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A round-up of news from the region's creative sector in the past week.

Run of wins for design firm Birmingham-based design and marketing agency Grin Consultancy has secured a raft of high-profile account wins. The agency, headed by managing director Phil Birchall, is now gearing up for future expansion on the back of winning new design and marketing briefs from the NHS, Wrights Food Group, Derby House, Oval Vodka, Spirit Group, the Royal Life Saving Society, Birmingham Museums Trust and Retail Birmingham. It has appointed Sarah Sanford as marketing services director to help spearhead the growth plans which include recruiting new designers to supplement the team at its offices in Fleet Street, Birmingham.

Prior to joining Grin, which is a member of the Fleet Street Group of companies, Sarah held senior management and account handling positions at Seal for the last eight years. The latest briefs include fully integrated off and on-line campaigns covering branding, literature production, internal communications and website development.

Mr Birchall, said: "When I took the plunge by setting up on my own just over three years ago, many people said it couldn't have been at a worse time, but over the period we've been fortunate to be able to work with some great clients and really interesting design and marketing projects."

As well as winning business on a competitive basis from new clients, Grin has also provided design services to a number of customers within the Fleet Street Group including EZE Group, Fleet Street Communications, Lockton Insurance Brokers and Admiral Taverns, one of the UK's leading tenanted pub companies.

Four new brands for WPR Midlands based digital and traditional PR consultancy WPR has added four new brands to its growing B2B portfolio.

The agency has been briefed to deliver a PR and social media campaign for global provider of security and safety solutions Ingersoll Rand. The joint B2B and social media campaign will be targeting specifiers, architects, installers and end-users to name just a few, with the overall aim of increasing brand awareness in the UK, heightening social media presence and driving traffic to the brand's website.

The agency has also been asked by existing client Travis Perkins to deliver a B2B trade media campaign to raise awareness of the company's bathroom furniture and sanitaryware.

Plumbing firm Uponor UK has appointed the agency to deliver a trade media B2B PR campaign to launch its new Q&E plumbing solution, and strengthen its reputation as a project management solutions provider. WPR will also be providing PR support for the company's entire underfloor heating and plumbing product range on a retained basis, increasing awareness and generating high quality sales leads to impact positively on the bottom line.

In addition, WPR's digital arm has been tasked with managing consumer packaging company, Rexam's nascent global Twitter presence, targeting journalists and editors in the packaging industry, as well as other key stakeholders such as customers, employees, NGOs and other market inf luencers.

Logistics deal for PR agency A Midland PR firm has continued to enjoy a year of growth after being awarded the public relations account for time critical logistics expert BDA (Bespoke Distribution Aviation).

Coventry firm Bridge PR & Media Services, which has already taken on five new clients so far this year, will spearhead a corporate campaign for the UK arm of BDA, to position itself as a leading business within the logistics sector. Bridge was chosen for the account for its considerable experience of working within the logistics sector.

BDA provides logistics supply chain solutions, for the B2B and B2C markets, through time definite air-bridge and connecting In-Night delivery networks for early morning distribution throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland for the time-critical spare parts and e-retail markets.

International audience for video firm A specialist firm which sprung to prominence with pioneering work for Jaguar Land Rover has showcased its capabilities to an international audience.

Phoenix AV is expanding into new markets after providing the technology for a pioneering project, which linked 15 people in nine locations in five countries for a video conference.

The link-up was the culmination of a two-year European Community project studying how businesses could use the latest teleconferencing technology to improve international cooperation, speed up product development and cut the time taken to bring ideas to market.

Phil Roocroft, business innovation manager for Birmingham City Council, said Phoenix AV's role in 'Science Park Without Walls' (SPWW) had been so good it would be an excellent example to firms seeking new video conferencing systems.

The council was the lead partner for SPWW and Mr Roocroft said Phoenix AV was invited to tender after the success of a similar project installed for Jaguar Land Rover at Solihull.

He added: "What Phoenix did allows people to reconsider the delivery of video conferencing.

"The project website www.scienceparkwithoutwalls.

com showcases what Phoenix is able to deliver.

"The quality of the video conference network, and having all the people in the network pictured at such high quality, surprised me."

Participants were in Sweden, Poland, Germany, Finland and Birmingham and Mr Roocroft said that apart from the time saved, the cost benefit of not travelling was enormous.

Smarts in the top ten Birmingham-based agency Smarts England has retained its prestigious position as a top ten agency in PR Week. The Consultancies Report which ranks the top 40 PR agencies outside London put Smarts in 8th place, recognition of a number of new client wins as well as growing retained business. Rebecca Scully, managing director at Smarts, said: "This is fantastic recognition of our team's ability to produce successful campaigns across a range of industry sectors, at both a national and regional level. The high number of retained clients within our portfolio demonstrates the effectiveness of using PR as a platform to build brand awareness and drive new business. In what remains a challenging, market, many businesses are recognising the increased credibility and return on investment that can be built up through effective multi-channel PR-led campaigns."

Camargue secures key National Grid role Infrastructure communications specialist Camargue has been selected as one of the companies playing a key role in National Grid's community relations programmes across the country.

Camargue has been working with National Grid for the past three years and this announcement means it will continue to support the company on some of the UK's biggest energy infrastructure projects, including building connections to the grid for new sources of low carbon energy.

Tim Read, director of Camargue, said: "This appointment recognises our ability to manage complex infrastructure projects by bringing together our B2B, corporate and stakeholder relations expertise. At a time when government is announcing new investment in roads, rail and energy there is a need for clear communication and robust consultation with the UK public locally and nationally."

National Grid is currently investing PS2-3 billion a year in its electricity and gas networks to keep the country connected to the energy that society relies on. The roster, on which National Grid has spent about PS9 million a year in recent times, will support a wide range of projects including building connections to the grid for new sources of low carbon energy, replacing old equipment at the end of its life and remediating contaminated former gas works sites.

WheelRight appoints Prova PR for growth Prova PR, the transport, cleantech and environmental PR consultancy, has won the contract to take the WheelRight organisation and its technology to the commercial vehicle, bus and wider automotive sectors.

The Oxford-based company produces a tyre pressure monitoring system that allows for a vehicle's tyre pressures to be texted immediately to a motorist's mobile phone, once a vehicle has driven over the WheelRight device. Commercial users get a report /work instruction emailed to the depot.

The unit, a sensory pad embedded in the road, is positioned at a point where vehicles enter or leave a facility. The WheelRight solution looks set to revolutionise tyre management across the global vehicle and fleet market sectors, given its advantages over traditional tyre pressure monitoring systems. WheelRight, based at Oxford University's Begbroke Science Park to the north of the city, delivers a unique technology that allows for remote tyre pressure, monitoring, as well as offering data on axle weight loadings and wheel/tyre temperature to be gathered.


The Grin team Sarah Sanford, marketing services director, designers Luci Widdowson and Lindsay Wiggin and MD Phil Birchall.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 18, 2013
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