Member Spotlight – Matterdan Design Studio

Member Spotlight – Matterdan Design Studio

Our newsletter subscribers will be no stranger to our Member Spotlight – shining the light on a different member of the Agency Local community each month. 🔦

Introducing Craig Townsend, Founder of Matterdam Studios!

Craig Townsend is a talented Design Director who has solved design challenges for some of the world’s best known brands in sport, entertainment, and food and drink. His experience working in London advertising agencies has seen him create innovative, award-winning work for international brands and charities.
 Founded by Craig Townsend, Matterdam Design Studio is here to design for the experience age.

We asked Craig to tell us about a recent project that he is especially proud of:

Matterdam was tasked to design a brand campaign for this amazing not-for-profit We designed a brand campaign that is strikingly against the grain in traditional charity media, to encourage populations to help bring this pandemic to an end. We want to kill COVID with kindness and our ask is simple: if you’ve been fortunate enough to receive a COVID vaccine, donate one to someone who hasn’t in a low income country. We want to donate one vaccine for every person in the UK by Christmas. Some wonderful people in this organisation are trying to make sure vaccines are accessible to all no matter where they live or what they earn. Please donate and share. Visit and to learn more. Matterdam is currently working on some very exciting projects in the drinks sector, watch this space.

As a valued Member of our community, here’s what Craig had to say about Agency Local:

“Agency Local is an essential network for agency owners and has been an incredibly helpful resource for me to grow my practice as a designer. Chris is building an exciting network and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow.”

Craig Townsend, Matterdam Design Studio

To see some of Craig’s work check out his website  

As an active member of the Agency Local community, Craig is also fairly new here. So why not say hello on LinkedIn, or better still, join our growing Slack community full of fabulous people and drop him a message on there too!

For more information on how to benefit from all of the wonderful things our membership and community have to offer take a look at our Membership Page

Launching the Member to Member Marketing event

Launching the Member to Member Marketing event


We have all come across the phrase “barber with the worst haircut” or “cobblers with the worst shoes”.  

This represents a profession that is good at what it does but never does it for itself. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, this applies wholeheartedly to the marketing and creative sector.

For an industry that is focussed on helping businesses market themselves, communicate their messages, and drive leads and enquiries, why are we so bad at doing this ourselves?

When I ran my agency, it took over 3 years to build version 2 of our website! I vowed that next time I would outsource that activity to somebody else in order to ensure it was delivered well and on time. We always put ourselves at the back of the queue behind our customers or we have expertise in one area but another and so struggle. 

Agency Local – a community for supporting one another

As a community that is built around supporting one another and helping each other, Agency Local members should be able to assist each other with their marketing activity and results. We want to create the opportunity to make this happen. What is better than being able to Showcase your expertise within the community, to demonstrate what is capable and to provide help and guidance to other members to help them improve in certain areas?

We are introducing a new event where members can do exactly this. They can showcase their Marketing expertise to provide valuable information and knowhow to other members. 

Introducing Member to Member Marketing Showcase

These will be strictly Full Member only events. It is our intention to run these events every two months in the month where we do not have an Insight event. These will be focused around a specific topic that will be led by one of the members with an an element of knowledge sharing as well as interactive Q&A and discussion. 

We could cover all sorts of topics such as marketing strategy, content writing, specific social media e.g. TikTok, photography and the use of images – the list is endless.

For the speakers, not only is this a chance for you to showcase what you do and provide valuable content, it is an opportunity to grow your network and for people to really know what you do and the value you add.

From an attendee perspective, you will gain an insight or new ways of doing things, learn something that will improve your marketing and a chance to upskill or get some quick tips to drive better results. 



Pilot Event 

We will be holding our first Member to Member event on the 21st of October at 9.30. 

Our first Member Expert will be Catherine Storey from Freshbat who will be focusing on why you need a marketing strategy. What a great place to start!

We look forward to welcoming as many members as possible to this event. 



Two things for you to do: 

  1. Put this in your calendar now – 21st October 2021 – 9.30 on Zoom.
  2. If you are interested in presenting at one of the Member to Member events please contact Lisa or Chris.
Add Agency Local’s Event Calendar Today

Add Agency Local’s Event Calendar Today


You asked and we listened!

The feedback we have received has been so helpful in pushing us to plan even further ahead than we usually do. In doing this, we will be helping you secure time slots in your diaries for the all-important dates that you do not want to miss! As an agency ourselves, we know that your time is precious, we also understand that many of our members’ diaries fill up ahead of time, and it is so important to us that we make it as easy as possible for you to attend our events (especially as we have so many exciting things coming up).

As you know, topics and guest speakers will vary, but our event’s schedule is as follows:

  • Insight Event: Bi Monthly, third Thursday of the month, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Ask the Expert events: second Thursday of every month. 9:30-10:30am
  • Huddles: First Friday of every month. 2:00-3:00pm
  • 90 Day Planning Workshops: Bi-Monthly. 9:30am
  • Member to Member Events: Bi-Monthly, third Thursday of the month, 9:30am

We have added a public events calendar to our own calendars and have added the sharable link below:

Add Agency Local Event Schedule To My Calendar

When you open this you should see a ‘+Google Calendar’ option at the bottom right of your screen, click this to add! It’s that simple.

Once this calendar is added, it should show up in your list of ‘other calendars’ for you to view or hide accordingly.

Alternatively, you can click on the individual event’s scheduled in the calendar where you should seethe option to ‘add event to your calendar’:

From here you can add individual events directly to your calendar, as often as you like, for any that especially take your fancy.

These will be mostly save the dates for future planning, we will update the information as early as we can to ensure you have as much as advanced notice of time. As always keep an eye open for more updates via our social channels and our newsletters!

Radical Candor Book Review

Radical Candor by Kim Scott was the Agency Local Bookclub book of the month for September.

Radical Candor – what is it? What does it mean?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott was Agency Local's Book of the Month for September

Yesterday we held our monthly Bookclub (The aim of the Bookclub is to encourage a mindset of continual learning and continual business improvement for marketing agencies ). At each meeting we discuss the book, identify key messages and to highlight our own takeaways as to what we can use in our business.

This was a great book and plenty to share from the discussion. Kim Scott has taken her experiences from managing teams at Google and Apple and come up with an approach that provides the right environment to build and lead effective teams. 

Despite this being based on a corporate scenario, the key principles equally apply to smaller teams and even to one man business working with partners. 

Key takeaways from the discussion were:

Paula Alibone highlighted that it is a great book to help you run teams and manage people – It could easily be a ‘bible’ to team and people management. 

Helen Kirkby said ‘it provides a model to create a valuable culture and a common language where criticism and praise is part of the operating system to foster collaborative working’

Catherine Story observed that the book provides a framework for providing advice (in a Radical Candor way) which is really useful. Giving advice, guidance and feedback can be very difficult and damaging if it is not done correctly.

Good leaders listen understand and adapt.

Other important points from the discussion included that for a leader of a team or a business it always starts with you – you have to lead by being able to allow feedback on yourself. This is sometimes really difficult for some leaders. 

She also outlines a very useful model for ‘Getting Stuff Done’ (GSD) … efficiently 

Key quotes:

“Praise in public, criticise in private”

Magic Question for starting the feedback discussion and improving the way you work with others:

“Is there anything I could do or stop doing that could make it easier to work with me?”

Once you see through the corporate speak there are some really useful ways to manage people – either direct employees or other partners that you work with. Highly recommended.


For more information, updates, our latest titles and to join in on the book club discussion, head to the #book-club channel in Slack

And to find out more for yourself check out the official website:

I am overwhelmed. 

Rennie Grove Hospice Care has been Agency Local Charity of the year for the last two years now. A wonderful charity that allows people at the end of life to be cared for where we would all like to be at that stage of our lives … at home. 

Like most charities they have been hit by covid – the retail income form the many shops has completely dried up as they have not been open. From a personal standpoint, this is why taking on the TeamForge Cycle Challenge over the last few days to raise much needed funds for Rennie Grove was a must do for me.

We did it!! 

35 cyclists (two on a tandem) completed the 350 mile round trip over four days with 17,000 feet of climbing.

I can’t deny it was hard – as many people that know me know I love cycling but I’ll usually ride 40 to 50 miles at the weekend if the weather’s good! I wouldn’t usually choose to cycle an average of 85 miles a day over four consecutive days, whatever the weather, but I’m really proud to have been a part of it.


The routes were as follows:

Day 1 – St Albans to Southampton 101 miles – through a lot of rain
Day 2 – Round the Isle of Wight – 66 miles but very hilly!
Day 3 – Southampton to Swindon – 95 miles – Beautiful route through the New Forest and Salisbury Plain
Day 4 – Swindon back to St Albans – Final leg 81 miles through the Cotswolds and Chilterns

Agency Local Involvement

I am very proud to say that Agency Local were Silver sponsors – with our logo on the shirts. In fact the logo was often in my face as I followed other cyclists! We were part of the organising committee helping and advising on the Marketing of the event. We built and managed the website, established the social media presence and advised on communications activity. 

Proud proud proud 

What we have achieved I am so proud of. The camaraderie and support from every rider towards each other was amazing.

I am sure other riders will not mind me highlighting two individuals. Firstly, Brian Robson who completed the challenge aged 74!  

Secondly David Clarke who is blind, completed the challenge on the back of a tandem with the help of the ‘team’ who took it in turns to go ahead and check crossings, making sure the tandem could cross safely without losing too much momentum.

TeamForge – was really a team and one that I am proud to say I am part of.

Fundraising – that’s what it is all about. 

The response has been astronomical. At present we stand to have raised £145,000. We are hoping that the final tally will be nearer the £150,000. This is a massive achievement and will fund two nurses for a whole year!

This has been the biggest ever single fundraising event in the history of Rennie Grove!


I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Agency Local community, Foals and friends that have made a contribution. The support from our community has been immense and I thank every one of you for supporting me and most of all for supporting Rennie Grove. You are superb!

 For the video of us arriving back at the end of day 4 – head over to the LinkedIn page:


Events Update – Autumn 2021

Events Update – Autumn 2021

As many of you know we have taken stock of our events activity whilst we have all had a break in August. We are now coming back bigger and better and wanted to let you know of some of the changes that we have made. 

If you remember we did an events survey in July, thanks to all who contributed once again. So, based on this feedback, conversations we have had and our own ideas the Agency Local events team have decided on a few changes. 

What will stay? 

All our events are aimed at making your agency a better business and you, as the owner, a better leader. We strive to be thought provoking, ideas giving and opportunity generating – this ethos remains in all we do. 

Why make changes? 

We are constantly seeking improvement and the feedback is that running so many events some people found it hard to find the time to attend. Yes members can watch on the recording however it is not quite the same as being there and being able to ask your questions.

The changes are not radical, just some tweaking. 

What is changing?

Insight Event – remains the same – every second month on the third Thursday of the month in the evening starting at 6.30pm. (Apart from this month which will be on the 23rd Sept). It is our intention to get back to running these as in person events. For now September will be virtual and we are looking for November to be face to face. 

Ask the Expert

We have made the decision to run one AtE event a month instead of two. These will run on the second Thursday of the month from November with Septembers being on the 8th. 

We will now be running these first thing in the morning starting at 9.30 am.


We will run one Huddle a month on the first Friday of the month. A great way to kick off a new month. These will remain at 2pm in the afternoon. 

We will be encouraging you to ‘bring a friend’ and to encourage a wider audience to attend these. New members will also have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the community.

90 Day Planning workshops 

Until now these have been held at random times and dates. We will be running these on a bi monthly basis – these will be open to members and non members alike. The next one will be on September 16th at 9.30 am. Then on the fourth Thursday of alternate months, so November and then January

Marketing Showcase – Member to Member

We are excited to announce a new series of events. We are a community of marketing professionals however our own businesses marketing always seems to fall down the priority list! 

We want to provide members with the opportunity to educate and help other members on aspects of their own marketing activity and at the same time showcase your expertise.  

These will be running bi-monthly in months where we do not have an Insight event – so the third Thursday of the month and will be run at 9.30 am. 

Watch this space for more news on these events 

The Agency Local events team hope that these changes will meet with your approval and we look forward to seeing you at as many events as possible. Remember – we run these events for you – to help you build better agency businesses.

All forthcoming events are featured on the Events Page