Devon PR firm bucks trend by opening London office

West Country PR agency RAW has bucked the trend of flight from the capital during the pandemic by opening a new office in London.

(L-R) Scarlette Matthews and Hayley Reynolds (pic credit: Steven Haywood)
(L-R) Scarlette Matthews and Hayley Reynolds (pic credit: Steven Haywood)

The agency, which specialises in food and drink, said its talent base in Devon was predominantly composed of parents who were used to working for the company remotely before the impact of COVID-19 made it the norm across the industry.

Raw co-founder Hayley Reynolds said: “Many of our team are young mums with experience of working for some of the UK’s top agencies, but who were at home raising families. Just because they work from home in rural locations doesn’t mean their talent or experience is diminished in any way. So we were a team of homeworkers before homeworking became the new norm.”

But an increasing workload and client list – which includes Luscombe Drinks, Lindt chocolate and Salcombe Brewery – means the firm has decided to open an office in London.

The office will be run by Scarlette Matthews, who has previously worked for Red Consultancy, Alfred and Porter Novelli.

Commenting on the role, Matthews said: “I enjoyed eight years working in London agencies, but I was impressed by the creative and intelligent way in which RAW works and operates. It's a truly innovative agency operating from one of the most beautiful parts of the country.”

She said that while most of the agency’s work can be done remotely, it was also useful to have a base in London to facilitate last-minute meetings.

But the new office, which has opened in East London, is not about the glamour of working in the capital.

Reynolds said: “It’s no longer about working in impressive city offices with big expense accounts – it’s about getting down to brass tacks and telling real stories about real people and real companies doing real things or creating fabulous products, which in turn create wealth within a local economy and give rise to real jobs.”

Reynolds added that the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic would act as a stimulant for the industry.

She said: “Businesses which survive hard times tend to be the ones with a genuine reason for existing in the first place. They are the ones who are constantly looking at innovation.”

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