UK SMEs & New Technologies feature image

UK SMEs & New Technologies

As more and more SMEs opt to utilise new technology in the wake of the pandemic, how can they ensure safe operations while coming to terms with the opportunities new technologies afford?

In June 2019, research conducted by Close Brothers found 58% of SMEs in the UK were not using cloud-based computing for software, storage, or other remote business services. One year on, a report by OGL Computer found that 57% of respondents had plans to adopt cloud computing and collaborative software to drive profitability and business efficiencies.

For some SMEs, like AI Global Media (a B2B digital media publishing company) making use of technology is ever prevalent in their business plans. Tony Garner, one of three directors at AI Global Media explained his rational behind embracing technology, “Technology is critical to all businesses. For large corporates or technology focused start-ups, the reasons are clear, but the benefits for SMEs aren’t always clear and, at times, can be difficult to crystallise. An easy example is having 2 multi-function printers in the office, allowing printing on one, whilst scanning on another. Additionally, there is typically software that can report on who is using which resource which can be invaluable when monitoring activity and costs for departments / individuals. This is a minor example but by scaling up the same rationale to deploying a fully integrated Accounting and CRM system. Typically, there will be sizeable upfront costs and time commitments for the business but the main benefit from having these systems is knowledge. Knowledge that the process is being adhered to, knowledge around pricing, knowledge around who approved what and, the most important of all, knowledge around where improvements in customer experience can be made to make you better, quicker, and more focussed than the competition. This knowledge alone should be enough to bring more long-term value to the business.”

Previously, the main impediment to the adoptions of cloud services by SMEs was a lack of understanding, despite the recognition of the benefits to businesses, as outlined in the Close Brothers research. However, as the times necessitated the speedy employment of new technologies, some businesses find themselves learning as they go. A situation which is leaving businesses with a risk of exposure to hacking and data breaches.

Of course, options do exist for dealing with these issues, even when the infrastructure is provided as service, as Josh Hewitt, Head of IT from AI Global media explains, “There are a few approaches we are looking at when it comes to security of the business:
– an advanced firewall for the business which will protect incoming and outgoing traffic.
– getting everyone working on a business-owned machine
– Credentials such as 365 will be locked down with licensing so it cannot be used elsewhere.
– Blocking users from sharing business files and folders externally by use of Sharepoint advanced security permissions.”

AI Global Media, along with 59% of UK SMEs are now making regular use of applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Teams and SharePoint to communicate and share information with stakeholders both internally and externally. As the hitherto small investments made by SMEs into technology begins to steadily grow, this new market for tech companies swells; small business owners and managers must consider how to protect their assets.

The importance of mental wellness strategies in the modern workplace

The importance of mental wellness strategies in the modern workplace

With total estimates of individuals suffering from work related stress, anxiety or depression (SAD) topping at 828 000[i], and approximately 300 000 people losing their jobs annually due to mental health issues[ii] there is a significant challenge facing the UK today. Considering the scale of this issue, and the impact on the economy, it is sensible that businesses invest in workplace interventions to mitigate the mental health crisis in the UK.

As of the 20219/20 period, SAD accounted for 51% of work-related ill health cases and 55% of working days lost. Figures, from 2 separate studies, reveal a higher percentage of women, in full-time employment, record suffering from mental health pressure opposed to male counterparts[iii]; 89% of the 1200 UK workers polled, stated that mental health problems adversely affected their performance at work.[iv] With a 16% rise, equalling £42-£45 billion collectively, is the amount UK employers lose every year due to mental health. However, employers investing in mental health provide an average return of £5 per every £1 spent.[v]

With these facts in mind, and a dedication to their workforce, many HR professionals  work tirelessly to put mental wellness strategies in place. One such professional is Natasha Aujla, the Human Resource Manager at AI Global Media. With a particular interest in this aspect of her role, Natasha commented the following, when asked about her recent efforts, “The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work, so it’s safe to say your job / workplace can have a huge impact on your life. Covid-19 has impacted our lives both internally & externally and as a Company, we value the health & wellbeing of our employee’s. We have recently reviewed elements of our rewards & benefits structure and consciously placed deciding factors around Mental Health. We feel the best way to support our employees with their Mental Health is to provide access to a structured, professional & confidential service to deal with physical and mental health issues, as well as legal and financial difficulties. We are in final stages with an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider and look forward to updating our employees on this indispensable wellbeing tool.”

There are actions businesses can take to mitigate the impact mental health has on their workforce. Of course, a business requires a director to recognise the issue and accept the business has a role to play. For example, Kathryn Hall, one of three directors from AI Global Media a B2B publishing SME based in Burton upon Trent was quite forthright when she commented on the state of the mental health crisis and what AI Global Media was doing to assist those suffering, “The pandemic has reminded us of just how important the wellbeing of our team members is. Covid-19 has put a great deal of stress upon us all and, as responsible employers, we understand our part in supporting our employees during this difficult time. We conduct weekly meetings with our management team, using Microsoft Teams and encourage our managers to do the same with their teams; we are in the process of introducing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to support our workforce, the majority of whom are working from home and we have interactive software solutions in place to maintain good lines of communication throughout. We hope that our team members see us as a conscientious employer and that they feel suitably supported during these difficult times.” The issues surrounding mental health are not going away. There is no quick fix to them, however, there is hope. By creating positive environments, where people can come forward and discuss their issues, allowing employers to take the necessary steps and put measures in place, this issue need not debilitate our workforce and economy indefinitely


[i] HSE Work-Related Stress, Anxiety, Depression (S.A.D) Statistics in GB 2020.pdf

[ii] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41740666

[iii]  https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/fundamental-facts-about-mental-health-2016.pdf  & https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

[iv] CVL_MentalHealthWorkplace_Report.pdf

[v] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/consulting/articles/mental-health-and-employers-refreshing-the-case-for-investment.html

Human Resource Press Release

HR: Creating Big Opportunities in Small Businesses

In December 2019, before the pandemic had hit the UK shores, the digital publishing SME based in Burton upon Trent, AI Global Media, made the decision to fill a role which, like so many other SMEs around the country, had been filled by untrained professionals. However, the directors at AI Global Media decided they required a fully trained HR professional to assist them with their plans for the business’s growth and development.

On January 13th, 2020 Natasha Aujla joined the AI Global Media family, assuming the role of HR Officer. Natasha chose to train in HR after assisting with the set up of SOP’s for a European pharmaceutical supply chain. As this company grew, Natasha found herself questioning management of the procedures for managing the workforce, being naturally drawn to the HR field, she was quickly put forward by the company to complete CIPD training in HRM where Natasha found a particular affinity in the area of employee relations. ER casework has since become an area of specialty for her.

In conversation with Natasha, she reflected how larger organisations are more likely to understand the value of HR more so than SMEs. ‘HR is an area that has evolved from a personnel function to now being a department that has a board seat.‘ Yet, Natasha was adamant that having a trained HR professional is an absolute must for any business as she explained, ‘a CIPD qualified HR manager is trained in data analysis, business acumen, learning & development amongst a host of other areas which make these employees indispensable to any enterprise with a workforce in double digits. A trained HR professional can really add value to your whole organisation. Having an effective and efficient HR practitioner in place ensures your people matters are well managed and alleviates that pressure from your line managers. Ultimately it reduces the risk to the business as well as managers.

Kathryn Hall, the director with overall responsibility for HRM in the business, reflected upon the necessity for a SME having an HR professional saying, ‘at AI Global Media we understand just how important the HR function is within our business. HR encompasses so many different things so even for small businesses, a lack of HR presence can impact a lack of uniformity and continuity within the business particularly in terms of managing the workforce, it can lead to inconsistencies in and inadequate focus on recruitment, employee engagement is likely to be impacted and leave, whether sick or holiday, can go unmanaged.

Prior to the mass furloughing of employees in March 2020, Natasha managed to: revamp the absence and holiday booking system, firm up the performance management schedule and improve hiring protocols via completion of job descriptions and employee objectives. Currently, she is working collaboratively on a new on-boarding program while ensuring the business is compliant with the regulations for trading with EU countries.

All of which goes to show how much a trained HR professional can benefit an up-and-coming SME in the UK as Kathryn Hall from AI Global Media said, ‘An adequate emphasis on HR can save a business thousands, or even tens of thousands, of pounds per year through poor hiring decisions, inadequate training and a lack of performance management. Our advice to start-ups and new businesses would be to factor this into your budget in early years. It will not be a decision you regret making!’

AI Global Media Directors

Celebrating 10 Years of Business

Burton-upon-Trent based publisher, AI Global Media Ltd. celebrates its 10th Birthday this month. The digital B2B media platform launched in the final quarter of 2010 with originally 5 team members, including co-Founders Jane Henderson and Kathryn Hall who remain with the business today.

The company has now grown to include a portfolio of 12 successful brands. With a global reach the brands tackle a broad range of industries including; construction and engineering, healthcare, luxury living, finance and much more. Over the 10 years of business the number of employees has also grown, now boasting of a team made up of 56 individuals posted in a variety of roles helping to excel the business further.

AI Global Media is currently looking to the future with the support of Technology and Finance Director, Tony Garner, and is progressing into machine learning in order to improve, advance and grow the business.

Kathryn Hall spoke about her journey with the business, “The decision to launch a new business is an exciting but also a pretty scary one! We made the decision to launch just as the 2008-2009 recession was coming to a close, so there was a lot of uncertainty during this time.

“As we launched there were 4 of us determined to make it work. I remember our first day of trading being in Jane’s parents dining room and the second being in BT’s local business office due to a lack of internet. Then on day three we made it into our first office. Now three office moves later we are stronger than ever and very much looking forward to the next 10 years!”

AI Global Media hope to celebrate their 10th Birthday next year when larger gatherings become possible once again.

The True Value of Awards

The True Value of Awards

Anyone who has ever queried whether to take part in an awards programme, will at some point or another wonder, ‘Is the experience worth it’, or ‘What’s in it for me’? Some may have gone in search of the answer for themselves, finding itemised lists explaining how taking part in award programmes: help generate brand awareness, are important to benchmarking, assist with recruitment and boost employee morale.

However, the active thinker will still wonder how this can be. Why are awards so important to the success of a business and how can the simple act of entering an award programme generate such positive results? The answer lies in the psychology of the human brain.

The simple fact is, everyone enjoys praise, from monarchs, to politicians, from government agencies to private organisations, we all crave validation and purely being nominated for an award provides an endorsement to the value of the work done or services offered. The affirmation, provided by a nomination, reflects that a third party has recognised the efforts of the nominated party and believes them to be worthy of attention which manifests a certain amount of social prestige for said party. For many, purely being nominated is good enough or so they may say.

Jane Henderson, one of the Directors of AI Global Media, a B2B digital media group who hosts a variety of business award programmes such as: LUX Global Excellence Awards 2020 on LUX Life, North American Business Awards 2020 on New World Report and UK Enterprise 2020 on UK SME News, had this to say with regards to power of awards, ‘Awards offer a stamp of quality and when harnessed well, can do remarkable things for your brand. AI has never been consumed with the big celebratory pat on the back, we’ve always been focused on maximising the exposure of that award, no matter whether there is a marketing budget in place or not.’

Jane Henderson

Jane Henderson, Director AI Global Media

At the root of all awards lies competition. Competition builds character and an award has little value if there is only one nominee. Something has little worth if it has not been won through competition since the act of competing has been humanities way of realising potential for eons. Economists will state that competition is necessary for productive and effective markets and award programmes provide an important platform for social comparison as they allow for the victor to rise above the rest in a fair competition.

Although part of human nature is to root for the underdog, the masses will still gravitate to the winners. Those who have achieved the most accolades are aspirational; they teach us how to persevere in the face of adversity and make the most of what they have. For many, winning an award is just a step in the right direction as a quantifiable measure of success. Jane Henderson reflected on the following, from her experience in the B2B awards industry, ‘Importantly for us at AI, is that it is not just about the heavyweights, part of our philosophy is to lift the lid on the booming SME market globally; we are regularly stunned at their innovations and accomplishments.

In some instances, it may lead to promotions, in many instances it will help to attract new customers and will assist in the recruitment of the most talented potential colleagues – after all winners attract winners. We need only look at which sports organisations attract the most talented sporting personalities for affirmation of this fact.

Ultimately, Awards which are fair are necessary in achieving social validation for an entity or individual. They are intrinsic to the development of skills and the cultivation of self-worth and it is not just the nominees who get something from the process, as is evident from another of Jane’s remarks, ‘The AI team is passionate about highlighting success and we love working with nominees across a broad range of sectors. It is a truly rewarding business to be in and we take huge enjoyment in awarding businesses via our suite of industry-specific brands.’

Should a business, or person, wish to promote themselves, awards are an excellent medium to use in such endeavours and will assist in attracting the attention from the most desirable of candidates.

As the saying goes, ‘to the victor belong the spoils’.

will oades

5 Years On At AI Global Media

Team member Will Oades reflects on his 5 year milstone at AI Global Media.

Will joined AI Global Media in 2015, here we chat with Will about his experience of being a part of the AI team.

How did you come to be a part of AI Global Media? What attracted you to the role?
After doing Journalism at Uni, I always wanted to be part of digital media business and when I saw the rob role pop up, I didn’t hesitate to apply. Shortly after, I received a voicemail from Kathryn Hall asking me to come in for an interview and a few days after that I received the good news that I’d got the job.

I always wanted to at least attempt a role in sales and earn a bit of commission and this turned out to be the best job that I’d had and with the best bunch of people.

Can you talk us through any major milestones during your time with the business?
I guess the biggest milestone was becoming the Sales Manager for the Magazine team in 2017. However there are plenty of small milestones, such as in the early days of working at AI Global, to develop the features team on what were new publications, such as BUILD, which is now one of our most prominent platforms.

What do you like most about working at AI Global Media?
It’s a very supportive company whereby you’re encouraged to do the best that you can, and in my personal experience of having had quite a few roles within the business, I feel like I’ve been allowed to make the choice of what roles I would like to do and have been supported in doing so. I’ve never worked at a company that runs so many team building events and activities and encourages a fun atmosphere amongst all employees.

 What do you do to unwind after a challenging day?
Nothing exciting in all honesty, I’m a big football fan so if there’s a game on then I will be watching it. If not, then we end up spending quite a lot of time with our friends, so it may not sound like much but we’re always kept busy with things to do!

New World Report

New World Report is an insightful and informative business news platform providing readers throughout the Americas with business advice to aid business progress, success stories aimed to inspire and trends and innovations to support business growth and continuity. Born out of the merge of U.S. Business News and Latin America News, The New World Report has a dedicated website which is updated daily with content and each month a newsletter is circulated to more than 100,000 businesses and professionals from across the region.

New World Report is brought to you by AI Global Media. AI Global Media is a digital media group launched in 2010 with 12 brands in its portfolio. The group boasts in excess of 600,000 pageviews across its brand websites per month (*accurate as of June 2020) and circulates newsletters and special edition magazines to more than 1.6m recipients across various walks of life. If you would like to inquire about promoting your brand and your work to our vast business audience, please reach out to us via the contact page. Further details with regards to New World Report, our visitors, our themes and our newsletter readers will be included within our soon to be launched information pack, in the meantime for any queries at all please contact us directly.

AIGM & Machine Learning

Will AI be the future of business after Covid-19?

As the lockdown eases and businesses in the UK reopen, the questions remain, what will the new normal look like and how will businesses cope in this new trading landscape? There are no shortage on guides covering the various working environments, from steps to meeting the health & safety obligations to suggestions on reassuring customers. One thing, however, remains constant. There is a definite increase in the use machine learning in a wider range of businesses than ever before.

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance business process is nothing new, in the 21st century, but the number and types of organisations turning to these solutions in new and innovative ways is more prevalent than ever. From the University of Leeds engaging robots to detect objects in need of regular cleaning and disinfecting them to business events using virtual streaming platforms to engage with their audiences rather than postponing events, the use of technology is a lifeline many businesses are clutching.

For most SMEs like AI Global Media (AIGM), a UK-based B2B publisher, the need to keep operations going, albeit with a reduced workforce, meant relying upon content sharing platforms and CRM applications to ensure smooth communications between all stakeholders. Scaling operations for AIGM began as a safety measure on the 18th of March when some departments were made remote. This quickly became a wide-scale endeavour by the 20th of March and was quickly followed by a furloughing of 36 team members on the first of April; no fooling.

With changes coming this fast, the business needed the capacity to react accordingly. Tony Garner, one of the three directors from AIGM reported, “Luckily, we’d employed a CRM platform in 2018, allowing departments to function cohesively, and had also introduced an in-house software development team in the last 2 years. The inclusion of both granted the business with the capacity to, not only transform the sales capacity and streamline the sales process but respond to changes necessitated by the pandemic.”

Tony Garner

Tony Garner – Finance director 

As AIGM gradually brings their business back to full strength, with all team members set to return by August 3rd and a return to the office on September 7th, the focus becomes the future of the business as well as the safety of its employees. Keen to put employee satisfaction and workplace safety at the forefront, the directors have already put plans to allow for flexible working hours in its sights, as it considers how to best employ building automation and the CRM platform to facilitate such an endeavour. Mr. Garner also added, “The next phase of development is to use AI and machine learning to streamline / optimise our data harvesting and automate our internal processes. As the business is likely to deliver in excess of 200 million global business contacts within the next 12 months the business needs to be prepared to manage this data in a responsible way providing all stakeholders with an advantageous outcome.”

With indoor fitness and entertainment venues set to open by the start of August, except to regions still adversely affected by the virus, the new normal is with us. As we all wait to see how it will all play out, the United Kingdom’s SME community should remember, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun-Tzu

Do Mothers make better business leaders

Why Mothers Make Strong Business Leaders

Having strong and decisive leadership is intrinsic to an organisation’s success and development. Being an effective leader requires an individual with qualities such as effective communication, resilience, vision and empathy; traits which are also frequently attributed to mothers.

There is a reason why woman-owned businesses experienced a revenue growth rate of 21%, from 2014 – 2019, in comparison to all other firms whose revenue was 20%, according to a report conducted by American Express[1] . A good mother makes a great leader.

For many, turning to a mother in times of crisis is natural, our mothers tend to know the right thing to say to make things appear better. Mothers are organised and prioritise the wellbeing of the family above all else. When these virtues are applied to a business, you get leaders who can make tough decisions in times of crisis. This is best exemplified by the leadership in AI Global Media; an enterprise founded by three mothers, who recently made the decision to mobilise their workforce, enabling them to work from home, two weeks prior to the UK government’s official request for this action to be undertaken.

It wasn’t just the success of businesses which concerned the directors, rather the wellbeing of their workforce was forefront in their minds as they determined their course of action. Consequently, the AI Global Media staff’s confidence that their employers care for them, allowed them to accept news of reductions to their working hours, when recent developments made such an action necessary to ensure the longevity of the business.

Balancing work and home life is difficult for any care giver, as Kathryn Hall, one of the three female founders and current mother and director, alongside Jane Henderson (mother & director) and Tony Garner (father & director), at AI Global Media identified, ‘I’m not sure how I feel about the term ‘Momtrepreneur’, it’s certainly not a term I would use in a verbal conversation! I do however recognise that there are many mothers who are also business owners and business leaders, juggling their two lives and doing a great job! I do believe that my time as a mother has had a really positive impact on my work and my role as a business leader.  I run a media business based in Staffordshire with my two business partners and can honestly say that I view the business very differently as a mother.’

Kathryn Hall – AI Global Media Ltd

To prove that their maternal instincts are better for business, mothers have had to work harder than most to overcome the misconceptions that mothers are likely to prioritise their own family before work. Kathryn reflected further with regards to her own experiences as a business leader and a mother: ‘I often feel that I have 4 children and that the business, AI Global Media is one of those. As a mother I have new empathy for those around me, I look for traits in recruits that I perhaps wouldn’t have done previously, such as objectivity, patience and the confidence to challenge others. I thrive when those around me have achieved great things and I truly want to support and nurture all those who report to me. I believe being a mother has made me a better business leader.’

According to the non-profit group, Catalyst, women in the UK are clearly positioning themselves to become the leaders of the future. With 55.5% of bachelor’s degrees and 59% of Master’s degrees being earned by women in 2016; in addition to women accounting for over half of the student enrolment in higher education (57%) in the 2017-2018 academic year, these women are picking up the trail left for them by the 23.7% of women currently working as business leaders in the UK.

 

Bibliography
[1] https://about.americanexpress.com/files/doc_library/file/2019-state-of-women-owned-businesses-report.pdfhttps://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-the-workforce-uk/

The Midlands Better Business Expo is now supporting the local football community!

The Midlands Better Business Expo is now supporting the local football community!

As part of Inicio Media – a sister company to AI Global Media – the Midlands Better Business Expo encourages better practices across the region. As part of this endeavour, the expo is now sponsoring local football team, Hednesford Town FC Jets.

Part of the Walsall Junior Youth League, the Hednesford Town FC Jets play two matches a week in the Under 9s A league. As part of the sponsorship, Inicio Media has gifted jackets to the team with the 2020 Midlands Better Business Logo printed on the back.

The Midlands Better Business Expo is the pinnacle event for small and medium sized businesses from across the wider Midlands region. The expo was launched to bring start-ups and SMES together to help generate networking opportunities, create introductions to new suppliers and give attendees the tools and information they need to make their business more profitable and achieve growth.

We are looking forward to watching some of the upcoming fixtures and cheering on the Hednesford Town FC Jets. Hopefully this season will be their best yet and the new jackets will bring some good luck!

The Midlands Better Business Expo is now supporting the local football community!
Chamber of commerce

Networking success for AI Global Media

Today AI Global Media attended our first a networking lunch at Branston Golf club arranged by Burton & District Chamber of Commerce, division of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. 

Aimed to bring like-minded businesses together it was a great chance to engage with and exchange ideas with local, like-minded businesses.

We look forward to the next event!

Chamber of commerce
Chamber of commerce
Guide Dogs Charity

Charity of the year 2020!

Here at AI Global Media, we are pleased to announce that for 2020 our charity of the year will be The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK)​! Charities were put forward by team members throughout January, and the most popular were put to a vote to decide who we will be fundraising for this year with Guide Dogs coming out on top!

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is an internationally recognised charity whose extraordinary work helps thousands of people with sight loss recover their confidence and live their lives to the fullest every day. This is done through a wide range of services provided for children and adults such as: CustomEyes books, assistive technology grants, education and family support as well as guide dogs.

At AI Global Media, we will be running a range of charity fundraisers which will be launched throughout the year with the aim to raise as much as possible for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The first has been running throughout February which is a tabletop sale aimed at local businesses and the general public with a wide variety of items available from: games, DVDs, household items, children’s toys and much more!

Ultimately, our main fundraiser this year will be a triathlon due to be completed by a selection of AI Global Media team members in Summertime.

Australia

How to Help the Australian Bush Fire Crisis

The wildfires raging across Australia first began in November 2019, and they continue to pose severe safety and environmental problems to this day. As of January 6, at least 22 people are dead and more than 1500 homes have been destroyed as almost 200 fires continue to burn through more than six-million hectares of land across the country.

Tens of thousands of homes in NSW and Victoria states are currently without power. Thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal towns over the past week.

Our hearts go out to those impacted throughout the country. If anyone would like to donate find a list of some of the many charities helping those affected by the devastating fires here – https://7news.com.au/news/bushfires/bushfire-donations-heres-you-can-help-australian-victims-c-634311 or through the Fundraiser for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund by Celeste Barber- https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/10157671223743418

Christmas Family Fun Day

Christmas Fun for the Whole Family

Christmas Family Fun Day

AI Global Media – Christmas Family Fun Day

Burton-upon Trent based digital media business AI Global Media hosted a Christmas Family Fun Day on Tuesday 26th November

AI Global Media, a digital media group based in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire recently celebrated Christmas with the families of their team members with their Christmas Family Fun Day.

The AI Global Media family fun day featured face painting, crafts, games, a reading corner, buffet and, of course, Mr & Mrs Claus, the event welcomed everyone from babies to teens as well as their wider families. Parents were able to enjoy a relaxing chat on the sofa areas whilst children made the most of the toys, music and crafts on offer under the watchful supervision of Mrs Claus and her lively team of elves.

Santa made an appearance and children took their letters, which had been written at the designated Letter to Santa Table, into his Grotto, where they received a gift  Hosted in AI Global Media’s first floor office in the Maltsters, Burton-On-Trent, the Family Fun Day was a roaring success, with guests of all ages enjoying meeting Santa and getting to spend the afternoon playing games and enjoying quality time with their families.

AI Global Media are proud to have the best of the best within the local area working for the business today and thoroughly understand the many benefits of having a happy and engaged workforce.  We as a business strive to create a fun yet professional work environment for our team members and have a great appreciation for supporting our workforce in ensuring a good work-life balance.

AI Global Media Director Kathryn Hall, who organised the project and acting as an elf on the day, commented on the success of the event.

“I am really pleased and really proud of how well the Christmas Family Fun Day went. We all had a lovely time, and it was great to see the smiles on the faces of the children when they saw Santa! Between the presents, the food and the games everyone was well entertained, and we all enjoyed ourselves.  This is 2nd year for our Christmas Family Fun Day, an event we hope to keep running year-on-year.

“The business also holds a number of great activities for our employees to enjoy throughout the year including an annual Sports Day, Easter Extravaganza, Halloween Spooktacular, bowling days and treasure hunts.  Our internal culture is very important to all senior managers, ensuring that each team member understands that enjoying your time at work is just as important as working hard at work!”

About AI Global Media

AI Global Media is a digital B2B publishing house and was launched in 2010. The company is committed to creating engaging content that informs its readers and reaches its advertiser’s target markets. Today, the firm has 13 unique brands, each of which serves a specific sector or region. 

As a business with almost ten years of experience in the market, many great team members have been gained and we are always on the look out for driven, focused and dedicated new recruits to join the team.

To find out more about AI Global Media please visit our website: https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/

AI Global Media Helps to Bring Some Festive Cheer!

AI Global Media Helps to Bring Some Festive Cheer!

AI Global Media recently visited Burton’s Queen’s Hospital in aid to help bring some festive cheer to some very unfortunate children, who will have to face this year’s Christmas in Hospital.

Our kind team members have been busy buying & wrapping a wide range of gifts for the children over recent weeks, and on Tuesday was able to present them to the hospital staff on on ward 1. The staff was overwhelmed with the generosity and will be giving presenting them to the children on Christmas morning.

Thank you very much to our most generous team members, you have all helped make some local children’s Christmas Day a little more special!

The 2019 Midlands Better Business Expo

The first of more to come!

The first of more to come!

AI Global Media is delighted to announce that the sister company INICIO Media hosted their first event last week, the 2019 Midlands Better Business Expo.

The expo was a complete success, with business owners and managers from across the wider Midlands region flocking to the expo to gather vital business knowledge, connect with their peers and engage with those key service providers able to support their growth. 

The expo also hosted some great and valuable speakers, tackling topics from HR, marketing, occupational health, business growth, sales, big data, training and more. Providing valuable insight for the attendees of the expo  

Here’s to the 2020 Midlands Better Business Expo, now confirmed at Derby Arena on Wednesday 11th November 2020.

The 2019 Midlands Better Business Expo
AI Global Media Directors

Happy 9th Birthday to AI Global Media!

Today AI Global Media celebrates 9 years of trading.  The three directors would like to thank our stakeholders for helping make the business what it is today.  From our dedicated managers, hard-working team members and highly-driven board to our loyal customers, dedicated suppliers and our various partners, we would not have evolved into the innovative and growing media group we are without your dedication and support.  We’re excited to see what the next 9 years has to bring!

cyber security

AI Global Media receives the Essential accreditation from Cyber Essentials

AI GLOBAL MEDIA RECEIVES THE ESSENTIAL ACCREDITATION FROM CYBER ESSENTIALS

AI Global Media has recently received the essentials accreditation from Cyber Essentials. The government backed program aims to help businesses of any size protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks.

Launched 5th June 2014 the programme is designed to help all UK organisations who may have limited experience, or knowledge, of cyber security improve their defences. The accreditation also allows for businesses to demonstrate to the public that they have a commitment towards enhancing and improving their cyber security processes.

Ultimately, the certification has allowed us to hone our knowledge to make sure that all aspects of the business is secure, and that our customers can rest assured that we are continuously looking to improve our business and strive to make sure that we are fully protected from potential threats.

You can view our accreditation here: https://www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk/cert-search/?query=A.I.%20Global

If you would like more information on Cyber Essential, you can visit their website here: https://www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk/

 

Cyber Essentials certificate
Heather Ryan - September 2019

Employee of the Month – Heather Ryan

September’s Employee of the Month is Heather Ryan

Heather joined AI Global Media in 2013 and in May of this year moved across to our sister company INICIO Media https://www.iniciomedia.com/, the events management arm of the group.

Heather has done an amazing job of running this part of the business over recent months and has developed this new business from scratch & in November we will be running our first event.  It is packed with great speakers, insightful exhibitors and we have a great pool of attendees signed up, the expo is set to be a great success!  Heather has gone above & beyond in managing the project including working on days off, travelling around the local area a lot to drive awareness and attendees, amazing achievement Heather, you’re doing a fantastic job.

The 2019 Midlands Better Business Expo is aimed at growth-focuses businesses within the wider Midlands region and will take place at Derby Arena on Wednesday 13th November https://www.betterbusiness-expo.co.uk/.  We’re all looking forward to the event!

adam walton - employee of the month

Employee of the Month – Adam Walton

Congratulations to Adam Walton, Our June Employee of the Month!

Adam has been with AI Global Media for almost three years and during his time has progressed to becoming a most valued team member.  Adam is punctual, reliable and has a great work ethic.  His database work has proven to be vital to our business and Adam is truly embracing some of the changes being implemented and the challenges being put to him and his team.  Great job Adam, a pleasure to have you as part of the business!

2 Mile Out Festival 2019

AI Global Media Supports Inaugural 2 Mile Out Festival!

2 Mile Out Festival 2019

AI Global Media Supports Inaugural 2 Mile Out Festival!

United Kingdom- June 2019: For Immediate Release

UK publishing house AI Global Media is proud to support the 2 Mile Out Festival 2019, a charity event featuring live music, food and entertainment.

Opening at 1pm on 22nd June and running until 11pm, the festival will be hosted at the Admiral Rodney pub in Hartshorne, Derby. All proceed from the event will be split and donated to The Air Ambulance Service and the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

The event will involve a range of local businesses, bands and food producers showcasing their talent, ideas and wares to guests. There will be a variety of competitions as well as two live music stages.

The event is hosted by AI Global Media Accounts Team Member Melissa Mansell, and the company is proud to be showcasing this incredible event, with many of the firm’s team set to visit and enjoy the festivities.

Commenting on the event, Melissa said: “I’m deeply passionate about raising money for charity and supporting local artists and businesses, and as such it’s my pleasure to do all of this by creating 2 Mile Out Festival 2019. I hope everyone enjoys the event and hope it will be an annual success in the future!”

About AI Global Media

AI Global Media is a digital B2B publishing house and was launched in 2010.  The company is committed to creating engaging content that informs its readers and reaches its advertiser’s target markets. Today, the firm has 16 unique brands, each of which serves a specific sector or region. 

As a business with over eight years’ experience in the market, AI Global Media understands the value of a great workforce and runs regular activities throughout the year to reward the team for their hard-work and commitment. From Family Fun Days to its annual Sporting Event, regular charity fundraisers to the firm’s Bakeoff, which runs throughout the year, the company is always seeking to show its team the importance of combining work with play. 

To find out more and to see details of the firm’s participation in the challenge please visit: https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/

About 2 Mile Out Festival 2019

Featuring stalls from Need Less Ltd. and Crafty Melons offering the most beautifully handcrafted and upcycled items, Biddulph’s Pizzeria and Ferneley’s Ice Cream to overwhelm the taste buds, kid’s activities and entertainment from Alpine Arty Attic and Inflate and Paint as well as a BBQ and bouncy castle provided by Hartshorne Cricket Club, 2 Mile Out Festival 2019 will have something for everyone.

There will also be two stages showcasing the best music talent from the UK, including a Muse Tribute act, We Are Athens, Talking to Frank and the Fine Arts Society, among others. There is also an Open Mic event hosted on the festival’s acoustic stage: for those wishing to book a slot please email [email protected].

To learn more about this exciting new festival please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/288669738672163/

AI Global Media 3 peaks challenge

AI Global Media To Run The National Three Peaks Challenge In Aid Of Cancer Research UK

AI Global Media To Run The National Three Peaks Challenge In Aid Of Cancer Research UK

United Kingdom- January 2019: For Immediate Release

UK publishing house AI Global Media is proud to announce that it is undertaking the National Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Twenty-one members of the firm’s team will be attempting the National Three Peaks Challenge, involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales. The three peaks are Snowdon, in Wales, which stands at 1085m, Scafell Pike, in England, which is 978m and finally Ben Nevis, in Scotland, which is 1345m.

Comprising of members of almost every department, including accounts, sales, features and IT, the team will be raising money for Cancer Research UK, a deserving charity dedicated to funding research into all types of cancer, a disease which has, in some way, affected the lives of many members of AI Global Media’s team. The firm’s Donation Page can be found HERE.

Training will take place over the coming weeks, with the firm organising a number of trips to various locations including Kinder Scout, Snowden and Scafell Pike prior to the event itself, which takes place between the 21st and the 23rd June 2019.

Tony Garner, Finance Director at AI Global Media, discusses the challenge and how the firm came to participate:

“The National Three Peaks Challenge is a great test of determination, and I’m proud to be leading a group of our team to complete it. The challenge will be a great opportunity to socialise outside of work, as well as raise money for a great cause. Thanks to everyone at AI Global Media who’s helping out or joining us. See you at the top!”

About AI Global Media

AI Global Media is a digital B2B publishing house and was launched in 2010.  The company is committed to creating engaging content that informs its readers and reaches its advertiser’s target markets. Today, the firm has 16 unique brands, each of which serves a specific sector or region. 

As a business with over eight years’ experience in the market, AI Global Media understands the value of a great workforce and runs regular activities throughout the year to reward the team for their hard-work and commitment. From Family Fun Days to its annual Sporting Event, regular charity fundraisers to the firm’s Bakeoff, which runs throughout the year, the company is always seeking to show its team the importance of combining work with play. 

To find out more and to see details of the firm’s participation in the challenge please visit: https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/

About The National Three Peaks Challenge

Set across three gruelling stages, the National Three Peaks Challenge sees intrepid walkers climb the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales.

The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft) – twice the ascent of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, over a similar total walking distance. The total driving distance is 462 miles.

To find out more please visit: https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/national-three-peaks-challenge/

About Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is a charitable organisation designed to fund scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner. The organisation also provides cancer information to the public to support survivors, those battling cancer, their families and those who have lost someone or been affected by cancer.

To learn more please visit: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

Kevin Thompson spotlight

Team Member Spotlight: Kevin Thompson, Creative Manager, talking about his journey with AI Global Media

Team Member Spotlight: Kevin Thompson, Creative Manager, talking about his journey with AI Global Media

This summer Kevin will have been with the business seven years, we asked him about his time with AI.

How did you begin your career with AI Global Media?

I started with AI back in June 2012, before this I had been working as a graphic designer for a publishing company in Birmingham for about 5 years after finishing a degree at Wolverhampton Uni. I was contacted by a recruitment agency about the position of a designer at AI and liked what I read about the company and liked the idea of getting out of the city and working somewhere a bit quieter out in the countryside (AI were based in a small converted farm building at this time). When I saw the offices and met the directors and team I really couldn’t say no to the job as it was exactly the type of place I wanted to work. I settled into it very quickly and the rest is history I guess. The company has come a long way since those days, when I started we had less than 10 people at the company and things are a lot busier now.

Can you tell us more about the different roles you have had within the business?

Well, as I said, I started as a designer back in 2012 and up to 2 years ago my role didn’t really change that much. I was always the head designer at the company, from being the only designer I went on to work with and mentor other designers to make sure every deadline was met and that everything  was in keeping with the AI brand. About 2 years ago I moved into the role of Creative Manager. It was quite daunting at first, I have always been good at managing myself but now I had a team of other individuals to manage. I’m still learning the job but I think I have done ok at it so far. It probably sounds a bit cliched, but I really don’t see myself as my team’s boss, I’m just the senior member of the team and I’m there to help them and to organise things (I think my strongest attribute is my organisational skills). I still do a bit of designing as well as it is something I still love to do and I like to muck in, so to speak. Having a great team helps make my job all the more easier as well.

Which project(s) or task(s) have you enjoyed the most whilst working with the business?

I really couldn’t single out a specific project, again, it might sound cliched and like I’m just saying it for this interview, but I’ve enjoyed every aspect of all the work I have done at AI. Every day flies by because I am enjoying everything I am doing here. I know I’m a manager now but as a designer at heart I’ll always have a soft spot for anything designeree (is that a word?), so laying out a magazine will always be a personal favourite, and I’ve laid a lot out in my time here.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement, either professionally or personally?

Definitely still being a manager at AI after 2 years of doing the job is an achievement for me, managing isn’t something I saw myself going into and it isn’t the easiest of jobs so I’m proud of that and I’m still hanging in there.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?

I don’t really get stressed, I’m too laid back and to be honest, too busy, I don’t have time to be stressed. I actually prefer it when we are up against a deadline or have a lot of work on, I see it all as a challenge and I enjoy a challenge. I do go to the gym quite a lot though, that’s something I enjoy to do before or after work.

Can you name three things that many of your team members won’t know about you?

This is the question I always hate. I’m quite boring really and there isn’t that much out of the ordinary about me. I do keep my private life and work separate though so people probably don’t know anything about me outside of work.

Well, I’ve been married for 5 years this year, (my last day at work before I got married, I think everyone at AI came in wearing all white). I support Birmingham City Football club although my favourite sport is Rugby. Before AI I worked for a martial arts publishing house and did kickboxing for a few years when I was there, (I got free classes). Music is a big part of my life and at the moment I am mostly listening to liquid and jungle, both are sub genres of drum and bass.

I wish I could say I had trials at Manchester United or that I do lots of work for charity but that’s about it really, sorry.

Christmas Fun Day 2018

Christmas Family Fun Day

UK publishing house AI Global Media hosted a Family Fun Day on Tuesday 4th December, with the aim of giving team members the chance to bring their families to the office and enjoy a fun-filled Christmas extravaganza!

The event also raised money for national charitable event Mission Christmas. Run by Hits Radio, the scheme receives new and unwrapped gifts which it provides to disadvantaged children to ensure that everyone has a Merry Christmas. The money will be donated directly to Mission Christmas, with a selection of gifts that the company has also acquired being donated with the aim of bringing smiles to the faces of every child this Christmas.

The AI Global Media family fun day featured face painting, crafts, games, a reading corner, buffet and, of course, Mr & Mrs Claus, the event welcomed everyone from babies to pre-teens. Parents were able to enjoy a relaxing chat on the sofa areas whilst children made the most of the toys, music and crafts on offer under the watchful supervision of Mrs Claus and her lively team of elves.

Santa made an appearance and children took their letters, which had been written at the designated Letter to Santa Table, into his Grotto, where they received a present and words of encouragement.

Hosted in AI Global Media’s first floor office in the Maltsters, Burton-On-Trent, the Family Fun Day was a roaring success, with guest of all ages enjoying meeting Santa and getting to spend the afternoon playing games.

AI Global Media Director Kathryn Hall, who organised the project and acting as an elf on the day, commented on the success of the event.

“I am really proud of how well the Family Fun Day went. We all had a lovely time, and it was great to see the smiles on the faces of the children when they saw Santa! Between the presents, the food and the games nobody was bored and we all enjoyed ourselves. All the kids were very well-behaved; even the babies were quiet and giggled along while the older kids played and had a great time! Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a special day.”

As he was leaving for the North Pole Santa said:

“The Christmas Family Fun Day has been a great success, and I’ve enjoyed meeting with all the children and giving out their presents. It’s nice to know that AI Global Media will be donating to Mission Christmas. Ho Ho Ho!”

Mrs Claus, added:

“It was great to see the children having such a lovely time at the Christmas Family Fun Day, and I was really pleased to be able to dress up and play my part in raising money for such a worthy cause. My husband and I have had a lovely time and we hope the event will continue next year- we’ll definitely be back if it does!”

About AI Global Media

AI Global Media is a digital B2B publishing house and was launched in 2010.  The company is committed to creating engaging content that informs its readers and reaches its advertiser’s target markets. Today, the firm has 16 unique brands, each of which serves a specific sector or region. 

As a business with over eight years’ experience in the market, AI Global Media understands the value of a great workforce and runs regular activities throughout the year to reward the team for their hard-work and commitment. From Family Fun Days to its annual Sporting Event, regular charity fundraisers to the firm’s Bakeoff, which runs throughout the year, the company is always seeking to show its team the importance of combining work with play. 

To find out more and to see details of upcoming events and initiatives please visit: https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/

mash feature image

AI Global Media announces Mash as the Most Outstanding Online Payment Service Provider 2018

United Kingdom, 2018 – AI Global Media announces Mash as the Most Outstanding Online Payment Service Provider 2018 – Europe in the International Business Excellence 2018.

The International Business Excellence 2018 was launched to showcase the businesses that work hard to offer clients the very highest standards of service and support within their respected competitive industry. Mash remains one of only two companies in Europe that can offer pay later solutions in-store via point of sale and online.

Commenting on the award, James Hickson CEO of Mash said, “We are delighted to receive such a prestigious award.  This year, we have grown our payments business by over 1000% while continuing to achieve a class leading Net Promoter Score (consistently above 80%). Our commitment to wowing merchants and consumers with our pay later solution has been unwavering, this award reflects the dedication of our team as well as that of our partners.”

This award was judged purely on merit by our in-house teams with all potential winners assessed against multiple relevant criteria, including previous accolades won, company performance over a given period of time, influence within the industry, sector or region and client testimonials or recommendations.

To find out more about these prestigious awards, please visit www.aiglobalmedialtd.com

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging content that informs our readers and reaches our advertiser’s target markets.

James Hickson

James Hickson, CEO Mash

About MASH

Mash has been at the forefront of fintech innovation since 2007. Leveraging their advanced proprietary algorithms, machine learning capabilities and automated platform to deliver superior finance and payments solutions to thousands of customers every day, Mash work hard for a future powered by technology, making every transaction seamless, flexible and worry-free. For more information about Mash, please visit www.mash.com