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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.

UBISOFT UK APPOINTS STRIPE FOR CONSUMER AND CORPORATE PR BRIEF

UBISOFT UK APPOINTS STRIPE FOR CONSUMER AND CORPORATE PR BRIEF

We are delighted to announce that we’ve been appointed by Ubisoft UK as the retained agency for its consumer and corporate PR, working alongside the in-house PR team. Our brief is to deliver creative PR communications plans supporting all of Ubisoft’s major video game launches in the UK including Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Watch_Dogs 2 and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. In addition to this, we’ll support the French video games giant with corporate positioning and issues management in the UK.

Ubisoft logoThe account will be managed by our London office and will report in to the Ubisoft UK marketing and PR team with work having commenced from June 2016.

Mark Slaughter, Ubisoft UK Marketing Director, said, “Stripe have demonstrated a quality of creative thinking that will deliver real impact to our national campaigns this year. The team showed strength in that they could not only deliver great product campaigns but also help us realise our ambition to be recognised as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands.”

Stripe’s London office is headed up by Managing Director, Chris Stevenson, who joined in January 2016 and has overseen the rapid growth of the agencies client roster which includes Magners, Paddy Power and now Ubisoft.

 

Stripe scores CIPR Outstanding Consultancy 2016

Stripe scores CIPR Outstanding Consultancy 2016

We walked away from the annual UK CIPR Excellence Awards in London triumphant last night (8 June) with a double whammy of awards – scooping Outstanding Mid-sized Consultancy and Outstanding Young Communicator for Edinburgh based senior account manager, Shaun Bell.

As the first ever Scottish agency to win the prestigious award in 2014 and to now have won it for a second year, what a fantastic achievement for the team and recognition of their tireless hard work, talent and passion. It’s also the first time one of the Stripes has been shortlisted – and indeed won – Outstanding Young Communicator. Well done Shaun!

The awards come following a busy year for us with a number of high profile new business wins and continued growth, including the launch of our London office in January 2016.

 

What PR lessons can be learnt from ‘Boaty McBoatface’ debacle?

What PR lessons can be learnt from ‘Boaty McBoatface’ debacle?

If there is one thing that we can all agree on – the naming of a polar research ship is not something which would traditionally generate the kind of nationwide media coverage it has over the past month.

When former BBC presenter James Hand jokingly entered a public competition to name the new £200m state-of-the-art ship, which is due to be built in 2019, he could have had no idea that his suggestion of ‘Boaty McBoatface’ would garner such public support and capture the imagination of the country so successfully.

Garnering quick support from the blog-o-sphere and social media channels, the ‘Boaty McBoatface’ suggestion soon went viral, with the public overwhelmingly endorsing the comical name for the new ship- and why not? It’s neither offensive nor particularly outlandish but I challenge anyone not to adopt a wry smile across their face every time they hear the name mentioned on TV and radio. It’s pretty much impossible.

Eventually, after achieving over 124,000 votes online, Boaty McBoatface triumphed in a bigger landslide than Labour’s famous 1997 general election victory. This is where the story takes a massive wrong turn – veering off the edge of a cliff and turning the PR dream into a politically correct nightmare of epic proportions.

Because, we all now know, Boaty McBoatface did not win – the decision was quickly taken out of the hands of the public and moved in-house to the Government who have now decided that the RRS (Royal Research Ship) David Attenborough is a much more befitting name than poor ‘Boaty McBoatface’.

In the public poll, David Attenborough came 4th overall – nowhere even close to the popularity of Boaty McBoatface – so why was the decision made to award the 4th choice as the overall winner?

By this point, Sky News, BBC, the Daily Mail and most of the British press had dedicated countless minutes and column-inches to the story which captured the hearts of a British public, looking for a rare glimmer of positive news amidst the daily turmoil of foreign conflict, asylum seekers, the Calais ‘Jungle’, a government at war with the NHS and junior doctors and massive job losses at BHS and in the country’s traditional steel and coal industries.

From a communications perspective, this is where major lessons could and should be learned.

Why was the decision made to, despite overwhelming public support, cast the social media competition aside and take the decision out of the hands of the public? Why even have a public competition in the first place if the decision is ultimately going to be taken by the ‘powers that be’ rather than allowing people a rare moment of joy?

Positive PR could have easily been achieved had they taken the nationwide publicity and utilised it to the advantage of the Royal Research Society. The RRS has probably never had such a far reaching media story and if the Government had been smart it would have harnessed this popularity and made the most out of it. It’s what we in the industry call an ‘easy-win’.

Instead the Government with its ill-thought decision has not only missed an open-goal of Chris Iwelumo-esque proportions, but blasted the ball into the back of its own proverbial net.

Just think of the goodwill and opportunities that could have been afforded to the RRS had they allowed ‘Boaty McBoatface’ to become a reality – the research ship could have eventually become a national tourist attraction, such is the level of support attributed to it.

I think there are two main lessons to be learnt from ‘Boaty McBoatface’ –

  1. If you’re not willing to let go of control and give the public the overall say in a public competition – don’t do it in the first place. The Government would have been well aware of the potential risks attached when opening up a naming competition to the public.
  2. If you do go ahead with such a competition – whatever you do, don’t backtrack once you’ve gone live and score an own-goal from a PR perspective. The public is more shrewd than it is given credit for and it is exactly this type of scenario that fuels scepticism of politics and politicians.

The Government has now backtracked on its original backtrack and announced that while the polar ship itself will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty in recognition of the vote. A more futile attempt to save some face, I can’t remember.

Overall, I can’t help but feel that a massive opportunity has been missed.

To paraphrase a much used quote “Boaty McBoatface is dead. Long live Boaty McBoatface!”

Stripes shooting through the ranks

Stripes shooting through the ranks

We’re kicking off this week with a bundle of brilliant promotions among our talented team.

Hannah Murray has been promoted to Senior Digital Account Manager after wowing us with her digital smarts since joining the team last year

Alex Crate has been promoted to Account Manager having delivered some excellent work across John Lewis and Scottish Government Greener. So too has Georgia Lea who’s impressed the corporate team with her contribution to the business.

Moving into the role of Senior Account Executive is Yasmin Ahmad with her hugely successful content and creative ideas on social and also Kara Gaughan who has joined our team in London and blown them away with her enthusiasm and attitude.

 We’re also excited to announce that Ben Philip who joined through our Stars and Stripes graduate scheme has been promoted to Account Executive.

 Big congrats all round!

Stripe grows our team with four new appointments

Stripe grows our team with four new appointments

Hot on the tails of our recent digital expansion, we’re excited to announce the addition of four new and very talented Stripes to our growing team.

Andrew Boocock is a former senior account manager at Gardiner Richardson managing B2B and consumer accounts, joins Stripe as an senior account manager in our Edinburgh office. Prior to agency life Andrew was a sports journalist for the BBC.

Hayley Angell, an Aussie native, communications specialist and former keynote speaker, has taken up the role of account manager in  our Glasgow office. Hayley brings with her a wealth of experience and passion for integrated marketing campaigns, social media strategy and great writing.

Elaine Cowan joins Stripe as PA to the Board. Drawing on her experience of juggling commercial property marketing and raising a fearless toddler, Elaine is set to bring more than a little order to the Stripe board.

Ana Zamora, a seasoned receptionist and paella-maker extraordinaire joins Stripe in our fast-paced front of house role.

Stripe expands digital skill set

Stripe expands digital skill set

To strengthen our integrated communications offering we’re excited to announce some new players that have joined the team.

Stripe has appointed a Digital Strategist, Designer and Digital Account Manager to further enhance the digital experience for our clients across all sectors and specialisms. Reporting into Digital Director, Darcie Tanner, the new roles are a strong mix of adding both new digital expertise to the mix, as well as increasing the skill set within the current team.

Emily Puddephatt joins Stripe as our Digital Strategist. Emily was previously at DigitasLBi/Lost Boys, bringing five years’ experience working on award-winning cross-digital projects, ranging from community management, influencer outreach and social operations through to full social and integrated strategy for clients such as Nissan, Interactive Investor, SAB Miller, BBC Worldwide and UGG Australia.

Hannah Murray joins Stripe as a Digital Account Manager, also from DigitasLBi where she spent three years working across the search (SEO) side of the business, with a focus on social search campaigns for UK and international clients such as Danone, Europcar and award-winning work for Premier Inn.

Rachel Patrick, designer (with digital design expertise), joins the team after working in the Digital Directorate of The Scottish Government, prior to which she worked agency side and has experience working with IRN-BRU, The Royal Mail, Glasgow 2014 and Nandos.

Our digitally integrated accounts have more than doubled in the last 12 months and there is no doubt in what direction the market is going. These new appointments allow us to continue to exceed client expectations and deliver a strong, creatively driven approach that builds upon and broadens our capabilities in today’s increasingly competitive and connected world.

Stripe’s expertise in digital has been recognised most recently with shortlistings in the Social Buzz Awards and UK Social Media Communications Awards and our addition to The Drum’s Digital Census.

You can see a full list of the Stripe crew on our Stripe People page.

Stripe secures Midori UK digital & PR brief

Stripe secures Midori UK digital & PR brief

We’re raising a glass here at Stripe after being appointed by Maxxium UK to handle digital and PR services for its melon liqueur brand Midori.

Fact: the distinctive green liqueur was first launched in 1978 at the legendary Studio 54 – arguably the world’s most famous nightclub in its day.

We’ll be shaking up a cocktail of digital and social strategy development, community management, CRM and influencer outreach as well as traditional consumer and trade PR and communications.

It’s all aimed at building awareness among the core consumer targets to strengthen the brand’s emotional connection with fans.

Maxxium’s Nick Barker, who is Brand Manager – liqueurs, had this to say about us: “Stripe’s pitch demonstrated a thorough understanding of the Midori brand and target audience. They have created a compelling digital and comms strategy to help us deliver, and it’s great to have them on board”.

It’s an exciting brief – cheers!

Stripe’s corporate team has big ambitions for The EDI Group

Stripe’s corporate team has big ambitions for The EDI Group

Our Corporate team are busy working away on some of Edinburgh’s most ambitious development projects, after being appointed by The EDI Group to support its B2B communications and stakeholder activity.

We have been working with the property development and investment business, owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, since late summer after winning a five-way competitive pitch.

EDI has a number of the city’s most ambitious projects within its portfolio, including the redevelopment and regeneration of Craigmillar, Fountainbridge and Granton Waterfront.

Associate director, Kate Forster, heads up our Corporate division which offers a full suite of communications services including strategy, corporate reputation management, B2B and trade PR, digital and social strategy management, issues and crisis management.

Rising Stripes – celebrating our talented team

Rising Stripes – celebrating our talented team

We’re celebrating here at Stripe with a whole clutch of promotions among our talented team.

Georgia Lea has been promoted to Account Executive after a storming start at Stripe since joining through our Stars & Stripes graduate scheme.

Joe Boyle has wowed us with his can-do attitude and moves to Senior Account Executive; as does Alex Crate who’s been doing phenomenal work for John Lewis, Sourz and Greener.

Moving into the role of Account Manager are Jen Ward – who’s showed us what she’s made of on ScottishPower – and Claire Lennon, who’s played a big part in the success of our corporate team.

Kirsty Grierson, our talented account lead on VELUX and The Kitchin, is now Senior Account Manager.

Moving on to the Stripe management team, Rachael Stone is promoted to the role of Account Director.

We’re also thrilled to announce that Kate Forster, who heads up our Corporate team, moves to Associate Director.

A huge congratulations to each and every one of our Stripes on the ascent!