PR and marketing agency Project Storm Media has secured three new clients and two new members of staff despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.
The Stoke-on-Trent business has won contracts to deliver a range of services – including brand design, SEO and website development – which has led to the recruitment of two new employees.
Hollie White has joined the PR and marketing team as a sales and marketing project manager, while Chrissie Woodward joins the company as a multi-channel sales specialist.
Managing director David Mellenchip, who took over as the new owner in June last year, hopes that 2020 can be a year of growth for the agency.
He said: “We started the year with a lot of optimism about the future of Project Storm Media and we don’t see why that has to change.
“Like many other businesses, we have had to adapt and grow under very unique and challenging circumstances, but I am hopeful that with the talent and expertise we have in-house, we will continue to offer a bespoke and dedicated service to our clients.
“We look forward to developing new, exciting relationships with more businesses as they look to the future.”
Project Storm Media’s sister company, Staffordshire Living, is also making significant changes following changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic.
The luxury lifestyle magazine has decided to go completely digital in response to increasing online traffic.
Editor Nancy Emery, said: “We have considered taking a more digital approach for a while, but seeing how people flocked to online content during the lockdown was all the convincing we needed.
“We recently launched a brand-new website with more focus on user experience while still providing the best in local events news, travel, fashion, competition and more.”
Travel agency Blue Bay Travel has expanded its product and contracting department with the appointment of Sam Dowling as product manager.
In the newly-created role, Sam will be responsible for product procurement, predominantly in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Middle East regions.
He will be working under the direction of Greg Armstrong who is product management director at the Stoke-on-Trent business.
Sam said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining such a fun and successful business. Given the current troubles in the industry, Blue Bay have a clear growth plan and I’m very proud to have the opportunity to contribute toward this.”
Greg added: “To be able to hire someone of Sam’s calibre at a time like this is absolutely fantastic. I have no doubt that Sam will hit the ground running and will really help to drive the product vision we have forward.”
Technical PR agency Stone Junction has appointed four new account executives.
Erin Softley, Georgia Cotterill, Georgiana Marian and Meghan Joshi have joined the Stafford business to support its continued development and growth.
The new hires come on the back of five award wins for Stone Junction in the annual Public Relations Communications Association (PCRA) DARE Awards.
Managing director Richard Stone said: “The key to surviving Covid-19, and even to growing, is making sure that the business model is robust and simple.
“We use a value pricing model, instead of industry-standard hourly or daily rates, which is something that clients love at all times and which makes our income predictable. Crucially during the pandemic, this has allowed for kindness. In March, we created forbearance contracts, inspired by the financial services sector, but also recognising the very human meaning of the word, with its connotations of patience and tolerance.
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“This allowed those clients that needed it space to breath and to pause their work with us. We even suggested it to some of them. Because of this work, all those clients have now restarted their campaigns, and some have even increased the amount of work we do with them.
“The response that you get from people when you show a little bit of kindness in business is incredible, because it’s not always expected. This has allowed us to grow the team substantially, despite the pandemic.”
Tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles has appointed Rich Kelsall to the role of marketing director.
Rich has stepped into the new position after almost seven years at the head of UK commercial sales at the Stoke-on-Trent business.
Working closely with commercial director, Nigel Stannard, Rich will cohesively manage the company’s main sales channels through leading multinational DIY and home improvement retailers, as well as driving consumers directly to the recently launched Johnson Tiles Outlet e-commerce site.
He will also be heavily involved in design and product development, alongside orchestrating Johnson Tiles’ dedicated design resource studio and materials library, Material Lab.
Rich said: “I’m proud to work for a company as committed as Johnson Tiles and want to continue to build a brand that helps us to showcase all the brilliant work that we do within the supply chain.
“I look forward to being closer to the design and development areas of the business. Our investment – especially around the removal of single use plastics – is little known. I want to see us as acclaimed for driving sustainability, as we are for our colour capabilities.”
The founder of a family-run HR consultancy has received a prestigious appointment.
Alf Murphy, of Shropshire-based Employment Law Solutions, has been appointed to the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights) where he will sit as one of three tribunal members deciding on a range of cases concerning information rights as well as complex employment tribunals.
It follows Alf’s appointment to the Employment Tribunal in January this year.
Alf will hold his new position while remaining in post at Employment Law Solutions, based in Whitchurch.
He said: “I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity. I will be assisting in the decision-making process in some of the most complex cases, including discrimination.
“These are important decisions and ones which all employers and their advisors need to learn from to protect themselves and remain legally compliant.”