Stand Agency brought in the new year with a bang! Read on to find out how...
Stand Agency has a spring in its step

February 2014

In This Issue

  • Our success so far...
  • PR Moments Golden Hedgehogs Award

  • Great client work
  • Our new teammates

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Spring in our step

Despite our good intentions the last issue of STANDbites was before Christmas and here we are saying hello to Spring!!
On the one hand this creates the challenge of cramming all our good news into my intro, but on the other hand means we have lots to share about client wins, new staff and office moves. 
So here we go with client wins...
December saw us retain our Shawbrook Bank account as part of a five-way pitch. We feel Stand has grown up with our first client, so this win was a very special one. Our expertise in the SME lending market certainly helped secure our next win with the NACFB – the membership body for commercial finance brokers. Our job will be to highlight the role brokers play in unlocking finance from more than 100 lenders and we have a big launch of their service planned for March. Our first win of 2014 was with leading foreign exchange provider Moneycorp. We will be building the national profile of the company, which has grown so significantly in both the retail and international payments market that its staff numbers have increased from 600 to 950 in just a year. 
These wins, along with new projects and account extensions mean we have been busy searching for exceptional people to join the Stand team. Two of our new starters are featured in this month’s STANDbites and another two will appear in the next issue!
Finally, at the end of March we will be moving to a new office. Too busy to pack our belongings and properly move, we have convinced our landlords to knock down a wall between two offices to accommodate our growing team. Never say Stand Agency can’t move mountains… or in this case, bricks and mortar!

By Laura Oliphant

PR Moment's Golden Hedgehog Awards

As Oscars fever sweeps the nation, we are delighted to have been shortlisted for the PR industry’s own answer to the Academy Awards – PR Moment’s Golden Hedgehog Awards. Our nomination for Small Agency of the Year will see us gliding down the red carpet at the Troxy in east London, for a night with the fellow movers and shakers of the PR industry. Not quite Hollywood we know, but if our evening at the 2013 PRCA Awards is anything to go by, the Stand Agency team will certainly be giving those A-listers a run for their money as far as dance floor stamina goes...  

By Francesca Rivett-Carnac

Integrating Care roundtable 

We think of issues-based PR as something of a specialty for us here at Stand Agency. Given the wealth of public sector comms experience our fabulous founders bring to the table, this is not a groundless claim!
We were therefore thrilled to help our clients Integrating Care organise a roundtable with the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association recently, to confront the tricky issue of making person-centred care a reality.
The joining up of health and social services to co-ordinate care around the person who needs it has been on the national agenda for some time now, and makes perfect sense in theory. Making it work in practice is a rather more complicated story. Nevertheless attendees, including Sir John Oldham, Michael O’Higgins and several local authority leaders, came together to tackle the issue head-on.
Listening to the speakers wrestle with the related problems – such as overcoming tribal behaviours, and learning to view service users as rounded ‘citizens’ not ‘patients’ – I was struck both by the enormity of the challenge, and the passion of those engaging with it. For my part, it was fantastic to be able to contribute, albeit peripherally, in getting the message of integration out there.

By Molly Stein Davies

Brit Awards 2014

The Brit Awards this month proved a phenomenal success in the twitter-sphere: it has become the most tweeted about show ever recorded in the UK, with around 78,000 tweets per minute and a staggering 4.17 million tweets in total.

But, before we go any further we must address the elephant in the room, so to speak: Mastercard. Its PR agency came under fire before the ceremony after journalists were apparently asked to tweet in return for their seats, with the PRs drafting example tweets for the journalists.

However, the record number of viewers live-tweeting about the Brit Awards this month showed that the online conversation became more interested in what was happening on the television screen. Interestingly, according to SocialBro, only 1.5 per cent of tweets using the #pricelesssurprises hashtag were sent by journalists, editors and reporters. The record number of tweets from television viewers has become the real story here.

Some of the top tweets included Cadbury’s providing a snappy reference to Pharrell Williams’ Vivian Westwood hat, Brian the Robot from starting a rap battle with MC Romeo (formerly of So Solid Crew fame) and unsurprisingly all references to One Direction.

The Twitter conversation focused on the live performances and award winners, with Harry Style’s Twitter fandom proving helpful as he reiterated the social vote aspect of the ceremony, which was newly introduced this year. All in all, some really positive social media noise for the Brits. With recent musings questioning Twitter’s capacity to grow, it is interesting to see the sheer number of people Twitter can draw in to talk about a live event.

By Fiona Gildea

PRCA Masterclass

This month we were invited to talk at a PRCA masterclass about working with charity clients, specifically our work with Contact the Elderly.

Our MD Laura spoke about some the challenges and rewards of working with charities, and how we used our experience to support Contact the Elderly as it heads towards its golden jubilee in 2015. We took the group through our approach, some of the creative ideas and the results we have achieved so far.
Talking about a current issue – loneliness and isolation in older people – with a group of engaged PR folks was a great experience. Our work with Contact the Elderly has some very clear asks – volunteer to drive, volunteer to host – refer an older guest or donate money, and hopefully we convinced an attendee or two to sign up to volunteer themselves.
Also sharing their experience about charity campaigns was Champollion, who used a public affairs focus to help their client Scope achieve its goals.
The PRCA masterclass is a great way to meet some of the next generation of PR professionals and they had no shortage of questions for us!

By Nikki Peters

Welcome, welcome!

Since January we have welcomed two new teammates to the fold. We are very pleased to have them and I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more from them soon!

Nyree Ambarchian

Nyree has ten years experience delivering communications across a range of sectors. She specialises in working with organisations that want to challenge perceptions and encourage people to change their behaviour.

Her extensive experience includes has helping the Samaritans communicate to farmers in the aftermath of the foot and mouth crisis; managing a PR and social media campaign to encourage young people to look at careers in civil engineering; changing the perception of struggling schools and Academies; and leading behaviour change campaigns for sustainability organisations and charities.


Fiona Gildea

Fiona is a University of Leeds History graduate, who realised her passion for PR during a placement year in the University of Leeds Communications and Press Office, during which she also helped gain press coverage for a new Yoga studio opening in Leeds. These experiences have instilled in her a passion for getting people talking about, and seeing the benefit of really brilliant brands. 

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