New Bristol PR agency launched by ex-Social regional office MD as he takes over its team and clients

July 22, 2022

The former South West managing director of national PR firm Social has launched a new communications consultancy aimed at place-makers, purposeful businesses and public bodies.

Bristol-based Distinctive Communications has been founded by Ben Lowndes, who has taken on all five staff members of Social’s South West team. 

Under an agreement with Social, which also has offices in  Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester, Ben has also acquired all Social’s South West clients, including housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel, property investment group Reef and Nuclear South West.

Social opened in Bristol in  2017 with no clients. Under Ben’s leadership last year it generated a turnover of £500,000 with a range of services including campaigns, stakeholder engagement, graphic design and branding support.

The team has also championed good causes, volunteering time to help raise more than £200,000 to tackle holiday hunger and support community groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak in recent years.

Ben, who previously worked for the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) in Bristol and city-based PR agencies JBP and Newgate Communications (formerly PPS), said: “I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved at Social since setting up in Bristol.

“Continuing as Distinctive gives us the opportunity to build on this progress, with a strong focus on supporting place-makers, purposeful businesses and public bodies.

“Our mission as Distinctive is to deliver jargon-free effective communications to clients to build the trust they need to thrive – in their communities at city hall and in the media.”

The agency has already won new projects for higher education clients.

Social founder and chief executive John Quinton-Barber added: “I’m very happy for the team as they embark on their journey as a new entity, Distinctive Communications. I am particularly proud of Ben who has dedicated these past four years to build a solid business in Bristol.

“I wish them every success for the future and Social will never forget their valuable contribution.”

Distinctive Communications’ team includes director Ben Lowndes, account director Tori Madine, senior account manager Tom Jones, senior creative designer Sam Bessant, account manager Sarah Mahoney and senior account executive George Heal.

Pictured: Distinctive Communications’ team. Back row, from left: Sam Bessant, Ben Lowndes and Tom Jones. Front row: Sarah Mahoney, Tori Madine and George Heal


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