City Road Communications

2016: A Year of Turbulence and Triumph


2016 has been a lot of things, but it certainly hasn’t been dull. It has been a year of dramatic – and at times shocking – events that have unequivocally altered the political and economic landscape in Britain and beyond.

Farage et al emerged victorious in their campaign for Britain to leave the EU, Donald trumped Hilary in the race to become the next President of the United States, and Leicester City stunned everyone as they won the Premier League. Throw in a new Prime Minister and Cabinet to boot and the lay of the land is very different from when we awoke – head pounding – on 1 January 2016.

SMEs Take Centre Stage

With such momentous events will naturally come a period of transition; Brexit negotiations are due to kick off in March 2017 and this will give the UK far greater clarity over what its future will look like. March 2017 will also see the final Spring Budget, as Chancellor Philip Hammond unveils more of the new-look Government’s fiscal policies for the remainder of this parliament. And one thing appears very likely – emphasis will be placed on the nation’s high-growth SMEs as key drivers of economic productivity. It was a prominent message within the 2016 Autumn Statement and one that we hope will be reaffirmed throughout the coming months.

As an agency based in the heart of Tech City, we are surrounded by a huge number of talented start-ups and scale-ups. What’s more, we also work directly with a lot of them. As such, we have seen first-hand the ability these businesses have to disrupt the status quo and drive their respective industries forward.

Alternative Finance becomes Mainstream

Many of our clients operate in the alternative finance space – an increasingly important sector that is providing vital growth capital to SMEs across the UK. Whether it is private equity, crowdfunding or bridging loans, these alternatives to traditional loans are vital as high street banks become more reticent when it comes to lending money to small businesses, entrepreneurs or property investors.

We’ve enjoyed a fantastic year working with these alternative finance specialists; for example, one of our newer clients, bridging lender Market Financial Solutions, gained immediate and significant media exposure in November as its research into the credit troubles of high-net-worth Britain was picked up by the Daily Mail, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance and Daily Mirror. The crowdfunding specialist Crowdfinders, meanwhile, has enjoyed weekly press coverage, including a triumphant article in the Guardian about its new funding initiative Race to Scale, and an article in This Is Money just this week about its new study on business funding in Britain. Another client of ours – private equity firm IW Capital – has rarely been out of national and trade publications, with the company and its CEO Luke Davis featuring in the press more than 90 times in 2016 alone.


Start-ups Burst onto the Scene

Away from the superb results we’ve achieved for our clients in the alternative finance space, we’ve also been lucky to work with some fantastic tech start-ups this year, helping to launch new products to market and build brands in competitive sectors. Mobile game studio Project M is a good example – the east London business is the creator of Dig That Gold, a mobile game with a truly unique proposition: it rewards successful players with real gold bars for in-app achievements. The game rolled out in September this year, and we got the word out there in the Telegraph, Express, The Sun, Guardian, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Metro and City A.M. all in the space of just three months.

Recently-launched supermarket app Ubamarket is another brilliant new start-up that we’ve welcomed to our list of clients this year. This innovative new solution, which promises to change food shopping forever, has burst onto the scene with a tremendous amount of coverage. In fact, the app has featured on BBC Radio (three times!); it has been reviewed by several national publications including the Telegraph and Daily Mail; and it has been plastered all over trade titles with unerring regularity. It has been a superb example of what can happen when a game-changing idea is combined with a precisely executed PR strategy (if we say so ourselves).

Last but not least, we have Givey, an online charitable donations platform that we began working with in Q4 2016. Already, through carefully planned research reports and engaging infographics, we have secured coverage for this exciting business in The Times, Daily Express and several of the most prominent trades writing about third sector news.

A Year of Exceptional Results

Without wanting to toot our horn too much, 2016 has been a fantastic year for the team here at City Road Comms, with exceptional results seen across our growing family of clients. These results do not just come in the form of column inches, but also in timely and engaging research reports, as well as digital properties that help our clients build their brand and engage with their target audience. Amidst all the manic events of the past 12 months, we have ensured our clients have a constant voice in their respective industry, which includes having an on-point response to ground-breaking news as it breaks.

As we cast our eye forward to 2017, we are delighted to say that we have some exciting new clients that we can’t wait to start working with in January. And while the past year might be hard to top in terms of political and economic upheaval, we’re extremely confident that the year ahead will pose some great opportunities for our clients to grow their respective businesses; we’re looking forward to helping them – and hopefully many more – in this goal!

To find out how City Road Comms could help you launch to market, build trust, develop a brand or re-ignite conversations with existing contacts, please get in touch: 0207 502 8220, or

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!