Moving the dial on modular housing
Promoting build to rent
Creating, implementing and driving a holistic business strategy for a renowned architecture practice
Assael Architecture is an award-winning architecture practice based in London, with international offices in Bahrain. Having designed and delivered major schemes in the UK and beyond for some of the world’s biggest developers, Assael wanted to expand the reach and scope of their business, pushing into new markets and sub-sectors within the built environment.
Blackstock were brought on board to help create a business strategy for Assael, identifying key sub-sectors, implementing director-level responsibility for each new area, and building a comprehensive communication and business development strategy around each new sector.
The results have already made a significant impact on Assael’s trajectory, not only reinforcing their position in the industry, establishing specific directors as specialist market commentators providing insight in national newspapers on the Build to Rent sector, modular construction, intergenerational living and government policy.
In addition, bylined columns created in collaboration with the Blackstock team have positioned Assael as leaders of industry debate in areas including the mental health implications of design, social value within the built environment and using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to operate and manage buildings.
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Blackstock have taken a hands-on approach to working with us, both in terms of public relations and wider business development. By embedding themselves in the day-to-day fabric of the practice and getting their teeth into the specialist aspects, they have provided a service that goes above and beyond any other agency we have worked with in the past.
Using data to drive business rates debate
Building the brand of the UK’s leading modular developer
Creating a new sector: civic crowdfunding
Launch campaign and data-driven research
Getting the country to chat VAT
In a campaign backed by Bourne Leisure and Merlin Entertainments, Blackstock was engaged to lead a high impact media campaign that would support behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts to convince the government to cut VAT for the tourism industry.
By repositioning tourism as an export, and focusing the conversation around the benefits a VAT cut would bring to deprived coastal communities, we helped win over the Sun, Britain’s best read newspaper, as a campaign partner, and secured consistent high quality coverage across broadcast, national newspapers, local press and trade media.
Our work included promoting research showing the economic uplift from a VAT reduction, highlighting growing political support across all levels for the campaign and devising publicity stunts to keep journalists and the public interested. Our campaign brought the issue to the top of the news agenda and brought together a broad coalition of political, business and media stakeholders who backed cutting VAT to help the tourism industry thrive.
Watch Dermot King, managing director of Butlins, on Sky News
Blackstock's work navigated seamlessly between offering corporate and creative advice, unlocking opportunities and relationships at the highest level. The results they generated were outstanding – ranging from major pieces on Radio 4, in the FT and Mail through to a front-page campaign with The Sun.
Beating the drum for construction modernisation
In January 2016, we helped former Arcadis directors Mark Farmer, Joe Thornton and Neil Brearly launch Cast, gaining widespread media coverage. Working closely with the business ever since, we’ve supported its growth by shaping Cast’s voice across the residential, investment and construction sectors while sculpting the profile of its chief executive into one of the industry’s best recognised and most regularly cited experts.
Working closely with Mark to finalise, launch and continually promote the milestone Farmer Review report, Blackstock’s relentless works fixing speaking and national media opportunities has seen Mark – and his challenge that the construction sector needs to “modernise or die” covered in depth everywhere from the Economist, Financial Times, Guardian and Telegraph to prime time slots across the BBC and Sky News.
Combined with discrete public affairs work, liaising closely with interested parties across central and local government, we have driven key issues around skills, offsite construction and modernisation up the media and political agenda in a way that they never have been before.
The outputs have ranged from regular columns in Property Week, Building and Construction News to high-profile interviews with broadsheets and broadcasters, ensuring that Cast have been seen as true leaders of their industry.
Watch Mark Farmer on Sky News
Blackstock has worked tirelessly with us since the launch of Cast back in 2016. They have provided a 360 degree strategic communications consultancy that touches all sides of our business – from PR, social media, business development and events support. The team’s commitment, passion and proactivity have all contributed to the strength of our media profile, including national press, radio and TV coverage. Blackstock has helped Cast provide intelligent commentary and analysis to the market that we hope has encouraged debate and helped to start move things forward in our industry.