Launch of Social & Local 2019/20 Social Value Programme

Mental Health in the Workplace

From our lived experience, in-depth reports into mental health like the Stevenson-Farmer review, and initiatives like Mental Health First Aiders, we know there is a problem with mental wellbeing in work.  We also know from in-depth surveys that this is amplified in the creative industries sector. A recent poll across advertising agencies revealed that:

As recently as 2017, 63% of advertising and media agency staff said they’ve considered leaving the industry at some point due to work negatively impacting their wellbeing

So, we’re reaching out to agency leaders to eradicate unhealthy working practices in the advertising, PR and media industry. Focusing on our employees’ emotional wellbeing to protect our industry’s Brilliant Creative Minds.

Read more at: 100 Ways for Brilliant Creative Minds

Will 2019 be the year the agency model finally gets updated?

Talent, ad agency reframed

In the December issue of Marketing Week Sarah Vizard talked about how big brands are beginning to wonder what value is really being delivered for the mega bucks they pay – recognition is leading them to take content creation in house, in-source and cherry pick cross agency groups in providing “the full service”. Sarah noted that big agencies are responding by looking at business models that span disciplines, streamline and cost cut.

It’s interesting that the pictures painted of a 21st century (21C) update are not very exciting, creative or breathtaking, are they? It feels more like creative accounting than creative business modelling. And then we wonder why clients no longer feel the value of the “creative industries”.

So what might a 21C update really look like?

For me it’s all about agencies reclaiming their ground and to do this they need to attract back the talent – by understanding what will make talent see an “agency” as the best place to “be” as many of us used to.

Agencies must put the “glamour” back in – and today, the glamour means something different to what it might have meant three decades ago.  It means offering a unique combination of a rewarding career (Millennials want purpose over paychecks) with rewarding ways of working that allow the necessary head and heart space to be supremely and uniquely creative in adding value for clients. In this way clients will see “agencies” as uniquely useful and necessary once again and understand that they have to go the agency route to access the pool.

In support of this point, it may surprise you to read the 2018 mental health and creativity report by Tank (Australia) which asked employees about mental health in the creative industry:

Only 50% of 400 respondents answered ‘Yes’ to the question “Are you ok?”. 60% of these said they were aged 20-29 when they first realised that work was impacting their mental health.

The single word that appeared most amongst responses was Fear – with reasons for stress being given as “working late and weekends worrying they’re not good enough, seeing others not coping, the threat of redundancy, being berated and feeling watched all the time, senior leader egoism, inadequate content/time/understanding for what it takes to do our job properly.”

So why would the brightest talent want to enter an industry where that is the case?

Accepting that margin is important to shareholders and that it is unrealistic to persuade the industry en masse that Social Business (like ours) is the way to go for everyone, by thinking differently you can still make an agency magnetic.

Our agency for example decided to champion virtual networked working – we don’t have a shopfront in the traditional sense and we don’t need all the fluff that goes with it – by cutting out the commute, enabling people to work flexibly and not to be so brutally torn between their work and life commitments we provide the time and space to be creative. We deliver cost savings that make margins easier to manage and of course deliver positively against bigger issues like gender inequality, ageism and even the potential threat of a diminishing skills pool in the light of the maybe, one day Brexit.

Food Standards Agency campaign win

alleregn campaign, food standards agency Fantastic news that the FSA’s “#easytoASK” campaign has been awarded Campaign of the Month by the Government Communication Service (GCS). Social & Local worked closely with the FSA in-house team and two leading charities to co-create the strategy and insight required to engage a niche audience of young adults with food allergies living or socialising away from home. We went on to secure 28 industry and university partners to help build awareness.  
Congratulations to the Food Standards Agency for winning Campaign of the Month

Working with the British Red Cross

British Red Cross Employee Engagement Strategy, Charity Communications
Delighted to announce that we are now working with the Internal Engagement team at British Red Cross to co-develop an internal engagement strategy to leverage the power of their significant programmes through their 4,000 staff and 20,000 volunteers. This client acquisition evidences further our capability and pulling power as a Social Business when it comes to helping UK Charities to deliver on their internal and external business goals.

Expanding Our Services for Government Clients

Government Communications Service, Communications Services Framework, Market Research Framework
Another nice to have for us in pursuit of our current listing on the Government Communications Framework – we’ve just been appointed to the Cabinet Office Research Marketplace as an approved supplier. Our offer in this discipline is smaller and sweeter than many, so let’s hope it tempts some buyers looking for specialised work amongst discreet groups, stakeholders or influencers.

Government Communication Service

We are over the moon to have been recognised for the quality of our work through our recent appointment to the Government Communications Services Framework. Our place in the Specialist Consultancy category plays to our strengths as communications strategists specialising in complex or difficult to reach audiences and stakeholder environments. We believe we are one of a couple of dozen agencies posted to this Framework following a gruelling tender process and are looking forward to some of the mighty challenges that will no doubt come across our bows.

If not you, who?

TATA Consulting, CSR Campaign, Digital Skills
Our new brand communications strategy and associated image and identity for TATA Consultancy Services got its first airing earlier this month at Digital Explorers (more at #digitalexplorers) a Nationwide series of events delivered by TCS and My Kinda Future. If not you, who? Challenges young people who often don’t think they’re right for a tech career (girls don’t do tech, you’ve got to be a geek) to understand that tech is going to be right for them. As James one of the event tutors so eloquently said ‘Funnily enough the kind of people that are really needed in the tech industry, are the people with the kind of skills you wouldn’t associate with tech. So, people who are good with other people, have good communication skills, can manage projects – are the skills that are being cried out for in the tech world’- and there’s always the fact that there are 1.1 million tech jobs that need filling by 2020 so it’s a pretty safe bet for a career choice

Creative Conscience Awards 2018

Creative Conscience Awards 2018, Solving the worlds biggest social problems
Using our skills and money to support new ideas to address (in our own small way) the world’s biggest problems is of course at the heart of why we exist and what excites our community and our clients. Our partnership with and sponsorship of Creative Conscience (which exists to drive creative talent from all around the world to apply their heads to create socially valuable ideas and campaigns) is now in its third year and yet again, our breath has been taken away by the winning entries from their 2018 Awards. Steph’s personal favourite is a community art project where communities can share what they are thankful for and learn about benefits of practicing gratitude. https://www.creativeconscience.org.uk/winners/gabriela-matouskova/ Nats is excited to be working with the creator of a memory book for dementia sufferers and their families https://www.creativeconscience.org.uk/winners/adam-welton/ Why not visit these and then choose your favourite?

Social & Local engage the IPA and Young Creative Council in helping award winners to get their feet under the table.

Creative Conscience, IPA, Social Value, Social Business Mentoring
Everyone knows that we bang on about the impact our industry could potentially have on changing the world if only it put its mind to it! So, we are thrilled that on July 4th the IPA in association with the Young Creative Council kindly agreed to host an event for Creative Conscience Award winners in the hallowed halls of Grosvenor Square. The event brought together some young inspirational creatives already in adland to talk to winners about the opportunities and pathways into advertising and were able to hear about the passion and capability young talented people have for doing good and pursuing rewarding careers. YCC’s Charlotte Kushi said: It was a great event to be part of, and all the work Creative Concience and the IPA are doing is great. I & the YCC are really passionate about inspiring the next generation so let us know if there’s anything else to get involved with.

Attendees were also impressed and informed:

“I didn’t realise the ad industry was ‘good’ and put on events like this just to help young people out.”

“There are so many more routes into a job than I thought, and it’s ok to be me.”

“I didn’t know much about advertising. It’s quite exciting.” (from a young children’s book illustrator)

“Advertising is so much more diverse than I thought.”