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Stars of the Night: Insight Public Affairs

Insight Public Affairs scooped the Specialist Agency of the Year award in the 2013 PRWeek Awards.

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The agency, founded by managing director John Lehal in 2006, has had a particularly strong 12 months, with revenue projected to rise 50 per cent to reach £2m by the end of 2013.

Aside from a healthy new business haul, the agency has also been prolific in terms of industry leadership on the issue of lobbyist ethics. It also showed its innovative spirit with the creation of Cameron's Dashboard, a website measuring the Government on their election pledges.

Read more about recent developments at Insight here.

What the judges said about Insight

"The past year has been very exciting for Insight. Not only has it had real commercial success, but it's truly ethical approach and team spirit shone through" Nigel Prideaux, group director of comms, Aviva

"Instead of utilising thought leadership and CSR as icing on the cake, Insight demonstrated a true commitment to both delivery for the client and raising the reputation of their sector" Mark Demery, head of external relations, London Assembly

"An excellent entry - clearly an agency that knows and understands its market and makes a full contribution to the PR industry" Stuart Thomson, public affairs consultant, Bircham Dyson Bell

A client's view

"It is a very well deserved award for brilliant agency.  I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the Insight team" Susannah Gill, Head of Public Affairs (UK & Ireland), Betfair

From PRWeek brand editor, Ruth Wyatt

"I was impressed earlier this year with Insight's robust and transparent response to a clumsy media sting that sought to criticise the reasonable function of public affairs agencies in supporting all-party parliamentary committees. This is clearly an agency that has not only created a solid ethical policy but also sticks to it."

Insight's managing director, John Lehal, talks to PRWeek about the impact of, and background to, the agency's award win: 

How did you celebrate your win?

It was an epic win, so an epic celebration followed! We stayed on in the Grosvenor House Red Bar until around 3am. We threw a party for the whole team at Chotto Matte in Soho at which we celebrated the win together with some team promotions and new client wins.

How many PRWeek awards has your agency won to date? What does winning this one mean to you?

We rarely enter awards. Whilst we are proud of our campaign successes, clients can sometimes be sensitive about award entries, so we limit ourselves to the consultancy categories. We wanted to enter the PR Week Awards this year as we have had such a momentous year.

Are there any employees that deserve particular praise for their part in securing this award?

We said in our presentation to judges that some agencies have a leadership team, we have a team of leaders. We are firm believers in autonomy and accountability, so whether it be our marketing initiatives, our policy events, or our legacy client campaigns, it really is a team effort, so the award is a team win.

What do you believe sets your agency apart from rivals?

Doing the right thing (paying London Living Wage, signatories to Prompt Payment Code, pension for all staff, encouraging workplace flexibility). Doing things right (legacy campaigns that deliver our clients' commercial objectives). Advancing policy (our mind-maps, Cameron's Dashboard, and reports on LEPs and Non-Executive Directors). Helping the next generation (Our support for Taylor Bennett Foundation, speaking at universities). We would hope that the difference we make as an agency is felt wider than clients and team members, but across the communications profession.

How have you changed the way you do business over the past year?

New clients have taken us into new sectors. Our transport and infrastructure practice has seen us work with Emirates Airline, Black Country LEP, WSP Group and British Parking Association. Our health business has secured business from Teva, Johnson&Johnson and Novartis. Our corporate clients now include the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and Abbeyfield Society. We hope to continue growing, not least given the attention this prestigious win gives us!

Tell us about one piece of recent client work of which you are particularly proud.

We handled the launch of the Associated Retirement Communities earlier this year. A great example of an integrated media and policy campaign which attracted considerable national coverage and political support.

Contact John Lehal

020 7824 1865

@JohnLehal

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