Second Mountain Comms features in COVID-19 PR agency startup report

Bath-based Second Mountain Communications has featured in a new Wadds Inc. report that highlights the PR agencies founded in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report provides insights into the market and clear direction for anyone thinking of starting their own agency.

The COVID-19 PR Agency Startup report explores why such a large number of agencies have been started in such a relatively short period of time. It includes a list of startup agencies and characterises them by proposition location, funding and the date they were founded.


The lockdown created new routines and space for practitioners to think about their career and life, and found that this was a key driver for new agency startups, alongside redundancy and furlough. The report found that two-fifths of agency startups were founded during the first lockdown between February and July.


The UK agency market is saturated with more than 4,500 agencies according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). New agencies launching into such a crowded market need a strong proposition.Startups recorded in the study are focused on one of three areas of innovation: services, business model or specialism. New agency propositions are focused on data, creativity and lead generation. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), fintech and healthcare are also popular markets.


Second Mountain is firmly an agency with a distinct identity ... the business has two guiding principles. It works for companies that want to make the world a better place, and it works on six values: honesty, reliability, friendliness, trustworthiness, tenacity, and transparency. Founder Ben Veal's single-minded focus and agency proposition makes him exceptional. - The COVID-19 PR Agency Startup report

The report finds that COVID-19 has leveled-up competition for startup agencies. Founders have been able to create content and meet people in a way that wasn’t previously possible. Video calls mean that everyone presents the same in credential and new business meetings.


“The report is dedicated to anyone who has founded an agency during the COVID-19 pandemic. It celebrates your work. It’s also intended as a source of inspiration for anyone considering setting up their own agency,” said Stephen Waddington, Managing Partner, Wadds Inc.

Everyone interviewed celebrated the support that their launch and new agency has received from the industry. It is a vibrant and supportive community. The UK is a great place to start a public relations business.


“The COVID-19 UK PR agency startup report is an inspiring read. It’s hard not to feel optimistic about the future of our industry after reading the findings. The PR industry has adapted remarkably well to the pandemic and the explosion of new agencies is testament to the strength of our practice,” said Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA.

The report includes eight startup PR agency profiles: Second Mountain Communications, BB Partners, Little Mesters, Hard Numbers, Inpulsus, Look After, Happy Yolk and CommsRebel.


The 40-page report is available in HTML and Adobe PDF. A print edition is also available.

Information about new agency launches was collated from PRovoke, PRWeek and social media. It was cross referenced with legal company registrations and agencies’ own websites. The database is limited to agencies that were formally incorporated in the UK between 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2021.

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