It seems like only five minutes ago that we launched BakerBaird Communications. Yet here we are starting Year 4.
Three years have flown by in a haze of travel, events, media activity, engagement exercises, heavyweight report writing, training sessions, battered keyboards and hammered smartphones.
Year 3 has been special for a number of reasons. We’ve been lucky to work on some genuinely exciting projects driven by some inspirational people, some of them of national, even global, significance.
We want to pick out the Babysaver project not because it’s been one of our most successful campaigns, but because we felt privileged to be able to spread the word about a potentially transformational project developed by people who care deeply about the world around them.
Professor Andrew Weeks and his team at Sanyu rightly received global coverage for the way in which they had applied innovation to the seemingly intractable problem of saving the lives of newborns in low-income, low-tech environments. To cut a long story short, where we rely on £15,000 electronic resuscitation machines, Andrew and his colleagues and partners developed an alternative for these harsher environments which costs $50.
He has already pledged to hand over the intellectual property to the country which is pioneering its use, Uganda, and that is a measure of the ethos of Andrew’s team. We feel lucky to have been involved.
We won another award this year, and while we’re immensely proud of the recognition our communications services have received year on year, the truth is that the recognition in this case belongs to Sheila Taylor and her team at NWG, the charity that supports professionals working in one of the most difficult and emotionally challenging environments of all, child sexual exploitation.
What else have we taken away from 2018? That there are some great ideas out there which are going to change our world. We are only just at the beginning of a new generation of digitally-driven products and services powered by innovations in energy, satellite data, digital mapping, open banking and mobile technologies.
Some of those innovations are visible at places like UNIP, the innovation park built on what used to be the Raleigh site in Nottingham. Where once we lamented the past we now have visibility of our future thanks to incubators like the Ingenuity Centre and institutions like the Energy Research Accelerator.
Others are being developed by agile, ambitious and clever scale-ups like Deetu (part of the BWB family – itself a serial award-winner) and OpenWrks (part of Blenheim Chalcot’s long-term investment in Nottingham).
Our Year 4 starts at a time of uncertainty wrought by politics. Yet we remain relentlessly optimistic about the future because we continue to work alongside committed, professional people who don’t always receive the praise and reward they should.
In particular, our experience tells us that some of the most committed, professional people of all work in communications teams across Government and the public sector. It’s popular to criticise public services but these unsung heroes deserve real praise in an unpredictable world.
For the professionals, the innovators and the inspiring ideas, here’s to Year 4.
Our Year in Data*
Coffee: while we’re at Accelerate Places (why aren’t you?), we get through around four coffees a day. We’re here on average 3 days a week, so allowing for business elsewhere and the occasional holiday, that’s an estimated 960 doses of 200 Degrees’ finest caffeine.
Emails: We have sent just under 18,000 emails this year. Sorry.
Flights: BakerBaird has done the departure and arrivals thing 12 times in 2018.
Road & rail travel: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Derby, Leicester, Liverpool, Lincoln, Sheffield…we’ve lost count. Until the accounts are due.
*Ok, our year in coffee and travel…