Made in Britain members are leading on responsible sourcing, sustainable business planning and work-life balance for their employees. Planning our PR priorities for 2019, we brought together member volunteers, experts, MiB's PR team and CSR specialists in Manchester on 22 Nov to assess how sustainability and the new circular business thinking models can help all our members succeed together in 2019.
MiB Members attending were: Young’s Seafood, MUGGI, Safer Surfacing, EcoDek and British Ceramic Tiles, UPSO/Carradice
OUR first concern when organising a Made in Britain (MiB) membership event is whether everyone we invited will turn up. The notorious traffic jams and members’ last-minute changes of plan at their factories dictate that one or two re-useable name badges often go un-claimed at the start of our marketing/PR workshops.
The second concern, once we get started, is will everyone who does turn up, get an opportunity to share their manufacturing story; to contribute, to learn and head home feeling like it was all worth it? Manufacturing time is precious so we want the rewards of attendance to be as valuable as possible.
MiB’s first ever marketing workshop not hosted in a member’s factory was held at the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Manchester on 22 November. It was organised in partnership with the UN Global Compact (UK) for sustainability in business whose motto is “Making the global goals local business”. Their job is to make sure every business of every size knows how to compete on the complex sustainability stage.
MiB’s focus at the workshop was on setting our messages for 2019 with our PR agency Citypress, whose KPIs are really simple: getting members and the MiB collective mark into the regional and national news stream. It’s a very big ask but we’re all more than prepared – we have so many good news stories to tell.
Those of us reading the MiB members’ press releases every day know there are thousands of good news stories creating the remarkable narrative of thriving makers across all our sectors. But there’s more to the manufacturing community than just passionately making and selling great products. Many members turn their long legacies into strategies for even greater longevity. Others are finding ways to cope with resource scarcity while still addressing people’s heartfelt concerns about planet and people. In our stream of good news about MiB there is a healthy flow of stories demonstrating how members are excellent in many ways, not just with a few percentage points of monetary growth.
Gary Lapthorn, Head of Responsible Business, Commercial Banking at MiB partner Lloyds Bank told the workshop that his organisation wants to become a leading commercial bank in supporting sustainable growth, helping clients to invest in the changes that will make a measurable difference to the delivery of the UK Clean Growth Strategy.
Keynote speaker, Nick Liddell, from London-based brand consultancy The Clearing, told delegates how circular thinking is starting to infiltrate every aspect of new business planning models and branding rules. His agency work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, famous and not-so-famous names, making sure they can defend their brand 'territory' next year and every year. It was an urgent message for manufacturers too, especially those creating new names for new products being created to seek out new sales channels.
David Chadwick is a long-standing member of MiB and a passionate advocate for less landfill. He’s developed a range of durable (and beautiful) bags made out of locally sourced tarpaulin that has reached the end of its first life on the sides of lorries. Using this as a new raw material has transformed his business and brought him new sales channels and a broader customer base. He shared his story with Made in Britain, you can view it here
Insightful debate supported by evidence from experts inside and alongside Made in Britain led to important decisions about MiB membership, PR and the message about our organisation.
It’s been another challenging and sometimes confusing year for many businesses and a worrying one for anyone considering the news about the environment and our ability to manage it. What’s reassuring me is knowing that MiB members aren’t the people just watching and worrying, they’re approaching 2019 with much more measured and people-centric progress – finding ways to reduce the burden on planet using resources otherwise destined for landfill.
We needn’t have worried about people turning up. The Manchester leg of the UN Global Compact's tour of Britain was the best attended yet, and many MiB delegates stayed on through the whole afternoon to learn from experts how business can engage with the global goals to help people and planet and their own prosperity.
This subject is urgent and a priority everywhere you look. And I believe the workshop delivered great value to delegates and our organisation.
Like you, we’re getting on with long-term plans and short-term actions to make sure members are at the forefront of the solutions in 2019.
John Pearce, CEO Made in Britain