"Id like to wish Keith the best of luck in all his export endeavours, and we very much look forward to helping Highlights PR continue to grow."
Victoria Gemmill DIT Northern Powerhouse
A north east public relations consultant has started building bridges to help him span the Atlantic Ocean to achieve a career ambition to work with businesses in the USA.
Keith Newman, (57) from Morpeth runs Highlights PR from his floating office in Newcastle. Formed 15 years ago, his firm helps businesses, charities and the entertainment world gain media coverage as well as providing advice and support for crisis management and media training.
Keith has recently helped Kevin Brewerton, a martial arts world champion, actor, author and artist living in Los Angeles who grew up in Jesmond Dene to promote his latest book. The experience of working transatlantic via Zoom has ignited a lifelong career ambition for Keith.
“The experience of working with a client in LA was great, and I had to consider a number of issues including time zones, culture, contacts for distributing his press release and even the way my work was written.”
In 1999, Keith travelled to New York and San Francisco to study work experience programmes with a Newcastle education and council delegation and on his return implemented the UK’s first paid work experience for students with his colleagues in the gas industry.
“From that moment I knew that I wanted to develop clients in the USA but it’s only now that I’ve the confidence, experience and support to make my ambition a step closer to reality.”
Indeed, Keith has received help from a number of sources. One of his clients, Jason Knights from Blue Kangaroo Design, a small, Gateshead based design agency works with household brands and travels all over the world to discuss major contracts and commissions. His expertise and knowledge led Keith to a free programme of advice workshops held over a number of weeks from the Department for International Trade (DiT) looking at exporting goods and services.
“The DIT Export Academy course has given me an awareness of what I need to do to find new clients in the USA, how to conduct market research, ways to avoid common pitfalls and the barriers and opportunities open to businesses exporting their services. I, like a lot of people thought that exporting was just for big firms sending goods abroad but there is a massive potential for firms like mine to sell their expertise abroad,” said Keith.
Victoria Gemmill, DIT Northern Powerhouse Regional Team and Head of North East Region, said: “It is fantastic that the DIT was able to provide such a positive experience to Keith when he faced a steep learning curve to understand the intricacies of exporting and how to position his business to attract new clients in his target market.
“Whatever a business does, wherever it wants to sell and whoever it wants to make contact with, the DIT Export Academy is the perfect starting point to sell your products or services overseas with confidence, and, as with Keith, we can provide immediate support through the Academy programme to address specific issues. I’d like to wish Keith the best of luck in all his export endeavours, and we very much look forward to helping Highlights PR continue to grow.”
Keith is looking to sell media training, crisis management and general press releases to ex pats in Los Angeles who need support to promote themselves back in the UK as Kevin Brewerton did.
Kevin was born in Newcastle and spent his youth living and growing up in Jesmond Dene where his grandfather worked as the park keeper. At just 17, he moved to London before his kick boxing career took him to the USA where he immediately felt at home and embraced the people and culture. He has since had a career in acting with roles in major movies including Hackers and The Fifth Element and today, he regularly features in movies both as an actor and director. Kevin’s is also an established abstract expressionist artist and writer.
“Working with Keith was so easy. He gave great advice and his work about me appeared all over the world on the internet. I was even interviewed on the BBC thanks to his local knowledge,” said Kevin.
Photo: Keith Newman at Jesmond Dene – the scene of his first USA export (Tom Stewart photo)
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