Distinctive highlights 2023

2023 in orange fire figures

It’s has been a busy and exciting year for the Distinctive team.

We supported place-makers and purposeful organisations on a wide range of PR, strategy and creative projects. In doing so, we’ve helped make a positive difference to the places and businesses we support.

Here are just some of the highlights.

graphic showing highlighted figures from Distinctive's work. Copy: 16 clients 100s of pieces of noteworthy coverage 4 full comms strategies 3 client workshops Creative support for culture, places and services A new PR account manager, based in Exeter Report writing and design Social media content planning and management Re-branding and website design And a new office for the new year, working across the South West.

Supporting positive change in the South West

Championing schemes that work to improve places in our region is a core part of our work.

We are proud to support Reef Group and Gloucester City Council on The Forum, a multi-use development positioned at the heart of the city centre, set to transform Gloucester. With state-of-the-art, flexible offices, a 4* hotel and gym, the site aims to attract tech and future focused businesses to the heart of the well-connected region.

There have been some big milestones this year, including the bridge lifting into position (right), topping out and the installation of the striking facades. This generated huge media and online interest throughout the year. 

Our communications strategy is developed to promote public understanding of the project and its wide-reaching benefits, whilst celebrating the mindful and innovative construction methods used.

The project is set for completion in 2024. Stay tuned on The Forum’s social media to track progress.

Championing the net zero transition

We are delighted to continue our work with regional nuclear and business development growth leaders, Nuclear South West. It’s been a powerful year for nuclear growth. Great British Nuclear was officially launched, Hinkley Point C progressed at pace, and it is becoming ever more widely recognised that nuclear is critical to help realise net zero by 2050. 

Nuclear South West engaged with dozens of companies to realise the strength of the nuclear supply chain, talent pool and availability of sites in the region. And our always-on comms support has maintained a steady drum beat of news and insight from the team.
We work with media to put the South West on the map for nuclear and economic growth, emphasising the impact which the nuclear industry has had on the region now, and will have, in the future.

The monthly newsletter has seen a steady stream of subscribers with a steady open rate that sits above industry average.

Content that cuts through

Bristol-based legal firm, Foot Anstey, enlisted our expertise to distil key messages and headlines from their recent research into brand collaborations. We developed a 16-page report, with actionable takeaways, which we promoted to press and developed print and digital collateral to support the report’s release, including Z-cards and social media graphics.

Our work continues with a series of blogs to further promote the report and its findings, directing clients to the knowledgeable team at Foot Anstey. 

ARK website shown on a phone, tablet and screenIn the affordable housing sector, we worked with CHIC, a not-for-profit consortium providing procurement services, to refresh their website. We kept functionality at the core of the project, enhancing users’ experience. The resulting site draws attention to procurement portals, whilst providing a bespoke, content-relevant experience for users from across Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

And leading consultancy services for housing associations and local authorities, ARK, enlisted our help to give their website a makeover also. This time, it was part of a wider re-brand we developed and delivered. Working closely with the team, we led a half-day workshop, analysed competitors and provided several test options to establish their new identity, building on their 30 years of expertise in the sector.

Supporting local arts and culture

We designed eye-catching marketing materials for the Victoria Art Gallery team to promote their upcoming exhibitions in Bath. This included the Peter Brown and New English Art Club and their Surrealism in Britain exhibitions. We are always thrilled to work with cultural establishments to attract new visitors and reinforce their brand.

We were lucky enough to visit the Surrealism exhibition at its opening – it’s well worth a visit!

Transforming campaigns, with story telling

To provoke positive action and support from audiences, we know that telling your story in a relevant and engaging way can really make the difference.

We have created the story-telling strategy ‘CHATS’ to help teams come together to extract topline messages, identify opportune moments and develop stories that resound with their audiences.

We brought several of our clients’ teams together to do just this, resulting in fruitful conversations that sharpened focus and kick-started campaign planning and delivery.

These ranged from developing website content and establishing branding, to assessing the next phase of a project’s delivery and roll-out. We look forward to sharing more details on this in the new year.

Blue and yellow graphic with light bulb, conversation and time icons. text states: CHATS, Cut to the chase Human Audience Timing Solution

Leading the conversation

With the emergence of AI in the comms space, polarised conversations and focus on communications’ role in political and business life, there has been plenty to discuss and dissect. 

We launched our Substack newsletter, Distinctive Dispatch in March, sharing our team’s own thoughts and insights on how communications intersect with business, places and work. Hundreds of people have signed up so far. You can catch the latest here.

We held our first webinar with Bill Revans, leader of Somerset Council, where we delved into important issues, including housing, upskilling and transport.

The AI conversation has been fast moving, and as an industry, PR and comms professionals are getting to grips with how best we can use tools for our benefit. Our director Ben Lowndes contributed to the latest #FuturePRoofed #PRStack, which is out now and selling well.

Growth of the team

Image of Arianne SmartWe end 2023 with a warm welcome to our new PR account manager, Arianne Smart (right). 

Arianne joins us with a decade’s worth of PR experience, specialising in PR strategy and delivering expert public relations and communication activity.

She’ll help to develop our PR offer to clients in Devon, where she lives with her family, and across the wider South West. 

Arianne’s appointment comes as we take up desk spaces in new offices in Bristol. Working from Design West’s city office, and spaces in Somerset and Exeter, we’ll be truly hybrid in 2024.

Read more about Arianne’s experience and skills. 

Here's to a Distinctive 2024!

As we close the book on an eventful 2023, we are massively grateful to those who put their faith in us and the many people who took time to support us along the way. 

We never take that for granted and looking forward to building strong relationships and doing more great work in 2024. 

We’re here to help support your purposeful projects and place-making plans with comms that cut through the crowd. 

Get in touch – we’d love to hear more.

Photo in header by Ricardo Loaiza.

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