The Challenge

Astus is the UK's leading media barter specialist; a process that allows advertisers and media owners to trade without having to pay 100% in cash for the media/products/services they want. Barter is a process as old as human trade, but in the modern world it can appear complex and opaque.

Astus has played an important role in transforming media barter into a mainstream business practice by introducing an ethical, delivery-first business model. The UK media barter market is worth £350m and is growing fast.

Astus required a business PR strategy that would enhance its leadership position; explain the mechanics of barter and the benefits to a wide range of businesses.

The Solution

Our PR strategy focused on two themes: How Astus reinvented the media barter sector and the company's entrepreneurial story. Our thought leadership plan first developed a series of "how to" business advice articles fronted by CEO Frances Dickens in the business media and national press.

Once Frances' business credentials were firmly established, we created a series of authoritative points of view, reflecting her opinions as a female business leader on key business issues, ranging from women on boards and apprenticeships, to what businesses need from government and the EU.

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The Results

Simpatico's business PR strategy for Astus has delivered consistent exposure in the nationals and key business media, for example we secured a regular bi-monthly slot for Astus in Real Business magazine providing advice on aspects of running and launching a business.

We had particular success promoting Frances' views on women in business/on boards. Topical opinion pieces included an article in The Guardian's Women in Leadership section and regular blogs in Huffington Post and London Loves Business. After reading her views on boardroom diversity, the influential Institute for Government invited Frances to take part in a high profile Women Leaders' debate against boardroom quotas.

Frances was also one of just 20 women shortlisted as a finalist in the high profile NatWest Everywoman Awards. As a result of this achievement we secured coverage in We are the City, Working Mums magazine, Boardroommums.com and Women's Business Council as well as a front cover interview in Elite Business.

Building on Frances' female business leader status, we successfully pitched her as the business guest on The Apprentice You're Fired alongside Lord Sugar's aide Claude Littner. Hosted by comedian Jack Dee, the show aired on 21 October 2015 at 10.00pm and was watched by 1.72m (10.1% share).

Coverage for Astus includes:

Management Today

Director

City AM

Elite Business

Real Business

The Telegraph

The Guardian

Huffington Post

Astus
Astus
BBC 2

Astus CEO Frances Dickens appeared on The Apprentice You're Fired alongside Lord Sugar's aide Claude Littner. Hosted by comedian Jack Dee, the show aired on 21 October 2015 at 10.00pm and was watched by 1.72m (10.1% share).

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