As often happens, we spent the first couple of weeks of 2016 firmly in planning mode, both for our clients and for ourselves. Meetings and strategy work were central to our daily schedule, although it has to be said that with the dark afternoons and miserable weather, it can be nice to think forward to the various events and campaigns you are likely to be organising through the spring and summer.
Thanks to a number of new contracts we won during February and March, our thoughts quickly turned to recruitment this year which is always exciting. We place a high emphasis on account management and how closely we work with our clients and in recent years, this has been reflected in our approach towards recruitment. We now place personality and a ‘can do’ attitude front and centre when adding new talent to the team.
Account Manager Natasha joined us in April and having come from Sanctuary Group, brought with her some valuable Social Housing knowledge and experience that has further added to our sector specialisms. She specialises in marketing communications, social media management and has added further weight to our digital communications offering. Natasha was quickly into the swing of things as she worked closely with Meridian Healthcare in the lead up to the launch of Augustus Court, their new £5m home in Garforth that was officially opened by Angela Rippon CBE.
Wherever possible, we try to support our clients in their charitable activities and in May, we were thrilled to be able to support Thrift Farm in Buckinghamshire by sponsoring one of their beautiful resident donkeys ‘Bella’. The proceeds of this sponsorship have contributed to the running of the farm and the opportunities it provides for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems through supported employment.
Whilst our PR department continued to be bustle through the summer months, the video team were inundated with work (summer is a popular time for filming for obvious reasons) and we travelled the length and breadth of the UK capturing footage for a number of new and existing national clients. This work involved Case Studies, Video Tours, Event Coverage, all of which received excellent feedback by clients and viewers alike.
Award submissions and Social Media were the popular topics of conversation in the office during September as we delivered a comprehensive programme of LinkedIn Training to the senior management team of a client that is keen to build relationships and develop new business through 2017. We also supported a range of clients in developing award submissions for upcoming regional, national and trade-specific awards, helping them to assess best categories, analyse entry criteria, gather case studies and refine wording to give them the best chance of success!
October and November are traditionally exhibition season, which means we tend to have a lot of our creative work on show, whether videos, exhibition stands or print design. I often find myself on the road a lot during this period, but I do find it incredibly satisfying to meet happy clients and hear / see the feedback our work receives from their own customers. The Koestler Awards and the Worcestershire LEP conference were just two events where our work was showcased, with both projects receiving universal praise.
This year I took on an extra voluntary project for the first time in November, which was judging the regional finals of the Great British Care Awards in London and Nottingham. I found this experience incredibly rewarding and felt privileged to meet so many inspiring people. I have been invited to judge at the national finals in 2017 and I can’t wait!
Further recruitment was on the agenda again in November, with new team members for both the PR and Video departments becoming an increasing priority. Thankfully this was a smooth process and we managed to appoint Sophie as PR Account Executive before Christmas (she arrived just in time for mince pies and bubbly!) Sophie has added crucial agency experience to our team and is highly skilled in developing social media campaigns, working with creative teams and measuring return on investment across a range of communication platforms.
December 2016 proved to be our busiest December yet on all fronts. Further video tours, case studies, promo videos and event filming were in the mix, along with print design and a major post-Christmas facebook ads campaign to prepare. Long may our busy period continue as we look forward to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017 for both our clients and GD PR & Media!