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Creo’s year in review

How the hell do you begin to take a retrospective look at 2016?

I imagine future historians will refer to it as Year Zero – “Students, please scroll to the chapter marked “Year Zero: The Fall”. Your grandparents may refer to this period as the “Trumpocalypse”, and you will all be aware this was the year everyone went insane…shortly before the zombie apocalypse took hold and our race was enslaved by Pokemon.”

The whole of 2016 played out like a real-time montage at the start of some far-fetched sci-fi disaster action movie…probably starring Bruce Willis.

27443905516_1e2db3d1c3_zAlmost every politician is a photo-fit Bond villain (not you Justin Trudeau, you stay golden, Ponyboy!), twisted fundamentalist groups continue to recruit idiots at home and abroad, cities have been levelled, millions killed, we’ve seen floods, earthquakes, landslides…we’re about three months from the alien invasion, I’m certain.

However, as relentlessly dismal as 2016 has been, I didn’t set out to reflect on the world’s madness or troubles, after all, I only LIVE IN IT!

No, for while all about us lost their heads, Creo – a microscopic mortgage-paying molecule in the global grand scheme of things – has endured. In fact, we’ve accomplished a little more than that.

2016 was a pivotal year and it’s only right to reflect on some of the things we’ve learned this year…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – the worst because EVERYONE HATES JANUARY! But the best because having lost two public sector contracts in January this year, due to the austerity purge, we immediately picked up another that more than wiped out the loss.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-14-33There was relief because we were back in the driving seat, but frustration, as a launchpad for growth was whipped from under the rocket boosters just as we were fuelled and prepped for take-off.

Lesson: take it on the chin and move because an opportunity is always near.

Clients took us to some emotional places. Working with foster carers, adoptive parents, speaking with kids who are in or have lived their whole lives in care. I’m long in the tooth, but it served as a reminder of how important good communications can be and how it can literally improve lives – if just one child finds a foster home as a result of our work then I will run a lap of Sunderland hi-fiving every person I pass.

Lesson: good communications can change lives.

Creo works with incredible freelancers and 2016 has seen us deliver a wealth of wonderful websites. From healthcare and wellbeing to government lobbying, finding a job to helping the elderly – we have designed websites for specific groups, tailored messages for niche groups and generally bossed the digital domain and long may it continue.

We once again organised a regional Twitter “Thunderclap” – the second year in a row we have managed to get Sunderland and #WearHere No.2 national trend – and have secured much work developing and managing client social media accounts.

wearhere-blue-jpegWe expanded into video, editing and animation – the list goes on!

Lesson: keep pushing the boundaries and embrace new challenges.

The hardcore “Creo Trio” welcomed a procession of youthful flair through its door. Khanyie, Hannah, Emily, Jenae and Bridget all added personality, talent and passion to proceedings and we wish them all the best of luck in their exciting future.

We are also on the brink of saying goodbye to Jess, who has been here pretty much from the start. In the New Year she will move to Manchester and it will be lucky to have her.

While it’s sad to see a talented team member depart, it does present an opportunity to bring some fresh blood into Creo, something that benefits every business.

Lesson: setbacks provide unexpected opportunities.

Creo-Logo-sRGB-454pxSo, what did we learn so far? We coped with loss, worked hard to recover, expanded our creative, developed an emotional investment and developed new blood…right, what else?

Well, with work lining up like well-drilled soldiers for early 2017 we find ourselves back on the launchpad. However, this year our rocket has already ignited its burners and we’re all strapped in to our seats…a host of contracts won in December come on line in January 2017 and we find ourselves frontrunners for more!

So, here we are. Ready to boldly go where Creo has never gone before…

Bryn Littleton
bryn@wearecreo.co.uk