Blog :

VIRTUAL STRIPE ACADEMY LAUNCHES

VIRTUAL STRIPE ACADEMY LAUNCHES

Are you a student or graduate thinking about a career in communications? Do you have smart thinking, bright ideas and a passion for communicating?

We know this year will be tough for people starting out in the communications industry. To help talented people kick-start their careers, we’re launching the Virtual Stripe Academy to provide free online training on how things work at an award-winning communications agency.

The Virtual Stripe Academy will provide 12 online training sessions over four weeks. You’ll meet Stripe’s senior team and learn from their experience and expertise – providing industry insight and the skills you’ll need to get started. You can check out the full schedule here. It will run on Zoom from 10 August to 4 September 2020.

The programme is open to anyone studying at college or university as well as those who have graduated in the last two years. You don’t need to study any specific course, but you should have an interest in pursuing a career in the communications industry in the future.

Everyone who completes this training course will be offered the chance to join the new Stripe Mentor programme. The top 10 applicants will be mentored for three months by a senior member of the Stripe team – getting one-to-one career advice and help into the industry.

Registration for Virtual Stipe Academy has now closed. 

STRIPE EXPANDS SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR APPOINTMENTS

STRIPE EXPANDS SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR APPOINTMENTS

Stripe today announces a series of promotions that strengthen its senior leadership team in Edinburgh.

Stepping into new Group Account Director roles are Nadine Reilly, Shaun Bell, Adele Thomson and Kirsty Grierson, in recognition of their contribution and ongoing commitment to the business.

Managing Director, Morna McLelland, said: “Our new team of Group Account Directors will continue to deliver strategic, creative and exciting work while building and maintaining our strong client relationships. As part of our new Senior Leadership Team, they will be firmly focused on maintaining business growth and development of our people.”

Established by CEO Juliet Simpson in 2006, Stripe now has offices in Edinburgh and London and employees over 50 staff. The company was revealed as the seventh fastest growing consultancy in the UK in the 2019 PR Week Top 150.

Merlin Entertainments appoints Stripe Communications London as retained PR and social media agency for all London attractions

Merlin Entertainments appoints Stripe Communications London as retained PR and social media agency for all London attractions

We’re very proud to announce the expansion of our partnership with Merlin Entertainments as the retained PR and Social Media consultancy for the London portfolio of attractions including; Madame Tussauds London, The Coca-Cola London Eye, SEA LIFE London, The London Dungeon and Shrek’s Adventure! London.

We were first appointed as retained PR consultancy for Madame Tussauds in 2016, and our work with Merlin Entertainments now includes the entire London portfolio of attractions, providing domestic and international press office management, brand campaigns, news hijacking and all issues and crisis management for the London attractions. Our social media remit includes development and implementation of social media strategy for all attractions plus ongoing community management and influencer strategy and engagement.

Some of our recent work with Merlin Entertainments has included; when Madame Tussauds London displayed Donald Trump outside the US Embassy when the US President declared on Twitter that he would not be visiting the UK to open the new London embassy building in Vauxhall. Also, recently in December when the London Eye played host to the nation’s favourite nanny to coincide with the European premier of Mary Poppins Returns.

Our London Managing Director, Chris Stevenson, said, “It is a privilege to work with some of the UK’s most iconic attractions and a team with boundless ambition to produce bold and innovative work. It is a tremendous collaboration between the Stripe team and Merlin Entertainments London marketing team and we are confident 2019 will be another huge success working closely together.”

Gemma Cracknell, Marketing Director, Merlin Entertainments said, “Stripe have been a valuable agency partner to us since their original appointment and we are delighted to have expanded the scope of their role to include all of the London attractions. They have already delivered some outstanding results for us across our attractions and we look forward to continued success with Stripe as a key agency partner.”

Who’s leading the way this International Women’s Day?

Who’s leading the way this International Women’s Day?

We are currently at the epicentre of a new feminist movement spearheaded by the #MeToo campaign, and as a result International Women’s Day (IWD) is arguably more significant than ever before.

Given the swell of conversation calling for gender equality, IWD presents the perfect  opportunity for brands to showcase their commitment to the solution by pushing for real societal and business change.

However, not everyone has hit the mark. Here’s Stripe’s breakdown of this year’s best and worst IWD campaigns and whether they really #PressforProgress…

Mattel, Inspirational Barbies

Here’s a great example of a brand identifying an issue and taking positive steps to address it, rather than just paying it lip-service.

When Mattel, maker of Barbie, found 86% of mothers around the globe are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to, they responded by marking IWD with the release of a new range of dolls celebrating inspirational, historical women. They also released a further 14 dolls in their ‘Shero’ range, including a doll version of UK boxer Nicola Adams.

While there are currently only three dolls in the ‘Inspiring Women’ range: Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo and Katherine Johnson, Mattel assures us there will be more coming.

For those of us who can think back to playing with anatomically impossibly shaped dolls and only really being influenced by how it looked, it’s nice to think this generation will be encouraged to think ‘Yes, I can be a successful boxer, mathematician, director, artist’… the list goes on.

Well played, Mattel.

Luxor Crystal, Whisky glass ‘for women’

The Austrian firm, Luxor Crystal, known for making luxury glassware embellished with Swarovski crystals, has designed the Highlander Whisky Glass featuring ‘a new shape especially for women’.

Apparently our hand shapes are so delicate we require special glassware. Please.

The glass design itself is lovely, but the marketing campaign is misguided. Women do not need gender-specific drinking products – this condescension does not endear us to your brand. All Luxor Crystal has done is reinforce the gender stereotype that whisky is a man’s drink. Can’t women just enjoy a dram in whatever glass they choose?

Uber, #DrivenWomen

Uber’s #DrivenWomen campaign film introduces audiences to the brand’s female drivers, in a bid to challenge the oldest gender stereotype out there. The video celebrates the brand’s female drivers by showcasing their voices on how driving makes them feel and how it positively impacts on their lives – helping to actually drive change on the issue (pardon the pun).

We’re often surprised to be met by female drivers, simply because there’s less of them. And the #DrivenWomen campaign answers many of the questions passengers are afraid to ask. Why do they drive? What do they like about it? Is it becoming more common? Do passengers ever challenge their suitability for the job?

The drivers profess the benefits of being in control of their own schedules, and according to a recent global study 74% of female driver-partners cited flexibility as the key reason they drive for Uber.

The campaign has its finger on the pulse of a real issue – visibility – by showing the women behind the wheel. It’s a win for empowerment and equality, exactly what IWD stands for.

Next and Hello! Magazine, Star Mums

Unveiling an all-white, glamorous panel of celebrity mothers to judge Hello! Magazine’s ‘Star Mums’ competition, sponsored by Next, has succeeded in one thing – royally pissing off their target demographic.

The selected line up chosen to dub the publication’s Star Mum has resulted in national backlash for both brands’ ‘‘narrow view of motherhood”. Unfortunately for both Next and Hello!, they’ve managed to offend the people they were trying to empower with a poorly executed and thought-out representation of mothers in British society.

Albeit a misunderstanding, what was meant to be celebration of diverse mothers doing incredible things has gone down like a lead balloon by losing sight of the competition’s purpose.

Blink and you’ll miss it: How my time interning at Stripe passed in a flash

Blink and you’ll miss it: How my time interning at Stripe passed in a flash

As a fourth year student studying Public Relations and Communications it’s part of the requirement of the degree that I complete a professional intern placement, and I am so grateful that I have been able to do mine at Stripe.

Although this has been my first internship with a PR company, I get the feeling that Stripe is like no other. From ‘Monday Monitors’ to ‘Tuesday Tutorials’ and ‘Friday Finales’ Stripe is clearly all about the alliteration.  Joking aside, it is these regular meetings, catch-ups and huddles which keep everyone in the team on the same page and allow Stripe to function like the well-oiled machine it is.

Stripe has provided me with every opportunity to learn … and then some. As a part of Stripe Academy, the firm’s in-house staff training scheme, I was given a number of inductions and tutorials to help me find my feet. This included a welcome meeting, being trained on the various programmes that Stripe uses, as well as a creative induction to give me an insight into the design side of the business.

From day one I was also assigned a ‘buddy’ – a dedicated ‘go to’ person – who welcomed me in with open arms, showed me the ropes and kept me going in the right direction. On top of this, the whole team has a weekly tutorial where staff learn some tips from industry experts, such as how to pitch to TV and radio media.

I was quickly working amidst the ‘baptism of fire’ I was previously warned about. From what I gathered, my first three weeks at Stripe (just before Christmas) seemed to be their busiest time of the year. I was happy to be thrown in at the deep end and was able to get stuck in straight away. Just as I had hoped, I was doing something different each day and working with various clients. A few of the tasks I carried out were:

  • Compiling media lists, guest lists and influencer lists
  • Mounting cuttings so they can be sent on to clients
  • Ordering, boxing and sending out PR samples
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Compiling client evaluations

Sending out media releases and following up with phone calls has been one of the more trying tasks (especially when that involves getting through on the phone to a journalist who is having an off day) but ironically this also proved to be the most rewarding job.

The test of patience becomes worth it when one of your clients gets good coverage in the media and at Stripe, when one person’s hard work pays off everyone celebrates with them; just one of the many things I have loved about being here, it is such a supportive team to be a part of.

From Directors to Juniors, it is clear that each and every person here is valued as an integral part of the Stripe family; I couldn’t have been made to feel any more welcome into that family. No matter how busy everyone has been, they have never failed to answer one of my endless questions, and they are always more than happy to do so.

So, what have I learned about PR?

  • People still read newspapers, a *lot* of people. I will no longer be fooled by those who have told me that we are in the ‘digital age’ and that nobody reads papers any more. This is something that seems to have been neglected in my degree.
  • You have to be brave (especially when it comes to sell-ins). Confidence is everything in PR.
  • ‘Fast-paced’ is a serious understatement. Don’t blink.

Although I started at Stripe without knowing what to expect in a working PR environment, I am now leaving with confidence knowing that my future will be in PR when I finish university and the motivation I need to push through my last few months at Queen Margaret University, aiming for that first class honours degree.

Hopefully I have been ‘Stripey’ enough that they might have me back.

:: Toni Dowling is a fourth year student at Queen Margaret University studying PR and Communications.

New Stripes on the Block

New Stripes on the Block

We are excited to welcome two new communications pros to Stripe Towers this week! Crissie Campbell is settling into the London team as a Director while Samantha Crawford has joined the Edinburgh office as a Senior Account Director.

Crissie brings over 10 years’ experience working at London’s top agencies with some the biggest brands in the world of entertainment, gaming and music including Facebook, Nintendo and Sky. Crissie is a creative thinker and self-confessed chatterbox – qualities that will make her right at home in the bright, bold, turbocharged world of Stripe.

Crissie said it was the company culture that attracted her to Stripe: “I loved Stripe’s bloody awesome attitude! It’s a really exciting time for the brand and the people are so nice. I’m looking forward to developing and growing the team and making Stripe famous!”

Globetrotter Samantha has eight years’ experience working for agencies across London, Sydney and Dubai. Specialising in consumer and entertainment PR, Sam has worked with multinational brands including Procter & Gamble, BBC Worldwide and PlayStation. Sam describes herself as ‘brave, honest and nurturing’ and when she’s not hard at work, you’ll find her in the yoga studio. A recently qualified yoga instructor, Sam will be bringing equal helpings of zen and PR pizazz to the team.

Sam said: ‘I really love seeing how different people work, so I’m looking forward to learning about all the different minds that fuel this joint! Stripe creates some of the best work in the industry and I’m excited to be a part of that.’

Welcome to the team ladies!

ScottishPower appoint Stripe to UK PR and communications brief

ScottishPower appoint Stripe to UK PR and communications brief

Fantastic news! We’ve been appointed by ScottishPower to support its PR and communications across the UK.

Following five years of working closely with ScottishPower, we will continue to provide strategic campaigns to promote ScottishPower across CSR, sponsorship, retail, SME, renewables and SP energy for the next two years.

Simon McMillan, Head of Media Relations at ScottishPower, said: “We operate in a competitive marketplace so it’s essential that ScottishPower stands out. Stripe’s commitment to matching our requirement for excellence in supporting all our campaigns has again set them apart from the crowd, and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with them.”

Juliet Simpson, CEO and Founder of Stripe, said: “We’re thrilled to have retained such an important piece of business. It is testament the strong relationship which we have worked with ScottishPower to develop that they have shown their continuing confidence in our values and approach. As leaders in delivering sustainable and greener energy, this is an exciting time for ScottishPower and they have a strong and differentiated narrative platform for us to work with. We’ve really enjoyed working with the team over the past five years and are looking forward to the next stage of our journey with them.”

GLASGOW 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS DIGITAL AGENCY

GLASGOW 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS DIGITAL AGENCY

We are delighted to officially announce today that Stripe Communications has been appointed as digital agency to Glasgow 2018, the inaugural multi-sport European Championships event.

Our brief is to deliver digital and social strategy, campaign ideation, content creation and implementation of paid and organic digital activity across all social and web channels over the next 18 months.  The team will focus on 13 key event milestones such as volunteer recruitment, the mascot launch and the European Championships event itself.

Taking advantage of the strong legacy created by the 2014 Commonwealth Games and keeping sport at the heart of communities across Glasgow and Scotland, this new event will elevate the status of European Champions and attract a potential television audience of up to 1.03 billion across the continent, with a wider audience expected via digital platforms.

Darcie Tanner, Stripe Digital Director, said: “This is a unique opportunity to continue the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and deliver innovative campaign activity across platforms and channels, and we’re excited to start delivering.”

Stripe was awarded the six figure account in February and work began immediately.

The European Championships will take place in multiple venues across Glasgow, such as the Emirates Arena, Gleneagles and a planned new BMX track at Knightswood Park, hosting 3,000 athletes participating in six events over 11 days.

SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS TO LAUNCH NEW ‘OCEAN INVADERS’

SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS TO LAUNCH NEW ‘OCEAN INVADERS’

We are excited to announce that Stripe Communications has been appointed as the retained PR agency to launch SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s brand new attraction ‘Ocean Invaders: Enter the world of the Jellies’ which is due to open for Easter 2017.

The 12-month project brief will see Stripe deliver creative PR communications plans supporting the announcement, launch and ongoing creative ideas for its latest stunning attraction. The selection follows Stripe’s recent appointment by Madame Tussauds London as their retained agency after winning another competitive pitch earlier in the year.

The Stripe London team will be managing the account and working with Merlin Entertainments London attractions marketing and PR team with work already well underway.

Chloe Couchman, Head of PR for Merlin Entertainments London Attractions, said, “Stripe have demonstrated a quality of creative thinking that will deliver real impact supporting our latest exciting experience. The team demonstrated a strong understanding of our core audience and the London attraction landscape as well as passion and drive to create memorable moments to give our attraction stand out in a highly competitive market.”

Chris Stevenson, Stripe Communications Managing Director said, “It is a privilege to work with SEA LIFE London Aquarium and a Marketing and PR team with the vision and ambition to deliver highly creative and innovative work. We are also delighted to extend our relationship with Merlin Entertainments London Group. With such fantastic attractions to work with, we expect to deliver outstanding memorable moments for them in the months ahead, driving London tourists into these wonderful attractions during key sales periods.”

Stripe’s London office is headed up by Managing Director, Chris Stevenson, who joined Stripe in January 2016 and has overseen the rapid growth of the agency’s client roster which now includes prominent national and international brands such as Ubisoft, Madame Tussauds London and Paddy Power.

MADAME TUSSAUDS LONDON APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS THEIR RETAINED PR AGENCY

MADAME TUSSAUDS LONDON APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS THEIR RETAINED PR AGENCY

We are excited to announce that one of London’s most popular and iconic attractions, Madame Tussauds, has chosen Stripe as their retained PR agency. In what was a highly competitive pitch process, Stripe has been appointed by Madame Tussauds London to work with the in-house PR and Marketing team to support the launch of its major new news in 2017 and to deliver a proactive press office function to promote and amplify its world-renowned wax figures and new experiences.

Stripe were appointed based on demonstration of strategic thinking and use of insight, knowledge of the London attractions market and application of creative thinking to deliver activity that will push Madame Tussauds London and its latest additions to the top of the news agenda, making it a must see attraction in 2017.

The account will be managed from our London office with work commencing from November 2016 and throughout 2017.

Chloe Couchman, Head of PR for Merlin Entertainments London cluster said, “Stripe Communications will be our retained PR agency for Madame Tussauds London. Stripe did an outstanding job in highlighting their passion and insight in to the busy London attraction landscape and how PR plays a critical role for engaging the public. All of our experiences create memorable moments – so understanding and embracing that element even at the initial PR process stage was critical.”

Stripe London’s Managing Director, Chris Stevenson said: “Madame Tussauds is an iconic London attraction and we are honoured and thrilled to have been selected as their retained agency. 2017 is an incredibly exciting year for Madame Tussauds London with lots of exciting new additions to the attraction coming in the next 12 months. We have developed some mouth-watering creative campaigns to amplify these and look forward to bringing them to life.”

Madame Tussauds London will be the newest client to be represented by our new London office, which is continuing to grow rapidly since opening at the start of 2016.