Christmas is almost here, which means it is time for my annual blog looking back over the year. I can’t believe how time has flown by; it seems only yesterday I was reflecting upon what a tough year 2013 had been and was just starting out in my new role as Managing Director.
The good news is, 2014 has been a far more positive year for PRG! This year has seen us expand both our team and our client portfolio, taking us into some fresh directions and sectors.
I’m pleased to say that Ray is now back to full strength and last month he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eastbourne Business Awards in recognition of his hard work in the local business community.
In November, Kathryn was promoted to the role of Account Director, in recognition of her hard work here at PRG, steering accounts and her team so successfully and helping to take us forwards. She will now be involved more at a strategic level across all of the PR and Marketing clients as well as ensuring the high quality standards we set at PRG are met across everything that we do.
October saw the arrival of a huge new client and challenge for the team. We are very proud to be working with Forum Events, taking on the marketing function for their entire portfolio of 24 different events. It presents an enormously exciting opportunity to demonstrate the full range of our skills on one large account. More to come on this over the course of 2015!
Lee Markham joined us mid-way through the year as Business Development Manager, working with myself and Kathryn to bring in new clients and to add fresh creativity and thinking to many of our existing accounts.
Our new, fully responsive website went live back in May thanks to our web team Ian and Chris. We’ve continued to practice what we preach and followed a focused content strategy that is paying dividends in the form of new business enquiries (it also allowed me to run several seminars and roundtable discussions on the topic of responsive websites).
PRG’s Facilities Management portfolio has continued to grow on the back of Laura and the team’s continued success working with AssetSkills Training and The Building Futures Group, as well as involvement with Lord Redesdale and the Energy Managers Association.
PRG’s international business continues to expand, as our partner agencies across Europe continue to draw in business that requires a UK partner. This really excites me as it brings new challenges but also opportunities for us to learn and grow as an agency.
We have seen some big changes in our magazine department, with both Faye and Tracey departing for fresh challenges outside of publishing. We’ve used this as an opportunity to shake things up, with Stephen now editing LP Gas magazine with the help of Sam selling advertising. Over the next six months he will be working with Ian and Chris to move our offering into new areas.
Yasmin and Michaela have taken over the sales of the Eastbourne tennis tournament hospitality (tickets are still available) and are making strong sales for 2015, proving to be quite the dynamic duo.
Despite our increased presence on a national level, we continue to develop our local business in Eastbourne and Hastings. We are proud to be promoting start-up loans for the Let’s Do Business Group, as well as launching the Pallet Evolution campaign for Go Plastic Pallets. Chris and Matt have both worked hard for Eastbourne Borough Council on the Airbourne airshow promotional campaign, branding and launching Eastbourne Wetland Park and our continued relationship with Eastbourne Theatres.
In 2015 we celebrate our 20 year anniversary with our longest standing client, David Bailey Furniture Systems. We are immensely proud of this milestone achievement and look forward to having an anniversary celebration in the summer.
This year we have launched more websites than ever before. Clients are really understanding the need to have a decent website – and one that’s responsive, but also that working on the website constantly, creating content and actively developing it, can be the key to a successful marketing strategy. Ian and I have a strategy for the coming year that will further improve and strengthen this part of our service portfolio.
The PRG team have had an exciting year, both in and out of work! Michaela and Yasmin have both followed Ian’s lead and started running for charity, whilst Ian himself became a Dad, with the birth of his daughter Sky. Jo and I have continued on the steep learning curve that is parenting two children, although I feel that I’ve learnt enough now to know that “two will do!”
We have a fresh member of the team starting January 5th, our new Account Manager Becky, who we are all really excited to commence working with.
I move into 2015 hugely optimistic and full of exciting ideas for PRG. Avril and I are preparing plans for extensive investment in our IT infrastructure as well as upgrades for our accounting system, which will keep Avril and Jo on their toes in the New Year.
We have ambitious plans for the coming year, but signs at the tail end of 2014 – especially new business enquiries – point to things being positive for after the Christmas break.
PRG closes its doors at the end of the day on December 23rd and re-opens on 5th January. As always, my mobile is the out-of-hours number for emergencies (07765 031145).
I’d like to wish all of PRG’s wonderful clients, suppliers and friends a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2015. Most importantly, I’d like to thank the PRG team for all of the hard work this year, you’ve all deserved a nice long Christmas break and a cracking Christmas party.
Merry Christmas everyone!