The CEO of BOTTLE describes how the award-winning PR agency started
“Back in 2004 Will and I wanted to take the best of our PR practice, honed by years of in house and agency experience, and set up on our own.
“Sitting around the kitchen table one evening, we were drinking wine to help brainstorm the company’s name...that’s how BOTTLE was born!
“On reading “In Pursuit of Excellence”, one of the most widely-read and successful business management books ever written (back in 1982!, Tom Peters talked about how businesses need to produce excellence at all levels in order to be relevant and competitive in the future. “The thing that keeps a business ahead of the competition is excellence in execution.”
“Yet much of the PR landscape is filled with rather ‘unexcellent’ behaviour. Here are a few of the things that frustrated us back when I founded BOTTLE:
- Fluffy PRs
- Doing PR for PR’s sake
- Turning the handle stuff that doesn’t make a difference
"So BOTTLE was founded to change the game. We wanted to create an agency to attract the best people in the business, the brightest who believe anything is possible. Who never settle for second best and look for another way. Who delight clients through excellence, who are outcomes focused and who get stuck in. Who believe, like Will and I, that PR can and should be accountable – and who ultimately have got the BOTTLE.
“We set up the back bedroom, started with ING Direct (where Will had worked in-house on the bank’s launch) and did what countless other PR professionals had done before us; started small not quite knowing where life would take us.
“We quickly became more focused and developed a strategy for the business. We wanted a PR agency that would be light on its feet, honest, down to earth and creative and very definitely not filled with Ab-Fab wannabes.
“We took offices just outside Oxford within a few months of starting up, and took on our first employee a year after starting. We helped to establish a place in the local business community by getting involved with the Oxfordshire Business Awards, a role we have maintained as the agency has grown.
“We concentrated on building a national client base and quickly started to compete with more established PR agencies and taking business from London agencies. PR consultants came...and stayed, as have clients.
“Since then we have won numerous PR industry awards, have achieved consistent growth and are known for our level-headed realism and vivid creativity in consumer, B2B and public sector PR.”
Today, BOTTLE is one of the fastest growing PR agencies outside London, has more than 25 PR consultants and has a portfolio of national brands from Poundland to musicMagpie, 3M to Experian FootFall.