Battenhall is a company with clear business objectives, a coherent growth strategy and impressive business results. The commitment to staff welfare, as well as to both the mental and physical health of their staff is evident. The judges were wowed by the scale of Battenhall’s achievements, their innovative use of technology, and the attraction of big-name brands to their client roster. The quality of the campaigns they’ve delivered confirmed Battenhall as a consultancy that is ‘getting it right’ for its clients as well as for its own business performance.

Mark of Excellence:

  • Stone Junction

Stone Junction have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the development and professionalism of the team. The skills and technology training programmes, alongside the training-based team rewards really impressed the judges. The company’s impressive and sustained growth, as well as their international expansion is testament to the success of their clear-sighted approach to continuing business and personal development.

Finalists:

  • Clarity
  • iseepr
  • Publitek
  • Swipe Right
  • Teamspirit
  • With

Winner entry:

Business objectives and analysis of performance against budget over the last two years:

Battenhall’s strategy has been to build a new, highly specialised way of delivering PR through offering a deep specialism in social media. Our approach to achieving that centred on three core objectives:

  1. New services: our aim was to use our 20% time initiative, whereby a fifth of staff time is put into R&D and side projects, to develop new services for clients
  2. New sectors: focus on expanding work in new and high growth industries
  3. New markets: we launched our US office in February 2019, with the aim of securing new client briefs and growing our global capabilities.

What drove growth?:

  • 46 new clients: the business grew by 44% last year, driven by high-profile client wins
  • Sector growth: annual revenue from healthcare work increased by 500%, while a new industry sector – media and sport – grew to 10% of overall income
  • Global growth: revenue from US clients grew by 310%
  • Innovation-led growth: 100% of new business in the last 12 months came from in-bound business, with brands citing innovations such as our WhatsApp broadcast, Instagram Brands 100 report, and word-of-mouth recommendation of our innovation, as reasons for appointing us.

A brief overview of business / team strategy:

Our proposition is built on innovating PR services through digital. In 2019 we focused on two new specialist brand communications products and one unique approach to working.

  • ‘Battenhall Voice’

We developed a way of building client voice apps, enabling us to add digital PR and customer care services to our client offering. We piloted this by launching our brand on voice systems. We now carry out voice audits for clients and a daily digital news service has been successfully launched through Google and Alexa smart speakers.

  • InstaTrack

In 2019, Instagram introduced new APIs, allowing us to successfully apply to build a tool using official Instagram data. Our new software enables us to track engagement with client content, showing performance recommendations to improve brand activity and drive sales.

  • Innovation-first:

All staff are given “20% time”, whereby one day a week is focused on agency innovation, training, charity work and R&D. We are progressive in our working practices with a tech allowance of £1,300 for all staff, flexible and remote working as standard, and unlimited holiday.

A summary of commitment to CPD and professionalism:

We take our role and commitment to equality and opportunities in the communications industry seriously, and are actively addressing issues such as gender parity, mental wellbeing, work-life balance, and ongoing training for employees, through the following:

  • Self-care first: In 2019 we expanded our operations team, employing a qualified dietician and lifestyle coach, Jenny Millichip, as our permanent People and Culture Manager. Jenny focused on the mental and physical health of staff, delivering in-house training on diet and nutrition, bringing in external trainers to discuss illnesses and prevention, and hosting meditation and yoga sessions with our UK MD, a qualified yoga teacher. It has contributed to a 50% reduction in sickness leave across the agency.
  • Mentoring: in 2018-19 we introduced a mentoring initiative for senior leaders to provide one-to-one training to anyone in the business keen to upskill.
  • Ethnicity: 27% of staff are ethnic minorities or foreign nationals.
  • Gender: 54% female / 46% male.

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

  • New sectors: we successfully expanded into sport, financial services and health.
  • Global expansion: we opened a New York office to help manage new clients in the US, signed up agency partners to create a European network, and began campaigns across EMEA for two publicly-listed retained clients.
  • New services: our innovation has been instrumental in enabling us to achieve a high client retention score.
  • TEDx Talk: Battenhall founder and CEO, Drew Benvie, was invited to give a TED Talk at TEDxBristol in November 2019 about the impact of social media on wellbeing.
  • 20% time: we completed our 10th 20% time client campaign, offering brands and charities our services at little or no cost.