Stefan Lepkowski, managing director of Karol Marketing
Karol Marketing are the only North Eastern firm to grab a place on a new specialist PR framework after effectively clustering with The Hyperlocal Everywhere™ Network.
The Hyperlocal Everywhere™ Network will now be eligible to bid for and deliver government PR campaigns through the Government Communication Service (GCS) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Communication Service framework.
Managed by lead agency Spring, the network which was launched in October 2016, consists of five award-winning regional strategic communication agencies including two northern PR agencies - Karol Marketing Group in the North East and Freshfield in the North West. The network also includes purplefish in the South West, and Plinkfizz in the Midlands.
A delighted Karol Marketing MD Stefan Lepkowski tells BQ: “We were originally approached by Spring, a strategic communications design agency based in the South East, who were looking for like-minded and well-connected agencies across the UK who may for be interested in working together to form a national network, combining reach with local knowledge.”
The Hyperlocal Everywhere Network aims to a bring a robust local and regional dimension to national communications campaigns across digital, public relations, social media, events and design and branding. It offers some of the best marketing talent in the country with direct access to regions in order to get to the heart of a specific geographic or demographic community.
“It’s a concept we’re really passionate about at Karol,” Stefan continues, “as we often recommend clients choose regional expertise when executing national campaigns.
“By bringing together five award-winning, regional communications specialists, the network offers added benefits to brands, organisations and governing bodies by enabling them to get closer to the audiences they need to target in order to deliver behavioural change, whilst avoiding having to co-ordinate multiple agencies or have their project passed on to other agencies who don’t understand local markets.”
So what’s it like to get ‘into bed’, so to speak, with businesses you might ordinarily find yourself competing against? “It’s great,” Stefan enthuses, “we’re all very like-minded and excited to be working together to launch the network. The Hyperlocal Everywhere Network is a really compelling offer, one we think a lot of organisations will find attractive.”
And it’s that kind of granular knowledge of businesses locally which can be missing from these large-scale Government procurements which are carried out nationally.
“More broadly, at Karol we believe there is huge potential for companies across the digital and creative industries to work together,” Stefan says.
“Clients increasingly want us to collaborate to provide them with an integrated, holistic services – from PR, to social, to paid search and app design - that’s one of the reasons why we recently launched a new hub for creative agencies in the North East, at our premises in an old converted pub in Newcastle’s creative quarter – the Ouseburn Valley.
“Where better to base a creative hub after all than in an Old Pub!
“So far, we’ve welcomed designers, online paid search specialists and a software and app development company and we’re on the look out to add one more complimentary company to complete the team.”
And when it comes to bidding for public sector work, Stefan advises that you remember to engage on the ground: “Whether we’re approaching a public sector organisation, governing body or brand, we believe the power of a message increases if they’re delivered at a local level.
“So whether you are looking to drive behavioural change, expand into new markets or just want ultra-effective targeting, we engage on the ground, with real people, using our local expertise to connect you to the communities you want to reach by delivering change at grass roots level.”