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Strategy and interim support

The Brief

Look Ahead wanted to review how it was seen in the market and make sure the perception matched the reality. Having been through some significant structural changes in the last 12 months, the new Chief Executive was keen to share a clear vision with the team and engage them on the journey ahead.
CleeCo was asked to provide marketing and communications support whilst Look Ahead’s internal team was established, and provide additional capacity to ensure the team got off to a flying start.

The Approach

The initial phase of the work was to get to know Look Ahead, the people who drove it and the plans for the future. This led to a clear list of work that was needed to make sure that the passion, specialist skills and commitment that ran through the business was reflected in the marketing approach and materials Look Ahead were using. 

There was a need to review the brand and how it positioned Look Ahead in an increasingly difficult market. It was clear that the existing values, whilst still true were not easily applied to all that the business did and they needed to be reconsidered. The communication channels on offer were very limited and this led to the need for a full audit and recommendations as part of a marketing and communications strategy.

Working alongside the Chief Executive and executive team, CleeCo provided 3 days a week support for an initial period of 3 months, which was then extended to 6 months. During this period, CleeCo worked with the internal communications team as they were recruited, becoming part of the team, and ensured a smooth transition of projects, knowledge and skills throughout the 6 months. 

The Outcome

The vision, mission and values for Look Ahead were redefined. This was achieved in a period of three months. Staff and client engagement was at the heart of the project to define what the essence of the business really was. This also led to a brand refresh which was completed within the same timescales to enable a launch at the annual staff conference. Feedback on the launch showed that 84% of staff felt that the new mission, vision and values were a better fit and more inspiring.
A full marketing and communications strategy was presented to the board and accepted including an uplift in budget. This was based on a structured plan to deliver the impact that the board required, including improved communication channels for staff, customers and commissioners, a higher profile in the sector, excellent staff engagement and new business gains.
Training was put in place to ensure the team had the skills they needed to feel confident in delivering the strategy, this included; media training, social media awareness and print training.
CleeCo supported the team to establish and embed internal systems and processes to support the implementation of the strategy, including monitoring and adjusting activity. A network of suppliers who could offer the best value for money and services to Look Ahead was also commissioned, leaving the internal team with access to the resources they would require to progress. 

The Client Experience

Throughout the 6 months that CleeCo was with Look Ahead Sarah provided valuable and effective support. CleeCo established a strong working relationship alongside the Communications team to ensure their involvement and quickly established an effective way of working with them.

Although only with the organisation for 6 month CleeCo ensured that we were left with a long-term plan that would continue to build on the work Sarah had done and help the organisation to meet more long-term goals. CleeCo was always very friendly and easy to work with and had no trouble quickly fitting into our team.

Kate Bawden
Head of Communication – Look Ahead