Fifteen years – but not fifteen people – on…
On March 1st 2002 I started Tangerine to prove that it IS possible to run a PR company that’s both profitable AND ethical and agreed with my first team member – and still fellow founder/director/shareholder/friend – Sarah (Dufton at the time ‘Duffers’ – now Halton) that we didn’t want to be any bigger than 15 people.
Today – 15 years on (madly!) – we still have our ethical values (honesty, courtesy and respect) running through us like Blackpool (Tangerine) rock, but we’ve failed badly on the ’15 people, tops’ promise, with around 60 of us occupying Tangerine Towers.
How on earth 15 years have passed I have no idea. But much has changed. And not just in the halls of TT but in the market we live in and serve.
Our social media apprentices, via our fabulous (and now four years old itself) Juice Academy wouldn’t begin to understand how we could have run a marketing company (or lived generally) without social media – Facebook was two years off even being born. And the proliferation, devastation and digitisation of the media world would take a whole other blog in itself to discuss.
The comms world is literally unrecognisable since then – and sometimes when I look in the mirror I think the same about myself! – but, very happily, it’s still a world I genuinely enjoy being part of and feel privileged to have found all those years ago (27 in total – eek!)
Throughout our 15 years we’ve pushed and challenged and – yes, struggled at times – to make sure we’re not only true to our values but also ahead, where possible, of every curve. With digital innovations happening every day this has not always been possible – especially as the number of people with the relevant skills has not always kept pace with the need (but don’t get me started on that…!)
Most of our growth and development has been organic but, in 2009 we acquired the teeny weeny Juice Digital – one of the first digital marketing agencies – which helped us step forward in digital. And then in 2013, as mentioned above, we launched The Juice Academy to help us and others with the skills challenges and haven’t looked back since – circa 200 young people recruited, placed in careers in leading north west firms and trained in digital marketing (#proud).
And we’re still here. Still fighting. Still loving every day.
So a BIG thanks to everyone – staff (current and former), clients, mentors, partners, contacts, apprentices, apprentice employers and friends – who’ve been part of it. We’ll be having a big old knees up in the Summer to celebrate and thank you all, so watch this space (the other thing that we’re very good at is throwing a party!)
By Sandy Lindsay MBE, Tangerine Group Chair