The Big Partnership is a Scottish PR firm named after the initials of the three founders, Alex Barr, Graham Isdale and Neil Gibson. Graham Isdale left the firm in April 2006 to set up GI Communications. The Big Partnership  is one of the UK's largest PR firms. According to the 'PR Week' league table it ranks 2nd in Scotland and top 5 for the UK outside London. Turnover for 2005 exceeded £5m. (source: Big Partnership website )
This firm provides a range of PR services to clients including international consumer campaigns, crisis and reputation management, speech writing and media training.
Formed in 2000 by Alex Barr, Graham Isdale and Neil Gibson. The North of Scotland operation is headed by company director Zoe Corsi. Over 80 employees are are based in Big Partnership's Glasgow H.Q. In Scotland there are also offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.
BIG Partnership was caught up in the National Semiconductor spy scandal in which trade union activist Jim McCourt was spied upon and assaulted. Beattie Media the PR firm employed by National Semiconductor was involved in drawing up a PR strategy to try and marginalise safety concerns about their plant in Greenock, Scotland. The principals of BIG worked for Beattie Media at the time and subsequently took Nationals Semiconductor with them when they left to found the BIG partnership.
Big Partnership's clients include:
- ScottishPower http://www.scottishpower.co.uk ScottishPower featured at 6th place in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's (SEPA) 'roll of shame' for 'failing pollution assessments' and having 'one of the worst pollution records in Scotland'. Source: Sunday Herald, 24 July 2005)
- De Vere http://www.devereonline.co.uk
- Deloitte http://www.deloitee.com
- Coors http://www.coors.com
- Dundas and Wilson (Scotland's largest law firm) http://www.dundas-wilson.com
- Celtic Football Club http://www.celticfc.co.uk
- Aberdeen Football Club http://www.afc.co.uk
- Scottish Rugby (formerly SRU) http://www.scottishrugby.org
- HayGroup http://www.haygroup.com
- British Energy http://www.british-energy.com
- Scottish Enterprise http://www.scottish-enterprise.com
- Scottish Executive http://www.scotland.gov.uk/
The Scottish Executive spent £1.3m on information campaigns in 18 months to Feb 2006. The money was spent on just 4 firms including Consolidated Communications who received £600,808 (the greatest recipient of spending). £193,845 was paid to The Big Partnership for PR services. Sources: Aberdeen Press and Journal, 17th Feb 2006 and The Scotsman 18 Feb 2006.
The Big Partnership was employed by the Scottish Executive to promote the Carnegie Philanthropy Awards in 2005 []. The objective of the awards was described by George Reid, Presiding Officer at the Scottish Parliament as follows:
“Enterprise and compassion are fundamental Scottish values. Our new parliamentary campus has been created as a place of conversation with the wider world. The Carnegie Medal programme and awards will stimulate debate on how wealth creation can contribute to international peace, poverty reduction and sustainable development.” source [].
This would suggest that aim of the awards is to develop closer relationships with big business and stimulate wealth creation in Scotland. A measure of this may be to examine the sustainability achievements and business integrity of previous winners.
In 2004, Helen Clark died from Cancer which her husband 'Henry believes developed as a result of her job at the National Semiconductor plant in Greenock'. 'Helen Clark spent six years working in production at National Semiconductor, operating a machine baking compounds on to silicon wafers using arsine gas, which contains arsenic.' (The Herald, 27 December 2005).
The BIG partnership has represented media interests of Clydeport since August 2000. This includes unveiling the master plan of the £500million Glasgow Harbour project.
External Links & References
- ^ Photograph from the Big Partnershiphomepage, accessed 15 April 2007.
- ^Steven Vass 'Big shake-up sees Isdale leave with pay-off to start rival PR firm' Sunday Herald, 30 April 2006.
- ^ Rob Edwards, Environment Editor, NEWS; Pg. 5, 1184 words, Exposed: Scotland's filthiest companies; Polluters in 'roll of shame' Sunday Herald, July 24, 2005.
- ^ The Herald, Emma Seith 'Work killed my wife'; New research shows workplace-related cancers kill four times as many people as official figures show. Why is safety so lax?, Emma Seith, , 27 December 2005 (article not available online)
- ^ Aberdeen Press & Journal, 'Executive's ?1.3m bill on agencies', pg 11, 139 words, Friday 17 February 2006 (not available online)
- ^The Scotsman, Hamish Macdonell,'Executive spends GBP 1.3m on contracts for four PR companies', Thursday 16 February 2006 (not available online)
- ^ "The Scottish Parliament" Scottish Parliament Welcomes 'Home' to Scotland the Carnegie Philanthropy Awards, 4th February 2005 http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/nmCentre/news/news-05/pa05-008.htm