Expansion into Bristol for fast-growing national PR agency

National public relations agency Social Communications has opened an office in Bristol and appointed two of the city’s leading PR professionals as part of its expansion into the South West.

The office in Great George Street, the agency’s fourth, is headed by directors Ben Lowndes and Amy Bodey, who between them have nearly 20 years’ experience of working in PR roles across the region.

Ben previously worked for the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) in Bristol and then city-based PR agencies JBP and Newgate Communications (formerly PPS), while Amy joins from the University of Bristol, where she worked in a senior communications role for nearly four years.

They plan to recruit more staff this year to continue to grow Social Communications’ presence in Bristol and across the South West.

Social Communications was launched in Manchester in 2013 by managing director John Quinton-Barber and now employs nearly 30 staff. Bristol is its third office opening in less than two years, following expansion into London and Leeds.

Last year the agency’s turnover reached £1.7m with a growing client list that includes national housing association Places for People and international construction and consultancy company Mace as well as local authorities across England.

The move reunites Amy and Ben with John Quinton-Barber years after he first worked with them in separate communications roles.

John said: “I worked alongside Ben and Amy on high-profile, challenging and time-pressured projects before I set Social Communications up and I knew they were the right people to help us expand into the South West.

“Bristol is a fantastic city for us to invest in. The team has an incredible knowledge of the region, combined with strategic nous, insight and creative brilliance that clients expect of a modern communications agency.

“It’s great to have a foothold in the South West and we’re already making significant strides towards building a strong presence here.”

Ben first worked with John at a leading North West PR agency more than a decade ago before he relocated to the South West in 2010. He has worked on some of the region’s most high-profile projects, including Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

Ben said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build something special, with the support of an amazing team.

“The South West is a brilliant place to work and the reaction to our launching a new business here has been incredibly positive. Businesses can see we have an excellent offer. We’re committed to the region and excited about what 2018 has in store for us.”

Bristolian Amy has extensive experience in the renewable energy industry as well as the higher education sector and has led sensitive and complex public consultations on major infrastructure projects.

She said: “We’ve got off to a great start in Bristol and are already working on a couple of fantastic, important projects. We have exciting plans for the South West office and intend to hire a couple of people this year to continue Social Communications’ growth.” 

The team is already working for a local authority on a significant public consultation for a £500m investment programme and will soon start implementing a public relations campaign for a successful UK tidal energy operator.

Pictured: Ben Lowndes, Amy Bodey and John Quinton-Barber. Photo by Jon Craig @JonCraig_Photos


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