Five-year MBO anniversary marked by record growth at communications agency

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A Cardiff-based communication agency has marked its five year management buy-out anniversary with record revenue growth and a range of new appointments.

Working Word’s co-owners, managing director Dan Tyte and operations director Caroline Holmes, completed an MBO in 2016 after first buying into the company and becoming directors 10 years ago, both having joined the company in 2007.

Since then, the Cardiff city centre-based agency has grown services alongside its public relations background to include film production, digital marketing, creative advertising, and media buying and planning. These developments have seen Working Word’s turnover rise by 75% over the past five years

The firm acquired production company Ernest Studio in 2018 to create video content in-house, and this year moved into audio production with the six-part podcast The Story of Miwsig commissioned by BBC Sounds and the documentary The Dog Detectives commissioned by BBC Radio Wales.

Recent creative campaigns have included the Football Association Wales, Welsh Government, Life Sciences Hub Wales, Principality Building Society, and Capital Law.

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Since the pandemic began, nine new employees have joined the team bringing the total to 25.

Adam Hale joins the agency as news and media manager following three years as the Wales correspondent for Press Association, where he appeared in the daily televised Welsh Government press conferences during the coronavirus pandemic. Also making the move from the media is Esme Winter Lockwood after five years at BBC working on The One Show.

Formerly with a political party at the Senedd, Gwilym Hughes joins as a campaign executive, with Polly Winn adding experience from her previous role with a women’s equality campaigning organisation.

Ffion Roberts has been promoted to digital marketing manager, leading on the agency’s digital campaigns. Aira Gonzales and Ria Chowdhury join as account executives, the first recruits from a partnership with Cardiff University to give opportunities to graduates from under-represented backgrounds.

After previously picking up a Royal Television Society award for a documentary available on Film4, Jake Smith joins as a colourist, cameraman and editor. Sophie Manners and Georgina Cartwright join as account executive and account assistant respectively.

Managing director Dan Tyte said: “Five years on from the management buy-out, the strategy to strengthen our offering across the marketing mix is paying off. If you’re an organisation looking to influence an audience, we’ve got the insight and imagination to help you exceed your objectives.

“Over the past year, we’ve been able to help a make a difference on a whole range of transformative causes and campaigns and for businesses large and small, from working with the Welsh football team at Euro 2020, encouraging young people to register to vote or families to become foster carers.”

Operations director Caroline Holmes added: “Hiring nine professionals throughout the pandemic, each with different skills, has brought something new and exciting to our ever-growing team as we specialise in complementary fields.

“We’re determined to make Working Word the best place to work in the industry, retaining and developing talent by producing exciting work for clients that we care about.”

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Chris PykeBusiness correspondent (South Wales)