’s this year alone has won 16 awards including taking first place in the UK heat of the European Gelato Festival in London, beating off some of the industry’s most talented gelato makers.

The ice cream account is just the latest food and drink client for BIG, which has a strong track record in this field, working with Stoats, Stewarts Brewing, Brakes and Mathew Algie.

For further information about Equi’s visit

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Marketing communications agency BIG Partnership has celebrated its first year in Manchester with a raft of new client wins.

The agency has increased its client portfolio by 25% since opening its Manchester office last year, securing contracts worth in excess of £300,000 in the last six months alone.

As well as expanding its remit with existing clients, BIG Partnership has secured new clients in sectors including property and construction, renewable energy, hospitality, utilities and financial services.

This includes a 12-month contract with multi-award winning architecture and building consultancy practice AHR, and an appointment from the UK division of heating and renewable energy products manufacturer Steibel Eltron.

To meet the demands of its growing client base, BIG Partnership has welcomed two new recruits to the Manchester team.
Ben Pummell joins as a senior account executive from Smith & Smith PR and Lucy Dobson joins as an account executive from an in-house PR and communications role in the tech sector.

Sarah Lawless, head of North West operations for BIG Partnership said: “It is brilliant to see just how far we have come since opening our doors in Manchester this time last year.

“We have developed a fantastic client base and have grown the business on the strength of the results we have been delivering. That is a testament to the talented team we have built here and Ben and Lucy’s appointment will bolster us even further.

“This is such an exciting time for our Manchester office. We have big plans for growth in the North West and it’s great to see we have made such a strong start in our first twelve months.”

BIG Partnership, which first launched in 2000, has five offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife, as well as the Manchester office.

The multi-disciplinary agency employs 100 people covering PR, marketing, digital, design and events.

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BIG Partnership is celebrating a raft of new business worth more than £600,000.

It has secured a number of new PR and digital contracts across a range of sectors, including energy, construction, leisure and sport in recent weeks.

BIG Partnership’s Aberdeen office has won a clutch of new accounts from energy and oil and gas organisations. This includes a two-year marketing contract with AREG (Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group) and PR contracts with Bristow Helicopters, Pipetech, Ramco and M2 Subsea, as well as a wider marketing remit from existing client OPITO.

The company’s expertise in construction, property and community planning has been recognised with its appointment by Ambassador Group to handle PR, design and marketing for its new luxury housing development Park Quadrant Residences in Glasgow. The agency has also won a competitive pitch to roll out a PR and stakeholder campaign for a major new 600-unit residential development in Glasgow.

In the world of sport, the agency’s dedicated sports team won a competitive pitch to work with the PGA European Tour to promote the upcoming Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open golf tournament at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire.

BIG has been selected to handle PR for The Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2017, the flagship event of Transplant Sport, which is being held this summer in North Lanarkshire.

The food and drink team has also been selected to manage PR and social media for the launch of The Counter, the premium build-your-own-burger LA restaurant offering over a million possible combinations, which opened its first UK restaurant at The Quay, Glasgow in June.

Its digital division is also powering ahead having delivered an innovative new website for the Queensferry Crossing –, as well as design and digital strategy work for Central Taxis Edinburgh, Swagelining, Ambassador Homes and Glasgow Taxis.

BIG Partnership director Zoe Ogilvie said: “Our results-based approach is gaining significant traction with clients and it’s great to see our teams winning work across such a diverse range of sectors and disciplines.

“We are also making progress in the North of England from our Manchester office and we expect this to have a major impact on the agency’s growth in the year ahead.”

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BIG Partnership has appointed leading lawyer and businessman, Malcolm McPherson, to join its board as non-executive chair.

Mr McPherson is the long-standing senior partner at Edinburgh-based HBJ Gateley, one of the UK’s most successful legal firms, with 10 offices across the UK and an international reach.

He has been a non-executive director of many successful Scottish companies with a particular focus on entrepreneurially-led businesses and corporate affairs advice. Malcolm is also a former chairman of Hibernian Football Club.

BIG Partnership director Zoe Ogilvie said:

Malcolm is one of the country’s most experienced and widely respected business figures, and someone we’ve known for many years.

“His track record is impeccable, both at the helm of HBJ Gateley and in non-executive roles with an impressive string of successful high-growth businesses. He’ll bring a valuable and wise perspective to the existing board.

“Not only will Malcolm add strong corporate governance to our board, his experience in establishing HBJ Gateley as a major force across the UK and internationally also mirrors our own ambitions.”

Malcolm McPherson said: “I have watched BIG Partnership grow from small beginnings to its current position as one of the UK’s largest independent agencies.

“It’s a business I have long admired, with a strong and talented team. Given the obvious determination to continue that growth, it’s an exciting time to come on board and I’m greatly looking forward to playing a role in helping the agency achieve its ambitions.”

Now in its 16th year, BIG Partnership has invested heavily in its digital marketing capability and last month opened a new office in Manchester, its second in England and sixth overall.

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Today BIG Partnership announced that it has signed the Scottish Business Pledge, the Scottish Government’s new voluntary code for companies.

The Pledge asks companies to commit to the best of modern business practices and is designed to boost productivity, recognise fairness and increase diversity.

Made up of nine components, the Pledge means companies must pay the Living Wage to all direct employees over 18, deliver on at least two other elements and be committed to achieving the rest over time.

As well as paying the Living Wage, BIG Partnership also meets the criteria for prompt payment to suppliers and through a bar on the use of zero hours contracts.

BIG Partnership’s commitment to the Pledge comes after the recent announcement that it would pay all interns the voluntary living wage of £8.25 per hour.

Scottish-owned and funded, covering the whole of the country with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dunfermline, BIG joins other companies and organisations such as Microsoft, STV, Mackie’s of Scotland, The University of Edinburgh, GSK, Coca Cola, Scottish Water, SSE, Virgin Money and KPMG who have all signed the Pledge.

By making a Pledge, companies can demonstrate their commitment to shared values and to delivering them through their actions and future plans.

The nine components of the Scottish Business Pledge are:

  • Pay the living wage
  • Don’t use exploitative zero hours contracts
  • Support progressive workforce management
  • Investing in youth
  • Making progress on diversity and gender balance
  • Committing to an innovation programme
  • Pursuing international business opportunities
  • Playing an active role in the community
  • Committing to prompt payment

BIG Partnership founding director Neil Gibson said:

We want to be an employer of choice and play our part in building a successful and fair economy in Scotland. We firmly believe that committing to the Pledge will help us to make our business stronger in the years ahead.”

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Scottish Government is focused on stimulating growth, protecting and creating jobs and promoting Scotland as a great place to do business. I warmly welcome BIG Partnership signing the Scottish Business Pledge and joining a growing list of over 280 dynamic Scottish businesses who, as fellow signatories to the Pledge, are working with us to make Scotland both a more productive and fairer country.”

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Foodies and fans of the multi award-winning and globally-renowned Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant can now enjoy a visual treat in the shape of its new website, after hiring BIG Partnership to completely transform it.

The home of ‘probably’ the best fish and chips in the UK, and a favourite destination for good food and quality seafood lovers, wanted a website that was fun, informative and that could showcase the family firm’s passion for ensuring that its loyal customers have a fantastic, super tasty and memorable experience. has been completely upgraded with a fresh and contemporary look and a selection of interactive pages to explore.

In its first month, the revamped site has seen a boost in visitor numbers, thanks to careful search engine optimisation and improved social media interaction. Unique visitor numbers have increased, while viewers from international shores have also been taking a keen interest.

Allan “Blackbeard” Barr, admiral o’ digital at BIG Partnership said:

We haddock great time with the Anstruther team creating this fun, dynamic new website. The Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant is a celebrated Scottish institution, so it was great to lend our expertise to such a well-known family business with an international fanbase.

“Now that the Fish Bar can reach a much wider audience, its fans from all seven seas can keep up with its latest activity and stay in touch using social media. We hope the site will draw in more famous faces – we like to think Tom Hanks cod be surfing the Anstruther menu from his L.A. home right now!”

BIG Partnership was tasked with creating a website which would focus on the high quality, freshness and sustainability of the Anstruther Fish Bar’s food. The Fish Bar’s extensive and traceable menu attracts folk from coast to coast, so BIG created a new fisherman’s logo to modernise its brand identity. The new logo helps reflect the family values and success of the famous Fish Bar, without making it unrecognisable to its legions of fans.

The responsive site is now easily accessible on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, with an emphasis on encouraging social media interaction. The BIG scribblers also helped owners Alison and Robert tell their story, giving the site a friendly touch with some great banter – or should that be batter?!

Alison Smith, owner of the Anstruther Fish Bar, said: “We can’t thank the team at BIG Partnership enough. We’ve worked with them before on smaller projects, and were confident they could help deliver a fantastic new website for us.

Our previous website dated back to 2007 and was quite basic, and web design and functionality has moved on a lot since then.

“BIG came up trumps with some really cool ideas we hadn’t even thought of. They also designed a fresh brand identity for us that looks fantastic – we’ve used it on the main signage outside, as well as on our ever-popular gift vouchers.

“The BIG Partnership team certainly exceeded our (already very high) expectations. The end result is even better than I imagined and BIG has more then delivered in terms of meeting our creative brief and adding lots of new and exciting features. The site is also really easy for me to update which makes a huge difference.

“We’ve had lots of very positive feedback from our customers. We’ve seen more engagement with the website and lots of people signing up to become an Anstruther Fish Bar VIP, and our social media profiles have also gained a lot of new followers.”

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BIG Partnership’s Aberdeen office has secured new client wins worth over £350,000 in a strong first half to the year, despite challenges in the regional economy.

The office has also secured its first contract with a company in the Middle East. BIG Partnership will be delivering four weeks of intensive PR and communications training to senior executives of The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO).

Elevator, the social enterprise which supports enterprise and entrepreneurs in Aberdeen and Dundee, has awarded BIG a 12-month PR contract, while intelligent health solutions business, Iqarus, has engaged the agency to provide a wide range of services, including media relations, digital marketing, stakeholder engagement and events support.

To complete the recent hat-trick in Aberdeen, BIG has secured the contract to handle PR for SPE Offshore Europe 2017 in the run-up to, and during, the major oil and gas conference and exhibition.

A raft of small oil and gas businesses have also joined BIG Partnership’s growing client portfolio since the beginning of the year, even though a sustained low oil price is taking its toll on the North East. These include subsea production optimisation business, Enpro and remote inspection specialists, AISUS Offshore.

Zoe Ogilvie, BIG Partnership director and head of the Aberdeen office, said: “We’ve had a strong start to the year, putting us in a robust position despite the challenges. Our decision to invest in digital is paying dividends, as more oil and gas clients embrace new ways of communicating. Improving the measurement and evaluation of our services to demonstrate the return on investment has also helped put us at the forefront of the market.

We are particularly proud of winning the BAPCO work, as we were up against international agencies. We have been delivering services in the Middle East for our Aberdeen-based clients for several years, but this is the first time we have secured a contract with an indigenous business in the region.

“Times are tough in Aberdeen, but we remain quietly optimistic about our prospects for the year ahead. More than ever, energy companies need to tell their stories about the people and innovation that will get them through the next few years. It’s easy to panic when the oil price hits new lows, but our job is to provide sensible communications strategies which deliver results and add value in a cost-effective way.”

While maintaining its position in the Granite City, BIG has also been making progress in Dundee, where it secured several contracts including the Dundee Repertory Theatre.

The Aberdeen team has been supplemented by the arrivals of account executives Lindsay Ackers, who joined from Hill + Knowlton in London, and Caitlin Boag, from Lettuce Up North. Kirsty Kirkhope joined the office as digital account manager in 2015, as BIG targets offering an expanded digital marketing service to the oil and gas market.

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BIG Partnership has made further in-roads in the North West with the launch of a new Manchester office and the appointment of a head of operations.

The move follows a string of client wins worth in excess of £250k in the last year, some of which include Transport for London, dairy technology firm, Fabdec and Merseytravel.

Sarah Lawless has been appointed as head of North West operations. Sarah will be based at the agency’s new office and joins from her previous role as head of PR and social media at Manchester-based agency, One.

Sarah said:

Joining BIG Partnership at such a crucial point in its expansion is a unique and exciting opportunity. BIG is a well-known agency, with a great reputation in Scotland – one of my main focusses will be to build on this in England.

Sarah added: “I will work with the Board to implement a region-wide strategy and place a strong focus on business development. The company has already made a positive impact in the region, and I am thrilled to continue this success and shape our position in the Manchester market.”

Bryan Garvie, director at BIG Partnership, said: “The recent office opening and the appointment of Sarah highlight an important time for the business. We are realising our vision to expand further into the North West, and with a permanent Manchester headquarters now set in place, we can widen our service offering to one of the UK’s largest economies.

“Manchester is bursting with opportunity and both have a prominent presence in the professional, legal and financial service sectors – all areas in which BIG is particularly strong.

“Sarah will be a key player in our growth in England, and has an excellent track record of implementing and delivering powerful marketing strategies in a range of sectors.”

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International marine sports promoter, Powerboat P1, has chosen BIG Partnership to support marketing promotion for its Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea event this year.

P1’s national race series – P1 AquaX (jet-skis) and P1 SuperStock (powerboats) have experienced meteoric growth in both the USA and UK in recent years and the company has enlisted BIG Partnership to ensure its action-packed events make a splash in all the right places.

P1’s announcement of its race calendar earlier this year saw the inclusion of two new, major events in Scotland and Chicago. The Grand Prix of the Sea will come to Greenock this year, an event which was key to the appointment of BIG.

Brian Welsh, Account Director and Head of Sport at BIG Partnership, said:

P1 has done a great job in weaving itself into the social fabric of the community in Greenock on the west coast of Scotland and they have inspired the public and local businesses to get involved at all levels. The P1 opportunity is unique in that it genuinely provides value at a local, regional and international level. We are delighted to be involved with this growing event series.”

P1’s 20-event season started in Florida last month and moves to Scarborough for the P1 Yorkshire Grand Prix of the Sea on 14 May. Further race events in the United States (Florida, Indiana and Illinois), England, Scotland and Wales will be complemented by new events in Malaysia later in the year.

P1 CEO, James Durbin added: “We totally re-engineered our business five years ago to focus on creating value for our spectators, venues, racers and sponsors. Using data produced by Repucom, we have seen a quadrupling of broadcast value in the last three years to more than $35m and we are looking to these new agency partnerships to help us monetise this value.”

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Ahead of the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk on Sunday, BIG Partnership brought the Glasgow rugby community together to encourage fans to don their tartan. It was all to support Hearts & Balls, a rugby charity which supports players who suffer life changing injuries.

Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown and back-row James Eddie joined GHK players Daniel Campbell and Danny Hoffman for a photo to promote the event, all wearing tartan provided by Slanj, an official partner of the Kiltwalk. Big Partnership Senior Account Manager Gregor Hollerin, a long-standing member of GHK’s first XV, will join his teammates on the 26 mile walk to raise money for Hearts & Balls. He will take on the challenge alongside 12 colleagues from BIG’s Glasgow office, who will be walking for a number of different causes.

After the Glasgow event on Sunday, next up to take on the challenge is BIG Partnership’s Aberdeen office, as the Aberdeen Kiltwalk takes place on June 5. With the Edinburgh event not till September 18, the Edinburgh office has plenty of time to wear in their walking boots.

Kiltwalkers can still sign up for the Glasgow event to raise money for Scotland’s children. With walks of six, 13 and 26 miles there’s a challenge suitable for everyone.

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