The A-Z of life at RKH

A-Z of life at RKH | Foosball

F is for foosball in the A-Z of life at RKH.

At RKH we take foosball very seriously. To us, it’s more than just a fun table-top game, it’s a fully fledged sport. The team have regular league matches and put in hours of practice to hone their skills over lunchtimes and after work. Our current table is starting to look pretty love-worn, we’ve repaired it endless times and our players are covered in tape, but we don’t know what we’d do without it. We definitely couldn’t think of a better way to spend our breaks!

No one can say for sure who first invented it, but the first patent for the game as we know it today was registered in Britain by Harold Searles Thornton in 1923. The first leagues started springing up in Europe in the 1950s, but Foosball didn’t gain widespread popularity until the mid-1970s. In 2002, The International Table Soccer Federation was founded, with the aim of promoting table football as a serious sport and established the game with the IOC and GAISF.

Our own team are no strangers to a good competition, Ian and Rick were chosen to represent RKH at the Cranfield Table Football Championships back in June this year. They did us all proud, battling their way to second place against 29 other highly skilled teams from right across the Midlands. Our competitive streak isn’t just reserved for outsiders, though, the RKH table football trophy is highly prized and league matches are fought hard, with everyone vying for the honour of displaying it proudly on their desk.

A-Z of life at RKH | Exhibitions

E is for exhibitions in the A-Z of life at RKH.

From flowers to fashion, automobiles to art, health to home improvement… it seems there’s now an exhibition for everything, everyone and, more importantly, every business.

For many of our clients, attending exhibitions is a great way of networking and engaging with their target market directly. While most businesses attempt to connect with audiences through digital channels, exhibitions provide an opportunity to break down computer screens or shop window barriers and interact with consumers in an open and friendly environment

But, logistically, they can be something of a headache. That's where we come in.

When organising exhibitions, we begin by understanding our client's aims for the event. This might be gaining new contacts, increase brand awareness or simply showcasing a new product or service. Once this has been decided, we start designing the stands and that’s where the real fun begins.

Once the stand requirements are confirmed, our team draw up blueprints and start designing the stand. We've always enjoyed the challenge of producing an inviting, creative and engaging stand that helps clients differentiate themselves from other attendees.

They're extremely intensive to organise (before he began planning exhibitions, our Director, Jamie actually used to have a full head of hair!) However, once they're all set-up, it's a great experience - nothing beats seeing people interact with spaces we've designed and it’s also a great way to build a first impression with a brand.

After organising numerous shows each year, we've learned how to handle the pressure and, for the most part, retain a respectable amount of hair on our heads!

The A-Z of life at RKH | Django

D is for Django in the A-Z of life at RKH.

Named after the famous 8-fingered guitarist, Django Reinhardt, Django is our digital team's development framework of choice - we use it to build and run almost all of our websites and apps. You might not have heard of it, but without it the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and our very own website wouldn't exist.

Django provides a common set of tools to help build new websites and apps, which is great because our development team works on a LOT of different projects. Thanks to Django and the rules and conventions it introduces, somebody that has worked on one of our apps can easily jump in and work on another without wasting time having to completely re-learn how it works.

Django also does a lot of the essential heavy lifting techie stuff associated with building websites and apps automatically: handling browser requests, securing user accounts, validating user input and letting designers work on page templates without breaking anything. It does all of this in an efficient, safe and secure way, meaning our team can focus on cleverer and more innovative ideas instead of the underlying grunt work.

Whilst Django itself is developer-friendly, fast and secure, it is the fact that it is open source and supported by a community of thousands of other developers around the world that really makes it shine. If we run into a problem, somebody else has probably run into it and will have shared their solution. Likewise, if we have solved a particular problem, we can share it with the community so that everybody else benefits too.

We use Django for the majority of our web projects because it handles the stuff we always need in ways we can rely on, and frees up the team to focus on our specialities, the value we can provide for our clients.

If you're interested in learning Django for yourself, here's a great tutorial.

Thank you for the music… and the framework!

A-Z of life at RKH | CPD

C is for CPD in the A-Z of life at RKH, or Continuing Personal Development to give it its full name.

It was a close run thing between coffee (we drink lots of lovely Has Bean coffee every day), code, cat gifs and CPD when deciding for C but our sensible side prevailed this time.

The fast changing nature of marketing means every day is very much the cliched school day. As a naturally inquisitive bunch we’re always sharing the latest news in our areas and discussing new ideas as they come up. We also study for qualifications, attend courses, dial into webinars, read books and much more to develop our skills and knowledge of relevant subjects through more formal training. 

Look past the food photos we share from our staff meetings and you’ll sometimes see someone presenting on the training they’ve taken part in. Getting everyone together to listen to new ideas and then discussing these as an agency allows us to consider how best to integrate new thinking into the varied work we do. 

Learning, discussing ideas and having fun doing this is great but it’s important we share what we know with everyone we work with too. Through training we’re able to offer better advice to our clients on the potential of the latest developments in marketing in relation to their needs.

Making sure all members of the team take part in 24 hours of training each year is a requirement of our IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) membership. This means everyone has the chance to develop skills and gain the knowledge they need to do a fantastic job.

Our commitment to CPD, mixed with the vast quantity of coffee consumed at the agency, ensures our work remains creative, effective and offers great value in a rapidly changing industry.

The A-Z of life at RKH | Bees

One of the main things we love to share with visitors to the RKH office is the location of our secret department. With well over 30,000 workers, this branch of the office is especially hard-working and organised. Situated on our roof, in the middle of Leicester city centre and sporting RKH brand colours is our apiary of bees.

So why do we share a residence with 30,000 little workers? It just so happens that our Director, David began looking after bees over a decade ago and is also a member of the Leicestershire Rutland Beekeepers Association. After we moved to our new office and gained extra roof space, he realised this would be an ideal spot for an apiary. Up there, the bees would be free to harvest a mix of crops from around the city, creating a unique tasting honey and also be less susceptible to any harmful substances that farmers spray on their crops. 

So now for some Bee trivia: do you know how bees communicate with each other? The ‘waggle dance’. Now if you’re like us when we first heard of this, you’re probably picturing bees busting funky moves in a 70s disco. Sadly, this isn’t the reality. When bees begin to settle into a new home they send out ‘scouts’ who fly around the area to figure out exactly where they are. These scouts then come back to the hive and communicate this using a unique form of movement known as ‘the waggle dance’.

If you’re interested in staying up-to-date with our fuzzy little friends, watch this space. We’ll be posting more updates as the weather warms up and our little pals start to head out again. Alternatively, come and say hello at our offices - we might even give you our own rendition of the waggle dance.

The A-Z of life at RKH | Agile

Our digital team are very busy people. As well as being frighteningly intelligent, they’re also a very organised bunch of folks, utilising a number of tools and techniques that help them build high-quality products and services for clients from a range of sectors. To kick off our A-Z of life at RKH, we’ve chosen a critical working method and overused buzzword - Agile.

Agile is the project management methodology adopted by our Digital Account Director, Harshul, which helps our digital team build online services quickly and focuses on defined objectives. Testing occurs throughout a project, so that work can quickly adapt based on the feedback given by both the client and the project manager.

In comparison to Waterfall methods, the Agile approach allows for constant feedback throughout the entire process, instead of when the project is nearing its end. With the Agile approach, the planning, designing and testing phases all happen at the same time. This is most effective when building digital services, as it allows teams to modify or rework what they’re building should any unforeseen or external forces arise.

Our web team usually work over periods of time known as ‘Sprints’, which involve 2-3 weeks of working hard to provide a specific list of deliverables. After feedback and review, this then followed by continuous periods of sprints, which is both valuable and very intense.

It's a hugely beneficial way of working because the team constantly learns and improves what they’re working on, all at the same time. It also provides clients with a clear overview of what can be expected, updates on any ongoing work and providing an indication of what will be finally delivered.

Join us on our social accounts to stay updated on the A-Z of life at RKH and find out how weird and wonderful agency life can be.