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.

 

 

 

“We appointed Barley Communications to run the media operation for National Trading Standards in 2019. We outsource the entire press function to Barley and entrust them to manage and enhance our reputation on a range of sensitive issues. At NTS we run multiple investigations and Barley are a vital part of our team handling communications for complex court cases with sensitivity and professionalism. The team recently presented to our Board and we were very pleased with the quality of media coverage on issues such as the sale of knives to under 18s, doorstep crime, scams and other areas of consumer harm. Barley are strategic operators working at a senior level and demonstrate an excellent understanding of the complex partner landscape in which we operate. Barley can be relied upon to use their experience to work effectively with partners including police forces, local authorities, retailers and others. Their knowledge of the consumer protection environment, the partnerships they have developed and their links with relevant media are impressive. I am very happy to recommend Barley.”  

LORD TOBY HARRIS, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TRADING STANDARDS AND AUTHOR OF LONDON’S PREPAREDNESS TO RESPOND TO A TERRORIST ATTACK: AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW, OCTOBER 2016 

Barley
2020-05-28T10:03:13+00:00

LORD TOBY HARRIS, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TRADING STANDARDS AND AUTHOR OF LONDON’S PREPAREDNESS TO RESPOND TO A TERRORIST ATTACK: AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW, OCTOBER 2016 

“We appointed Barley Communications to run the media operation for National Trading Standards in 2019. We outsource the entire press function to Barley and entrust them to manage and enhance our reputation on a range of sensitive issues. At NTS we run multiple investigations and Barley are a vital part of our team handling communications for complex court cases with sensitivity and professionalism. The team recently presented to our Board and we were very pleased with the quality of media coverage on issues such as the sale of knives to under 18s, doorstep crime, scams and other areas of consumer harm. Barley are strategic operators working at a senior level and demonstrate an excellent understanding of the complex partner landscape in which we operate. Barley can be relied upon to use their experience to work effectively with partners including police forces, local authorities, retailers and others. Their knowledge of the consumer protection environment, the partnerships they have developed and their links with relevant media are impressive. I am very happy to recommend Barley.”  
"Barley were a delight to work with.  Faced with a complicated task that needed to see considerable behaviour change, Barley’s professionalism and experience shone through. Their ability to create communication strategies, messages that resonate and creative that caught attention were essential factors and very much put me at ease!" 

CLARE ABBOTTS, SENIOR CAMPAIGNS OFFICER, STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

Barley
2020-08-13T09:49:36+00:00

CLARE ABBOTTS, SENIOR CAMPAIGNS OFFICER, STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

"Barley were a delight to work with.  Faced with a complicated task that needed to see considerable behaviour change, Barley’s professionalism and experience shone through. Their ability to create communication strategies, messages that resonate and creative that caught attention were essential factors and very much put me at ease!" 
“The team at Barley worked with us to develop a brand identity and campaign in a very short time scale and the results speak for themselves – national and international print, online and broadcast coverage which far exceeded our expectations.  Barley have helped Borough Market establish itself as a leading force in the fight against plastic pollution, so much so that we are still receiving requests for comment and interviews months later.”

KATE HOWELL, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS, BOROUGH MARKET

Barley
2020-05-18T11:03:40+00:00

KATE HOWELL, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS, BOROUGH MARKET

“The team at Barley worked with us to develop a brand identity and campaign in a very short time scale and the results speak for themselves – national and international print, online and broadcast coverage which far exceeded our expectations.  Barley have helped Borough Market establish itself as a leading force in the fight against plastic pollution, so much so that we are still receiving requests for comment and interviews months later.”

"Absolutely amazing! We are so happy with the outcome of this campaign. Thank you to everyone at Barley for the fab work."


Barnardo's logo


CHARLIE ENRIGHT, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, RETAIL AND TRADING, BARNARDO'S

Barley
2019-07-19T13:35:02+00:00

CHARLIE ENRIGHT, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, RETAIL AND TRADING, BARNARDO'S

"Absolutely amazing! We are so happy with the outcome of this campaign. Thank you to everyone at Barley for the fab work."
“Working with Barley Communications on our Love Not Landfill campaign has been not only enjoyable but hugely fruitful: we obviously loved the campaign already, but were overwhelmed by the attention and support that Barley helped us achieve. They didn’t just deliver media relations but helped us with the whole approach, including ideas generation, social media management and film production. They also hooked us up with some great partners, collaborators and creative specialists along the way. The whole Barley team has been enthusiastic, cheerful and eminently practical at every stage – a flexible and responsive communications agency who’ve delivered reach, impact and engagement beyond our expectations.”


ALI MOORE, HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS, LONDON WASTE & RECYCLING BOARD

Barley
2019-01-15T14:49:58+00:00

ALI MOORE, HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS, LONDON WASTE & RECYCLING BOARD

“Working with Barley Communications on our Love Not Landfill campaign has been not only enjoyable but hugely fruitful: we obviously loved the campaign already, but were overwhelmed by the attention and support that Barley helped us achieve. They didn’t just deliver media relations but helped us with the whole approach, including ideas generation, social media management and film production. They also hooked us up with some great partners, collaborators and creative specialists along the way. The whole Barley team has been enthusiastic, cheerful and eminently practical at every stage – a flexible and responsive communications agency who’ve delivered reach, impact and engagement beyond our expectations.”
"At every turn, I have been deeply impressed with the way Barley operate. The team worked hard and smart to generate well targeted national media coverage for the opening of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, resulting in the best UK-wide profile we have ever achieved. The quality of their work and the support we receive is excellent. I have now commissioned Barley to prepare a communications strategy for the Foundation and anticipate they will continue to be a key partner, supporting our work for years to come."


BRENDAN ELEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SCAR FREE FOUNDATION

Barley
2018-12-07T13:30:31+00:00

BRENDAN ELEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SCAR FREE FOUNDATION

"At every turn, I have been deeply impressed with the way Barley operate. The team worked hard and smart to generate well targeted national media coverage for the opening of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, resulting in the best UK-wide profile we have ever achieved. The quality of their work and the support we receive is excellent. I have now commissioned Barley to prepare a communications strategy for the Foundation and anticipate they will continue to be a key partner, supporting our work for years to come."
“Working with Barley is great. I like the way they have taken the time to get to know our organisation and understand our needs and those of the vulnerable Veterans we serve. They are like an extension of our in house team.”


ED TYTHERLEIGH, CEO, STOLL

Barley
2017-12-12T10:42:43+00:00

ED TYTHERLEIGH, CEO, STOLL

“Working with Barley is great. I like the way they have taken the time to get to know our organisation and understand our needs and those of the vulnerable Veterans we serve. They are like an extension of our in house team.”
"It is a joy working with Barley. They combine great strategic insight with an ability to tenaciously deliver results. On top of that they are an absolute pleasure to work with."


TREWIN RESTORICK, CEO AND FOUNDER, HUBBUB

Barley
2017-12-12T10:11:31+00:00

TREWIN RESTORICK, CEO AND FOUNDER, HUBBUB

"It is a joy working with Barley. They combine great strategic insight with an ability to tenaciously deliver results. On top of that they are an absolute pleasure to work with."
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Barley

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.

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