Behaviour change through

human-centred storytelling

 
 

Foco helps organisations improve the lives of people in their communities by inspiring social good.  

 

If you want to spur someone to do something, you have to make them feel emotion. You do this by telling stories.

All good corporate communications is storytelling.

But you have to tell the right stories in the right way at the right time. Only then will you capture imaginations and inspire change.

Foco works with public, private and third sector organisations in health, the environment, finance, education and civil society to produce all sorts of outcomes - from increasing recycling and improving financial literacy to tackling crime and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

 

Our process


Deep insights

We use ethnographic semiotics, social network analysis and existing organisational data to gather deep and sometimes hidden insights into the core beliefs and behaviours of the people who matter to our clients. 


Story-building

Based on our insights, we
work with our clients and their stakeholders to co-create emotive, memorable stories that inspire transformative action. These stories are human-centred because they speak to people's hopes and fears.


Storytelling

We help our clients identify the vehicles they should use to tell those compelling stories to the right people in the right way at the right time - from technologies and media to events and visual brand. They have to be a perfect fit.


Oversight

We stay with our clients over the intermediate to long term to help them measure and improve their storytelling campaigns so the results improve continually. Permanently embedding improved organisational cultures is crucial to us.

Our Team

John Shewell Partner (public sector) John has 17 years’ experience in strategic communications and behaviour change. He has worked in the private and public sector in the UK, Europe and Australia with clients like the European Commission, the European Council and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), as well as several local government and public health organisations in the UK. He has led a number of award-winning programmes to influence behaviours ranging from tackling obesity and reducing self-harming, through to improving recycling rates. John is also credited with pioneering social media in local government and commissioned the first-ever online mapping exercise for a council in the UK.   Like any self-respecting Australian, there's nothing John likes better at the end of a long  day than cracking open a coldie on his beloved Brighton Beach and watching the sun set. Follow John on Twitter or email him.

John Shewell

Partner (public sector)

John has 17 years’ experience in strategic communications and behaviour change. He has worked in the private and public sector in the UK, Europe and Australia with clients like the European Commission, the European Council and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), as well as several local government and public health organisations in the UK. He has led a number of award-winning programmes to influence behaviours ranging from tackling obesity and reducing self-harming, through to improving recycling rates. John is also credited with pioneering social media in local government and commissioned the first-ever online mapping exercise for a council in the UK.  

Like any self-respecting Australian, there's nothing John likes better at the end of a long  day than cracking open a coldie on his beloved Brighton Beach and watching the sun set.

Follow John on Twitter or email him.

Michael Taggart Partner (commercial) Michael has journalism and digital content running through him like the word 'Brighton' in a stick of rock. Having enjoyed a successful career as a national newspaper correspondent, he worked in senior PR roles in two councils before heading up the media and digital communications unit at a third - Brighton & Hove City Council. In 2010, he joined PR consultancy MRM as head of digital and worked with an array of financial services clients, including Nationwide, John Lewis and Scottish Friendly. Outside of the day job, Michael has co-hosted and produced the Beer & Bytes marketing podcast. with Amy (right!). He is also co-founder (also with Amy) of the Mouthy Money digital magazine, which helps young adults tackle the financial challenges ahead. Michael is married and lives in Brighton with his beloved cat, Tilksy, aged 10. Follow Michael on Twitter or email him.

Michael Taggart

Partner (commercial)

Michael has journalism and digital content running through him like the word 'Brighton' in a stick of rock. Having enjoyed a successful career as a national newspaper correspondent, he worked in senior PR roles in two councils before heading up the media and digital communications unit at a third - Brighton & Hove City Council. In 2010, he joined PR consultancy MRM as head of digital and worked with an array of financial services clients, including Nationwide, John Lewis and Scottish Friendly.

Outside of the day job, Michael has co-hosted and produced the Beer & Bytes marketing podcast. with Amy (right!). He is also co-founder (also with Amy) of the Mouthy Money digital magazine, which helps young adults tackle the financial challenges ahead. Michael is married and lives in Brighton with his beloved cat, Tilksy, aged 10.

Follow Michael on Twitter or email him.

Amy Rowe Partner (content) Amy is an unapologetic content junkie. She's never happier than when knee-deep in another plan to get people's synapses stinging and souls singing with a beautifully-delivered story. One-time actor Amy worked alongside Michael for two years at MRM and now directs Foco’s content proposition, heading fintech and nurturing talent. Previously, she managed social media and websites for Citywire. When she's not at work, Amy will be running, reading or listening to podcasts - sometimes at the same time. An accomplished writer, Amy is partially deaf and has penned recent articles on disabilities, among other issues, to the i newspaper, New Model Adviser and PR Careers. Friends expect her creative writing to blossom in the coming years and one, in particular, is reportedly keeping an expectant eye on the shelves of Waterstones. Follow Amy on Twitter or email her.

Amy Rowe

Partner (content)

Amy is an unapologetic content junkie. She's never happier than when knee-deep in another plan to get people's synapses stinging and souls singing with a beautifully-delivered story.

One-time actor Amy worked alongside Michael for two years at MRM and now directs Foco’s content proposition, heading fintech and nurturing talent. Previously, she managed social media and websites for Citywire. When she's not at work, Amy will be running, reading or listening to podcasts - sometimes at the same time. An accomplished writer, Amy is partially deaf and has penned recent articles on disabilities, among other issues, to the i newspaper, New Model Adviser and PR Careers. Friends expect her creative writing to blossom in the coming years and one, in particular, is reportedly keeping an expectant eye on the shelves of Waterstones.

Follow Amy on Twitter or email her.

 
Dr Adam Gill Associate partner (research) Adam earned his PhD in community participation theory at the University of Liverpool in 2012. He has worked in a variety of challenging industries, creating disruption to drive innovation and increase sales. Adam worked at the cutting edge of the fledgling Social Enterprise movement and then spent three years in the UK NHS healthcare sector transforming services.   One of his goals is always to identify the connectors, blockers and movers in organisations. In doing so, he says, we can disrupt the relationship between customers and businesses to improve sales and create a network of change makers. 

Dr Adam Gill

Associate partner (research)

Adam earned his PhD in community participation theory at the University of Liverpool in 2012. He has worked in a variety of challenging industries, creating disruption to drive innovation and increase sales. Adam worked at the cutting edge of the fledgling Social Enterprise movement and then spent three years in the UK NHS healthcare sector transforming services.  

One of his goals is always to identify the connectors, blockers and movers in organisations. In doing so, he says, we can disrupt the relationship between customers and businesses to improve sales and create a network of change makers. 

Natalie Foster Associate partner (visual storytelling) With a background in hospitality branding, Natalie has been helping clients in all fields tell their visual story over the past 15 years. She enjoys taking clients through an in-depth, personal branding process tailored to their specific business needs. Natalie gets great satisfaction in watching these brands grow and evolve, and feels privileged to still be contributing design and direction years down the line. Working in a variety of studios rounds Natalie's experience and keeps her up to date with industry developments

Natalie Foster

Associate partner (visual storytelling)

With a background in hospitality branding, Natalie has been helping clients in all fields tell their visual story over the past 15 years.

She enjoys taking clients through an in-depth, personal branding process tailored to their specific business needs.

Natalie gets great satisfaction in watching these brands grow and evolve, and feels privileged to still be contributing design and direction years down the line.

Working in a variety of studios rounds Natalie's experience and keeps her up to date with industry developments

Scott Lawson Associate partner (analytics) After a lot of banging his head against a wall despairing at the time and stress that goes into monthly reporting, Scott believed there had to be another way. In 2009 Scott set up Trackpal – a simple reporting system for digital marketing professionals.  Prior to this, Scott worked as a Software Developer for companies including Sony, Brandwatch and international digital agency, iCrossing. He’s interested in filmmaking and directed a number of films before making the move into software development.

Scott Lawson

Associate partner (analytics)

After a lot of banging his head against a wall despairing at the time and stress that goes into monthly reporting, Scott believed there had to be another way. In 2009 Scott set up Trackpal – a simple reporting system for digital marketing professionals. 

Prior to this, Scott worked as a Software Developer for companies including Sony, Brandwatch and international digital agency, iCrossing. He’s interested in filmmaking and directed a number of films before making the move into software development.

 
Hannah Schmitt Account executive Hannah is a final year Media Studies student with a specialist interest in the ever-changing ways in which we consume content.  She loves to challenge herself constantly and grow as an individual, learning wherever she can and uncovering new things. Hannah's superpower is always asking why, never satisfied with just the first answer.

Hannah Schmitt

Account executive

Hannah is a final year Media Studies student with a specialist interest in the ever-changing ways in which we consume content. 

She loves to challenge herself constantly and grow as an individual, learning wherever she can and uncovering new things.

Hannah's superpower is always asking why, never satisfied with just the first answer.