Babel in 2021
The temperatures have dropped, the Christmas decorations have gone up and we are all in the festive mood as we count down the days until Christmas and New Year! At the end of every month, I normally do a news round-up of the top tech stories that caught my eye, but as we inch closer to 2022, I thought it would be more appropriate to do a round-up of the highlights from Babel’s year.
While it has been another challenging year and the pandemic is far from over, we have to celebrate the positives this year – and there have certainly been a lot of them.
If you keep up with Imogen’s monthly coverage round-up blog, then you will know that 2021 has been (another!) successful year for Babel. Where do we begin? To start with, we have had the privilege to work with some exciting new clients and campaigns including Vaarst, QT, Leapwork, Gurtam, Cohere, Pay360, Elements Global Services and Polte.
As travel restrictions eased, we were able to meet with clients at home and abroad. This included attending Mobile World Congress (MWC21), which usually takes place in February but was postponed by the organisers until later in the year. This didn’t deter us, though! A number of the Babel team jetted off to Barcelona in June to support clients at the event, including TelcoDR; one of the most talked-about exhibitors at the show. We are now eagerly anticipating (and crossing our fingers!) for MWC22 in February. A record number of our clients are attending the show next year, and we are already working with them on their PR and media strategies for the event.
At Babel, we aim to equip everyone at the agency with the relevant tools and expertise to enable them to pursue their individual interests and fulfil their potential. To this end, we offer comprehensive and bespoke training to all of our team members at every level. And we wouldn’t let something like working from home for half of the year stop us from making the most of training opportunities. In total, the team undertook over 1,100 hours of training; an 8% increase from 2020, and 20% more than in 2019. A quick look through our training schedule over the past 12 months sees sessions covering everything from creativity, crisis comms and client management to personal branding, presence and impact, and performance management.
Awards in 2021
Our hard work has not gone unnoticed. Not only have we received great feedback from our clients, but we have also received recognition through awards. In November, we were thrilled to learn that we’d achieved the highest number of PRCA accredited CPD points this year, topping every other agency member across the world. More recently, and to round off a fantastic year, in December we won the Just Marketing Award for the ‘Best Use of Branded Experiences and Events’. In less than six months, Babel helped TelcoDR rise from a start-up with no digital footprint, to having the biggest and most-visited stand at MWC21, dramatically changing the conversation and ensuring the company’s message continues to be heard long after the event. A big congratulations to the team.
The Digital Communicators podcast
And we cannot review the highlights of the year without celebrating the launch of our podcast in March: the Digital Communicators podcast. We are already eight episodes in and have had meaningful conversations about tech and PR with fantastic guests, including esteemed journalists Scott Bicheno, Kate Flaherty and Joe O’Halloran.
Babel turns 15
Established in 2006 by founders Narelle Morrison and Ian Hood, Babel celebrated its 15th birthday in August. How time flies! But that wasn’t the only big anniversary we celebrated this year… Babel director Paul celebrated an impressive nine years at the company, and campaign director Jen celebrated seven years. Content director Holly Ashford celebrated five years with us, while director Katie and campaign director Ed both celebrated four years at Babel. Go team!
As we celebrated our long-standing members of our team, we also welcomed many new hires this year. This included two new campaign managers, Ashwinder Bedi and Holly Abbott, and one new director, Pippa Cranham. Two consultants joined the team: Rob Shrimpton and Amelia Waters (yep, that’s me!), as well as Babel’s first-ever PRCA apprentice, Lauren O’Harrow. They have all made great additions to the team, bringing a range of skills, insight and experience.
Babel back to the office
After a somewhat lonely 2020, we were delighted to welcome our team back to the office three days a week from July. It has been great to see our Fitzrovia office and the streets of London abuzz again. This has meant the return of in-person training sessions, post-work drinks in the pub, and lunches in the boardroom or (weather permitting) sunny rooftop terrace. This has been particularly important as we have welcomed so many new faces to the Babel team this year.
As social life began to return to normal, we enjoyed getting back to developing those all-important industry relations. We have met with journalists for lunches and drinks, whether this is reconnecting with old friends or establishing new go-to contacts in the media.
After exhausting Zoom quizzes and virtual games in 2020, we were delighted to resume in-person get-togethers. This includes bowling (shout-out to Declan, the reigning Babel bowling champ), breakfast brainstorms, and a review and planning meeting held at Foxhills Country Club in November.
…and who can forget our annual Christmas party! A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the festivities at Le Pont de La Tour by Tower Bridge (a stark contrast to last year’s celebration, which was a virtual affair). This was a great time to come together as a team, particularly since we have welcomed so many new faces this year. I think we all can agree that this was Babel’s highlight of 2021.
After yet another busy year delivering fantastic results for our clients, we are looking forward to putting our feet up, spending time with loved ones and indulging just a little too much over the Christmas period. We look forward to coming back in the new year well-rested and ready to resume doing what we do best.
So, with all that being said, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!