It's been a little while since you heard from us - sorry! The cold days and dark nights seem to be on the turn, ever so slightly, so we thought it was about time we let you all know what we've been up to in the last few months. Enjoy.
We kicked off December by celebrating Intern Europe's first birthday. The international business, based near Queen's University, welcomed over 250 European placement participants to Belfast during its first year and is predicting at least 30% growth in 2015.
Staying on the celebratory theme, December also saw its4women.ie create 17 new jobs in its Coleraine call centre. Fuelled by the runaway success of the female insurance brand, the new employees will work alongside the 40 staff already employed by MCL Insurance, its4women.ie's parent company.
December was a busy month for its4women.ie, with the Clearbox team also creating three Facebook Q&A sessions to help ladies get inspired in the run-up to Christmas. Super stylist Courtney Smith, leading chef Clodagh McKenna and World Champ and its4women.ie ambassador Katie Taylor revealed their tips on style, cooking and fitness on Facebook. You can check out the chats here.
We were off to the movies in December with the team at Universal Pictures Ireland. At the studio's 2015 Slate Presentation in Dublin, we were treated to exclusive previews of some of 2015's biggest blockbusters including Fifty Shades of Grey, The Minions Movie and Jurassic World.
After a quick and relaxing Christmas break, the team got January off to a flying start with Brakes Ireland, helping the leading foodservice provider get ready for CATEX 2015, one of the hospitality industry's biggest annual events. CATEX takes place from 17-19 February at the RDS in Dublin so we'll have more news for you on the event next month.
Intern Europe followed up on its birthday celebrations by welcoming a former staffer at The Financial Times to its Belfast office. Hannah Schmuck joined the company as its business manager - welcome, Hannah!
National Breakfast Week, which took place from 25 - 31 January, saw the Clearbox team launch a week-long campaign for Just Live a Little. Some nice, granola-flavoured social media content was created and we held a competition to give away a shed load of Just Live a Little breakfast goodies.
The first month of 2015 also saw some of the team get up close and personal with a certain Mr. Christian Grey. Working with the team at Universal Pictures Ireland, we planned some very special deliveries for media from Grey Enterprises for the launch of Fifty Shades of Grey - more to follow on that in February's update…
Finally, in January we confirmed the appointment of our newest member of staff - you'll have to wait to find out who she is - and put the finishing touches to an office move. We're off to pastures new in the next few weeks as the company continues to grow - we'll give you our new address, don't worry!
Before we finish, we thought we'd look back at 2014 through the eyes of our staff and summarise our best bits from the year. We hope you enjoy - thanks for reading!
Clearbox highlight of the year: 2014 has been a fantastic year with Clearbox welcoming exciting new clients, new people and new babies! My highlight of the year has been meeting lots of other start up businesses and seeing some really talented local companies go from strength to strength.
Personal highlight of the year: My youngest starting school - that's one guaranteed to break your heart!
Goals for 2015: To take more breaks throughout the day. Our office is right by the sea which we take for granted so my goal is to take more walks and get more fresh air throughout the day.
Clearbox highlight of the year: My highlight has obviously been becoming a part of the fantastic Clearbox team. I have gained so much experience already and I have only spent a short time with the team. Being a part of the growth of Clearbox and working alongside such a variety of PR clients has been both challenging and exciting.
Personal highlight: My highlight of 2014 has to be travelling around Europe with seven of my friends and surviving. An adventure I would repeat in a heartbeat and recommend to any student.
Goals for 2015: Remain a part of the growth of Clearbox, graduate from University of Ulster and travel even more :)
Clearbox highlight of the year: joining Clearbox, of course. And having the opportunity to work on a brilliant mix of clients from household names to start-ups.
Personal highlight of the year: Arsenal ending a nine year trophy drought by winning The FA Cup. How we laughed when we were 2-0 down in the Final…
Goals for 2015: To continue working with our fantastic clients, to help the agency keep growing and see Ballymena United win a trophy. Or just a match. A match would do.
Clearbox highlight of the year: Clearbox has been such a great experience for me and I have learned so much from Anna and John in such a short time, so I'm going to give my top three: Number 1) my first PR stunt down in Dublin which was a memorable experience! Number 2) writing my first blog for Clearbox and receiving such positive feedback from friends and family about my experience and last but not least, number 3) having my birthday in Clearbox, and having yummy birthday cake and getting a lovely (and already totally used!) gift card for Cafe Nero!
Personal highlight of the year: My personal highlight of 2014 was going to my first Ireland rugby game at the Aviva stadium against South Africa with Ireland winning 29-15..and also passing my driving test, of course!
Goals for 2015: To learn more at Clearbox and become a PR whizz, to try hard at university and to put effort into everything I do!