Common Industry are at the top of their game. A multi-award winning communications brand, they blend creative PR with brand strategy to help companies (like ours!) navigate modern marketing.
Helping to steer the ship is Associate Director, Jonny Stanton. A seasoned PR pro, he has a keen eye for exciting and off-beat brand strategy. Jonny sat down with us to talk about creative storytelling and how video can shape business growth.
Tell us more about Common Industry, how would you describe what you do?
We help businesses grow through telling their stories. This can be through marketing, PR, video, social or an OOH campaign. We’re a compact team of consultants that aim to be faster, better and smarter than our peers.
For us, it all comes down to what the client wants and their objective. There’s never a one-size-fits-all answer and bigger isn’t always better. Instead, we’ll share a response bespoke to them and sometimes it might not be what they originally asked us for.
You’ve worked with some incredible clients in your career Jonny, including big hitters like Twitter and Elle. Is PR always what you wanted to do?
I studied English at University and I always knew I wanted to be in the media world, whether that was journalism, PR or advertising. I made sure I involved myself in various internships and placements. I ended up at a PR firm, starting off as a publicist and my journey led me to big brands and household names. I found my passion in being able to tell stories and meet interesting people. I enjoy being able to do various tasks and activities every day and be able to see what people create and build in their life.
It seems like your journey was very organic. Do you have any advice for somebody following in your footsteps ?
For me specifically I never truly knew what I wanted to do, so what I would recommend to others would be to do what you are passionate about. Whether that’s ready, writing or graphic design make sure you are truly interested in it. We have so many transferable skills that we can apply to any new path we want to take.
The beauty about the industry is that it’s more interesting to work with others who are not like yourself. These people show you other walks of life and new ways to learn and that’s what it’s all about. Always try to market yourself and take on your goals with the best of your ability. Personally, I would not have changed the route I took.
That’s really solid advice Jonny, marketing your work and skills can make a big difference in your career. How do you approach marketing the Common Industry brand?
The types of marketing we do varies and we always want to do what works. We try not to necessarily outspend competitors but to outsmart them.
You’re able to track the results to some extent of these types of campaigns through online coverage and where links come from. We’ve also done social media campaigns for specific demographics and different types of rebranding projects by launching new advertising campaigns. We were just able to do a new rebranding campaign for an energy company and it went brilliantly.
We always use different marketing tactics that are linked to the call to action. Sometimes we can give the customer insight into something that they didn’t even think was the answer to their question, which is awesome!
As video producers, we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask if video content comes into these tactics somewhere?
Video has been an amazing medium to share a brand's message and to express what sometimes cannot be expressed on paper. You can be creative in a different way to attract different individuals. I’ve experimented with everything from a brand film, explainer videos, or even an Instagram story.
Each video has a different purpose for you to be playful and creative with. It isn’t one-size fits all so just the sheer amount of different video content that you can take advantage of is endless. Technology has opened even more avenues for us to explore. Take the pandemic, we’ve grown to do entire video productions via Zoom.
That’s amazing - do you think the pandemic has ultimately changed your marketing approach to video?
Overtime, word of mouth and referrals have given us the best return on new business for us. We are always open to new opportunities that come our way. Video specifically has changed the way we work whether it is Zoom calls or being able to blast out campaigns over all social channels.
We love that! Innovation seems to be ingrained in your agency’s approach. Is that what you think sets you apart?
For us, it’s our hybrid model that makes us different, because we’re not a pure PR or communications agency, we do advertising as well. The background of our founders Liam and Amanda is non-traditional because they’ve worked at ad agencies and different creative businesses. This has caused us to have a great network of incredible talent whether that is copywriters, someone who can buy media or a public relations specialist.
We have a great culture in our company where we all have common goals of caring about the people around us and their individual talents.
Do you believe this hybrid model is the direction PR agencies are heading?
There are lots and lots of agencies out there and more popping up every day. The beauty of this gives you all different types of agencies for different types of organizations. We have bigger agencies that want to back the smaller ones to give them some traction and all of this creates very healthy competition. We want to build wider marketing offerings into our services. For years people have been doing creative PR or video to expand their own production offerings. This is always changing and has progressed as technology has.
As you say, everything is always changing, is there anything Common Industry plans to change for 2021?
We’ve had success with award winning videos and have been able to work with amazing videographers. We have ambition to create and build amazing content whether it’s a brand film, virtual event or real life event. At the end of the day, we’re all about creating amazing work.
It’s been great having you Jonny, we can’t wait to see more inspiring work from the team.
We’re shaking up traditional visual content creation. Click here to find out what we can do for you.