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At less than two years old, 3Thinkrs has already surpassed £1 million in revenue under founder Ruth Jones, a former Lewis MD who didn’t take investments in the business so that she could do things her own way. With a people-first approach, 3Thinkrs is as comfortable turning away clients to avoid employee burnout to serving a range of accounts including flagship B2Bs and tech unicorns. A champion of collaboration, 3Thinkrs runs a free training academy that has already worked with more than 200 individuals from across the comms industry and created a cohort of agencies to explore the multitude of challenges facing clients.
3Thinkrs operates in the UK, France, Germany and the US.
Jones has found tremendous success in bringing to fruition her vision of a modern agency, one that shuns traditional approaches to PR in favor of adventure, cross-agency collaboration and the delivery of top-quality work. Right off the bat, the agency was on track to be a £1 million business, which it achieved in 2022 (its first full year in business) after registering £542,000 during its first six months of existence the previous year. 3Thinkrs staff doubled to 10 last year, supporting new business from Manage Engine, Informatica, Kensu, Reveal, and FarEye and existing clients McKinsey, GoodShape and FloQast.
3Thinkrs culture is “adventurous, high-performing” culture is so beyond the norm that warranted coverage in the Financial Times. Built from the ground up as “a little bit wacky,” “a little bit creative” and wholly inclusive, 3Thnkers culture is designed to eradicate the pressure cooker-workplace practices that leave employees depleted and diminish the quality of work. The culture is rooted in having a workplace so flexible that it can accommodate the full range of personal circumstances. Guided by the belief that experience breeds creativity, 3Thnkrs sends employees out into the world whether to explore London’s contemporary buildings or cities include Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona. Company funded peak performance training with former athletes and wellbeing consultants worked with employees on optimizing their performance while reducing work-related stress. 3Thinkrs training academy, which provides free training to entry level employees across the industry, is key to the agency’s push for industrywide DEI.
3Thinkrs last year launched a three-part thought-leadership marketing outlook exploring the challenges facing B2B organisations to support CMOs in achieving growth. The report covered topics like closing the gap between sales and marketing and achieving profitable growth profitable growth. Client work in 2022 included an initiative for performance experts GoodShape offering insight into the physical and mental wellness of the UK workforce. Other efforts supporting McKinsey’s consumer sentiment report by drumming up media interest in shopping behaviours and raising awareness of Censornet’s autonomous cyber security offering.
— Diana Marszalek
Bucking the trend of starting a tech agency, industry veterans Stacey Jaffe and Lisa Fox launched Espresso to bolster growing businesses in hospitality, health & wellness, travel and lifestyle industries. In two short years, Espresso has grown into a full-service agency that’s already worked with 30-plus clients. Espresso’s capabilities include PR, influencer marketing and content creation, all of which go into creating highly customized campaigns executed by senior leaders.
Espresso is based in the UK.
Jaffe and Fox, who were colleagues at Frank, launched Espresso in February 2021 with five clients: ChunkyCouture, Alexandra Miro, Master Café, Gus + Beau and The Big Silk. By the end of 2022, the agency had worked with more than 30 companies, either on retainer or per project. Espresso’s client roster includes Zizzi, Vtech, The Duchess of Northumberland, My Supper Hero, LDN UTD, Style Cheat, CanO Water, Exalt, Sly Dog Rum, Dalston's Soda and XITE.
In its current state, Jaffe and Fox are essentially Espresso’s culture — though likely not for very long. As the firm grows, the co-founders aim to build a team that represents a cross-section of society with staff LGBTQ+ staff to working mothers. Client counsel includes the importance of inclusivity and companies working with a diverse network of brand ambassadors.
Among Espresso’s most complex 2022 assignments was handling PR for the non-profit surrogacy agency Nappy Endings, with the goal of changing perceptions and encouraging potential surrogates to come forward. The effort reaped coverage in national and consumer publications, as well as podcasts, resulting in a rise in interest in being a surrogate among women. Espresso also spent the last 12 months supporting My Supper Hero by driving awareness of a company notable for its sustainable packaging, ethical work practice and team of small independent suppliers. Driving brand awareness included entrepreneurial podcasts and an extensive influencer and celebrity programme, all of which included messaging about the deliver service’s brand purpose.
— Diana Marszalek
The pedigree of Stirred founders Jo Spadaccino and Stuart Hehir means that their new firm’s rapid growth since its 2021 launch is not unexpected. The duo were board members at Pegasus during the firm’s impressive development into one of the UK’s finest healthcare PR firms, before it was sold to Ashfield in 2016. But Stirred, in common with many new consultancies, brings a new slant to the healthcare market — reflecting how health is now everyone’s business, and focused on matching the sector’s innovation with a similarly vibrant approach to communications. At the heart of the firm’s operations is what it calls a ‘healthy hybrid’ model, which aims to combine methods, channels, organisational structures, people, and comms disciplines to deliver lasting outcomes for health communicators.
Stirred deploys a remote operating model, with the majority of workers based in the UK.
Launching with zero outside investment and clients in 2021, Stirred has already billed more than £500k, and is on track to reach £800k for its 2023 fiscal year. There is a clear focus on working with organisations that make a positive difference to people’s health — while Stirred does not name clients, the firm has worked with 19 companies across pharma/biotech, life sciences, consumer/wellness and charitable organisations.
The six-strong team benefits from a fully remote model. The firm is also set to become a B Corp, in line with which it pledges 40% of its income to projects that educate, engage and inspire people to take more action to stay healthy, and 22% of income to working with charitable organisations on a discounted basis. Stirred has also declined five new business opportunities (two of which were worth more than £400k each) on the basis that they would conflict with its governance commitments. Stirred’s DE&I commitments include supporting under-represented and under-served groups by working with relevant organisations.
Both founders are involved in industry initiatives as serving members of the Healthcare Communications Association Foresight Committee, including hosting a number of business leader interviews as part of a ‘Briefing Room’ webinar series, chairing meet the media sessions, and also contributing to its first ‘Innovation Uncovered’ journal. Stirred is also a signatory to the Better Business Act initiative, through which it shares best practice and collaborates with like-minded nonprofits. Campaign highlights include the ‘Race Against Time’ Covid-19 vaccine safety study for the Drug Safety Research Unit; an internal comms campaign on living with cancer; and a campaign highlight the psychological impact of rare disease diagnosis for a life science vendor client.
— Arun Sudhaman
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