Winner – Blurred
Launched in late 2018, Blurred's name acknowledges the continued blurring of lines between industries, disciplines and audiences – today, corporate is consumer, internal is external and purpose is brand. It had always been committed to work that was purpose-led and purposeful, but after COVID-19 struck it took the bold decision to refocus its entire business around ESGP (environmental, social, governance and purpose).
As part of that ESGP approach, its communications work always targets the entire stakeholder universe, from the capital markets and policymakers right through to employees and consumers. The approach helped it grow all of its clients over the past year, and it picked up new clients including ABF (the owner of Primark and 70 other brands), Nomad Foods, TV production firm Freemantle, Sky, Lidl and one of the four global tech giants.
All this led Blurred to 65 per cent fee growth in the year beginning June 2020, compared to the year before, with profits up by 71 per cent. Over the past year, the firm also won Ally status from The Blueprint, and launched a monthly paid internship for people from BAME or lower socio-economic groups – interns completing the scheme join the Intern Alumni group, through which they receive ongoing training and check-ins from the senior team, among other benefits.
In its award entry, Blurred proudly cites a recent endorsement, in PRWeek, of its business model from Lansons chief executive and founder Tony Langham – we’re sure it will be just as proud of the PRWeek UK Specialist Consultancy of the Year trophy, which it wins alongside two high commendations in other categories.
The judges said
An incredible journey, with such depth and integrity behind it – outstanding innovation, growth and boundary-pushing. Impressive commitment to and progress on diversity, inclusion and their employee proposition.
Highly commended – Greenhouse PR
Environmental specialist agency Greenhouse, a registered B Corp, more than doubled both turnover and profit in 2020, in the process doubling its headcount to 40 staff. Campaign highlights include successfully putting pressure on Lloyd's to stop providing new insurance for coal and tar sands projects, and helping a sustainable energy company to attract a £10m investment.