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Just before the national lockdown in 2020, Pippa Nixon transitioned from working in an established PR agency to becoming a freelance consultant. Her motivation was to gain the freedom to explore and grow in her profession, however, the pandemic ended up taking her on a roller coaster ride in her business journey. 

Starting out initially as a freelancer working for some of the best agencies in Manchester and beyond, in 2021 her client base grew at such a pace that she made the shift towards an agency model.  

She hired her first member of staff and aimed to create a working environment with a culture focussed on learning and growth for her team, allowing them to scale alongside the ambitious clients they worked with. Under her guidance, Scoop expanded rapidly and acquired clients across diverse sectors throughout the UK. 

In May of 2022, Scoop PR was awarded the New Agency of The Year award at the PR Moment North awards, a significant accomplishment for a young business. 

In these times of crisis and uncertainty, where normal life had been put on pause and social interactions were limited, everyone was feeling slightly lonely. However, with the support from GM Business Growth Hub, Pippa’s business journey has never been a solitary one. She shared with her experiences that various programs from the Hub had on her business journey. 


Leaving a job with a stable income behind and starting as a freelancer right before the national lockdown is not for the faint-hearted and having a newly set up PR agency during the pandemic and being awarded as “the New Agency of The Year” after one year is a real achievement. Can you share your business journey?    

Actually, starting an agency was not my initial plan. At the time of going self-employed I’d worked for the same company for around five years (on two separate occasions) and thoroughly enjoyed my job, clients, and team. However, to gain new experiences and learning opportunities, I started as a freelancer in January 2020. At that point, no one could have predicted what would happen next! 

As most of my projects were related to hospitality marketing, the industry was hit hard by the lockdown when the pandemic came, with many contracts put on hold. At that time, most businesses focused on keeping customers engaged even though they could not serve them directly, which required them to find new ways to build customer relationships. 

Lots of PR and marketing agencies were furloughing teams as they had to pause contracts with short notice, and so unexpectedly it became a good time to be a freelancer as there were lots of short-term contracts to support on, and I could work for agencies all over the country. Therefore, I had the chance to try out many different projects in a relatively short time.  

In early 2021, I realised that I had the potential to use a lot of the best bits of what I’d learned and grow an agency. And that it spiralled from there, really. 

So, how do you know about GM Business Growth Hub and the Create Growth programme?  

In late 2020, I participated in the EnterprisingYou programme which I found to be an excellent programme. My advisor helped me access financing opportunities that I was unaware of and encouraged me to take the next step in my growth journey.  

On completing the EnterprisingYou programme, Richard, my business advisor, and my network of marketing professionals recommended the Create Growth programme. At that time, I had started my agency and considering my next steps, it was the perfect opportunity at an ideal time to take a step back and review my journey.  

What is your experience working with GM Business Growth Hub? What do you find most beneficial for you about the Create Growth programme?  

As a marketing professional, I often get caught up in the demands of my clients and overlook the importance of refining my own business strategy. However, the courses I have taken with GM Business Growth Hub have helped me improve our value proposition and focus more on achieving our goals.  

Attending various courses provided by the Hub allows me to reflect on my goals and assess whether or not I am on track. It gives me the space and time to step back from the day-to-day operations and focus on what I truly want to achieve. I often reset my goals or adjust them in some way at these events. With a growing team and client base, it’s crucial to take this time to ensure we are still moving in the right direction.  

At the Create Growth programme, I realised that I had focused too much on increasing our company’s turnover and headcount and lost sight of how this impacted our profits. As a result, I took the opportunity to sit down with an advisor and re-evaluate my business strategy, considering different aspects and how they could work together to drive success.  

The program also provided me with valuable insights on how to grow my team, including specific advice on individual roles and future changes that may be necessary. I also took the chance to discuss my aspirations with the advisors, including the amount of work I want to take on, the level of freedom and flexibility I need, and why I started this business in the first place. All these helped me gain a fresh perspective on my business objectives and the way to achieve them. 

Working alongside like-minded individuals is a key benefit of the Create Growth programme, isn’t it?  

Yes, it was great to be surrounded by so many inspiring founders and to have the opportunity to network with them. The speakers were brilliant, and we had interesting discussions about experimenting with new ideas and different things to ensure our marketing efforts were effective. It was a very valuable experience.  

During the course, we had the chance to meet some brilliant designers and people who specialise in specific audio products, which is something other than what we offer. This presented numerous opportunities for collaboration in the future, as we were able to connect with individuals who possess creative expertise that could be beneficial for us.

Will you recommend the Create Growth programme and GM Business Growth Hub to others in the creative industry?   

Taking two days off from your business to look at it from a strategic point of view can unlock many new opportunities. I highly recommend it regardless of your business size. During the course, I noticed different levels and types of creative businesses, but we all faced the same challenges. This realisation was reassuring. Therefore, I recommend the course. If given the opportunity, I would happily attend it again.  

Create Growth Programme

A fully funded support programme for businesses in the Creative Industries

Create Growth is an innovative programme, designed to help businesses unlock and develop their creative potential.

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