Archive for tag: Octopus

02 November 2012

Mo’ money for Movember

Pretty much everyone that's looked at Twitter/Facebook/anything today knows, November 1st marks the start of an important date in the fundraising world: Movember.

Men across the world have started the day with a fresh shave to make way for a new sprouting of upper lip hair which cannot be removed for a month. All in the name of a great cause - to raise money in support of prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

Steve Spencer and I are representing the Octopus Comms crew. We've been discussing our hopes for the month ahead, and thought it was worth sharing these with you all.

Octopede 1: Steve Spencer

Now looks like:

steve

Thinks he'll look like:

selleck

Tom Selleck

More likely to look like:

neville

Gary Neville

Octopede 2: Sammy Jamieson


Now looks like:

Movember


Thinks he'll look like:

depp

Johnny Depp

More likely to look like:

borat

Borat

You can keep track of our mo-gress (and donate) here: Sammy Jamieson, Steve Spencer

Updates to follow.

@SammyJamieson
@stevelspencer

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29 June 2012

6th and still climbing….

Technology's probably never been so pervasive as it is these days, so it's great to see our involvement in the UK tech scene reflected by PR Week as we continue our climb up the Tech league table. We're now officially the 6th biggest tech PR business in the UK and the fastest growing out of the top 10, which, in a market that's fast consolidating and continually changing, is no mean feat.

Sandy

We love technology, we know technology and it's where Octopus Group started . Ten years on and the passion is still burning - and  the proof is in the pudding. That's down to clients putting their reputation in our hands - clients like Cisco, Colt, Computacenter, CSR, f5, Kcom, McAfee, Mimecast, SAP and Silicon Valley Bank - to name a few!

Now, they say people buy from people, so it's no surprise that we have the best in the industry. Astute, Brave, Hungry, True and Together - that's us and that's our recipe for success. We hope you'll join us!

Sandy

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28 June 2012

On League Tables and Innovation

Every year when the PR Week Tech league table is published, it's always a time for reflection on the year before and where the industry is at.

PR Week Tech table 2012

The good news is Octopus, and our sister companies, had a fantastic year and jumped to 6th in the table by revenue. Not only that, but we were the fastest growing agency in the top 10 which to us is always important. To celebrate we've also been profiled this week, via my co-founder Sandy, who was there on day one.  He scrubs up well, even though he is a self-confessed "gobshite" and will never build that shed :-)

Like Sandy, I've always held the view that the technology sector is a fantastic gateway for PR and a fantastic place to learn.  It moves faster than any other industry - it's exciting, it's young, it's entrepreneurial, it's inherently creative.  Where else could companies of a couple of years old sell for millions?  It's also a place where young PR pros can build their careers quickly and get a fantastic springboard into the world of business, across any sector.

Octopus is a great example of this - after building a name for technology in the early days we've gone on to work in energy, automotive, financial services, professional services.  Like many of our tech clients, we've been entrepreneurial too and grown from a company into a group with multiple brands targeting different parts of different markets.

But for me it's less about 'technology' these days and more about 'innovation'. I don't think I can remember seeing so many great ideas in going about my work. Every week I'm meeting really smart people with big ideas - from graduates to seasoned serial entrepreneurs - who are all looking to build a name for themselves and use us to help them tell their story.  They don't define themselves as in the technology sector; they just have an idea to improve something, and it's very inspiring to see and be part of.

So well done Octopedes for another stonking performance and here's to more great work, great campaigns - all with a liberal dusting of innovation of course!

Jon @JonLon

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18 May 2012

Since when did coming to work feel like walking through your front door at 6pm on a Friday?

You know that feeling when you've had a terrible week and just about everything that could go wrong has done, but you walk through your front door at 6pm on a Friday, kick off your shoes and fall into the sofa with a glass of wine? Well that's what walking into Octopus felt like at 9.30am on a Monday morning.

Why you ask?

Crystal

Well, before landing my job at Octopus, I was an intern at just about every London PR agency. Although I was constantly on an internship, I was never secure, and up until 3 months ago I wasn't being paid. So getting a job at Octopus and starting on Monday meant I could finally relax knowing that I'm here as a full time member of the Octopus team, and I can now get to work on my PR career.

So what have I been up to?

Well, my week starts in the Windsor offices, I'm walked around the office and introduced to a LOT of people; I can safely say that if I was tested on names, I would fail.  Tuesday I'm in the London offices as I'm split between the two. More names, another welcome lunch and a trip to a Soho pub to okay things for an event. I love it already.

Wednesday I was back in Windsor and had my 'buddy' lunch with another Account Executive. Luckily for me, we had actually interned together so it was great to catch up as well as find out more about life at Octopus.

Since then it has been a bit chaotic, I've been busy getting to grips with clients, projects, and names - oh so many names. I'm mostly enjoying being part of the team and getting involved with PR activity. The team I'm working with are great, lots of banter and never a dry moment. There's lots of talk about cake, chocolate and Friday's booze o'clock, so it's great to know they've got the social side locked down.

As for now, I'm just looking forward to getting stuck in with my clients and enjoying my time as an Account Executive at Octopus Communications!

Crystal @CrystalCJC

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19 April 2012

Less than 100 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games – get involved!

Yesterday marked a huge milestone in the countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - only 100 days left to go!

I don't know about you, but here at the Octopus Group, we are getting more than a little bit excited about this historic event hitting our capital city, and we'll certainly be making the most of it across the Group.

Team Spirit

Now that the Games are within touching distance, businesses across the UK are provided with an ideal platform to introduce an employee engagement strategy that may have been lacking before, or to support what they already have in place. We  might not all be able to attend the London 2012 Olympic Games, but that doesn't mean you can't bring a little Olympic team spirit into the work place to celebrate together does it?

We are all busy people, and if you're part of a bigger team at work, you may struggle to even get to see or speak to them all that often - I mean, that's what email and social media are for right?

Wrong! We are all important assets to the businesses that we work for and the upcoming Games provide us with the perfect excuse to get together as a team and bring back a sense of community.

Whether you are interested in sport or not, there are so many great and affordable ways that you can get involved in team activities. Take us here at Octopus Towers for example - amongst other things, we've created a dedicated taskforce to make sure everyone can get involved somehow. We'll have the Games streamed live in our offices to make sure we don't miss any exciting Team GB action, we'll be keeping everyone up to date with regular Olympic breaking news, stats and facts AND (we couldn't let this opportunity go by without a little bit of cake action now could we?) we'll be holding the Great Olympic Bake Off!

Let's not forget that the Olympic torch is also going to be making its way across the UK before reaching London, so even if your work place is based outside of the Capital - why not take an hour or so to go and watch the Torch pass through your local area? We'll certainly be lining the streets of Windsor and Southwark to take in the Olympic excitement! Maybe we'll see you there... J

Events like this don't come around too often, so make the most of it and get involved!

Jodie @jodslake

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09 March 2012

Now that’s what I call an internship...

Cakes, meetings, pitches and five pound notes... just a few of the many things that sum up my first (almost) month at Octopus Communications.

I joined the consumer team as an intern in early February, and instantly felt welcome! Having previously worked mainly in journalism at an array of national magazines and newspapers, I have pretty much experienced every type of office imaginable. From the 'sit down and do your work' type office, to the 'never ever talk to the boss' office and of course the 'dress up like Margaret Thatcher and pour milk over yourself outside the Houses of Parliament' type office... the last one is a story for another day. 

thatcher

However, the office at Octopus Communications is different to any I have previously encountered. Although split into separate rooms, floors and wings, the sense of unity and 'banter' between everyone in the office is clearly evident.

One positive that stands out in my mind especially, is that I was immediately made to feel as if the work I was doing had importance and was appreciated, something that is seriously lacking in a lot of other organisations. Another, is all members of staff from Account Managers to the MD's always have time to talk to you and help out whenever they can, rather than being isolated in a big glass office with only an inbox, answer machine or assistant to take your questions.

Not only are Octopus a company that are getting bigger every year, they are also a company that have nailed that balance between hard work and fun, and there is a lot to be said for that!

Does anybody want some cake...?

Liam

Internship

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07 March 2012

Celebrate good times…

So, every year, here at Octopus Group, we like to get together to celebrate our hard work and discuss plans for the year ahead (and beyond), and listen to Sandy's infamous words of wisdom.

Sandy presenting

This year, Nicola, Katie and I were tasked with getting everyone together - Rocket, Octopus and Loudhouse - for our 2012 group kick-off; starting with presentations and ending with a few drinks and a bite to eat…

After a few days of planning, venue liaison, travel arrangements and shopping trips to gather the all-important fancy dress accessories, as modelled by Callum…

Callum dancing

…we were raring to go.

With last minute technical checks complete (including collating a 200MBPowerPoint), in came the team to present. This year we asked different people from across the group to deliver 5 minute showcase presentations, following the Pecha Kucha format (as blogged by Laura). If anyone went over, they received some megaphone abuse…pretty nerve-wracking stuff! Aside from the jokes throughout each showcase, I think we were all a little taken aback to see what fantastic work has been taking place across the group. It's often too easy to get wrapped up in our day jobs, forgetting to take the time to sit back and reflect on the brilliant work that is being delivered across the group, including; Cisco British Innovation Gateway, Sensus' direct mail campaign and Trend Micro Digital Joneses.

With the more formal element of the kick-off complete, we were ready to celebrate! We made our way up to a bar where the DJ and many glasses of bubbly were waiting for us (bearing in mind it was only 6.30pm!). In true Octopus Group style, it didn't take long before we all had our dancing shoes on, a drink in one hand, food in the other and a prop squeezed in somewhere else! Now where is the evidence of Kelly making shapes, Abi doing her thing and Sammy refusing to bust any moves at all…?

The following morning we weren't celebrating quite so much; with many of us regretting the 'drink in one hand' part…need I say any more? All in all, a great night and a great start to the year; can't wait to see what next year's showcases bring!

Zoe

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10 February 2012

United to the end as Fortune favours brave Octopedes

In face of sub-zero temperatures, Octopus United rallied late to hold on to the top spot after a frosty encounter against a strong Do It Like A Dude outfit in the Slough Power League.

This week's encounter began at frenetic pace with plenty of early touches for Octopus, and especially for Jack Harris who saw plenty of the ball early on. Though unfortunately at both ends of the pitch!

Having scored the opener, seizing upon a through ball from United's ever-present captain Tommy Flisher, Harris then embarrassingly levelled up the tie putting through his own goal. Looking to make amends for his error, Jack then drilled home from distance to restore Octopus' lead.

This lead was extended before half time with a further five goals, with Flisher, Harris, Steve Miller and Sammy Jamieson (2) sharing the spoils, and only conceding two goals in response.

With a flattering 7-3 advantage at half time, Octopus knew the Dudes would be out to raise their game in the second half, and raise it they did. Despite many a strong tackle from Sammy, Steve Spencer and Tom Holland at the back, United let their 4 goal cushion slip and allowed the Dudes to level the game with time running out.

Desperately seeking inspiration, out of nowhere, Tommy "The Wily Mouse" Flisher slammed in a superb finish across the keeper from a wide angle. Moments later, he again showed all his 5-a-side knowhow in supplying Harris with a sneaky free kick to put the Octopedes back in front with minutes to spare. Calmness then prevailed as Octopus ran down the clock and came out relieved 9-7 winners to remain clear at the top of the table.

In other news, Octopus' wheeler-and-dealer approach came up trumps in the transfer market with the recruitment of free agent Callum Fortune before the window was slammed shut on Tuesday.

Along with the welcome return of JP Charles, Fortune will be in contention for an immediate debut with a call up to next week's squad.

Unfortunately, Julian Moore's long-awaited return from the injury list has been set back by another week, as Octopus seek assurances that he has fully recovered from the Achilles injury that has plagued his career.

Jack, as commentator.

Oct utd table

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10 February 2012

The Octopus Utd winning streak continues

Octopus United continued their impressive start to the season with another comfortable victory in the Slough Power League.

This week's game against WMC started off slow and both teams cancelled each other out with long-range efforts. However, Octopus Utd seized an advantage with Captain Tom Flisher bagging the opener with a clinical finish inside 10 minutes.

From then on Octopus controlled the game and goals from Steve Miller, Sammy Jamieson and JP Charles saw the team take a 6-2 lead at half-time.

Octopus picked-up the pace in the second half, with early goals from Sammy and Tom. With a comfortable goal cushion Octopus played some good free-flowing football and ended up winning 13-2.

January has been a good month for the team, who have notched up three consecutive wins and are now top of their league.

Octopus will look to continue their good form next week, and with Julian Moore still on the long-term injury list, the team may give a debut to January signing, James Pieslak.

JP

Octopus UTD

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10 February 2012

PR wannabes... We want you.

So, one thing we have been regularly doing at the Octopus towers is hold assessment days for recent graduates and industry newbies looking to get a foot in the door into the PR world. It seems to be something that works extremely well as we get to sift through the fresh talent with the hope of turning one or more hopefuls into Octopedes.

It's an increasingly important part of our recruitment method, and clearly a successful one as we have seen many of our own come through this process, four of which have been hired in the last four months.

There is so much talent out there and due to recent times, finding a job straight out of uni or college can be a challenging and daunting task, as it seems many employers are still shutting the door on potential stars. This is why we like the idea of an assessment day, as it gives young people the opportunity and the chance to get a little insight into the PR world, and it also gives us the insight into them as a person. Getting them together in a more informal atmosphere and encouraging them to work with each other allows their personality to shine through. And that is what we look for, someone who shines.

Grad post

A graduate assessment day can appear as a very scary and challenging day (which it is to an extent), as there are often a few people involved and it's a case of essentially 'competing' against the rest and making yourself stand out amongst the crowd.

The day goes a little like this:

60 second introduction - graduates introduce themselves, be it with a presentation, a prop or whatever their creative mind comes up with

Introduction to Octopus Group, the roles available and a short talk from someone who has been in their shoes. In this case it was one of our newest AEs Steve, who talked about how he got from where they are sitting, to where he is today

Getting them involved in a PR challenge - coming up with the killer PR campaign followed by a group presentation

Speed interviews (think speed dating), allowing us to dig a little deeper and get their thoughts on various areas, including social media, their media interest, writing experience, etc.

Talking with one of our Associate Directors, Emily Wearmouth, she said "It always fascinates me to compare at such close quarters those with PR degrees, PR internship experience, and those with none.  It is never as obvious an outcome as you think it should be. Often a candidate without formal PR training brings with them so many other key skills that there is very little, if anything, to choose between them."

I guess the important part here is that Octopus is growing fast, moving into new and exciting areas as well as expanding on existing ones, so we are continuously looking for fresh talent. So, even if we don't have a position currently available to suit one particular person, you can be sure that their key skills and personality have been noted, meaning it's either a case of placing them into a future role or creating an entirely new one around them and what they can bring to our company.

Jen

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