Kicking off 2021 with a sense of hope

It’s been a really exciting start to the year for Innes and Campbell Communications and this flurry of activity has given us pause for thought and cautious optimism as we move forward towards a post-pandemic world.

The last 11 months have been tough for so many industries we work with, but we have taken heart seeing the vital role strategic communications, PR and digital marketing plays in organisations and individuals successfully building and protecting their relationships with audiences.

Our role as storytellers and engagers seems more important than ever and we feel revitalised to make sure our clients’ voices are heard amongst the noise as we slowly come out of many months of uncertainty.

We’ve worked hard to ensure we are equipped, relevant and ready for the challenges and opportunities our forever-changed landscape now offers, blending media relations with copywriting, stakeholder engagement and a heightened focus on digital marketing in order to succeed.

As we take a quick breath, we wanted to share some highlights from January 2021, alongside what else we’re looking forward to working on in the coming months.

Celtic Connections goes digital

This year saw Celtic Connections take a digital-first approach and we were honoured to play our part, managing the festival’s PR campaign.

The festival has been a great success, with an abundance of international viewers and unprecedented number of tickets sold.

We saw audiences from over 60 countries tune in and over 27,000 tickets and passes sold. No less than 10.5 million minutes of musical entertainment was enjoyed by viewers over 19 days, bringing some much-needed light to our the darkest of Januarys.

Photo credit: Gaelle Beri for Celtic Connections

Over 100 musicians took part in Celtic Connections 2021, showcasing their art to the world. It felt like there has never been a more important time to give artists a platform to share their talent with the world – and that’s just what they did.

The festival created a safe space for musicians to come together to play and make music, for technical and filming crews to apply their talents and for venues to open, and it was a privilege to be a part of that team.

Working alongside The Corner Shop PR, we have so far generated more than 1,600 pieces of coverage for Celtic Connections 2021, helping the event reach a truly global audience.

A milestone event for all involved.

COP26 volunteering programme launches

This year, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26 – will be proudly hosted in Glasgow. To support the staging of COP26, Glasgow City Council is looking for a team of around 1,000 volunteers.

Having worked on many events over the years, both big and small, we are so proud to have launched the volunteering programme for this global summit.

These vital climate talks are expected to bring together the largest gathering of heads of state ever hosted in the UK, alongside climate experts and campaigners, to agree coordinated action to tackle the climate emergency.

It was such a joy to work with a team of volunteer ambassadors from across the city who agreed to be the face of the campaign and encourage others to get involved. They allowed us to bring the story of volunteering and its many benefits to life, sharing their experiences for others to take inspiration from.

With national and regional coverage across TV, radio, print and online media and hundreds of shares of the digital launch from stakeholders across the UK, it’s been fantastic to see the campaign come to life.

Skerryvore make Radio 2 playlist

Another unforgettable moment in January 2021 was getting the call from BBC Radio 2 to tell us Skerryvore’s new single ‘You & I’, that we’d been working with them to promote, was being added to the playlist. Just a few weeks later, the multi-award-winning band is now top of class and up on the A-list!

The high energy track showcases Skerryvore’s signature dynamic brand of contemporary Scottish music at its best and has received praise from listeners and presenters alike, with Jeremy Vine telling listeners it’s “just such a fresh, real, new sound... I love it.”

It makes our day to have our clients’ music reach new audiences like this and we are so grateful to the Radio 2 team for getting behind the single - to see a non-mainstream Scottish track playlisted was a special moment and we’re absolutely chuffed for the band.

Brilliant new music

We’re working on a host of new album and single releases at the moment and it’s been great to see the music receive worthy airplay, coverage and reviews.

Among them is the thought-provoking, straight-talking new album from Scottish hip hop artist and producer Steg G. Live Today is an exploration of masculinity rooted in the streets of Govan from the winner of the 2019 Scottish Alternative Music Award for Best Hip Hop. The album was commissioned by Glasgow regeneration orchestra, The Glasgow Barons and is out later this month.

We’re also got the brilliant contemporary Edinburgh folk duo Dowally whose exciting eclectic new album early bird // night owl is also out this month. Dan Abrahams and Rachel Walker have set about creating original folk music which draws on world music influences, jazz harmony and Balkan rhythms. The result is an interesting, progressive folk record made with heart and soul which has been played on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, BBC Radio Shropshire and BBC Radio Lincolnshire, to name a few.

January also saw award-winning Scottish singer songwriter Elaine Lennon release a remixed single to mark the one-year anniversary of her acclaimed self-titled debut album. THIS – The ‘21 Remix is a captivating reworking of a track taken from the album which launched to a sold-out show at Celtic Connections in January 2020 and won Celtic Music Radio’s Album of the Year 2020 Award. We’re grateful to BBC Radio Scotland’s Roddy Hart show for giving the track its debut airplay.

We’re also excited to be working with Scottish singer songwriter Jack Badcock on the first single from his five-track EP The Driftwood Project and up and coming folk act Euan McLaughlin’s new single Grace’s and have some more new releases coming your way very soon!

Looking to the future

It’s been wonderful to get the year off to such a promising start after what was a difficult 2020 – and this is just the beginning! We’re got some amazing things planned for 2021 so watch this space.

Thanks to all of our clients and our colleagues in the media whose support make our jobs possible.

Sending hope,

Corrie and Hannah x