Talker Tailor Trouble Maker was born of a desire from its founders to shake-up the industry and upstage the status quo. The judges were impressed with how they have since stood-firm behind their four core business principles which they’ve ensured run through their staffs’ and the clients’ experience of their work. Inspiring is their commitment to making their business as diverse as possible – something clearly embedded in the Talker Tailor DNA. With a portfolio of clients built over the short time since they opened their doors which includes big name brands like Mastercard, Wagamama and Foxy Bingo, alongside smaller clients like Absurd Bird, they are worthy winners.

Mark of Excellence:

  • Ready10

Finalists:

  • Aberfield Communications
  • iseepr
  • Missive
  • Tin Man

Winner entry:

Date of incorporation, number of employees – including executive / support staff – and annual fee income:

Established 16.05.16, we have grown from two co-founders to 20 people (16 full time, three part time (including our Media Director and Office Manager) and an ongoing intern placement scheme. Our management team is all female.

Our annual turnover for year one (filed figures) was £555,971.

Business objectives and analysis of performance against budget over the past three years:

17/18 business objectives: establish at least three strong-foundation retainer clients, not lose a single staff member, be disruptive, make profit.

Filed turnover for 2016/2017 was £555,971

Draft figures, 2017/18 are £835,000 (a 50% turnover growth YOY)

Expected figures 2018/19 are £1.2m (a 44% turnover growth YOY)

Profit growth will rise to 20% in 2018/19 reflecting significant new talent investment (24+ people)

A brief overview of business / team strategy:

Talker Tailor Trouble Maker is a Creative Comms Shop for brands looking to upstage the status quo through four core principles:

Straight Talking: make money through brilliance not mark-up, trust people to control their own time, never dress up bad PR with good jargon. To be hungry, not greedy.

Risk taking: for clients and as a company, driving our business and industry forward through ideas that court controversy and spark fires. We are the only business in the UK that closes the office every Wednesday (Winnersday) with the aim to repurpose our space for greater good.

Fun Loving: Show Tune Tuesday, gambling our Christmas party budget and location every year, no holiday limit, Winnersday (which saves on average £300 a year on travel), we all go to
awards we are nominated for, and we pay for the outfits our team wear. Our first Christmas party was in Blackpool, last year, we went to Amsterdam. We provide free breakfast and lunch options to everyone who works here, as well as a fully stocked bar.

Smart thinking: offering opinion that encourages debate; from racism to old-guard-PR through our weekly Wednesday Wisdom mailer and blog and quarterly speaker platforms, which have included Soho House and The CollectiveOur ambition is to base our business and working relationships on mutuality and fairness. We aspire to represent the future of a more diverse, more interesting, more honest industry.

We’re fiercely diverse. We don’t accept CV’s. We ask for 100 words explaining what an individual can add. 25% of our people aren’t university grads including our two openly gay co-founders. We’re split equally male and female, 35% BAME, 60% of our people are from outside London and our senior management team is entirely female. We are proudly involved with The Taylor Bennet Foundation and St Giles Trust.

We have promised to never counter offer, instilling that ‘it’s okay’ if people want to go for other jobs. We haven’t lost anyone yet, but when it happens, we’ll be cheerleaders.

We are passionate about our ability to change the world. We hope we’ve started that mission alongside our client partners which include Mastercard, Wagamama, Direct Line and Bagatelle.

A summary of commitment to CPD and professionalism:

Quarterly training programme, topics covered to date include:

  • Client management (external, head of PR, Europe, TK Maxx)
  • Team management (in-house)
  • Pitching to media (in-house)
  • Pitching and selling an idea (in-house)
  • Vlogging and blogging crash course (external)
  • Press release writing (in-house)

Bi-annual appraisal system 360 – even the co-founders are reviewed.

Every single person in our business has pitched and will always pitch.

We migrated our business to SLACK instead of e-mail to limit the amount of internal e-mail traffic.

A summary of recent outstanding achievements, including client list growth / retention:

  • Launching with founding clients English National Opera, Mastercard and Foxy (leading to a 24 month retainer with Foxy)
  • Winning every competitive pitch in year one (except Argos, but we don’t talk about that anymore)
  • Launching in NYC, sharing two clients: St Giles Hotels and Dinosaur Designs
  • Organically growing Wagamama to become our second biggest client to date
  • Being appointed one of only two agencies of record for Direct Line UK for 24 months
  • Being tasked to launch Bagatelle in London
  • Winning the PRMoment New Agency of the Year award, 2017 and being Highly Commended at the PRWeek Awards as Best New Agency. Being finalists at The Creative Shootout 2018
  • Featuring in PRWeek ten times, named The Drum’s ‘one to watch in 2017’ and Holmes Report saying we’re “head and shoulders over the competition”
  • Opening two spaces (Hoxton Square and Kingsland Road) with the flexibility to work from either
  • Ten fully retained clients (none lost) and over ten projects

A summary of a campaign you are particularly proud of, including details of the brief, objectives, strategy, tactics, outputs, outcomes and budget:

BRIEF: focus on the incredible food at Absurd Bird across its six locations to draw customers in BUT do it in a absurd way.

OBJECTIVE: through media, increase the number of young people coming into Absurd Bird.

STRATEGY: we cannot out-communicate KFC but we can out-fun them and in a way that always points to the food, which we believe is better.

TACTICS: in three months, we launched the Orgy Martini, the UK’s biggest sharing martini that came with a free porn star on the side. To celebrate the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we created the ‘with this wing’ stunt, where members of the public (or nesting love birds) could have their entire wedding catered for, if they proposed with an onion (engagement) ring complete with cherry tomato jewel. Two couples are actually engaged and we have now extended the offer to Valentine’s Day. And finally, we have hosted moonshine parties for brands including BBC ONE Extra, Atlantic Records, Wall of Comedy and The Evening Standard.

OUTPUTS: video content, event creation (from artwork to activation to amplification), dynamic photography, flat photography, journalist entertainment and offers in-restaurant.

OUTCOME: Absurd has been featured on (with this wing) LadBible, UniLad, London Evening Standard, Time Out, The Sun, Bride Magazine, Hitched, Design my Night, The Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds Bars and Wall of Music. Orgy Martini was written about in The Evening Standard, Metro, Trend Hunter, Daily Star and Drinks Business. Influencers including Yasmine Diaz (52k), Pandora from Kiss FM (20k), One Hungry Asian (16k) and Rebel London (10k) have dined and posted with us, at Absurd Bird.

BUDGET: no single piece of activity has cost more than £500 + our retained fee.