The world is changing very fast, and nowhere is that more evident than in business, where the change is overwhelmingly for good. A huge amount of this change for good has been fuelled by social media and the power of the internet. Brands that used to be able to craft their messages and hide their more questionable ethics behind barriers have found that all stripped away with the rise of the consumer via social media. Societal pressures in 2020, especially COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement, have accelerated the ‘change for good’ trend even more, as we explore on What Does Good Look Like?
To help illustrate what change for good looks in reality, our MD Claire Burdett interviewed industry heavyweight, Kirsty Leighton, founder and MD of Milk and Honey PR Agency and Chair of the PRCA, and marketing superstar, Natalie Bruins, CMO at YAN and founder of Visibly.Rocks.
Kirsty Leighton, The Queen Bee
Kirsty Leighton founded Milk & Honey PR in early 2017 and it has since grown at a phenomenal rate and they are one of the few agencies we know of that are actively recruiting in June 2020! They very much embody what ‘Change for Good’ looks like. Since get-go Kirsty has committed to creating an agency where it’s ‘nice to work’ with the belief that good business is ‘good’ business. They have thus embarked on a number of ethical initiatives as part of an evolving positioning for the business, including achieving B-Corp accreditation last year.
In early 2020, the agency launched the Purpose Academy, which not only covers its pro bono work for NGO clients but goes a step further, with monthly mentoring and training clinics for charities and other emerging B-Corps so they are better equipped to handle their own communications.
Milk & Honey have also just published its first “People, Purpose, Planet” B-Corp impact report, outlining how far the firm has come over the past year in a wide range of areas from equality and diversity to environmental factors.
The report outlines the agency’s improvement pledges, which it will report progress on in subsequent annual reports: to go plastic neutral this year; disclose the percentage of turnover from high carbon clients; invest 5% of team time in volunteer projects and fundraising initiatives; increase team ownership from 20% to a third by 2021; and to go carbon neutral by 2022.
Marketing Rockstar Natalie Bruins
Natalie is a lifelong marketer, a strategic thinker and an analytical problem solver. We know and love her as a total data nerd obsessed with consumer behaviour.
She is the founder of Visibly.Rocks, a marketing consultancy that specialises in helping small businesses that are looking to pivot and/or accelerate, and much of what does is focused on helping businesses Change for Good. Natalie recently joined YAN Bank as their CMO. YAN Bank are set to be “the world’s first e-commerce bank” and due to launch in the UK in October.
Natalie is well versed in online and offline marketing channels, with extensive depth in digital and content marketing techniques. Her industry experience includes start-ups through to global organisations within technology, fintech, retail and not-for-profits. She has held senior/executive roles in strategy, marketing and communications working with brands like K3, Comdata, British Airways, TK Maxx, Primark and Victoria Secrets on customer engagement, retention and loyalty programmes.
Over lockdown, Natalie has been working with local businesses and artists to help them pivot during the pandemic, including 137Gin, Chatty Chico and Wash Common Dental. From Spanish, to gin, to teeth – now that’s an interesting combination!