Suzanne Howe Communications is 25 years old!
Back in 1996, the Spice Girls were preparing to take the world by storm, and Zoë Ball hit our screens as presenter of the Big Breakfast. Here in Kent, I also took a leap into the unknown, making the arduous commute to London for the last time, and setting up my own PR agency, Suzanne Howe Communications.
Twenty-five years later, we are a solid team with 15 clients and also, I am proud to say, a vibrant, supportive community. And that’s without mentioning our talent for great results!
The decision to break away from agency work and go it alone was rooted in my commitment to family. We all want to excel at everything we do and, with three young children, I wanted to be the best mum possible, as well as managing a rewarding career. I’ve always seen being a mum and working as the same – you may be juggling different skills and needs but, ultimately, you are living your life as one person, so it was really important for me to make the two gel.
This holistic approach is reflected in our relationships with clients. Some of you have been with us for over 12 years, and 99 per cent have arrived through referrals. The friendships we have built not only help us to understand our clients’ businesses more deeply, but also make working a real pleasure – I owe a huge thank you to all the clients and individuals we have worked with over the years for their support, creativity and professionalism.
To run a successful business, you need clients, but just as important is the team – and my team is so important to me. We now have a core team of 10 people on board, each one is an expert in their role and, there’s no other word for it, they are just brilliant!
As the company expands, I often think, ‘We really need someone with this specific skill,’ and then, lo and behold, they turn up! That’s what I think our clients buy – they have access to people who can write dazzling content, sell-in stories, design amazing graphics, or think strategically on their behalf. We have people that specialise in all the sectors we work in, from cleaning, packaging and food ingredients to sustainability, and they each bring a real depth of understanding.
Over the last 25 years, so much has changed. I learnt a huge amount from working in London agencies but, as my own boss, and with a great team behind me, we are more free to concentrate on what our clients need.
Back then, stood in the school playground, I used to question whether I should be working or staying at home. What I’ve learnt is that you can make both things work. I now have three great children who have grown into young adults that I am exceptionally proud of, and an outstanding business which is home to incredible talent. It has taken hard work, but I have loved every minute of it, so thank you to everyone who has helped to bring SHC this far. You are amazing!