Distinctive future for stand-out comms team

After nearly five great years at Social, I’ve just completed my first full week as owner of a new comms consultancy.

Social’s former South West business is now Distinctive Communications. A plucky, collaborative talented team of six who I’m proud to call colleagues is joining me on the journey.

This follows an agreement between Social and myself to sell its South West business to Distinctive. It offers a rare combination of continuity, credibility and the excitement of starting afresh. Although it’s a huge decision personally, I think it’s a massive opportunity for all colleagues involved.

The Distinctive team in Bristol
The Distinctive team, at Harbour House Bar & Restaurant Bristol Harbourside

Stand-out communications support

Distinctive’s offer is simple: we provide stand-out comms for place-makers, purposeful businesses and public bodies. We’ll do this without bullshit or surprises. We just offer straight advice, transparent costs and tangible results.

Those who work with us already know we’re delivering stand-out work. This is helping to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds in investment, create thousands of jobs and enhance clients’ reputations and bottom lines.

Now we can be even more focused and flexible. We have specialists in campaigns, community and stakeholder engagement and creative services in our team. We can also call on a trusted a network to provide services like video, digital consultation and website creation. My huge thanks to them for the excellent support they’re already providing.

Our website and brand launches soon, powered by the team and our network.

As a purposeful South West business, we’re determined to give back to places where we live and work. We’ll continue to support causes close to our hearts, through volunteering, mentoring and donations. Colleagues are supporting organisations like Bristol Youth Network and Child to Child through our volunteering leave package. And we won’t accept jobs that do harm or contradict our pupose.

A Distinctive future

For all the talk of inflation, cost of living and recessions, it feels good to move forward with such a capable team.

The response to the news this week, which I’ve shared on LinkedIn and Twitter (below), has moved me.

Friends, colleagues and family are strongly behind this move. As someone who often worries about slipping up and regularly battles with my self-confidence, this has meant a huge amount. I could have wobbled if people had expressed doubts, but no one did. Now we’re up and running, we’ve had big new opportunities land with us in our first week.

I’ve learned a fair bit already, good and bad. It’s reminded me that relationships matter (as if I needed telling). But there’s been some maddening experiences with tech (no more ‘how to’ videos and blog posts, please). And while I’ve had great support from local firms (thank you Chubb Bulleid, Old Mill, and Gatenby Services) big companies presenting themselves as friends to small businesses have proved a nightmare to work with (hello, O2, Barclaycard!). I’ll write more about those learnings soon.

After the grind of lockdown and all its pressures, I’m looking forward to having more control over my destiny. Whatever happens, it’ll be an experience.

I will keep you posted. And I’m happy to catch up with anyone who’s interested in finding out more.

This post originally appeared on Ben Lowndes’ blog on 11 June 2022.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

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