Top PR award for founder of Bath-based purpose-driven agency launched during lockdown

October 8, 2021

The founder of a Bath-based specialist communications consultancy launched during the first national lockdown has won Gold in a prestigious PR awards scheme.

Ben Veal was named ‘Independent PR Practitioner of the Year’ at the annual PRide Awards for the South of England and Channel Islands, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. 

Ben, pictured below, started Second Mountain Communications last summer to support ethical and purpose-driven companies. It has since worked closely alongside charities including People against Poverty, The Charlie Waller Trust and Wiltshire Youth for Christ.

Also among the winners was Transform Communications, based at Mells, near Frome, which secured Gold in the Small PR Consultancy of the Year category.

Transform said its victory reflected its hard work and resilience through the lockdowns. During the period it had refocused on its proposition, grown its team to plug sales and marketing gaps, and launched a digital marketing division.

The awards recognise the outstanding work delivered by in-house communications and agency teams across the UK over the previous 24 months.

Usually handed out at a glittering awards ceremony in Bristol, this year the awards were presented virtually in an online event hosted by BBC presenter Louise Minchin. 

Ben Veal, who lost his previous job 18 months ago at the start of the pandemic, said: “Having worked in public relations for the past 15 years, I’ve always been drawn towards the purpose that lies behind organisations – specifically, telling the stories of business leaders that look to use their firms to make a positive impact in the world. 

“I am so proud to collect this award in recognition of the work that’s been delivered for great clients, who have all been focused on making a difference and transforming communities during the most uncertain of times.

“It’s been a privilege to have the opportunity to support a host of great charities and ethically-minded organisations since launching my own business last year, and I’m really encouraged to have been recognised by the judges.”

According to the category judges: “Ben is climbing his second mountain with grace and with the respect of his peers and his clients; a shining example for his profession and our region.”

The Gold CIPR award win capped off a big week of personal accomplishments for Ben, who completed his first London Marathon virtually last weekend alongside running partners Nathan Baranowski and Jo Wren from Bradford on Avon based Digital Wonderlab.

Between them, the trio’s marathon challenge has now raised more than £4,000 for mental health charity The Charlie Waller Trust, which provides mental health education, training and support for young people and their families experiencing difficult times.


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