By Kim Hughes, Director
Goldings Communications has turned two and I still have to pinch myself when I think about how far we have come.
When I founded the business in April 2021, I had no idea what a rollercoaster it would be, but what I did know for certain was that I wanted to build a thriving PR and reputation management company. If I was going to do that, I needed to go all in with an ambitious plan and business support.
The past year for me has been the best of my career to date. Growing a business is never easy, and believe me it’s been tough at times, but we more than doubled our turnover during 22-23, took on 37 clients, and are now a team of four people.
Like I said, I still have to pinch myself.
Where it began
Rarely is there chance to reflect and take a moment to appreciate the journey, but the pandemic really made me think about what I wanted to do, as it did for many others.
I had over 20 years’ experience working in PR in an in-house role and as a freelancer, but I gradually started imagining what it would be like if I ran my own company.
With a strong work ethic, natural growth mindset and determined focus on the infinite opportunities which could be, I had never felt more ready to become take the leap to become a businessowner.
Also off the back of Covid, the PR and communications sector was booming. Organisations began looking at new ways to become more visible so, where they might have focused on advertising and traditional marketing, they were suddenly opening up to the idea of having a PR strategy which would result in media coverage, award wins, and proactive PR, enabling them to make the most of their stories across various channels.
Within one month, and before I had even officially ‘launched’ Goldings Communications, I had lined up five clients and was networking like crazy.
I also signed up for business coaching and was one of 19 businesses to win a start-up grant through the Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Northamptonshire.
I had never been more excited about the future.
Reflection and a new direction
By December 2021 I started to reflect on two key areas of the business – our clients and our services.
It was still only me at this point, but I wanted to grow. I realised there was a theme across the types of organisations I was working with – they mostly had an underlying social or environmental purpose. It was also around this time I started looking at simplifying our offer so that we had four clear services; media relations, awards, crisis communications and strategic storytelling.
I had more clarity about who I wanted to proactively work with and how I would serve them.
In March 2022 I took on my first freelancer and took on my second in the August. In October 2022 I recruited my first permanent member of staff and another in the November. I now had a team and growing client base and felt like anything was possible.
How it’s going
The great thing about our niche is that we are not restricted to any one sector. We have worked with and supported some amazing social and environmentally conscious organisations in the last two years, including The Lewis Foundation, Cawleys, George Davies Turf, Educators Coaching Academy, Energy Efficient Solutions, GSS Architecture, The Mighty Creatives and lots of others.
We have been responsible for gaining national, local and trade media coverage, writing and winning countless awards in some of the most prestigious programmes running, putting clients forward for high-profile speaking opportunities, and successfully supporting clients to communicate through times of crisis. We have also helped clients with their strategy, staff training, tone of voice development, case studies and other forms of storytelling.
Turnover growth in the last 12 months was an incredible 200% and our customer testimonials showcase our continued results.
There have been lots of learnings over the last two years.
- The business has changed, and yet the important aspects have stayed the same – like our client approach and continual ability to deliver exceptional PR services for the businesses that trust us.
- We’re best for organisations that want to bring about lasting social or environmental change – it’s where we fit beautifully and consistently add the most value.
- When you proactively surround yourself with people that want to be better and do better, you will naturally up your game – I am so grateful to have my growing team.
- That I’ll probably never stop seeking opportunities to improve my mindset, attitude and behaviours.
- One of the best ways to build credibility and trust is to say no to opportunities and clients that do not need our services, passing them onto reliable partners or offering alternative advice goes a long way.
- It’s the best feeling in the whole world when you hit those notable achievements – getting results for wonderful clients, growing the team, refining our PR offer, receiving referrals and in-bound leads, and amazing feedback.
2023-24 will be about stability and efficiency, but we still have ambitious goals for growth.
We want to make processes smoother for our valued clients so that we can get even more results, but we are also set on working with even more environmental and socially conscious organisations UK-wide.
We have also revisited our core values, mission and vision in light of our niche. Caring, creative, knowledgeable and results-driven are words that reflect who we are as a business and where we are going, and we are working these into meaningful summaries that can be embedded across all that we do.
Our mission – supporting changemaker organisations to be better known for all the things they’re best at – highlights how we serve our clients. And our overall vision – inspiring environmental and social change through credible PR and strategic storytelling – is what we strive for.
I have also taken up two important positions outside of Goldings Communications – president at a local networking group of over 30 businesses and trustee of The Lewis Foundation – a charity that provides free gift packs to adults cancer patients in hospital.
It is going to be another busy 12 months, but a motto I live and breathe by is: ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’. Bring it on!
If you would like to chat about how Goldings Communications can support your changemaker organisation, do get in touch.