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Next Generation Consultancy Launches To Help Creative Agency Teams Manage The Pressures Of Agency Life

A new ‘mould-breaking’ virtual support agency, fox&cat emerges today with a clear mission – to help creative agency teams manage the growing and evolving pressures of agency life. Initial roll-out targets pressurised healthcare communications teams with a network team of ten.

With public health high on the agenda, fox&cat launches today to health communications agencies, who are feeling the pressures of fast-evolving, unpredictable workloads.

The new virtual agency, fox&cat, is founded and led by ex-Pegasus director, Paul Hutchings. It aims to bring under one roof four key solutions to help agency teams manage pressure: client servicing, training, leadership support, and wellbeing.

“Some pressure in the workplace is helpful – it keeps us motivated, productive and encourages progression and growth. But too much pressure, or even too little, can take its toll, both on the individual and the wider agency,” said Paul Hutchings.

Staff mental health is a growing concern in many types of business, but particularly in creative agencies and highly-pressured client delivery roles.1,2 According to a 2020 CIPR survey, one fifth of communications professionals experience mental health issues, and more than half of those said work pressure contributed to their symptoms, with unrealistic deadlines and unsocial hours cited as common causes.2

Paul continues: “These are alarming findings. Adding salt to wound, agencies have their own form of mental health issues by way of poor ‘cultural health’. The wellbeing of an agency is just as subject to the same stresses, pressures and unpredictability as those which impact directly on staff. When the going gets tough, which for some agencies is almost a steady-state description, the impact of pressure can spread in no time at all, leaving the wider workplace culture badly damaged.”

The adaptTM framework, created by fox&cat, is a tool designed to assess the root cause of an agency or agency team’s circumstances, create a strategy, then deliver a programme that will see them through a period of particular pressure. Evaluation is critical to fox&cat’s proposition and is used to track and assess how its solutions have impacted performance and agency culture.

Fox&cat delivers solutions from across four strategic workstreams:

  • Client service & consultancy: prompt senior support, forward planning, and out of hours work to help agencies deliver their client’s work while minimising pressure on the agency’s team. The fox&cat network provides access to strategic communications consultancy (health, consumer, corporate and crisis), content creation and copy, design, web and digital work – meaning its senior professionals’ network can provide integrated services and hit the ground running
  • Training: through partnership with experts who understand the pressures of creative roles, all training programmes from fox&cat have a focus on helping people, teams and businesses cope with pressure. Services include coaching, pressure workshops, and resilience training, right through to the more holistic end where it helps people identify where stress lives in their body
  • Leadership: fox&cat has a network that includes ex owners, MDs and directors of communications and creative agencies; meaning it can offer clients that important “independent perspective” on team- and company- matters when agencies are experiencing unhelpful types of pressure. This includes:
    • leadership team advice and counsel around branding, missions & values, operations, community, people & HR matters & environmental matters
    • helping the leaders of tomorrow understand and navigate the pressures of creative agencies
  • Wellbeing: staff wellbeing isn’t about drop-in-the-ocean gestures, rather it’s about longer term thinking and tailored support to help create happy healthy company cultures. Fox&cat offers wellbeing packages that help build and maintain healthy cultures. Through building meaningful long-term relationships with its clients, fox&cat has a unique window into each business and what will help them manage wellbeing

Good mental health and wellbeing have been shown to result in health, social and economic benefits for individuals, communities and populations. This includes improved productivity; reduced absenteeism; and more participation in community life.3 Yet, time off work due to mental health is a huge issue for communications teams, with around a quarter (23%) of CIPR members saying they took sickness absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression.2

Paul added: “Having had some time away from comms myself to reflect on what’s important to me and my own mental health, I realised that health comms isn’t just about helping clients and brands meet their mission. It’s about making sure agencies and the staff who are servicing those missions keep mentally healthy too.”

Fox&cat is an active member of the PRCA, CIPR and the HCA.

To find out more about fox&cat, please contact or call +44(0)7753 920 105.


Digiday Market Research. Cited: [Accessed March 2021]

CIPR. State of the Profession Report, 2020. Cited: [Accessed March 2021]

Department of Health. No health without mental health: A cross Government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages. Cited: [Assessed March 2021]

31st March 2021



Company Details

07753 920 105

Contact Website

United Kingdom

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