9 May 2017 Business PR Musings

Spotlight on Public Relations

By Cherish’s new Consultant, Holly Forrest

Depending on who you ask, the term Public Relations will bring up various connotations, ranging from the outrageous characters of Edina and Patsy to the shrewd Max Clifford. Whilst Edina and Patsy may be great company on a night-out, is that a fair representation of today’s industry?

absolutely_fabulousAccording to research, the Public Relations industry is worth a whopping £12.9 billion. With 83,000+ professionals, covering disciplines such as media relations, strategy, planning, digital and social media, these figures suggest the opposite to our beloved Ab Fab characters.

Personally, I have spent the last six years’ working within the PR agency world, specialising in the fast-paced technology sector. From a fresh-faced graduate to today, how I do my job on a daily basis has changed dramatically.

Rise of the Entrepreneur

The rise of the entrepreneur has catapulted some great ideas into the brand stratosphere and it’s forced the world of Public Relations to become as agile as its new breed of client. Geographic borders have disappeared, timescales have shrunk, whilst expectations have increased, no longer does the detailed yearly Gantt chart fit the bill. Adapting to fast-paced decisions, building communications with internal stakeholders and handling financial announcements is part and parcel of the daily expectations of a modern-day professional.

Taking a Global Approach

As for our American counterparts, implementing campaigns from across both sides of the pond is a norm for today. Endless long-distance travel, conference calls at unsociable hours give way to tech for flexible working – looking at you Skype! There are fewer barriers to US, UK, European expansion, and this has opened up opportunities for the industry.

Products, Gadgets and Gizmos

UK consumers are a product-loving bunch and with the rise of ecommerce and the demand for technology, spending continues to grow  £133bn was spent online with UK retailers in 2016 and the average household has a higher disposable income than previous years. With demand comes production and the market is competitive. Demand for product PR is higher than ever before. Added to that, the influx of ‘Insta-stars’ and ‘mummy bloggers’ adds a whole new dynamic to the publicity mix.

The comical memories of Edina and Patsy are just that – the past. My industry is pretty awesome even if it doesn’t always involve clashing prints and bouffant hairstyles.

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