Tell us about The PR Company
We build and manage reputations by creating content on behalf of clients across a range of media and platforms. The purpose of that content is to build trust and support the client’s commercial goals. The PR Company is 45 years young this year and we believe it is Yorkshire’s longest-running agency, so we must be getting something right!
What is your role within the company?
Working closely with my MD (Nick Glaves), my principal role is to expand our services. Our clients’ needs are changing and we need to grow ahead of those expectations. The company’s heritage is rooted in traditional PR work – media relations, press releases, etc – and our reputation for achieving coverage for our clients is unrivalled. I’ve been working with Nick for the past two years – first as a consultant, now as staff – to take our existing excellence and apply it across all key platforms and media.
I’m lucky in that my to-do list is wonderfully varied. Across any given month I manage social media profiles, devise and execute campaigns, design memes, film and edit video, build a website, SEO, photography, design print ads, and write web copy, email newsletters, blogs, and press releases.
Tell us about yourself
When I was younger, I made my living playing in bands and writing music. I then wrote and performed comedy to pay my way through journalism college. I did three years on the City desk at The Argus in Brighton before joining the Hull Daily Mail as one of the senior editors. After 10 years at the HDM, there was a big restructure and I took the opportunity to follow my passion and set up my own freelance photography business and portrait studio.
It reads like I’ve done lots of different things, but I don’t see it like that: I’ve created content most of my working life and I’ve been lucky that that content has been well received.
How has the web and social media impacted on the industry?
The core of effective communication has always been great story-telling and that principle is as ancient as cavemen – and I can never see that changing. In the bigger-picture sense, social media, mobile tech, the web, etc, hasn’t changed the fundamentals of what we do.
Through social media, companies can now bring some personality to their communications and have genuine real-time conversations – and that’s incredibly powerful when it comes to building trust.
Through websites and social media platforms, every company has the power to be a multi-media publisher in their own right and that is a huge opportunity for every business.
The way that people consume media has changed beyond all recognition from just 10 years ago and the sheer scale of choice put before them is overwhelming. Because of that, people’s hunger for fantastic content has never been higher.
What’s the biggest problem in the industry?
Measuring is really important and metrics are an incredibly useful tool. That said, in some quarters of the industry there’s an obsession with measuring – beyond what’s reasonable – to a point that’s almost fetish.
There’s alot to communications and not all the benefits are quantifiable so a culture obsessed with numbers doesn’t create an environment where great communications flourish. Don’t get me wrong: I love stats – but they don’t tell the whole story!
On a personal level, who or what has influenced your career?
Because I’m involved in many different types of projects, I have to draw inspiration from many different sources – but, personally, I’m always attracted to simple, elegant things because they have a timeless quality.
How do you spend your spare time?
I like to spend as much time with my wife and daughter as possible, but I’m also addicted to photography so weekends are often a balancing act between the two. Before joining The PR Company, I worked for myself as a freelance photographer and I still love photographing weddings. I also love taking portraits and I’ve had some of my fashion work featured on the Vogue Italia website.
Finally, soapbox. Is there anything that really gets on your nerves?
I’m a perfectionist, so I literally wouldn’t know where to start answering that.