It’s a 10 from me..

Awards season is upon us (well the shortlisting at least) and I was thrilled to be invited to join the judging panel for the @PRCA HQ Dare Awards this year.

Armed with my trusty spreadsheets and a whole lot of fantastic entries, I got down to the challenge of sorting through each category and picking out and scoring the best of the best. It was no easy feat – the competition was fierce!

But I was proud to be a part of the judging team for some pretty exciting categories, like Large Consultancy of the Year, Public Sector Award, Rising Star of the Year, and Team Culture and Community Award. And the entries did not disappoint.

There were some great examples of creativity, innovation and dedication to employee well-being, business growth and impact across a number of entries. It was clear that there are plenty of teams who are pushing boundaries and helping set the standard for excellence in the industry.

The rising star entries had impressive individuals who are set for great things within the PR industry – the future looks exciting!

To all the entrants across all categories – good luck! You’ve already achieved so much just by being a part of these awards. We know how valuable it is to win awards, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you all.

Thanks for letting me be part of your awards journey.



11 years and counting of PRCA CMS accreditation

DTW has once again secured the prestigious Communications Management Standard (CMS) awarded by the Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA). This achievement marks our 11th year of successful CMS accreditation.

The standard is, to quote the PRCA “the hallmark of PR excellence”. It combines elements of ‘ISO9001’ and ‘Investors in People’ with criteria specific to a PR and communications consultancy.

It’s great to have a well-defined framework that is tailored to our profession, and one that we can use to evaluate ourselves every year. Having professional management standards in place gives our clients, management, and staff peace of mind and serves as proof that DTW is a well-run business. This also reinforces our commitment to delivering exceptional results, upholding ethical practices, and maintaining the highest levels of professionalism.

We are inspected and evaluated annually on three of the nine core areas that consultancies are assessed on. This year’s shortlisted assessment included:

  • Leadership & Communication
  • Business Planning, and
  • Financial Management & Systems.

PRCA CEO James Hewes commented: “This marks DTW’s 11th year of completing its CMS. The assessment delved into three key areas: client management, financial management, and business planning. For client management, for example, a comprehensive client survey conducted in January covered various aspects such as quality, creativity, trust, strategic input, and DTW’s role as a ‘trusted partner’ in the eyes of clients. The survey results were shared with both clients and team members and will inform a target of increased client satisfaction by 2025.”

Big thanks to Jan for all her support in picking up the lions share of the work and working closely with the PRCA team.

Thanks for reading


New BMX Race Jerseys: Combining Style and Sustainability!

Team Mind BMX racing is getting a new set of race jerseys that are sure to inspire the next generation of BMXers to think about sustainability thanks to DTW’s design team.

DTW is thrilled to be a key sponsor for this initiative and to have supported the project by designing the new-look jersey for Team Mind BMX, which will be seen on track when the British Cycling National Series kicks off in Manchester this weekend (23-24 March 2024).

Having worked with Mind locally in Stockton & Middlesbrough, we were happy to offer our support when our long-term DTW friend and client John Twitchen from Stuff4Life, who coaches and manages the team, asked us to help out with a new design. 

The aim of the design is not just to create a great-looking jersey, but also to promote awareness and inspire environmental consciousness. 

The jersey’s principal design feature is a brightly coloured vortex, which conveys the concept of circularity. It comprises a multitude of icons that represent sustainability, the environment, clean energy, net zero, climate, nature, circularity, and people – as well as the Mind ‘squiggle’ graphic. The colours used in the design correspond to those of the global temperature ‘barcode,’ ‘show your stripes‘.

Other sponsors who have lent their support to the Team Mind project include Crucial, Troy Lee Designs, Dirtworks, and Muc-Off, along with Teesside-based Stuff4Life.

The new BMX race jerseys are not just a fashion statement – although they do look fantastic!! –  but a powerful message of sustainability and environmental consciousness. It is an inspiration to the next generation of BMXers and a reminder that we all have a role to play in creating a better world.

Team Mind BMX

Other sponsors who have lent their support to the Team Mind project include Crucial, Troy Lee Designs, Dirtworks, and Muc-Off, along with Teesside-based Stuff4Life.

The new BMX race jerseys are not just a fashion statement – although they do look fantastic!! –  but a powerful message of sustainability and environmental consciousness. It is an inspiration to the next generation of BMXers and a reminder that we all have a role to play in creating a better world.


For this reason, Team Mind racers have all donated old jerseys they no longer wear so that a new generation of BMX racers and bike riders can benefit, avoiding the need to manufacture more textiles. Most of the 40 race jerseys will be distributed to local clubs for beginner riders to wear with pride, with each jersey telling its own story.

A few older jerseys are showing battle scars and will be retired- these will be recycled by Stuff4Life at their polyester scale-up recycling facility in development at Wilton, Teesside.

Pictured: Team Mind BMX racers Zac, Otto and the team.

Images by Jon Syrett/Trail Creatives

Each of our model’s three stages are grounded in years of experience and best practice.

We will:


Don’t cause a Bincident! New fire prevention campaign for ESA launches

DTW have joined forces again with partner agency Different Bears to create a public awareness summer fire prevention campaign for the Environmental Services Association (ESA)


DTW listed as approved supplier on major national UK government framework

DTW has been appointed as an approved supplier on the UK government’s Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Marketing and Communications framework.

We have been listed as a specialist supplier in Lot 1 Communications Marketplace – ref. RM6124. It is a marketplace for marketing and communications services to help UK government and public sector bodies run public service campaigns.

The framework is open to all UK government or public sector organisations and lasts through to May 2025.

So as a potential client who might want to commission support, you can choose DTW to work on a standalone basis or to support an integrated campaign.

If it suits you (and we wouldn’t object) you can just appoint us through CCS – or you can see how we match up against other providers on their approved shortlist – that’s fine too.

DTW Director Lorna McAteer-Bingham said: “You quite rightly have to jump through a lot of hoops to get listed as an approved supplier on a framework like this, but we think it is worth it as it demonstrates our expertise and professionalism to clients. We’re delighted to be listed and look forward to the exciting new opportunities it will help us access.”

About the CCS Communications Marketplace:

The Communications Marketplace covers a whole range of marketing, PR and communications services – just about everything you can think of – and you can read more about it on our website or dive into the How to buy section on the CCS webpage on

Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services.

In 2019/20, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth over £1bn – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.


DTW marks ten years of PRCA CMS accreditation

This week we passed our latest annual Public Relations Communications Association (PRCA) Communications Management Standard (CMS) assessment.

So what is the PRCA CMS and why is it important to DTW?

The PRCA describes the CMS as ‘the hallmark of PR excellence’. It combines elements of ‘ISO9001’ and ‘Investors in People’ with criteria specific to a PR and communications consultancy.

We took up the PRCA CMS challenge ten years ago (having done similar non-PR/marketing specific accreditations previously) because we think it is important to have an external perspective that looks at our systems and processes and tells us if we’re doing a good job and challenges us if we aren’t.

It gives our clients, management and staff peace of mind and proof that DTW is a well-run business with the appropriate professional management standards in place.

The nine core areas consultancies are scored on are:

  • Leadership & Communication
  • Business Planning
  • Business Improvement
  • Financial Management & Systems
  • Campaign Management
  • Client Satisfaction
  • New Business
  • People Management
  • Diversity

Having a clear framework that is specific to our profession that we benchmark and test ourselves against annually is great. Yes, it’s paperwork. Yes, it’s time out from client work. No, no-one pays you to do it (we pay the PRCA!) But it’s important and valuable.

Feedback from our PRCA assessor said: “DTW provided evidence on business development, diversity and people management. Evidence across business development and people management was excellent. On diversity, tracking of gender is in place and modifications have not been required as no issues were identified (the balance is strong and equal.)  DTW clearly deserve their ten-year CMS Gold Award.”

Big thanks to Lorna and Jan from the whole team for picking the lions share of the work and engaging with the PRCA team.

Thanks for reading


Planning success is great news for DTW client Quantafuel

Permission granted: Pictured at Port of Sunderland on the Quantafuel site is, from left, Port of Sunderland Director Matthew Hunt, Quantafuel Sunderland Managing Director Bill Elliott, Quantafuel Sunderland Director Winifred Patricia Johansen, and Sunderland City Council Leader Cllr Graeme Miller

Our favourite Norwegian plastic recycling company is a big step closer to starting its operations in the UK after receiving planning permission from Sunderland City Council for a major new plant at the city’s Port.

We have been working with Quantafuel ASA over the past two years to provide communications and community and political engagement support to its teams both in the UK and Norway as it looked to expand operations into the UK.

That has included developing key messages and themes for all activity, planning and running community consultation events, creating information materials and web content, and undertaking media and political relations support with stakeholders in Sunderland and the wider North East region.

Now that planning permission has been granted it means 100 new permanent jobs will be created, along with supporting 200 jobs during construction, and countless others in the supply chain.

And, crucially, it means that around 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year that is not generally recycled in the UK, and which otherwise would have been incinerated or disposed of in landfill, will be recycled using pyrolysis technology.

The oils produced in the process will be used again in the manufacture of new, high-grade plastic, helping the UK to reduce its CO2 emissions and achieve its Net Zero targets. 

Winifred Patricia Johansen, Director of Quantafuel UK, said: “It has been an absolute delight to work with Karen and the DTW team during the last couple of years. We are delighted to have planning permission to build our first UK plant in Sunderland, thanks in part to the incredible support of the DTW team.

“They have been a professional partner throughout the entire process, engaging with people in a caring and listening manner.

“We believe their proactive approach to open dialogue made all the difference during the planning process and it will be the foundation upon which we build a good working relationship with our neighbours, stakeholders, and the local community in the future.

“As we move forward with other projects across the UK, we are excited to continue to work with DTW and their collaborative and strategic approach.”

Karen Westcott, Head of PR, Community Engagement and Public Affairs at DTW, said: “It’s great to work with the Quantafuel team. They are passionate about reducing C02 emissions and improving the circular economy, but they are also totally committed to community engagement and two-way communication with their stakeholders.

“Their openness and willingness to meet with the community, listen to feedback, and share information has been key to success. They’re a great example of an organisation that puts communication and engagement at the heart of the business.”

Read more about our work for Quantafuel.


Information overload – presenting reports and large documents in a user friendly way

2020 saw a huge increase in the amount of content published digitally. As organisations adapted to new ways of working, we saw a massive shift away from a requirement for printed content to screen optimised content including pdfs and ebooks. This was especially evident when it came to large documents and reports.