Wolfstar emerges from torrid period into phase of planned growth
The agency was established in Leeds in 2007.
Tim Sinclair had sold his previous PR agency, Sinclair Mason, to the Huntsworth Group in 2005 and after a couple of years kicking his heels, approached the increasingly well-known blogger Stuart Bruce, who was living in Wakefield, about forming a new comms agency anchored in social media.
They agreed on a joint 50/50 ownership of the new agency.
“We were in retrospect” said Sinclair “the only agency at the time outside London embarking full on such a (social media) course. Apart from First Direct, all our other clients were based in London or the South and that remained a continuing issue for us.”
So much so, that, now that the agency's financial and structural issues appear to be solved, the head office has moved from Leeds to north London.
In the early days of Wolfstar, the agency rapidly built a reputation for their clear focus on social media output and their hiring two years later of Mark Hanson, Staniforth PR's former Labour Party comms man and an acknowledged social media commentator, cemented what was at the time a solid reputation as the new kids on the comms block in the North.
However, in 2011, misfortune overcame the agency with the death of Mark Hanson and the departure of Stuart Bruce in a matter of months.
Sinclair, who had effectively moved to two days a week and away from operations, had to re-engage full time at a time when instability looked like it would win the day.
However, despite the agency losing a substantial amount of business and staff at the time, Sinclair managed to attract both a six figure private investor and the agency's cost base was significantly reduced and brought into line with lower revenue expectations.
Sinclair told Prolific North that business had stabilised and new clients were now dealing with an agency markedly different from the one that was suffering so much in 2011.
In addition to the new London HQ, Wolfstar has taken space in a Regus-type development in Malmo and is actively courting Swedish clients with one staffer flying in and out of Malmo two days a week. Sinclair said that they were experiencing genuine appetite for their services from Swedish companies and that he was hoping to tie down another new Swedish client in the next fortnight.
He also revealed that another former member of staff, Beth Kay, who left Wolfstar to join Cancer Research UK, was about to start a new life in Taiwan with her partner and she and Sinclair had reached agreement and agreed a budget, to establish a new base for Wolfstar in Taipei.
Sinclair said that any new business picked up would be managed initially out of both London and Hong Kong where Wolfstar has a working relationship with a company called Lighthouse.