Why putting employees at the heart of our business made perfect sense | Absolute PR and Marketing on becoming EO
An Exeter-based PR and marketing agency has shared with the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) the motivation behind its move to become employee owned.
Absolute PR and Marketing announced its transition to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) in April 2023, with the deal symbolising a “bright future” for the award-winning agency and its employees.
Following decades of steady growth, founder and owner Rachael Whitson has sold a 90% stake in the business to the EOT which will result in employees being recognised more in the future running of the business, thereby creating a legacy from the founder’s 23 successful years in business.
As majority shareholders, all eligible employees will benefit from a greater say in how the agency is run and will receive a share of any profits each year. This means, following 12 months’ service, employees will become ‘co-owners’ and beneficiaries of the company’s profits which include up to £3,600 tax-free financial rewards each year, per person, in addition to their annual salary.
Rachael remains Managing Director and now also takes up a position as Trustee on the board of Absolute PR and Marketing Trustees Ltd.
She said: “As a purpose-driven communications agency, Absolute PR and Marketing’s culture has always been values-led and centred around teamwork and collaboration. That’s why transitioning to an EOT was the most natural progression for the agency; it will ensure the company remains firmly in the hands of a team that continues to drive the business forward every day and who share a passion for its vision and values.
“With a bright future ahead of us, the EOT will help better involve, motivate, and financially reward all employees through their collective, majority ownership stake, so that we can continue doing right by our employees, whilst having a positive impact on our clients, community, cause and climate.
“With a shared desire to use our influence as a force for good, putting employees at the heart of business operations makes perfect sense. The EOT also offers a unique opportunity for a new generation of ambitious ‘Absoluters’ to build upon the legacy of the last 23 years, which have been committed to purpose-led, strategic work benefiting our people and planet.”
Employee ownership ‘complements our way of working’
The Absolute PR and Marketing EOT will be managed by two Trustees, including a trustee representing employees who will be elected by the staff every two years.
Gill Vosper, Account Director and employee trustee on its EOT board, says: “Absolute PR and Marketing has always been centred around a non-hierarchical structure where every member of staff is valued for the contribution they make.
“This transition to an EOT structure reflects and complements this dynamic and inclusive way of working and builds on our already excellent company culture, with the promise of making our team even more collaborative and inclusive in the decades to come.”
Absolute PR and Marketing’s transition to an EOT follows on recent announcements which reinforce the agency’s commitment to purpose-led, responsible, and sustainable business operations:
- Absolute PR and Marketing has been commended for its work in reducing its already low CO2e footprint by a further 20% in 2021-22, with the agency’s office coming in at 87% less than that of the average UK employer.
- The business announced it would be adding a new ‘Sustainable Business Roadmap’ offering to its list of services. The new service will provide advice and support on assessing, planning, implementing and communicating a company’s environmental and social impact to internal and external stakeholder audiences.
- Absolute PR and Marketing launched its brand-new podcast series; The Purpose Project, which shines a spotlight on brands, organisations and individuals that are doing extraordinary, purposeful things. To listen to the podcast, click here.
Absolute PR and Marketing provides public relations and marketing communications consultancy to a diverse range of B2B and B2C clients across the UK in the manufacturing, tech, recycling and waste management, leisure and tourism, property, health and food and drink sectors.