05 Aug Further growth for PR firm
A Northamptonshire-based PR agency has moved into new premises in Lamport, marking the start of a new chapter for the team.
Ballyhoo PR’s move into a 600 sq ft converted coach house on Lamport Manor will give the team of four a base where they can all work side by side for the first time!
The company was previously based in a serviced office at the 3e Hub on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate in Corby but decided to terminate the lease in October 2020 after Covid-19 meant the team had been working remotely since March.
Prior to the pandemic, the team consisted of director Emma Speirs and PR Executive Katie Macdonald. A recruitment process for a third member of staff had just concluded and Catherine Bontoft, previously PR Executive at Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, was offered the role of Senior PR Executive and a start date was set for mid-April 2020.
“When Catherine joined us in April 2020, I really did think we would be working remotely for a few weeks and soon be together in the office in Corby,” said Emma. “A new workstation was set up, a laptop purchased and we were ready to welcome Catherine into the fold.
“I soon realised this situation was going to be much longer term. Like lots of other companies we had to complete Catherine’s induction remotely with meetings over Microsoft Teams and Zoom, video tutorials on the software we use and online training sessions. It was months before the three of us were able to meet up in person for the first time!”
As the pandemic progressed, Ballyhoo PR continued to work with clients and support them through it and keep them visible.
“We were lucky enough that our business could be moved to remote working very easily,” added Emma. “We all had laptops, used cloud-based systems and switched client meetings to online only. We also invested in a new ‘soft phone’ system that allows us to make, answer and transfer calls from our laptops.”
In February 2021, Ballyhoo PR welcomed Laura Smith to the team from Blush Digital in Aylesbury. Again, Laura’s induction was carried out online and over the phone, with a laptop handover in a Costa car park halfway between Emma and Laura’s homes!
“After Laura joined us and restrictions lifted a little and our children returned to school, we started to get together in person,” said Emma. “We met for a walk in a park, we hired meeting rooms and enjoyed a meal in May to celebrate Ballyhoo’s fifth birthday. The more time we spent together, the more it became apparent to me that we needed to have that face-to-face interaction and everything that comes with that – collaboration and brainstorming, increased productivity and even the small talk. The new office also has its own meeting room and space for further growth so we can welcome clients and visitors and even offer internships and work experience placements.
“PR is all about building relationships, not just with the media, but also with our clients, local community and each other. This new working environment is everything we need at just the right time. It starts the beginning of a new chapter for Ballyhoo PR and a new way of working for the four of us.”