Derry's greatest asset is our people; I see immense potential in our city

​As COO of Gray's, a marketing and communications agency based here in Derry, I see immense potential in our city, which boasts a vibrant pool of talent, brimming with creativity, passion, and a hunger to make a difference.
Erin McMonagle, Chief Operating Officer at Gray's CommunicationsErin McMonagle, Chief Operating Officer at Gray's Communications
Erin McMonagle, Chief Operating Officer at Gray's Communications

​However, retaining and nurturing this talent is crucial if we want Derry businesses to succeed at a high level.

This city holds a special place in many of our hearts. Its steep history, vibrant culture, and resilient spirit are very much a part of the fabric of our agency's identity. Traditionally, success for businesses has often been measured in financial terms.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But today, a new metric is emerging – social value. It's about recognising that businesses are not siloed entities, but integral parts of the communities in which they’re based. Here in Derry, this translates to empowering our people, promoting wellbeing, and creating a sense of shared purpose.

In the marketing and communications industry, our greatest asset is our people. A key part of our mission at Gray’s is the belief that investing in local talent is not just a moral obligation but a strategic imperative.

We understand the immense potential that resides within our city's youth and professionals, and we are committed to providing them with the resources and opportunities to thrive. By nurturing talent from within our community, we not only bolster our own capabilities but also contribute to the overall prosperity and vitality of Derry.

One of the key challenges we face is the allure of opportunities abroad. Too often, talented individuals feel compelled to leave Derry in pursuit of career advancement or better prospects elsewhere. While this trend is understandable, it underscores the importance of creating an environment where talent feels valued, supported, and empowered to grow right here at home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Additionally, we recognise the importance of work-life balance and employee wellbeing in simulating a thriving workforce. In a world where burnout and stress can be pervasive, Gray’s has taken steps to ensure the mental, emotional, and physical health of our team members is prioritised.

From flexible work arrangements to wellness programmes and mental health resources, we are committed to creating a supportive and nurturing environment where our staff can flourish both personally and professionally.

This commitment extends to the very office in which we operate. Just over two years ago, Gray's made a bold decision to invest in Derry's future by purchasing a historic building on Clarendon Street. This substantial investment, totalling nearly half a million pounds, stands as a testament to our ambitious intentions. We recognised the value of this building's history and potential, and we committed ourselves to breathing new life into its walls as we relocated here towards the end of 2022.

Our Clarendon Street home has been meticulously designed and equipped to meet the demands of the dynamic marketing and communications industry. It houses state-of-the-art production facilities, including a podcast studio built to broadcast specifications. These facilities are at the heart of our creative process, enabling us to engage with our clients and audiences more effectively than ever before. Additionally, we have dedicated spaces within the building to stimulate idea generation and provide the team with areas to relax and consolidate their thoughts. These creative hubs are where innovation is born and where we brainstorm, collaborate, and craft stories that resonate with our clients and their audiences.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In what can be a fast-paced environment, these quiet spaces also offer solace, helping us maintain balance in our daily operations. Revitalising historic spaces like Clarendon Street underscores our dedication to our city and its people. As COO I remain extremely proud of our commitment to investing in social value and prioritising the wellbeing and development of our local talent, ensuring we not only strengthen our own agency but also contribute to the broader economic and social ecosystem of Derry.

As our team grows and evolves, so too does our capacity to serve our clients, innovate in our industry, and make a positive impact on the community around us.

Erin McMonagle is Chief Operating Officer of Gray's Communications in Derry.

Related topics: