2024 continues to be an incredible time for us here at BIG Partnership as we announce £500,000 of new contract wins and promotions in our fast-growing Aberdeen office, with a new senior leadership team now in place to support further, rapid growth.

BIG director Gayle Grant, who has been with the agency since 2010, is stepping up to lead the Aberdeen office.

With 25 years’ experience, Gayle was formerly head of BIG’s energy practice. A journalist for five years, Gayle moved into technology PR in Cambridge before spending several years in a senior agency role in Manchester, leading campaigns for large-scale regeneration projects.  She joined BIG’s energy team in 2010 and was appointed to the board in 2020.

Gayle will be supported by a senior leadership team comprising former account directors Shona Hendry, Richard Crighton and Pam Wilson.

Shona, a senior news journalist and experienced press officer who joined BIG in 2007, has moved into the newly-created role of head of PR – Aberdeen to direct and deliver strategic planning of campaigns, largely in the corporate and consumer sectors.

Having worked in BIG’s energy team for 11 years, Richard has been appointed head of energy where he will lead growth across renewables and energy transition clients.

Pam, a former broadcast journalist and BBC radio producer who has been with BIG since 2013, has taken up the role of head of media relations – international, supporting BIG’s growing portfolio of global clients.

Founder of BIG’s Aberdeen office, Zoe Ogilvie said: “After 22 years of building and leading the business in Aberdeen, the time is right for me to take a step back. Taking my foot off the gas, to a certain extent, will enable the leadership team to flourish under Gayle’s direction and drive the business to the next stage in its growth.

I’ll still be involved in key client accounts and will be supporting Gayle and the new leadership team who, between them, have over 80 years’ industry experience.

Gayle Grant said: “I’m proud to lead our superb Aberdeen team, bringing fresh insights and strategies to our diverse clients. BIG is a very well-established name in the city and we have built a track record for delivering results across the marketing mix, building brands, influencing, and protecting reputations.

I’m thankful to Zoe for her mentorship and guidance over the years and look forward to getting after the growth opportunities ahead.

The BIG team in Aberdeen moved into larger premises at 6 Carden Place last year to enable further growth and has expanded its client base across energy, corporate and consumer sectors. 

BIG employs over 90 people across four locations in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester delivering strategic marketing and public affairs campaigns for hundreds of clients.

BIG’s CEO, Allan Barr, added: “Gayle has been a proven leader in our business for many years and, alongside her senior team, I am confident she will drive both the office and our overall business forward. We are also very pleased that Zoe will remain an integral part of our future success.

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BIG Partnership has reinforced its commitment to supporting equality and diversity in sport by sponsoring Aberdeen FC Women player, Hannah Innes.

The 20-year-old full-back started her football career with East End FC, before joining Aberdeen Ladies in 2010 which eventually became part of Aberdeen Football Club. As a student, Hannah played for the Robert Gordon University women’s team and was their top scorer last year with 22 goals in 10 games.

Aberdeen FC Women now play in SWPL 1, the highest division of women’s football in Scotland. They won promotion from SWFL Division 1 – North in 2019 and were champions of SWPL 2 in the 2020/21 campaign.

BIG, Scotland’s largest full-service marketing agency, is also shirt sponsor of Aberdeen Taexali Rugby Club, the inclusive rugby team based in the Granite City.

Zoe Ogilvie, BIG Partnership director, said: “This is further evidence of BIG’s commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion, particularly in sport. We have a clear ED&I strategy at BIG which is aligned with our core values and manifested by the distinct culture we have within a fun, dynamic and inclusive environment.

“As a fan of AFC Women and a huge supporter of the women’s game, I’m thrilled that BIG has invested in sponsoring one of the players. We wish Hannah and the rest of the team every success this season.”

Hannah added: “I’m very grateful to BIG Partnership for sponsoring me and supporting AFC Women. As the team continues to prove itself in the top-flight of Scottish women’s football and the game overall grows in popularity, it’s great to see companies investing in our future and being part of our footballing careers.”

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We’ve made a strong start to 2021, with almost 20 new wins since the beginning of the year.

The new work, which is spread across all four of our UK offices, covers a broad range of industries including retail, food and drink, energy and professional services.

The varied projects span public relations, web development, internal communications, public affairs, social media, marketing and video production. New projects are now set to be delivered for Aldi, Peel Ports, Rowallan Castle Estate and The Data Lab, all of which will be managed from the Glasgow office, while the team in Manchester will take on new client Arthouse.

Meanwhile, in Aberdeen new business has been secured with EnerMech and AREG, and the Edinburgh office is about to begin work on new campaigns for Business Gateway, Museums Galleries Scotland, AVA Berries and Simon Howie Foods.

Chief Executive Allan Barr said:

“For obvious reasons, 2020 was a very challenging year, both for us and for many of our clients, but we’re now able to look forward with increasing confidence to 2021.

“Marketing spend can often be an economic bellwether and the signs we’re seeing are certainly far more positive than in recent months. With the vaccine rollout now picking up pace, there is real reason to believe that this trend will continue.

“Our strong start to the year is testament to the hard work and talent of the entire BIG team. During a difficult period for everyone, our colleagues have responded in fantastic fashion, going above and beyond to deliver results for clients when they need our support more than ever.

“The figures we’re seeing are particularly encouraging, because they’re coming from new clients as well as existing clients briefing us on fresh projects. Our many conversations with clients demonstrate that optimism is slowly building and we’re hopeful this momentum will continue to grow as the economy starts to emerge from the effects of the pandemic.”

BIG Chief Executive, Allan Barr
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Integrated marketing and PR agency BIG Partnership has secured a new brief with cleantech manufacturer Heliex Power.

The UK-headquartered business has appointed BIG Partnership to develop a new integrated marketing strategy that builds brand awareness and demonstrates the strengths of its unique technology to the market.

Heliex Power’s proprietary technology takes wet steam in a range of industrial processes – from manufacturing to waste management – and converts it into electricity. The technology is backed by BP and is already used by a range of customers across Europe to reduce carbon emissions and waste while generating savings.

The Manchester and Glasgow offices of BIG Partnership will deliver a strategic overhaul of Heliex Power’s marketing by gathering insights from internal and external stakeholders across Europe. Alongside a technical website audit, the agency will generate a range of multichannel online and offline marketing campaigns for Heliex Power as part of improving the business’ inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Chris Olley, account director at BIG, said: “Heliex Power’s technology provides new opportunities for industrial sectors to convert steam within the production process to electricity. The technology is a new innovation, and the business has already seen growth and success in making sales to blue chip customers. Having a more cohesive marketing strategy will prepare the business for future growth as it targets opportunities in the UK and overseas.

“There is a wealth of opportunities in clean energy. Our technical understanding of the sector has helped a number of businesses articulate their unique offerings, build brand awareness and generate leads through marketing.”

Paul Drennan-Durose, Chief Executive of Heliex Power, said: “In the ‘new normal’, the ever-changing challenges our customers face need to remain at the forefront of everything we do. Second to this, our proposition and messaging need to be constantly refreshed and reviewed to ensure that they remain relevant, clear and compelling.

“Net-zero carbon and sustainability are more important than ever, and we need to be discoverable to customers as partners that they can rely on. BIG’s integrated model provides us with the speed and bandwidth to deliver multiple marketing priorities simultaneously.”

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Full service marketing agency, BIG Partnership, has recruited Stewart Argo as an associate director based in its Edinburgh office.

Stewart joins BIG following six years as an associate director at Weber Shandwick, where he led a wide variety of corporate and public sector accounts, including award-winning campaigns in the health and transport sectors.

Prior to that, Stewart had fifteen years’ experience in-house at NHS Grampian, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the City of Edinburgh Council, having started his career as a journalist with BBC Radio Scotland.

Stewart will work closely with Stephanie Clark, the Edinburgh office director, to grow the capital’s operation but he will also be involved in clients and campaigns across all offices, particularly in corporate PR, public sector, stakeholder engagement and overall strategy.

BIG’s chief executive Allan Barr said: “Stewart’s a very significant signing for us. He’s someone we’ve been tracking for a long time and his enthusiasm for the business was obvious from our first discussions.

“He’s extremely well-respected by his peers across the industry and his experience and expertise are already paying dividends for clients. Working alongside Stephanie Clark, head of our Edinburgh office, and the rest of the wider team, he’ll play a key role in helping clients handle the current economic uncertainty.”

Stewart added: “BIG was a really attractive option for me because it’s large enough to offer the full suite of essential services, while also being sufficiently agile to respond flexibly in these uncertain times. I’m excited about bringing my skills and experience to the challenges faced by BIG’s current and prospective clients.”

BIG provides marketing, digital, public affairs, design and events to over 350 clients nationwide, from offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

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Leading marketing and communications agency BIG Partnership has been appointed by premium pasta brand Le Stagioni d’Italia to support its launch into the UK market.

BIG will work alongside the Italian brand and its distribution partner Worldwide Food Associates (WWFA), to raise awareness of its range of pasta and rice products, as part of an integrated communications strategy.

Originally due to launch in the UK later this year, Le Stagioni d’Italia brought forward its UK entry to support demand for dried pasta products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consumer campaign, which will include media relations and organic and paid social media content, launched this month (May).

Now available in selected Sainsbury’s and Asda stores, Le Stagioni d’Italia products are made from 100 per cent Italian wheat, offering customers a choice of high-quality and sustainable products with full traceability from one of Italy’s top agricultural companies, Bonifiche Ferraresi.

The appointment follows a series of new consumer campaign wins with WWFA over the last 12 months, including Australian-based food developer Flavour Makers and its popular Street Kitchen and Passage Food brands.

Bryan Garvie, director at BIG Partnership, said: “Everyone loves pasta and our consumer and social teams are massive foodies, so we’re really excited to have the chance to work with Le Stagioni d’Italia.

“It’s an amazing product with a great story, so we had a great time pulling together our campaign ideas to help to establish the brand in the UK. And working with a premium pasta brand is all the excuse we needed to eat great food and open a bottle of nice wine to go with it.”.

The Le Stagioni d’Italia range of pasta includes traditional penne rigate, spaghetti, fusilli and rigatoni all available in 500g recyclable paper bags.

Customers can also buy the finest Italian Arborio and Carnaroli rice for risotto, as well as Le Stagioni’s signature Senatore Cappelli pasta range, which is made a with the ancient Senatore Cappelli wheat, only produced in small regions of Italy.

Alongside the products available in Asda and Sainsbury’s, shoppers can also find a range of additional Le Stagioni products on Amazon, including its wheat pasta range and Olio Evo – a unique extra virgin olive oil from the olive groves of the Bonifiche Ferraresi estate.

Lorenzo Fontana, Export Manager at Bonifiche Ferraresi – Le Stagioni d’Italia: “BIG Partnership’s experience in the food and drink sector was evident in the proposal that they presented to us, covering a comprehensive and creative strategy to support our UK launch. Our entry into the UK market has come earlier than expected but we hope that with the help of the BIG team, our British customers will fall in love with our pasta.”

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Creative communications agency BIG Partnership has hired Paul Hadfield from Red Havas to lead its strategic creative work.

Paul joined BIG as senior creative strategist and will take the lead in designing and delivering creative campaigns and outputs for its B2C and B2B client base, as well as supporting new business development.

His previous experience includes the creative concept behind the launch of the Greggs vegan sausage roll, as well as award-winning work across a portfolio of clients including Brewdog, AO.com, Asda, Kellogg’s, Pringles and TUI.

Paul will work alongside BIG Partnership’s growing creative team, led by creative director Steve Hill.

Bryan Garvie, director at BIG Partnership, said: “Our mantra has always been that exceptional people deliver amazing results, so we’re incredibly fired-up about Paul’s contribution to BIG. As a Scot, I was pretty keen as soon as Paul mentioned Greggs and sausage rolls.

“Our Manchester team has been involved with some brilliant campaigns recently and having someone of Paul’s calibre is only going to raise the bar again. Despite the tough environment at the moment, new appointments like this underline our commitment to doing the best work for clients and supporting their ambitions for growth.”

Paul will be based in BIG’s Manchester office, and will support the rest of the business across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Paul said: “BIG has made waves in the industry over the past few years. I’ve been watching its Manchester office grow in the city since it opened four years and I’m looking forward to being involved in its continued expansion.”

To support its growing client base, Beth Rogers also joins the team as an account manager after spending three years at Citypress working on clients including Centrica, Lloyds Bank and Alliance Manchester Business School at Citypress. She joined BIG after a spell in the comms and marketing team at the University of Manchester.

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BIG Partnership has unveiled Allan Barr, our director of digital, design and marketing, as our new chief executive.

We have has also appointed associate directors Gayle Grant and Euan Blair as full board directors and promoted account director Charlene Sweeney to associate director.

Allan Barr joined BIG as an account director in 2007 after working in senior communications roles with ‘Big Four’ professional services companies KPMG and PWC.

He led a number of the agency’s major PR accounts and was appointed a board director in 2010. Over the last few years, Allan has spearheaded BIG’s successful diversification into digital, marketing and design, working closely with teams throughout the business, with direct responsibility for some of BIG’s key accounts.

BIG’s chairman, Malcolm McPherson said: “The creation of the chief executive role is a significant element in BIG’s plans for continued growth, driving forward a range of additional steps to strengthen our position as a forward-thinking, top-performing creative agency.

“In Allan, we’ve got a chief executive who cares passionately about BIG, our clients and our team. He has played a central role in the company’s success over the past decade and more and has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of all sides of the business – PR, digital, marketing and creative.

“He is the right person to lead us on the next stage of our evolution to become one of the UK’s leading integrated marketing and communications agencies.”

Allan Barr said: “I’ve now spent more than half of my career at BIG and am hugely excited to take on the role of CEO. Clearly it is a challenging time, but marketing and communications services have never been more important for organisations. The current climate means businesses are going to have to work harder than ever to recover from the economic shock suffered as a result of the coronavirus. The encouraging thing from my perspective is that we are already working with our clients to prepare for that recovery.”

Commenting on trends in the industry, Barr said: “At its heart, BIG has always been a creative agency and the talent within the business at the moment is stronger than it has ever been. We made the strategic decision to invest heavily in digital marketing and creative services over a decade ago and during that time BIG has evolved from being a PR-led business into a true full-service agency.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed an increasing trend of clients looking to take advantage of a one-agency approach. There are huge efficiencies to be gained from a client perspective, and given the current climate, I anticipate that trend will accelerate. Our ability to offer a full suite of marketing, PR and creative services under one roof gives us a real advantage.”

BIG has also strengthened its board with the appointments of associate directors Euan Blair and Gayle Grant to become full board members. Charlene Sweeney becomes an associate director.

Gayle Grant is BIG’s head of energy, based in our Aberdeen office, and joined BIG in 2010 from a Manchester PR agency after beginning her career in journalism. She has been at the heart of BIG’s success in expanding its oil, gas and energy client base.

With over 16 years of digital marketing experience, Euan Blair joined BIG in 2015 and now leads our digital marketing team and creative studio. He originally headed BIG’s PPC and SEO offering before taking on responsibility for the wider digital marketing team.

Account director Charlene Sweeney, who heads some of BIG’s most prominent PR clients, is promoted to associate director. Charlene joined BIG in 2010 after a successful career in journalism with Scottish Television, the Sunday Herald and The Times.

Malcolm McPherson added: “Both Gayle and Euan have made significant contributions to the growth and development of BIG and we believe their knowledge and energy as full board members will be major assets for us over the coming years. Charlene Sweeney is also one of Scotland’s leading PR operators and her promotion recognises the central role she plays at BIG.”

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BIG Partnership’s Manchester team was celebrating on Friday night, taking the Gold Award for Best Use of Content at the CIPR North West PRide Awards 2019 for its #speakout campaign with client North West Cancer Research.

Earlier this year we worked with the charity – a long-standing client of BIG’s – to develop a campaign which would raise awareness of head and neck cancer among men aged 50 and above living in the North West of England.

NWCR funds research into cancers which have a disproportionate impact in the North West and North Wales. This region has head and neck cancer rates that are three times the rest of the UK. Our main goal was simple: encourage men – who can be reluctant to go to the doctor – to get symptoms checked, since early diagnosis can save lives.

The key message of our campaign was to encourage men not to stay silent but to #speakout if they noticed any symptoms. We developed a fully integrated communications strategy, including media relations, organic social content, social advertising and influencer outreach around this theme.

Working with local celebrity ambassadors, BIG produced a powerful video, which we promoted across social media and press. Ambassadors included sports stars such as Graeme Sharpe, Warrington Wolves and John Parrot, comedian Dave Spikey and soap star Dean Sullivan.

BBC Radio Presenter Mark Radcliffe became a key ambassador for our campaign, sharing his own personal head and neck cancer story.

As well as securing national and regional news coverage and delivering a social media advertising campaign which reach 50,000 plus men, we’re very proud to say that at least one life was saved.

Our client received a letter from the wife of a man who saw the campaign and went along to his doctor after ignoring his symptoms for some time. Unfortunately, he received a cancer diagnosis – but after early treatment the signs are positive for a full recovery.

Cara Newton, Marketing Manager, North West Cancer Research said: “The reception from the public for the #speakout campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. We have never really had any celebrity endorsements for the charity and BIG developed a vehicle which allowed us to approach and engage with regional celebrities, whose involvement supercharged the campaign.

Sarah Lawless, director of BIG Manchester, added: “NWCR does incredibly important work across the region and backed our idea for the campaign from day one. It’s not often you get to say you’re involved in genuinely life-saving work, so we’re very proud of this campaign.

For more information on NWCR, visit www.nwcr.org. You can also see the video we produced here.

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The BIG team won a trio of gold awards at this year’s CIPR Pride awards in Scotland.

Our Aurora campaign for Aberdeen Football Club, which resulted in a positive planning application for the new stadium, was praised by the judges in the arts, sports or culture category. They mentioned our “strategic focus with tactics tailored to resonate with every important audience with demonstrable understanding.”

The judges also highlighted the SMART objective-setting married with precise evaluation. The Aurora campaign was recently recognised with a Northern Star Business award.

Our work promoting the Westfield Health British Transplant Games to raise awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register achieved the top accolade in the not-for-profit campaign. The judges complimented the “well thought-out campaign with clear objectives and excellent measurement. “

In the property, construction or infrastructure category, our work with Park Quadrant Residences, a luxury new residential development in Glasgow’s West End, took the gold. BIG was tasked with delivering buyer enquiries and executed a PR and digital strategy.

The judges commented: “Everything about this campaign by BIG Partnership demonstrated good practice, from the clear, SMART and challenging objectives through to the thorough and honest measurement and evaluation. There was good use of paid-for digital tools that integrated well with other online and public relations activity to create a significant number of qualified enquiries, leading to sales targets being exceeded. A solid campaign that shows how PR is evolving to embed digital-first strategies to such good effect.”

Zoe Ogilvie, director at BIG Partnership said: “We are immensely proud and privileged to have worked on these diverse campaigns for a trio of supportive clients. We are driven by achieving results and all of these campaigns demonstrate the tangible impacts we can make by taking a strategic and creative approach to a brief.”

We love delivering award-winning work for our clients. If you would like to be part of a future successful campaign, get in touch by clicking here.

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BIG Partnership is proud to welcome Steven Hill to the new role of creative director, bringing heavyweight experience with some of the country’s most high-profile brands.

Steven has developed marketing strategies for leading brands including Kraft Heinz, Highland Spring, Tennent’s, the Famous Grouse and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has also led hard-hitting public sector creative campaigns for the NHS and Scottish Government.

He joins us at a time of significant growth after we reported a record increase in turnover of £1.4 million to £8.8 million which resulted in a £250,000 bonus pot shared by our 107 staff.

Steven will work across the agency’s offices in Glasgow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Dundee to strengthen brand identities and devise marketing strategies that deliver measurable impacts. BIG supports over 300 brands across the B2B and consumer sectors.

Allan Barr, director and head of digital and marketing at BIG said: “Steven’s appointment adds a powerhouse of creative weight to our branding strategies and creative campaigns. His ideas and experience are sought after in the UK and beyond. Working closely with our design and digital teams, clients will benefit from Steven’s well-considered creative strategies, brought to life in the most imaginative ways to trigger the desired response.”

Steven Hill said: “It’s one thing to create great things, but without a cohesive strategy a client’s products or services can easily be lost. BIG is ambitious, works with interesting and diverse clients and there’s a real buzz here about finding new ways to deliver results. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into creating campaigns that deliver a punch for this exciting mix of brands.”

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Marketing wins and growth bring BIG bonuses for our team

We are celebrating our most successful year in business with employees sharing a £250,000 bonus pay-out.

Turnover has increased by £1.4 million to £8.8 million in the year to May 31st, 2018 and profits have risen to £1.4 million following heavy investment in our creative and digital teams.

We’ve experienced major account wins across our offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dunfermline and Manchester. An increase in marketing accounts with existing clients including Loganair, Stewart Milne Group and global energy skills body OPITO, has further boosted performance this year. Winning more integrated accounts, where we combine digital, marketing, design and PR is making a measurable impact for clients.

Our Manchester team has doubled profits in the last year after new wins including packaging enhancement specialist API Group, leading planning consultancy Turley and an expanded remit with legal firm Addleshaw Goddard to support its Manchester and Leeds offices.

BIG director Allan Barr said: “As well as new account wins, we’ve also expanded the range of services we provide to existing clients, which has made a major contribution to fee income. Increasingly, clients are looking for an agency which is adept at combining SEO, PPC, social media and PR to give returns that they can measure, so we’ve worked hard to recruit really effective, experienced experts in these fields.

“We have a hugely talented team which works incredibly hard for clients and it’s important that they share in the success of the business, so we’re genuinely thrilled to be paying out our largest-ever staff bonus across the entire company.”

Digital income is up 51% and our offering around SEO, PPC, social advertising and video content has been strengthened.  New business has been secured across a range of sectors, including energy, food and drink, sport, transport and property including new assignments for the Offshore Europe partnership, which leads one of the world’s largest oil and gas conference and exhibitions and property developer Dandara.

BIG runs a successful intern scheme, paying the living wage, which has benefitted 26 interns in the last year, with a further eight taking up placements over the coming months. Currently employing 107 people, we are gearing up for further growth and expect headcount to increase significantly over the next year, particularly in digital, design, creative and strategy roles. Our transparent bonus system is based on company, team and individual performance.

Allan Barr added: “This year has been the strongest in our history and we have continued to invest heavily in our people. We have strong momentum as we start our new financial year and will be unveiling some further senior hires very soon.”

We are always on the outlook for the best talent, so get in touch if you think you have what it takes for a career at BIG.

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