21 inventive, industrious and inspiring projects from 2021

2021 was a year of agility, innovation and deeper engagement. Our team worked with clients on projects including everything from editorial campaigns and podcasts to virtual events and downloadable guides. Here is a quick whistle-stop tour of just some of the projects that made us proud...

The right story at the right time

CMI main causes of workplace conflict

One piece of content that we produced for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) this year really hit home with managers and leaders: The five causes of conflict in distributed teams – and how to manage them. As we write, this punchy piece, that was specially commissioned from the workplace expert Gihan Perera, has had more than 25,000 unique visitors, reinforcing CMI’s as a knowledge hub for navigating modern workplace challenges. 

Honest voices that connect with customers

Real stories told by real people have been a consistent theme in 2021. We visited St George’s School and Danske Bank to talk to companies that had benefited from offering Benenden Health’s healthcare plan to employees. Videos that told these stories have helped Benenden expand their customer base.

Fresh thinking on new projects

Grounds Management

Our team has relished the opportunity to work with several new clients over the last year. Helping them understand their audience, build new strategies and communicate with their audiences in fresh ways. In the last year we have started working with organisations including Friends of the Earth, Horticulture Trades Association, Grounds Management Association, Certsure and Mensa.

An animated guide to hybrid working hazards

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has quickly become a world authority on hybrid working, and the management challenges that flow from it. The objective of this animated film is to highlight the key challenges and offer some solutions. Building on CMI member analysis, we detected seven key themes. We developed this engaging and informative short video. There are some lovely micro sound effects and touches, especially the WFH divide icon at 01:53. 

Supporting the lives of early career engineers


After the successful launch of our first-ever virtual careers event for young engineers in 2020, all eyes were on EngRec 2021.

With more sophisticated platform technology, a great line-up of exhibitors, speakers and strategic partners and a fantastic downloadable guide looking at all the ways young engineers can ‘supercharge’ their careers, this year’s event provided the ideal environment for matching ambitious individuals with the forward-thinking businesses looking to recruit them. 

But sometimes you just need a #

Getting your message heard on Twitter is never an exact science, but we know that timing, tagging and the right hashtags are every bit as important as good images and pithy text.

When we tweeted this cover of Historic Scotland featuring #Outlander and #MeninKilts stars Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, our feed exploded with likes, comments, clicks and retweets. Sometimes you just need to nail an engaged enthusiastic fanbase and amplification of your content takes care of itself.

Historic Scotland tweet

Podcasts fuelled by passion

Love Scotland podcast

There are no shortage of stories behind the National Trust for Scotland’s amazing buildings and landscapes.

Having working on their member magazine we took on the production of the charity’s regular podcast hosted by TV favourite Jackie Bird in 2021.

We launched a new season  recorded at NTS properties to make the podcast feel more experiential and created a content plan that links all NTS channels. Already, listens are up by 60%.

Launching NRLA on #PropertyTok

You might not expect TikTok to be the most obvious platform for landlords. But, with #PropertyTok clocking 3 million+ views and counting, it is fast becoming a key source of tips and advice for the sector – complete with catchy music. The NRLA’s first TikTok video expanded their reach and shared important – and engaging – guidance with landlords. The video pulled out the key takeaways from an article on pets in the Autumn issue of Property magazine – complete with VERY cute puppy footage.


EV revolution, interrupted

Throughout 2021, we’ve worked with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to drive home a key message: that the UK needs more technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles. First, we composed an open letter by the IMI’s CEO and President that was shared online and on social media. This got good traction. Then, we surveyed IMI members and key stakeholders, turning this into a lengthy magazine analysis. We also shared this analysis as a special report at the IMI’s Virtual Conference. Next, we helped create PR material (working with IMI’s PR agency Harrison-Sadler) that was shared at the British Motor Show. The result? The IMI’s chief executive was featured on the BBC’s Rip-off Britain show, as well as on BBC Breakfast and across the media. A very satisfying, coordinated campaign on an increasingly-important topic. 

Target-smashing emails for Petplan

What does every new pet owner need? Advice, and lots of it. We stepped up to the plate with a series of bi-weekly emails for owners of puppies and kittens, providing search-friendly content, on-the-button hints and tips and encouragement direct to pet parents’ inboxes, with a healthy average open rate of 57% and average click rate of 36%. The Petplan Nursery programme is just one of a suite of content we provide for Petplan Customer and B2B platforms, ensuring those who care for animals have the support they need at their fingertips.

Petplan nursery emails

Books are a novel way to grab attention

Kew Gardens book from Welbeck

Our sister company Welbeck Publishing have worked with a bunch of clients to create books that offer novel ways to connect with audiences, and deliver new revenue streams. Recent books have included a dive into the archives at Kew Gardens, a series of quiz books with Mensa, and world history with the Imperial War Museum. Look out for our Official History of the World Cup and Formula One 2022 released in March 2022. Welbeck’s Little Book series, covering topics from perfume to pet-care, have also provided a new opportunity to showcase brands beyond their normal channels. And always remember, a book is for life, not just for Christmas….when did you last throw a book away?

Boiling down the best advice

Better Managers Roadmap text

Throughout 2020/21, working with CMI, we produced some fantastic content about the challenges that managers and leaders were facing. In 2021, we condensed the best stories and insights – repurposing previously-published content – into the Better Managers Roadmap. This brings together insights from the countless stories and pieces of advice we’ve heard from the CMI membership during this tumultuous period. What really has changed? What kind of managers and leaders do we need to be in the future? 

Visions of the Future

The role of environmental health professionals came to the fore during the pandemic, with members on the frontline working to protect public health, on both a local and national level. The Visions of the Future campaign for CIEH was launched to provide insight into the different ways the sector responded to the pandemic and reflect on what they learned. The multichannel campaign featured experts from within and outside the profession and their views on what it means for the changing face of environmental health and ongoing risks from COVID-19.

New types of events pull in audiences

A series of virtual talks for National Trust for Scotland has allowed members to engage with the Trust’s experts in new ways, and learn about its conservation projects first hand. More than 1,500 members have attended these talks live with 1,000+ viewing sessions on catch-up.

75 years of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Waterlife cover

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust began life with just 1,000 members and the enthusiasm of conservationist Sir Peter Scott. Now, it counts 180,000 nature lovers in its community, and we interviewed just a few of them for a special 75thanniversary edition of its member magazine, Waterlife. From scientists to schoolteachers, and teenagers to life members, the feature cast its net across the country to meet wetland-lovers from all walks of life.

A new platform for engineering the future

Engineering Futures

Introducing a new series of webinar weeks called Engineering Futures, in association with IMechE, helped open up new revenue streams while providing engaging content (that leads back to the institution) to reach wider engineering and business audiences. The event website was up in a fortnight and the event series has since generated strong attendee numbers, great sponsor feedback and healthy debate. We’re already looking to expand the series in 2022.

Confident content strategy

2021 was the year many organisations took a step back to reflect on their member communications and the best way to engage and activate audiences moving forward. Working with the brilliant BIMCO, we helped shaped a new content strategy – underpinned by a content mission statement and key pillars – that plays to the strengths of their global shipping experts and opens up new channels of communication.

Using content for good

Therapy Today cover

Therapy Today has covered Black History Month regularly, but this year, the whole magazine was dedicated to the campaign and, in particular, Black psychotherapy pioneers who have shaped the profession.  

Editor Sally Brown invited a panel of six Black therapists to contribute to the issue, along with David Weaver, President of BACP. In his introductory letter for the issue, he explains why he feels so strongly that a Black History Month special issue is needed. He says: ‘It cannot be right that there remain barriers to entry into the counselling profession for potential Black therapists. And it is also unacceptable, especially at a time like this, that Black and marginalised communities’ mental health is overlooked when they require support like no other time before in our lifetimes.’ 

The APM Podcast goes intergalactic

Project professionals are at the heart of delivering innovation, change and development, and the APM represents 34,000 of them throughout the world. The APM podcast was developed to tell the inspiring stories from across the membership, celebrating the work being done and demonstrating the opportunities available to those who pursue a career in project management. This is best demonstrated by our episode with Jennifer Trosper, project manager at NASA’s Mars Perseverance project in its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California; it’s not often we’re able to showcase a career which has literally reached stratospheric heights!

APM Podcast

Inside Horticulture gets down and dirty

Inside Horticulture cover

In 2020, 3 million people decided gardening was for them after all, helped no doubt by the HTA lobbying government to become one of the first types of business allowed to reopen after Lockdown. Whatever outdoor space we had, visiting garden centres and landscaping that space helped a nation get back on its feet.

The members of the Horticultural Trades Association had a more urgent need for intelligence, insight, and peer-to-peer sharing of successes. So the HTA launched Inside Horticulture to give members all the tools to help them make the best decisions for their businesses. 

The launch edition jumped in at the deep end and tackled the challenges and opportunities presented by the move away from peat and towards making horticulture truly green.

Content that brings people together

Living with an invisible disability is not easy. But, during the pandemic, the sense of vulnerability became even more acute for some. Connect, the member magazine for Crohn’s & Colitis UK, has been cited as a lifeline – and during 2021 we relaunched it as a print and email hybrid, with 12 e-newsletters. Enjoying great engagement rates, the new format echoes what we know of Connect in print; 90% of respondents said the information it contained helped them to manage their condition. And most importantly, it helped them feel less alone.

Connect Now email

And one for luck: putting the audience first

Plus, we created our very own ‘wheel of engagement’ that explores how to take a more audience-centric approach to designing and delivering your content programme. If you’d like to find out more about how we build content strategies that deliver real member engagement get in touch with our team.

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