Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Life Sciences Party

29th June 2011

The Abchurch Offices; 125 Old Broad Street

Attended by:
A selection of the life science City Financiers in London, a selection of the VC community and a contingent of the life science media, together with a number of young and exciting companies.

The Event:
With the Abchurch Life Sciences Team growing from strength to strength it only seemed appropriate to open our doors to the Life Science community for an evening of champagne and canapés, and give the newest member of our team, Jamie Hooper, the opportunity to meet and mingle with others in the industry.

In our series of themed events, this was our first Life Science party and it must go down as another great Abchurch success. We had a fantastic turnout of guests, all with a keen interest in the sector, either as analysts, journalists, corporate financiers or company Board members. We were delighted to have Nigel Brooksby, former Chairman of Sanofi-Aventis and current Chairman of the UK Life Sciences Council, give a short talk to kick start the evening, giving guests plenty of food for thought. One interesting, though controversial, point Nigel raised was that biotech “thinks pharma is slow and bureaucratic”, while Pharma “thinks they already know everything”. Quite how this will be addressed as Pharma and biotech need to work more closely in the future is still to find out. He was certainly opinionated – as an experienced industry specialist should be – and a great champion of UK biotech.

Abchurch’s Creative team rose to the occasion and the inspirational ideas really added that touch of genius to the evening. With waiters wearing purple Abchurch branded scrubs and a menu including gazpacho served in brightly coloured test tubes, seared beef in kidney trays, health and science was most definitely the theme. My personal favourite, the crème de la crème of the evening was a selection of jellies served for desert imaginatively presented in Petri dishes. With raspberry & rose, elderflower & gooseberry and lime & lemongrass flavours, exactly what they were supposed to look like, we won’t mention here – suffice to say they were realistic!

Many commented that it was refreshingly different to other events they had attended and it made for a thoroughly enjoyable and useful networking evening. I am looking forward to what creative surprises we can expect with a Green Gathering on the cards for October. The bar has certainly been raised.


Follow us on Twitter @AbchurchComms

Monday, 6 June 2011

Five-minute Abchat: Rebecca Murch, Abchurch

Our newest Intern is ex-businesswoman Rebecca (Becky) Murch, currently studying PR at Westminster University. We asked her why she made the move from sandwich shop owner to PR guru (in the making).

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress; I had the best dressing up box of all my friends. I use to put on little skits and plays for my family and then in my last year at primary school I put together a musical version of Cinderella with my best friend. All the songs were nursery rhymes but we changed the words. My parents still have a VHS recording of it, which they occasionally like to embarrass me with, at the time I thought it was worthy of an Oscar!

Why did you decide to get into PR?
I love communication and business and therefore it seemed to be a great direction to go in. I find it fascinating, particularly the challenge of liaising between an organisation and its different audiences.

Describe your course in ten words or less (if that’s possible!):
The first few words that pop to my mind are: Eye opening, stimulating, challenging, sometimes frustrating, but most definitely interesting.

If I wasn’t talking to you now, what would you be doing?
Trying to absorb as much information as possible, there is so much going on in the office and I am trying to get to grips with all the different clients and who is working on what. This is a different sector to any that I have worked in before so there is a lot to take in.

What is the most interesting thing about your course?
I would have to say the people that we get to meet. Westminster University have great contacts within the media industry who host seminars and lectures on campus. Their insight and experience is invaluable and really enhances the learning experience and if you are cheeky and take advantage they are great for getting top tips and creating contacts.

Do you think there is a common misconception about PR?
Yes, I do not think it is taken seriously enough. In my personal opinion Public Relations is an invaluable tool to businesses and a key component to the marketing mix but often it does not receive the recognition that it deserves.

How has the industry changed over the last couple of years?
I can only go on what I have learnt so far in my degree, I think the main change has been the development within the digital world and the 24/7 media environment that we now live in. I think that this brings with it new challenges as well as many new exciting opportunities and I think this will continue in the coming years.

What developments do you expect to see in the next twelve months?
I think there will be more and more developments within digital PRas media consumption habits are changing. This is a hot topic at the moment on my degree and every visiting practitioner spends time talking about the importance of including digital elements to campaigns and the importance of having an online presence. It has been fascinating to look at how the media landscape has changed in recent years and I think it will become more important in order to reach key audiences.

Follow us on Twitter @BexMurch @AbchurchComms