It’s a wonderful thing to start a business from scratch. Not for the faint-hearted admittedly, but the thrill of starting with a blank piece of paper and being able to define exactly what you want to offer, and what you want to stand for as a business is electrifying.
Our starting point has always been that in 2018 you wouldn’t try and replicate the business model of a traditional, large, generalist corporate agency given the transformation that has happened in the world of communications in the last ten years. It would feel old school and unsuitable today. Having hired large agencies and managed the relationship, we know that when they’re good they’re brilliant. When they get into that retainer rut they become at best annoying and at worst a complicating factor. Big on (often unachievable) ideas in meetings, less good at delivering those ideas, with measurable results, reasonable budgets or an understanding of available resources. Big on journalist relationships, less good at delivering on content and using digital platforms consistently to reach audiences directly.
That’s why we started off with one word. Helpful. We saw a gap in the market to build an agency that is geared towards one thing: helping our clients. An agency adapted to the communications challenges in today’s world. That means coming up with ideas that achieve objectives, but also rolling up our sleeves and delivering them. That means using our writing skills and our creativity to the maximum. That means really understanding what our clients are going through on a day to day basis – where the in-house team needs support and where, frankly, it is best for the agency to butt out. This means understanding the limits to our own capabilities, but having a network of experts, an ecosystem, who we can bring in to offer specific skills to our clients where they are needed.
It’s early days, but client reactions so far give us confidence that we might just be onto something here. Watch this space...