Our approach

About Barley

Introductions first – we are James Ford and Sam Williams and we’re partners in Barley Communications. In 2016, we decided to set out on our own, having worked together at big agencies for over ten years.

Above all, we wanted to make a difference on issues that matter to us. We saw an opportunity to create a new kind of agency – smart, agile and with a clear focus on maximizing the impact we achieve for our clients. An agency full of bright, energetic people, using the latest technology and flexible working practices – keeping overheads low and passing that benefit on to our clients.

When you work with Barley, we want you to be able to say that:

  • Barley is good to work with – that we act with integrity and operate in a transparent way
  • Barley delivers – the quality is high and we add value through our insights, advice and creativity
  • You benefit from big agency thinking at boutique prices

And what’s in a name? Why Barley? Well, it’s wholesome, honest, versatile and felt like a good representation of the kind of agency we wanted to create – one firmly rooted in straightforward integrity.

We’d love to meet you and discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Get in touch...

What matters

Our best work comes with clients whose vision we are passionate about, so those are the only clients we take on. We focus on what matters to us and where our experience and insights mean we can really make a difference. We’re happy to work with private and public sector clients, with charities and with commercial businesses.

What matters to us is that we work with our clients to achieve something positive – behaviour change on health, social and environmental issues; profile raising to help charities increase awareness and funding; working with members of the public, staff and other stakeholders to improve services; or campaigning for equality, justice and stronger communities.

Making an impact

As we started to plan how we set up Barley, we spent a lot of time listening to senior managers, communications professionals and fundraisers. They told us they’ve worked with too many agencies where a great strategy hasn’t worked its way through to delivery, or where they are bombarded with a bunch of creative ideas with no link back to their strategic goals.

In response to this, we’ve developed our IMPACT model which we apply to all of our work. This begins with a deep understanding of our clients – their goals, communications objectives and target audiences. From this we pin down what matters most and where we can make the greatest difference. We make sure this flows through our detailed planning process and into the campaigns we deliver, with carefully crafted content and channel strategies designed to engage and influence target audiences.