When Kieron Goldsborough led the management buyout of the agency formerly known as Press Ahead at the start of 2014, he couldn’t have envisaged how far the agency would go in such a short space of time. But travelled far it has. With a new name, a new look, new offices, a radically different service offer and vastly different client base, Kieron has certainly shaken things up.
“It’s been a big two years for us,” says Kieron. “We’re on track for a record year and have so many reasons to be excited about the future. We’ve moved into the Tees Valley with an additional office base in Darlington, have a fantastic new Sunderland HQ, a new brand, a new digital team and some great new clients.”
But the transformation that Narrative has undergone goes further still. Kieron has also added some top-quality people into the mix and has completely restructured the senior management team. Indeed, Kieron credits the ongoing success of the business to the wider Narrative team.
The senior management team, in particular, has changed radically. Made up of Kieron as managing director, Esme Flounders as marketing and communications director and Joanna Taylor as media director, Narrative is also in the process of appointing a new PR director.
Kieron says the support that Joanna, Esme and the rest of the team bring is invaluable. “When you have your own business, you have a vision; you know what you want to achieve, but you can’t do it on your own. You need great people around you. In this sense the whole team has been great, helping take the business where we want to be.”
Describing Joanna as Narrative’s resident ‘media mogul’, Kieron says Joanna is the engine that keeps the advertising side of the business fired up. “On top of growing the media and advertising side of the business massively, Joanna ensures that client service remains excellent. Her attention to detail and operational management ability is outstanding, too. Without a doubt, she keeps us all focused.”
While Joanna has been with the business for nearly three years, Esme is a fairly new recruit, joining the company less than a year ago.
Kieron says: “I’ve known Esme for years. In fact, she’s always been a client! This time last year, I knew I needed to bolster the senior team with a strategic marketer, and Esme was a perfect fit.
“She brings an enthusiasm and a kind of ‘bulldozer’ mentality. She’s a big thinker, with even bigger ideas. She also has a knack of making things happen, and a lot of the bigger changes we’ve made have been driven by Esme; from introducing new processes to increase efficiency and support client service, to driving our business and growth planning. Plus, when it comes to the academic side of the marketing puzzle, she doesn’t half know her stuff!”
When asked where the Narrative team wants to be in five years’ time, Kieron, Joanna and Esme are brimming with optimism.
Kieron puts it simply: “We want to be the best marketing agency in the North.”