Hello and welcome to Pyper.
We’re a York-based PR and marketing consultancy that loves nothing more than going the extra mile to deliver headline generating results for our clients, and an excellent return on marketing investment.
Between us we have notched up more than 60 years’ managing communications for companies, big and small, at every stage of their life, including start-ups, rapid growth, consolidation, decline and liquidation.
We’ve helped increase ticket sales, raise profiles, launch products and services, win Heritage Lottery Funding, win awards, create viral social media campaigns, run training courses, staged events and festivals, designed websites and taken photographs that have graced front covers. And we still do!
And we write … a lot! Everything from marketing strategies and campaigns to brochures and websites, news releases and newsletters, and radio ads to podcasts.
Our clients trust us – and stay with us - because they know we care as much about their businesses as they do. We take the time to get to know and understand them, their products, their services, their customers, their needs and their goals. We’re careful with their money too. And they use us as and when they need to. Little and often, once in a blue moon, non-stop, in a crisis! It’s up to them.
Our media contacts trust us to deliver photos, news content and artwork relevant to their audiences and within deadlines, however tight – that’s why they hold space on the front page for us, respond to our media calls, work with our story ideas and come to us first with opportunities.
Most of all we like to keep things simple and enjoyable – that’s why we believe in getting things right first time, we don’t promise what we can’t deliver, we avoid jargon, we don’t stand on ceremony, our attention to detail is off the scale, we like to be creative and we always offer homemade cake and biscuits at meetings!
So whether you want a simple press release, a long-term marketing campaign or just need to give what you’re already doing a bit of boost, we can help.
We are three senior communications professionals who have known each other for years and like working together. We share the same values, standards and approach to work (not to mention sense of humour!) and our collective experience, which now stands at more than 60 years, means we can offer top-notch, across-the-board professional marketing advice at down to earth prices, and without a junior exec in sight. And because we’ve been around a long time we know the best people in the business to work with, including designers, photographers and print brokers, so no matter what your project is, we can pull together a team to manage it.
Jay Commins, managing director
Jay has over 20 years' experience working across a variety of sectors, including construction, food and leisure, but tourism is his specialist subject. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the tourism industry including English Heritage, York Minster, the JORVIK Viking Centre and Birmingham Museums Trust. He also has the unusual claim to fame of having promoted not one but two Apocalypses - Ragnarok for the JORVIK Viking Festival and the Apocalypse panels of the Great East Window in York Minster. And when it comes to April Fools, he’s proved he’s no fool, having made headlines round the world for two different clients (in 2010 and 2013) both of which he set up with BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and both of which were rated by many national newspapers as among the best April Fools of their respective years!
Samantha Orange, consultant
Equally happy escorting a party of Jorvik Vikings to lay siege to the Blue Peter studios, launching a five star hotel and spa in the south of France or overseeing the PR for a buy-out by one of the UK’s largest house builders, Sam has vast experience of managing a diverse range of consumer, business to business and trade PR campaigns that has brought her into contact with regional, national and international media over the last two decades.
Sam and Jay have worked together since 1995, either as co-workers at the same agency, or - at times when Sam has moved across to in-house positions - as client and consultant.
Nicola Bexon, associate consultant
Nicola has enjoyed a 15-year strategic adventure in the tourism, leisure, heritage and not-for-profit sectors, specialising in marketing and communications, commercial development, and audience and stakeholder engagement for organisations including the National Trust, English Heritage, JORVIK Group, local authorities, and most recently York Minster. She also works for sports management consultancy, Think:Act whose clients include Disability Sport Wales and Streetgames. On her epic quest, she’s worked with international media, and a complex mix stakeholders and funders. She’s also shone Mr Darcy’s riding boots, released crystal horses and giant stained-glass orbs, and re-discovered lost iron age hillforts and cold war bunkers, while watching the sun rise and set over two World Heritage Sites. As client or consultant, she has worked with Jay and Sam for over 10 years.
Piper Nerys Commins, canine advisor
Piper is the only member of the Pyper team who actually appears in the company logo, and even gave her name to the company, although she did insist on a different spelling so that post did not get confused! She spends most of her time offering encouragement to the team, and ensuring that they are kept healthy with regular visits into the garden. She doesn't have a desk in the office - just a cushion that she sleeps on. Did we mention that Piper is the company dog?
It means a lot to us that many of our clients have stayed with us for a long time – and nearly all our clients come to us by word of mouth.
We’ve worked with hotels, tourism bodies, visitor attractions, spas, beauty salons, product houses, house builders, construction companies, care homes, accountants and solicitors, schools, health clubs, engineering firms and food manufacturers, among others.
Here are a few of them, past and present:
The JORVIK Group of Attractions
The Coppergate Centre
Discover Yorkshire Coast
York Mediale 2018
Birmingham Museums Trust
Make It York
English Heritage in Yorkshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands
York Museums Trust
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Humber Museums Partnership
York Housing Association
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Ryedale Folk Museum
York Chocolate Festival
Sand In Your Eye
Garforth Golf Club
SCBI UK (Stem Cell Beauty Innovations)
West Yorkshire Probation Trust
The Joseph Rowntree Theatre
Chocolate, York's Sweet Story
The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh
The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
Ripon Cathedral Choir School
Playmates Play Centre
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Wedgwood Museum
Call the Pyper.
Our logo was inspired by the legend of the Pied Piper. Now, we enjoy a good story as much as anyone … but, more than that, we never cease to wonder how something as simple as words can be turned into something with the power to influence how people behave, think and act.
That’s something the Pied Piper understood brilliantly, and in the same way that he could encourage others to follow him by playing hypnotising music on his flute, today we want the words we write and the messages we publish to encourage people to take action, whether that involves buying a product or visiting a specific location.
The swirl in our logo cleverly incorporates lots of different people – men, women, children and even a man and his dog! – who represent the many different audiences we all want to engage with.
In case you’re wondering why we are called Pyper and not Piper … in the original English version of the story, attributed to Richard Rowland Verstegan in the book Restitution of Decayed Intelligence (1605), Pied Piper was spelled Pyed Pyper. It’s pure coincidence that Jay’s golden retriever also happens to be called Piper!
PS. Our logo was created by one of our favourite designers, Alan Rothera. Thanks Al!
And here's the official bit that we have to include on the website:
Pyper York Limited, Registered in England, number 08233276
Registered office: 15 Maplehurst Avenue, York YO31 8JA