Our Story

Ethical, results-driven and fully integrated.

Cornerstone was founded back in 2007 in an attic room at David’s mum and dad’s house. With just a handful of clients and a mission to create an ethical, down-to-earth marketing agency, we put client service and a focus on results-driven campaigns at the heart of the business.

Over 10 years later, things have changed quite a bit but the same values and mission still stand. With a variety of clients, new and old, a growing team and Wilson the yellow lab, we have diversified and grown to ensure we provide our clients a true full-service offering. We have video and photography facilities, an experienced creative, web development and digital marketing team, and a PR department as well as in-house, wide-format print capabilities.

Cornerstone has been built around results, recommendations, a down-to-earth working relationships with our clients and a desire to achieve better outcomes and ROI. We work with brands and organisations we believe in; forward-thinkers, innovators and fast-movers.

We are also proud to have been shortlisted as finalist for various awards over the years, the most recent being Manchester Publicity Association (MPA) Awards and the Oldham Business Awards.

 

10 Years of Cornerstone

How we work

X

Alana Allan

We lured Alana from her Bristol base where she’d studied and worked in-agency as an experiential account executive and account manager.

She’s worked on global client accounts across a range of industries including automotive brands Lexus and Toyota and tech centric B2B clients.

She now delivers marketing concepts, strategy and planning for Cornerstone clients across NWAS, LTE, GMCA and Michael Ward.

Interesting Alana fact: She’s got a mix of Malaysian, Polish, Chinese and English heritage.

Why i do it

I love the fact Cornerstone is a full-service, integrated agency meaning I get to work with my amazing and talented colleagues (she actually said that) across all of our marketing departments.

It also means I get to work with a fantastic array of clients across many different industries and sectors.

As an account manager I get a real sense of satisfaction from seeing the entire process through from concept to delivery.

Super Power

Control freakery of the highest order.

Kryptonite

Intense pressure. Avoids at all costs by being hyper-organised.

X

Simon Berry

Simon takes multi-tasking to a new level (yes, and he’s a man) DISCLAIMER: The Cornerstone management does not condone sexism on any level.

He hails from a background in sports marketing, working for the French arm of a rather high-profile British sports-fashion retailer.

His daily diary consists of marketing strategy and project and campaign planning, working with clients across leisure, property, health care and well, all sorts really. He’s very adaptable.

Our Si is a very friendly and obliging fellow who works hard and has a reputation for getting the job done. Well.

Why i do it

Sounds a bit cliché but I really do have a passion for marketing ideas and a penchant for witty slogans.

I’ve been intrigued by advertising and TV ads since I was a kid – hope that doesn’t make me sound boring. (Not at all Simon)

Seeing happy clients really motivates me day-to-day and actually makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

Super Power

Plate spinning.
Looking like Jim from American Pie. (He really does)

Kryptonite

An empty coffee jar. (Collective empathy there)

X

Stephen Gill

Sign Maker & Installer

Steve arrived at Cornerstone with almost two decades of industry experience under his belt – and a rather cheeky sense of humour. He’s worked everywhere from London to Israel and studied art and design at Manchester College before heading to Manchester Met to study illustration and animation.

He’s a colourful character who brings an air of exuberance to the print room. He has an eye for detail, particularly handy when it comes to print and signage, and is a master installer who insists on the finest finish.

Why i do it

I love the variety of my job – no two days are the same and we work across a diverse range of sectors and industries, meeting some great clients.

The Cornerstone team are a friendly, sociable bunch – there’s always a buzz – and we do enjoy letting our hair down every now and again!

Super Power

Mirth-maker of the highest order. An artist of exceptional talent.

Kryptonite

Anything battered or a ring donut.

X

Gillian Potts

PR & Copywriter

Gill has been a journalist for way longer than she cares – or dares – to remember. Formerly a news reporter, feature writer and beauty columnist working for newspapers across Greater Manchester, the switch flicked, the light came on and she headed straight for PR.

Gill works across a number of sectors including health, pharma, leisure and manufacturing, bringing a wealth of media insight and knowledge to help clients achieve PR wins in the most creative of ways. Her nifty wordsmither-y gets called upon for a whole manner of projects including PR campaigns, blogs, website content, social media, email marketing, opinion pieces and advertorials.

Why i do it

Good question. I love telling other people’s stories and nurturing an idea from start to finish.

PR has had a bad rep over the years, needs a good PR person probably. But pushing the likes of Ab Fab’s Edina and Patsy aside – and I’ve worked with many fashion and beauty PRs who were absolutely nothing like them – I love the ethical approach at Cornerstone which is totally appreciated by clients and makes my job a pleasure to do.

Still partial to a glass of Veuve Clicquot and a party if anyone’s offering.

Super Power

The need to know the ins and outs of everything. Not in a snoopy way.

Kryptonite

Commas. Far too many of them.
Crisps. Keep those exquisite thick-cut and deep-fried sliced spuds away. From me now.

X

Sam Casey

Print Room Manager

Sam always knew he was on the correct career path. All the signs were right. Ba dum, tss. Bad jokes aside, Sam has extensive print and signage experience, working on large scale projects across the UK. Aside from his epic signage skills, his talents include manufacturing techniques such as wide-format printing, screen printing, engraving and acid-etching.

Day to day he oversees client print projects across all sectors, production and installation. He’s elevated to new heights thanks to his CSCS construction industry safety certification and license to operate ‘cherry picker’ platforms.

Why i do it

Client satisfaction is top of the list for me. Print production is a skilled job and as individuals, and as a team, our ultimate aim is to have a happy customer.

I enjoy seeing a job progressing through the business from design to manufacture.

Super Power

Not just one. He’s a High-Resolution Hero. HRH for short.

Kryptonite

Healthy eating. UK chippie locations firmly stored in the Cornerstone van sat nav.

X

Paige Coulthurst

Digital Marketing Executive

Paige started off as Social Media Executive at Cornerstone just before graduating at Lancaster University. After a short while, Paige progressed to Digital Marketing Executive, working on the full digital spectrum.

With a degree in Management and Information Technology, Paige can get stuck in wherever we may need her – from a bit of HTML and CSS, UX projects and even design!

Why i do it

I love the clients at Cornerstone – they’re all local clients or clients who we have built a really strong relationship with. I genuinely feel pride when they are happy and their business is growing as a result of our marketing campaigns. I love seeing how a seemingly small digital campaign can deliver such BIG results! Every day is different – different clients, different projects, different skills required – and I love that!

Super Power

Always knows everything that's going on, I don't miss a trick! Don't know a deadline, or where someone is? I probably do!

Kryptonite

Clutter, chaos, disorganisation - will not be found without diary and planner in-hand.

X

David Wadsworth

Managing Director

David  brings a wealth of knowledge to our client campaigns, with strategic marketing planning and digital knowledge that enhances and accelerates our clients campaigns over and above their competitors.

With a strong marketing background and passion for driving client’s businesses forward, David is actively involved in all major client campaigns and promotions.

Why i do it

We believe that we can far exceed clients’ expectations on all levels, and do it quicker, and more cost effectively than many of our competitors, which is why many of our clients have never gone anywhere else. Our ethos is a no nonsense approach, and complete honesty. This is a reflection of both my personality, and the way in which I think business should be done.

Super Power

The ability to multi task on a whole other level!

Kryptonite

Too much coffee equals one agitated David (best stick to the decaf)

X

Sarah Smethurst

Head of Creative

Sarah has been involved in Graphic Design & Art from an early age. She has developed her skills over the years to become an extremely creative and artistic designer and now leads our creative team in developing creative advertising campaigns.

Her talent is used to ensure that clients get a piece of artwork that is both effective in communicating the desired message and appealing to the eye, standing out from the competition.

Why i do it

I have been interested in Graphic Design for a number of years, but never had the courage to persue my dream. When the position became available at Cornerstone, I jumped at the chance and have never looked back. The varying client needs are always a challenge which I look forward to, ensuring work is always unique and effective.

Super Power

The animal whisperer (mainly to the office mascot "Wilson" the yellow lab)

Kryptonite

Heat, will melt like a chocolate bar in the sun on a hot day

X

Nicola Adamson

Graphic Designer

Nicola graduated from Huddersfield University in 2010. Soon after, she applied for a position at Cornerstone and has become a welcome member of the team, taking on the role of Graphic Designer.

Nicola has plenty of talent in illustration and creative design, ensuring our clients receive a creative marketing piece that meets their requirements whilst driving awareness and demand.

Why i do it

Cornerstone gave me the fantastic opportunity of joining the team shortly after graduating. It’s an enthusiastic, fun and exciting environment to work in. The main reason I chose to join Cornerstone was their attitude & approach towards their clients. They have a great company ethos & always ensure they have their clients’ and staff’s best interests at heart.

Super Power

Brew making skills that are out of this world!

Kryptonite

Terrible sense of direction that even a sat nav can't fix.

X

Dave Edgar

Graphic Designer

Dave has over 10 years design agency experience and has been working in the industry since completing his degree at Salford University, where he gained a 2:1 in Graphic Design.

With a true passion for typography and all things graphic design, Dave helps to add another strong element of creativity and style to our client campaigns, helping to develop and build on their market presence and difference.

Why i do it

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed designing. From a child, building unique creations with Lego; through education and into my professional career, I always take great pride in what I create and my passion for the industry hopefully shines through. Joining Cornerstone was a breath of fresh air for me as it gave me the opportunity to do what I love within a positive environment with a variation of work that makes every day different and exciting!

Super Power

The ability to identify a font at a hundred paces!

Kryptonite

Coldplay and Comic Sans!

X

Jess Buckley

Digital Team Lead

Jess joined Cornerstone as an account executive in January 2017 following freelance roles within marketing and PR fields.

Exploring her passion for all thing digital, Jess embarked on several training courses and became Cornerstone’s dedicated digital marketer within 12 months of joining the Cornerstone team. Jess gets involved in all digital work at Cornerstone including SEO, PPC, Social Media Management, Email Campaigns, UX, and Digital Strategy and Planning.

Why i do it

Cornerstone is an incredibly fast paced and exciting working environment where no two days are the same. The level of autonomy and experience I have gained in my role (in such a short space of time!) is something I owe to the growth and success level of Cornerstone as a company. Digital marketing allows me to use both the creative and analytical sides of my brain every day which I love. With our digital service offering growing rapidly at Cornerstone, I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

Super Power

Grammar Geek

Kryptonite

Netflix – especially true crime documentaries

X

Robbie MacDonald

PR Manager

Writing business news, marketing and public relations material for our clients is Robbie’s specialism. A journalist whose reports and features have been published in local, regional and national media, Robbie writes copy for our clients to use across digital and print channels.

Businesses are great sources of news and photography. Robbie helps clients get their news, products and services seen by their target readers. He also has a strong interest in photography which is a vital part of PR.

Why i do it

Variety is the spice of life. I enjoy meeting people and writing about all types of business.

With Cornerstone, I meet a fascinating range of clients and visit all sorts of workplaces. Manufacturing, science, construction, property, leisure, health, charity and public sector organisations. We work with a great range of clients.

Super Power

Curiosity, friendliness and an eye for ‘a good story’ and photo.

Kryptonite

Jargon. Cut it out. There’s no need for it.

X

Alison McDonnell

Accounts Administrator

Why i do it

I love the idea of everything being perfectly balanced, so accounts seemed a good fit for me. Cornerstone has developed rapidly over the last few years so bringing the accounts functions in house was the next logical step and I am thrilled to have joined the team at this exciting time.

Super Power

Organised, I start shopping for Christmas in March and everything has to be wrapped by the middle of October!

Kryptonite

Black and White films – they don’t make them like they used to!

X

Lauren Sweeting

Office Administrator

Lauren has broad range of experience and interests. She has previously worked in roles including customer service, visual merchandising for the retail fashion industry and administration for Transport for London.

She has also studied fashion and textiles, is a fan of iconic punk designer Vivienne Westwood, and is a qualified theatrical and media make-up artist with experience of make-up work in commercial photography studios.

Why i do it

I like multi-tasking, being at the centre of the business and being busy. I like working with people and the variety of activities at Cornerstone.

Super Power

I’m a mum, which requires having super power, and I can also name all the Disney animation characters!

Kryptonite

I have a weakness for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, TV crime documentaries and Harry Potter films. I’m a bit of a Harry Potter nerd. I’ve even visited Harry Potter World.

X

Kirsten Murphy

Graphic Designer

Kirsten has worked in graphic design for a number of years, with experience of print and digital projects.

This includes national business and professional magazines covering retail, hospitality, tourism and the hospice sectors along with print adverts and leaflets, email and website banner adverts, and other website elements.

Why i do it

I’ve always like graphic design, art and creative things. As a child I was always drawing and colouring.

Super Power

At work, I’m especially interested in typography and colour. At home, I’m kept quite busy with two children. But if I ever have a little bit of free time, I still like to draw.

Kryptonite

Cheese is my weakness. I love Cheddar. Mature Cheddar with a bit of salt sprinkled on top or melted is gorgeous. But nothing mouldy. No Stilton, thanks.

X

Sarah Brierley

Account Manager

My role is to create strong, positive relationships with our clients and ensure they have the best possible experience and best possible results. I’m the reliable and pro-active, go-to person for your business or project.

I am a strategic thinker who will focus on the bigger picture so you can get on with running your business. Backed up with the experience, organisational skills and know-how to deliver what you need, on time and on budget!

My passion for marketing started in business studies at GCSE and A-Level – taking a particular interest in the theory behind marketing and what makes people ‘tick’. Afterwards, I began an apprenticeship at a full-service agency, developing the knowledge and skills to deliver successful, fully-integrated marketing services and also went on to become CIM qualified.

Why i do it

I love getting under the skin of a business or project so that I can fully understand the challenge and develop solutions that make a difference.  There is no “one size fits all” in this game. The variety of projects and people I meet along the way make for genuinely interesting and engaging work. There is nothing more satisfying than a job well done. Account management also satisfies my need to be constantly learning and constantly on the go. This industry never sits still.

Super Power

Asking the questions that really get you thinking. Digging deep for the most valuable insights.

Kryptonite

I cannot and will not function without breakfast. You have been warned.

A little bit about Cornerstone

Our agency has been built around results, recommendations, a strong working relationship with clients and a desire to achieve better outcomes each and every time.

We work with brands and organisations we believe in, forward-thinkers, innovators and fast-movers….

We love what we do for our clients and can do the same for you.

 

MPA Awards 2018

Cornerstone DM