Two years ago, I walked into an empty office alone on the top floor of a newly-rented space in Shoreditch and opened up shop. Battenhall was born, and it turns two tomorrow.
These last two years have literally shot by, but the last six months in particular have humbled me as we've seen recognition from our industry for our achievements beyond what I could have hoped for back then when Battenhall was just me in an empty office in East London.
Since September we have been named Agency of the Future by the PRCA, Best Small Agency in the UK by the Social Media Awards, Finalist for Best New Agency by PR Week, then this week we won our favourite award so far, Best Social Media Agency (not small, or new, just best) at the PR Moment Awards. To be named the top agency in the UK while we are so young and still so new to the market has totally blown me away.
I'm so incredibly proud of my team and thankful to our clients and supporters for getting to this point so quickly in our company history.
Founding mission two years on
I launched Battenhall with the founding mission to change how brand communications agencies work. Having spent most of my career investing a lot of personal time in side projects, testing and learning with emerging social media technologies, then applying all of this in PR and marketing consultancy, I had seen how it could create a new way of working which better suited the increasingly social media centric world we live in.
Working in this way I saw was delivering the best work, attracting the best clients and the most talented colleagues. This is why I knew I had to launch an agency where a new way or working was built into the core, and where all team members have a depth of social media and digital expertise.
To accompany a way of working, I felt that we would also need to create systems and processes too. So we give all team members a large technology budget, flexi working location and hours, unlimited holidays, and tons of other perks that enable us to all do our jobs at another level. You can read our full manifesto here.
The PRCA's Agency of the Future documentary on Battenhall and how we work
Two years on and the founding mission has shown that this new way of working not only works, but is thriving. We don't talk too much openly about our clients, but they are a who's who of brand names and blue chips. And our way of working has been noticed by places such as the FT, Forbes and the PRCA.
Where it all started and what comes next
Battenhall was named after a place, in Worcestershire, and it's where I grew up. Both my parents spent their entire lives working with machinery, and my father would often bring parts home for me to make things out of. I think that's where I got my fascination with all things tech. My mother left her native Spain to find work in England in the 1960's and ultimately settled upon Battenhall. Perhaps that's the entrepreneurial spirit that she passed to me too. And I'd like to think I have taken on their work ethic too - setting up a new business certainly isn't easy, but nothing like the kind of work my parents were used to.
Our mission is to create the next great agency, and I'd say we're getting there fast. Now the hard work is starting to pay off, and Battenhall has a future to plan. This involves new disciplines, new markets and a constant flow of innovations in how we work. We're building up new divisions in ad planning and buying, creative, design & build, and data insights. We're hiring at all levels, so get in touch if you're interested.
Here's to the next two years and many more - thank you to all who are supporting us along the way.