DTW listed in 2024 PR Week tables

The annual PR Week ‘Top 150 consultancy tables’ have been published for 2024. 

DTW has been ranked as the fifth largest corporate and financial PR agency outside London and in the top 40 specialists in the UK.


Top tips for engaging with a potential Labour government

We’re rocketing fast towards a General Election and with less than two weeks of campaigning left (sigh of relief all round!) the polls are predicting a significant Labour victory.

But what does that mean? And what should you be doing now to prepare for what looks certain to be life under a Labour or Labour led government with Kier Starmer as Prime Minister?

Understanding Labour’s agenda – mission-driven government

Labour has been seriously preparing for government for some time. With talk of ten-years of national renewal and re-building Britain, a central part of Kier Starmer’s pitch to the country is to deliver stable government after the turbulence of recent years under the Conservatives.

At the heart of that is what Labour calls “mission-driven government”.

In its own words from the manifesto Labour defines that as “raising our sights as a nation and focusing on ambitious, measurable, long-term objectives that provide a driving sense of purpose for the country.”

That both outlines Kier Starmer’s personal and political philosophy and is designed to set out a very different tone to ‘the chaos’ of the Conservative government.

Labour has five wide ranging missions that sit at the heart of its manifesto:

  1. Kickstart economic growth
  2. Make Britain a clean energy superpower
  3. Take back our streets
  4. Break down barriers to opportunity
  5. Build an NHS fit for the future

Each mission covers a range of policies Labour wants to deliver in a joined-up manner. You can agree or disagree with the politics but what is undeniable is Labour has set out a clear plan – and this plan presents a huge opportunity for membership organisations to both engage with government and show leadership with employees, partners and members.

Organisations can show their value by taking the opportunity to understand, engage and help shape and contribute to the implementation of this new look national agenda.

Engaging with Labour’s agenda

 So what should you be doing?

  • Be clear about what you want from government – keep it short and simple and be positive and realistic.
  • Understand Labour’s agenda – its missions are set out in the manifesto (and summarised in our presentation) – look at the areas that are relevant to you so you know what’s coming and can spot opportunities to engage with the government agenda
  • Look at how your agenda links with Labour’s – what shared objectives do you have where you can work with government to deliver outcomes that benefit your stakeholders, fit with the new agenda and will be positive for the UK as a whole?
  • Use Labour’s language – sending emails to new Ministers talking about ‘levelling up’ isn’t going to be helpful. Think how your organisation can help ‘kickstart economic growth’, ‘make Britain a clean energy superpower’ and ‘break down barriers to opportunity’ and present your engagement with government in those terms.
  •  Use data and evidence – substantiating your position is helpful. Whether you are advocating for change or stressing why a particular policy proposal might cause unintended consequences that threaten the overall delivery of Labour’s mission, examples of impact are hugely powerful.
  • Keep your stakeholders up to speed – whether that’s employees, members or partners, tell them what you’re doing and keep them informed about how they can help or alert to things coming down the line they need to prepare for.

Labour’s first 100 days are going to be unusual as we don’t typically have summer elections, but they will be hitting the ground running. The party’s pitch to voters makes a big play of certainty and stability, and its 133-page manifesto (the missions are the most important bit) outlines its plans.

Don’t wait for July 4th to be over to start planning your next steps.

Featured image from The Labour Party


Tees Valley leading the way for the UK as Sustainable Aviation Fuel sector gathers momentum

The annual Sustainable Aviation Fuel Supply Chain conference may have been held at the QEII conference centre overlooking Westminster Abbey in London – but there was another location that stood out at the event – the Tees Valley.

DTW were at the event as part of the Tees Valley Supply Chain, exhibiting alongside the Tees Valley Combined Authority and other businesses based in the area keen to expand their role in the sector.

Last year the government provided almost £40m of funding to five Tees Valley based firms who are looking to lead the way in creating Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

All five were in attendance talking about ambitious plans for the future on sites ranging from Billingham through Wilton and on to Teesworks.

It’s clear from last week’s event that there is interest in the area from other operators who are looking at sites for projects, so that number could grow.

There is no doubt the sector is scaling up massively to help the UK and the global aviation sector meet what is a huge Net Zero challenge.

With Government ministers attending, and high-level commitment and investment from Boeing, Airbus, Virgin, BA as well as government, this event showed how vital the SAF sector is to the future of the aviation industry.

There is clearly the potential for Tees Valley to play a huge part in meeting the government target of SAF making up 10% of all aviation fuel used by 2030. The message from industry was clear – the UK Government’s Jet Zero Strategy and funding is hugely welcomed, but in order to meet the national targets it’s just the start.

Action is needed in terms of the appropriate legislation being passed, clarity is needed on the SAF Revenue Certainty Mechanism, and, on Teesside, access to the developing CCUS project is hugely important.

Big thanks to the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the RTC North team, who run the Tees Valley Supply Chain programme, for inviting DTW to be part of the team at the SAF event.

Tees Valley’s attractiveness in terms of skilled labour, manufacturing heritage, available land, a proactive combined authority, the developing CCUS network and a supply chain full of expertise and passion that is ready to engage make this an exciting time to be involved.

There is a real win-win opportunity here for the SAF sector and the Tees Valley to both benefit from jobs and investment as the UK tackles a key part of the Net Zero challenge.

What will be key for businesses coming to the area is engaging effectively with stakeholders of all kinds – potential employees, suppliers, partners as well as politicians and the media.

Want to find out more?

You can read more about our seven simple principles for effective community engagement, and if you’re looking for comms professionals who know the infrastructure and regeneration sector, then drop us a line by emailing and we’ll be happy to help.


Infrastructure investment for the north is even better for the whole UK

Thursday’s excellent Northern Transport Summit organised by DevoConnect featured the phrase ‘for the North’ so often that it sometimes felt like a Game of Thrones episode from the heart of Winterfell.

I just have one plea – lets talk more about these plans and proposals under the banner of ‘for the UK’ because the solution is the same.

What the UK needs to drive successful long-term sustainable growth is a more balanced economy, a better connected North and certainty and trust in decisions made by politicians.

The infrastructure investment that was proposed and talked about at the #NTS2024 summit can help deliver growth for the whole UK, it’s not just about what’s good for the North.

I’d like us to just change the conversation a bit.

We need to ensure policy-makers and politicians in Whitehall and Westminster realise proper investment in the North is in the whole UK’s interests and not a subsidy or charity handout.

As Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s Chief Exec Henri Murison said about transport improvements – the investment is about generating economic outcomes and growth. It’s not just having better transport as an end in itself.

Back to the summit. It was a great event. Meaningful devolution to city-regions is enabling elected and empowered Metro Mayors to lead and collaborate. This is ensuring that the North – in its many and varied parts – can play a really effective role in delivering national growth.

Change is happening

  • It’s the city-region Mayors – Labour’s Andy Burham in Manchester and the Conservative Andy Street in the West Midlands – who are coming up with a positive and practical solution to UK Government’s decision to scrap the northern leg of HS2
  • A collaborative approach to bringing buses back into public ownership with local accountability is seeing administrations in Yorkshire and Liverpool learn from the developing Bee Network in Manchester
  •  Wider collaboration networks across not just transport issues, but also energy, people and place and trade and investment are already in place. (I’m hoping Tees Valley and the new North East authority are/will be fully plugged in too)
  • Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission talked about the need to rebalance investment towards the North and the Midlands. The National Infrastructure Commission and Transport for the North are now giving Government the data and the compelling reasons as to why that is essential for the UK

PS – for the record the summit was held at Manchester Airport, not Winterfell, and no-one talked about winter coming at any point – quite the opposite.

A breath of fresh air to see elected politicians and those working with them talking sense with such purpose, clarity and passion.

And the trains to Manchester from Durham even ran on time in both directions with seats available. The gods of the seven kingdoms were truly smiling on us all.

Photo credit: HBO / Game of Thrones


Your eyes, ears and mouth – the three most important communication tools for any infrastructure project

Eyes. Ears. Mouth. Preferably used in that order.

In this noisy age of social media and limited attention spans, it’s easy for teams running infrastructure projects to rely on clever digital tools and channels to communicate with stakeholders.

Insights News

Explaining how comms and engagement is important in achieving net zero

Karen and I were on speaking duty today (Thurs 8 Feb) at the North East Recycling Forum (NERF) – presenting about the importance of communications and engagement in achieving net zero.


Delivering success for you – DTW’s Strategic Communications Model

We’re kicking off 2024 by sharing our DTW Strategic Communications Model.

It’s our own unique model that we use to deliver strategic communications and marketing services to our clients – where we work collaboratively with them to help solve their biggest challenges.


Tees Tunnel feasibility study shows potential of infrastructure investment

There’s really nothing like a big infrastructure project to get people passionate about investment and politics.

Tees Valley Combined Authority – led by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen – is funding a new £1million feasibility study into a possible tunnel under the River Tees connecting Redcar and Hartlepool.


DTW triumphs with three golds at CIPR North East PRide awards 2023

DTW triumphed at the 2023 CIPR North East PRide awards, winning three gold awards for work on a range of projects for clients across the UK. Managing Director Chris Taylor summed up the excitement of the team.


DTW shortlisted for six CIPR awards

DTW has been shortlisted for six CIPR North East PRide awards for 2023.