Managing Director Simon Hackett shares his thoughts about our year at Pegasus, and looks ahead to 2018.
You can tell another year is nearly over – excitement about the Christmas party, anticipation of the team novelty videos we film each year, apprehension about how we are going to get everything done by 22nd December … and just that general sense of exhaustion.
But for me, it’s the satisfied exhaustion that comes after a good slog. The kind that makes you sit back and think, “did we really do all of that this year?”.
So what have we done this year that will stay in my memory?
First, we’ve been led by our mission of ‘inspiring healthy decisions’. We believe that if we work with clients who find this mission as compelling as we do – because of what it says about inspiration, health expertise and our obsession with understanding why people behave the way they do – then we’ll achieve great things together. Thank you for your support in this.
Following our mission has led us to deliver incredible campaigns that have changed the lives of patients – people looking for OTC medicines and vitamins, those seeking the healthiest things to put on their skin, and for treatment to protect their animals or make them better.
Personally, I was blown away by our campaign for the Samaritans and Network Rail which aims to reduce the amount of suicides on our railways. From the launch, when we received support from Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, to the 1.3 million views of our moving video and lengthy coverage on every major news channel, it was clear we’d helped tap into something special.
Since, we’ve been inspired by messages from members of the public who had shared their stories or called the Samaritans with offers to volunteer.
It isn’t often you can go home and say you have probably changed or saved a life, but that’s the beauty of working in healthcare – whether it be mental health, diabetes, oncology, IBS or rare disease, our work can help do that.
The next thing I will remember is that we saw our teams and clients really understand and benefit from the power of our CHANGE planning methodology.
Developed by our excellent planning team and leading psychologists from the internationally-renowned Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL, CHANGE puts science, rigour and behaviour change theory at the heart of the planning process.
The result? Strategic communications consultancy focused on outcomes, that informs a tighter creative brief and helps us use the right channels for the best integrated response. We are seeing the value of it in brand planning, internal comms, and product campaigns … across the board, in fact.
And what about the new types of work we are delivering? Being part of Ashfield means we have exciting new opportunities to apply our thinking. This year, we’ve been working with our colleagues in the clinical team, helping them use CHANGE to build some of the most innovative patient support programmes in both Europe and the US. We are increasingly seeing our skills being used to directly benefit patients. If that’s not ‘inspiring healthy decisions’, I don’t know what is.
Most importantly, I will remember our people. Quite simply, our people are Pegasus. This year, we received a fantastic accolade in the form of yet another Agency of the Year award from the PRCA. I love it when we win campaign-related awards, but there is something special about the agency ones as it talks to not only the body of work, but to the people that work so hard to the deliver it and the culture they create.
We’ve also hired some amazing and diverse talent this year from many different backgrounds and sectors – from planners at pie brands to account managers from advertising agencies! One particular recent joiner commented on how she really felt part of a big team but at the same time able to be an individual, which made me smile.
I think this feeling is evident throughout the business and is a magic ingredient in our dedicated, excited and committed teams. Happy, inspired people do great work and I think we are seeing lots of it.
Finally, this year has seen our clients give us opportunities to try new things and to take ambitious steps. For this we thank you and look forward to doing more of the same next year – it fires us up and keeps our energy levels high.
I hope you too have had a good year, and that next year we can be part of more amazing memories. In the meantime, have a great break over the festive period and enjoy some rather less healthy decisions, whatever they may be!