Keystone Posts by Hayley Williams

Hasn’t it been a strange week. One that none of us is likely to forget. And I know everyone is braced for more disruption too.

If you need us, we’re here for you.

Yes, like lots of other businesses, we too are all now working remotely as we continue to deliver for our clients. But we are as available as we’ve always been. And as a long-standing marketing consultancy, we’ve got this teamwork and communication thing well pinned down.

Communication and visibility, at a time like this, is so very essential for all businesses, and we’re on hand to offer any advice to you if needed, just get in touch. You may not sure how to communicate with your audiences right now. You may be at a loss to understand how you can continue to market in these circumstances. But in business, there are always challenges to overcome – and we can look to do that here too.

We can’t wait to be back out and about again – but until then each of us in the team sends our very best wishes to all our clients, partners, suppliers and the wider business community.

We’re ready to book a chat or jump into our virtual meeting room whenever you need us too. The chances are you’ll see Suzanne’s cat (Lola) jump on her shoulder like a parrot, which is a reason for a meeting all on its own!

Keystone’s Hayley Williams reflects on the love of a town, and highlights why a commitment to a place is a community engagement opportunity to be harnessed…

When I meet people for the first time, especially in and around St Neots where the Keystone office is based, I will near enough always say that I love to live and work in the town. That’s because I really do.

St Neots has been my home for nearly 17 years. A town that I arrived at as a (much more fresh-faced) young adult to buy my first house with my soon to be husband. A town that has now seen us call a number of houses home. A town that has helped us meet treasured friends and the town that is now home to my children too. And I’m not only a resident, but I’m also an active member of many community groups; as well as a local employer. The core Keystone team all live in the town and many of our clients and suppliers are based in and around St Neots too.

But this isn’t a story about me. And my story isn’t necessarily any different from anyone else’s. Lots of people are in the privileged position to love where they live – and to have deep-rooted connections to that place they call home. And aren’t we lucky! But this reminder of good fortune also got me thinking.

Can a love of the place in which we live mean we are the perfect people to engage further with that place if we are given the opportunity or are asked to?

I’d like to think so. But is the opportunity being fully explored or harnessed by those that see community engagement being central to their work? I’m not sure…

In Keystone’s world, we are hearing more and more about Place Marketing – defined by the Local Government Association as “telling the story of your place in a way that works for everyone”. But isn’t telling a story only communicating one way? What about living and breathing the story together? For us, that’s community engagement.

It’s hugely important that organisations and statutory bodies:

  • remember and appreciate the valuable perspective their residents can offer
  • know how to connect with individuals and groups in a local area
  • be proactive in their outreach activity across their communities and stakeholders

That’s why Keystone has developed a bespoke community engagement tool. So local Councils and not for profits with community focussed purpose can benchmark their current community engagement position – and put plans in place to improve or enhance where needed. We’ve used our direct experience of building messaging and activity to deepen community and stakeholder engagement to develop this key assessment tool. Curious? Drop us a line as we’d be happy to share the tool with you!

And I’d also recommend a trip to St Neots if you haven’t visited before. Yes, I may be biased, but I like to think the town has quite a lot to be proud of. And we’d always put the kettle on at Keystone HQ. Here’s to my next 17 years here.

* ST NEOTS PHOTO COURTESY OF KEYSTONE’S KATHERINE

We’re delighted to announce that our Founder and Managing Director, Hayley Williams, has been co-opted to the Board of Trustees for the Hunts Forum of Voluntary Organisations (known as Hunts Forum).

Hunts Forum has been established since 1994; set up to encourage, support and develop voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across Huntingdonshire.

With messaging, content and campaigns being at the heart of what Keystone does, Hayley is committed to bringing this approach into Hunts Forum for the benefit of the organisation, its members and the wider sector. The organisation will also benefit from Hayley’s direct experience in supporting membership body clients and in running community engagement projects at Keystone.

Speaking of her new role, Hayley said: “I’m hugely proud to be part of the Hunts Forum Board; applying my wider experience of marketing strategy and community engagement. I was struck immediately by the passion and commitment shown by the whole team in their efforts to represent the voluntary, not for profit and charity sector across Huntingdonshire – and I look forward to helping the organisation build on its already impressive outreach activity and representation for this core group.”

Hunts Forum of Voluntary Organisations is an independent, non-profit making registered charity based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The organisation is led by a number of Trustees, who are outlined on the Hunts Forum website. Expressions of interest are always welcomed from others who may have the skills and expertise needed on the Trustee Board.

CAPTION: Hayley (second from left) and Hunts Forum members at a Keystone facilitated Members Marketing Workshop in 2019.

They say that home is where the heart is, and we certainly love our new Keystone office!

Our new home, still in the centre of St Neots, is a light and bright creative space for our team to deliver great things. And our new dedicated meeting room is the perfect space for our increasing brainstorming sessions and workshops for Keystone clients.

You won’t be surprised to know that we’re very excited about our move – just one of many exciting developments for us as a business and a team – following on from our rebrand just last month.

We can’t wait to welcome guests to the new Keystone HQ – just a splash of colour, and a few more things on the wall – and it’ll be perfect.

In fact, we will be spreading some official festive cheer for our Keystone friends with coffee and mince pies on Monday 9th December between 10.30am and 12pm. Want to pop in? Just drop us a line so we reserve a festive treat with your name on it.

At the time of writing, the Keystone that we know and love is now just over six years old. From that first day until today, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a multitude of businesses to help them in their time of marketing need. In that time, we’ve also developed a real sense of where we add most value too.

We had known for some time that our brand and messaging no longer accurately reflected who we are and what we do. We also knew, like the cobbler’s shoes, we’d been so focused on delivering the marketing needs of others, that our own brand investment hadn’t kept up.

Until now. We couldn’t be any more proud to introduce you to the new Keystone. Our brand identity and this very website have been redeveloped to more accurately show the world who we are, what we do – and more importantly, to show why we are the right partner for organisations wanting their marketing to match their growth, as well as for those community-centric organisations that want to elevate their community engagement.

Proud to be Keystone – the marketing consultancy that engages with audiences and ignites communities. The same great team, delivering the very best thinking to transform marketing impact and engagement – but now with a confident brand to match.