There’s a bit of a tradition at Stripe which started when there was four of us crowded round a single deskphone back in 2007 – when it’s a colleague’s birthday we get cake and candles and we sing happy birthday. That’s it. But oh my god, do I miss those moments. Ten perfect minutes of celebration, joy and community all wrapped in glorious cake-y goodness.
It might be an unpopular opinion, but I miss the office. In all likelihood this is compounded by the fact that I have three marauding kids at home. Even still, I miss the office. I miss coffee and chat with my work wife, I miss the shared moments when you crack a brief, I miss the energy and buzz of big days and busy weeks, I miss spontaneous conversations and random comments that turn into really productive moments. I miss all the teamwork and togetherness that you just don’t seem to get on a Zoom call.
When Twitter announced last month that it would be changing its WFH policy to, well, forever, it set a forward-thinking precedent that could shape the future of how we work. There’s no doubt the benefits of working from home have been huge and have reinforced the value of mental health and work life balance. Letting go of some of the more stressful parts of work life – for me, the commute, the school run and the pressure to ‘be somewhere’ – and then also the realisation that, in fact, productivity doesn’t drop while working remotely.
So yes, absolutely the work is getting done but, in my opinion, it’s just not as much fun. It might sound naff but in a creative and agile industry like PR we don’t just go to work to work, we also go to play and be social. Productivity is important but it isn’t everything. Certainly, for some businesses and their workforces, fully WFH will work like a charm and it’s amazing that this moment has propelled in such positive change. I suppose that when we consider what the future holds for office-based cultures, I’m just not convinced it’s exclusively one thing or another and that maybe the reality is we’ll need a little bit of both.
Perhaps with flexibility, trust and compassion, there’s a chance we can have our cake and eat it.
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.
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!
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!
It’s official… We’re excited to announce the opening of our new London office and the appointment of Chris Stevenson as our London MD.
Chris joins us from Emanate and over his career has worked with some of the most respected agencies and exciting brands to deliver PR, digital and communications strategies for clients across consumer tech, entertainment, FMCG and sports. He brings his expertise and innovative thinking to lead the business and nurture and grow our reputation in London.
But that’s not all we’ve been up to, as we continue to develop our strategic, creative and digital offering. We’re excited to announce that we have three further new senior players to add to our team.
Anna Russell, former General Manager, Brand Marketing at Audi of America has joined us as Director of Strategy. Anna will be expanding Stripe’s strategic and creative services and continuing the digital evolution of the agency.
Lesley Morton was part of the original start-up team at Stripe and returns as Head of Brand Entertainment. For the last four years she has been working on global brand campaigns and brings communication specialisms across music, arts, film & TV from her previous role as head of the Music & Entertainment team at CSM Sport & Entertainment.
And last but not least, we announce Hilary Joiner as our new Creative Director. With 20 years’ experience in both traditional and digital arenas, Hilary will be responsible for developing and delivering Stripe’s creative capabilities and ensuring that great ideas continue to be a part of our DNA.
We’re kicking off 2016 as we mean to go on. It’s our tenth year and we’re as ambitious now as we’ve ever been. The demand from our clients for integrated communications continues to grow and at Stripe we’re committed to innovating and differentiating our business.
Watch this space…
Thursday night at the Marketing Society’s St Andrews Day dinner, we were awarded Agency Employer Brand of the Year. It’s fair to say we’re no stranger to winning awards for our work, but to be recognised for the way we treat our people was pretty special and here’s why.
When we set up Stripe we had an ambition beyond doing great work for our clients and that was to create an agency that genuinely put people first. In a business where your product is your people, it’s ridiculous to have to say it, but all too often agencies are driven by nothing but the bottom line. In my opinion that’s back to front. At Stripe, we believe happy people = great work = happy clients. This philosophy hasn’t just been good for our people, it’s also been good for business. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve achieved year on year double digit growth and consistently exceeded our targets.
That said, when you run a small business, making a commitment to your people isn’t easy and the investment in time is huge. We don’t have the luxury of an HR department, so it’s down to our leadership team to define and deliver our people strategy day in day out. In many ways I believe this is why we’ve succeeded – everyone owns it and everyone delivers it.
Ultimately our people are our brand. ‘The Stripes’ as they call themselves define our culture and we try to let them own it as much as possible. Beyond that our philosophy is simple – it’s about supporting people to be the best that they can be. We do that through all the usual stuff like regular and consistent communication, providing forums for two way feedback, coaching, training, flexible working, reward and recognition. More importantly, it’s about giving people opportunities, empowering them and pushing them to realise their potential. But we also recognise that employees are real people beyond the doors of Stripe and we try to help them balance their lives with work as best we can.
This isn’t always easy and I’ll be honest, sometimes we don’t get it right, we are human after all. We do however take our responsibility to our people seriously. When the life of every individual is so precious, surely every business has a responsibility to do that?
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!
We donned our wellies and raincoats and headed to Ingliston to help launch a new school travel funding scheme between SP Energy Networks and the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET).
The scheme offered Scottish schools the chance to visit the UK’s largest agricultural event, the Royal Highland Show, to find out more about food, farming and staying safe around electricity with SP Energy Networks’ award-winning PowerWise education programme.
Through an interactive safety trail, over 300 kids learned all about electricity and got to witness an electrifying pyrotechnics display showing the devastating consequences of hitting a power line.
Sparky, the PowerWise crow, flew in to help out – and pose for this pic with Stripes Jen and Georgia.
Find out more about the PowerWise programme at www.powerwise.org.uk
It was a double win at the CIPR Scotland PRide Awards for the team here at Stripe – as well as picking up Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy, our Account Manager Shaun Bell scooped Young Communicator of the Year.
Shaun was praised for being ‘head and shoulders’ above the other candidates with his passion for what he does shining through. After joining Stripe in 2011 through the Stars and Stripes graduate programme, Shaun has worked his way up to Account Manager and delivered campaigns for clients such as John Lewis, the Scottish Government and Young Scot.
Our MD, Juliet Simpson, said: “I’m extremely proud of the whole team who all play their part in helping us to achieve amazing results for our clients, and I’m especially pleased for Shaun who fully deserves this award for the dedication and passion he brings to his job every day.”
We also won Silver awards for the Public Sector and Consumer Relations categories for The Scottish Government Country Roads campaign and VELUX Lovers of Light campaign respectively.
Here at Stripe Towers, we’re thrilled to welcome our new Stars and Stripes – the lovely Kara and Georgia joined us earlier this month and have got stuck right in!
Both have hit the ground running and are already contributing to the busy Stripe life.
Over the next 6 months, Kara and Georgia will be given the opportunity to work with a number of different clients and sectors, undergo a structured training and development programme and benefit from weekly coaching sessions.
Kara joins us after completing a journalism course at Napier University and is a food and fitness fanatic. Georgia gained a degree in Literature from Edinburgh University and we love that she is a self-confessed bookworm who enjoys baking. The Stripe team are already hoping for book recommendations and office cakes!
Now in its fifth year, our ‘Stars and Stripes’ programme is open to all recent graduates and offers a six-month full paid trainee account executive position with UK’s leading consumer PR agency.
For details on Stars and Stripes 2015 please keep an eye on our website or follow Stripe Communications on Twitter and LinkedIn.