Culture is such a big part of Agent, was it hard to keep that going when you were working remotely?
I think workplace culture needs to be continually invested in, it's not a static thing. New people, ways of working, new experiences, they change cultures – sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. So, it was important we continued to invest in our culture, giving people the space to share the opportunity to talk candidly and reach out if they needed additional support. We worked with partners to achieve that and provide teams with a safe space. Ultimately, we’re a business that cares deeply for our people, it wouldn't be Agent without that, it's what drives and shapes what we do and how we do it, and that helps us keep our culture strong.
What does the future look like for Agent?
It’s really exciting! We've been able to recently bring new talents into the team, new perspectives, more diversity, a real plethora of brilliance and with that comes fresh energy and new vision. We managed to keep the team together throughout the pandemic and we’ve actually added new people over the past couple of years – the team now stands 39 strong. We’ve been around for more than 15 years, and we’ve always had a focus on creating the best possible place to work. Because when you create an environment where everyone is welcomed and valued they do their best work and that’s when great things will come for us and for our clients.
We’re already growing across the north west and we’ll be continuing to expand our regional footprint and super-service new and existing clients with a full integrated offer – strategy, creative, digital and campaigns.
Do you think the sector in the city has changed in recent years?
Yeah I think it’s evolved and grown up. It's always been a warm and welcoming community, but over the last 5 or so years I think the value of the industry has been acknowledged and celebrated more in the city. That recognition has seen new businesses form and existing businesses relocate or open new offices – across a whole range of disciplines. We’ve come a long way but there's still work to be done.
We have an amazing community of businesses who share the same values. Our Agent Academy programme can only be delivered in partnership with other businesses who are committed to seeing other talent coming through and we're really proud that so many of our young people go on to start their careers with people like Uniform and Open Media, that demonstrates the spirit of the community here.
Do you think backing from the public sector is important to growth of the industry?
It’s vital, not just financial investment but it's imperative we listen to what businesses need. The challenges and opportunities – you can't invest in meaningful interventions unless you know what's happening on the ground. We have a combined authority and local enterprise partnership that understand the value of listening and using that insight to invest in things that really matter.
There’s a huge opportunity to support and scale-up a huge range of businesses in our sector and to do that we need trusted partners like Gather. We've seen in the past 12 months how important the creative, digital and tech space is, and we need to do all we can to make sure the region comes out of this stronger. Gather has a big part to play in equipping us to do just that.