Consumer, business-to-business and technology consultancy
Midnight Communications is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2005, looking back on a decade that must seem like quite a roller-coaster ride to founder Caraline Brown. One of the pioneers of the technology PR business in the U.K., Brown worked for business-to-business PR specialist Infopress for five years, and in-house at mobile phone trailblazer Cellnet before launching Midnight in 1995. The firm was the U.K.’s first Internet PR specialist, launching early ISP UK Online and introducing Internet-in-a-Box and other new products and services before being acquired by a marketing services company in 2001, just before the dot-com bubble burst. While the PR operation held its own, the ad agency imploded, and Brown found herself running the whole company for a while before leading a management buyout, closing her London office and returning to her PR roots in Brighton.
The new Midnight has a team of 25 working in four industry practices: technology and telecoms; business and professional services; lifestyle and events; and business intelligence, a service that offers field market research, focus groups, roundtables, and business and consumer surveys. In addition to media relations and marketing communications, the firm provides media training, speaker platforms, issues and crisis management counsel, event management, and trade show support to a client list that includes O2, the Notting Hill Carnival, Fujifilm, Siemens, Venture Finance, Carte Blanche, VNU, Reed, Computer Weekly, and Brighton Council.
The firm reported fee income of around £1.2 million in 2004, with new business coming from Reed Business Information (Computer Weekly, Travel Weekly and other titles); ecotricity, the largest independent green energy supplier in Europe; London Connects, promoting the capital’s official public community portal; and Carte blanche, a Times Top 100 Fast Track Growth Company in the greetings card business. Award-winning work in 2005 includes projects for Fujifilm, Qflicks, Venture Finance and the Notting Hill Carnival. And Midnight was named PR Consultancy of the Year (Home Counties & South).
The firm prides itself on high standards of client service—it scored 8.6 out of 10 for overall professionalism on a recent client satisfaction survey—and for its workplace culture, having recently ranked among the top 15 in Marketing magazine’s survey of the best marketing employers, and in the top 10 for training. Midnight is “small, quick and flexible,” says one client; “efficient, creative and personable,” says another.