Cornerstone continue to make their mark

Date published: 22 October 2018

Oldham agency Cornerstone Design & Marketing was a finalist at an awards night celebrating the best of Greater Manchester’s media, digital, public relations and creative industries.

Cornerstone was shortlisted for three categories of the 2018 Manchester Publicity Association (MPA) Inspiration Awards – the Big Bang, Collaboration and Small Creative Agency of the Year categories.

Staff from the Oldham agency attended the MPA Awards ceremony held on Thursday (October 18) at Manchester’s Midland Hotel.

The Big Bang award category recognises highly-successful publicity campaigns delivered on modest budgets.

For this, Cornerstone’s entry highlighted its development of a volunteer recruitment campaign called Hero Next Door for the North West Ambulance Service’s Community First-Responder scheme.

The objective was to gain 50 new volunteer first-responders.

While the target may seem low, the process of becoming a first responder is quite rigorous. With a modest budget, the results far-exceeded the ambulance trust's expectations.

The ambulance trust received many enquiries about volunteering and saw large rises in social media engagement and website views. Within the first week alone, 500 requests were received.

This was ten times that of the entire campaign target.

For the Collaboration award category, MPA judges shortlisted a joint campaign by Cornerstone and Oldham’s Andy Sweeting of El Capitan Digital, an agency specialising in user-experience (UX) which was launched in 2017.

The two agencies collaborated to develop Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) ‘Nature Greater Manchester’ website to connect the public with green spaces, attractions, activities and organisations.

Cornerstone has worked with El Capitan Digital on a number of other collaborative projects, ranging from large public sector to small B2B campaigns.

Cornerstone’s third MPA Awards shortlisting was for the Small Creative Agency of the Year category.

For this, Cornerstone had highlighted its strong focus on client satisfaction, staff development, business growth and quick responses to two urgent events in 2017.

The first unexpected event was the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017.

Following the attack, Cornerstone designed and developed the Manchester Emergency Fund website within one week.

The website had to contain key emergency information for victims, survivors, families and friends, emergency services, local authorities, charities and donations.

Its design required bespoke coding by Cornerstone to create an easily-navigated, secure and sensitive website.

The second unexpected event was the administration of the former parent company of the Oldham Evening Chronicle in August 2017.

Local radio station Revolution 96.2 managed to buy the Oldham Chronicle titles from the administrators in the autumn and then commissioned Cornerstone to redesign and relaunch two business and education magazines, called Oldham Business Edge and The Knowledge, plus a brand-new lifestyle magazine called Signature. 

The three print and digital magazines have now reached their first anniversaries with four quarterly editions published of each title.

Cornerstone Design & Marketing was founded in 2007 by managing director David Wadsworth.

From a one-man business it has grown to employ 14 staff and also regularly works with two consultants.

Speaking about reaching MPA Awards, David said: “Being shortlisted for an award provides great independent recognition of Cornerstone’s achievements and it’s a real achievement to appear in categories alongside some of the biggest names in our industry.

“Our range of work has grown with public and private sector clients. We have worked for clients including Recycle for Greater Manchester, Oldham Community Leisure, Manchester City Council, Cancer Research UK, North West Ambulance Service, and the Bee in the City and Snowdog sculpture trails. 

“We believe our full range of skills, services and size probably make the agency unique among Oldham’s creative and digital sector.

"Comparable full-service digital and marketing firms are more typically to be found in Manchester, Media City or Leeds.”

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