We bring London skills locally

We bring London skills locally
Olivia (left) and Laura

Congratulations on establishing your new company Calvermont, how did this come about?

We’ve been neighbours for years and weirdly worked in exactly the same sector and circles in London for big brands and property grandees. With such a vibrant business and creative community in Tunbridge Wells, together with the investment and development that’s happening here, we saw an opportunity to bring our skills and expertise locally. Instead of commuting to London every day for big corporate firms with little personal impact, we could work more agilely and creatively near home, helping local businesses and developers grow and succeed, whilst being closer to our families too.

Can you tell us about your choice of name?

We wanted a name that highlighted our Tunbridge Wells roots and networks, that was simple to spell and available on social platforms too. We both live between Calverley Park and Claremont Road, so decided the mash-up ‘Calvermont’ would demonstrate our commitment to the local area. We were also keen to have a destination focus, in order to highlight our wealth of experience working for global hotel brands, national property investors, developers and agents.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Both of us love to write, are sociable and creative, and also understand the news agenda – core requisites in PR and brand communications. Moreover we work hard, take time to get under the skin of our clients and have a background in property, which gives us a unique insight into a certain type of client – from developers to locations, investors to occupiers, agents to architects, hotels, retail and so on.

You’re working with Elysian Residences, developers of the old cinema site. What are the key challenges on a project like this?

Elysian Residences engaged with us because they are aware of the site’s chequered history and the cynicism associated with a site that has remained empty for 20 years – and had five different owners. As operators, in addition to being developers, their commitment to The Belvedere development is long-term and it is crucial to them that the community trust this, as well as their ability to break the mould and actually make the scheme a reality.

‘We want to help businesses that are looking to establish or refresh their brands, to build their profile to drive value, or to support and maintain reputation at times of growth, success or crisis’

Our job is to tell Elysian’s story and to reassure the town they are invested in Royal Tunbridge Wells’ future. We believe their choice to work with a local business such as ours is testament to their commitment to putting down local roots. We are incredibly excited for them to get started and know they are working hard toward a construction kick-off date now that they have full planning consent.

Tell us about your work on the Tunbridge Wells Business Improvement District (BID) scheme. What are the main areas you will be concentrating on in terms of ‘branding’ the town and what does it need most?

We were invited to pitch to support the positioning of the BID as our first major competitive tender. We won it because of our understanding of the town and what it needs. Our work has included listening workshops with local business members to guide values and messaging. We are very excited about this project as, being Tunbridge Wells locals, we want the best for our town.

Through our research, network and engagement, we know the town needs to demonstrate both its heritage and vibrancy, its offer and future opportunities to appeal to visitors, investors, businesses and families alike. It’s so important that whatever we do attracts people who will spend money in the town and support our local businesses. We want people to come to Tunbridge Wells and stay here for longer, be it for a weekend, a holiday, to live, to work or to invest.

You cite collaboration as one of your core values and state ‘there is so much creative talent here in TW’. Who are you looking to collaborate with and why?

We took the decision early on that in such a creative place as Tunbridge Wells we would always rather collaborate than compete, because that’s ultimately what’s in the best interests of our clients and the community.

We also made the decision to be represented at the Tunbridge Wells Business Network International Chapter. This enables us to work together with a number of other brilliant and quality local businesses such as Studio 44, David Barden Creative, Synergee Accountants, TN Recruits, Forrest HR, Host My Office and Zoom Films, which means we can leverage a trusted virtual team of suppliers for our clients.

You’re both mothers – any secrets into how you strike the correct life/work balance?

We have three children between us who are aged two, four and five. We work whenever we can and make time for the children whenever we can too. To us, the beauty of living and working soclose is you can do both. The eldest is at school just a minute’s walk away and the two youngest go to the same nursery, so we car-share and help each other out. We are also lucky that many of our clients understand the need to work flexibly and also want to do that themselves, and they trust that we will always deliver.

Calvermont’s CV

RTW BID: We are currently producing brand creative for Royal Tunbridge Wells BID to help position the town to tourists, businesses, investors and families within a two-hour radius, while designing some exciting bespoke Christmas content too.

Elysian Residences: We are retained by this developer and operator of Tunbridge Wells’ derelict cinema site, to help support their communications strategy as they seek to deliver a new cinema and luxury homes for the town. Our role is to show their long-term commitment to the area, by opening relevant community networks, providing consultation advice and engaging with local media.

Turkey Mill: We are currently refreshing the brand, website, communications and collateral for this beautiful business park in Maidstone – all of which will be revealed soon. This is being delivered in-line with a strategy to generate online awareness and increase tenant engagement.

Greymoor Homes: As project manager and brand adviser, we have devised messaging, curated photography and led creative for their new corporate website. We also supported their recent ‘Woodland View’ development launch, with the design and delivery of a targeted marketing brochure and detailed communications strategy.

Charity: We work pro bono for Taylor Made Dreams, a charity based nearby which helps bring dreams to life for shorter lives through granting wishes to children with life limiting illnesses, and to support their families.

Home and away: We have a number of other excellent local business clients too, such as TN and ME Recruits. Although we remain committed to our town, our work has extended across the South East to the likes of property advisor Fraser Real Estate and Dexter’s Estate Agents.

Why communication is key…

PR: Communication strategies help companies reach their target audiences. We always say it’s better when someone else says something good about you, and that’s what PR aims to achieve – great brands with great reputations. PR has to have purpose: whether its community engagement to achieve planning for a development, profiling your talent to drive or announce business successes, restoring your business reputation in a crisis, launching a new product or service, or simply raising your profile to win new customers. We consider the objectives of our clients and curate messaging and campaigns to help achieve ambitions.

BRANDING: Establishing a brilliant brand platform often must come first, or at least run alongside, building a successful PR story and consumer campaign – as strong creative and a trusted, relevant narrative will ensure long-term impact and reputation. We host workshops and map audiences to direct positioning, values and concept. We craft brand names, stories and refreshing creative to deliver collateral with targeted marketing solutions. Our particular strength is branding new businesses, developments (residential or commercial), tourism and leisure offers and destinations.

How to be social media savvy

How useful is social media for you?

Social media is incredibly important for both our own business and our clients. It provides an immediate platform to assess opinion, map influencers and build targeted brand recognition.

Which platforms do you use most and why?

 We tend to go to LinkedIn for business stories and partnerships, Facebook for marketing and local groups, Instagram for brand development and content sharing with likeminded businesses, and Twitter to keep ahead of the news agenda.

Do you collaborate with any influencers?

We engage regularly with influencers and frequently identify opportunities for our clients to collaborate to reach new followers. We devise mutually rewarding partnerships and always ensure both have the same brand purpose and values.

Why we love Tunbridge Wells: Laura and Olivia

Where’s your favourite place to shop?

We are so lucky to have so many independent shops in Tunbridge Wells (apparently now over 60%!) but it’s got to be the lower High Street for the sparkle, or Monson or Camden Road for the eclectic. 

And to eat out?

We are both big fans of the Mount Edgcumbe for a Sunday roast, Juliet’s on the high street for the best millionaire shortbread known to man, and Sankey’s for their perfect paella.

And for coffee or cocktails?

For cocktails it has to be The Tunbridge Wells Hotel during the Jazz, Soprano’s or the TownHouse, and for coffee it must be Esquires on Mount Pleasant, or Babycino with the kids.

Finally, where’s the best place to go locally in order to get away from it all?

A stroll through Calverley Grounds first thing in the morning, an immersive flotation tank session at Simply Float, a Cascade Dance class to shake all your troubles away, or simply taking time to breathe in the view at The Beacon.

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