The Creative Engagement Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Creative Engagement Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Creative Engagement Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | THE CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT GROUP
Russ Lidstone, CEO
World-first, kinetic sculpture
attractor at a medical congress
The Creative Engagement Group is a communications group
focused on engaging audiences through the creation and
delivery of live experiences, films, digital and immersive
experiences (virtual reality and augmented reality), employee
engagement, learning, healthcare communications and training.
They provide international clients with the ability to generate
deeper levels of engagement with their audiences and challenge
the “broadcast” advertising model with a range of immersive
and experiential capabilities unparalleled in any other company.
They are a growing communications group providing a unique
range of strategic, creative and production services to blue chip
clients delivering programmes of communications activity for
B2B and B2C campaigns. CEO Russ Lidstone expandshere.
We provide live events for healthcare companies to banks; employee and brand
engagement for Nissan; we’ve created digital and immersive solutions for Global
Radio to Carnival. We’ve produced retail environments for Google and events as
well as film and training capabilities for a range of clients who include seven of the
world’s top ten healthcare companies.
Previously backed by private equity, I worked with David Sharrock, our COO, to
help create, structure and position the companies of TCEG, and exit from private
equity in the strategic trade sale to Huntsworth plc in July 2017. Huntsworth, the
international healthcare and public relations communications group, added Axiom to
TCEG in October 2017, strengthening TCEG’s presence in theUS.
FACTS ABOUT
THE CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT
GROUP
»CEO: Russ Lidstone
»COO: David Sharrock
»Established in 2016, but its
respective companies WRG,
TheMoment, Just Communicate
and Axiom have a combined
heritage of over 50 years
»No. of employees: More than 300
across the UK
»TCEG delivers over 3,500
creative projects a year including
4,500 hours of film, 500,000
lines of code and 100,000
delegates engaged
»70 per cent of TCEG income is
for international programmes
of activity and 60 per cent is in
employee engagement
»TCEG has a particular strength
in understanding complex and
highly regulated markets such
as healthcare
The Creative
Engagement Group
33THE CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
» IMMERSIVE
DIGITAL CONTENT
What is immersive digital
content?
Virtual reality (VR) and
augmented reality (AR),
interactive film and
gaming technologies are
used to place someone at
the heart of the action,
or give them control
of the narrative. VR
uses technology to fully
immerse the participant
in a digital world,
while AR superimposes
digital content into the
participant’s real world
using a handset.
Four agencies with distinct
and complementary skill sets
The Creative Engagement Group is one
company made up of four agencies
that work in an integrated and
seamless way:
WRG: our pre-eminent and experiential
agency engages audiences through
the creation and delivery of live
experiences, exhibitions and healthcare
communications.
The Moment: our film and digital
business that engages audiences
through the creation and delivery
of video, interactive and immersive
content, learning and training.
Axiom: our life sciences and training
solutions agency that changes
behaviours and improves performance
through live and digital learning
experiences.
Just Communicate: our leading
healthcare event company that
creates and delivers engaging live
pharmaceutical events and exhibitions,
including interactive, design and
videocontent.
Built for the era of reinvention
Our companies were created
independently and specifically brought
together as a group in recognition of a
client communications need: in an era
of reinvention, it is harder than ever
to engage with customers, employees
and delegates using traditional means.
We believe that broadcast “story
telling” has been replaced by “story
doing” – the creation of content
that is centred around action or
experience – and our proposition is
proving to be deeply compelling and
relevant to blue chip clients in multiple
industries including technology, media,
professional services, automotive, travel
and tourism, with a particular strength
in healthcare.
Recognising the changing landscape
of communication away from the
“broadcast” model and the increasing
importance of the “experience
economy”, we engage internal and
external audiences for our clients through
integrated activity, which includes:
»Live events and experiences
»Hybrid and virtual broadcasts
»Film
»Digital and immersive (VR and AR)
»Training and scientific content
»Learning programmes
»Employee engagement programmes
»Strategic healthcare communications
Utilising talent across the UK
While over 70 per cent of our income
comes from international work, we are a
proudly British company that is growing
its presence in the United States.
TCEG now employs nearly 350 people
across our offices, with 90 people based
in London, 110 in Manchester, 80
in Plymouth, 10 in Buckingham and
another 50 in Philadelphia/Yardley in the
United States.
The communications
challenges we address
The key challenge for businesses
is engagement. Brands and global
organisations face a myriad of
Award-winning film
content for DFS’
sponsorship of Team GB
at the 2016 Rio Olympics
We believe
that broadcast
‘story telling’
has been
replaced by
‘story doing’
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | THE CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT GROUP
challenges engaging internal and
external audiences:
»Tech-savvy, content-hungry, but
time-poor and sceptical audiences
»Remote working
»Disparate groups with different
learning and training needs
»The need to be nimble, turning
creative ideas into reality quickly to
stand out in the market
»The art of combining physical
experience with digital and immersive
»Navigating the multitude of tools,
platforms and data available for a
concise and clear approach
»Communications budgets reducing
»The “broadcast” model being
questioned
We have evolved our company to
meet those communication challenges,
seeking to engage our clients’ internal
and external stakeholders – be they
consumers, employees, learners,
healthcare professionals or attendees
at an event.
Operating in growth areas
We have seen significant growth
over recent years across all aspects of
our business, while more traditional
communications channels are in
decline. The level of trust that we have
engendered through our creativity
and delivery for our clients is key to
this, but we have also evolved our
business in areas that are undergoing
sustainedgrowth:
»82 per cent of the world’s online
traffic will be video by 2021, and
content marketing is set to grow at
14.4 per cent from 2017 to 2021,
so our film production services are in
high demand
»Live events and experiences as a
category have seen 15 quarters of
increased marketing confidence
and spend in the UK, while other
channels have seen a decline in
confidence
»The number of regular at-home
workers among the non-self-
employed population has grown by
115 per cent since 2005, so the need
to engage employees through our
internal communications capability
continues to grow
»The global VR and AR markets are
expected to reach $75 billion and
$134 billion respectively by 2021,
so projects such as our virtual reality
training programmes for Global
Radio become more central to
clientactivity
A unique culture and DNA
Our company was built from a unique
DNA. Everything we do is driven by
the end-user experience and our ability
to deliver integrated programmes
ofactivity.
Alongside our distinct combination of
services, our real point of difference
is that we are a culture of thinkers,
creators and “makers” – our company
has origins in production, creativity
and “user centricity”. We also pride
ourselves on being a great place to
work, where we cultivate personal
growth, success and enjoyment.
We are a
culture of
thinkers,
creators and
‘makers’
Global Radio VR,
an award-winning
immersive training
solution

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from the prime minister.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister