And so here we are… and what a year it’s been: an office move, exciting client wins, hundreds of pieces of coverage, two team engagements (congrats Tom and Ben!), a seminal election and more Brexit debates than you can imagine!
Reflecting back on the year, here are some of our highlights…
Sermelo Towers moves to Seven Dials
We welcomed in 2019 by moving office to a buzzy new location near Seven Dials in Covent Garden. Being so close to all the theatres in the West End, has been a real treat and being three flights up with no lift has been great for our fitness levels (and good training for Gill who completed her first Triathlon in June).
Seeing our client Andermatt Swiss Alps across the top tier media
Throughout 2019, Sermelo has continued to work with our long-standing client Andermatt Swiss Alps, seeking to promote the amazing development of the resort.
Over the last twelve months, we’ve been able to arrange many trips with leading UK journalists eager to visit the resort and review its progress. A highlight for us has to have been a trip Ben was lucky enough to support, accompanying journalists from The Times and the Daily Mail to the resort. After several days of skiing and touring around the development, everyone went home very happy, if a bit tired – worth it considering the great coverage that followed!
In November, we were able to create probably our stand-out piece of coverage for the year, as a two-page feature focusing on the investment opportunities of the resort was published in the Financial Times. We were all very excited to see the article, and were pleased that our client in Andermatt appreciated the effort!
The beginning of 2020 is looking busy, with several press trips already arranged, and we’re very much looking forward to continuing to advance Andermatt’s story throughout the coming year.
Supporting FM Global at Airmic
A highlight every year, in June, Ele, Ben and Rosie visited the Airmic (the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce conference), to support our client FM Global. This year the conference was hosted in the lovely spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire.
From the get go, the team were all very busy, confirming interviews, meeting with journalists and advising spokespeople on how to best deal with any tricky questions. As is always the case with events like Airmic, preparation is vital, and we were all very pleased we had the chance to brief the FM Global team in their stylish new office in Maidenhead before the event – being treated to a tour by the Managing Director no less!
Overall, the event was a great success, with FM Global receiving multiple pieces of positive media coverage. Notably, Ele, Ben and Rosie were able to help an FM Global spokesperson navigate a challenging interview with a knowledgeable trade journalist, discussing an evolving topic for the industry.
Strengthening our media and crisis consultancy
No surprises here, as Jonathan and Dani have again had a very busy year, advising a number of our clients on managing complex issues and how to increase their crisis communications capabilities. Whilst we can’t name any names, it has been fascinating year for Jonathan, and indeed the wider team, as we’ve strengthened our clients’ capabilities through a variety of bespoke simulations and trainings.
With 2020 set to be another disruptive year – even forgetting Brexit! –Jonathan and the team are going to have full diaries, preparing answers to the tricky questions and ready to put clients through their paces to help them prepare for when a real crisis does occur.
Building our relationship with ABB
In 2019 we’ve been delighted to continue working with technology and engineering leader ABB. Gill, Tom and Rosie in particular have been working closely with the company over the past year, supporting a number of ABB’s divisions. From messaging development and internal communications, to presentation training, they’ve been working closely with the company, supporting its business goals.
We’re excited to continue this work in 2020, and with a visit to ABB’s Zurich offices already planned, we’re hoping to hit the ground running!
Visiting Berlin in November
In November, Ele supported FM Global at the biennial FERMA Forum in Berlin, arranging many interviews for FM Global spokespeople, as well as conducting messaging and competitor reviews. Despite the cold temperatures in Berlin, the event was a great success, with fantastic coverage being published in the media, and our understanding of FM Global’s competitors greatly improved. The only downside being Ele didn’t get many opportunities to practise her German!
Looking ahead to 2020
Looking forward to 2020 we are excited to welcome a new team member, Julius Gollner, to Sermelo, who will be joining as a junior consultant. It looks like we already have a busy first quarter in the works, with various media trainings arranged, a messaging workshop and visits to Andermatt Swiss Alps and ABB.
We will be sad to say goodbye to our long-standing and much loved Associate Partner Tom Clive, who is departing Sermelo, to join our client Navico as the company’s new Head of Internal Communications. Tom has been at Sermelo for nearly eight years and we wish him the best of luck in his new role.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a relaxing holiday season – and we look forward to hearing from you in 2020!