UCL Innovation and Enterprise


Shout Communications

16 August 2013

Dare to shout bigger

When Shout Communications first approached UCL Advances, the media industry was in a very different state from when they first began their broadcasting PR consultancy firm over ten years ago. Budgets had been cut in the wake of the recession and radio content production was no longer bringing them the same amount of business. Owners and longstanding friends Catherine Bayfield and Keren Haynes felt that their company had become stagnant over the past couple of years, and turned to UCL Advances to see how they could turn it around.

The SMILE team matched them up with mentor Peter Hicks. Peter has mentored the SMILE initiative, and comes from a background in engineering and technology development. With extensive experience in a wide range of sectors, Peter was able to apply his knowledge to the obstacles facing Catherine and Keren.

Catherine and Keren had always taken a hands-on approach to the running of Shout Communications, actively involved in the day to day running of their business, but with Peter’s guidance they were able to step back and assess their long term goals. Peter asked them to look at what they wanted to achieve over the next five years and the growth they thought was possible for their company. From their discussions, Peter was able to see that to achieve this level of growth they would need to bid for larger projects with better margins. He encouraged them to submit tenders for much bigger contracts, which Catherine and Keren had previously doubted their capacity to carry out. With Peter’s support they secured their first large local government contract and they have thoroughly benefited from the exposure this has brought to the company.

They subsequently hired a new member of staff to help them deliver this and future projects, and now have a team of eight working from their Covent Garden office. Working with Peter and SMILE has given the team greater drive and experience with which to push the business forward, even in a period of economic uncertainty. They were also inspired to bid for bigger contracts in the future, with the knowledge that they could successfully acquire such projects.

“We really didn’t think that companies hosting bids of this size would consider an organisation of our size to deliver projects of this scale; we are very glad that Peter encouraged us that this is possible!” Catherine Bayfield, Director, Shout Communications

After successfully completing this new contract, they have been commissioned to undertake further work for the same organisation. Catherine and Keren have established a fantastic partnership with Peter as a result of the SMILE scheme, and have continued working together beyond the initially agreed commitment of 12 hours collaboration.

They have since made it onto the 10,000 Small Businesses programme.