This week I was lucky enough to catch up with Dorset based PR Guru Jackie Phillipson, Founder of ROUTEpr. 


I’ve seen some of your activities and I’ve been lucky enough to attend some events, so I’ve seen you’ve been busy this year – tell us what you have been up so far in 2018?

 We are delighted that the first half of the year has kept us busy and out of trouble, that being said we can always find time for customers! We kick started the year with BAPTAs – the local tourism awards across the BH postcodes, following a rebrand of the awards, it was a great success and brilliant to see so many entrants and great winners gain recognition for their hard work. The ROUTEpr and events put in a lot of hard work to make the awards such a success, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. We had over 550 guests at the BAPTA gala awards ball at the Lighthouse back in March, jam packed with tourism, leisure and business professionals, it’s THE place to be and the best place to network within the industry.

We’ve also been running smaller events and launches as well – we thrive on the variety.

We’ve also been organising and curating the Taste of the South festival which returns for 2018 following the inaugural success of the first event last May. The event takes places at Chapel Gate which is located by Bournemouth Airport, on 21st and 22nd July and is set to be bigger and better than last year! TOTS is a celebration of the South and showcases local food, drink, artisan producers, award-winning chefs, with lot’s going on for all the family to enjoy such as live music, children’s activities and entertainment.

As well as this we are working closely with some great PR clients, raising their profile and gaining press coverage. It’s all going on here!

I can’t resist asking you about your appearance with Richard on Couples Come Dine With Me. How did you rate your chances of winning going into it?

In all honesty we really didn’t expect to win, most especially based on our culinary skills – we did it for the fun and to show our customers first-hand how TV can work to advantage! It was one of my best experiences! The programme is often repeated and we regularly get asked about our appearance.  Would we do it again – YES 100% if the timing was right.

 Why did you take part?

We’ve often been asked to appear on TV but this was a first for us as a couple. I’m often invited to appear as a specialist on a variety of documentaries and programmes, interviewed about PR and branding. I enjoy the challenge and it’s good for the profile but CCDWM was something unique, we work together, and have different strengths we are like Ying and Yang – so it was good to show that on a lifestyle programme, one we both adore, it showed Richard is the analytical one who measures and follows a recipe and I’m the ‘creative – let’s try it this way’ or oh dear that’s a mistake, but we can sort that out!’.

Do you have any advice for couples wanting to apply for the show?

Really think about how you might come across and how you take yourself – are you too serious or are you highly competitive for example, as that is how you will probably be portrayed on TV. If you are adventurous and want to do something new then go for it. Unlike in other situations you don’t get to control the edit or how you are portrayed so bear that in mind!

You’ve worked with many celebrities, who do you remember fondly?

 There’s so many and in most cases they are all lovely people with a job to do and they are respectful! Beverly Knight is such a beautiful person, inside and out, Robin Gibb and his lovely wife Dwina; they were so kind to us both and always so welcoming, we often shared a cuppa and long chat in their homes. Mike Tyson couldn’t have been further away from his boxing image. We also worked with Take That on their event when they were reforming and they were all lovely and it was great to work with them again as I’d met and worked with the boys earlier on in their career and I’d had a curry with Gary when he was performing solo.

If you could sit down with anyone for a cuppa, who would it be?

The legendary Sir Elton John would be my absolute dream! He is an awesome performer, I love the way he engages with his audience and always delivers. I want get to know the real Elton as these days he is such a family man and is so happy, he must have some great stories to tell too.

Or if not, to have a cuppa with my dad or with a special friend of mine called Belinda –  I miss them both but I am lucky to have their love in my life.

What do you enjoy the most about being based on the South Coast?

 It’s one of the best places to be and in today’s world we can be sitting in our beautiful country setting and still be very connected and communicating with anywhere in the world!

People connect with people and if you are innovative and communicate clearly and concisely you can do this either face to face or over skype or facetime.

I love being able to hop out on a boat and enjoy the coastline whilst sipping on a gin and tonic or enjoying a glass of good wine!

What exciting plans do you have coming up for ROUTEpr and events?

 Every day is exciting and rarely is a day the same! We’re working on launches, growth, re-brands and relocations, as well as award entries and events amongst other things.

 Change is happening all around us and we’re here to help people manage that change, in fact we’re helping them to embrace it!  I am always here to speak to anyone who needs advice, I book 121 appointments on the phone to help businesses and new businesses. It’s important for anyone opening a business, starting out, or wanting to increase and grow their business that they think of PR as an important part of their business, we can often save them a lot of time, trouble and money.

Jackie thank you so much for your time, if anyone would like to know more about Taste of the South or ROUTEpr you can follow these links here; and our social media:,,

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