After 25 years as one of the most well-known agencies in the region, HRM PR & Creative has undergone an impressive rebrand. Chapter II was unveiled in October, marking the next phase of the business’s growth and an expansion of its services. Here, CEO Jen Beal explains the reason for the rebrand, what Chapter II stands for and her vision for the future…

HRM, or HR Media as it was previously known, is one of the longest-running and most established PR agencies in South Yorkshire. But as the company celebrates its 25th birthday, it is also looking to the future, with a new name, a fresh look and an enhanced service offering designed to propel clients to new heights.

With more marketing, design and digital PR services now on offer, the agency has adapted with a renewed vision for the future, which will build on the excellent reputation it holds in the region and beyond.

CEO Jen Beal joined the company in March and says the last eight months have been ‘incredibly busy’ but full of excitement, creativity and of course, a few Friday drinks to celebrate the wins.

She said: “I have primarily been getting to know the team and the way they work, both together and individually, since I started, as well as getting to know the brands and businesses we are working with.

“The foundations of this business are so strong, and the company is so well respected that it has been amazing to get to build on that and work out how we can continue to give the best possible output to our clients, and the best workplace experience to our staff.

“While there’s definitely been plenty to keep me busy over the last eight months, it’s been so much fun to get stuck in and I’ve really enjoyed defining our company culture and enhancing the office environment, making it a great place to work.”

Chapter II’s goal is not dissimilar to that of HRM – to help brands reach their full potential, achieving the most ambitious marketing and communications goals along the way.

So, why the rebrand?

“It really felt like now was the right time,” Jen said. “The services we provide and the way that we work have evolved and it is important our brand reflects that.

“While it felt like a natural step to for us to rebrand, making the final decision still required some balls! HRM – or originally HR Media – is one of the longest-established PR agencies within the region and for good reason. The name is synonymous with exceptional service and client relationships, industry expertise, and trust – and we don’t want that to change.

“This year marks 25 years in business, which is an amazing achievement, but it also felt like the perfect time to reflect on who we are as a company, redefine our mission and values, and a chance to expand our service offering to meet the needs of today’s modern businesses, still focusing on core media relations but incorporating more digital PR, marketing and our incredible design services.”

“Things don’t stand still, and neither do we.” Jen continued. “In a society that changes so quickly and with technology evolving in front of our eyes, the need to move with the times has never been so apparent”.

With a group of talented creatives and design experts already on hand, work on the rebrand was completed in-house, with concepts that reflected the values and skills of its team being discussed from the get-go.

Jen said: “Choosing the name was pretty easy. After 25 years as HRM, it was time for us to start our next chapter, hence Chapter II.

“PR, marketing and design are all about representing brands and telling a story, so everything just fell into place.

“At Chapter II we are experts at strategic storytelling. We use beautifully crafted words and unforgettable visuals to create campaigns that ignite.”

Chapter II was officially launched in October, with a special party at Saw Grinders Union in Kelham Island to celebrate.

All the team’s hard work was showcased to colleagues, clients and friends, with a nod to the 25 years in business that allowed the next chapter to begin.

Jen said: “It was a fantastic evening which gave us chance to showcase our talents and new brand, while letting our hair down and celebrating how far we’ve come. The Chapter II branding was created in-house within our design Studio and it was amazing to see our collection of brand assets being used throughout the venue – on drinks labels, balloons, coasters, in our launch video and on our very own Chapter II newspaper… we had a lot of fun with it! The response to our new look has been incredible and makes all the hard work worth it.”

But the hard work doesn’t stop with the rebrand – Jen and the team are now looking to the future, excited to start offering their new services and continue working with the fantastic businesses in South Yorkshire and beyond.

With a focus on creativity, collaboration and engagement, Chapter II is a company that takes smart risks and knows that daring to be different gets results.

www.chapterii.agency

 

Staff at Chapter II PR, marketing and design agency in Sheffield.

 

Maddy Barber, marketing and PR lead:

We’ve evolved our services to offer more marketing-based activities – integrated, creative campaigns, carefully crafted messaging and a wider range of engaging assets.

It’s a really exciting time to be offering this, as consumer mentality has shifted since the pandemic in a number of ways – and the same goes for B2B clients.

Brands need to be a lot savvier and more intricate in the way they communicate with their audience.

Luckily, we’re also living in a world with countless channels and means of communication, so brands can achieve more than they ever could before.

One brand I really admire is the meat-alternative This – they have produced some really exceptional marketing over the last 12 months, driving their growth into supermarkets, coffee-shops and convenience stores. Their messaging is tongue-in-cheek, brazen and – most impressively – consistent. Everything from their social media posts to the copy on their product packaging is in line with their brand and their customers. Pulling on relevant, cultural references while maintaining their own marketing messages – they’re nailing it!

This is exactly the kind of thing we love to see at Chapter II and what we can offer our clients.

Joining the team earlier this year, I’m bringing nearly five years of in-house marketing experience to the table, mainly in campaign creation and copywriting. I’ve helped brands approach their audience in some of the strangest of times, so I’m ready for the challenge of building brands’ reputations in the times to come and helping them thrive

Chapter II is all about taking brands to the next level with their marketing and PR. We’ve produced some really exciting campaigns so far and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling for more clients in the next few months.

 

Jade March, PR lead:

Whether they know it or not, every business needs public relations. Whether it’s sending out proactive press releases or reactive crisis communications, PR should be an integral part of your company’s strategy.

Public relations is an umbrella term for a wide spectrum of communications methods. From a press release about company news to positioned thought leadership features in trade publications to providing reactive commentary to trending news topics – PR is vital to get you in front of the people you need to be in front of.

But, with the media landscape – and the world in general – constantly changing, it is important to reflect on this and make changes and adaptations where necessary.

One of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years is the shift towards more digital communications and the desire to secure more backlinks and social media coverage.

While traditional and print PR are still vital to your communications strategy, reactive PR is one of the key elements that can really drive your business forwards and get you noticed for all the right reasons.

That may be simply responding to important items on the news agenda with relevant, expert opinion, or it could be jumping on the latest TikTok trend or reacting to the latest talking point on social media.

A great example of a brand that smashes reactive PR and social media is Ryan Air. They are quick-witted, responsive and perfectly tongue-in-cheek, creating campaigns that go viral with a simple meme, gif, or Tweet.

Of course, no two businesses are the same, and while dancing on TikTok might work for some, it might not for others – that’s where our expert opinion comes in.

We are dedicated to getting to know you and your brand, fusing your values and goals with our strong industry knowledge and creative skillset, meaning we can curate the perfect strategy for your business.

 

Allie Dransfield, head of business development:

This is an incredibly exciting time for us and the brands we work with.

The new look and name have given us the opportunity to refine our service offer and introduce additional marketing services.

We have really listened to the needs of our clients, as they are very much at the heart of everything we do, and this has helped us shape Chapter II.

Having worked here for 17 years, I have had the pleasure of watching the company become one of the region’s most respected and established PR agencies and I am proud of everything we have achieved so far, but really do feel that the best is yet to come.

I am looking forward to meeting lots of companies and brands within the regional business community and beyond, showcasing Chapter II and helping them to tell their story.

 

James Martin, design lead:

Branding is one of the most important aspects of creating a visual identity for a company, it sets out an immediate idea of what you offer and the way in which you work, and if it’s not given the appropriate amount of thought it can turn clients and customers off even before they’ve tried your products or services.

Agencies often neglect their own branding in favour of their clients, which can damage the agency in the long run if left unattended. With the Chapter II rebrand we wanted to avoid this pitfall and create a strong brand from the outset, one that’s simple, visually appealing and stands apart from what other agencies are doing.

With graphic design and branding in particular, for me, it is all about getting your message across as simply and succinct as possible, less is always more. People have short attention spans and if they have to ‘work hard’ to understand your brand, they will go elsewhere.

We wanted to show that we were serious professionals – and also a little mysterious – so we relied mainly on black and white tones with accents of colour for flavour. Our imagery is both professional and fun, showing the true duality of what it is like to work in an office. We also like to think that this translates across to how we deal with our clients as well.

Looking at brands like Uber, Apple and Pepsi, they’re all trending towards minimalist design and keeping things clean and clear. We wanted to ensure our branding did not clutter our messaging, so existing and potential clients know exactly what we do and how we will execute our offering.

As part of the rebrand we have re-evaluated our entire business, not just our name and logo. We have expanded and modernised our services and looked at how we can really help our clients excel. As we’ve experienced personally through this process – and as is so evident with the most recognisable companies in the world – branding is everything. The right branding can completely define your business, making you as appealing as possible to your target audience and setting out who you are right from the get-go. That’s why we are now offering more branding services than ever before.

Working on the branding for Chapter II has filled the Studio with excitement and we can’t wait to work with our clients, both potential and existing, on taking their branding and design to the next level.