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STARS & STRIPES 2022: APPLY NOW!

STARS & STRIPES 2022: APPLY NOW!

Our entry-level programme, Stars & Stripes is back for 2022! If you want to kickstart your career in communications we’re looking for clever candidates who have a positive attitude and big, creative ideas.

We want to bring bright, new talent into the industry, so our Stars & Stripes programme is open to both grads and non-grads. If you’ve got a passion for communications and creativity, we’re offering three outstanding candidates permanent, paid positions – two in Stripe’s Edinburgh HQ and one in our London office.

We’re an integrated communications agency delivering brand, social, PR and digital – so if you’re interested in any of those areas, Stars & Stripes is open to you.

If you’re successful you’ll be working with some of the UK’s most exciting brands, taking part in Stripe IQ – our immersive training and development programme – and being mentored by some of the industry’s smartest minds.

You must also respond to the following challenge:

  • Tell us about yourself in 280 characters or less, or via a short piece to camera
  • Write a short, snappy piece of up to 400 words describing a recent creative communications campaign that you loved and why

The closing date for applications is Friday 10 June at 5pm. The candidates with the strongest submissions will be invited to a selection day at Stripe and successful applicants will join the Stars and Stripes programme in September 2022.

STRIPE ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TAYLOR BENNETT FOUNDATION

STRIPE ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TAYLOR BENNETT FOUNDATION

We’ve launched a new long-term agency partnership with the Taylor Bennett Foundation, an award-winning charity that encourages people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to pursue careers in communications.

Stripe is on a mission to help more young people from ethnic minority backgrounds into the communications industry. As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and equality for all, a Diversity & Belonging Taskforce has been appointed to develop policies and initiatives to promote positive workplace DE&I.

The 12-month partnership will include three Taylor Bennett Foundation internships within Stripe’s London and Edinburgh offices, participation in the Foundation’s training programme to support the development of young people trying to break into the industry, and promotion of Stripe’s Stars & Stripes talent programme to the Foundation’s network.

Melissa Lawrence, Chief Executive of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, said:
“There is a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the PR & Communications industry that the Foundation has been working on for over a decade to address. We do this by delivering programmes that educate, inspire and motivate young people to consider a career in the industry and by providing opportunities for them to start and progress in their careers. We know we make an impact, but there is much work still to be done.

“We cannot do what we do without the support of the industry and that is why I’m delighted that Stripe Communications have committed to supporting all of our programmes.

“The next 12 months will see us partnering together to create more opportunities for our young people. They will be able to explore careers in PR & Communications and gain practical experience of what it’s like to work in this exciting industry. Our partnership will help young people make better-informed decisions about PR & Communications and will provide them with the professional capital they need to progress in their careers.”

The collaboration is part of Stripe’s ongoing commitment to building a diverse culture where difference is valued. We have set targets to increase ethnic diversity through recruitment and retention – with a programme to make our team more than 20% ethnically diverse by 2025.

Juliet Simpson, CEO of Stripe Communications, said:
“At Stripe we’re committed to increasing diversity by reducing barriers to success, so everyone has the chance to succeed based on talent, passion and values. For years we have been passionate campaigners for gender equality in the workplace and are extremely proud of what we have achieved in this area.

“We recognise that we still have a very long way to go in creating an ethnically diverse business and that we have a responsibility to society to do that.  At Board level we are committed to delivering demonstrable change, but we know this is not something we can do on our own.

“The Taylor Bennett Foundation has an in-depth understanding of comms and a wealth of experience in delivering results.  We hope to play our part in leading change across the industry and supporting our own business to become more diverse, which will ultimately deliver a better culture for our people and better work for our clients.”

Stripe has always been a passionate believer in providing equal opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential. We have a 50:50 gender balanced Board, two-thirds of the agency leadership team is female – mirroring the rest of the organisation – and a quarter of the leadership team identifies as LGBT+, which also mirrors the rest of the organisation.

In response to internship freezes during the pandemic, we ran a Virtual Stripe Academy programme to support the next generation of comms talent. More than 160 young people joined from across 32 colleges and universities streaming more than 1,500 hours of free training.

In 2019 we were awarded a Silver Stevie International Woman in Business Award for ‘Best female led workplace’. This followed work to promote gender equality in the communications industry through programmes with WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications Leadership), The Marketing Society and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

STRIPE ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD AND SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM APPOINTMENTS

STRIPE ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD AND SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM APPOINTMENTS

Stripe today announces a series of promotions that strengthen its Board and senior leadership team across Edinburgh and London.

Planning Director, Gemma Bell, who has been with the business since the first year of trading is being promoted to Board Director joining the Stripe Group Board. Gary Coventry Coyle who was previously Head of Finance is being promoted to Finance Director also sitting on the Group Board.

Stepping into new Associate Director roles are Shaun Bell, Kirsty Grierson and Emily Puddephatt in Edinburgh and Andrew Boocock in London who were all previously Group Account Directors.

CEO, Juliet Simpson, said:

“Our talent strategy has always focused on growing and nurturing our own people and these promotions are testament to that. Over the last 14 years Gemma has played a key role in the success of Stripe, not only developing award winning campaigns for clients but in supporting the strategic direction and growth of the business. We look forward to welcoming her to the Board.

“Our new Associate Directors have all been with us between 6 and 10 years and nothing makes me prouder than recognising their individual talent, passion and commitment.

“We have always been a growth orientated business and our strengthened senior leadership team will allow us to deliver on our ambitious plans for 2022, ultimately creating more opportunities for people to thrive and fulfil their true potential.”

VOTE FOR SHAUN!

VOTE FOR SHAUN!

This month is all about elections as Stripe Group Account Director, Shaun Bell is standing as Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Scotland and we’re giving him our support.

Under his manifesto, Shaun plans to bring together the thriving community of PR professionals in Scotland, grow CIPR membership and importantly,

  • Illustrate how CIPR Scotland members and the wider PR community can get support through tough times
  • Increase visibility and understand of PR in boardrooms
  • Support PR careers and inspire the future leaders of our industry
  • Improve diversity in the Scottish communications industry

Shaun is truly passionate about life-long learning, career development and innovation so we’re not surprised he’s pledging to launch a ‘Here To Help’ initiative to support the PR community, introduce a ‘Director Skills Series’ to boost boardroom skills, and the expansion of the CIPR Scotland’s Future Leaders and Fellows Mentorship programmes.

With proposed new partnerships with the IoD, Marketing Society, PRCA, NUJ and Women in Journalism on top, we think Shaun has the interests of all comms professionals working in Scotland at heart.

So, join us and vote for Shaun – you can read his manifesto here and CIPR members can register to vote at the Scotland AGM here.

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.