This Month At Wonderland - April

From eggs to the undead, priests to platters, here are some of our favourite things from April:
Wonderland do Root (Emilie and others):

“To kick the long Easter weekend off in style, Alison and Rich took (almost) all the Wonderfam to Root (restaurant at Wapping Wharf) for lunch on the Thursday. We sat outside, dusted off our sunnies, drank rose and looked back on another month of busy madness at Wonderland. The food was AMAZING! Lots of different platters with all manner of lushness, and something for everyone too – we have a mix of veggies, vegans and meat eaters and were all beautifully catered for. Highly recommended.”

Wonderland vibezzzz (Alison):

“The amazing energy and spirit that everyone brings into work every day.” Awww.

Fleabag (Jamie):

“Possibly the funniest, heart-warming, heart breaking & perfectly acted piece of television I’ve ever seen. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is AMAZING! And I’m in love with a Priest.”

Game of Thrones (Jemma, and pretty much everyone else except Ellie M):

“We’re still yearning for the super sassy dialogue and big-character twists from the earlier seasons and there are plot holes (and plot armour) bigger than an undead giant – but nevertheless we’re LOVING it. Brienne getting knighted, Tormund’s giant-suckling story, Arya’s silent creeping… can’t say too much more because SPOILERS.”

Sugarloaf Mountain (Ellie):

“My favourite moment of the month was when I made the most of the beaaaaautiful sunsheyine on Easter Weekend and went for a walk around the absolutely stunning Sugarloaf Mountain in Abergavenny, where my partner’s family lives. The huffin’ n’ puffin’ was all worth it in the end, when we were greeted by a giant platter of cheese, bread and wine at the Sugarloaf Vineyards. That makes me sound well posh…  I did lie outside the Vineyard in a star shape pouring a bottle of water on my head upon arrival, if that helps?  #keepinitclassy “

 


This photo of Llansantffraed Court is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This tweet (James):

Our awesome chocolate eggs (everyone):

Alison and Rich gave the Wonderfam the prettiest / coolest/ most tasty choccy eggs  EVAR for Easter. Check this beauty out.


*SOUND THE "WE'RE HIRING" KLAXON*

LIKE THE WAY WE WERK IT? THEN JOIN US!

We’re looking for a new member to join the Wonderland family.

HELLO? IS IT YOU WE’RE LOOKING FOR?

 

If you’re an Associate Director with seven years’ (or more) experience in consumer comms, the answer may well be yes…

 

In the past few years we’ve tripled in size and got to work on some incredible projects in the process – like creating Heinz Ketchup Caviar, the whole “Salad Cream almost being renamed Sandwich Cream” thing, making ethical money talk for Good Money Week, and putting KeepCup in the middle of the single-use debate. DAYUM, WE BUSY GUUURL.

 

And now we need a new kick-ass Wonderlander to join us as we continue to grow. Specifically, someone who’s at Associate Director level already who can boss accounts, lead and collaborate with our brilliant team, instinctively knows what’s right – media, creative, strategy and results-wise – and who delivers the goods (and then some).

 

Most of your job will involve co-creating and/or leading some big, exciting campaigns for household names, and getting stuck in to the delivery too.

 

Super-smart, quick-witted, positive and problem solving, you’ll get clients loving and believing in the work you create as much as you do. If you’re a creative powerhouse who can hit that sweet spot of a brilliant but workable idea that delivers on the brief – massive bonus.

 

You’ll need a lot of experience (because that’s the best way of learning) – seven years or more in consumer comms, and at least five of those agency-side. You can be based in Bristol or London (with a bit of travel to both).

 

ABOUT WONDERLAND

 

We call ourselves a creative consumer comms agency and we pride ourselves on doing brilliant, varied work for brands and people we believe in. And we bloody love it.

 

But the work itself is only half the story – us being the right fit for you, and vice versa, is just as (if not more) important.

 

Excuse us while we toot our own trumpet but we think it’s a pretty special place to work. We’ve taken a lot of time and care over who joins the Wonderfam, and it’s paid off, big time. We have a brilliant band of ballsy, beautiful (and funny AF) people who genuinely care about each other. We also took all the stuff we didn’t like about our previous agency lives and threw it in the sea. This means:

 

  • We put people over profit
  • Creativity and curiosity rule
  • We’re client partners, not subservient yes-people
  • We operate democratically with no hierarchy and all share the same desks in the same office
  • No bullshit – wear what you want, say what you want, be who you want. Our differences are not only accepted but celebrated. The only thing we ask is that you’re honest and respectful (and go easy on the wanky business jargon)
  • Flexible working, tailored training, sweet offices, ridonkulous parties and yes, we also pay you money in return for your time, energy and passion
  • We have fun – because let’s face it, if you’re not having fun what’s the bleedin point?
INTERESTED?

 

Sounds like one for you (or someone you know, in which case please pass it on to them)?

  • Then drop our MD Rich a line with your details, telling us:
  • Who your ideal and nightmare clients would be
  • The funniest day of your working life
  • A recent comms/ PR campaign you wish you’d worked on (and why)
  • What Salad Cream should really be called

Any questions? Rich@wonderlandcomms.com is your man.


Say hello to the newest member of the Wonderland family - Ellie Kitcatt!

Awesome news alert: We’re doubling the Ellie fun with the addition of the lovely Ellie Kitcatt to the Wonderland fam. From cow’s bums to curries, here’s 10 things you probably didn’t know about Ellie, so you can get to know her a little better. Enjoy.

  1. My surname is genuinely, 100% Kitcatt. Spelt differently to the chocolate bar so unfortunately I am not the heiress to the Nestle fortune
  2. My biggest weakness is Haribo, closely followed by Pringles.
  3. I originally studied to become a Costume Designer before changing my degree to Arts Management.
  4. I have a slightly morbid fascination with True Crime podcasts – any recommendations welcome!
  5. One of my first ever ‘is this my real life’ PR moments was being cast as the backend of a Pantomime cow, for a video that was meant to go ‘viral’. Needless to say it didn’t.
  6. I am exactly 6ft tall and yes the weather is lovely up here.
  7. I’ve never picked up the accent but I am in fact Bristol born and bred.
  8. I love a pub quiz, but am absolutely terrible at them. So if I suggest one don’t pick me for your team.
  9. I am a qualified scuba diver up to 18 metres.
  10. If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life it would be any form of curry!


Say hello to our new Wonderlander… Katie Young!

We are very excited that the football-loving and MOST-FABULOUS-hair-owning (would you just look at it?!) Katie Young has just joined the Wonderland crew as a Communications Consultant. With nearly four years under her belt working in the wonderful world of consumer PR, Katie will be working with us to deliver amazing work and coverage for our clients.  Here’s 10 things you should know about her – straight outta the horse’s mouth…

  1. I play football for Banana F.C. We started as a group of friends playing football a year ago and now it’s an obsession for all of us. Follow us on Instagram @banana.f.c it’s worth it for some lols photos of me

  2. My brain has an amazing ability to retain song lyrics, especially raps. I’ll usually perform them after a glass of wine (I’m particularly good at the Kanye verse in American Boy)

  3. I love food but I am a terrible cook, never accept an invite to my house for dinner

  4. I’m a born and bred Bristolian and it’s still my favourite city in the world. Closely followed by Copenhagen

  5. Ask me any question about the Real Housewives franchise (Bravo) and I can guarantee you I’ll be able to answer it

  6. I’m very short (5ft 1 ish) but my hair makes up for most of that…

  7. I loved leopard print before it was cool. Most of my outfits channel Pat Butcher

  8. If I wasn’t working in PR I would have liked to have worked in the music industry

  9. I spend 80% of my free time laughing at memes

  10. I really dislike silence, it makes me uncomfortable and I work better with background noise


SvK in da house! Say hello to our new Wonderlander

NEW ARRIVAL ALERT! We’re really rather excited to welcome Sarah van Kempen (or SvK as we already LOVE to call her) to the Wonderland family.

 

SvK (sorry, not sorry) has recently joined Wonderland as a Senior Consultant, helping us to work on some stonking client projects.

 

With almost a decade of comms and PR experience under her belt, Sarah’s career has spanned everything from fashion and homewares to all things FMCG, both locally and globally, bringing with her a wealth of experience from across the world…along with some mega LOLs.

 

But we wanted to know more. So, with a limit of just TEN things, here she goes…:

 

1. I’ve travelled to as many countries as years I’ve lived and now keep this up by visiting a new country every year…obviously (I’m also clearly a whizz at maths)

 

2. I have a qualification in interior design – but largely so I can claim ‘expert rights’ for any interior decisions at home

 

3. I (used to be able to…) play the saxophone and piano – and keep my sax in the attic in the hope I’ll crack it out for a jam sesh one day… (it’s been nearly two decades)

 

4. I am a triathlete (did one once, it 100% counts) and a former sprinter (heavy emphasis on former)

 

5. I lived in Australia for years (but am not actually Australian – contrary to what many believe apparently) and whilst there, my most Aussie experience was being hospitalised by a spider bite

 

6. I am allergic to kiwis…the fruit, not the people – love the people!

 

7. I love all animals BUT I have a mild fear of cats – only house cats though, with big cats you know what you’re getting, basically I value honesty and let’s face it – cats would kill you if they juuuust had the size…the ‘cuteness’ is all lies

 

8. I am half Dutch (hence the ‘van’ – no, there’s no hyphen and yes, it’s a little v) sadly I don’t speak it but I do take advantage of the double Christmas! (Thanks St. Nick)

 

9. My guilty pleasure is reading crime thriller novels (Harlan Coben is my absolute favourite) and I always thought I’d write one, one day – watch this space…

 

10. I have always been a woman of my word – heck I decided I wanted to work in PR before I even hit my teens!

 

If you fancy saying hello, drop Sarah a line on sarah@wonderlandcomms.com 


Bristol Food Connections – Jamie’s best bits

This week marks the start of Bristol Food Connections Festival (11-17 June), a week-long extravaganza celebrating some of the most fantastic – and delicious – food and drink businesses and projects from across the city.

 

This year the festival has taken on a new approach, moving from a traditional city-centre tents and marquees type vibe, to one that fully explores the whole of Bristol, bringing together cultures and communities through a series of events, created by the people of Bristol, for the people of Bristol.

 

We are over the moon to have played a part in the festival, helping to support the absolutely lovely (and they are seriously lovely) Food Connections team with messaging, communications strategy and promotion of the festival across national and local press over the last few months.

 

Now with the festival upon us, we asked our Jamie to pick out some of his favourite events, including some the Wonderfamily will be heading along to. You’re going to come as well, yeh?

  • Community Iftar – This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the end of Ramadan, learn about different cultures and enjoy a gorgeous feast as well – what more could you want!?
  • Apple Pressing with the Cider Box – we’re totally going to see who can crush the most apples in the team and not just for the cider …
  • Food United: Carib-Asian Cookery Demo – I love a bit of spice and Caribbean food which makes this event a win-win!
  • FUTURE:FEAST – An opportunity to find out what food will be like 100 years from now. Think Star Trek meets Come Dine with Me, or Heston Blumenthal on acid…we’re there.
  • Recording of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme Debate – I love a good debate and this one looks set to be a cracker, discussing the future of our relationships with the restaurant. Plus, it’s with Grace Dent who is just the best.

 

To find out more about the festival, and to purchase tickets to particular events, visit www.bristolfoodconnections.com


10 things you didn't know about new team member Jo

Jo Hunt, apparent Spanish Pirate descendant (or not) and qualified whiskey aficionado, has recently joined the Wonderland family to help us deliver kick-ass work on client projects. We are yet to see ‘The Screeching Banshee from Essex’ in action but we’re on the case and will report back, don’t worry.

 

To help us all get to know Jo that little bit better, we asked her to tell us the traditional ’10 things we probably didn’t know about you’. Fire away Jo…

 

1. When I was two my house was struck by lightning and we had to move.

 

2. I was obsessed with West Ham United growing up – I had a season ticket, went to all the away games too, and my heartthrob was Julian Dicks – I had posters of him everywhere. Next to the ones of Tony Mortimer from East 17, obvs.

 

3. I took a break from PR for a bit in my twenties and worked as a teacher for 6 years, teaching English as a foreign language. My proudest moment was teaching a class of 6 year old South Koreans pretty much the entire script to the Lion King, and cried when they performed it to their parents, absolutely perfectly. They even sang ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight.’ Sob.

 

4. I have an official qualification in ‘whiskey’. Hic. I love talking about and learning about drinks in general and brewing and distilling and all of the history behind it.

 

5. Obligatory favourite PR moment story: I once did a favour for the Foo Fighters’ manager, (he asked me to send a fax to his accountant for him – and I did – really well – it was just pure rock and roll) but he in return let me on stage with the band while they performed. It was nuts! Though I must add this event was on a par excitement wise with when Handy Andy rang me asking where the car park was.

 

6. The only thing I can remember about university is singing in a rock band and being dubbed ‘The Screeching Banshee from Essex’ in my first ever review. I was mortally offended – I’m from East London and proud of it!

 

7. I am the world’s worst baker. My white chocolate cheesecake is pure torture. It wouldn’t be out of place in a Homeland episode with Carrie freaking out about the unnatural amount of butter involved.

 

8. Depending on the number of shandies I’ve had, I tend to think I’m: a) Adele, b) Early nineties Madonna or c) Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (RIP). Do not let me near the karaoke, ever.

 

9. My favourite TV Show is Who Do You Think You Are. I got mildly obsessed with genealogy when my Nan told me I was descended from a Spanish Pirate. On investigation it turned out she got ‘Spanish Pirate’ mixed up with ‘General Man from Ipswich’ but what the hey, I do love a family tree.

 

10. Despite having lived and worked in South Korea, Spain, Italy, Up North, and now the glorious South West…..I still sound like Peggy Mitchell at kicking out time. And my favourite food is Pie and Mash.

 

If you fancy a chat with Jo, drop her a line on jo@wonderlandcomms.com 


Two years in: five things we’ve learned about starting our own business

It’s been just over two years since that momentous day when Alison walked into an accountant’s office and Wonderland Communications was kicked off with a BANG and a KERPOW (and more than a few forms to Companies House).

 

We’re a little bit sentimental here at Wonderland so we’ve been reflecting on the past 24 months and thought it might be a nice to share the “top 5 things we’ve learnt in the last two years” in the form of a blog (catchy title huh?! The list ran closer to 1,000 but you’ll be pleased to know we’ll save the other 995 for another day).

 

So here it goes…‘the top 5 things we’ve learnt in the last two years’

 

#1 Have a purpose (one that you actually give a shit about)

Okay. So the day that Alison stepped into the accountant’s office (Jan 7th to be precise) is our ‘official’ birthday, but our spiritual birthday was the day we sat in the pub and sketched out our business plan (bottle of wine in hand) and worked out what we wanted our business to be.

 

With our clients, we preach evangelically about having clear, genuine and a compelling vision, mission and values.  We treated Wonderland no differently.

 

Having a clear purpose and a strong set of values has enabled us to make good decisions every single day.  It also gives the team, our clients and the rest of the world an idea of what we’re all about and most importantly it ensures we jump out of bed every morning with a purposeful spring in our step.

 

#2 Be brave

We’ve made some pretty brave decisions in the past two years.  It’s fair to say we’ve all had to pull on the BIG BOY pants and make some tough calls.

 

Setting up Wonderland in the first place was Alison’s first brave call.  Stepping out of the comfort of a salaried job and all its trappings and having the courage of her conviction to take that leap.

 

Scary stuff.  But being brave doesn’t mean being rash.  The plans were in place, the thinking had been done, but the big boy pants were definitely deployed on the 7th January.

 

Every client proposal, every decision we make, we encourage each other to be brave.  Brave in our thinking, brave in our ideas.  Being brave and making sound financial decisions for the business go hand in hand.  Every recruitment decision has been taken with a healthy dose of bravery, backing ourselves to make the investment work out.  We’ve also taken brave calls when it comes to turning work down if it doesn’t feel like the right fit for us – see #1 about our values.

 

#3 Get professional help

Regardless of how awesome you are at your job, calling on the skillz of others from time to time can be of huge value. It certainly has been for us. Especially when it has come to the big grown up stuff, like business planning and when you can afford to bring more people on board.

 

We’d highly recommend bringing someone on board to run a few sessions with you a year. Someone who can push you, challenge you and generally make you feel uncomfortable. Because being uncomfortable probably means you’re doing something brilliant. And scary. But mostly brilliant.

 

In the last two years, we’ve worked with the amazing Mette Davis to scare us silly. She’s really good at it. You see, without outside counsel, there’s a danger that you very rarely disagree with yourself. For us, having Mette to provide a fresh perspective and added impetus to our planning has been awesome and really helped us push ourselves to continue to be ambitious.

#4 Sleep on the big decisions

We all wear our hearts on our sleeves at Wonderland and being impulsive often goes hand in hand with that. We’re huge believers in trusting gut instinct, but a good eight hours sleep and allowing your brain to process everything often brings clarity and a different perspective. Sleeping on it can also can stop you being a total dick when you are feeling a little pissed about something.

 

Talking of dicks…

 

#5 Don’t be dicks

This could also be called ‘treat everyone with respect and approach every day with passion and belief in what we do and who we do it for’, but it didn’t sound so snappy.

 

But also, we quite love ‘don’t be dicks’. It says everything it needs to. We like each other a lot, we like our clients, just as much as we love the work, we love eating chips together and singing Tina Turner songs. And the reason why it works so well is that we are likeminded people, with shared values, who are all pretty good at what we do and we treat everyone we meet with love and respect. It’s really that simple.

 

So that’s my 5 things. As you can probably tell, I’ve LOVED every single second of every single day. We’re growing and flourishing. And long may it continue.

 

And it’s not just about what we’ve learned, either, but what we’ve experienced. I asked the other Wonderlanders for their highlights from the past 24 months:

 

Alison

“Aaarrrggghhhh this is REALLY HARD. TOO HARD. Too many people, projects, decisions, moments to mention. I’m at massive risk of offending someone by pinning this on any one moment. So I’m gonna say ‘all of it’. Which is a total cop out. Soz.”

 

Ellie

“My highlight is heading to Downing Street with Claire Throssell, to hand in a petition to demand that children’s safety is put at the heart of decisions made in family courts. Being on hand to manage media, interviews, outside broadcast crews and photographers was an emotional and unforgettable experience. I was astounded by Claire’s strength of character, determination, and drive for change, especially when discussing her own story and loss.”

 

James

“Seeing and being part of Wonderland growing from strength to strength. Having joined the team in the very early days it’s been amazing to see the business grow, the new team members join and new clients come on board for the ride. We’re proud to do things in the Wonderland way, and it’s great to see people respond in such a positive way to that approach”

 

Jamie

“So in my little 6 weeks, for me, my highlight has been joining more than just a workforce, but a family. It’s completely different from anywhere I’ve worked before and that has been fantastic.”

 

Jemma

“All of our clients are gems but something that stands out for me is volunteering at We The Curious as part of our client immersion. It was a great experience and gave us the chance to get under the skin of the organisation, which ultimately makes our job so much easier (and yes, I may have had a go on the laser maze challenge as well). It was also pretty cool being able to impress my We The Curious-mad kids (finally) by telling them who our new client was.”


Say hello to our sixth Wonderlander – Jamie White!

We are over the moon to announce that Jamie White has joined the Wonderland Comms team as a Communications Consultant. He will be working with us to deliver amazing work and coverage for our wonderful clients, and with just a week under his belt he’s already doing a blinding job.
After completing his degree in Media Communications, Jamie started his career working as a PR intern for the National Trust at its head office, before moving on to work for one of the UK’s fabulous renewable energy suppliers.
Having worked in-house across the travel, lifestyle and environment sectors over the last five years, he can’t wait to bring his media relations skills to his first agency role and help oversee the day-to-day management of some of our fabulous clients.
Jamie said: “I’m really excited to be joining the Wonderland family. I never thought I could find or work for a company with such an awesome purpose and with a mind-set exactly like mine. I can’t wait to get more people talking about Wonderland and also work with some fantastic brands along the way.”
Just so that we can all get to know Jamie that bit better, we asked him to tell us 10 things you probably didn’t know about him. Blow our minds, Jim Jam…
1. I’m an avid reader and have my own (small) library at home – super cool. I love crime fiction, have read all the Harry Potter books about 10 times (don’t judge me) and have a target of reading 50 books in 2018. I’m on number three already if you’re wondering.
2. I have a huge phobia of clowns and spiders … and also Michael Jackson from the ages of 5-15 as I really thought he was the zombie in Thriller.
3. I have zero spatial awareness which often means I trip over, walk into things and spill cups of tea.
4. I’m a quarter German. My Nan was German and my Dad was born just after WW2 in Berlin. I’m currently obsessed with finding out my family history and have so far gone back to 1670.
5. I once applied to be on Catchphrase but didn’t get through. Big sob. I’m amazing at catchphrases though so I challenge anyone to beat me.
6. I always wanted to be on the stage as a kid and was once the male soloist in my primary school choir. Still not giving up on my dreams.
7. I have photographic memory which means I can usually recount random facts, pieces of information and names out of nowhere. General crap really.
8. I was once a member of supposedly ‘the most exclusive club in the world’, The Malmesbury Commoners. To get in I had to be related to a descendant who fought for King Athelstan in 937 AD. The best part was being hit on the back with a stick in order to be initiated. I promise I’m not weird.
9. I hate slimy foods like cooked mushrooms. They’re like slugs. Why would you like them, people?!
10. I know all of the moves to the parody video for Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. I’m even on YouTube somewhere if you search hard enough.
If you fancy a chat with Jamie or can’t find the parody video he stars in, drop him a line on Jamie@wonderlandcomms.com 


10 things you probably didn't know about James

Our wonderful Senior Comms Consultant James has been with Wonderland since day one and we have LOVED having him on this journey with us. James always gives 110% in his work, but this time he has given 130% by providing 13 things you didn’t know about him for our “10 things you didn’t know about…” series. (Clue’s in the title, James).  Quote:”There are 13 things in there because I’m so interesting”: James Rich, November 2017. From hob-nobbing (kinda) with Dame Shirley Bassey, to a year living in Barcelona, it’s safe to say Mr Rich is a pretty interesting fella.  We however cannot yet vouch for James’ claims about making a mean roast dinner (see point 7), and demand to be made one so we can confirm.

If there’s one thing everybody knows about me, it’s that I hate talking about me, myself and I*. So here goes…

1. I have been in PR for 10 years this year. Yes, I know I don’t look a day over 22. It’s the genes.
2. My most PR moment ever was while publicising the launch of the Great House on Necker Island after the fire in 2011. I was woken up at 1am and the voice on the end of the line muttered the words that strikes pure fear into any budding PR: “James, I have Anna Wintour’s office on the line.” The HORROR!
3. My second most PR moment of all time was while hosting an event at the Savoy and literally bumping into the legend that is Dame Shirley Bassey in the corridor. I stood frozen while she glided past with her entourage. Pure magic.
4. A true born and bred Somerset boy, I come from an illustrious cider family dynasty. My family have a cider farm at home and make the best cider on the planet (true fact).
5. I studied performing arts at college and trained in ballet four days a week. A proper twinkle toes.
6. Tom Hardy is my best friend. By best friend, I talked to him on the phone once and we now share an undeniable love bond. Hiya Tommy!
7. I cook a mean roast dinner. My Yorkshire puddings are a sight to behold, even if I say so myself.
8. I trained as a radio broadcaster last year [insert joke about having a face for radio here].
9. I moved to Barcelona in Spain in my early twenties. I packed a suitcase. Booked three nights in a hotel. And stayed for a year. Best year EVER!
10. The Lion King is my favourite film of all time. Cinematic perfection.
11. I speak six languages.**
12. I have a phobia of sponges. It’s the texture. Especially when I think about biting into one! I JUST CAN’T WITH THAT!
13. When I was a wee boy I dreamed of becoming the next David Attenborough and wanted to be a marine biologist. So, I naturally got into PR instead.
*Not actually quite true. My Countdown specialist subject would be ME, ME, ME!
**Also, not actually quite true: I cannot speak six languages but it’s something people say to sound interesting and worldly, right?!