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
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
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.
»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
What is immersive digital
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
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
Just Communicate: our leading
healthcare event company that
creates and delivers engaging live
pharmaceutical events and exhibitions,
including interactive, design and
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
»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’
Highlighting best practice
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
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
»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
»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
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
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
creators and
Global Radio VR,
an award-winning
immersive training

This article was sponsored by The Creative Engagement Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy