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Eighth anniversary for Sheffield PR firm
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2021

Eighth anniversary for Sheffield PR firm

This week Agent Public Relations celebrated its eighth anniversary.

Eight years of representing, profile raising and managing the reputation of our clients.

Our hard work has meant we have retained most of our core clients for this length of time and they have become firm friends as well as attracting new companies to our services.

Last year we lost one of our dearest colleagues, friend and even mentor. Sheffield Forgemasters’ former non-executive director Peter Birtles passed away and with him went an extensive knowledge of engineering, communications and sheer decency.

Peter was synonymous with Sheffield Forgemasters, where he spent most of his working life tackling roles ranging from production director through to managing director, but he also really embraced and understood PR. He was critical in bringing PR into the firm and championing how it could be used for good.

He was a mine of information for press releases, a charming and charismatic interviewee, driven by communications' ideas and he also rounded up the troops when we needed other facts and figures for websites, brochures and features. He never sought the limelight for his own work, he just loved the company he worked for.

Any media organisation speaking to Peter always commented on how professional and knowledgeable Peter was. And they always wanted to interview him the next time that an opportunity presented itself.

He was a quiet and unassuming man, but you wouldn't have wanted to get on the wrong side of him with his quick wittedness, and firm words, once experienced by another local PR duo hoping to join forces on a project. They were given short shrift.

PR is now ingrained at Sheffield Forgemasters and we now head up the entire communications and marketing function at the world class firm, keeping it firmly in the global eye.

Peter was an integral part of the Sheffield Forgemasters’ story, committing his working life to the engineering and the steel industry, but he will also forever be an important part of our company's history.

Right up to, and after his retirement in 2016, and until his untimely death, we kept in touch with him and he was genuinely interested in our business and how it was going. And we always got a mince pie or a biscuit during a visit to his immaculate home.

Unfortunately we never got to say goodbye to him, as the pandemic meant we had to watch his funeral, attended only by a handful of people due to COVID restrictions, via a buffering, online connection. I hope one day we can get together with his family and friends and give him a proper send off.

Peter's beliefs and enthusiasm for proper PR were one of his driving forces and we loved that about him.