We are a ‘Force for Good’

We have been crowned a ‘Force for Good’ at the 2017 PR Week UK Awards for our community project, FXP, which has been designed to drive aspiration and opportunity in deprived communities.

Commenting on the FXP project, judges of the Award, all esteemed public relations industry professionals, said that it is: “A shining example of selfless work from a PR agency for the local community, addressing a real need in the broader community.”

Alison Taylor, Managing Director of Conscious Communications, said: “This accolade confirms our place as one of the UK’s top agencies, making a genuine and positive difference to the world around us.

“We believe it’s not just what we do that’s important; it’s how we do it.  We operate to a set of values that reflect our sense of social responsibility and drive everything from our pledge to go above and beyond for our clients, to our leadership in creating social change; from our commitment to developing ourselves professionally and personally, to our voluntary work.

“Our focus on helping clients in the education and technology sectors is no accident. Those sectors are characterised by a desire to help people achieve their potential, live more rewarding lives, tackle inequalities and resolve problems. We identify with their aspirations. As a business, we can’t claim to have created life-changing innovations, but we provide vital communications support for the work of our clients, which in turn changes the lives of children, teachers, families.”

One away from double figures award nominations for Conscious Communications!

As the country celebrated National Coding Week, we were shortlisted for our ninth award this year, this time for our work on FXP Festival – we are through to the final six in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for the PRCA National Awards. You might be asking yourself how National Coding Week is relevant to us being shortlisted, but bear with us.

FXP Festival is a free computer-game festival linked to the National Curriculum. Conscious Communications liaises with game development companies and industry leaders to raise funds so that students can participate in FXP without charge, gaining valuable experience and knowledge; as well as the chance to win some pretty cool prizes! The festival incorporates a concept and development competition together with an industry showcase for school and college students, Years 8 to 13, from across Cambridgeshire. Students are required to design a game concept and some teams then go on to bring their concept to life by coding a playable game.

The annual PRCA National Awards celebrate the best in PR and communications and to be shortlisted for another prestigious award is an achievement that reflects our team’s hard work and dedication.

Being shortlisted for the Corporate Social Responsibility award is extra rewarding for the team. Giving back to the local community is a passion of ours, and FXP Festival gives us the opportunity to use our expertise in education and our passion for technology to enthuse local students, build career aspirations and create exciting career pathways into one of our highest growth business sectors, where there are serious creative and technical skills gaps.

The PRCA awards ceremony will be held in London on Tuesday 7 November, so keep your fingers crossed for us and watch this space – let’s hope we can reach the magic 10 for awards that we’ve been shortlisted for before the end of the year!

Charitable student initiative earns Conscious Communications two award nominations

We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for our seventh and eighth awards of 2017 based on our charitable initiative, FXP Festival!

Last year we approached Jagex, Rizing Games at Cambridge Regional College, North Cambridge Academy, Cambridge University Press and Anglia Ruskin University to help us develop our exciting new initiative… We also elicited support from HackLab, YoYo Games, ARM and Unity, all of which could see the potential societal benefit of the project: a gaming competition for local schools and colleges to encourage participation in Computer Science.

Alison Taylor, Co-founder of FXP Festival and Managing Director of Conscious Communications, said: “FXP was conceived when we became aware that every local authority in Cambridgeshire falls below the national average for the education and employment prospects of disadvantaged children. We saw an opportunity to open young people’s eyes – in particular girls – to the realistic possibility of a career in digital arts, and to make the crucial connection between that career and their Computer Science lessons at school.”

And so, in June 2016, our FXP Festival was born. Last year, we had 18 schools from across Cambridgeshire participate in the 3-day festival, in which they participated in a games jam to create their own games under the theme of ‘twins.’ The 2017 festival took place at Cambridge Regional College, with nearly 100 pupils participating, 12 of which were girls, with one all girl team, participating in the ‘super’ themed games jam challenge.

We have been shortlisted for two very exciting awards in recognition of the initiative! At the PR Week Awards we’re up for the Force for Good category, and at the Investors in People (IIP) Awards for the Social Responsibility award.

The PR Week Awards celebrates its 30th birthday this year and the award ceremony will be taking place in October. The IIP Awards, held in November, is led by a team of professionals who have carefully chosen each entry for the various categories!

Supporting our community is something that’s close to each and every team member’s heart at Conscious Communications, so being nominated for these awards means a lot to us all.

We have our fingers crossed for both – watch this space!

Red Balloon takes to the air as our Charity of the Year

Up and away we go as we get to work supporting our 2017/2018 Charity of the Year – education charity, Red Balloon. We will be working alongside the charity over the next year to offer the team pro-bono public relations, marketing and design support, in a bid to raise the profile of the life-changing work the charity undertakes.

The charity supports young people who self-exclude from school, due to past experiences such as being subjected to bullying or other traumas. Originally set up in 1996, the charity opened its first centre in Cambridge. Now in its 21st year, the charity hosts five centres in Cambridge, Norwich, Harrow, and Reading. Red Balloon has also set up an online ‘centre’ – Red Balloon of the Air – in order to expand the charity’s provision to meet a growing need, combining online teaching and therapy with in person mentoring to achieve the same results as are seen in the physical Red Balloon centres.

We have been truly inspired by the work of the Red Balloon team. Our hope is that our support will help the charity to grow, and offer even more young people – who are not only missing out on their right to an education but also on important opportunities to socialise and share experiences of growing up alongside their peers – a chance to re-engage and cherish their school-days.

We are very much looking forward to working alongside the charity over the next year, and hope to make a real difference with local impact.

Cementing our global outlook

We have joined thenetworkone, an international network of independent best-in-class agencies, to expand our international offering and enhance the support provided to existing global clients.

Thenetworkone has a membership of over 1,000 independent advertising, communications, public relations, media, creative and digital agencies in 109 countries. The network puts us in a strategic alliance with other agencies around the world to provide global solutions for clients, and will allow us to better execute projects on an international scale, and add in-country value to our clients with a global reach.

Joining thenetworkone gives us a unique offering to our competitors – we now have access to an enhanced network of experienced specialists, in local contexts, which can be built around our specific needs. Alison, our Managing Director, said: “Our agency composition, client base and leadership styles are compatible with those in the network, which means we can move forward together seamlessly on behalf of our clients.”


Conscious Communications shortlisted for fifth award of the year

We have been nominated for Small Consultancy of the Year for the South East and East Anglia region in the PRCA Dare Awards 2017!

This nomination marks our fifth shortlisting of the year, having previously also been nominated for awards at the Recommended Agency Awards, two CIPR Excellence Awards, and the Cambridge SME Awards – in which we were crowned Community Business of the Year!

The PRCA Dare Awards, which have been revamped for 2017, seek to celebrate PR professionals from across the country and are open to all companies involved in the industry. The awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and PR ‘insiders’ from their respective regions, with both in-house and agency-based communications professionals taking a seat on the panel.

The Small Consultancy of the Year shortlist is based on agency innovation, implementation of creative ideas, and staff and client retention and acquisition and we are extremely proud to have made the shortlist.

We will be heading to London to attend the awards on Wednesday 19 July – fingers crossed we will be heading back to Cambridge with another award!

Conscious Communications set to complete almost 1,000 hours of charity work

We are proud to announce that we are on track to complete almost 1,000 hours of charity work over the coming year for a number of local and national charitable organisations.

Every year each team member is gifted two paid days to spend working with a charity of their choice. The objective of our team’s volunteer days is to share our public relations and marketing skills and expertise with charities that may not otherwise have the resources to deliver effective communications. Charities that have benefitted from our team’s work to date include the PCA Benevolent Fund, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Godmanchester Foodbank, Carers’ Trust Cambridgeshire, Contact the Elderly and Age UK Cambridgeshire.

We have also announced local Cambridgeshire charity, Blue Smile, as our 2017 charity of the year. Blue Smile is a children’s charity which improves the mental well-being and prospects of local children through arts-based therapies.

Alison Taylor, Managing Director, said: “The whole team firmly believes in the importance of everyone playing their part in supporting our community. Our charitable contribution is important and rewarding. We embrace the spirit of the old adage ‘be the change you want to see’ and hope that others will follow suit.”

We are currently working alongside the team at Blue Smile to support them in the design and production of marketing collateral, including case studies, fundraising presentations to pitch to corporate organisations and presentations for new school partners. We will also support the charity’s planning and management of fundraising events in the long term and provide strategic advice for its social media and website presence.

Alison said: “Supporting local charities like Blue Smile means that we can make a difference for the community on our doorstep, something that our whole team feels very passionate about. The care and support that Blue Smile provides for children in Cambridgeshire is vital, and its values match our own.”

Good things come in threes: award success for Conscious Communications!

Last week we won the Community Business of the Year Award at the Cambridgeshire SME Awards 2017. The awards, which focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), are open to all sole traders and businesses in the region with less than 250 employees, and recognise SMEs as responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors. This particular award recognises the value of giving something back to the community, a principle which falls directly in line with our ethics here at Conscious Communications.

This award follows our recognition as shortlisted finalists at both the Recommended Agency Register (RAR) Awards and more recently for two CIPR Excellence Awards. The prestigious CIPR Excellence Awards are known for being the most rigorously judged awards in the public relations industry and are a celebration of creativity, achievement and excellent results for clients. The first category we are shortlisted for is Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign for the FXP initiative, our very own gaming festival which works to give young people an exciting hands-on game development experience and insight into what careers in the creative digital industry offer. The second award we have been shortlisted for is Education Communications for our work on Brains Eden, the UK’s largest student games festival. Working closely with Anglia Ruskin University, we implemented proactive sponsorship acquisition, a media relations programme, and content marketing and social media campaigns to increase sponsorship, participation and media coverage of the event.

We  are very much looking forward to both the RAR Awards ceremony on Wednesday 26 April and the CIPR Excellence Awards on Tuesday 6 June – keep your fingers crossed for us!

Conscious Communications makes its mark with Non-Executive appointment

This week we announced the appointment of communications stalwart, Mark Squires as Non-Executive Director. Mark held senior roles in marketing and communications at Hutchison, Orange, Nokia and Microsoft, including Global Director of Social Media. At the time of the Nokia’s acquisition by Microsoft he held the position of Communications Director for Western Europe.

Mark has been involved in education for many years as both a school Governor and Trustee of the CMAT Academy Group. Mark will support the company’s growth and development by using his wide experience to contribute to the strategic direction of the company.  Mark said: “The combination of insightful PR and an ambition for creativity at Conscious Communications is creating a terrific advantage for their clients. In this ever-changing market, I believe that Conscious Communications has the key ingredients for the future – fresh ideas and a value proposition built for the digital era. Working with this talented team is a wonderful opportunity and I will be doing all I can to see their elevation as a best-in-class agency.”

Recognising the team’s impact in the PR and marketing industry,the agency was recently announced as a finalist in the PR category (under 40 staff) for the Recommended Agency Register Awards 2017. The awards are one of a kind in the industry, with finalists being shortlisted based on outstanding client reviews and ratings on recommendedagencies.com. Each year the Register downloads the ratings from its database and celebrates the agencies with the highest ratings through the Awards.

Alison Taylor, Managing Director, Conscious Communications said: “It is a very exciting time for Conscious Communications with new appointments, client wins and growth of our in-house design team. Mark’s knowledge will be invaluable to the team, and we are looking forward to working together and seeing where his advice and experience will help take the business.”

We’re PR finalists for the RAR Awards!

We are extremely proud to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist for the public relations category (under 40 staff) in the Recommended Agency Register (RAR) Awards 2017.

The awards are one of a kind in the industry, with no entries to submit or no papers to write. Finalists are shortlisted based on outstanding client reviews and ratings on recommendedagencies.com. Each year the Register downloads the ratings from its database and recognises the agencies with the highest ratings through the Awards.

The latest achievement follows our Recommended Agency accreditation in January, thanks to our clients who provided glowing reviews of the team’s public relations and marketing services. The team has been recommended for seven different services including: media relations; corporate PR; consumer PR; content strategy and creation; crisis management PR; events management and social media content. View our listing here.

The RAR Awards takes place on Wednesday 26 April – keep your fingers crossed for us!

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