Stoke-based PR company shortlisted for two top national employer awards

Stoke-based PR and marketing company Plinkfizz has been shortlisted for the prestigious Top Employers for Working Families awards 2010 run by leading national organisation Working Families.Thanks to its excellent practice of flexible working and family-friendly employment, Plinkfizz has been shortlisted for two of these highly regarded and sought-after awards.

Plinkfizz is a growing marketing communications business with an impressive client base. It has doubled its turnover in the last 12 months to top £1/2 million, even though it actively promotes family friendly and part-time working.  Plinkfizz has three women directors who have chosen to put their families first – but not at the expense of a successful and satisfying career.   All three held senior positions with major corporate organisations (Julie as Head of Marketing at Britannia Building Society, Fiona as marketing manager for Co-operative Travel Group and Jo as PR manager for Britannia and a former regional magazine editor), but understood that the demands of employers offered less flexibility than their families needed.

Plinkfizz Managing Director Julie Grant explains, “We each went down the self-employment route to ensure we could realise our considerable business ambitions while earning the freedom to put family first when necessary.The ‘more to life than work’ ethos is applied to all staff – and far from impacting on the business it ensures we attract the best people with the highest degree of commitment.  We search for the right people and consult with them about what working arrangements will make them happiest.

Our working patterns are tailored to meet individual needs.

  • Julie, MD, with one daughter works four days and enjoys picking up from school each Monday.
  • Fiona, marketing manager, with two and seven year old children, works five days, but shortened hours for three days to give her flexibility.
  • Jo, PR manager, with two primary age children works five days, with three shortened, to be there at home-time.
  • Nigel, part-timer and freelance, has two under fives.  He works from home when the business needs him and comes into the office on Wednesdays (leaving early to take one daughter to swimming lessons).
  • Our new administrator will work five days, 9.30 to 2.30 – to fit work around school.
  • Emma is on extended maternity leave
  • New recruit Laura, with no children, still values working four days – with one based from home to cut down on travel.

We operate in a highly competitive environment and organisation is imperative.  We open five days a week 9-5.30 and all work together to ensure holidays are covered and we share information to ensure effective client liaison at all times.  Supporting one another’s workloads from time to time is also key.

We have invested in IT server systems and Blackberries which allow every member of staff access to our computer network from home, or other venues.  So when children are ill, when sports day or the school play require a break – we can be there, and still in touch with business needs. This applies equally to staff who need quiet time away from the office hustle and bustle.

It is business critical to attract and retain experienced professional people.  We are successful because we employ the right people and working flexibly means we attract the best – regardless of their home circumstances.

As the business continues to grow we anticipate attracting more like-minded staff – people with ambition and vast experience and who make no apologies for wanting to live a full, guilt-free life.

“It’s easy to have good work/life balance policies. Any company can do that. It’s quite another to actively recruit on that basis, which we do here at Plinkfizz.
“And that’s why we’ve been nominated in the recruitment category in which we face competition from just three other companies. I’m delighted our flexible approach to business has now been recognised by this leading organisation.”
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