Freshwater UK, the media and communications group headquartered in Cardiff, has promoted two of its senior managers in Wales to director level to lead its integrated teams and develop new business opportunities.
Aled Edwards, 37, and Heather Jones, 31, now head up Freshwater Wales alongside existing director, Carolyn Pugsley, 40. The new trio of directors will oversee day-to-day operations from Freshwater’s Cardiff Gate base, delivering communication services to existing clients, as well as exploring new business opportunities.
All three directors will continue to have a hands-on client approach, leading the team in Cardiff who deliver a range of services, including public relations, marketing and social media consultancy, digital marketing, stakeholder engagement, public affairs, media training, graphic design, web development, video production, conference production and event management.
Freshwater saw organic revenue growth of 7% in the financial year to 31 August 2014, its best trading performance since the onset of the recession, and has increased its staffing to handle new business, taking its teams in its two main offices of Cardiff and London to 31 and 19 respectively.
Group managing director, Angharad Neagle, said: “With our diverse client-base continuing to grow across the UK, it’s an exciting period for Freshwater. It’s important that we have the skills and experience of people like Aled, Heather and Carolyn in place as our team in Wales continues to find impactful and creative ways to tell our clients’ stories.”
With more than 10 years’ experience, Mrs Jones’s wide-ranging communication skills focus particularly on multi-channel campaigns and the growing influence of digital communications on PR and marketing strategies. This has seen her work across creative campaigns for global brands such as EA Games, Paramount and Universal and for a number of award-winning and influential organisations, including Comic Relief.
Mrs Jones, who holds a degree in Public Relations from Bournemouth University, now provides strategic communication advice to Freshwater clients such as Thompsons Solicitors, Welsh Government, BT and the University of South Wales.
Mr Edwards, a graduate of business and marketing from Cardiff Metropolitan University, has 13 years’ experience in marketing. He developed his career at several leading creative agencies, including Merlin Marketing & PR, where he was an account director at the time of Freshwater’s acquisition of the business in 2008.
Working for Freshwater, Mr Edwards has directed the exhibition launch of the South Hook LNG terminal for Qatar Gas, which was attended by Her Majesty the Queen, and was appointed project director for the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards for three consecutive years. His current clients include BT, Unite the Union, the University of South Wales and City & Guilds.
Mrs Jones said: “Our marketing intelligence and strategic services continue to thrive and we’ve got some fantastic clients, so it’s a hugely rewarding chapter in my career. I’m keen to further develop our digital services and continue to help drive the business forward.”
Mr Edwards added: “Freshwater is already a well-established agency in Wales and I’m delighted to be working alongside my fellow directors as we help develop the business further; whether that’s by winning new business, or encouraging existing clients to use a broader range of our communications services.”
Headquartered in Cardiff, Freshwater has 55 staff, eighty per cent of whom are in client-facing divisions. The business held its position as the top ranked Wales-based agency in PR Week’s Top 150 agencies, released this July 2014.
The group’s diverse client base covers a range of sectors, including professional and business services, healthcare, union, consumer, transport, education, leisure and hospitality, industry, housing and property and government.