Celebrating 15 years of success in Edinburgh
Back in 2003, Emperor's Scottish operation began with a staff of two people and bags of ambition. Today, the independently owned creative consultancy has a workforce of 30 in our Edinburgh office and a host of big-name clients. Director Noel O'Connor shares a few of the secrets to our success.
I started Emperor with my co-founder Steve Kemp in 1996 in London and we grew the team to about 40 people, then in 2003 I moved to Edinburgh to open our first regional office. We had a number of clients in Scotland and it made sense to service them locally.
So I went from a team of about 40 back down to two again, history repeating itself... and the team here in Edinburgh has now grown to 30 people. Emperor is one of the only independent creative agencies with a UK network of offices; as well as Edinburgh, we have offices in London, Birmingham, Bicester, Manchester and Dubai.
In terms of the type of work we do, we describe ourselves as a stakeholder communications agency. We deal mainly with corporate clients and we work with them to make sure they communicate effectively and intelligently with their different audiences.
Our team is made up of consultants, creatives and production, and we can take things from a blank piece of paper right through to finished products either in print or online. To have come from a standing start to 30 people and to have built this very talented team - who have just been shortlisted in the Scottish Design Awards for our Unique work with FCT - is something I am really proud of.
Emperor counts the likes of Standard Life, Cairn Energy, A.G. BARR and SSE among our clients in Scotland. We take the time to understand our clients, by looking at their issues, their challenges and their objectives, and we come back with compelling and effective comms solutions that absolutely meet their needs.
The culture of the business is also a big deal, with three core principles at its heart - exceeding client expectations, producing great work, and enjoying ourselves along the way.
Within the last year, we launched 'Our Pledges' - a list of 12 commitments made to the business - that highlight what we believe is important and bring to life the values that underpin our business.
We've put an awful lot of work into the culture of the business because it's really important that there is a common understanding of how we expect people to behave and what we want to achieve as a business.
‘Our Pledges’ are all about us making a commitment to the staff to be the best company we can be, both as an employer and as a place to work.
They cover a range of topics from the induction process, staff development, offering opportunities to youth, wellbeing, innovation, our environmental impact, and inclusive socialising to name a few!
We are currently in the build up to this year's major fundraising activity which as well as numerous events throughout the year will feature two large activities, in Edinburgh we're going to take on Ben Nevis later in the summer and our colleagues in the other offices are cycling to Amsterdam. We are in a privileged position in that we've enjoyed good growth over the years and we've got a team of very talented people.
We want to try to do something to give back and to give the people in the business a sense of purpose and pride in what they do and who they work for. To mark our 15th year in Edinburgh we are one of the sponsors of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and are looking forward very much to enjoying that with our clients and staff.
Looking to the future, we will ensure that we continue to grow and enjoy success by making sure we have really good people and continue to deliver an excellent level of service and a really good product.