Archive for 2010

Double Gold at CIPR Awards!

7 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

I’m delighted to announce that on Friday night Rewired was named Midlands Outstanding Small Consultancy by the CIPR for the second year in a row!

What’s more, our very own Tara Tomes was crowned Outstanding Young Communicator 2010, a massive achievement against some excellent competition and testament to Tara’s hard work and dedication to her clients.

I’m hugely proud of the whole team who have worked incredibly hard over the past 12 months to enable the continued growth of the agency, and would like to thank all of our clients for their continued support.




Bhavna’s Diary- Weeks 1 and 2

7 years ago
by guest

So, I’ve spent two weeks in the Rewired office now and I thought it was time to let you know how I was getting on.

My first day started quickly with a team meeting, which gave me insight on what clients Rewired have been working with and what everyone’s been working on. After this, Sam sat down to have a chat with me about the projects I’d be helping with.

First up is the Film Nation: Shorts Awards 2010, which is being going to be held next month in Birmingham. I watched a few of the videos, made by young filmmakers, to get a feel of the project and I was really impressed with what I saw!

I’ve been supporting the team with sending invitations out and helping to keep track of who’s attending. I’ve also been researching potential presenters of the awards, from sportsmen and women to film stars. Sadly Johnny Depp didn’t make the list!

Another client of Rewired is FleetMilne, a residential agency based in the Mailbox. I’ve been researching ideas for their blog and learning about the approval system that works within the office and with the clients.

Brilliantly Birmingham is also kicking off now. I first heard of this jewellery festival last year when I wrote about it on a blog I write with three of my friends from university. Now I’m on the other side of things and it’s been really interesting to go “behind the scenes” and see how the PR works.

I’ve been helping to contribute to the Style Birmingham website and helping with sending invitations to the launch event. There are a range of designers from across the UK taking part in Brilliantly Birmingham, so I’ve learnt how to use Gorkana to send out press releases to journalists, especially those in the regions where the designers hail from. Although my knowledge of Geography is appalling so I had to double check some of the places to make sure that I had the right regional press list! Anyone know where Ormskirk is?!

I’m really hoping to sharpen my writing skills while I’m here. It’s also been great to see how everything works in the PR world, from the relationship with the clients to the relationship with the press. It’s all a huge learning curve and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of my internship will offer me.

Playing my part during Make a Delicious Difference Week

7 years ago
by tom


Earlier this month, I was asked to participate in a football tournament organised by Cadbury and Kraft Foods as part of Make a Delicious Difference Week.

The week saw over 1000 Cadbury and Kraft Foods employees across the UK and Ireland volunteering in their local communities and the football tournament was a big part of the programme of activities.

The football tournament took place at the Cadbury Recreation Ground in Bournville, and saw 10 teams compete in a series of 7-a-side football matches. After a day of competition, the tournament was won by manufacturing site Chirk, who beat Cadbury World in a closely fought 1-0 final.

Unfortunately, I played no part in the final after crashing out of the tournament at the group stages with my team, Sales All Stars. In terms of ‘making a delicious difference’, on the pitch at least, we all perhaps needed a bit more practice.

I enjoy playing football and play regularly, but after playing four consecutive matches, I was absolutely exhausted. I had to keep telling myself it was all in the name of charity.

I am a firm believer in volunteering schemes and completed 200 hours of volunteering when I was 17 as part of the Millennium Volunteer Scheme.

Nowadays, it is standard practice for large companies to have active Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. Natwest is one example of a company that is increasingly shouting about the community work it does following its recent television advertisement.

In this crowded marketplace, it is proving difficult for everyone to be heard which is why I was really pleased to see that Cadbury’s Sheffield site picked up an award recently for its own community work.

The charity football tournament I was lucky enough to be a part of was really well organised and the enthusiasm of the Cadbury staff added to a great atmosphere which produced a really enjoyable day.

Just give me a bit more notice next time – I may need a few more cardio sessions!

The reason why newspapers haven’t died, just yet!

7 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Last week, I was reading a really interesting article about Adam Vincenzini, Senior Consultant at Paratus, who has given himself the challenge to live without newspapers for a year. I’m sure some of you reading this will think that’s an easy task with the ability to get any source of news on the internet. Whilst I’m kind of in that camp – some major moments in time, including Michael Jackson’s death, have happened through Twitter – I’m still a massive advocate for ‘the tangible’ so I was interested to read his thoughts.

Although I am pretty much obsessed (in the best possible way) with Twitter; it is the last thing I check before I go to bed and the first thing I look at in the morning; I still think that there is room for newspapers in society. Whenever I hear “print is dead” I roll my eyes in what I consider to be a very close-minded generalisation.

Of course, there are people that haven’t bought a newspaper in – probably – years and use the internet above anything else to find out what’s happening in the world. But I still think there is a massive part of society that doesn’t have a smartphone, has no idea what Twitter is and frankly, couldn’t care less what ‘social network’ actually means. As controversial as it may be to the SXSW generation, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the aforementioned media consumers… plus, if they were all on Twitter, we’d be seeing the ‘fail whale’ a lot more than we wanted to!

Anyway, back to Adam… he started his paper-less journey on 1st January and wrote a blog post earlier this month looking at what he’d learnt so far. Here are his main headlines (excuse the unintentional pun):

It’s harder to come up with tabloid-esque headlines: He realised that headlines online are often linked to SEO results and are very different to the ones we see on the front page.

‘Did you see that…?’: He realised that although online news is more instant, it is also infinite, meaning it’s easy to miss things. Many times throughout the year, he has found himself stating something ‘amazing’ before being interrupted by someone saying, “Yeah, that was in the paper yesterday.”

Newspaper readers are enjoying something special: He feels left out of the commuter group with their heads buried in the Metro every morning. He described it as everyone being invited to a party that he can’t go to.

Awareness of mainstream trends…or lack thereof: He realised that, although he was never quite Gok Wan, not having the weekend supplements meant he had no idea what was hot and what was not.

He became disconnected with sports he used to love: There is always the argument that newspapers need sport more than sport needs newspapers. But Adam found that not having that ritual of turning to the back page meant he equally wasn’t driven to check out what was happening each morning.

A change in the decision-making process: He used to make impulsive decisions based on things he read in newspapers, now he uses human recommendations, and to some extent, Twitter.

Celebrity ho-hum-ness: He was never into celebrities and their gossip but now he really has no time for the ‘shock’ journalism adopted to announce the latest misdemeanour of the likes of Wayne Rooney.

Online news is more distracting during work hours: The morning fill of news (see the head-buried-in-Metro point) makes you feel ‘up to speed’. Without that, it’s easier to get distracted at working looking at Twitter and other websites bearing the latest news.

Despite all of this, Adam doesn’t profess to love newspapers and said he wouldn’t decide whether to read them again until the experiment was over. What I liked about this was his open-minded attitude to why there is still a place for newspapers. There’s no big theory about consumer trends and MOSAIC groups, instead simple points about why newspapers can be valuable. Equally, he talked about reasons why he dislikes them – mostly because of celebrity headlines.

I think everything he has said is the reason why there is still a place for them… until there is absolutely no need then why get rid of them altogether?! For me, the key is utilising them in a way that still works for the people that read them, whilst also embracing new media channels. Plus, I’m not sure my iPhone will ever be as satisfying with a cup of coffee at a café on a Sunday morning as a newspaper is.

Intern wanted!

7 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

We’re looking for an exceptional intern to join the Rewired team for a month long placement in the run up to Christmas. You’ll be working across a broad range of PR accounts and events for clients in the leisure, digital and professional services sectors.

What we’re looking for:

– exceptional communications skills, written and verbal

– attention to detail

– a can-do attitude

– good organisational skills

– clear enthusiasm for the PR and events industry

– good understanding of the media (both traditional and social)

What you’ll get:

– a hands-on opportunity to gain valuable experience

– one-to-one mentoring and support from across the team

– a valuable insight into the workings of a rapidly growing agency

The month long internship is travel expenses only, with the potential for a permanent, paid position in the new year. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to Ruth Ward at by Wednesday 13 October.


The best of Brum - part five

7 years ago
by guest

Katie's favourite place

Having never lived in Birmingham until I embarked on my Business Management degree at the University of Birmingham I knew little to nothing of the city.  I loved the University, liked the idea that I would be near a big city and that was pretty much all I needed to move up here.

Some of the people I came across at Uni were happy to spend all of their nights out at the Guild (our equivalent of a Student’s Union), and nights in at their houses in Selly Oak – but I wanted to learn more about the city that I was living in.

One of the first places I went to was Victoria Square and I could not believe that I was in Birmingham.  The impression outside of the city is that it is a gloomy, industrial town that doesn’t have much to commend it, but here I was presented with a beautiful cosmopolitan square, with a wealth of beautiful architecture and an apparently never-ending maze of streets to explore stretching ahead of me.

I fell in love with the city then and there and made the decision to put roots down and begin to build my career here.  I think there is such a buzz about the city, people who live here know how much it has to offer and there is a real sense that Birmingham is developing into one of the world’s greatest cities.

As I entered Victoria Square with the photographer for my Rewired shoot there were so many different locations for us to take photos in, but I like this particular image because it captures how happy I am to be in the city that I love – there is a sense of fun about it but I like how you can see some of Birmingham’s grandest and more serious architecture in the background.

The best of Brum - part four

7 years ago
by tom

Tom Braithwaite, NIA

I’ve always been interested in the events industry and so I suppose my favourite place to talk about in Birmingham would have to be the National Indoor Arena.

I am originally from Nottingham and the large arenas in the city are some of the first things I think about when I think of Birmingham. An interesting side note being that the NIA was the scene of the first arena gig I went to- The Stereophonics in 1999 if you were wondering.

Following the completion of my degree in New Media from the University of Leeds, which focused on web design, advertising and marketing, I specialised in event management by completing an (MA) Event and Exhibition Management at Birmingham City University.

The course had a heavy emphasis on finding employment within the events industry and some of the modules were led by staff from the NEC Group.

The large arenas such as the NIA are iconic venues in Birmingham and the city seemed the best choice to move to in order to further my career.

Smaller venues benefit from the national recognition that the NIA, NEC and ICC get and Birmingham is increasingly recognised as a real alternative to conferencing and exhibitions outside of London.

The large arenas are increasing in popularity all the time. The Ticket Factory, a ticket agency born out of the success of the NEC had recent success in March of this year when Haymarket Exhibitions announced it had brought in The Ticket Factory to the UK box office for all its events.

Haymarket Exhibitions’ portfolio includes Autosport International, Clothes Show Live, Clothes Show London and the BBC Good Food Shows in Birmingham and Glasgow.

With an ever growing reputation as a centre for exhibitions, conferences and events, I feel Birmingham is a great place to be.

I suppose it’s over to Katie now to round the week off…

The best of Brum - part three

7 years ago
by guest

Having spent all my life in and around Birmingham it was very difficult to choose just one location as I have lots of very fond memories including workshops at the old MAC and lunchtimes at the Botanical Gardens. Incidentally I also have some decidedly blurry memories and I’m not sure it’s wise for me to own up to the fact that I was around before Broad Street even opened The Works! However one place that has always remained close to my heart has to be the Birmingham Hippodrome.

As a theatre enthusiast I’ve enjoyed numerous performances in both the old and new Birmingham Hippodrome and it’s still a family tradition to see the pantomime every Christmas eve. As a child I was enthralled by the glamour and prestige of the building and as an adult the Hippodrome has welcomed me as visitor, employee and actress!

Yes that’s correct, as a budding young actress I even graced its infamous stage as part of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera workshops. I was also foolishly signed up for an array of dance classes in the DanceXchange studios despite my lack of fancy footwork!

During my student days I happily took a part time job as an usher at the theatre and enjoyed many summers sat on the sidelines watching performances of Joseph, Saturday Night Fever and Tell Me On A Sunday. I was even lucky enough to meet the fabulous Joan Collins, who is making a return visit to the theatre to star in the 2010 pantomime.

The Hippodrome’s continued popularity represents Birmingham’s growing arts and culture sector and earlier this year participated in the International Dance Festival which saw an excess of 50,000 people watch performances within the four week festival. Nowadays I am a regular visitor to the Hippodrome and thoroughly enjoy the diversity of acts that it presents. In fact the Rewired team enjoyed an outing to Traces earlier this year as part of the festival and are looking forward to seeing the new production of Blood Brothers next month.

Finally, you can imagine my delight when I arrived at the theatre to have my Rewired photographs taken and discovered a giant poster advertising a current performance of Joseph, truly compounding my choice and completing my trip down memory lane!

Over to Tom…

The best of Brum - part two

7 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

Being raised in Birmingham, I have many memories about many places across the city, so choosing my favourite place for the team photo was a challenge. I decided to think about the reasons that I love Birmingham – shopping, socialising, great bars and restaurants, the odd celebrity spot and fantastic architecture – and that’s how I came up with The Mailbox.

Since starting at Rewired, my links with The Mailbox have continued to grow; our involvement in Style Birmingham has taken me to many a Harvey Nichols Fashion Show and working on last year’s The Sunday Times Style in the City meant me and the gorgeous models spent three fantastic days there for the catwalk show. This year’s Style Birmingham Live also saw me and George Lamb making The Mailbox a hang-out, and I even partied with the models in the same bar as Katie Price and Dane Bowers. As you do…! Naturally, I also love shopping and socialising and The Mailbox is the perfect place for both.

But more than that is what The Mailbox stands for. Birmingham is often thought of as nothing more than Spaghetti Junction and I’m always quick to correct people with this opinion. Over the past decade it has become a thriving, exciting and cosmopolitan city; perfect for young professionals. The Mailbox embodies how the city has embraced regeneration; taking an old Post Office HQ and turning it into a leading leisure destination. I am also a big fan of The Cube and think it’s fantastic that Birmingham’s skyline continues to embrace such iconic buildings.

So, from designer handbags (which we all know I have an obsession with) and fantastic bars, to leading architecture and a personification of regeneration, The Mailbox has everything that I want from a city.

That’s it from me. Sam, over to you…

The best of Brum - part one

7 years ago
by Ruth Pipkin

When the Rewired team had new profile photos taken earlier this year by the very talented Dave Remes, we decided to set them in our favourite places around Birmingham. A good excuse to show off the best bits of Brum, we thought. This week we’ll be telling you a little bit about why we chose each location. Why not share your favourite places with us too?

St Paul’s Square, the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

St Paul’s Square is a special place for me. It’s where I started my PR career, quickly became the location of many fun nights out with colleagues and clients and remains a beautiful oasis of green surrounded by Georgian architecture just five minutes from the city centre.

When I set up Rewired I couldn’t think of a better place for an office than the Jewellery Quarter. I love the combination of beautiful buildings, burgeoning creativity and a wealth of independent bars and restaurants. 

The history of the Quarter also has an interesting link to the communications industry. Alongside jewellery, another major trade in this area in the 19th and early 20th centuries was the manufacture of pens and pen nibs. Anyone who has seen my old typewriter in the office knows I have a bit of a geeky fascination for collecting old communications paraphernalia, so I was genuinely excited to discover that in the 1830s, Victoria Works – where our office is based – was the site of a purpose built factory with a machine manufactured production line for pens. 

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for a history graduate, I recently found out that both my great-grandfathers worked in the jewellery industry in Birmingham, just metres away from where my office is today. Perhaps it was meant to be.

Over to you Tara!