Agency profile: Keep Left

Agency profile: Keep Left

What services does the agency offer?
Keep Left is a true hybrid agency with an in-house team of experts to support our clients from strategy and creative through to content and PR. We’ve been proudly independent for 20 years, evolving our services and capabilities in partnership with our clients, from our PR heritage in media relations and social / influencer campaigns, through to now delivering brand and audience research, content marketing campaigns, digital advertising and even TVCs.

What size is the agency? Where does your agency have an office?
On the back of strong retention in 2020 and some exciting new client wins in 2021, the agency is the biggest, strongest, and most diverse it’s ever been. We’re a team of 40, headquartered in South Melbourne with an expanding office in Sydney.

PR consultants are what you’re most likely to bump into at the coffee machine, but you could also find yourself chatting to a videographer, graphic designer, strategist, digital coordinator, insights manager, producer, copywriter, creative or one of the 15 office doggos. Our hiring mantra of late has been to bring in the best people, no matter the location, which has seen our Sydney team grow to six in 2021, and counting.

Do you have a particular area of focus?
The diversity of clients and industry expertise is a real strength of Keep Left, with specialist teams supporting clients in technology, finance, property, sustainability, NFP and retail sectors. Lots of our clients call Sydney, Melbourne or other parts of Australia home, but we also work with global clients based in Christchurch, Auckland, Singapore, Bangalore, Berlin and New York.

Who is the founder and why did they start the agency?
Caroline Catterall founded the agency 20 years ago, with a passion for client service and some simple principles that still run through the agency’s DNA today. Founded with a focus on B2B technology clients, one of which we still work with to this day, Caroline has always worked to keep the agency ahead of the curve. That’s included our diversification across PR clients, to launching our content and creative team six years ago. The agency is now split 50/50 between our PR heritage, and the strategy, digital, creative and content teams.

What is next for your agency? What is the five-year goal?
We’re just approaching the end of our 3-year plan, so it’s time to re-group and set our targets for the next period.  Our mission is to be the ultimate hybrid agency that’s strong in all the areas it operates (strategy, creative, digital, content, PR and production) as well as a great integrated choice for our clients.  We are currently finalising our new brand strategy and cementing our purpose, so it will be exciting to launch this in the coming months.

In a sentence, describe your ideal relationship with a journalist.
Trust, transparency, and mutual value.

Tell us about a campaign you are currently working on or are particularly proud of.
One that gave us the feels recently was the launch of a world-first partnership between HSBC and our client GreenCollar to sell the first ever “Reef Credits” that help to protect the future of the Great Barrier Reef by improving water quality. GreenCollar is this wonderful business that straddles the corporate investment and sustainability world-leading projects in partnership with brands, governments, and landholders to drive real measurable environmental impact.

We’ve been supporting GreenCollar as its marketing agency through the development of a robust new brand strategy, including audience research, messaging and website restructuring. And we’re delivering truly integrated campaigns, like reef credits, with a combination of creative, digital marketing, media relations and content.

Any key PR trends your agency is keeping an eye on?
Most of our clients are marketers, and in the digital space they are so used to having live performance data at their fingertips. We’re pretty obsessed with measurement too and specifically evaluating the quality and impact of the results we generate for our PR clients. So much so that we developed our own proprietary evaluation tool called the Impact Score.

It’s essentially a live digital dashboard that enables Keep Left clients to see in granular detail the impact their campaigns are having in line with their own unique KPIs and objectives. The Impact Score’s algorithm grades each piece of media coverage out of a possible score of 100, based on media channel and campaign specific success metrics.

Since we turned the Impact Score into a cloud-based, digital dashboard just over a year ago, we’ve had lots of businesses and agencies approach us about using the tool as a way to support a more data-driven approach to PR strategy, with greater accountability. We’re about to launch an accelerator programme for any businesses interested in licensing the tool, so if you’re keen, drop your details here

What skill sets do you look for in new hires?
We always hire people that align with our culture and values:
  • people that want to push the boundaries of their clients, the brief and their career;
  • people that thrive on high-performance and demonstrating value;
  • people that love to collaborate internally and with clients and stakeholders to deliver the best result; and
  • our biggest value of all: watching each others’ backs. It is about hiring people that look out for and support each other - putting the team before individuals.
We’re currently on the hunt for a gun PR Account Manager, with tech, finance, corporate/b2b experience, so hit us up at careers@keepleft.com.au if that’s you or someone you know.

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