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Speak’s 2017 content highlights

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As we say goodbye to a content-filled 2017, members of the Speak team look back at seven highlights from the last year – from global campaigns to innovative brand journalism.

1. #UniteforParkinsons, European Parkinson’s Disease Association – nominated by Almaz Ohene, writer

“Last year marked 200 years since Parkinson’s disease was discovered by Dr James Parkinson in his ‘Essay of the Shaking Palsy’. To mark the occasion, we joined forces with the EPDA – who we produce online magazine Parkinson’s Life on behalf of – and Parkinson’s UK to support the multichannel Unite for Parkinson’s campaign.

As the official media partner for the campaign, our Parkinson’s Life team created a 12-week editorial calendar of special features, provided 24-hour campaign coverage and promoted the hashtag across Parkinson’s Life social channels and e-shots.

The results were spectacular, with the campaign reaching a total of 12 million people from 180 different countries.”

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2. Radbroke turns 100, Barclays – nominated by Michael Crabtree, picture editor

“With the 100th anniversary of the Barclays technological innovation centre Radbroke Hall fast approaching, we planned and produced a special package of content to celebrate the occasion. The five features included an article focusing on the significance of the centre; a ‘From the archives’ piece  looking back on the move of Barclays staff from London to the centre in Cheshire; and three of our regular ‘My Working Day’ pieces, profiling different roles on the campus.

We were blown away by the amazing response, with nearly 1,000 likes on LinkedIn and dozens of Barclays staff commenting below the articles, many reminiscing about their time working at the centre.”

Barclays - My Working Day features

3. Royal Mail colleague campaign, Royal Mail – nominated by Joe McAweaney, writer

 “As part of our on-going partnership with Royal Mail, we were asked to plan and execute an internal campaign which focused around the power of teamwork at Christmas. The festive period has always been a busy time for Royal Mail, and we were excited to be part of the fun, flying over to Belfast where we interviewed employees at ‘Santa’s mailroom’ and ‘Santa’s grotto’.

It was a busy few days for Speak, with the team turning around multiple visual and copy assets for a range of RMG internal channels – from TV spots to print/poster campaigns and long-form magazine articles – all within a few days of the main shoot in Ireland.”


4. Swim Generation, Speedo – nominated by Paul Williams, client services director

 “2017 was the year that Swim Generation, one of our biggest projects for Speedo to-date, went live – with the aim of helping to save lives around the world by teaching the basics of water safety and swimming.

We drafted the project’s campaign guidelines, and delivered a wide range of content – including a public microsite and a campaign handbook. We also devised top-level messaging, supporting copy, and compelling infographics for a range of online and print channels – and created the script for a short film aimed at inspiring stakeholders to get involved.

The materials we helped the brand produce have been shared with thousands of internal and external stakeholders around the world – and special screenings of the Swim Generation film have encouraged key supporters to sign up.”

5. New Frontiers, Barclays – nominated by George Theohari, editorial director

 “In October Barclays asked us to cover its digital innovation event New Frontiers , a day filled with lectures and seminars from the brightest minds in the technology sector. We crafted a detailed communications strategy, ensuring we were able to provide real time social media coverage and pre-planned follow up stories the following day.

The project was a huge success, as our efforts – in partnership with the Barclays press and communications teams – saw the Barclays New Frontiers hashtag trend at number five in the UK – with around 16,000 impressions per tweet.”

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6. Documenting a journey, Global Kinetics – nominated by Georgia Goggin, producer

“We were asked by Melbourne based biotechnology company Global Kinetics to create a documentary that showcased its KinetiGraph product – a watch like device that tracks the movement symptoms experienced by Parkinson’s disease patients.

We recommended an empathetic approach, which placed the patient at the heart of the story, and thus created a four-minute documentary that was both informative and meaningful to the audience.

The result was an engaging, powerful short film which followed Parkinson’s patient Fred, and his wife Olive, as they trialled out the KinetiGraph – discussing their experiences along the way.”

7. Going for gold, Barclays – nominated by Laura Smith, managing editor

“In October we were delighted to see home.barclays, the global corporate website for the Barclays group, win ‘gold’ at the Digital Impact Award.

Since partnering with Barclays in 2016, we have established a content strategy, completely redesigned the site and created an integrated brand newsroom for the bank. With regular, dynamic pieces of content we have helped to engage readers – and create a visually appealing editorial experience.

The Barclays project allows us to see the full panorama of a huge organisation - from business theory and psychology, to the human stories behind the company, to the development of new technologies, to the place of the corporation in wider society. Look into anything with enough breadth and you'll see that the whole world is there, and hopefully we've been able to give some idea of that with the range of stories we've told.”

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Content worksJoe McAweaney