Mercury MD Simon Taylor talks to Rail Engineer

Mercury managing director Simon Taylor features in the April 2015 issue of specialist magazine Rail Engineer.

In the article, Simon talks to Rail Engineer about the need for businesses operating within the rail industry to ‘stand out from crowd’ at a time when we are seeing unprecedented investment, culminating in Great Britain boasting the fastest-growing railway in the European Union.

The article explores the ways in which Simon, who has worked in the industry for 26 years, and his team at Mercury make a positive and profitable difference to organisations in the rail sector, managed crises and ensured the image of our clients are maintained.

The feature also talks about Mercury’s wider capabilities, working on behalf of a multitude of companies within industries such as construction, energy and engineering.

As a company, we work for numerous businesses operating within the rail industry and our reputation for delivery expert communications solutions is continuing to grow.

Working for the likes of The Spencer Group, Pod-Trak and SWGR, our team possesses a comprehensive knowledge base of the industry and a positive track record of delivering effective outcomes for our clients.

The magazine is on the shelves now so be sure to pick up a copy and get in touch to find out how you can ‘stand out from the crowd’ like our existing clients.

Helping rail organisations to stand out from the crowd

In what is one of the fastest-growing markets in the UK, businesses operating within the rail industry face a battle to stand out from crowd.

Great Britain has the fastest-growing railway in the European Union, carrying 1.5 billion passengers and 28 billion tonnes of freight per kilometre every year. Network Rail has invested more than £34 billion in the last five years to improve the rail network and, with a further £38 billion already allocated to CP5 and further investment for projects such as HS2, infrastructure firms must act to ensure their brand doesn’t get left behind in our fast-paced, well populated marketplace.

In order to achieve this, businesses must take steps to raise their profile through effective and proactive marketing and communications strategies. Without expert guidance, the risk of being overlooked and missing opportunities for growth are a real possibility.

Years of experience

Mercury, a communications agency with offices in London and Yorkshire is one of the industry’s leading marketing and communications agencies focused specifically on making a positive and profitable difference to organisations in the rail sector. Managing director Simon Taylor has worked in the rail industry for 26 years, and he has brought a fresh approach to rail industry communications, positioning the organisation in such a way as to put it in the gaze of its key customers, both new and old.

With an enviable reputation for securing unprecedented media coverage for his clients, Simon’s business philosophy is built on making a positive difference, whether that is in terms of profit, passenger numbers, industry recognition through award wins or writing winning PQQs and ITTs which are helping companies to grow stronger and prosper.

Mercury has worked for a wide range of organisations across the industry, including First Hull Trains, the Spencer Group, Pod-Trak, Chase Meadow Signalling and SWGR.

As part of its work for First Hull Trains, Simon went beyond the usual media and communications projects to deliver a 24/7 press office and implement a crisis communications strategy. His work was effective to such an extent the operator was regularly ranked as one of the best in the country.

Effective strategy

With regard to the Spencer Group, Simon has adopted the role of its communications director, securing unprecedented media coverage for the tier 1 contractor and winning a host of national industry awards. He also played a pivotal role in helping the organisation to secure the recently announced MAFA contract in Scotland.

Simon’s unwavering commitment to his clients is highlighted by his work with the Spencer Group. Unlike most agencies, Mercury’s agility and dedication to service, which allows Simon to take up an in-house role while also ensuring the same level of service is offered to other clients, is a unique selling point.

Raj Sinha, a director at the Spencer Group, said: “The difference that a strong and effective communications strategy can have on any business is incredible. Simon’s work for the Spencer Group has helped to positively raise our profile across the industry as well as helping us to win work in both new and traditional markets. He is a breath of fresh air whose winning approach is good for business.”

Simon has also worked closely with clients in the rail industry to enhance their approach to tendering projects and winning work, focusing of key messaging, added value and clear strategy.

Despite Simon having the knowledge of exactly what industry journalists and media platforms are looking for, he understands that an effective media and communications strategy goes far beyond securing column centimetres. He is supported by a PR and communications team which is made up of award-winning journalists, expert marketing professionals, exceptional graphic designers and dedicated copywriters.

Event planning, securing attendance and guest speaker opportunities at industry events and engaging internal communications are all part of the standard service of Mercury.

Ensuring the branding and marketing position of a company is something that is seen as a priority. This stretches to designing and creating company literature, brand centres, marketing collateral and digital initiatives including websites.

Stakeholder engagement and internal communications are also core disciplines of Mercury as is bid writing and media event planning.

Wider experience

Simon’s team works extensively in the rail industry but also has vast experience in other demanding industries such as energy, engineering and construction. Some of its latest work has seen it promote, defend and protect the position of energy firms conducting exploratory drilling works close to residential homes, requiring strategic stakeholder engagement strategies akin to those required for working on the rail network

Its experience, foresight and ability to react quickly to situations has meant it has been able to control large parts of media output, in turn allowing for the respective companies’ key messages to put across at every available opportunity.
Mercury is proof that communications is good for business in a marketplace that has historically seen it as a cost and not a benefit. Its experience within the sector means that organisations can benefit financially by outsourcing the work and ‘calling it off’ when needed alongside the business plan. This allows directors and business owners to get on with their day jobs in the safe knowledge that their communications and marketing partners are promoting their organisations in an advantageous way – one that is focused on profitability whilst promoting a safe and reliable railway.

Ultimately, in the words of Simon Taylor, “using strategic communications and having a great team at the delivery end will help you to get your business where you want it to be.”