Distinctive turns two

Lots of coloured balloons with coloured ribbons hanging down from each one

As we start our third year in business, we’re celebrating a successful year of supporting purposeful businesses and place-making projects that improve where we live, work, learn and spend time

Over the past year, we’ve certainly stayed busy. We’re fortunate to work with a fantastic array of clients, from local authorities and developers to energy organisations and charities.  

We’ve had thousands of conversations with clients, project teams, stakeholders, journalists and the public. 

And we’ve delivered some great results, which we’re very proud of. The diversity of our work fuels us and inspires us to remain creative and fresh in our approach. Thank you to all our clients and associates who help make what we do special.  

Here’s our highlights reel from our second year of trading. 

Expanding into Exeter

We welcomed our new account manager, Arianne Smart, to the Distinctive fold at the end of 2023 and embarked on our extension into the Greater Exeter region 

Building on our existing network of clients and peers in the city, Arianne is growing our presence in the Greater Exeter area, whilst delivering our place-making projects across the South West. 

If you have a project you need PR expertise on in the area, get in touch. 

New Distinctive digs

In the depths of mid-winter, we said goodbye to our first office space at Engine Shed in Boxworks. While it was a sad moment and not one that we planned, it allowed us the opportunity to land at an exciting new spot. 

We are thrilled to be part of the co-working hub at Design West in Bristol. Being surrounded by similarly minded teams working in the place-making industry has sparked useful and inspiring conversations. Based on Narrow Quay, we’re right on the harbourside and in the heart of the city. Come down and say hello next time you’re coming past!  

Photograph of Design West, Narrow Quay, Bristol. A three-storey black building with turquoise writing 'Design West'. Trees can be seen at the top of the photo in the foreground.

Photo credit: Design West / Chris Cooper.

Consulting the community at Cheddar Gorge

In the spring, we were pleased to support the Mendip Hills National Landscape team with a consultation on proposals to close the main road through Cheddar Gorge to traffic once a month. The aim is to allow more people to enjoy a traffic-free environment. Cheddar Gorge is an area loved by residents, businesses and visitors alike – it is therefore crucial that people are given the chance to have their say on the potential changes. 

The team enlisted our support to roll out the consultation. We boosted initial awareness through a blended approach of digital and traditional methods and media – pushing the word out far and wide. We generated 25 pieces of media coverage, resulting in more than 10,000 views of the Mendip Hills National Landscape website. 

Our approach worked. The consultation survey had more than 1,700 responses and was highlighted as an exemplar project by Rhion Jones, Founder and former Programme Director at the Consultation Institute.  

The Forum reaches new heights

For more than five years now, we have been proud to support Reef Group, in partnership with Gloucester City Council, who are delivering Gloucester’s most exciting new build.  

The Forum will offer 135,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, a new 4* hotel and rooftop bar in the heart of Gloucester, with excellent transport links – as part of the £200m regeneration of Gloucester.  

To help maintain and boost public and commercial interest, we have drawn out regular stories, which highlight the human impact at the heart of the project, celebrate key milestones in the build, and demonstrate The Forum’s offer.   

At the close of 2023, we invited media to the lifting of the 44,000 kg bridge into position. It was an iconic moment for the build, with some stunning dusk shots.  

Cranes lifting The Forum’s connecting bridge into position at dusk. The crane and bridge are centered with office buildings on either side.

In February, two bright young apprentices were brought to the forefront. The pair are an excellent example of how the project is directly improving the lives of local people, giving a boost to the economy and transforming Gloucester into a modern hub of creativity and productivity. This was covered widely by local media, including BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Punchline and So Glos 

The residential offering of The Forum, Whitefriars, won the Small Residential Development of the Year 2024 – and for good reason. The innovatively designed city centre regeneration project stood out to the judges because of its status as a rare brownfield site, which is key to Gloucester city centre’s transformation. All apartments have now been snapped up.  

If awards are part of your marketing strategy, we’ve shared our tips for award writing success here.

Supporting the South West’s vibrant energy sector

The past 12 months saw a sharpening of focus on nuclear as a reliable, sustainable energy source, particularly with the formal establishment of Great British Nuclear

Nuclear South West is a championing force, promoting the region’s impressive facilities and enviable talent pool – all whilst forging connections with businesses looking to build the industry for the future.  

We were proud to support the team with a consistent, flexible approach to messaging, regular news updates and celebrations for the industry.  

Supporting social value 

The Distinctive team supported fantastic causes in Bristol, Somerset and Exeter, thanks to our volunteer leave commitment. This past year, the team collectively offered 10 days of our time. 

Jasmine and Ben provided a strategy workshop and developed a communications plan to underpin Bristol’s Just Transition campaign, which centres on inclusivity and fairness for a sustainable future. 

We also supported communications around the restoration of Bristol’s Underfall Yard after the iconic visitor attraction and working boat yard was terribly damaged in a fire last year. Thanks to the work of the trust and many talented people, the restoration effort is well underway and making good progress.  

In Exeter, Arianne has offered time and expertise to support the launch of Exeter Chamber’s ‘NextGen’ initiative, designed to engage, upskill and inspire young professionals in the city. She also sat as a panellist for University of Exeter’s summer startup bootcamp, hearing students present their innovative business ideas and providing feedback. 

Leading the conversation

It’s not just client work that keeps us busy. We contributed to discussions on topics that matter to us, including communications, place-making and purposeful business.  

We’re delighted to help Business West develop its priorities and strategies as Ben joined as a member of its recently established advisory group for Bristol.  

Ben contributed to #FuturePRoof #PRStack, penning a chapter about Chat GPT. He was also part of a PR Week piece, which featured industry leaders’ opinions on whether a code of conduct would improve the pitching process for agencies. Whilst pitches are often an exciting time to formulate ideas and show off what you’ve got, relations can be strained through poor behaviour. 

In spring, we invited Rob Buckland, editor of the well-respected Bristol Business News website, and its sister titles covering Bath and Swindon, to lead our latest webinar. He shared his tips for getting journalists to sit up and take notice of your story, and how to write your press release in a way that makes a real impact. 

Our monthly newsletter, Distinctive Dispatch, goes into more depth about what we’ve been doing, saying and listening to. Hot topics covered this year include AI, the Post Office scandal, writing clearly and how comms can build reputation in the built environment.   

Thanks to the hundreds of people who read it every month. You can sign up and read past editions here. 

Being resourceful

We launched our library of resources to support businesses and organisations in meeting their goals. This includes our guide to tackling some of the built environment’s challenges, thoughts on how to unlock a development’s value through PR and writing for clarity.

Feel anything is missing? Let us know how we can help! 

Here’s to turning two!

We have an exciting roster of clients and projects on the horizon, from construction experts to charities. We look forward to sharing our work and ideas with you into our third year.  

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Header photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash.


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