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Recognition driving business success

There can be few more effective ways to engage employees than through recognition of their effort, endeavour, achievement and success. Recognition programmes have the ability to make people feel good, improve relationships internally and create a thank you culture. But there is more to Recognition programmes than a ‘nice to have’ engagement initiative. (more…)

The book of Comms 10:1

From cascade to conversation

Employee communications were traditionally built around a simple belief that senior leadership knew more about everything than their employees. Internal communication strategies were built around this concept aimed at finding ways to get information from leader’s heads into the hands, hearts and minds of all employees. Cascading messages through layers of management to ensure that employees all got the same message, in the same manner, at the same time. This top down approach focused upon monologue rather than actively encouraging participation, discussion and dialogue. For many years this one size fits all approach was based upon traditional employee communication channels such as town hall meetings, newsletters, emails, magazines and bulletin boards. (more…)

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Getting animated in 2014

The past 12 months have been full of firsts for Playgroup, and one of these ‘firsts’ that really really stands out for me — not least because I’ve found myself saying this word about 50 times a day for the past few months — is animation.

At Playgroup we have managed and delivered many extremely successful, engaging and well received animations and videos for clients in previous years, so animation in and of itself is not new for us. What is new however, is that rather than working alongside various talented freelancers and external studios to handle the end-production as we have in the past, we made the decision to change things up and bring it all under our own roof. (more…)

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Employability – it’s not just about qualifications

We have had some fantastically ambitious and creative young interns in the studio recently – all benefitting from the rich and varied work experience on offer here at Playgroup. Like all good agencies, we’re committed to giving design students the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience the pressures of the commercial world in a busy and stimulating environment. Our designers are experienced mentors. They’ve all been through a creative education (some more recently than others) and understand the challenges faced by students and recent graduates. Consistently we’re told that life in an agency is completely different to the art school environment. Hopefully they leave with a better perspective of what life at work is really like.



Banging the Drum for Playgroup

We’re really pleased to have been classified an Elite agency after being ranked 12th by The Drum in the Drum Design Census 2014. The Design Census comprises three polls measuring financial performance, client satisfaction and peer recognition.

We are incredibly proud of this achievement which marks a successful year for Playgroup both in new business wins, ongoing client work and the opening of our new office in Lymington, Hampshire.


Big Ideas, Beautifully Made

‘Big Ideas, beautifully made’ a combination every creative person aspires to.

Creative industry events like Glug offer us creatives a chance to see other sides of the industry that we may not see regularly, whether it be 3D printing, moving image or something more exotic. We aren’t just there to see showreel after showreel of work we already know, we are there to get a real insight, to learn something, to be inspired…



Playgroup – with a view of the sea

Our studio is situated in the centre of one of the most creative parts of London – and therefore the world. We feed off the buzz of Clerkenwell and embrace the many opportunities the area offers us to network and collaborate with like-minded people.


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Happy birthday Mac – from Creatives everywhere

Last Friday was the 30th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh. Over the past 30 years the Mac has become an iconic and indispensable part of the creative tool box. If you’re a graphic designer, filmmaker, photographer or illustrator you almost certainly work on, or have worked on, a Mac, but how and why did the Mac become the designer’s computer of choice?



A purpose beyond profit

With the horse meat scandal dominating the news at the moment and corporate tax taking centre stage last year, is it any surprise that more and more people are taking a closer look at the companies behind the brands? With corporate governance under increasing scrutiny it’s crucial that companies demonstrate that they share the same values as their customers. When a company’s values are out of step with those of their customers there is a real danger that they will be seen by many to be “part of the problem” – just another big business taking without giving anything back. (more…)


Employees make the best brand advocates

Marketing and communications are often focused on campaigns designed to differentiate their products from their competitors. Branding, PR, advertising, digital, social, are all crucial, but in order for them to be effective the product has to match the promise. (more…)

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Can big business be genuinely good?

Today we hear that the energy companies are posting their highest ever profits, despite the fact that their customers have never struggled so much to meet their fuel bills. And for some time, the public have strongly held the view that the banks are modern-day pariahs who are responsible for all the global economic woes. My view is that that has been a team effort, of which they were part and many people should hang heads in shame. (more…)