What happened in 2023

It's that time of year when we take a look back at our highlights from the past 12 months.

We always say it – how have 12 months passed since we last wrote this blog! 2023 has been an absolute triumph, with much to celebrate. Thank you to all our super clients for keeping us busy and to the whole Pier team for their relentless dedication.

We have un-apologetically not kept it lean, so if you’re in a rush here are the facts:

  • 15 years of Pier
  • 12 award nods – and 5 wins
  • 5 new clients
  • 3 new starters
  • Zero leavers
  • Many, many events
  • Hundreds of influencer posts
  • Thousands of news articles
  • You get the gist…

Let’s dive in!

January

We kicked off the year with two big new client wins. Our renewables team welcomed Low Carbon’s Beacon Fen Energy Park to our roster, and we started work on our Plug Your Plastic Use sustainability campaign for Natural Course.

Our food team were all over Veganuary with a cracking partnership with creator Sevda for Richmond meat-free (case study here) and we ramped up our progress for submitting our B-Corp application.

Lucy and Caroline attended EEEGR’s House of Commons Reception, paving the way for what was a big year for events.

February

In food, we landed some cracking consumer PR coverage for Frylight in time for Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day.

Our renewable energy team had a very busy month – so it was the perfect time to welcome Head of Renewables, Steph Clark to the business.

We went to the East Suffolk Hydrogen Conference, a fascinating event on this rapidly growing industry. Speaking at the event was Freeport East‘s CEO Steve Beel. It was great to see Steve, hot off the heels of our appointment as the new PR agency for the Freeport.

February also saw a well-deserved promotion for Caroline to Account Director, as she celebrated achieving her PRCA Advanced Diploma too.

March

March was events heavy! Managing Director Amy Bendall joined the panel at the Improving Workplace Health event, speaking about Pier’s approach to wellbeing, just as we celebrated being nominated for Best Small Agency to Work For at the UK Company Culture Awards. We also joined thousands in grocery globally to attend IFE, where we caught up with client Surya Foods.

We ended the month with one of our biggest ever award nominations – Small PR Consultancy of the Year at the prestigious national CIPR Excellence Awards.

April

Team renewables was out on the road again, this time for the Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm consultation events. We hung out with the legendary Dom Wood in the studio as he delivered his top DIY tips for HIPPO, in a fast-paced radio day. And our hard-working Ellisons Solicitors‘ team nailed some strong medical negligence coverage amid high patient waiting times.

There was more award noise too, as Pier received a nomination for Medium Consultancy of the Year at the PRCA Dare Awards.

May

We are at our desks a lot we promise, but this year we haven’t sat still for long! From early consultation events for Beacon Fen Energy Park and a visit to the annual Southern North Sea (SNS) Conference and Exhibition, to another speaker slot at a mental health event, team Pier were everywhere in May. This included our fantastic annual away day, where after business planning, we hit-up the Botanical Boys for a terrarium making workshop, spurring a year of terrarium wellbeing status updates.

Our food team were absolutely smashing it with a double-client activation, partnering Cathedral City with Del Monte. The two brands came together for an influencer campaign, bringing back memories of parties in the 80s, as we briefed our creators to make classic Cheese & Pineapple Hedgehogs, a nostalgic nod for the King’s Coronation.

June

The consultations continued in June as Pier’s renewables team worked flat out to help engage stakeholders for Dogger Bank South and Beacon Fen. We secured lots of coverage for Freeport East’s new funding programme to boost local facilities and help get young people into green jobs (Steph and Lucy attended the launch event at Suffolk New College’s Net Zero Skills Centre too) and promoted the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult Launch Academy Event. We also caught up with friends and contacts at Global Offshore Wind in London.

Things were more digital elsewhere in the business, as we generated a wave of high-performing creator content for Thai Dragon (more on this here) and HIPPO.

July

Pier supports SP Energy Networks with award entry writing, and in July we were thrilled that they picked up the silver award for Carbon Reduction: Race to Net Zero as well as the bronze award for supply chain sustainability, in the Global Good Awards. Well deserved global recognition.

The Low Carbon team attended the Heckington Show, the largest village show in England, to talk to local people about Beacon Fen. We were also out and about networking at Imbibe Live and marketing festival, Mad//Fest London.

We celebrated being nominated for seven awards at the CIPR PRide Awards, both for Pier and for our work with Ellisons Solicitors, Saputo Dairy UK, HIPPO and Perceptual Robotics. More on this later…

August

Lots of people news to celebrate in August! It was a double promotion as Becky Whiting became Senior Account Director and Eiléanór Dixon Senior Account Manager. We enjoyed spending time with Bevin, our summer intern from the Taylor Bennett Foundation, who joined us for the month. We welcomed Sophie Judd to the team as our new Account Assistant on renewables, and were pleased to have the wonderful Sophie Fraser back from maternity leave.

We started work on a new project for Essex County Council, facilitating information webinars for its new waste strategy consultation and went riverside with Hayley Tamaddon to launch Plug Your Plastic Use.

We also submitted our B-Corp application, joining the global queue for assessment. Watch this space!

September

Traditionally one of the busiest months of the year, this September was no exception.

We celebrated an exciting project win from Essex County Council to deliver the PR for its Year of Numbers initiative, and we welcomed new client The British Hamper Company.

Our LinkedIn strategy for Perceptual Robotics was paying off this month, as we brought in a record-breaking number of engagements.

We kicked off a campaign for Richmond meat-free, with an on-pack competition to drive interest in Richmond meat-free minis.

There was some light autumnal activism for a serious cause, as CEO Kate Bowden Smith joined hundreds of other business leaders in the Queue for Climate and Nature on London’s Millennium Bridge. Meanwhile, 400 miles further north, Steph was busy networking at various events in Edinburgh.

Finally – you might have seen us mention it – but we ended the month on the biggest bang we could dream of, scooping PR Consultancy of the Year and Small PR Consultancy of the Year, at our regional CIPR PRide Awards. Our De-cluttering with Dilly campaign for HIPPO took home Consumer Relations Campaign, plus we took silver in two categories for our trade PR launch for Saputo Dairy UK’s Cathedral City Plant Based. Absolutely delighted.

Photography credit: Jamie Andersen Photography

October

We kicked off a busy few months with the East of England Co-op, launching their Leiston Travel Branch. Meanwhile, we were pleased to welcome former client GEV back to announce their Australian acquisition.

There was a great earned piece in core title Speciality Food Magazine for Fieldfare, with our clients commentary on the rise of gourmet meal solutions.

Becky and Rachael enjoyed some productive networking – and tempting drinks – at the Trade Drinks Expo, while Caroline went to Solar & Storage Live to see contacts and check-out impressive new tech. Meanwhile, Steph attended this year’s Floating Offshore Wind in Aberdeen to hear from global leaders discussing the future of the sector.

We also waved a very fond temporary farewell to Abbie, who went on maternity leave.

November

We meet clients as much as possible, but after a fully remote relationship since starting work together in the pandemic, Amy, Eiléanór and Olivia enjoyed a productive strategy planning day with the team at Saputo Dairy UK HQ in Weybridge.

We were delighted for Kate as she was voted onto the EEEGR board to help champion integrated energy in the east. In renewables, we were busy supporting British Solar Renewables with its Rush Wall Solar Park development, we welcomed Renantis to our client roster and after months of work, were thrilled to see the new Freeport East website go live.

There was much to celebrate in the business as Lisa secured Pier Cyber Essentials certification and we announced our sponsorship of Best Newcomer at the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards.

We also made good on our 1% profit pledge, with a donation to the Climate Coalition.

December

Tis the season for gifting, and the busiest time of the year for client The British Hamper Company. We locked in Christmas gift guide coverage including The Telegraph, Evening Standard, Sunday Express & Mirror, Good Housekeeping, Olive, GQ and Bella.

We were busy with regional media relations this month, soft-launching the Essex Year of Numbers and helping the East of England Co-op launch its Community Cares Fund, £50K foodbanks donation and a brand new store in Chelmsford – with some traction in trade media too.

Meanwhile, on social media, we partnered with some fab creators for the HIPPO DIY Skills Share campaign.

Steph was out and about for the final time this year, keeping Pier front of mind in Scotland, at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain Spotlight event.

And there we have it! We’re here until Friday, then we’re off for some mince pies and a kip. We’ll see you back with a bang on 2nd January.

More news & insight

Pier: PR Consultancy of the Year 2023

Clutching the trio of gold trophies, CEO (and proud mother of twins) Kate Bowden Smith...

Trend review: Seeking comfort in nostalgic foods 

Senior Account Manager, Eiléanór, takes a trip down memory lane to uncover the Pier team's...

Pier and planet

Did you know Pier donates 1% of profit to fighting climate change? ...

Championing new local talent in food awards

We're excited to be involved in the much-anticipated return of the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards...

What happened in 2023 application

To apply for this position please fill in your details below and we will be in touch soon.