It seems like only yesterday (but was actually 2005) when we changed our name from International Advertising to Together Communications. Back in the day, we did no advertising for clients outside the UK and undertook a much broader range of services than just advertising, and so the old name had to go.
Now, we are still actively working on a very broad range of projects, from employee engagement and external comms, to design, branding and digital. But last month saw us advertising for a couple of clients across France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as part of their pan-European talent attraction campaigns. In fact, we spent more overseas than we did in the UK.
There are no plans to reinstate the old name, of course, but it's interesting to look back with some satisfaction on the broadening of both our range of services and the geographical reach of our advertising.
We've always had a strong third sector bias to our client portfolio, with Watford Mencap, National Autistic Society and St John Ambulance to name but a few. And we recently kicked off a major project to rebrand what was formerly known as Watford Council for Voluntary Service into the newly named and branded Watford & Three Rivers Trust (W3RT). So it was a pleasure to take part in their first Dragon's Apprentice Challenge, bringing teams of local students together with a Business Dragon and a local charity to turn £100 into £1,000 or more, by organising a range of fundraising events.
The students of Francis Combe Academy, working under the team name Dexterity, showed great enthusiasm and ideas to raise funds and awareness of our designated charity, The National Animal Welfare Trust; my role over the four months of the Challenge was all about coaching, encouraging and giving them a sense of focus and organisation to ensure their efforts were most effectively deployed.
The presentation evening brought all 12 teams, their students, Dragons and charities together to award winners in seven different categories and to announce a grand total in excess of £23,000 had been raised to directly benefit the 12 charities involved.
There were of course the winners on the night, and congratulations must go out to them; but the Challenge has resulted in everyone involved 'winning': the students who participated and received invaluable development and business advice from their respective Dragons; the Dragons, who have benefited from joining together for the Challenge and forging strong links with the wider business community, and the charities that have not only benefited financially, but also gained important networking contacts for the future.
We in the studio at Together are on a quest; one that so far, has proven fruitless. Bob, on one of his weekend jaunts to an art gallery, had an exotic-sounding ginger and elderflower tea in their tea room and has become instantly hooked – trouble is, nowhere seems to sell it anywhere! (well, not for less than £6 for a measly 15 bags...)
So we are appealing for help – can you succeed where Google has failed?
Here at Together, we enjoy excellent staff retention of our own, whilst busily going about our business of helping clients to attract talent for themselves. So it comes as a bit of a shock when we have to recruit for ourselves.
The organisation chart (admittedly on a post-it note) is dusted off, the role is reviewed and adjusted, and off we go to market, using the same advertising, social media, networking links and passive candidate targetting we advise clients on.
So take a look at the attached story, put your thinking caps on and if you, a colleague or friend might be interested, then please get in touch.
What better blogging subject matter after the birth of the new website, than the new website itself? It's been an interesting 4 month gestation period; planning, designing, writing and building the new site, and much deliberation and blunt instrument throwing has ensued amongst the team.
The process has served to refresh our collective memories about what clients are asking for, what we do, what we're good at, and how we structure our services and responsibilities to deliver to those clients.
I'm guessing I am not the only person in communications-land who spends more time browsing the content of client, prospect and competitor websites, often to the detriment of their own.
So, after a few sleepless nights, but just a quick puff of gas and air at the last minute, we announce the arrival of the latest addition. We will ensure its continued development by keeping a constant eye on it and feeding it with new content at regular intervals.