2020 – The first three months
- The growth of Conscious Communications
- Uniting Cambridge in the action to fight inequality
- Charity of the Year programme
- Insights into the world of languages
Sophie Baillie, PR & Marketing Director:
“AstraZeneca’s Cambridge Charity of the Year 2020 partnership with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) kicked the year off with a bang! From Santa runs to Bake Offs, wear a onesie day to craft sales, donations of unwanted goods to participating in the Cambridge Half Marathon; the fundraising activity that has taken place across Q1 has meant that this year’s partnership has been the most successful to date. Our support of AstraZeneca’s Charity of the Year programme began in 2017 and, since then, we have been lucky to work with some wonderful charities in Cambridge that support a variety of needs in our local community.”
Alan Beeson, Senior Designer:
“During our 2020 brand update, we wanted to ensure that we reflected the growth of both Conscious Communications and its client base. Therefore, our company brand book (also referred to as brand guidelines) that new and existing employees can easily digest and use for brand consistency in all communications was extremely important and a key focus for the team.”
Blessing Raimi, Junior Content Designer:
“During the first few months of the year I have enjoyed producing moving graphics for the First Lego League event and Velocity Commerce. For Conscious Communications I designed social media content to showcase our case studies, blogs and to promote International Women’s Day, sharing quotes from women that inspire each of us.”
Ellie Tudor, PR & Marketing Executive:
“February marked the third birthday of Cambridge University Press’ blog, World of Better Learning. In celebration of the occasion, we helped with securing and conducting a series of interviews, exploring individual experiences and insights into the world of languages. Henry Lau, Dr Giles Yeo, Peggy Whitson and Ben Fogle are just some of the celebrities we secured interviews with, and it was fantastic to find out about their experiences and top tips for language learning. A personal favourite… 不要放弃, 加油！”
George Pickford, Junior PR & Marketing Executive:
“Starting a new job amidst a global pandemic has been one of the strangest experiences I’ve had for a while, and having just returned from a year travelling in Australia, that’s saying something! However, strange doesn’t mean anything negative; joining the team has been absolutely fantastic so far. Not only are the team extremely friendly and brilliant at what they do, but they have given me the chance to get stuck-in and involved from day one. I’ve learned an incredible amount from them in just a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to see which projects and challenges I can work on in the coming weeks and months. The other thing I’m looking forward to is actually meeting my colleagues in person! That sounds really odd, but due to social isolation, we are all working from home. Starting a job and not being in the office does present natural challenges; tips/advice/inductions/tutorials are all available to me through chat channels and video-calls (which has been infinitely helpful), but still not quite the same as good ol’ fashioned face to face interaction! Despite this, my confidence in the role is growing day by day, and everything I have worked on so far has been interesting. Conscious Communications is absolutely brilliant to work for, and the team has made me feel very welcome.”
Freddy Logan, Junior PR & Marketing Executive:
“My first month at Conscious Communications has been nothing short of an education. I was first drawn to the company because of its commitment to driving positive change and its emphasis on CSR. Having now spent a few weeks with the company, it was both refreshing and a relief to see that commitment put into action. My first week coincided with the launch of Cambridge 2030 – an organisation tasked with confronting the vast levels of inequality and poverty within the city of Cambridge. Following the development of this and other initiatives has reassured me that there is plenty of opportunity for positive change both locally and on a wider scale. A huge thank you should go to the whole of the Conscious Communications family who have made me feel most welcome; I’m looking forward to my next month!”
Joanna Colley, PR & Marketing Manager:
“Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a charity doing fantastic work for young people’s mental health – taking a holistic approach, the charity provides mental health training and workshops to schools, colleges, universities and workplaces, enabling teachers and employers to spot the signs when a young person might be struggling with their mental health. One of this year’s charity partners for the Cambridge Half Marathon, the Trust chose Conscious Communications to help promote the charity’s involvement with the race, and their team of 50 runners, while also raising awareness of the benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing. Through our #RunForWellbeing campaign, we secured a range of coverage from local radio and magazines, to university papers across the country. A personal highlight was achieving coverage in Runner’s World – PR goals.
“As a keen runner, also running the Half, this was a dream project to work on – it was so interesting to build case studies on the Trust’s runners, discussing their experiences of mental health issues, and how running has helped them in unexpected and powerful ways. On the day of the Half (which just about went ahead before the world shut down) the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust team was fantastic, and the 50 runners raised a whopping £32,000 for the charity.”
Alison Taylor, Managing Director:
“Cambridge is one of the UK’s greatest economic success stories. In 2018, it was ranked the 5th best paid place in the UK; yet one in 10 households earns less than both the national living wage (£8.21/hour) and the real living wage for Cambridge (£9.30/hour), which makes it also the most unequal city in the UK.
Through our work with schools in the least affluent communities of Cambridge, we see the daily struggles and challenges of families living in poverty and, like many others more fortunate than them, we acknowledge how unjust and unfair this is.
So, earlier this year, we were part of a group of private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations which came together to form Cambridge 2030 – a collaborative initiative with the sole purpose of uniting Cambridge in the action to fight inequality.
We launched Cambridge 2030 in February, just before the COVID-19 crisis hit – timing which was unfortunate, in that our plans for acquiring charity status and establishing our team were fast superseded by more urgent needs. However, the speed at which the various agencies have jumped into action and are now working together for public benefit demonstrates the power and potential of collective action, and, if nothing else good comes out of this pandemic, the experience will be grist to the Cambridge 2030 mill when the immediate dangers of coronavirus have passed.”
Ali White, PR & Marketing Director:
“We had a great start to the year with our favourite marketplace specialists, Velocity Commerce, as the team was once again named one of Europe’s fastest growing companies in the FT 1000 report, for the second year running. Never forgetting their humble origins though, we also spent the first part of the year working with the team to publicise a new sponsorship fund for underfunded sports teams. Open to offering support to everyone from footballers to fencers, the #BackedByVelocity initiative has got off to a flying start, it’s exciting to see where it will go next.”
Zoë Scorer, Director:
“We are extremely proud to be accredited Gold by Investors in People (IIP) – the UK’s leading accreditor for business improvement through people management in the UK. Our team is our greatest asset so we take pride in the processes and practices we have put in place to ensure Conscious Communications lives up to its name. From staff welfare to ethical account management and ethical business practices to accountability. Ours is a ‘conscious’ business and so we dedicate a lot of time and effort to ensure that our ethics and principles remain the foundation of how we operate.
Last month we had our 24-month IIP review, which might sound like a chore to some but in reality, it is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the great things we have put in place since our last review. Our assessor provided positive feedback – of course the current situation was a hot topic but she was pleased to hear how our whole team has adapted to their new working environments while still delivering quality work for our clients. Our virtual morning coffees and afternoon teas are the highlight of my day!
Following our review we were delighted to be informed that we continue to be accredited as an IIP organisation at the Gold award level, having continued to demonstrate the requirements of the IIP framework. We’re now looking forward to seeking re-accreditation in 2021!”