A PR firm established just 12 months ago is celebrating its first anniversary with further expansion.
32West, which counts The Holker Group, Fine & Country, Cartmell Shepherd and London-based The Access Platform among its growing list of clients, has appointed Amee Wightman as social media manager.
Amee joins the business having operated in a similar role for fashion retailer Urban Celebrity and designer brand 11 Degrees.
She said: “Within five minutes of meeting the directors, I could tell that they loved what they did and felt passionately about 32West.
“They told me of the journey they’d been on so far and the plans for the future of 32West. I knew straight away that I wanted to be part of it.
“I’m looking forward to working for a company which really cares about what they do and achieving the best results for their clients.
“I'm eager to start working with clients and create social media strategies which will aid them in achieving their goals. I am also looking forward to being part of a team full of creative and talented individuals.”
Amee will be supporting some of 32West’s existing customers, while working with the directors to grow the company’s social media operation.
Her appointment comes as 32West marks a year in business.
Director James Higgins said: “The first 12 months for 32West have been incredibly fast-paced, as we have built the business from nothing to the point where it provides employment for six people, represents 20-plus businesses and has provided sub-contracted work to the local supply chain with a six-figure value.
“Attention to detail, telling our clients’ stories in the most compelling way possible, coming up with creative solutions to challenges and having great fun at the same time has characterised the last year.
“We have a fantastic team who are driven to deliver the very best for our clients in this county, and beyond. The best bit is that we’ve only just begun our journey; we have exciting plans for the future and can't wait to move them forward.”
32West offers services in the areas of public relations, marketing, media buying, social media, creative, photography and videography.
The business was founded by James in May 2018 after he left his role as group editor with the former CN Group.
Frank Stretton, who previously worked for CN Group as group commercial director, joined 32West as a director in July after leaving his role and, while working with James to grow the company’s client base, has also set up a media buying arm of the business.
He said: “Our first year in business has been hugely enjoyable and whilst it’s not been without its challenges it has been very rewarding.
“We’re working with some of the county’s best businesses across diverse sectors and are building a team of extremely talented individuals.
“We’re always looking to develop new strands to our offering so we can ensure we give the best service possible to all our clients. We’re thrilled to have secured the services of Amee Wightman. I’m looking forward to seeing Amee develop her own relationships and provide social media support for our growing list of clients.
“We’ve recently set up a media buying arm to the business which is proving a great success and we’re now able to offer clients expert support on their marketing strategies and make sure they get the best value for money across all media sectors.”
The remainder of the 32West team comprises director Jonathan Lee, along with senior account managers Caroline Barber and Lesley Stretton.
Jonathan joined the business in May having held the role of managing director of CN Group, and more recently of Newsquest Cumbria.
Jonathan is working with a number of businesses on the launch of a Professional Services Association for Cumbria.
Having previous experience of launching the Choose Cumbria initiative, and the in-Cumbria business magazine and digital platforms, Jonathan will be helping the professional services sector in Cumbria win more business, and reduce the amount of work going out of the county.
A launch event for the Professional Services Association is being planned at the Halston in Carlisle on the morning of Thursday, July 25. Any professional services companies are invited to register their interest with Jonathan.
A number of high profile businesses have already pledged their support for the initiative.
Jonathan said: “These are exciting times. Helping businesses and organisations tell their story, and bringing more success and prosperity to them and the communities they serve, has always been a motivation for me.
“To be able to achieve this, working with a range of amazing businesses, while remaining based in Cumbria, is a fantastic opportunity.”
Meanwhile, a number of 32West’s clients have spoken about the service delivered by the company.
Peter Stafford, the managing director of Cartmell Shepherd, said: “We have worked with James and Frank since 32West’s inception. We have not looked back. Their knowledge and contacts appear inexhaustible. We love the collaborative approach, the attention to detail and the fact that we know they are passionate about our business.
Meanwhile, Nik Higgins, co-founder of London-based technology firm, The Access Platform, said: “32West are more than just a PR firm. They are a team of highly motivated and hugely experienced media professionals who really care about their clients; always happy to go the extra mile and do that little bit extra to ensure that they find the coverage for your business.
“As a technology start-up choosing to invest in PR can be daunting step, particularly when there are so many other demands on your cash. I'm so glad we saw beyond that and chose to partner with 32West.
“The six months we have been working together have seen a huge boost in our visibility as a company, and features in several publications that we would not have otherwise been able to secure. We set 32West a tough challenge because we operate in a niche market, but with the most enthusiasm you can possibly imagine, they rose to this challenge and exceeded our expectations.”
And Allen Gibb, chief executive of the Holker Group, added: “We are delighted to have secured the services of the team at 32West. It was clear to us that as a business, and based on their industry experience, they will enjoy great success and we wanted to be a part of that journey.”