Ruth Donaldson is the founder and MD of Heirloom London, a personalised jewellery buying service founded in 2014. Ruth has turned the art of adornment into a uniquely personalised experience for every client, where exceptional design, materials and service is paired with individual wants and needs. Ruth’s vision of bespoke luxury is a democratised one, accessible for a much wider audience. Heirloom is Ruth’s original idea created from years of consumer jewellery buying research. Among the diverse platforms of jewellery buying in London, there’s nothing quite like the service Ruth offers, which has made it extra important for her to make her brand seen and heard.
“I started the business in February 2014 and hired Panpathic Communications just over a year later. I had used PR services through the years at my previous job so I knew what a good PR company can do and how necessary it is to use the expertise on offer in order to get a business going.”
What were you hoping to achieve by hiring the service of a PR company?
“I wanted to raise the profile of my brand, give it more influence, and for me to have a platform to share expertise. So many of my customers can’t quite believe a service like mine actually exists, and my brand really needed more exposure to ensure people are aware that they have more opportunities when investing in special jewellery. And of course, given my offering is about a personalised service that gives the best possible purchase results I needed somebody to establish credibility with journalists for my brand.”
What sort of strategy and coverage have you had since you hired Panpathic Communications?
“Chantal basically started by saying that more people needed to know about me and was very proactive, she immediately started coaching me on story angles she thought would engage journalists and bloggers. Every month something was put forward and even in the first month when she warned me it was unlikely to achieve coverage so early, I was still covered in four publications. This has been the ongoing results. Chantal has such an intelligent approach, she doesn’t just send stuff out to people, she targets specific journalists with articles and information and gets results. She also gets you into the right kind of media. Had I known about her before, in my previous job, I’d definitely have used her. The highlight for me so far has been having a whole article about Heirloom London in The Mail Online because it has such a huge audience and that has translated into business. Bloggers pick those pieces up too so Panpathic’s work has definitely created more awareness of the brand.”
What benefits do you think start-up businesses would get from using PR?
“Value for money! Good PR can make you visible in a way that plain advertising can’t; a good PR will use every channel possible where you can communicate with potential clients. That said, there is a lot of ‘snakeoil’ approaches out there, or PR agencies who start off looking quite competitive until they start charging for ‘extras’ to achieve the coverage they promised. It is important to find a PR like Panpathic who is realistic about what can be achieved on your budget.
As for Heirloom London, I’ve noticed that the interest in the brand has gone up since starting with Chantal and the Panpathic team; more people have been contacting me. “
And what advice would you give someone who wants to hire PR?
“Do it when you can commit financially to it – you can’t treat PR like a one-day diet. It’s important to have someone who truly understands how PR and the media work, rather than trying to do it all yourself. And give it time, the right PR is not something that happens overnight but builds. You have to be very realistic about the outcome, the time it takes and the effort that needs to be invested in it. It requires building up a trusting relationship with journalists and not all PRs have that, although happily it is something that Chantal knows and has already established very well. If you are out looking for an affordable, empowering investment in relation to establishing or building credibility and ensuring coverage for your brand, then I think Panpathic Communications is the right choice to make.”
So do you recommend Panpathic’s service?
“Yes, absolutely! Chantal and her team are very professional, she’s honest, open and not ‘fluffy’ and as such you can see how the process is going to work. It was a bit hard for me to let go of being in control of everything but there is such a depth of expertise coming from Chantal and her team that I was able to relax and let them do what they do best. So my advice about hiring Chantal is: trust her! I’m really happy with her work and will continue using Panpathic Communications in the future.”
For more information about Heirloom London see: