Freak flash floods in November last year swept through the offices of Empica public relations on Long Ashton but the nine-strong PR business used a combination of remote working and borrowed offices to ensure it was business as usual and has even gained clients during the three months without a base.
Moving back in this week the agency is celebrating with new clients including APRIL UK, one of the leading suppliers of income protection and health insurance; privately managed exclusive new home builder Redcliffe Homes and publisher Bristol Books all signed up while the offices were being dried out and repaired.
Managing Director Martin Powell said: “Helping clients deal with the media in a crisis is one of the major parts of our business, but this was the first time we have had to deal with a major event ourselves.
“The weather last year was unusual and parts of the Chew Valley and North Somerset were flooded that had never experienced such a thing before. Our offices are in the bottom of a valley but in 11 years we had never experienced consistent rain over such a period that led to us having to abandon the offices.
“Thankfully one of our clients is property agent Colliers International who were able to point us in the direction of some temporary accommodation. We lodged with office interior design company McFeggan Brown, at their offices in Flax Bourton and we are grateful to them being so accommodating. It was fantastic that North Somerset businesses help each other out in this way.
“To have actually expanded the business while not having offices was fantastic and we are at advanced stages with other potential new clients that we expect to announce in March.
“The greatest compliment was a week or so ago when the Chief Executive of one of our clients told me she had not even realised we had been flooded as the service had continued seamlessly for her business.”
The Empica name hit the Bristol PR scene in 2008 but the agency has roots going back to 1989 with long-established clients including travel and tourism clients Bakers Dolphin and Wookey Hole Caves and West Country charities including St Pater’s Hospice and Afghan Heroes.