02 November 2012
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:
Thinks he'll look like:
More likely to look like:
Octopede 2: Sammy
Now looks like:
Thinks he'll look like:
You can keep track of our mo-gress (and donate) here: Sammy Jamieson,
Updates to follow.
, Movember, fundraising, prostate cancer, moustache, testicular cancer, octopus Comms | Leave comment
29 June 2012
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.
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!
, Octopus, PR Week Tech PR, League tables | Leave comment
28 June 2012
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
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
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
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!
, Octopus, PR Week Tech PR, League tables | 21 comments
18 May 2012
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
Why you ask?
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
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
Octopus, Octopede | Leave comment
19 April 2012
Yesterday marked a huge milestone in the countdown to
the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - only 100 days left
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.
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
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!
, London 2012, Octopus Group | Leave comment
09 March 2012
Cakes, meetings, pitches and five pound notes... just a
few of the many things that sum up my first (almost) month at
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.
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...?
Octopus, internship | 1 comment
07 March 2012
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
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…
…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
direct mail campaign and Trend Micro Digital
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!
, Octopus Group | Leave comment
10 February 2012
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
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
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
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.
, Octopus, Octopus fun, Octopus United | Leave comment
Octopus United continued their impressive start to the
season with another comfortable victory in the Slough Power
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
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.
Octopus, Octopus fun, Octopus United | 1 comment
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
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.
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
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
Getting them involved in a PR challenge -
coming up with the killer PR campaign followed by a group
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,
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.
Octopus, HR, recruitment, graduates | 1 comment
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