Grow Marketing – one year old!
This month’s Grow Exeter magazine is our twelfth edition, marking our first birthday as publishers! And what a year it has been. For those of you with experience of running or working for start-up companies, you will be familiar with many of the challenges that we have faced, particularly as we have positioned ourselves as disruptors on the local publishing scene.
From assessing the potential opportunities of our business, to deciding what our company values would be, we have built our business from the ground up and are extremely proud of what we have achieved in our first year. We have gone from an idea in the heads of our two founders to becoming an established and trusted media source and now have a loyal audience along with amazing commercial relationships with many local companies and organisations.
A few months ago, we were kindly described as ‘a positive media movement captured in a magazine’ and we believe this to be an accurate description of who we are. We are relentlessly positive, in a sea of often negative media, and we aim to offer a truly multimedia experience, harnessing the best of both the online and offline spaces. Both are relevant and important to the modern media consumer and can complement each other. Print isn’t dead; just certain types of print which aren’t relevant anymore.
So, we have picked out some of the highlights of our first twelve months, to give you a sneak peek into what this exciting, sometimes stressful but, ultimately, hugely positive rollercoaster ride has felt like for us. We hope you enjoy the read!
Our two founders Daniel Frye and Llew Nicholls officially launch Grow Marketing Ltd, the parent company of Grow Exeter Magazine. In an attempt to start how they mean to carry on, they spend the day at the beach, thinking, planning and dreaming of what the future might hold.
Between June and September 2017, Dan and Llew gather their initial team including Creative Director George Peters, our original Editor Tracey Duke and our Finance Director Mike Frye. This small initial team go about putting together our first ever edition and building commercial relationships with local businesses. They also host Grow Exeter’s official launch party at Hotel du Vin where they announce their plans, values and product information to those in attendance.
Towards the end of September 2017, we print our first ever magazine, the October 2017 edition, which centres around a theme of ‘Start Ups and Scale Ups’ and features some of the fresh, un-championed start-up businesses in and around Exeter, as well as some of the recognisable more well-established names too. As with any product or service, there are teething problems but, overall, we are incredibly proud of our inaugural edition. September 2017 also sees the growth of our team and our board of directors, with Joff Alexander-Frye joining Grow as a Director. Mike Frye also joins the board of directors in December 2017.
February 2018 sees one of the milestone moments in our journey to date; the design and delivery of our ‘100 Most Influential Women of Exeter’ campaign. This is a hugely positive and inspiring campaign, giving members of the public and business community the chance to nominate who they consider to be the most influential women in the area. This campaign is launched in line with International Women’s Day in March and also the 100-year anniversary of the first women in England being able to vote. The campaign culminates with a celebratory event at Deer Park Country House & Hotel, where most of the 100 women selected by our panel attend with friends, family and colleagues. It is the single most magical, meaningful and momentous night in our company history to date and will take some topping! March 2018 also sees a changing of the guard, with Joff Alexander-Frye becoming Editor and several new members of our commercial team.
APRIL – AUGUST 2018
Between April and August 2018, the important task of cementing and consolidating the initial exciting months of growth takes place. We slowly establish firmer commercial foundations as well as forming key partnerships with local government, education providers and businesses. Also, we work tirelessly to make ongoing improvements to our magazine, website and social media platforms and this work is repaid with significant audience growth, particularly online. This time period culminates in the company winning our first ever award; aptly an award for ‘Best Online Presence’ from the 373 Awards.
During this time period we also launch our environmental campaign, Grow Green and are announced as the exclusive media partner of Devon & Somerset Law Society.
We also move premises from our small office near Southernhay, to the brand new Pynes Hill Business Centre. Occupying a good chunk of the bottom floor, we slowly decorate and remodel our space, creating a space that we are proud of and that our team can enjoy calling their own.
AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2018
In the months of August and September 2018, we grow our team significantly, now employing 12 people and working with a further 8 contributors.
From our humble beginnings, things have grown quickly and our main challenge has been to keep up with the pace of things, rather than worry about having enough to do. It is with great pride that we look back over this journey and with great excitement that we look forward to the future. Who knows what it will hold, and where this crazy journey will take us, but one thing is for sure; we will certainly have a whole load of fun along the way!
Here’s to the future.