All posts by rachel_eaton





A new kind of communications agency designed to support the ideas and innovations solving the world’s biggest problems. Wilful is a taskforce drawing on the talent and expertise of two founder agencies, Gong Communications (Corporate and B2B) and Cherish PR (Consumer).



Gong Communications is an award-winning international PR and communications agency and a proud B Corp. We offer our clients the full spectrum of PR, marketing, digital and creative communications services from our offices in London and Nairobi.

We work with companies ranging from publicly listed multinationals to feisty start-ups, mostly in the B2B and corporate sectors. All our exceptional clients share our entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to keep pushing the boundaries. Key sectors include professional and financial services, infrastructure and renewable energy, global health and development and technology. Gong also has expertise in the cross-cutting themes of culture, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and purpose.



A Senior Account Executive works as part of an account team to execute competently and proactively against the agreed PR programmes for each client. This involves taking a leading role in the day-to-day running of client accounts, including tracking, and driving progress on all actions and identified priorities, strategic forward planning, providing a reliable client point of contact and providing any other support required for delivery of the programme, for example, sourcing and managing third party suppliers. Senior Account Executives are also responsible for content creation and quality control for client facing documentation.



The ideal candidate will have at least 2 years relevant work experience, the ability to multi-task, an enthusiastic and adaptable personality, with a keen interest in corporate communications. A passion for sustainability and climate is a must.

An undergraduate degree with PR, media, communications, journalism, politics, international development, or similar, isn’t essential but would be an advantage.



  • Support the account team with tactical implementation of communication strategies.
  • Develop and sustain relationships with client contacts based on understanding of clients’ industries, needs and the brief we are delivering.
  • Research and draft content for clients (for example: key messages, press releases, thought leadership, case studies, media briefing documents, etc.).
  • Providing support and guidance to junior members of the team.
  • Draft story pitches and pitch press releases and feature ideas by phone or email to media.
  • Secure and manage interview opportunities with key journalists for client spokespeople – in person or over the phone – and facilitate these interviews as appropriate.
  • Speak to journalists regularly to develop useful relationships.
  • Monitor media coverage and help spot opportunities for clients.
  • Handle clients’ social media accounts and digital work (including SEO Management).
  • Deliver analytics reports on social media, reporting on traffic, engagement, and follower figures.
  • Activity calendar creation and management (aka forward planner), including owning reporting and delivering in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to brainstorms with fresh ideas for PR campaigns.



  • Spot commercial opportunities and contribute to new business activity.
  • Take responsibility for creating content to Gong’s social media channels and website.
  • Provide programme delivery support and input ideas into Gong’s marketing strategy.
  • Attendance at external networking events as well as Gong-led initiatives.



  • Excellent command of English language writing skills.
  • Excellent communication skills both orally and in writing.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Motivated to meet client KPI’s.
  • Ability to prioritise and forward plan effectively.
  • A passion for news and a strong awareness of current affairs.
  • Ability to work across different teams and specialities.
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Good knowledge of the use of digital tools and social media.
  • Willingness to take initiative, own and take responsibility for work.
  • Awareness of new media developments and latest communications industry developments.
  • Creativity, proactivity, and ideas sharing.


6.0 Benefits

  • Structured and financed L&D programme
  • Hybrid working approach
  • Access to the Wilful People Hub (in partnership with Perkbox)
  • Includes a huge variety of perks and benefits (money off well-known brands)
  • Access to 24/7 employee helpline plus wellbeing support and content
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Additional AL days between Christmas and New Year gifted
  • 2 additional days per year
    * 1 for birthday
    * 1 volunteer day (to be used during the calendar year)
  • All Wilful employees receive a laptop and work phone
  • Bonus (discretionary 10% of net profit to the team)
  • Health insurance option
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Enhanced pension contribution (4% & 4%)
  • Organised social events (Christmas and summer parties, regular meet-ups, team lunches, etc.)
  • Flexible working (early Friday finish in the summer months)


To apply for this position, please email



Gong Communications, a Wilful Group company, has been appointed to provide social media support for STX, a leading global environmental commodity trader and corporate climate solutions provider.

STX is at the forefront of driving global efforts towards reducing pollution and preserving natural resources. For more than fifteen years, STX has been valuing the true cost of emissions and pollution, fostering confidence in carbon reduction and green energy trading.

As part of the project, Gong will devise a social media strategy and create social content to enhance STX’s thought leadership and employee brand, with a goal to spread brand awareness, generate new business leads and attract new talent into the rapidly growing sector.

STX was founded in 2005 to pioneer a nascent environmental commodities industry, and in 2022 was named “Best Trading Company – Renewable Energy Certificates in Europe and North America” for the third time consecutively in Environmental Finance’s Annual Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings.

When is the right time to hire a PR agency?

This is a question that frequently arises as companies grow. We have 25 years’ corporate communications experience to draw on in being able to advise on this. We have worked with hundreds of companies at different points in their development, from seed funded start-ups to listed multinationals looking for a reputational reboot or an image refresh. There are probably just 2 key questions that you need to ask yourself when thinking about whether it is the right time to work with a PR agency regardless of size and life stage of organisation.


1.  Are you clear on what you want PR to deliver?

2. Do you have enough time and resource to work with a PR agency?


This article addresses question one, with part two to follow next week.


This might seem like an obvious question, but it is more complicated than it may appear. PR is just one discipline in a big bag of ever blurring marketing competencies. If you asked most people to describe what PR means to them, most would say ‘press coverage’, but media relations (or some call it publicity) is just one of the ways in which PR does the job of building awareness, preference and influence with different groups of stakeholders.

Public relations, to give it its full name, can be relevant for all the different audiences that matter to organisations, from perhaps the most obvious one – customers, to others including investors, commercial partners, trade and industry groups, regulators, NGOs and even internal audiences like staff and other companies in a group.

With these potential audiences there are naturally different ways to reach them. The media is certainly one route, but it is by no means the only one. Social media channels are what we PR firms class as ‘owned’ rather than ‘earned’ media and they need content strategies and pro-active management in order to do their work of engaging with relevant audiences.  Speaking at conferences and events, organising your own events from attention grabbing stunts, to product sampling, round tables and panel discussions, winning awards, publishing research and white papers, making a podcast or a video, holding a staff townhall – all of these are valid ways of reaching an audience and PR firms get involved in delivering all of them to a greater or lesser degree, depending on client needs.

So, if you know the who? (audience) and the how? (the channel you are going to use to reach them), then you need to figure out the what? Or rather, the content, what you are going to say – your messaging. This is also a very typical part of a PR firm’s mandate, to help clients figure out what they want to communicate when they stand on platforms or give press interviews to make the desired impression. All this may appear to be achingly obvious, but ask anyone who has experienced the messaging inconsistency of a fast-growing company’s leadership team who are all going off in different directions with their own agenda and they will tell you that projecting a consistent and clear message doesn’t happen without some professional intervention. The other classic is the untrained spokesperson who lets slip some information before they should to a journalist, either because they are nervous, distracted or pressured into it.

Let’s assume for the sake of brevity, that you have figured out your messaging, (naturally it flows from your vision and mission), and you have a clear comms plan in place that is going to get your story in front of the people that matter, the only thing left to figure out is how you will know what success looks like?

There are plenty of people who think PR is an expensive waste of time. There are others, like Bill Gates who share the opinion, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” I would put money on the fact that the main difference in their experience is that those in the Gates camp were clear from the outset what they wanted their PR to deliver and they agreed with their PR team how it would be measured, evaluated and reported on.

Too often, inexperienced people – on both the client and agency side – fail to do this part well enough at the outset. The result is that they discover too late that their expectations were never aligned, or that their understanding of the impact of the outcomes was not the same.

In its broadest definition, (that of attention that has been earned because something was clever,  entertaining or thought provoking rather than paid for through advertising or sponsorship) PR can deliver an outsize return on investment.

But it is important to be realistic. One press release about a product upgrade isn’t going to set the world on fire. Generally speaking, to get attention, you need to invest careful thought and realistic amounts of money, but that’s not to say that an unusually creative idea, or a brilliantly charismatic spokesperson won’t generate a huge return on investment (ROI). That’s the holy grail that every client and every PR person is always chasing.


2. Do you have enough time and resource to work with a PR agency?

Gong Communications Impact Report 2022

We are pleased to share our 2022 impact report. In a year in which we donated 180 hours to CSR activities, spent 325 hours in training, and recycled 100% of our e-waste, we also celebrated making an impact through communications for our clients tackling urgent issues such as climate change, circular economy, global health, and education. 2022 Impact report front cover

We are pleased to share our 2022 impact report. In a year in which we donated 180 hours to CSR activities, spent 325 hours in training, and recycled 100% of our e-waste, we also celebrated making an impact through communications for our clients tackling urgent issues such as climate change, circular economy, global health, and education.

Click on the image above to download Gong Communications’ B Corp Impact Report 2022.

If you’d like to get in touch and find out more about our work, email us at

When is the right time to hire a PR agency?

In part two of our guidance on when is the best time to hire a PR agency, the second key question to ask is: Do you have enough time and resource to work with a PR agency?

Very often companies hire a PR agency too early before they are fully able to dedicate enough attention to ensuring that it will be a success. So, consider whether you are set up for an agency to succeed. As we explored in part one, success is dependent on good fundamentals. Is there a clear brief? Are we all in agreement on which audiences are the priorities and what we are going to focus on in terms of key messages? Do we know what good looks like?

This sounds flippant, but it gets to a much more important truth about experience. Is there someone on your team who has worked on or in PR before? It’s completely possible to know nothing of the workings of PR and be a great client, you just need to choose the right agency that is experienced at guiding you through the process.

The other major consideration is who is going to be the PR firm’s main point of contact? This may not necessarily be the same as the person who is accountable for PR in your organisation. Setting the strategy and the budgets and judging the results isn’t the same as getting hold of a spokesperson or approving a quote or a social media post on a daily basis.

Different agencies work in different ways, but they all need help to be effective. Let me share an example. An experienced PR client will know that media opportunities need to be acted on quickly. If your PR secures an opportunity for you to provide a comment for something that is in the news, or if there’s a journalist who wants to speak to you, you have to act quickly to secure the opportunity.

Journalists very often have a few conversations on the go because they know that busy executives aren’t always going to be available to meet their deadlines. Similarly, if the PR comes up with an idea they want to pitch to a journalist around specific moment in time or news item, you have to be responsive enough so that they can land it in time. Responsiveness is a biggie. Otherwise you will be wasting your money paying for your PR team to develop opportunities that are going to waste. It’s not only morale that suffers in that scenario: Journalists like people who get back to them as they are usually working to deadlines. If you are a bottleneck, relationships will suffer and you won’t get the best result.

Other ways in which inexperienced clients can unwittingly do more harm than good is in scope creep. Like so many other service businesses, time is money. In order to be a well-run business, PR agencies need to keep an eye on over-servicing clients. If the fee you’ve agreed covers an amount of time or is set against delivery of a particular activity, introducing new tasks and asking for lots of extra calls and meetings uses up the time and takes the focus away from delivery of the agreed deliverables (sometimes referred to as KPIs). And we’re back to creating conditions to enable success again.

One final watch out is whether you have anyone who is happy to step up and actually be the public face of the organisation (if it’s that kind of PR, product campaigns rely less on people than PR that’s designed to work at company level). But again, this can really be a major factor in whether the agency is enabled to succeed. Spokespeople should be media trained. There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ it’s just that experience makes it look easy.

Too many communications consultants may be familiar with a scenario in which you have a request from the BBC for someone to appear on the Today programme, (the flagship business focused morning radio show), the one o’clock news and the six o’clock news. But none of your potential spokespeople are willing to move their day around to do it. So, after many, many calls and conversations and attempts to coerce and cajole the various spokespeople, a day is lost, as is the opportunity that had probably taken months to foster.

The real point here is that someone on the client side needs the authority to make it happen. PR can very often be seen as a discretionary activity by people inside an organisation who are the subject matter experts the media wants to interview. Setting clear expectations on both sides at the outset can be helpful if this situation arises.

Other areas that need addressing are often somewhat creative and therefore often subjective. Writing for a media audience is a case in point. There is an art and science to writing a good press release.  Endless rounds of reviewing and revisions of media materials by people inside client organisations can become problematic and time consuming. We have a saying which is ‘be careful who you ask’ because most people have a point of view and will fiddle around with a document given half a chance. This can end up with a Frankenstein’s monster of a press release over-long, overtly salesy and stuffed with bland quotes from everyone and their dog. This segues into a great cliché – why get a dog and bark yourself? If you’ve gone to the trouble of hiring a PR agency, they should be more than capable of advising you on the contents of a press release.

And this is a good place to end. Trust is key. Don’t be surprised if your agency sets out a ‘ways of working’ manifesto that helps to frame reasonable expectations on both sides at the beginning of your relationship. In fact, be happy if they do, because it means they are determined to remove all barriers to doing a good job for you, even the ones you might not realise are there.

Gong wins again at 2023 Africa SABRE Awards

Gong Communications was delighted to win two Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 Africa SABRE Awards which highlight superior achievement in branding, reputation, and engagement.

The team was recognised for its work across Africa with clients the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) and Aon, the multinational financial services firm.

The international development communications team has been working with GLIDE as its PR partner since 2021, naming and launching its inaugural Falcon Awards for Disease Elimination (FADE). The team received recognition within the Central Africa category for its media relations support as well as developing and managing the content for GLIDE’s Webisodes Campaign, “Building Awareness to End Diseases of Poverty”.

As D&I communications experts, the Aon team was commended, alongside its African partners Phyllion & Partners Limited, within the Superior Achievement in Research and Planning category for their work on the industry staple, Dive In Nigeria. The 2022 event marked Gong’s third year in supporting the insurance giant’s event and is part of the global Dive In Festival – the largest diversity and inclusion employee engagement brand platform of its type, developed with Gong.  This year’s Dive In Festival will be held between 26th-28th September 2023 and will include branded events across the globe.

It’s the third consecutive year that the corporate communications team, which operates out of its London and Nairobi offices, has enjoyed success at the SABRE Awards. In 2022 the team won the Central Africa and Media Relations categories for its work with African private equity firm, Birimian Ventures. In 2021 the Aon team won again within the Research and Planning and Public Education categories, receiving a Certificate of Excellence in the Financial and Professional Services category.

Lloyd’s insurance market re-appoints Gong as communications partner for international diversity festival

Gong has been re-appointed to manage diversity and inclusion communications for the Lloyd’s insurance market. The appointment will mark Gong’s seventh year of working with Dive In, the first insurance market-wide diversity and inclusion festival, on behalf of the Inclusion@Lloyd’s steering group.

Dive In is a global movement in the insurance sector that supports the development of inclusive workplace cultures. Its mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case for diversity, equity and inclusion and promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms. Since the first festival in 2015, Dive In has grown exponentially, with events taking place across 40 countries world-wide, attracting more than 34,000 people.

Narda Shirley, founder of Gong said: “As an agency with a fair amount of D&I expertise, we are able to play an integral part in a very exciting and dynamic movement. With such a wide-ranging brief that covers theme ideation, video, stakeholder relations, media communications and social media, it really allows us to play to our key strengths. The Dive In Festival grows in popularity year on year, constantly breaking country and attendee records and we can’t wait to get stuck into supporting Dive In 2023!”

Described as a ‘brave and bold event’ by Marketing Week, the success of Dive In has been widely recognised by awards in the insurance sector, marketing and PR experts and employers’ networks. Dive In has won or been shortlisted for 12 awards, won seven, and been widely praised and acknowledged across the industry.

This year’s Dive In Festival will be held between 26th-28th September 2023 and will include branded events across the globe.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland reappoints Gong for media relations brief

Gong Communications, a Wilful Group company, has been re-appointed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) to provide UK and international communications support following a successful first year.

ICAS represents and regulates more than 23,000 members and 3,700 students across 200 countries. It accredits students with ‘CA’ (Chartered Accountant) designation in the UK and Europe.

Gong is working with ICAS to increase brand awareness by building on coverage already achieved in international business press such as the Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! News. As well as national titles such as The i, The Guardian and The Telegraph and Scottish dailies such as The National and The Herald.

As sustainability comms specialists, part of the team’s remit for ICAS is focused on delivering communications around mandatory sustainability reporting standards within the UK, as featured in Bloomberg and Business Leader.

Getting your sustainability story right

Gone are the days when it was enough to report on the financial health of a company once a year. Sustainability reporting is now not just an optional extra; it is increasingly becoming a legal requirement.

In April 2022, the UK became the first G20 country to make reporting aligned to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) mandatory. TCFD reports are designed to help companies reassure investors of their commitment to tackling climate change, specifically their plan to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s target of limiting global temperature rise to under 2C.

Hot on the heels of the TCFD is the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Very much aligned to the TCFD, it is designed to help organisations report and act on evolving nature-related risks. The taskforce was only established in 2021 and is still collecting feedback from the market on how it should work. Its overarching aim is to shift capital away from nature-negative outcomes but, unlike the TCFD, it is voluntary.


When it comes to reporting on sustainability performance, the options can be overwhelming. While some companies report only on their greenhouse gas emissions, others produce reports on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and their environment, social and governance (ESG) ratings. Over the past decade, the choices have spiralled, and the legal requirements continue to stack up.

In November 2022, the European Union adopted the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), requiring companies to disclose their impact on people and the planet. And the US Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed new climate and ESG disclosure requirements.

Attempting to make sense of the recent explosion of both voluntary and mandatory rules is the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Founded in November 2021, its job is to come up with a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards and is expected to issue its first two finalised frameworks by June 2023.


Sustainability reporting has changed remarkably over the years. KPMG has tracked it since 1993, when only 12 per cent of companies globally published sustainability reports. By 2020, that figure had risen to 80 per cent and even higher (90 per cent) for the largest companies in the world. In the report’s introduction, KPMG’s Adrian King said: “Sustainability reporting is now so nearly universal that the small minority of companies not yet reporting will find themselves seriously out of step with global norms.”

For the past 13 years, PwC has reviewed sustainability reporting across the FTSE 350, public interest entities and inbound companies – 450 organisations in total. It found that just over half of them indicated that ESG matters were integral to strategy or underpinned their strategy and 48% included a KPI on carbon reduction.


  1. Where a good sustainability report sets itself apart from the rest is in transparency. That means two things: proof, and honesty. Acknowledge bad results and explain how improvements will be made. No organisation is going to be perfect from the get-go, but with a sustainability strategy in place, measurement procedures, and regular reporting on the results, the journey to a more sustainable future will be faster and smoother.
  2. Proof of impact should be non-negotiable for all sustainability reports. Policies and strategies show good intention, but good intention is not enough. Any policy implemented should have clear metrics against it and be measured regularly (quarterly or monthly) to understand progress. Measuring should not be just for the sake of reporting; it will also allow a company to identify where a policy is or isn’t working and address it quickly. Some areas of reporting might require more qualitative evidence of impact. Case studies are the most frequently used tool to qualitatively show impact and tell the story behind the numbers. Opening and closing notes, often penned by the CEO or the Chief Sustainability Officer, should also be used as an opportunity for storytelling.
  3. Don’t forget ‘social’: While much of the current regulation discussed in this article looks at climate and environmental reporting, this is only one part of the story. Social impact is frequently overlooked and underreported, with many organisations only including the bare minimum – diversity and workforce data – and most struggling to do even that. Social viewed through the lens of workforce issues is only half the picture. Reporting on impact on the local and wider community, or in your entire value chain, will give a far fuller view of your social impact.
  4. Clarity around Governance, ie how the organisation is managed, and how the board and management attend to the interests of employees, supplies, stakeholders, and customers, is also a key essential component to sustainability reporting.
  5. Underpinning a good sustainability report is the financial component. How has your sustainability strategy impacted the bottom line? And can you quantify your economic and environmental impact in monetary terms?
  6. Most sustainability reports are published in the spring and cover the work done over the previous year. It is not so much the date of publication which matters, but more that reports are brought out in a consistent fashion so that year-on-year comparisons of data and progress can be easily made.
  7. There is no set length for a sustainability report, but it is recommended that 30-40 pages is sufficient to cover the critical components in the right level of detail. Depending on your sector and business requirements, this might need to be longer.



While most companies now publish sustainability reports, they are rarely independently verified by a third party. This is beginning to change as new laws, such as reporting aligned to TCFD, come into force. Standardised rules and regulations, similar to those which apply to financial reporting, will give sustainability reporting the transparency and credibility it needs.

Please contact us on if you need support writing your sustainability report.

Landscape Institute


Gong worked with the Landscape Institute, the chartered body for the landscape profession, to highlight the role of landscape architects in building landscapes that combat climate change, support health and wellbeing, and promote the green recovery.

As a sustainability communications firm, Gong’s original remit was focused on increasing awareness of the Landscape Institute in media by telling the incredible stories of the winners of the Landscape Institute Awards.

After initial discovery work which included reviewing company stakeholders, analysis of the media landscape and conducting interviews with the various winners, we achieved coverage in target titles such as BALI, Horticulture Week, The Landscaper, and Architect’s Datafile.

Gong was re-engaged by the Landscape Institute to support the Landscape Institute Awards 2022, achieving coverage in trade and regional publications such as Specification and London Daily News.

Our sustainability comms specialists also helped the Landscape Institute to launch its Skills for Greener Places research at the body’s annual Jellicoe lecture. After reviewing and identifying key themes that would attract media interest around the report, Gong secured press release coverage in regional and trade titles such as London Daily News and Pro Landscaper, and follow up interviews with Landscape Institute stakeholders in Horticulture Week.