If you see one of these people this week please hug them…

…and tell them I sent you. TopLine’s CEO has places to go and people to thank.
It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, which has absolutely nothing to do with digital comms, PR, video or animation. However, while running a B2B PR agency is my day job, I am also a human being in my spare time. So it occurred to me that this week would offer a good opportunity to thank some of the people who have been instrumental in the success of TopLine and who probably don’t know how much I (we) appreciate them. It’s not exhaustive, but here’s my first stab at a business gratitude list.

Peter Linas and the team at Bullhorn

When I first met Peter in 2009, Bullhorn was new to the UK market, and TopLine was little more than a toddler. It was the midst of that recession and business was challenging. We were a start-up and we needed a client to take a chance on us. Bullhorn was that client. Since then, our relationship with Bullhorn has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted to have played a significant role in Bullhorn’s international success. This has been of real benefit to TopLine too – our work with Bullhorn has been noticed across the industry and their CRM software (which we have used in our own business for years) has kept us out of many a pickle (e.g. enabling me to work from Johannesburg for three weeks while I waited for that Icelandic volcano, that would get you loads of points if you used it in Scrabble, to cool down).

Jennifer Janson of Six Degrees fame

Author, friend, fellow-EO member and inspiration, Jen has been amazing. She has been so generous in sharing her experiences that it’s made me consider giving the banned-list-word ‘coopetition’ a second chance. Nope, not going to work – hate that word. But thanks anyway.

Bruce Dodworth, trainer extraordinaire

When our own sales machine hit a lull a couple of years ago Bruce was our knight in shining armour. His sales pitching course gave us the confidence to pitch to win, and his feedback has always been honest and appreciated. When we turned to Bruce with the difficult task of helping us define our value proposition last year, he jumped at the opportunity and you helped us through the process – the results have been amazing.

Nick Moore, business coach

I can’t believe the progress TopLine has made over the last year and Nick has played a major role in this. I haven’t always been an easy client (it took six months to get me to stop rolling my eyes at the mention of DISC profiles), but Nick has been patient and helpful – keeping us focused and on track.

Vince Cable, business secretary

Speaking of Nick, we wouldn't have even dreamed of appointing a business coach if the GrowthAccelerator Programme hadn’t offered matched funding and the infrastructure through which to find a coach. This is all thanks to Vince Cable’s £200m fund to help bright young businesses achieve their potential. I was skeptical at first, but TopLine is a real example of the unbelievable value offered by this programme.

Oliver Burkeman, Guardian writer

Oliver, you are only one of two people on this list who I have never actually met and you no doubt have no idea who I am. Yet, I feel I need to thank you for your piece Everyone is totally just winging it all the time, from May 2014. I can’t tell you what an impact this one article has had on me and my ability to deal with stress. I was one of those people who constantly compare what’s inside to other people’s Facebook profiles and this article gave me some much needed perspective. I refer back to it at least once a week and share it with friends and colleagues when I sense they are experiencing one of those insecure moments. (Note to clients and prospects – I am of course a true expert and I never wing it).

David Spencer-Percival, founder of Spencer Ogden

DSP, working with you as Spencer Ogden went from zero to international recruitment sensation was a blast. Your sense of fun enabled us real freedom for creativity in our campaigns and your recommendations and endorsements have gone a long way to building this business.

Rita Vail, of Vail and Associates

I learned everything I know about PR from the generous and patient Rita Vail. What many people don’t know though is that Rita is the first person I call when things go wrong. That means she has endured over 100 phone calls over the last six years and she has been generous with her ears, wise with her advice and kind with her feedback. Thanks RV.

Michael Glynn, St James Consulting

Our management buy-out in 2010 was quite a process, but thanks to Michael, it was completed successfully and amicably. Michael you have been a real mentor and support since then and I really appreciate it. Look forward to working with you again on the next big, exciting deal.

Luke Budka, director, TopLine Comms

No TopLine gratitude list would be complete without small mention of my business partner, colleague and friend Luke Budka. Thanks for the loyalty, inappropriate jokes, hard work and loud opposing views.