Iain Valentine Appointed as Non-Executive Chair of Muckle Media

Iain Valentine Appointed as Non-Executive Chair of Muckle Media

Iain Valentine Appointed as Non-Executive Chair of Muckle Media

Muckle Media, the creative communications agency, has appointed Iain Valentine as its first Non-Executive Chair. With a wealth of experience in leading award-winning digital, creative, and brand agencies, Iain brings over 25 years of strategic leadership and agency growth to Muckle Media, the first Scottish PR Agency to achieve B-Corp certification. Iain’s appointment follows the recent promotion of Muckle Media’s former creative lead, Jacquelyn Whyte, to director responsible for creative thinking and business development.

 

Iain spent 17 years as Creative Director, co-owner and Managing Partner of Edinburgh creative digital agency Whitespace (now Dentsu Creative). Iain has a proven track record of growth, leading an MBO followed by external acquisition and integration into global network Dentsu. In 2020, Iain took the position of CEO at Isobar UK– Dentsu’s global digital experience and transformation agency, responsible for over 400 people and £24m in revenue. Most recently, Valentine held a leadership and transformation role as Group Managing Director of Dentsu Creative before stepping down in 2022 to pursue a portfolio career.

 

Commenting on his appointment, Iain said: “I am incredibly excited to take on this new role as part of the progressive and dynamic leadership at Muckle Media. The team’s alignment to B-Corp certification and depth of commitment to its people and culture align with my own beliefs and are key to success in a modern agency.”

 

As Non-Executive Chair, Iain will play a pivotal role in guiding Muckle Media’s leadership team’s strategic direction, leveraging his extensive experience and industry insights to support the agency’s ambitious growth plans.

 

Founder and Managing Director of Muckle Media, Nathalie Agnew, welcomed Iain’s appointment, stating, “We are really looking forward to working with Iain as we continue to grow an exciting, impactful and creative agency that helps leave the world in a better place. Iain’s impressive track record leading the growth of Whitespace means he has overcome many of the challenges facing agencies and also identified and worked through many of the opportunities for growth, so his insights will be invaluable. Iain’s approach to agency advisory services is well aligned against our values and I look forward to working with him as we continue to sustainably grow the business.”

 

Iain’s appointment as Non-Executive Chair signifies an exciting new chapter for Muckle Media, as the agency continues to solidify its position as a leading force in the creative communications industry in Scotland and beyond.

 

Muckle Media’s leadership team, who will work closely with Iain, is made up of Nathalie Agnew, founder and managing director; Chris Batchelor, director (client service); Linsay Brown, director (people and culture) and Jacquelyn Whyte, director (creativity and business development).

 

With a strong focus on employer brand and ongoing development into its “Bright Ideas. Realised.” strategic planning framework, Muckle Media is firmly earning its position as one of Scotland’s top creative communications agencies with a specialism in earned media and influencer relations. It works with brands including the Scottish Government, The National Trust for Scotland and Bella & Duke pet food.

Muckle Media’s hospitality team welcomes iconic brand to its hotel portfolio

Muckle Media’s hospitality team welcomes iconic brand to its hotel portfolio

Muckle Media’s hospitality team welcomes iconic brand to its hotel portfolio

Muckle Media, the creative communications agency, is welcoming a new client to its 2024 roster of food, drink and hospitality clients following a period of sustained growth. 

The dedicated food, drink and hospitality PR team, ‘Taste’, which has been part of the Muckle Media Group since 2022, has announced PR and social support for new client Murrayshall; the iconic hotel, estate and golf course set in the rolling countryside of Perthshire. 

With recent experience working with award-winning brands such as Isle of Harris Distillery, Sonas Collection and Radisson Blu Glasgow, the team will be dishing up new and creative ideas for the Perthshire venue as it embarks on an ambitious period of growth to expand its room and leisure offering over the coming months. 

The news from the creative agency comes following a successful start to the year, which has seen the Taste team support some of Scotland’s most exciting new food and drink launches: from Isle of Harris Distillery’s, The Hearach single malt whisky, to Popeyes’ first venue in Aberdeen, Rio Brazilian Steakhouse’s inaugural venture outside of the north of England to Edinburgh, and Pho’s second Scottish venue opening in Glasgow. 

Linsay Brown, Director and head of Taste at Muckle Media, commented: “We have had an incredible beginning to 2024 within the Taste team, and we are delighted to welcome the fantastic Murrayshall onto our roster, as we head into the summer period. 

“We have a wealth of experience with iconic brands and it’s great to see this recognised across the industry with numerous new account and project wins. We can’t wait to showcase our enthusiasm and creative ideas as we support Murrayshall to achieve its growth objectives.” 

Unlock your PR potential: Scottish B-Corp agency, Muckle Media to host ‘Introduction to PR’ day in Edinburgh 

Unlock your PR potential: Scottish B-Corp agency, Muckle Media to host ‘Introduction to PR’ day in Edinburgh 

Unlock your PR potential: Scottish B-Corp agency, Muckle Media to host ‘Introduction to PR’ day in Edinburgh 

In support of the agency’s commitment to its employee proposition, ‘Bright Careers. Realised.’ full service creative communications and public relations agency, Muckle Media, is organising an ‘introduction to PR’ day to support those looking to secure their first position within the PR and communications industry.  

The event, taking place on Wednesday 5 June at the agency’s office in Edinburgh, will provide insight into the realities of working in PR and communications through a series of workshops, talks and interactive sessions delivered by communications professionals at all levels across Muckle Media. 

It will be the first of its kind run by the agency, which hopes it will become a regular event to encourage people to get into the world of PR, giving them real insight into what their career could look like and supporting those who either want to make their start or move into the industry.  

Attendees will also be given the opportunity to have their CVs reviewed, network with other participants and the wider Muckle Media team and will be invited to ask questions to an expert Muckle panel as part of an interactive Q&A session. 

Linsay Brown, Director and Head of People and Culture, commented: “At Muckle we’re committed to providing opportunities for people from all backgrounds to begin a career in PR and communications. Operating as a pilot, we hope to be able to offer similar events throughout the year to allow more people to benefit from a practical understanding of what it’s like to work in PR and comms. Regardless of age, experience or PR knowledge, the day is open to anyone and will combine theory and practical workshops with the ability to speak to team members at all levels, who have pursued varied routes into PR and comms. We look forward to welcoming participants on the 5th of June and encourage anyone with an interest in taking part in the day to get in touch to find out more.” 

This event follows wider work Muckle Media has been doing to bolster Scotland’s PR landscape by promoting working within the sector and empowering people to give explore a career in PR and communications. This includes collaborating with universities, colleges and high schools in Scotland to educate students on careers in PR and a Returners to Communications programme, delivered in 2021, to support individuals who had been out of work for six months or longer to return to or begin a career in PR and communications.  

If you would like to take part in the ‘get into PR’ day, please contact Jen Wilkie via events@mucklemedia.co.uk to secure your place by 5pm on Wednesday 29th May.   

Muckle Media Shortlisted in The Marketing Society Scotland’s Star Awards 2024

Muckle Media Shortlisted in The Marketing Society Scotland’s Star Awards 2024

Muckle Media Shortlisted in The Marketing Society Scotland’s Star Awards 2024

We’re excited to announce that our work with The Loch Ness Centre and Popeyes UK has been shortlisted for four Marketing Society Scotland’s Star Awards 2024 in the following categories:

🌟 Communications Category for PR – Muckle Media and The Loch Ness Centre

🌟 Communications Category for PR – Muckle Media and Popeyes UK

🌟 Sector Category for Retail & Hospitality – Muckle Media and Popeyes UK

🌟 Sector Category for Tourism, Leisure, Culture & Sport – Muckle Media and The Loch
    Ness Centre

A big thank you to our nominated clients and our dedicated Muckle team who helped us bring our bright ideas to life.

Muckle Media’s Lifestyle PR Team, Taste, Partners With Sonas Hotel Collection

Muckle Media’s Lifestyle PR Team, Taste, Partners With Sonas Hotel Collection

Muckle Media’s Lifestyle PR Team, Taste, Partners With Sonas Hotel Collection

Muckle Media, the creative communications PR agency, is welcoming the boutique hotel group Sonas Collection, to its 2024 roster of hospitality clients, following a period of sustained growth for the agency.

The dedicated food, drink and hospitality PR team, ‘Taste’, which has been part of the Muckle Media Group since 2022, will be providing PR support to new client Sonas Collection following a competitive pitch process.

Taste has been brought on board by Sonas at an exciting time of expansion for their west coast hospitality portfolio, as it launches its first venue on the Scottish mainland.

Sonas has invested in PR support from the agency as a part of its growth plans, tasking Muckle Media with the promotion of Knipoch House Hotel (pictured), the group’s newest property opening in Oban this March following a £1.3 million renovation.

In addition to the launch of Knipoch House, the agency will be providing ongoing communications and media relations support across the Collection’s three other hotel destinations, located on the Isle of Skye; Skeabost House Hotel, Duisdale House Hotel, and Toravaig House Hotel.

Founded by Anne Gracie-Gunn and her late husband Ken Gunn from their passion for showcasing Gaelic language and culture, the beauty and accessibility of the Scottish coastline, Sonas Collection has become known for the exceptional hospitality the hotels provide through personal touches, exceptional food and drink and a deeply dedicated team.

Anne Gracie-Gunn, Owner and Director of Sonas Collection, said “We are delighted as a family as we move forward with our strong Management team into Argyll with the launch of Knipoch House Hotel. The Hotel, admired by myself, over many years, from afar as a potential possibility …  ‘One Day!’ With the support and expertise of the Muckle Media Team we look forward to a very successful venture whilst delivering the highest quality on every level under the expert guidance of Andreas Maszczyk our Group General Manager.”

Linsay Brown, Director and head of Taste at Muckle Media, commented: “We have had an incredible year so far within the Taste team, and we are delighted to welcome the Sonas Collection onto our hospitality roster.

“It’s great to see our exciting growth plans for the team coming to fruition with four new destination hotels. We can’t wait to showcase our enthusiasm and creative ideas and get started on our plans with the Sonas team.”

Muckle Media Officially Recognised as a ‘Great Place To Work’   

Muckle Media Officially Recognised as a ‘Great Place To Work’   

Muckle Media Officially Recognised as a ‘Great Place To Work’   

Muckle Media, the creative communications agency, is celebrating success after being recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ 2024 by Great Place To Work, ranking 41st out of 100 in the award’s small business category. 

A prestigious accolade, with Great Place To Work being the global authority on workplace culture, the agency received the award at the Best Workplaces Awards at London’s Grosvenor House, hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan.  

Recognised for their commitment to work culture and the organisation’s values, the award factored in the implementation of a four-day work week in September 2023, alongside flexible working practices and the agency’s B-corp status.  

Nathalie Agnew, founder and managing director of Muckle Media, said: “Through our BrightCareers.Realised. programme we are committed to helping our team thrive in their careers while also ensuring a healthy work-life balance. We’ve done this in part through our flexible working policy, and our introduction of a four-day week and we are delighted to now be officially recognised as one of the UK’s best workplaces.” 

This recognition follows Muckle Media’s recent double win at the Edinburgh Chamber Annual Business Awards for ‘Employer of the Year’ and ‘Mid-sized Business of the Year’, alongside ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year 2023’ at the Marketing Society Scotland’s annual awards. 

Muckle Media holds offices in four of Scotland’s major cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. 

Muckle Media recognised with double win at Edinburgh Chamber Annual Business Awards

Muckle Media recognised with double win at Edinburgh Chamber Annual Business Awards

Muckle Media recognised with double win at Edinburgh Chamber Annual Business Awards

Muckle Media, the creative communications agency, is celebrating success after taking home two awards at this year’s Edinburgh Chamber Annual Business Awards.

A prestigious accolade within the Edinburgh business community, the agency received the ‘Mid-sized Business of the Year’ award alongside ‘Employer of the Year’ for its business achievements. Aligning with the award’s ‘Grow, Scale, Succeed’ theme, Muckle Media has witnessed a period of sustained growth within the past year, including the expansion of its B2B and Corporate Communications team.

Additionally presented with ‘Employer of the Year’, the business was celebrated for its distinctive work culture and values, including the implementation of a four-day work week in September 2023 and its B-corp status.

The event was hosted at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, with the 13th Edinburgh Chamber Annual awards set to commemorate business leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs, sponsored by LNER, to celebrate Edinburgh’s talented business sector.

Nathalie Agnew, founder and Managing Director of Muckle Media, said: “Muckle Media has gone through a period of change within the past year, including the expansion of our B2B and Corporate Communications team, and the introduction of a four-day working week. Our values are important to us here at Muckle, and it’s great to see them recognised.

It’s an honour to be recognised alongside so many accomplished businesses in Edinburgh, and we’re thrilled to be taking home ‘Mid-sized Business of the Year’ and ‘Employer of the Year’ for our work.”

The two awards join Muckle Media’s recent ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year 2023’ at the Marketing Society Scotland’s annual awards.

Muckle Media holds offices in four of Scotland’s major cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.

 

 

Muckle Media bolsters corporate team with two senior hires

Muckle Media bolsters corporate team with two senior hires

Muckle Media bolsters corporate team with two senior hires

Michael Scobbie joins as Head of B2B and Corporate Communications and Hannah Blackford as Senior Account Manager

Creative communications agency Muckle Media has welcomed two new employees, Michael Scobbie and Hannah Blackford, following a period of continued growth. The pair will join the agency’s B2B, crisis and corporate communications specialist team, with Scobbie joining as Head of B2B and Corporate Communications and Blackford being appointed as Senior Account Manager.

Michael Scobbie joins the agency from Scottish SPCA where he was Head of Communications and Marketing, bringing a wealth of experience in strategic communications and reputation management.  Under his leadership, the team won ‘In-House PR Team of the Year’ at the 2021 CIPR PRide Awards in Scotland.

Hannah Blackford joins the agency as Senior Account Manager from a London-based strategic communications agency, where she led campaigns for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and AstraZenca. Blackford additionally has seven years’ experience in account management, with a wealth of communications experience in industries including the third sector, transport and renewable energy.

Commenting on his new role, Michael Scobbie said: “I’m over the moon to join the team. Muckle has gone from strength to strength in recent years, as evidenced by the slew of awards in 2023 for industry-leading communications campaigns.”  

Hannah Blackford added: “I’m delighted to be joining Muckle Media’s B2B and corporate communications team. It is a business that has strong values, a really talented team, works with interesting and important clients and looks after its people. I’m really looking forward to helping them drive new and existing client growth.”

Commenting on the two new team members, Muckle Media Founder and MD, Nathalie Agnew, said: “We are really excited to welcome Michael and Hannah to the Muckle team. The B2B, crisis and corporate communications team are going through an exciting period of growth and I look forward to working alongside them to continue to deliver award winning work.”

Muckle Media saw a period of continued growth throughout 2023, with corporate new business client wins including charity Culture & Business Scotland and more-than-profit organisation Cyber and Fraud Centre Scotland. Hannah and Michael will work closely to build on Muckle Media’s B2B, crisis and corporate communications services.

Muckle Media was recently awarded ‘PR Consultancy of the Year’ at Scotland’s CIPR PRide Awards, and ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year’ at the Marketing Society Scotland’s annual awards.

For more information on Muckle Media and the services we offer please get in touch at hello@mucklemedia.co.uk

What can the PR industry expect from 2024?

What can the PR industry expect from 2024?

What can the PR industry expect from 2024?

Have you heard that AI will break new ground in 2024? So have we – but we know that next year is going to be big one in lots of different ways.  As we wrap up 2023 and look to 2024, we’re thinking about what we can expect and hope for in line with our core values of being kind, getting results and making the world a better place.

Be Kind
America’s oldest dictionary, Merriam-Webster, named ‘authentic’ as their word of the year for 2023. But what does ‘authenticity’ actually mean?  In a PR and marketing context, we know that people want to see brands display their ‘human’ side. We think that next year will see consumers continue to place more importance on connecting with brands on a genuine, personal level. As an agency we’ll also continue to encourage authenticity within our workforce by nurturing everyone’s individual talents and allowing our team to be themselves at work – and hopefully we’ll see more and more organisations do the same.

Get results
Although we expect the human aspect of PR to be a focus next year, the advancing role of technology certainly isn’t to be ignored – so as an industry, we need to find ways to use it to our advantage. There are so many tools out there that can help us, but we’ll need to evolve to keep up with the brave new world we’ll find ourselves in. For us as an agency, we’ll be making the most of the technology on offer to help us think outside the box in terms of getting great results for our clients.

Leaving the world in a better place
Since we became a B Corp in 2022, we’ve seen more and more organisations become interested in doing the same. Being certified as a B Corp means that organisations have high standards to live up to. B Corps value social and environmental sustainability, accountability, and transparency – qualities that are more important than ever as we go into a year that looks like it will be shaped by the climate crisis, the spread of misinformation and political and economic uncertainty. We’re expecting to see more businesses look to demonstrate their commitment to these values – and we’ll be continuing to put our B Corp values into action too, as we aspire to have a positive impact on the world around us.

So as 2023 comes to a close, we’re looking forward to seeing where the coming year takes us – with the knowledge that our core values will help us to navigate whatever comes next.

PR agency celebrates employer brand success at awards

PR agency celebrates employer brand success at awards

Creative communications agency Muckle Media is continuing its winning streak after taking home the prize for ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year 2023’ at the Marketing Society Scotland’s annual awards.

One of the industry’s most prestigious accolades, the ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year’ category considers a range of factors including leadership, values and culture, employment policies and quality of work produced.

Amongst the seven contenders for the award, Muckle received particular praise for its distinctive values and positive culture. The agency’s B-Corp status and 4-day working week contributed to its success at the awards.

Muckle was also recognised for its clear internal proposition, ‘Bright Careers. Realised’, which mirrors its external proposition of ‘Bright Ideas. Realised’ and acknowledges the positive effect of a fulfilled team which produces inspired work.

Muckle Media founder and Managing Director Nathalie Agnew said: “The agency has grown and evolved over the past few years but we’ve kept our values close to our hearts, and it’s rewarding that our focus on making Muckle a great place to work is being recognised. Attracting, retaining, and developing talent in Scotland is always a priority for us, and we’re looking forward to seeing our team and our client base grow from strength to strength”.

The ‘Agency Employer Brand of the Year’ trophy joins Muckle’s recent CIPR ‘PR Agency of the Year’ award, received at the PRide awards last month.

Hybrid working – why Flexibility Works for Muckle Media

Hybrid working – why Flexibility Works for Muckle Media

Recent research conducted by Flexibility Works – a Scottish Government funded organisation which works with employers to develop flexible working practices – revealed key insights into Scotland’s approach to flexible working.

On the back of the research, a report called What does hybrid working look like in Scotland? was published to provide employers with evidence-based insights on how to make hybrid successful for people and for businesses.

The report found that while 71% of office workers in Scotland have been offered a form of hybrid arrangement, 29% have been told to work in the office full time.

While the majority of businesses in Scotland are adopting a flexible approach to working, the report highlights a gap in flexible working practices across Scotland, with many employers still sitting on the fence.

 

As an employer offering truly flexible working, Scottish PR agency, Muckle Media spoke to Flexibility Works about the benefits of offering hybrid working to its employees to the business and its workforce.

 

Muckle’s managing director, Nathalie Agnew, said: “Hybrid working, alongside our other flexible ways of working, has made our business better. Since moving to a hybrid four-day week, our percentage of billable hours has increased, which shows our productivity has gone up. It’s also appealing from a recruitment perspective and ‘sticky’ in terms of retention.

“We put a lot of trust in our staff and let them work the way they want. In return we expect everyone to work hard. It’s a two-way thing. But if you get the culture right then the work just clicks into place.”

 

Muckle Media people across Scotland, from Edinburgh to rural Perthshire and Inverness. The company works a four-day week and has a ‘hybrid remote and digital first’ approach. Office presence is not monitored and there are no company-wide rules on when to meet in-person except a team day every other month. Each team decides as and when to meet up in person. But the company is proactive in ensuring staff – however remote – still feel connected to their colleagues.

Muckle Media account manager Toni Dowling is a true example of just how flexible a forward-thinking PR agency can be. Supported by Muckle through hybrid and flexible working practices, Toni has been able to pursue a career as on-call (retained) fire fighter for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service while continuing to progress her career in PR.

Serving her local community in rural Perthshire, Toni is on call at Killin Community Fire Station much of the week, and is called out roughly once a fortnight to deal with various incidents including fires, road traffic accidents and water rescues. But she is also able to book time off when required to keep dedicated time for her Muckle role.

Toni, who’s 27, and lives on her family’s farm in Killin, said: “Muckle has been so supportive. I have protected time for Muckle when things are really important or time sensitive, such as client meetings or if I have a project deadline. Around that, Muckle is really flexible. I work in the office about once a month and always look forward to it. But I mostly work from home so I’m on-hand if an emergency call comes through.

“I feel like I have the best of both worlds, with two different but brilliant careers, and it’s down to the fact Muckle has an open mind on how work can be done. I’m so pleased I’ve been able to build a life around the community I love.”

Talking to the Press & Journal about hybrid working 

Talking to the Press & Journal about hybrid working 

Talking to the Press & Journal about hybrid working 

Hybrid working has been a hot topic for a number of years, brought into sharp focus by the Covid pandemic.

Here at Muckle, we are proud to embrace a hybrid working model, with our team working across Scotland, from Aberdeen to Inverness, Glasgow to Edinburgh, and even a farm.

Hybrid working allows us to have the best of both worlds, an office base when we need it, and the flexibility to be at home as well.

Our senior account manager Jess Murphy, who is based in the Granite City, spoke to the Press and Journal to share her insights on how hybrid working works for her (and her cat Merida too!)

From making sure to keep active, remaining connected to colleagues, and other thoughts on the benefits and balance of hybrid working, read more here: *link to P and J story – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen-aberdeenshire/6265642/hybrid-working-wellbeing-aberdeen/ )