About Steph & team

Steph Gray

I’ve worked in communications for 20 years, from market research to digital agencies. I’ve been a civil servant, and then a business owner; a doer, a manager and a leader. You can read my work story on my personal site.

These days, I work part time to fit around family, voluntary work and other interests, and my paid work is a mix of digital development, consultancy and coaching.

  • I design, develop and support clean, elegant WordPress-based websites, with help from my network of trusted associates
  • I develop proof of concept prototypes and help organisations to refine their digital products
  • I work with teams as an independent advisor to troubleshoot issues with their digital services, processes and supply chain

Before scaling back to freelance work again, I spent a decade growing Helpful Digital, a digital build and skills agency with strengths in the government, charity and policy sectors. Alongside that, I founded and shaped Social Simulator, a product-based crisis management training business, which works with major companies, charities and government agencies around the world. I’ve travelled the journey from freelancer through to a successful exit. I’m still passionate about running and growing a business with soul and compassion as well as financial success.

Before setting up my own agency, my professional background included:

  • Five years as a civil servant, in strategic communication at the Central Office of Information and as Head of Digital at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
  • Project management at Reading Room, a full-service Soho digital agency
  • Social research at Ipsos-MORI with a focus on e-government, usability research and online surveys

“Steph has great expertise and is also capable of explaining things to the lay person. He is always responsive and frequently surprises with the speed he can get things done. We were able to specify the features we needed in the map and database and the search function. It has added functionality, saved us time and made it more secure. In summary, I would highly recommend Steph, in particular for any map related work.

Louise Griew, Managing Director, National Maternity Voices

Drawing on experienced help

Where it’s useful, I like to work with tried and trusted associates who can bring extra skills, ideas and capacity to projects.

Having previously led or managed digital functions or agencies themselves, the Pentri teams I put forward are experienced individual specialists who come together for a specific project.

Together we offer:

  • A group of experienced professionals co-ordinated by me, not a traditional agency (we’ve been there)
  • Dedicated to a handful of interesting client projects each year where it seems a good fit, priced fairly
  • Honesty that people you meet and talk to are the ones doing the work: it’s not outsourced or delegated to junior staff, so we’re more responsive and fully engaged in the project
  • Deep experience building and supporting the kinds of projects we take on, with a proactive approach to ensuring the digital platforms are services are built to grow and evolve