What Organ Donation Week means to me

Organ donation is one of those things people so rarely think about. Mainly because it often involves something very emotional and sad – post-death arrangements – which most people would rather avoid thinking about. But, if you or someone you know have received a donated organ (like I did), you’ll know there’s a hugely positive story to take from it all. 

When I was just two years old, I was diagnosed with childhood liver disease. I was still pre-malignant, but essentially a ticking-time bomb. To look at me, you wouldn’t know it. I didn’t have many symptoms; I wasn’t jaundiced and I had bundles of energy. The prognosis? I needed a liver transplant to live beyond the age of four. Of course, being so young, I couldn’t understand this at the time. But it’s not something any parents want to hear, is it? And I imagine mine were horrified when they were told this news by the doctors at King’s College Hospital. 

Thankfully, after an eight-month wait and going back and forth between hospital and home, I was lucky enough to receive a new, healthy liver. It came from a teenager who’s still very special to me. His name was Ben. And I owe all the rest of my life to him and his family who, in their darkest days, respected his wishes to donate. 

This brings me to the point I really want to make this Organ Donation Week 2023: If you decide you want to donate your organs after you die (because let’s face it, you won’t need them anymore), please make your wishes known to friends and family, and register your decision to become an organ donor. 

In England and Wales, we now have an opt-out scheme in place. But sadly, your decision can still be overridden by those close to you if they’re unaware of your wishes. Of course, when you’re grieving, it’s a horrifically sad time to make any rational decisions like that about a loved one. So, you can see how lots of people might say no when approached by a medical professional. That’s why it’s so important you make your wishes known. 

There are currently around 7,200 people waiting for a transplant in the UK. It’s a staggering amount. And lots of these patients are children, who, through no fault of their own, have been born with a disease which threatens their life. So, the more people who register their decision to become an organ donor, the more lives we (collectively) can save. Simply put, it’s giving someone a second chance at life – to live many more years than they might have. To build memories, enjoy extra time with loved ones and do things they didn’t think possible. To me, that’s an amazing gift to give someone. Having a transplant as a small child has meant I’ve been able to live another 31 years – something I’m always grateful for. 

I’m now the ripe old age of 34. I’ve had a lot of great experiences in my life, and I have a superb network of friends, family and some furry companions. Sure, it hasn’t always been plain sailing. Physically, I’ve had a few complications here and there. Like the time my stitches got tangled up in my stomach and they had to open me up again like a weird version of the game ‘Operation’. And growing up, I found it quite a difficult thing to process. But I’m still alive and well. My condition has never stopped me from pursuing a career in writing, taking part in a few 10ks, touring Europe, going to music festivals, watching the whole of the US Office with my husband… and so on. It’s taught me to never take life for granted and enjoy it as much as possible. 

So, there you have it. All of that wouldn’t be possible without organ donation. And as much as I dislike talking about myself, I’ve always felt it’s important to share my story to promote the cause and raise awareness. Plus, it comes in handy when people ask you to say, “something interesting about yourself”. 

This year’s aim for Organ Donation Week is to get 25,000 more people to register to become organ donors, helping to save and improve the lives of thousands of people in need of a transplant. Our UNLIMITED B2B division are marking the occasion on Thursday 21st with an open forum for discussion – along with some snacks and games, of course. If you can, consider taking some time out of your day to make a decision about your wishes and talk to your loved ones.

Think about this: Your organs have the potential to save up to nine lives. Will you register your decision and let loved ones know your wishes? I hope so. Thanks for reading. 


Can fintechs still make a splash in the UK?

When you ask Google for “the home of fintech”, the answer is no longer as clear cut as it used to be.

Once considered the undeniable land of fintech opportunity, the UK has since come under fire from industry commentators, particularly after its controversial exit from the European Union. And, until recently, investment had likewise dwindled. 

UK fintechs, like everyone else, have been faced with ongoing challenges, including global economic concerns, geopolitical tensions, and the recent downturn in the tech industry – all of which have caused uncertainty amongst investors. 

Fintechs are always looking for favourable economic conditions, and some made the decision to locate elsewhere. 

However, the UK has otherwise proven itself to be a land of opportunity for fintechs, offering many advantages – such as its favourable time zone and native language, its high concentration of financial firms, and its globally respected regulatory framework. 

Fintech is still considered the UK’s leading tech sub-sector, with the government insisting it will be the engine driving the UK to tech superiority. The announcement of a new £1bn fintech fund – backed by Mastercard, Barclays, and the London Stock Exchange – is its latest fintech supercharge.

One thing is certain; no matter where they’re based, EVERYONE in the industry has an opinion about where the home of fintech is and where the future lies.

So the question for UK fintechs becomes: how can they proactively ensure that they remain a leader in this increasingly competitive space? 

The answer is simple: bold views told through powerful stories. 

An opinion can be a powerful thing. While some fintechs are holding back due to ongoing uncertainties, the opportunity for commentary is huge. As always, relevance and timing are crucial considerations. 

For example, news hijacking (if conducted correctly) is an effective way to cut through the noise and get opinions on current matters heard. 

When Tesco confirmed its card payment systems briefly went offline across much of the UK back in 2022, we helped Railsbank (now known as Railsr) provide commentary to Grocery Gazette, about how “comfortable” customers have become using the latest payment tech. The CEO stated that in just a few years – like cash – card payments will also feel like a “thing of the past”. 

A bold view, told at the right time, can cut through and gain attention – in vital trade media or nationals.

Some of the key areas of interest and growth that we have seen over the past three years – from cryptocurrencies to BNPL – have generated some incredible debates. With the right media handling, successful spokespeople will have been able to build a reliable reputation off the back of their input.

As the fintech landscape is constantly evolving, these opportunities are only continuing to grow. 

It is therefore vital that businesses of all sizes have a solid PR strategy in place to navigate these fast-paced opportunities, maintain relationships that matter, and ultimately drive growth. 

There is still a great opportunity for fintechs to make a splash. While funding has slowed, interest is evergreen. You just need to find the right way to tell your story.

We at Nelson Bostock have been steadily building our fintech portfolio, working with the likes of Railsr (formerly Railsbank), GoCardless and Amazon Pay to increase their visibility to core audiences. So, why not get in touch to see if we can accommodate your business needs? 


Why AI isn’t killing off human content…yet

It seems like AI is everywhere these days. Every other headline, advert and opinion piece (including this one) seems to mention the technology. As a result, you don’t have to go too far to hear someone ringing the last call bell for anyone working in creative roles. Designers, writers, videographers. We’re all doomed, it seems. But are we, really?

As a writer, I naturally have a vested interest in NOT losing my job to ED-209. But I also firmly believe that the death of human advertising is still a way off. Here are three reasons why I believe this.

AI is new and exciting

All forms of advertising benefit from being ahead of a trend, or on-trend at the very least. With AI being a new, exciting and much-talked-about innovation, it makes sense that brands are exploring how they can reap the benefits. Inevitably, that means using it for advertising, and then shouting about it for all the world to see.

But the thing with trends is… they change. AI is undoubtedly here to stay; it’s already doing remarkable things in the world of customer service and scientific research, but its ability to captivate audiences will dissipate. They’ll move onto the next big trend, whatever that might be.

The obvious answer is often boring

Our brains really don’t make much sense. We can see loads of hard evidence telling us exactly why a certain car, phone or games console is the best, only to go out and buy something completely different. Why? Because we like it. We’re irrational and we like what we like, even if we know it’s not the best.

AI doesn’t really do irrational. And that means it doesn’t always produce content we’ll like. Humans don’t always think logically. Instead, we form connections based on emotion, memory and lived experience. That can result in some utter garbage ideas, unquestionably, but also some standout gems. Take the Cadbury’s Gorilla as an example. It’s totally illogical as an advertising campaign, but you all remember it, don’t you? If all advertising was done by AI, you’d never get anything like the Cadbury Gorilla again, and the industry would be a darker place as a result.

Marketing is about differing yourself

Tone of voice. Brand image. These are factors businesses agonise over. But if we were to switch to an entirely AI-based marketing world, they wouldn’t really hold much value anymore. That’s because, while AI can produce content based on the information you input, it’ll always produce a similar, if not identical, result based on that information.

By comparison, if you give several humans the same brief, they’ll produce wildly different results from each other, including things you wouldn’t have thought of.

So, while consistency might not be quite on the same level as if everything was produced by a single AI platform, you will find little gems and human elements that’ll push your identity forward.

Bring it on, HAL 9000

These AI movie references aren’t getting more recent, are they? Regardless, while I have no doubt AI is on track to change our lives, I don’t think it’ll steal our jobs any time soon. Hopefully it’ll wait long enough for all of us to retire.


Lessons from AdLand

Last month I finished a bootcamp at the School of Communication Arts 2.0 in Brixton to learn about creativity from the school’s dean, Marc Lewis, and I thought I’d share the things that resonated most with me as a PR.

There are some great strategies here we should be unlocking to reach brighter, more vivid places within our campaigns. B2B is no longer consumers’ poor cousin – there are massive opportunities for brands who embrace creativity as our working and personal lives become even more deeply entrenched. The below just might help you find – and capitalise on – them!

  1. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs

In other words –  you have to make a mess in order to have something to clean up. Or you need to have a real problem, to find a solution.  

The route to creative that feels real and authentic is to find a problem that people genuinely care about. It might not necessarily be the one your business wants to solve, (for instance driving sales for a new product or raising awareness of your brand), but when you start thinking about the things that are real issues or worries in your life, you’ll get much closer to helping your customers.

  1. Dig a little (or a lot) deeper to find the interesting

Kids ask on average over 70 questions a day. Somewhere along the way, we lose that curiosity and the habit of asking questions. When faced with a brief, we need to try and tap into our inner child. Ask everything we can around a single problem: the who, what, when, where, why and how, to make sure we get to a previously unexplored place.

And the same goes for when we are crafting a brief. Rather than thinking of the product benefit, see if you can get under the skin of what challenge it’s solving for a customer. For instance, “my product protects against ransomware 24/7”. Well, what’s the benefit of that? It means you don’t have to worry about your business’ security after hours. And the benefit of less worry out-of-hours, might just be a better night’s sleep. 

Suddenly you aren’t dealing in anti-ransomware, you are dealing in a good night’s sleep and all the possibilities that offers to your customers.

For B2B, this has the potential to unlock far richer areas for creativity.

  1. I’m every woman, it’s all in me

I’m not sure this is what Chaka Khan originally meant when she was singing the song – but it applies to creativity too. When you are looking at ways to solve your problem, all the answers you’ll ever need are either within you or in front of you.

I don’t just mean your ability to Google! We need a mix of lived and received knowledge from different fields to come up with new and unexpected answers.

But to make that a reality, you have to be curious and go out hunting for the answers. Everything you read, listen to, see or discuss with your friends and family becomes the basis of knowledge and insight. 

Every walk you take down the street or morning spent drinking coffee and eavesdropping on the people around you is another nugget of information you can later mine. So, don’t underestimate the value of rewarding curiosity and individuals that actively seek knowledge during the working day.

  1. A well behaved creative seldom makes history

The free flowing state of creativity we all desperately want to achieve rarely comes when we are sitting in front of our laptops. But that’s about as far as I can go in describing how you unlock the state of ‘free child’ – that playful, curious energy where great ideas live. My advice to you is to tune in to what makes you feel that way, whether it’s a cold shower, doodling on a notepad or blasting Taylor Swift. 

For those leading teams on a creative brief, also think about how you can inspire that feeling of playtime when brainstorming. Bring sweets, take them on a field trip, or tell a stupid joke.

The other important lesson here is around rules. We have to know them to break them. Every industry or category will have a series of rules – whether that’s stylistically or in how they speak to customers. Find those rules and think of the opposites. These will be the key to standing out amongst competitors.

Huge thank you to Marc Lewis and the team at SCA 2.0! If you are an aspiring creative, I would definitely recommend having a look at the courses they offer.


Will AI kill PR jobs? 

On the 30th of November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT – an AI chatbot which spots patterns in language, learns from its mistakes and provides eerily human conversation. The chatter around this new generation of AI hasn’t stopped since.

Fearful of missing their moment, tech giants such as Microsoft and Google rushed to release their own AI tools, with mixed results.

Many commentators were quick to predict the death of various jobs. They see waves of mass unemployment sweeping offices around the world, even hitting the world of marketing and communications.

After all, ChatGPT can churn out a press release in seconds. It can spit out blogs and bylines, summarise weighty reports, and write reams of web copy, all in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.

So, why should businesses invest in PR agencies when they can create their own content in moments, for free?

For a start, even its biggest fans will admit that ChatGPT and similar tools are still a work in progress. As an example, let’s take a core PR skill: writing a killer pitch to hook a journalist.

Here’s how the conversation went:

So far, so average. One of the biggest drawbacks with tools such as ChatGPT is that, by definition, it can’t create anything truly original. The subject line isn’t wrong. But tech writers will receive hundreds of emails on some variation of ‘AI revolution’.

Of course, in reality, pitches are written with a particular journalist in mind, allowing a targeted approach and a personal touch. If this was a real pitch, we could supply background information about the company too, so the chatbot wouldn’t need to make up details such as ‘utilizing AI technology since 2016’.

But there’s another problem – it’s too long. Journalists are busy and usually want to get straight to the point. Let’s ask again:

Things have started to unravel. What event? What product?

Not only that, but there are gaps in the logic. It’s telling the journalist that they get a lot of emails – so they should come to an event instead.

Speaking at the Human vs Robots event on AI in B2B, Dr. Cristina de Balanzo, expert in neuroscience, identified this exact shortcoming.

“AI can only mimic rational decision-making,” she said – it’s not able to adjust according to things that our “human insight” makes us experts in, like context. While our human brains are always subconsciously drawing on things like memory, intuition, and empathy, AI simply “lacks common sense, free will, opinion and creativity.”

You can hear more about the event in our 5 key takeaways blog.  

Let’s try  refining our prompt further:

From offering an interview about AI in PR, we’re now running a podcast on AI in healthcare and education. One more try:

It would have been easier, at this point, to write it the ‘old-fashioned way’. Perhaps one day (and with better prompting) tools similar to ChatGPT could save a lot of time for tasks like this.

But there’s a more fundamental shortcoming to AI tools in PR: they can never apply experience of the real world to a challenge.

Great comms calls for empathy

The core mark of a successful comms professional is truly understanding their clients, and their target audience, on a human level.

Communicating effectively is impossible without empathy. It’s about knowing what to say, and how to say it, rather than rattling off press releases and bylines.

PR pros tap into their market expertise to create messaging that lands with specific target audiences. And that means knowing what drives those stakeholders on day-to-day basis.

As Tim Brennan, Senior Account Manager, Nelson Bostock, explains:

Behind every pitch, there’s more context than an AI could possibly be expected to know. Each pitch is crafted with comms objectives in mind, which in turn link to specific business objectives. That affects who we choose to pitch to, the topics we pitch around, what we offer the journalist, and so on.

“PR, at its heart, is about relationships. We build up individual connections with journalists and clients over a long period, adding a crucial layer of background and credibility. ChatGPT can’t attend a media meet to find out what’s inspiring a journalist. It can’t jump on a call with a client to understand a nuanced message. And it can’t pick up the phone to drive a story home.”

Without this strategic view, plus a deep knowledge of the media landscape and strong relationships with journalists, it’s simply not possible to tell our clients’ stories in a way that resonates.

Standing out from the crowd demands original thought. That’s why creating engaging and impactful thought leadership is presently beyond the capability of ChatGPT.

In short, weaving a story that stickswill always require creativity, passion, and ultimately, a touch of humanity.


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).”



Humans vs. Robots: 5 key takeaways from the Unlimited B2B AI content event

An overwhelming show of hands closed out our AI event. Host Martin Veitch had asked the room of assembled B2B marketers to raise them if they had started to introduce generative AI tools at work. When he asked the opposite – if anyone was planning on steering clear – all hands remained in laps.

Clearly, AI is more than just a news story. Unlike the Metaverse, tech’s last big ‘disruptor’, AI is actually in use, now, by real people doing real work. Its adoption is only going to accelerate, but brands aren’t uniformly confident about how to proceed.

As more AI tools are launched, and campaigns like WWF’s AI-generated Future of Nature make headlines, B2B brands are left wondering what they should be doing, what they need to know, and what pitfalls they need to avoid.

Unlimited B2B hosted an event to discuss just that. Our panel was composed of UNLIMITED’s technical director Tom Wilks, the antagonist speaking on behalf of the robots, while neuroscientist Dr Cristina de Balanzo from the Human Understanding Lab argued for the ongoing benefits of the human touch. They were joined by Susi O’Neill from Kaspersky, and Cristina Tudorascu from Canon Europe, in a panel moderated by acclaimed tech journalist Martin Veitch.

The fast-paced discussion lasted for an hour and a half, and generated lively interactions from the gathered B2B professionals. For those who couldn’t make it, or those who want to reminisce, here are five of the key takeaways:

Brands Have Started Experimenting

Along with contributions from several attendees on the floor – who are already using SEO-driven content for websites, and adopting tools like Copilot for Microsoft Office 365 – we heard from panellists about the progress they’ve made so far in implementing AI tools.

“When it comes to content creation at Canon Europe, we have already started to incorporate AI technology as part of our content journey,” said Cristina Tudorascu. She spoke about how the company has introduced both a translation AI tool, and a voice-to-text generator to capture insights from SMEs in the business.

Neither, she pointed out, are perfect. “The system is still struggling with some elements that are quite important for us – like people’s names, product names – and there is a little bit of difficulty around different accents.”

These initial struggles aren’t putting them off from expanding their AI toolkit, though.“We understand that this is only a little bit of AI technology that we’re currently using, but this is the first step – and we’re looking forward to understanding even more, and making these tools work for us even better.”

The Compliance Question is Looming

One term, in particular, seemed to haunt the discussion: compliance. Never mind what AI can do – how useful is it? What can brands actually, legally, use it for? How does copyright work? What do lawsuits like those being waged by Getty Images against Stability AI, and Sarah Silverman against OpenAI mean for the use of AI in branded materials? Is there any such thing as brand safety with generation AI?

“Technology is moving much faster than regulation,” said Susi O’Neill. “It’s a totally grey area.”

Brands have to balance the potential risk against the possible reward. She went on to add that, “right now, if you’re using generative AI, even if you’re taking those images and manipulating them, changing them, you don’t own the copyright on that. So it’s about where you are on your journey.”

And this ‘risk versus reward’ debate looks very different for businesses of different sizes – especially given the limitations of AI creativity. “I don’t want to feed out a content mine of a trillion different formulaic pieces of information that have already been covered. For me, generative AI isn’t going to generate anything new that’s worthy of an award.”

“If you need to scale, and you don’t have very much legal risk – say you’re a start-up, or you work with very niche audiences – maybe it’s fine to go ahead. But if you’re a big corporate, you’re taking on a lot of legal risks. Now is maybe not the right time.”

Collaboration is Key

Good news for creatives – most attendees were in agreement that while AI is likely to be useful for undertaking menial tasks (like transcribing event recordings, for example), it can’t generate truly creative ideas. At least – not yet.

What it does have is “66 billion different data points, able to be retrieved within seconds.” Tom Wilks pointed out how AI “can democratise access to technology. You don’t have to figure out the best way to search any more, you type the question however you want it – and you’ll still get the information back.”

Finding the right question, or prompt, is likely to become an incredibly valuable skill, and one developed entirely in response to the rise of AI tools: prompt engineering. Dr Cristina de Balanzo spoke about the importance of human insight to this role, and explained how “the power of context will massively influence decision-making.” The context within which a question is asked is vital to getting the correct answer. This, she explained, is something AI tools – which function “more like a two-and-a-half year old” – don’t have.

What they can do, however, is provide a starting point. Susi O’Neill explained, “If you’re a business and you can’t hire the best talent, say you don’t have the best budgets, can you use prompt engineering to get to certain styles with the right kind of training? Yes – but you still need that human edge. You still need those senior writers and creatives to twist things and say ‘that word isn’t quite right’, or ‘that doesn’t sit well in the advert’, ‘that works in one language, but in another is not quite edgy enough’.”

“It’s about using the tools that are out there when we have gaps in resourcing or can’t hire the best people to get us a bit further along.”

If that thought still fills you with dread – you’re not alone. Our resistance to fully embracing AI isn’t particularly unexpected, according to Dr Cristina de Balanzo. “Human beings are very resistant to change, because it’s physiologically painful – but if machines can do the jobs that we don’t want to do, they can make life better,” she explained.

Beware the ‘Brain Drain’

Working together with AI to check its work and build on its foundations seemed a popular approach amongst attendees, who largely agreed that AI could be put to good use in creating first-draft content, or providing a starting point for a human to then adapt, edit and improve.

But Susi O’Neill warned that, if we allow AI to take the position of entry-level creatives, the industry could soon find itself with a lot of high-level workers and nobody rising up to replace them.

She explained, “You need junior writers to learn from the seniors, and be able to build up their craft. When I see some of the first passes of ChatGPT, it reminds me of the junior writers I’ve worked with. It’s no worse – but it’s also no better. We still need people to come into our industries who are going to learn crafts and learn how to improve. But potentially, some of those roles are the ones which may be made redundant.”

AI is Only Young

Given the vast impact AI has already had on the market, you might be forgiven for forgetting that it’s still a young technology. Every day, new tools are released, and those that exist become smarter and smarter.

According to Tom Wilks, we haven’t even started to touch on the full range of AI’s capabilities. Soon, he said, AI will even learn to mimic human creativity – which he was confident will happen “probably quicker than most people expect it to. In some creative mediums, we’re already pretty close to being there.”

“The scale and the scope of what we are on the cusp of being able to achieve is unlike anything we’ve been able to see before,” he said. “We have to be open to the point that we may not be the top intelligence on the planet in some of these areas for much longer.”

One thing that all of the experts could agree on was the fact that AI is here to stay – and it’s us humans who’ll have to adapt to deal with it. But whether that’s by creating and implementing robust data protection and copyright policies, or via the creation of entirely new roles (such as prompt engineering), the road to embracing AI will be far from smooth and straightforward.

And it’s only just begun. Martin kicked off our session by reminding attendees that ChatGPT has only been live since November 2022. In just shy of eight months, it has already upended the way many B2B brands think about content creation.

What developments could the next eight months see?

To derive the most value from an AI-powered future, B2B brands must establish clear guidelines for when, and how, to use AI tools – and when to revert back to the human element.

Watch out for our event recording, coming soon!


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.


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.


Pride 2023: Allies, We (Still) Need You 

“Violence thrives on silence.”

Trans activist Rio Amani opened a seminar I attended on Trans Allyship in the workplace with this impactful statement. Whilst it may sound like a bleak start to a blog about Pride, our current social climate has shown us that, even 53 years after the first march, Pride still has an important role to play.

For the fourth year running, the UK has fallen down ILGA – Europe’s rainbow ranking, which ranks European countries on the basis of their legal and political situation for LGBTQ+ people. Moving from 10th in 2021, to 14th in 2022 and sitting at 17th for 2023, this ranking is a bleak reminder of the difficult realities of being LGBTQIA+ right now.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I’ve found the recent years increasingly tough. Look at the news most days, and you’ll see stories about shrinking rights and people facing discrimination, abuse, and even death. It’s upsetting for anyone – but for many of us, it’s our life.

It’s also why vocal support matters so much.

In light of this, our DEI committee asked the question, “What can we do to make sure we continue to show support beyond Pride month?” We have a Belonging Commitment that ensures we create a safe space for every employee, client and partner, but we know it’s a constant evolution. To learn more about how we could do better, we attended WorkPride, a global Pride event which focuses on how companies can help the LGBTQIA+ community be safe in the workplace.

Education is integral

One of the key takeaways from this event was how integral education is for inclusion. This can come in many forms, such as engaging with educational and inclusive tv programmes, bringing in speakers, reading books, and more. Education is one of our Belonging Commitment pillars – our Book Club has just read ‘We Have Always Been Here’ by Samra Habib, a memoir which discusses the author’s experience of being a queer muslim. As well as that, our Film Club watched Pride!, which looks at when the queer and mining communities joined forces to protest against laws brought in by Margaret Thatcher. We come together to talk about the themes, our takeaways and what we’ve learnt.

It’s a good starting point, but the modules from WorkPride gave us more specific ways that we can actively encourage education in the workplace.

The first was an elearning module which tracks how far along employees are in their allyship journey, with categories ranging from ‘learner’ to ‘activist’. The second focused on reverse mentoring, with the aim of encouraging education around LGBTQIA+ issues by pairing senior members of staff with more junior members, usually from the LGBTQIA+ community, or another minority group.

The aim of reverse mentoring is to break down workplace hierarchies by allowing the senior staff member to be in the position of learning. This vulnerability and openness helps create a safe space where the needs of a minority community can be heard by someone who holds the power to implement change – an important step in creating true inclusive leadership. It’s given us real food for thought, and we’re going to explore how we might bring a reverse mentoring programme to our agency.

The importance of allyship

Whilst these modules usefully demonstrated how we can ensure our workplace is more inclusive, it was the modules on allyship that really stayed with us. One, on trans allyship, opened with a remembrance of the trans lives that have been lost to anti-trans violence this year. It was a sobering memorial that reminded us of the terrifying realities that this community faces every day

It may have begun on a serious note, but the session was a crash course on how to become an active ally with a memorable acronym:

Recognise that every community faces different struggles – and the only way to truly understand is to listen to them.

Take this opportunity to educate yourself – there is so much information out there in many different forms – books, music, film, podcasts, the list goes on.

Level Up
Leveling up is about evening social inequity. Raise up those from communities that have been disproportionately affected by discrimination to give them opportunities that they otherwise may have been excluded from.

This is a chance to reflect – what did you learn by being an ally, whether this be through education, speaking out or otherwise. Did this benefit the community? If it didn’t, that’s okay. All you have to do is learn from this experience and try again.

We were left with a quote that struck a chord with all attendees:

“If you’re not standing close enough to a marginalized group to be hit by the rocks thrown at them, you are not standing close enough”.

We felt that this quote rang true for what allyship is all about. It’s about standing together and using your shields to protect those without any – especially important when those people are under attack.

Typically, during Pride Month, corporations throw up a rainbow logo, and call themselves allies. This ‘rainbow washing’ ignores the realities that members of the LGBTQIA+ community still face today. Nelson Bostock has committed to being better. As a company, we recognise that we are not perfect, but we are committed to continual improvement, and will try as hard as we can to support all of our staff – even when the rainbow logos come down.

Emma Brine (left)