Why being Blueprinted
will make us millionaires

Why being Blueprinted
will make us millionaires

Guest blog by Richard Fogg, CEO, CCgroup

In 2020, it felt like we won *all* the awards. Agency awards, mental health awards, campaign awards. It was amazing. Aside from the fact that we ‘accepted’ them all from our kitchen tables. One of those awards delivered a $1,000,000 boost in our pipeline. But you know what’s way more valuable, than all those exciting wins? Being Blueprinted.

OK, OK, let me explain. Being Blueprinted has not generated a million dollars in pipeline (though it’s early days!) There’s no ‘moment’ at your kitchen table to celebrate. In fact, it’s like thinking you’ve reached the summit of Everest, when you’ve really just lumbered, exhausted, into base camp. Even worse? It may result in Elizabeth being nice to you (which, for me, is a bit unsettling).

“But you know what’s way more valuable, than all those exciting wins? Being Blueprinted.

But despite all that, it’s still worth every week we spent getting our ‘nowhere-near-as-good-as-we-thought’ PR agency ready for Blueprinting.

Since seeing Elizabeth speak on a PRovoke panel on diversity in early 2019, I’ve become a bit of a Bananuka fan-boy. I wrote CCgroup’s first (and retrospectively, pretty basic) diversity strategy the next week and, as we started delivering against it, I thought we’d easily make the grade for the Blueprint when it launched (at this point, it was 100 words of text on the BME PR Pros website). Oh, how wrong I was.

We’d created policies, conducted training, made DEI a board-level issue. But when I saw the application form for the first time, it was clear we were *way* off the mark. Why? Well, we had lots of good intentions, lots of commitment, lots of resources ready to deploy (yes, you need to spend money!) but we couldn’t figure out exactly what we needed to do.

The Blueprint basically solved this problem for us. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but the Blueprint really is an amazing piece of work. It’s been put together so mindfully, it’s so thorough. It forces you to think really hard about your business and how to make it better for *everyone* – not ‘just’ BME PR professionals, it’s entirely inclusive. It gives you structure and guidance in a way nothing else does. It is absolutely the ‘gold standard’.

We reviewed and workshopped policies, put in place objective systems for promotion and training and development, ripped apart job descriptions to remove unconscious bias, identified and addressed gender and ethnic pay gaps. We challenged our suppliers. We parted company with half of our recruiters because they wouldn’t commit to providing 33% diverse shortlists. We co-created a charter to enshrine our commitments to, and expectations of, our clients. It was hard work, especially during a pandemic, but we got there.

Being Blueprinted is just the start. We’ve a long way to go. And while it hasn’t delivered $1,000,000 of opportunity (yet!), it gives CCgroup the opportunity to attract and retain the diverse talent and leadership we will need to grow. And if that isn’t worth a million dollars, I don’t know what is.