Business blooms

By Laura Oliphant

The flourishing flowers across London, specifically on the Stand HQ roof top got me thinking about what makes a business bloom. Whilst I don’t have all the answers, I think it is an interesting topic to debate, and gives the perfect opportunity to talk about some of the ways that Stand Agency is blooming.

We all know creating a blooming business it’s not as easy as applying sunshine, water and the occasional bit of plant food, but I think it does boil down to a few key components.

Bravery – setting up and growing your own business is definitely a test of nerves.  Decisions are often made on gut instinct and assumptions, and with no crystal ball you have to trust a decision is right, and be happy to manage the consequences if it wasn’t quite! This could be to decline a new business lead, hire a wild card, or take more office space.  When we decided to expand our office it was a massive step, but three months on we have filled all the desks and are now wondering where we are going to put the next new person!

Luck – you can have all the plans in the world, but sometimes success just boils down to some old fashioned luck.  Richard Wiseman (The Luck Factor) believes luck depends on opportunity, and that you can create opportunities.  With this in mind every member of the Stand team is asked to generate a networking opportunity a month (more if they can) and in the last few weeks we have seen new business leads come from the most brief of conversations

OutSTANDing talent – everything seems doable with an amazing team of people around you.  Whether you are agreeing to another client request, managing competing deadlines, or fitting five day’s work into four (thanks Bank Holidays!!), talented, passionate and creative staff make it all possible.  We’ve made four hires since our last blog and every one of them has these things in the bucket load!

Outshining competitors – when your business is new, and less established than the agencies you compete against, it is key to punch above your weight.  In this year alone we have beaten/ taken accounts from five leading agencies.  Whether it’s in a competitive pitch, or by capitalising on a client unhappy with its current agency, you must be the business that people remember, who prospects believe and trust will do what they say, and more

Making everything matter – when you’re part of a new business and a small team, everything matters.  This is at the core of everything we believe at Stand.  We want to exceed client’s expectations, give journalists what they need, make a good impression with everyone we meet and treat our staff the way we always wanted to be treated.  It sounds idealistic but it really does matter.

We turned two a few weeks ago, and are now an agency with 13 staff, two offices and clients in the double figures and lots of this is down to BLOOM.

Check ‘em Tuesday – Tabloid Triumph or Tank?

by Lara Hallett

Let’s face it, The Sun’s Page 3 profile has had a bit of a hammering in recent years. The No More Page 3 campaign, launched in 2012, has received masses of support, with high profile organisations such as UK Girlguiding and Twitter royalty like Caitlin Moran requesting that those big busted babes put ’em away.

The messaging behind the No More Page 3 campaign is serious. That the images in the paper are there for no other reason than for the sexual gratification of men. That women are objectified. Sexual objects. Nothing more. This leads to sexual abuse. Normalises it in the eyes of the reader.

Lucy Holmes, the founder of the campaign, delivers a compelling argument in a video sitting in the about section. She is personable and convincing. She tugs at just the right values to draw in a wide section of the audience. Very emotive. A fair share of activism. Appealing to families. And equality at the heart.

Fast forward a year and a bit, and this month, The Sun kicked off its partnership with the ‘Coppa Feel’ campaign. For six months Page 3 will be campaigning to raise awareness of breast cancer amongst young women, encouraging readers to check their breasts for early signs of the disease.

The collaboration has certainly divided opinion. Jonathan Brown at The Independent has written about how it trivialises the subject matter. Whereas others have spoken out deeming it pure genius, applauding The Sun for its support.

What do we think? Well. When The Sun does a campaign, it really does a campaign. It goes hell for leather. Yes, ‘Check ’em Tuesday’ is in your face, it’s brash, but it also gets an important message across to 5.5 million readers.

They use simple language, easy to understand guides, celebrity backers and real-life stories. The perfect ingredients to any public awareness campaign. Oh yes, with an added splash of a smack you in the face page 3 presence. You can’t miss it. It certainly isn’t tucked away beside the TV guide.

Here come the stats: The Sun is the highest circulating daily newspaper in the UK. Almost 70% of its readers fit into ‘C2DE’ bracket – notoriously hard to reach. And 41% are woman. A captive audience.

While there’s much debate surrounding The Sun’s intentions behind the campaign. Check ’em Tuesday has certainly got people talking. A lot of people talking. It has already raised much needed awareness about an important issue.

Once again, The Sun has managed to jump on a good PR op, becoming quite the master at goading its competitors into talking about its product.

Meet Stand Agency’s … Fiona Gildea

FionaHow and why did you get involved in PR?

During my History degree at the University of Leeds I wanted to take a step back from my academic work and gain some work experience. As I am constantly reading – newspapers, magazines, blogs, books – I wanted to work where this incessant absorption of current affairs and opinions was valuable! I took a year out of my studies to work full time at the University of Leeds Communications and Press Office and I knew that this was the road I wanted to continue along.


What keeps you working for Stand Agency?

The friendly and supportive atmosphere, I love being part of a team that are passionate about what they do and always have time for each other.

In another life, what profession other than yours would you have attempted?

A photo journalist documenting world changing events and travelling all over the globe! I enjoy amateur photography, and take thousands of photos when travelling. Although my photos are mostly landscapes and animals, so I don’t think I quite have the portfolio for the job!

What do you enjoy doing beyond the walls of Stand Towers?

I love being active, and spend most of my time practising yoga. I also like to think I am a bit of a horse whisperer! My first part-time job as a teenager was breaking in horses for a riding school, and I have spent some time riding with cowboys in California!

What pearls of wisdom can you impart to those embarking on a career in PR?

Say yes to as many things as possible (in terms of work experience – I’m not talking Jim Carry “Yes Man” life changes!). Whether its during your work experience or internship or just volunteering, the more you do the more you stand out as interesting and engaged. Even if it does not seen obvious related at first, the more work you do the more skills and experiences you will have.

Fiona’s S.T.A.N.D quick-fire faves:

Song – Anything by Beyoncé

Taste – Cheese, always cheese.

Animal – Horse

Noise – The radio and the kettle boiling – the sound of nice slow weekend

Drink – Gin & Tonic


Stand has a Spring in its step


Despite our good intentions the last issue of STANDbites was before Christmas and here we are saying hello to Spring!!

On the one hand this creates the challenge of cramming all our good news into one STANDbites, but on the other hand means we have lots to share about client wins, new staff and office moves.

Click HERE if you’d like to read all of our news!

Christmas STANDbites


The festive season is upon us and in true Christmassy spirit we have created a special issue of STANDbites. The team has been extremely busy in the run up to the end of the year but we’ve also made time to have some fun along the way, not least by dressing up as Santa Claus occasionally!

HERE is the latest issue. Grab a mulled wine and enjoy…

Stand Agency in moving pictures

Here at Stand we’re proud of the company and the culture we’ve created and we wanted to share this with the world – so we created a video! The brief to our talented designer Rob Norman, currently a student at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, was clear – we want something that demonstrates our tenacity, our creativity, our ambition, our team spirit, our sense of humour, our dynamism, our flexibility, not to mention the excellent work we do – all in a video of 2 minutes or less. This is what he came up with – and we love it! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Stand Agency – Who we are from Stand Agency on Vimeo.

Karma Chavealeon

By Fran Rivett-Carnac

For those of you who missed the launch of our Karma campaign a few months ago, here’s a five second recap:

Stand Agency launches and its three founders are amazed by huge support and encouragement received from the start-up community. Stand Agency grows very quickly in its first year and decides to pass on some of the good will we received to other new businesses. Stand Agency launches its Karma competition, offering pro bono support to two small businesses each year who have the desire and potential to grow, but are not in a financial position to pay an agency.

And here we are. Since we launched the competition in July we’ve received entries from some fantastic businesses from many different sectors, including fashion, sustainability, design and food. But there could only be one winner, and we’re very excited to announce that our first Karma partner will be Cotswold Veal.

“Veal?” we hear you cry. And well you might. When we talk about veal in this country it often conjures up images of calves trapped in tiny cages with no daylight and a terrible quality of life. But times have changed, and when reared to high welfare standards in the UK, veal is one of the most ethical kinds of meat we can eat. So when Cotswold Veal came to us with a high welfare proposition and a strong business model, they had our attention.

We like a good comms challenge at Stand Agency. This one is to shift a perception, ingrained into the minds of many consumers, and encourage them to buy a meat that has been a taboo for years.

You heard it from Stand Agency first. High welfare veal is on the menu and you’ll be chowing down on a (vegetarians look away now) juicy veal steak before you know it.