Birthday memories – highlights from the Aberfield archives
Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us! Yes, it’s four years ago this month that Aberfield Communications was born.
There’s been a few sleepless nights along the way, but it’s been a remarkable, memorable and hugely enjoyable first four years.
We started with nothing (it was two months before we had our first client) but since then we’ve developed a client list that wouldn’t look out of place at a big London agency. Names such as QHotels, First Direct, Deloitte, Northern Rail, NG Bailey, The Football Pools and Visit Leeds speak for themselves.
We’ve won quite a few awards and we’ve learnt a lot about what it takes to establish and grow a start-up business.
So what have been the stand-out moments of those first four years? There’s been a lot. Here’s just a few…
Influence in action
We’ve always been motivated by the challenge, not the budget, so when the Bone Cancer Research Trust asked us to help promote Bone Cancer Awareness Week we immediately said yes. Almost three years on, we’re still really proud of the work we did. Our Positive Influence philosophy in a nutshell.
And the winner is…
For an agency focused on positively influencing audiences through insight and creativity, it meant a lot to win the Best Use of Planning, Research, Measurement and Evaluation at the CIPR PRide Awards, with the judges saying “Aberfield’s entry impressed the judges with its in-depth evaluation of its campaign success against clear objectives”.
We’ve had a fair few awards in our short history (more on that below), but that particular one proved our approach was bang on. Our clients already understood it, but now we had endorsement from our peers. Cue wild celebrations.
We had a lot of fun with our social media study for First Direct. There were various creative elements to it, but the big idea was based around a month-long experiment where we changed the social media habits of a group of willing (well, they were to start with!) volunteers.
The results were impressive, but we all fell off our chairs when we were contacted by Google, who wanted to use the study as part of its social media training. ‘Nuff said.
The Commons touch
You want influence? Will endorsement from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister do? A tweet from David Cameron (with spelling error!) and a PR event in Leeds with Nick Clegg.
Tonight…with Tim Downs
We’ve blogged far and wide over the past four years, but the most influential was undoubtedly Tim Downs’ post on the trials and tribulations of Britain’s big four supermarket chains in their battle with the discounters. It led to an approach from ITV and an appearance by Tim on its flagship current affairs programme, ‘Tonight’. Has the fame gone to his head? Dunno. Best ask his agent.
Hello, sports fans…
Gordon Banks. Mike Tindall. Ali Brownlee. Jonny Brownlee. Four world champions that we’ve had the pleasure of working with on behalf of clients. And we can add to that other sporting legends such as Darren Gough, Gareth Southgate and Ian Callaghan, as well as famous venues ranging from Ascot Racecourse to Lord’s.
So the next time someone from Aberfield tries to argue there’s no glamour in PR, you’ll know they’re telling porkies…
They shoot, they score
Having been shortlisted for several social media awards prior to this, we were delighted to win Best Use of Social Media at the CIPR PRide Awards, for our work with The Football Pools.
As the CIPR said: “The judges were very impressed by Aberfield Communications’ use of research, not just at the outset of the campaign, but also continuously throughout in order to ensure the output of activity continued to be effective. A great example of a successful social media campaign.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Our crisis communications team is on constant alert, ready for when that red phone lights up. Or was that just in Batman?
Anyway, when a call arrived one day from a company about to be savaged by Anne Robinson on BBC’s ‘Watchdog’, the team responded faster than Usain Bolt after a gunshot. Evidence collated, briefings done, statements prepared. Not only did the company avoid a pasting on live TV, it actually saw an increase in sales enquiries. Another one chalked up to Aberfield.
Leeds, Leeds, Leeds
Being a Leeds-based agency, there’s been a huge sense of pride within our office that we’ve been able to work on so many great campaigns for organisations in the city. From the Rugby World Cup and the World Series Triathlon, to the Leeds Architecture Awards and the First Direct Arena, we’ve helped generate a real buzz for Leeds regionally, nationally and internationally.
A special mention goes to our Magical Leeds campaign, featuring the world’s first ‘Reindeer Cam’ video. The results the campaign achieved for Visit Leeds and Leeds BID were truly impressive.
There are only two things that make an agency special and successful.
One is the people who deliver the goods for clients day in, day out, and we’ve built an amazingly talented and committed team who believe passionately in what Aberfield is about.
The second is the clients, who put their faith in us to make a real difference to their business, and we’ve been fortunate to achieve some amazing results for some incredible clients.
So to every team member and to every client over the past four years: Thank You. You’ve made it an immense experience.