Barns Bulletin #9: June
This month, we dodged the rain in Digbeth for the Birmingham Design Festival, hosted our third Tonic instalment and customarily, ate our own bodyweight in pizza!
Article | Georgia Harris
On International Women’s Day, we took the opportunity to celebrate another reason why we like working at Freestyle - gender balance in the workplace! The team worked together to create a video that documents the importance of having an equal balance of men and women within our team. We put our MD, Suzanne, in front of the camera to discuss what enabled us to become a perfectly-balanced agency. Here’s a snippet of what she had to say:
"Having a great gender balance enables us to be open to new ideas and different points of view, which makes us a better company for our people and our clients – it’s good for business, plain and simple."
On an individual level, we recognised that everyone plays a role in enabling businesses to be more gender-balanced, through calling out injustices, standing up to stereotypes and recognising everyone’s achievements. The video went down a storm on social media and we were proud to share our unique culture with people outside of the agency. Make sure you check out the video if you haven’t already!
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This month, the girls escaped the studio for the day and braved the early morning commute down to London, for the Digital Women event. The day kicked off with some inspiring keynote speeches from the likes of Amy McManus, the MD of AM Marketing, who shared her experience working within a male dominated industry. Lucia Banjo, an Account Strategist at Facebook, discussed how to level up your Instagram presence, and CEO Becki Simms from Reflect Digital, offered an insight into growing and scaling a digital biz.
After a few sarnies, multiple cups of tea and some insightful afternoon workshops, we came away with some helpful tips and empowering messages that we could all benefit from!
This month we have had the pleasure of welcoming Georgia, a recent media studies graduate from the University of Brighton, to our team. She loves running and music festivals, she even already has tickets to Glastonbury this year! Georgia only joined our Site Support team a few weeks ago but is already proving to be a great addition to the Barns!!
Senior Account Manager
Also joining us this month is Sarah, who’s joined the team after moving out of the Big Smoke in search of greener pastures. As well as being a feline fanatic and keen traveller, Sarah’s previously worked in agencies on a wide range of accounts, with her most recent role as Digital Content Manager at Santander. We’re excited to have her onboard!
After the success of Tonic 01 in November, we couldn’t wait to put the attendees' feedback into action for the second instalment of the series. This time around, it was all about the hottest topic on marketer’s lips - Artificial Intelligence.
Hosted by Freestyle Founder Alan Cooper, the evening kicked off at The Botanist in central Birmingham. Amongst the drinks and canapés, we listened to great talks from AI know-it-alls, such as Andy Readman from Wirehive, Keith Reville from Rubix, Josh Sephton, Founder of Pritchatts Consulting, and our very own Technical Director, Guy Brown.
The evening’s wide ranging discussion provided an insight into the broader history, current status and potential implications of AI, and lifted the lid on how businesses and B2B marketers can solve problems using ‘smart’ tech.
During this month’s Sheepies meeting, we chatted about exciting new clients in the pipeline, the possible impact of Brexit and recognised a few star performers in the studio. Most importantly, it gave us the excuse to stuff ourselves with pizza - and a lot of it.
We also had the presentation of the Sheepie award - this month, it was deservingly won by one of our talented Digital Executives, Claudia! Claudia has stepped up, beyond the Digital Exec role, into handling client projects on her own, working closely with the next gen of Digital Execs and generally being amazing! Well done Claudia!
At the end of the month, we said farewell to a Freestyle veteran…Our Operations Director, Phil, has been here from (nearly) the very beginning, and has helped the company transform to where it is today through his constant dedication and commitment. We celebrated Phil’s 14 years at Freestyle with a team outing to Digbeth Dining Club, where we ate street food and sank a few bevs in Phil’s honour. It’s safe to say Phil’s been an integral part of the team and will be greatly missed! From all of us at the Barn, we wish you the best of luck for your next adventure, Phil!
Earlier this month, we received the exciting news that we’ve been shortlisted for The Drum Marketing Awards! Our nominations are for: Design and Re-brand or Re-launch Strategy of the year, for our work on PegasusLife. This isn’t the first time our work for Pegasus has received attention, having won the Bronze award for Best Digital Rebrand at the DIAs in 2018. Well done to everyone who worked so incredibly hard on PegasusLife, we’ve got everything crossed for you!
This month, Amy attended the C&UX Expo at Excel London, which housed over 200 exhibitors and keynote speakers from across the globe. The variety of interesting talks ranged from learning about the importance of accessibility, to taking part in a sing-along with Rockstar CX founder James Dodkins, who delivered the world's first and only musical CX Keynote. The expo brought together people of different industries, which showed how we can translate their CX practices into creating effective digital experiences.