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What's next for Agenda?

We launched Agenda in 2023 and it's been quite the ride - what will 2024 have instore for us?

Can it really be the start of a new year? It doesn’t seem two minutes since we welcomed 2023 with nervous excitement as we prepped for our rebrand from Slack Communications to Agenda, a significant milestone in a partnership that had already seen us take on bigger, higher-stakes projects and clients, increase our team and test new ways to use our comms expertise to create a better world for everyone. 

Agenda rebrand launch

As January rolled rapidly into February and even more quickly into March, many deep breaths were taken, long hours worked, and cups of coffee drunk to get us to brand launch on 8 March. 

Since then, life at Agenda has been a kaleidoscope of colourful conversations, exciting projects in the UK and around the world, and some brave decisions to live up to our values. Deep breaths, long hours and a plentiful supply of coffee are still a prerequisite, but as we’ve settled into our groove, there’s been more opportunity for plotting and scheming, learning and improving.  

Growing a talented team in the UK and across Europe

We’re a small outfit at Agenda and we could not do what we do without our ace team. There’s Vic Barlow and me at the helm; fantastic business and marketing support from Rebecca Haack and Sarah Younger; and a network of excellent associates that is absolutely stuffed with talent.  

There’s Matt Ball who knows everything there is to know about trade unions, comms and campaigning; our digital whizz Duncan Robertson who does a grand job of scoping, building and maintaining websites; and Paulina Lainez Miccolo whose international comms experience spans Latin America, North America and Europe.  

We’ve got Catherine Cooper and Adi Bloom who both tell the most beautiful and compelling stories about the families and individuals who benefit from our clients’ work; and a whole raft of other expert people who provide strategy building, campaign creation, writing and editing, data analysis and graphic design, and much, much more.  

Images of Agenda team and clients in 2023

Holding the powerful to account

As always, a special thanks should go to our exceptional clients who continue to put their trust in us. With them, we’ve spent the last 12 months exercising our desire to hold the rich and powerful to account by helping trade unions make the case for strike action, planning election campaigns, and asking questions of MPs and business leaders by chairing Labour party conference fringes and hosting policy podcasts. 
We’ve explored new ways to tackle big social challenges, such as how to create gender equality in the fundraising sector, end racism in the aid sector, and challenge pejorative stereotyping of the Palestinian people – all via our new offer, The Comms Lab, which combines research and analysis with expert voice and user testing to create powerful strategies and narratives.  

Put comms tactics into action

We’ve delivered comms strategies, audience profiles and key messaging for charities, membership organisations, unions, tech for good, and think tanks working in fields such as health, adult education and Holocaust remembrance. We’ve conducted digital reviews, built new websites and trained people in how to use social media in areas including early years, rare disease and union organising.  

And we've helped clients mitigate risk, navigate crises and tell their side of the story with honesty and integrity. One crisis was handled with such cooperation and openness that the investigating journalist is now working with the organisation on a documentary about its work.  
In among this, we’ve been writing fundraising appeals; training people in all aspects of comms; and securing international, national and regional press coverage for clients that celebrates their achievements, gets people thinking and instigates action by those with power. 

Building powerful partnerships

We believe firmly in collaboration and knowledge-sharing so we’ve worked with partners to organise, chair and present at events on subjects as wide-ranging as growing your social enterprise, choosing the right CRM and making the most of AI in comms, to tackling online polarisation, dismantling the fundraising patriarchy and merging your membership organisation. 
Both Vic and I have been impressed by the willingness of our clients and event participants to listen, learn and adapt their ways of working, while at the same time sharing their expertise, knowledge and tools with us. Win-win all round.   

That said, a continual challenge for we comms professionals is leadership not taking comms seriously. Comms is not an add-on or another to-do for a junior officer. It’s what drives your reputation, income, talent and services, and deserves proper investment. We share this message in all our work, in the sector press, and it will continue to be pushed in 2024.  

Our agenda in 2024

What do the next 12 months hold for us? We’re a few weeks into the new year and already we’ve been hard at it, thinking about how to use comms to tackle food poverty, antisemitism and conflict. We’ve recorded a podcast on cancer diagnosis developments; written workshops on writing skills; and taken on a significant client in the education world. We’ll be thinking big, being brave and staying real, with plenty of deep breaths and cups of coffee in between.  

Agenda's clients in 2023

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