agency

Hive Society Honey

Back in June last year we welcomed tens of thousands of eager new workers to the RKH office. Ready for their arrival, we assembled The Hive Society, a crack team of RKHers tasked with keeping them all in check and well looked after in their new rooftop home. 

Our workers have been through a lot since they arrived. We’ve been plagued by bad weather and the conditions have been pretty unideal for honey making, but they’ve soldiered on and made the best of it. Then, just a few weeks ago as the weather was finally starting to look up, we found them under attack from an army of greedy wasps! 

After a battle of Game of Thrones proportions, resulting in many casualties on both sides, David and Brett bravely stepped in to save the day. Risking the wrath of the wasps, they narrowed the entrances to the hives to give the bees a better chance at keeping the intruders at bay and protecting their precious honey. Thankfully it worked, and with our help, the bees prevailed. 

For our efforts, we’ve been rewarded with our first batch of delicious golden honey, fresh from the RKH hive. We all excitedly gathered in the kitchen to get our first taste and watch as it was carefully extracted from the honeycombs and strained, ready for jarring. In total, we collected 57 jars, enough for one each, plus enough spare for us to gift to friends and family. 

Our bees have done us proud, creating some of the sweetest honey we’ve ever tasted and our beautifully designed series of labels adds the perfect finishing touch to all of their hard work.

Brett takes the RKH bowling crown

On Tuesday the team headed down to Hollywood Bowl for our first bowling social of the year. With the coveted RKH bowling trophy and a golden bottle of prosecco up for grabs, our competitive sides came out to play and everyone was determined to be crowned the new office champion. 

Reigning champ Kyle got things off to a strong start, convinced the digital team would be hanging on to the trophy. He was soon overtaken though, and before long it was obvious that this was going to be a close-fought game between our top 5 players. 

Will started to take the lead during the second game, with an almost clean streak of strikes and spares. But after a premature victory dance, his over confidence got the better of him and he messed up his final bowl, narrowly losing out to Brett by just 2 points.

Instead of the usual 1st, 2nd and 3rd place we decided to award the remaining prizes to those who came 5th and 10th. After it became clear who was in the running for the top spot, the rest of us resorted to playing tactically in an attempt to score ourselves the chocolates! There were plenty of ‘accidental’ gutter balls thrown and careful calculations, but in the end Kyle and Iain scooped the prizes. 

Huge congratulations to our new champion Brett, until next time! 

#BackingTheBlues at RKH

We’re proudly supporting Leicester City by taking part in the #BackingTheBlues campaign on Friday 29th April. Before everything in the office turns blue for the day, we asked Leicester fans from the team to share their memories of supporting Leicester City and feelings at this late stage of the season.

David

My Mum and Dad started supporting City straight after the Second World War, going to matches with my Mum’s Dad.

The first game I went to was the first leg of the 1963/64 League Cup Final. We’d moved to live in Stafford and I saw the game with my Mum and Dad at Stoke City on 15th April 1964. I was 9, Gordon Banks was in goal for Leicester, Stanley Matthews was still a Stoke player but injured for this game, it ended as a 1-1 draw.

Since that game I have seen at least one Leicester game in every season; at times I have been able to follow them home and away, and for most of the last 25 years I’ve been a season ticket holder.

This season is by far and away the best, far beyond what I ever could have hoped for. My more realistic hope was that I might see us win the FA Cup, I’m overwhelmed at the thought that we may end up winning the Premier League.

So many memories over those years, time makes the rubbish fade and picks out some of the highlights:

  • I was one of at least 42,000 on 13 March 1968 for an FA Cup replay against Tommy Docherty’s Rotherham that we won 2-0. There were so many in there that my feet were often off the ground and I saw very little. Dangerous but exciting.
     
  • I was at the Leicester v Shrewsbury FA Cup Quarter Final game at Filbert Street in March 1982, definitely the strangest game I’ve ever seen with Leicester having four goalkeepers, 13 minutes of injury time and winning 5-2, including a goal from a 21 year old Gary Lineker.
     
  • Then in August 1997 I saw Leicester draw 3-3 at home to Arsenal in the Premiership. All the action was in the last few minutes of normal time and seemingly endless injury time. The action even carried on after the final whistle with “ugly scenes” including Steve Walsh and Ian Wright having to be dragged apart.
     
  • The Martin O’Neill years created many memories, Wembley trip with my Dad and Son were special, perhaps the best of these was seeing Steve Claridge’s last minute winner against Crystal Palace in 1996 to take us into the Premier League. 

Sadly my Dad is no longer with us; he wouldn't have believed the run we are on this season. He does have a plaque in the Memorial Garden at the club and his ashes were sprinkled there so we pay him a visit before home games.

Ian

Since a 2-0 win in August 1991 against Plymouth Argyle, innumerable weekends have been spoilt by football. Two league cups aside, early memories of watching Leicester are mostly of tears and upset. Over the years I’ve got used to avoiding “highlights” and regularly pondered why my Dad decided to share this affliction with me almost 25 years ago. 

It’d be easy to recall memories of play-off and league cup finals, but when talking with my Dad or friends, it’s often the awful games that make us smile the most. Cold dark evenings watching a terrible match at an empty ground decided by a deflected goal or unbelievable mistake seem to be a core memory for many Leicester fans. Entertainment has more regularly been found in trivial aspects of the game, the match ball being sponsored by a local takeaway or laughing at the songs being chanted, rather than moments of quality football.

Leicester fans don’t expect to win. We want our team to put up a fight and hoped we could establish ourselves as a Premier League team in time. Last season was dramatic; the events in the summer left many people confused and everyone else worried. Nobody thought this would happen. I’d have happily taken guaranteed fourth from bottom before the season started.

This season has been different. Rather than pretending football doesn’t exist, I want to watch every match, the highlights and then listen to podcasts after. I now get why my Dad introduced Leicester to me. All those awful matches devoid of quality or interest make what’s happening even more special. If things go as many predict now, I suspect it’ll be tears of joy and disbelief at the end of this season.

Jamie

I’m not from Leicester and was never really a rabid football supporter before I got here. I’d been to watch Shrewsbury fairly regularly and half-heartedly supported Everton when I was young to annoy the Liverpool fans that filled my school, but I was more of a fan of football as a whole. 

The first weekend I came to Leicester, I watched us lose to Spurs in the 1999 Worthington Cup final. They won in injury time after having Justin Edinburgh sent off for swinging at Robbie Savage (we’ve all wanted to do it at some point) and with that valiant failure I fell in love. 

I’ve been a season ticket holder (with a few years off for good behaviour) pretty much ever since. 

It’s hard being a Leicester fan. We tend to do things the hard way and this season aside there hasn’t been much joy in recent years. I re-christened the King Power ‘The Theatre of Nightmares’ (rather than the Theatre of Dreams that is Old Trafford), so few times had I left the stadium feeling happy. 

There is this lovely irony to being a Foxes fan though, demonstrated this season when 4-0 up against Swansea and 8 points clear at the top of the Premier League, the fans were singing ‘we are staying up, say we are staying up.’ Whilst not exactly enjoying the pain they put us through, we certainly appreciate it.

The O’Neill years left us and so began the decline ending with the ignominy of being relegated to League One. The thing is, the years spent clawing our way back up from that lowest point have made this high point even sweeter. If you’d have told me at the start of the season that we would be one win away from claiming the world’s biggest football prize, I would have laughed in your face. 

I would have been happy with 17th place this season. After the miracle of last season’s Great Escape a consolidation year would have been perfectly satisfactory. What we’re seeing is beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t believe it’s happening in my lifetime and I’ve been in the stadium to witness it.

So, to pick out some memories:

  • Having to run away from a load of chasing Derby fans at Pride Park because I never know when to keep my mouth shut.

  • Muzzy Izzet’s goal against Grimsby.

  • Lilian Nalis’s wonder goal against Leeds.

  • Being promoted from League One.

  • Leicester’s 5-3 victory over Manchester United.

  • Galloping away with the Championship.

  • The Great Escape last season.

  • Jamie Vardy’s goal against Liverpool this season.

And I’m hoping (hardly believing it while I do) that there is going to be another memory soon - that of Big Wes lifting the Premier League trophy. It gives me butterflies now as I type this. What a time to be a City fan.

We like big books and we cannot lie

Nothing pleases us more than a beautifully written novel. Falling in love with characters, analysing plot lines and losing ourselves in another world. We asked the team which novels topped their list and why. Is yours on anyone’s list?

Andy - Preacher comics

The 'Preacher' series of comics / graphic novels holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first graphic novel series I really invested in. It's what started it all off for me (Well, that and Watchmen, but Watchmen already enjoys glory on plenty of 'top book' lists). No camp superhero costumes. Well fleshed-out, human characters. Great big heavy doses of cynicism about organised religion. And truly adult, gritty story writing that wasn't afraid to be offensive or controversial (Arseface?).

Oh, and the absolutely most badass character ever written... The Saint of Killers.

Emily - Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I’ve been a bookworm since the moment I could read. I maxed out my library card every Saturday when I was growing up and to this day would much prefer to curl up with a good book than watch countless TV episodes on Netflix! Tess was one of the first classics I read and is a novel I’m particularly fond of. It was also one of the reasons I chose to study English Literature at uni. 

If you’ve not read it, it’s an epic tale telling the tragic life of Tess Durbeyfield, following her disasters in love, her heart-breaking experiences with death and her ultimately futile attempts to become a ‘proper’ woman. Hardy’s style and language is beautiful, the plot contains many twists and turns and the characters are great (even the nasty ones).

Ian - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Trying to pick a favourite book was really tricky, as so many have left me with memories and strong feelings. One kept coming into my mind though, Catch-22. There’s a moment when the book changes and you realise things were not quite as you’d thought. That moment has stuck with me ever since.

I’d started to read Catch-22 several times, struggled to “get it” and stopped. If you’ve put the book down and never finished it, make sure you try again. It really reminds me other books I love, Kafka’s “The Trial”, Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” and if I dare mention a film then definitely “Full Metal Jacket”.

Catch-22 is a brilliant, funny and ultimately shocking book to remind us just how ridiculous war (and much more in our lives) really is.

Jamie - American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Firstly as a writer I am possessed with a serious case of authorial jealousy when I think about Bret Easton Ellis. The man is an arch-stylist and is more in control of his prose than anyone I can think of. On a sentence by sentence basis, I can’t think of a book which is more precise or pitch perfect.

For someone who works in marketing or advertising, this is a must read as it is the ultimate critique of consumerism and capitalist greed. Despite the furore caused at the time of its release it isn’t a misogynist book, it is an anti-human book if anything and the only character in the whole book who has anything approaching a soul is Jean, Patrick Bateman’s PA. 

And above anything, above the gore and the excess, it is a very funny and very sharp satire that holds up to repeated readings and the passage of time.

Matt - 1984 by George Orwell

Few books can claim to be the genesis of so many ideas and paradigms of the twentieth century, or grow more worryingly relevant with each passing decade since its writing. And this edition is an object lesson in great cover design, at once unsettling and entirely appropriate.

Max.jpg

Max - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I fell in love with this novel after studying it during A-Level English Literature. Whilst some might see deconstructing each paragraph of every page as ruining the finely crafted story, it actually helped me appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing, even more. 

Set in the Roaring Twenties, Gatsby's tragic story explores themes surrounding the illusion of the American dream. Surrounded by the antics of the Jazz age, Fitzgerald's commentary on materialism and success grounded upon wealth are themes which still resonate with readers today.

Steph - Metropol by Ted Mckeever

I've always been drawn to things with a certain underlying darkness to them, so when I was recommended to check out Ted McKeever by a friend it was obvious I was going to be hooked. I love all of his works, but Metropol just slightly tops his others for me. I think it's his most accomplished story, an epic but totally original tale of good vs. evil peppered with plenty of dark humour and I completely devoured it in one sitting. His scratchy, scrawled lines add such a heavy, claustrophobic atmosphere to each and every panel, creating this brilliantly creeping sense of dread and hopelessness as the end of days looms closer. It's so easy to get lost in it once you start. 

Will - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Of all time, it would have to be Great Expectations by Dickens. He brings the characters alive and you feel yourself involved in the book, instead of a mere bystander. There are so many great characters as well (like Mrs Havisham!) The story of a poor child rising up through society is also inspiring. And of course, one of my favourite lines: "Ask no questions, and you'll be told no lies.”

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.