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Winning Minds Awards: January 2024

Happy new year! We’ve kicked off 2024 with some amazing work from our B2B team. Congratulations to this month’s award winners!

PR Minds – Fiona

I wanted to nominate Fiona, for her work leading the charge on our LNER deer story outreach. It deserves a big scream and shout!

This story ended up going live in the last week before we broke off before Christmas, which is a horrible week to be doing a big media push anyway, let alone doing it single-handedly. 

Despite these challenges, there is absolutely no stopping the media machine that is Fi. This queen took complete control and secured some OUTSTANDING national print/online hits with publications like the BBC, the Independent, the Mirror, and the Express. AND it doesn’t stop there, she even got an LNER spokesperson a broadcast slot on Sky News on CHRISTMAS EVE! 

We are working with LNER to raise the profile of their digital innovation stories, and for one of their tech projects to get this much coverage with such high profile titles was outstanding – our client was absolutely delighted with the results, and it was all thanks to Fiona’s hard work. 

Marketing Minds – Jo

Jo is such an incredible asset to the team. With some recent leavers she’s had so much to deal with on her own, and I can see how hard it must have been at times. However, standards haven’t dropped. I don’t know how she does it.

Kaleidoscope Minds – Dave

Dave is my nomination based on an excellent delivery of the Rockwell Automation ROKStudios work to date. He has so far managed a 100% clean sheet on client approval at first draft. Dave has also received excellent feedback from the senior client at Rockwell:

“Those guys are just awesome they nail it every time.”

“Dave just gets it, he is making it easy for us.”

Greatest Of All Time – Sam

We all know Sam is extremely good at the day job – amazing, unlikely, off-the-wall ideas that really work, combined with totally ingenious copy. But this shout out is because Sam always goes way, way above and beyond that. Many won’t know that Sam acts as an office manager for our Winnersh Triangle team, somehow fitting in all those responsibilities around her copy and concepting jobs. I only know the breadth of tasks she takes on from the expenses claims for biros, paper and office furniture I occasionally see. And then there’s all the ad hoc stuff Sam does to drive forward a brilliant culture. Loads of people are involved in the Flash Fiction group, where people respond to a brief with short stories, poems and other creative ideas. Plus we received this feedback only the other day:

“Sam is a one-off and is the very definition of a Winning Mind.”

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The Unlimited B2B 2024 Trends Report

2023 was a tough year for businesses and consumers. 

Economic headwinds and the geopolitical climate gave rise to a lot of uncertainty, but the evolution of new technologies unlocked creativity and inspired innovation. 

As we embark on the next year, trends will move at an unprecedented pace and drive change across the workplace, business, technology and sustainability. 

To help you understand what 2024 has in store, we’ve analysed industry research, poured over the reports and pulled owned insights, to build a list of trends that will be important to your business and consumers. 

The report covers:

  • How workplace empathy and digital nomadism are reducing employee churn, meaning we’ll likely see what experts are calling ‘The Big Stay’
  • The changing face of the internet, as driven by AI and why this might inspire a digital detox for many
  • A shift in the customer/business relationship as value diminishes due to economic uncertainty
  • The role finance has to play in realising sustainability initiatives

Download the report here. 

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Roger Nelson: 28.04.1951 –  24.12.2023

Lucy Mayo, Board Director, Nelson Bostock Group: I was deeply saddened to learn that Roger Nelson, co-founder of Nelson Bostock Communications died on Christmas Eve 2023.

I was lucky to start my PR career at Nelson Bostock, joining the ‘family’ in 1996 with Roger Nelson and Martin Bostock at the helm.  As the fourteenth member, it really was a second family for me.  Martin and Roger created a wonderful supportive environment where we were able to learn our craft across a varied mix of clients, from Sega to Stoves, Videotron to Virgin Games, Bacardi to the BBC, and of course Canon and Toshiba, who remain clients today.  We were trusted and given opportunities to progress quickly, but always under the inspirational guidance and mentorship from them both.  We also laughed a lot! Closing the office to go out for birthday lunches and enjoying many a night in the Sun In Splendour opposite our office in Portobello Mews.

In 2003, Nelson Bostock became part of Creston PLC and is now part of UNLIMITED.  The agency has continued to evolve. Today, we are an important part of the UK’s leading conversion agency and we harness the power of our Human Understanding Lab to deliver exceptional work for our clients.

However, the unique culture of Nelson Bostock has remained with lifetime friendships forged at work. This is testament to the environment that Roger and Martin first created and their legacy lives on in many of us.

I am delighted to share with you a tribute to Roger, written by Martin Bostock. 

Roger Nelson (L), with co-founder Martin Bostock (R).

A Tribute to Roger Nelson from Martin Bostock

Roger was my closest friend for 48 years, and my business partner for 25 of those years.

He was a giant of a man in many ways, a true force of nature and a totally brilliant PR professional.

We met in 1975 when I was working behind the bar of El Vino, the legendary Fleet Street watering hole beloved of journalists, lawyers and PR people.

One day, into the sea of sober black, grey and navy suits strode a young man in a bright blue seersucker jacket, sporting an elegant cream fedora.  In a mid-Atlantic twang, he asked me for a Negroni; a cocktail I had never even heard of (El Vino only sold wine and spirits). Because I rather liked his cheeky approach and his very different appearance, I knocked up an approximation of his preferred tipple under his direction. And so began a very special friendship.

Roger was a typical native New Yorker – a German-Jewish, Polish-American, Puerto Rican, Creole Indian Swede! Born in Manhattan, he moved to Europe with his family in 1965, first to Germany then finally settling in London.

After university, he tried his hand at various jobs including journalism before deciding on PR – an industry which perfectly suited his creative brain, his witty charm, his complete fearlessness and his belief that anything can be achieved if you want it badly enough.

Two years after we met in El Vino he helped me get my first PR job – as an account assistant in the agency where he was already working. We worked hard (and played harder) until eventually we both left – me to pursue other agency and in-house roles and he to set up as an independent PR consultant.  Over an agreeable lunch in 1987 we agreed to join forces and Nelson Bostock Communications was born.

With neither external investment nor anything resembling a business plan, we opened for business with a single client (American Express) on a project basis.  Based in a wonderful loft in Notting Hill Gate’s Portobello Road, our prime goal was to stay in business from day one (August 1st) until Christmas.  We made it by the skin of our teeth, though we did actually head home for turkey knowing that we had no confirmed income at all for the following year.

And yet…. the rest really is history. We won a lot of fabulous clients (and a few horrific ones); hired a lot of wonderful, brilliant people; had a huge amount of fun and laughs and endured a certain amount of pain.  That’s PR for you!

All of us who have worked – or still work – at Nelson Bostock owe a huge debt to Roger. His role in winning and retaining many of our biggest clients (some of which are still with the agency) cannot be overstated. His ability to dream up the ‘big idea’ is the stuff of legend amongst those who worked with him (“let’s project a Sega logo onto the planet Saturn”). His quick-fire wit (almost as fast as his crazy driving) charmed many a client into signing up or agreeing a fee increase.

He also had a true passion for technology which helped set us on the path to success. Remember that the agency began in the analogue age.  No internet or email.  No smartphones. Just a fax machine and a portable AMSTRAD word processor. It was Roger who dragged us kicking and screaming (me in particular) into the digital age, driving investment into networked computing, email and all that followed. This proved highly relevant when the internet began to change forever the way clients did business. Not many PR agencies in the 1990s and early 2000s were comfortable in the digital space, but thanks to Roger, we were. And it made a huge difference to the agency’s success.

Taking risks was a fundamental part of Roger’s make up. Whether it was setting up new ventures (Things With Wings and Fever to name but two) or jumping on a plane to Moscow to pitch for a crazy Russian mobile phone business, he was never happier than when trying something new and scary – especially true of speedy cars.

Roger and I shared a firm belief that we should always try to hire people smarter and better at PR than ourselves, and we worked hard to keep them happy. Roger’s commitment to morale-boosting sessions in the pub after a pitch, or just for fun, was the stuff of legend. As for the company awaydays and Christmas parties – best draw a veil over some of those.

After the successful sale of Nelson Bostock to Creston PLC in 2003, Roger decided to embark on a new adventure; back to his native New York with his wife, Sally and their twin daughters, Atlanta and Miranda.  He and Sally loved to travel around the USA, and explored huge swathes of his home country.

Our loss was America’s gain.

An irreplaceable man in so many ways, he will be sorely missed.

Roger Nelson (R), with Martin Bostock (L) in around 1990.
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Our 2023 Charity Retrospective

This year, along with the launch of our new B2B Tech division, we relaunched our agency values.

Bold, Open, Real – and Give a Damn: our values illustrate our drive to create innovative and fresh work, in an open and supportive environment, surrounded by people who really care.

As part of our ‘Give a Damn’ value, we take the opportunity throughout the year to direct our passion towards causes we care about. Here’s a look back at what we achieved in 2023:

MIND – The importance of workplace support

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, Nelson Bostock’s ‘Winning Minds Matter’ Group ran an array of activities designed to help join people together, get talking, and raise money for mental health charity MIND.

Our team of designers created a bespoke A0 ‘Paint by numbers’ – what better way to get people away from their desks and allow them to unwind by getting creative?

Over 35 individual tiles were completed, with both NB and our friends at TMW Business taking part. The collated final piece is a great example of team work and support.

Read more about our Winning Minds ethos.

Tour Unlimited – Making sport accessible

In May, 60 cyclists from across UNLIMITED’s agencies pedalled 160 miles through the south of England to raise money for Access Sport.

Their route took them from Winchester to Bournemouth, through Glastonbury to Bristol. Featuring over 10,000 ft of climbing hills, baby horses, beaches, beautiful villages and the – literally – breath-taking hills of Cheddar Gorge.

 Access Sport believes that no-one should be excluded from community sport, helping transform the lives of millions of children across the UK. 

Macmillan – More than a coffee break

Macmillan offers free, confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones.

We brought the office together during one of our ‘Divisional Days’ to drink coffee and eat cake – raising money for a good cause close to our team’s hearts (and getting the chance to sample some of the best brownies around).

DOGO – A football match with impact

In September, the B2B Tech division entered a team for a 5-a-side football tournament to support DOGO – a charity delivering free healthcare for those in need.

We may not have come out at the top of the tournament, but we succeeded in raising money for a good cause. Find out more about DOGO here.

Organ Donation UK – Starting the conversation

The aim of Organ Donation Week is to address the shortage of organ donors by encouraging people to confirm their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

These days, the UK operates an ‘opt-out’ system, which means everyone is automatically considered to be on the register – but without having conversations with family and loved ones about your wishes, even potential donors can find the decision taken out of their hands after they’ve died.

Along with our friends and colleagues at TMW Business, we ran an open session in the office to encourage people to come along and find out more, with pink themed snacks and sign-up sheets ready to go.

Find out more about why Organ Donation Week is so important.

Movember – Why it’s about more than just facial hair

December has now arrived, and with it, you can expect to hear the sound of thousands of moustaches being shaved off across the land. Movember has come to an end.

While many of the health issues that the charity focuses on primarily affect men, it’s never just men that feel the effects. And definitely not only men that want to see an end to them. 

That’s why we decided the best way to mark Movember this year was to get everybody involved. Whether you were growing a moustache, didn’t want to grow a moustache, or were physically incapable of doing so, it was all about awareness. 

We gathered together in the office to talk about some of the key issues faced, raised money through various means (including some questionable fake moustaches), along with a few other things. We were happy to play a small part in what is a massive issue. You can bet we’ll be back to do it again next year too.

To learn more about Movember, visit uk.movember.com

Papyrus – Spreading comfort & joy this holiday season

PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide is the UK charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people. 

It’s also our choice of charity to support over the holiday period – because we believe there’s no better gift than the ability to provide help to someone at their lowest.  

If you’d like to join us in spreading some festive spirit, you can make a donation here. 

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Winning Minds Awards: November 2023

Another month, another amazing performance from the brilliant B2B team! 

This month, we’re celebrating top designers, and PR teams with impact.

PR Minds – Kirby, Emily, Sophie and Caroline 

“This team has been incredible in such a short space of time. Naturally, given the short timeframes, it was a bit of a scramble to the finish and meant outreach in particular was done at a rapid rate. But we absolutely smashed our KPIs! As of Friday last week, we were on 3 spokespeople briefings with Reuters, the Drum and TechRadar and 32 pieces of coverage (and counting!) across a broad spread of media including business, adtech, fleet, consumer tech and local. Everyone pitched in and played a key role in a successful launch. Emily secured a briefing with the Drum, Kirby secured some great hits in fleet and local media, while Steph kept us all on track, uploading releases to the wire in record time and bashing out excellent coverage wraps.”

Marketing Minds – Bella, Sean, Ed, Mike 

“They delivered such a huge volume of work in such a short time, giving us lots of options to pick from. Everything was thought through, well-considered, and delivered to such a high standard. It was seriously impressive and so great to see everyone so engaged with the design work.”

Kaleidoscope Minds – Stephanie 

“To quote someone today… ‘she is just such a great person to chat things through with.’”

Greatest of All Time – Pip

“Pip’s great, creative work and ‘no nonsense’ approach have been fantastic … she’s been a superstar!”

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Winning Minds Awards: October 2023

Another month at Unlimited B2B means another round of Winning Minds awards! 

As always our team have been working incredibly hard – read below to see the new awards and our winners!

PR Minds – Beth Anderson

“Clients are impressed with her ability to get used to their way of working so quickly, her diligence in moving projects forwards quickly and her smart consultancy when they need support.”

Marketing Minds – Nicola Coltrini

“Nic is a legend, works so very hard keeping everything she does afloat – with bells on – and never complains.  I am so very grateful to have her in my team and I want her to know she is extremely valued and very much loved.”

Creative, Content and Planning Minds – Tony Faccenda 

“I am collating feedback at my end still, but I wanted to say that although I have only read the first so far – it is absolutely excellent! So well written!!!!”
“Can I ask who the writer(s) are for these two blogs? They are excellently written and hit all the major notes too. Very happy chap here.”
“Whoever wrote the Smart Factory blog on Benefits of Digital Transformation did a superb job. Nice work.”

Greatest of All Time Award (GOAT) – Fi, Tim and Finn 

“The team had just 48 hours to create a 10 slide deck and summary document that featured insight, strategy, an incredible creative idea and how we would bring this to life if we won. The work they delivered was incredibly impressive and well thought out, despite having such short time frames to put it together AND stay across account work. For Fi and Tim they had the added pressure of also working on a Sophos media event on the first day.”

Check out some imagery from the project here! 

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The Winning Minds Awards: September 2023

September 2023 was a big month for everyone. It was the warmest September ever on record, a river of wine coursed down the streets of Portugal, and Nelson Bostock launched their brand new Winning Minds Awards!

With the creation of our brand new division Unlimited B2B, which comprises both the team in Nelson Bostock and our friends over at TMW Business, a new set of awards were required so we could ensure that everyone was celebrated.

The new Winning Minds Awards are split into four sections that celebrate each facet of our incredible division, making it the biggest and best award ceremony yet! 

Our winners were nominated by their colleagues for the brilliant impact they’ve generated for the agency or their clients. Each of them have been living our values of Bold, Open, Real and Give a Damn.

Read below to see the new awards and our winners!

PR Minds – Ibby Bridges

“Ibby has been an absolute powerhouse in the weeks leading up to the event, from compiling an extensive analyst list for invites and drafting invites, to pitching post-show briefings and building briefings docs – the list goes on!”

“The client is ecstatic and it’s all down to Ibby’s hard work”. 

Marketing Minds – Stephen Hastings 

“The client is really happy with where things are at and it’s an account that looks like it’ll grow and grow – much of which is thanks to Stephen’s persistence and patience to get the job done.”

Creative, Content and Planning Minds – Bella Green 

“Flexible, fast without losing any attention to detail – and when under some tight deadlines too. Positive and prepared to go the extra mile to ensure all is ok.”

“A dream to work with and always smashes it out of the park.”

Greatest of All Time Award (GOAT) – Em Brine

“They’re absolutely living our new values (especially ‘Give a Damn’) with all the great work they’ve been doing on the DEI committee – but also in keeping our culture alive, supporting everyone with a friendly face, and making sure our divisional days are a joy to attend.”

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Nelson Bostock Celebrates: International Self Care Day

Self care is the practice of taking an active role in preserving and protecting one’s own personal wellbeing and happiness. 

Established in 2011, International Self Care Day was introduced to raise awareness of the benefits of self care, and to exhibit it as a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Interestingly, the date, 24th July, was chosen specifically to remind people that self care can be practiced “24 hours a day, 7 days a week”. 

Our wellbeing team, Winning Minds Matter, have been speaking to people across the agency to ask what self care practices they engage with in order to ensure that their mental and physical wellbeing is cared for. Here’s a selection of their responses.

Hannah’s Tomato Time

“Self-care for me means looking after my tomatoes. Planted from wee little seeds and now 36 strong plants. I love the time away from screens to be with my plants and clear my head.”

Finn’s Cooking Up A (Calm) Storm

“Cooking is the main thing I do to unwind, especially after a long day at work. It’s a bit like meditating for me, I leave my phone in another room and put some tunes on. Plus you get something delicious at the end, which is another win!”

Fi’s Veggie Empire

“The veggie life is the best way I can take care of myself. Putting my time and energy into all of my veggies (potatoes, courgettes, apples, raspberries and more!) really looks after my mental energy.”

Em’s Escapist Reads 

“The best self care in the world for me is to get away to a quiet bit of nature, where almost no one is around, and lay in the sunshine with a book. Preferably a fantasy novel, so you can really double down on escapism. It’s just so peaceful to be alone with the birds tweeting and the grass beneath your fingers and just have some time to leave the world behind.” 

Ibby’s Sound Baths

“After yoga classes, I like to go to a sound bath, which is a bath that does not involve water! It’s a restorative practice, where various sounds, like singing bowls, wash over you and help calm your mind.” 

Exercising with Bella

“Honestly going swimming or for a run is my self care. I love it because it gives me time to be away from my phone or any screens really, and just focus on the activity. It’s great for mindfulness or sorting through your thoughts.”

Charlotte’s Cross Stitch

“It’s extremely easy to pick up, and since it requires so much concentration it’s actually very meditative. Plus you can find so many fun patterns online now – it’s a fun way to express yourself (And sometimes it’s just cathartic to stab something 1000 times).”

Media

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Meet Callan – our latest Winning Mind

Meet Callan, the latest to scoop the prestigious Winning Minds Award (alongside Ibby). Callan’s been a Bostocker for a year and a half now, during which time he’s demonstrated some incredible examples of news hijacking, and landed his clients in the nationals. He’s definitely a Winning Mind!

Why did you pick a career in PR and Communications?

I fell into PR by chance whilst studying Media and Communication at university. After completing several modules learning about the TV industry, I decided I wanted a change and to try something new. After weighing up my options I thought PR sounded interesting and decided to give it a go and the rest is history.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.

Tell us a bit more about your interests – how would you spend an ideal Saturday afternoon? 

My ideal Saturday afternoon would most likely consist of getting out of the house, catching up with friends, exploring new places, trying new and exciting food, or taking my dog on a long walk around the countryside – stopping at a pub or two on the way.

And what are your hobbies?

I have quite a few, I’m really into music and love going to gigs and festivals whenever I get the chance. I also really enjoy painting, cooking and going to the pub – if that counts.

What’s one thing that people should know about you?

I’m a pretty good cook.

What’s one thing that would surprise people about you?

I actually used to row when I was at uni – although it has been a while since I’ve actually been in a boat.

What makes you a Winning Mind?

It was a surprise to win to be honest. But I try to show proactivity on my accounts, looking for other opportunities to achieve coverage for my clients.

Any advice for future Winning Minds contenders?

It’s so easy to get lost in your day-to-day work but taking a step back to keep up to date with the news and the world around you, might just open you up to more opportunities to deliver excellent results for your clients.

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Introducing Unlimited B2B – Our new integrated partnership

We’ve got some big news to share with you all.

Today, we’ve launched Unlimited B2B – a new integrated agency partnership, designed to deliver a complete buyer experience across PR, comms and marketing.

In the new world of communication, the need for all organisations to portray themselves in a consistent manner has never been more important. That means integrating skillsets across strategy, creative, marketing, PR and social media. And when you’re working with multiple separate agencies that don’t talk to each other, that’s extremely hard to do.

Which is why we’ve teamed up with TMW Business – the leading B2B marketers within UNLIMITED, to create Unlimited B2B. We provide our passion for communication and storytelling; they bring marketing creativity and strategy. The result? The complete package for you; Human Understanding, Storytelling and Content Experience, all with the aim of helping B2B buyers to buy.

It’s important to know that this isn’t a rebrand for Nelson Bostock. Our Winning Minds will continue to be here, in their current form. Instead, Unlimited B2B is an overarching agency. We’ve always been brilliant at building brand and belief for our clients – now we can go even further in building business too.

And as always, everything we do will be underpinned by the Human Understanding Lab’s insights, so you can be sure there’s evidence-based science at the heart of your campaigns.

We’re excited to get started with our new colleagues and we hope you are too!

Learn more about Unlimited B2B here.

Visit TMW Business here.