Green Street Media is an environmentally friendly advertising company, which specialises in spraying marketing messages onto town and city streets with a high-pressure water jet trained on a stencil.
Instead of applying paint or ink, the company actually cleans the outline of the words, making the marketing message clearly visible against the darkened surface of the pavement.
The company was launched in June 2010 by former Sheffield Hallam student Conrad Thornton, who promoted it via social media sites. Staff at the university’s Enterprise Centre then referred Conrad to the Entrepreneur Exchange for professional advice on growing his business. The Exchange, part of Business & Education South Yorkshire, links new business owners with established entrepreneurs who can give relevant practical advice.
Conrad’s major challenge at the time was to find reliable marketing advice and so Jim Lawson of the Entrepreneur Exchange offered to link him with Darryl Dawson, managing director of South Yorkshire-based PR and marketing company ConnexionsPR.
Darryl was very impressed by Green Street Media’s service, but recommended some changes to the way the company was promoted to prospective clients. Conrad says his meetings with Darryl have been “inspirational” and led him to analyse his potential market more carefully and rebrand his company accordingly.
He adds: “The Entrepreneur Exchange has given me the direction and inspiration to transform Green Street Media into a national scale brand. The support and encouragement that I have received have really helped me in expanding my business and improving our brand identity.”
Conrad went on to win a prize at the 2010 Sheffield Hallam University Enterprise and Innovation Awards, where he was shortlisted as a finalist and listed Darryl as his mentor. He also picked up a ‘spot award’ of £1,000 to develop his business. In another high-profile triumph, Conrad secured Shell’s LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award for 2010 – all within his first six months of trading.
Green Street Media has gone on to sign up prestigious clients such as the Natural History Museum and applied messages on some of the most famous streets in London. Conrad has also won contracts closer to home, including promoting a weekly event at Sheffield University Student Union and encouraging visits to the Natural History Society’s wildlife photography exhibition, with shoppers encouraged to follow animal ‘footprints’ on pedestrian areas.
Conrad and his team are busy building on their early successes. Longer-term plans for the business include the launch of franchise operations that will enable Green Street Media to expand throughout Europe.