Managing Director and Founder
She learnt the ropes by working for some of the biggest brands and brightest minds in companies such as Mars, Pedigree Petfoods, the European Commission, MSD Animal Health, ICI, Electrolux, BOC, and AMEC Rail.
Her experience crosses a wide range of markets including FMCG, consumer durables, charity, industrial, property and technology. This has given her a breadth of experience in corporate PR, corporate responsibility, crisis and issues management, business-to-business, consumer and employee communications.
Mary’s career has always been supported by a love of learning. She has an MSc in Public Relations, an MBA and a PhD on Corporate Social Responsibility Communications: a comparative study of the UK and India.
Epoch employs a range of highly experienced consultants with the specialist business and communication skills required to support our clients. This includes having consultants with a background in corporate responsibility, zoology and botany, ex-journalists, film-makers, marketeers and publishers.
Solving the communication puzzle to create thoughtful solutions is what we love doing and together we offer a wealth of skills and expertise.
We have expertise in the fields of human and animal food and health, animal and human nutrition and behaviour, pet accessories, consumer durables and lifestyle products, travel and tourism, eco renovation, wildlife and gardening.
Our programmes have given us a wide range of expertise including crisis and issues management, corporate and business-to-business communications, corporate social responsibility, media training, workshop facilitation, event management, research and evaluation.
Just some of the organisations we’ve enjoyed working with include Mars, Pedigree Petfooods, BOC, ICI, European Commission, Hoffman La Roche, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, International Life Sciences Institute, Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, Merck and MSD Animal Health, Mars London Marathon, Town & Country Petfoods, Trouw Nutrition, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Pets as Therapy, Cats Protection, Yoplait Dairy Crest, Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Spectrum Brands, Premier Vet Alliance and AMEC Rail.
After 15 years working for others Mary Longhurst set up Epoch in 2001 to work with the wealth of experienced communications professionals who wanted a more equal and flexible way of working. All our consultants have more than 15 years of experience in communications. We avoid hierarchy and use the best consultants for the job. We keep our overheads low so clients pay for our skills rather than our premises.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation but just five minutes to ruin it” – If you think about that, you’ll do things differently, says Warren Buffett. While it sounds like common sense you may be surprised how many companies still don’t get it. Communication is about everything you say and do. You can’t build reputation on what you want to be.
A fundamental part of our work is helping clients understand this and what they really stand for. We then work with them to communicate our clients’ values to build positive reputations. In today’s digitally booming environment, establishing a clear and authoritative voice is vital to success. But the ease of transmission can encourage a focus on the superficial, rather than developing meaningful dialogue. Our skills lie in achieving the clarity to compete in a complex and competitive world, by delivering our clients’ messages so they are relevant and heard by the right people.
We help clients reflect an accurate reputation and understand where their messages can exert influence and how. If your communication strategy combines truth with genuine insight you will be heard. We support clients in developing these insights in a constantly evolving marketplace so their communications remain relevant and in tune.
Lasting relationships are built on trust, honesty and authenticity. By aligning yourself with the right people for mutual benefit, you will create long-term partnerships built on a sound reputation.
We help our clients build alliances and gain support from the stakeholders vital to the success of their campaigns. These collaborations generate endorsement and credibility, gain traction for your messages and give life to your campaign, extending their resources. This will also give momentum to a campaign, bringing life and insights that a company wouldn’t otherwise benefit from.
Following these principles has enabled us to develop fruitful partnerships with our clients. Their trust gives us the support we need to develop and deliver creative programmes that meet our clients’ organisational objectives. By working together the success we can achieve is inspiring.
Changing behaviour is a formidable challenge but an achievable one if you understand the barriers to change and develop strategies to tackle the issues. Content remains king. Understanding how traditional or digital media function is not enough. There has never been a more challenging and exciting time to be in communications so optimising the power of the content is essential to achieving influence.
We understand that getting content right means knowing there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Content needs to take account of the changing marketplace in order to be meaningful to your target audience. Our expertise is based on a sound understanding of organisations and what it takes to create a powerful dialogue. We use stories – told through words, pictures, film and images to join and shape conversations. These conversations can have a powerful impact on audiences.
Influential stories offer insight and meaning. They address a need and are delivered in a relevant way. There is no substitute for clear thinking so we encourage our clients to be focused on their messages, in order to achieve influence and meaningful results.