Planet Vending By Yvonne Reynolds-Young – Managing Director and Publisher
It was a particularly miserable day and I had just got back from a long and stressful shift as Director of Sales at the fantastic Preston Marriott Hotel. I’d been there for about 5 months and I was realising that life in a four star hotel was fun, but bloody hard work, and definitely a job for a single and younger person who had endless energy and enthusiasm. The team was great, but I was really too late to the hospitality industry to get to grips with it. My head hurt every day!
Ian and I sat over dinner that night and he told me that I should think about quitting and joining him in his niche PR company, reynoldscopy. At that time I couldn’t think how a ‘longish in the tooth’ and corporate sales slave could possibly assist him but he persuaded me that my skills would stand me in good stead and that all would be well… so quit I did. Talk about jumping without a parachute…that was two of us without a ‘proper job’!
That was in October, 11 years ago. We worked on building a niche client base working on communication strategies within the vending sector and creating great content and after a year we were ready for the next step. It may seem incredible now, but we had seen that digital content distribution was the way forward; print magazines were struggling with relevance and the immediacy that online news and articles (blogs) gave to the new generation of workers and readers. We needed a way to push our clients’ news out to this new generation and none of the industry publications was ready to grasp our innovative idea of a digital version of their magazines, very much story led, when we approached them.
So, we did it ourselves.
We’d met Ian Maguire, our co-director, that year and we tasked him with building the Planet Vending website. We spent some months prior to the launch building up to 100 articles and stories on the site. We launched on 8/10/12. Next, we set about talking to anyone and everyone about our objectives. We spoke about our values and how we wanted to provide a site that people would enjoy visiting, and where they could read well-written, entertaining and, above all, informative content. We offered to publish all news content for Vending Operators free of charge. Our plan was that if we had a readership of key influencers within vending, and also vending specifiers, the suppliers to the industry would want to amplify their messages and make a contribution for the privilege. Naturally, we would also offer anyone our copywriting and specialist PR services too. Very soon we were sent press releases for edit, we were given briefs for articles, and our PR client base grew. Readers liked our style and many top brands asked us to write their news stories in our house style. Everything we were commissioned to write is sent back for approval before publishing and so our reputation for great writing, and integrity, grew. We kept reynoldscopy and Planet Vending running alongside each other until 2017 when we realised that there was a very fine differential between the two brands. So, we merged the businesses and became Planet Vending, the publication and the niche PR and copywriting specialists.
Fast forward to where we are now in 2022, ten years old. Planet Vending has over 2,000 searchable articles online and we’ve learnt a lot by creating a go-to site, where the major brands are keen to be seen. Every day we are approached by marketing teams, by PR agencies and by brand managers looking to work with us. We love it and we are delighted. Nothing makes us happier than delivering some of our magic.
Many of you will know that we relocated our home and the management of the business to Spain in 2019. It was a case of ‘now or never’ as we had no idea what would happen following Brexit. We had clients all across the Globe with whom we were video conferencing successfully, so why did we need to be stuck in the rain and cold all winter? Just as well we jumped, as nine months later the pandemic hit and the world closed down. In some respects the effects of COVID on Planet Vending were very positive, businesses needed to keep talking to their clients so we became the conduit for brands, as well as operators. We supported all of our clients in their lock down endeavours including being involved in fantastic projects to support the key workers. It was an enlightening time and we were so pleased to be in the position to help. In addition, before moving, we had been slightly concerned about being able to keep in touch with clients on video rather than flying over every time we needed a face to face meeting. Now of course, it is the norm to have review meetings on Zoom or Meetings, so when we come over for events such as Vendex it is more relaxed and a real treat.
Ian, as a writer and influencer within the industry, is growing in stature. He has appeared on BBC radio, he is asked to write about trends in Vending and Automated Retail for third party journals such as TUCO and the FMJ. We have relationships with publishing houses who happily take our content, often unabridged, so we are in a good place. A new service of ours is providing translations and edits into native English. Our complete offering is unique, and I have to say it has been a blast creating it! And yes, I have been able to use my skills as a corporate sales slave to do so…
Happy Tenth Anniversary to us and I’ll see you Leeds in November…
Meanwhile, If you need some help to communicate effectively with our wonderful industry, just drop me a line…
Visit Planet Vending HERE