FBCC Member Series: Rochester PR Group

This interview is part of our FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Joanna Dodd, the Managing Director of FBCC Corporate Member Rochester PR Group.

For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your company? 

Rochester PR Group is a boutique agency, staffed by senior, experienced PR and marketing people who help international brands launch into the UK market.

Do you have a story behind your company’s name? 

Rochester is where I live in the UK, it’s a beautiful city with a cathedral, Norman castle, and is well known for its Charles Dickens connection. The reason for choosing it as our company name is that we wanted something that sounded “British” to a lot of different cultures and countries. Whilst there are lots of great puns and play on words that would definitely sound more fun and more unusual as a name, we are all about trying to help companies and brands make themselves easily understood and we just felt something challenging is really not where we should start. For us clear, easy-to-understand language is what we want to project on our website for example.

How would you describe your company culture? 

The advantage of a senior “been there, done that” team is 1) that there is not much that we haven’t come across in our working lives in terms of brands, types of campaigns, journalists we deal with, 2) we are hugely collaborative and always share our ideas and reactions with each other in the spirit of “can you improve upon this” or “does your experience tell you something different or suggest a better idea”. Plus we work at a really fast pace which we all enjoy. We’re organised and driven by action lists and deadlines. We all really enjoy our clients’ entrepreneurial spirit and this rubs off on us too – we’re full of ideas and a “why not try this” attitude. In our job you have to be constantly learning new techniques and the media and social media keeps us on our toes in terms of staying up to date. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so there’s always time for a laugh. 

Do you have anything big happening right now/planned for the near future? 

The nature of our clients means that we are always working on launching new products or services for them.  It could be something they have been planning for months or years and is the culmination of lots of hard work and it’s our job to deliver activity in the most effective way for them and to match their enthusiasm and excitement.

How are you coping with the pandemic? How has your day-to-day life changed? 

We were lucky last year in that we had very recently bought new laptops and pretty much all our systems were app/cloud based already so, to be honest, we shifted our laptops home and carried on pretty much as normal.

Aside from that we invested, like others, in thinking how we keep in touch with each other efficiently, so our internal systems changed.  For clients we run “work in progress” trackers and that helps to keep us and them up to speed – we also like to run a weekly call with each of our clients.  Like others we are missing the face-to-face meetings, but the more virtual way of working has helped some of our clients who have been able to reach out into the UK in terms of raising their profile without having to travel.  Although I think the longer this goes on, you can sense and sometimes see the stress that it has brought to many businesses not just commercially but also their internal communications.

On a personal note, less commuting has brought me more time with my family and home.  So, more DIY jobs completed around the house!  But there’s no doubt that it has taken its toll on my daughters, one who started university last year and the other who is due to take her GCSEs this year.   And on my parents who live locally and for whom I am doing more shopping, preparing meals and trying to keep them feeling positive.

Your number one tip for working from home? 

My one tip for working from home is to take a lunch break and during that watch, the news/read an online media channel or watch/listen to a programme that you wouldn’t normally see or think you have time for. It can be a source of inspiration or just fun. 

What is the biggest benefit of being part of the FBCC network for your company? 

Networks are great and, when not during Covid, it’s good to meet people at FBCC events (the Christmas lunch for example) as business to me is all about hearing a new perspective or point of view.  During Covid, it’s still about sharing and “meeting” people but obviously via Zoom, Teams, attending webinars etc.  You never know who’s going to give you a great piece of advice or spark an idea.

If you’re hiring new employees, what are the traits you would be looking for in them

We’re not hiring at the moment but, whenever we do, we look for people with masses of experience (we only employ senior consultants as we have found that works best for our clients) but also huge enthusiasm.  You have to be able to treat each new client or new project with the same excitement as you did the one before.

FBCC February Newsletter 2021

We hope that everyone is staying warm and safe in this winter weather!

It is time for FBCC’s second newsletter for the year, which includes information on open positions at our member companies, upcoming events, and other FBCC news.

To read the newsletter click here

FBCC Patron F-Secure is recruiting!

FBCC Patron F-Secure is recruiting for several positions in London and other locations within the United Kingdom.

The roles F-Secure is looking to fill in London:

F-Secure has other open positions you can look up here.

Nobody knows cyber security like F-secure. For three decades, F-secure has driven innovations in cyber security, defending tens of thousands of companies and millions of people.

With unsurpassed experience in endpoint protection as well as detection and response, F-secure shields enterprises and consumers against everything from advanced cyber-attacks and data breaches to widespread ransomware infections.

Visit F-Secure’s website to learn more.

 

7 Secrets of Organising Epic Networking Events (online, of course)

The blog post is written by Dr. Tuuli Bell, the owner of FBCC Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd

Once, I described myself as “stubbornly positive” at a networking event. That attitude has slowly become an everyday practice, a reminder during isolation that we can choose how we feel. I’d like to say it’s easy. On many days, I forget, pick myself up, and resume my practice. It’s one thing to be self-aware and control your thoughts, feelings, and words. As an organiser of a networking event, how can you influence the feelings of the participants? How do you create an atmosphere where people can feel safe to share their thoughts, enjoy themselves, and make meaningful connections?

We are heading towards the spring and have plenty of upcoming opportunities to renew, re-assess and transform our events. With a very special art-focused networking event with ProjectTransformations and FBCC coming up, I’d like to share my top 7 learnings about organising networking magic:

  1. Pick a theme that people gather around. Priya Parker suggests in her transformative book The Art of Gathering1 that you can engineer meaningful gatherings by being intentional and clear about the theme.
  2. Be brave. When you pour your heart into your work, it shows. Bring your true self to the event planning meetings and encourage others to do the same. It’s hard to put this into a couple of sentences as Brené Brown2 has been studying it for over 20 years.
  3. Embrace the limiting factors. When you have limited choices (about anything), you’re actually releasing your creative powers within. We all know the power of deadlines, and that’s an example of limited time. Check out more of Tina Seelig’s creative wisdom in inGenius3.
  4. Create a magical space. The environment that you’re in has a major impact on your creativity, output and mindset. Often in times of crisis, it can be easiest to change your environment as a positivity boost. That is why top schools and universities look attractive, and why cathedrals have high ceilings: they make you think prosperous thoughts, let your mind wonder in a vast space and invite you to look upwards. For inspiration, take a look at Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft’s Create Space4. Adjusting for a virtual environment, send a physical item to the participants they can touch and feel, or invite them to bring their own.
  5. Think about who you’re targeting. Who are you attracting to the event? The easiest way to influence who will be there is to understand the target profile and use words that speak to them (and not others). Shelle Rose Charvet’s Words That Change Minds5 opened my eyes to the power of words.
  6. Think holistically. What else is going on in the lives of the participants? Will they be able to attend your event if it’s at school pick-up time? Will they need to, and be able to, download special software on their work laptops? Are there other accessibility, or language barriers that you need to take into account?
  7. Plan your hellos and saying goodbye. Coming back to Priya Parker’s book1, she explains how participants’ experience of the gathering starts as soon as they hear about the event and ends after the event has come to a close. What are the opening and closing rituals that you will employ? Ending a gathering is much easier in a virtual space than, for example if you had guests at home. In either case, you’ll want to let everyone know what to expect, and in which sequence or at what time. Finally, how will you follow-up after the event? When you’ve arranged a great event, you’ll want to help the participants to take something home with them, to remember it with gratitude and a smile. If they learn something that reminds them to live life to the fullest, you’ve more than achieved your goal.

Thank you for taking your time to read through the post, and I hope it gave you ideas and inspiration for organising your next event. If you are curious about participating in a novel art-networking event, sign up today to secure your place. Look forward to seeing you there!

Dr Tuuli Bell is founder of FBCC member company Tuuli Bell Ltd. Drawing on her research background in experimental physics, and a life-long passion for oil painting, Tuuli challenges the barriers between disciplines. She believes that arts and sciences have complementing approaches, with the same purpose: to deepen our understanding of the universe – a space-time that we are part of. For her, happiness is about embracing change, connecting with others on a human level, and communicating with the universe through visual art.

Read more about ProjectTransformations art workshop and get your tickets here

References

  1. Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering: https://www.priyaparker.com/thebook
  2. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/
  3. Tina Seelig, inGenius, http://www.tinaseelig.com/books.html
  4. Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft, Create Space:https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources/make-space-excerpts
  5. Shelle Rose Charvet, Words That Change Minds: https://wordsthatchangeminds.com/

FBCC Corporate Member Kone is recruiting!

FBCC Corporate Member KONE is recruiting for several open positions in London and other locations within the United Kingdom.

Down below, you can see few roles KONE is looking to fill in London:

KONE has many more open positions you can look up here.

As a global leader in the lift and escalator industry, KONE provides lifts, escalators and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernisation to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. 

Read more about KONE here.

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.