By founder of Battenhall, Drew Benvie.
These are incredibly exciting times we live in. There is fundamental disruption happening in the media landscape and its impact on the way brands do business, the way we communicate and the way we consume is nothing short of seismic. We will look back on these times in the future and see them as a renaissance.
I cut my teeth in-house doing PR at the dotcoms, during the boom times. Then I joined comms agency land during the tough times. And I became an accidental early adopter when my passion for what we now call social media got me into blogging, tweeting and defining the social media landscape long before it was socially acceptable to admit to being involved in it. I have had the pleasure of working on some truly amazing campaigns over the years, with brands like Red Bull, The Financial Times, Evernote and Microsoft.
I am now incredibly excited to launch what I hope will become the next great comms agency
Today I am launching Battenhall, a comms agency for the social media economy. Battenhall launches with three clients and a team of five. HQ is in London, just across from Google and next door to Mind Candy on Bonhill St, in Tech City.
At Battenhall we are helping brands to engage, to build their reputations and to manage those reputations across all media, especially social. Our pedigree in public relations, digital marketing, creative, design and build means we are able to work across a range of comms disciplines and be the trusted agency and an extension of our clients’ teams.
Redefining work: the agency model and disruptive innovation
My aim is to redefine how we work. I have seen fundamental shifts in how we deliver excellent work as a team in recent years, and I know the biggest changes are still to come. Battenhall employees are all partners in the company. We all share in the profits, we all vote at the meetings and we all have a say in the direction of the business. Team members are all makers too – we set aside 20% of work time for side projects so that people working here can invent new things and innovate rather than feel it needs to be done on top of everything else. We also have a vibrant CSR programme, putting a lot back into the causes we believe in.
We work hard too, naturally, as we want to be the best. So we offer unlimited holiday to all the team, remote and flexi working, a Moleskine allowance, and enough technology to get you a sore shoulder (so yes, we cover the costs of the masseuse too, naturally).
My experience as former UK CEO of PR agency Hotwire and founder of social media agency 33 has been instrumental in how Battenhall is evolving. I have spent almost eight years at Hotwire and 33 Digital, and am sad to be leaving behind many good clients, friends and memories. Experiencing this time with some awesome friends and clients has been epic.
But the future beckons and I hope you will join me for the adventure in some way, either by getting in touch and catching up over a coffee, or just by following our progress in the growth of this new agency.
The launch has now been and gone and feedback has been better than we could ever have hoped for. Here are the highlights:
- PR Week: Hotwire UK chief Drew Benvie exits agency
- The Holmes Report: Why the PR agency landscape needs disruption
- Huffington Post: why the comms agency model is ripe for disruption
- FeaturesExec Media Bulletin: Hotwire UK chief Drew Benvie founds Battenhall
- Gorkana: Hotwire chief exec and deputy exit
- Round-up of social media buzz