When Louise Morgan decided to go off on her own, it was simplicity that she had in mind. “The name, ‘Technical Marketing & PR’ wasn’t dreamt up trying to create anything funky. It’s the Ronseal school of business branding: it does what it says on the tin.” She laughs. Aptly, two small, branded paint-tins, filled with 10-year celebrations chocolates, perch on the coffee table of the newly refurbished Penarth offices.
In 2011 Louise’s niece was born, and she decided to move her offices to Derby to be closer to family. Business was booming, and while she held firm on her promise not to hire staff, freelancers were soon required for the overflow.
It was in Derby that she met a Welshman, who spurred the move of TMPR to Barry. And while ultimately not being “the one”, she does attribute their meeting to fate, as it is in South Wales where TMPR and Louise remain: “South Wales immediately felt like home. Living by the sea but only 15 minutes’ drive from Cardiff is very different to Derby or Manchester, and everyone is so friendly!”
But it’s not just the sunshine and smiles that kept Louise in Cymru, “Commercially, South Wales has proven to be an excellent fit for the business. It’s an industrial region where the construction and manufacturing sectors are buoyant, so I’ve really enjoyed developing our client base in these areas.”
In the Barry Business Centre Louise grew TMPR to new heights, though always with the help of freelancers. It wasn’t until she met her now-husband, Christopher, that she entertained the idea of hiring staff again. “He said you’ve got all these freelancers, ‘why don’t you just employ somebody?’ And I thought ‘why not? I am the only shareholder, I can make my own decisions about the future of the company.’”
With business booming and a growing sense of stability, Louise made her first hire, and then another. Soon enough the little industrial space where they’d set up shop was feeling quite crowded, and it was time to start looking for bigger and better offices.
“It was then that I first started to feel excited again about building something.” Louise reminisces, “With IVE it felt from the start that the goal was just to build it, whereas TMPR, it’s always been a part of me.”
Organic growth is a recurring theme in Louise’s management style, and one of her favourite aspects of owning an agency, “I like to nurture from within, growth of the business comes from coaching & training the team, so we grow by increasing capacity rather than headcount.”
When asked why she chose to focus on construction and manufacturing marketing in particular, Louise gives a wry smile, “The thing that made me fall in love with construction was Approved Document E of the building regulations, and that is no joke.”
She recounts the 2003 amendment to sound insulation requirements with the confidence and flow of a woman who has immersed herself fully in the world of technical literature and specifications for the last 18 years.
“In 2003 there was a change to the regulations which decreased the acceptable noise transfer between dwellings. So during a massive rise in people living in apartment blocks, you had strict limits on noise that could go between apartments, airborne and impact. It was quite technical because there was different routes to compliance, whether it was robust details or pre-completion testing, and I was just like ‘oh my god, let me just soak this all up!’”
In what is still a very male-dominated industry (women represent around 11 percent of the workforce in the construction sector), when Louise entered the construction and manufacturing world it was even more so. This only served to spur Louise on: “being able to go into meetings and hold quite technical conversations, dealing with technical directors and writing technical articles, I just really felt like I was on a path that felt right for me..”
Technical. PR. Marketing. The Ronseal academy of business branding. The nitty gritty, the get your hands dirty approach. That’s what TMPR has represented over the last ten years.
And what is Louise looking forward to most for the next ten years? “It sounds boring,” She admits, “but more of the same.” A lot of our clients we’ve worked with for the whole time we’ve been operational, so I’m looking forward to seeing if we still have those clients in the next ten years. Indeed, Louise’s first client at that first agency was Promethean, who remain a client of TMPR to this day.
TMPR has only ever grown from recommendations and referrals. Louise attributes this to her “clients come first” mentality that she had steadfastly adopted when getting the business off the ground.
“Because we work differently to other agencies, we become part of the team of our clients. We get the best of both worlds, the autonomy and variety of an agency, while feeling like you’re part of something bigger.”
Bigger seems to be the motto at TMPR this year, with new offices, new faces, and a big ten-year celebration on the horizon, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement of witnessing a company, and director, in their prime.