As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the last year at PRG. Looking back at my review of 2016, I opened with the shock news of both Brexit and Trump. A year on and we are starting to understand what Trump means for the world (which is truly terrifying) and we still don’t really know what Brexit is going to hold for the British people and our economy. But I think the message is clear, we have to “get on with it”, which we’ve been encouraging our clients to do this year with their marketing strategies.
There have definitely been signs of uncertainty throughout 2017, but not in all of the sectors that our clients work in. Equally, those clients who invested in their marketing, web presence etc. have been reaping the benefits whilst their competition struggled.
It has been another year of change at PRG, again driven by the maternity leaves in the business. Kathryn returned to work part time in early June which was a relief and it was great to have her resuming her Account Director position. She’s immediately dropped back into her role and making an impression both on the team here and on our clients.
Since my last review blog, Becky welcomed her daughter Isla into the world in late December. She returned to work at the beginning of July, on a full time basis. Then, in January, Amy announced that she was also expecting, so she headed off on maternity leave three days after Becky returned to work. Her daughter Amber was born on 19th July, completing the set of three PRG girls born in 2016/17.
Martyn has found his feet at PRG and has been busy working across a very varied range of clients; applying his journalistic skills to, amongst others, building efficiency, plastic pallets, recruitment and gambling tips! He’s also been working hard with Matt to produce a sizeable product catalogue for our clients Specflue. This was a huge undertaking, for PRG and the client, but the end result is a polished product that can be updated regularly and looks fantastic.
Becky’s bag of international clients has grown (and has spread to other members of the team now too) as our work in Oman has continued, despite their poorer economic situation, and we are now putting our marketing skills to good use in Dubai, South Africa and Kenya for a new client we recently won.
Yasmin, when not busy selling-out the Eastbourne Tennis back in the summer (and getting close to it already for 2018), has been working with Jess to successfully further our digital marketing skills and offering. The demand for our digital services has increased greatly in 2017, with both local and national clients seeing the value and understanding how we can help them grow their businesses. Jess, Matt and Martyn have been producing our first series of PRG advice Vlogs, so keep an eye on our newsletters in January!
The web team have been really busy in 2017 and are in the midst of wrapping up a sizeable project (which I’m afraid Ian and I can’t tell you about yet). We’ve enjoyed producing other sites for the likes of Buckswood School, PaperPlus and Eastbourne Cocktail Club. We will be launching a selection of ongoing support packages in the New Year, which we will be contacting all of our web clients about. The team continue to innovate, finding new and exciting ways to develop with WordPress and give clients cutting-edge website solutions. I’m excited to see what 2018 holds as more of our clients, past and present, embrace the power of their websites.
Avril and Jo have been looking at our accounts systems closely and have begun exploring options for new systems. This is an exciting opportunity to improve how we work as a team, report on jobs and manage our time as a company, so I look forward to the next steps after Christmas. We’ve taken other steps to improving our systems in 2017, with the introduction of new I.T. and phone systems from Martin Lulham and his superb team at M-Tech Systems, who’ve been a huge support and guided us through the implementation.
We exhibited at all three Let’s Do Business Exhibitions again this year, gaining some really interesting leads in Brighton, an area where we’ve not worked so much in the past.
GDPR presents challenges for our clients as we head towards May 2018, but we are staying up to date with all the latest changes and will be providing guidance and support in the New Year.
Client Marketing plans for 2018 are already in and signed off, ready to hit the ground running in January. We’ve also been involved in some exciting pitches at the end of 2017, which we hope will come to fruition early in the New Year. Another interesting economic time looms in 2018, so we’re pushing our clients to get their brand and products out there now.
On a personal note, I turn 40 years old on 25th January 2018. It is a milestone that I’m quite happy to be reaching and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my family. Jo, Jenson and Lara continue to make me proud, as Jenson comes home from school every day with something new to show me and Lara gears up for starting school in September. Ray and Denny both finish the year in good health and continue to offer strong support as Grandparents, which they absolutely love.
PRG closes for Christmas at 2.30pm on 22nd December and reopens on Tuesday 2nd January. As always, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, suppliers, friends and, most importantly, the amazing team at PRG, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.