Ten reasons to choose an agency outside London

By Rachel Cass, senior account manager, Genesis PR.

It’s easy to get distracted by the ‘London factor’ when choosing an agency but the truth is, there are top PR consultancies based outside London across the country. Thanks to technology, clients can connect wherever they are, and location is not an issue when selecting an agency.

So, why are companies from FTSE 100 to SMEs choosing PR agencies based outside the big cities? Here is the rundown:

1 It’s a small world

General advances in technology e.g. skype, enable people to connect from anywhere in the world, while the rise of flexible working means many PR professionals are equipped to work remotely, providing the additional benefit of a highly responsive service.

2 Back to the roots

Consumers are demanding more personal connections to brands and businesses which has seen a rise in grassroots PR. Regional agency teams tend to live in local communities and so understand the area and local issues. Regional agencies are also experts in regional, local and hyper local media and often specialists in creating campaigns which relate to a variety of different audiences.

3 Nimble agencies

The nature and make up of regional agencies mean they are often more agile and responsive – an essential skill in today’s 24/7 media environment – and can adapt more quickly to clients’ changing needs.

4 The A-team

Regional agencies tend to put a more hands-on, senior team members on client accounts. With larger agencies, the pitch may be done by a director, but more junior employees often carry out the day to day work.

5 Personal service

Staff turnover rates are lower at regional agencies so the account team you sign up to is less likely to change. Building trusted relationships is an essential ingredient of successful PR – both with clients and media – and these can only be built over time. Longer standing partnerships ensure the needs of clients are fully understood and the best outcomes delivered.

6 Value for money

Lower overheads mean lower costs, so you avoid the London premium and get better value for money.

7 Size doesn’t matter

Regional agencies get things done! They are not part of a big machine and have fewer levels and layers, so can work faster and smarter.

8 Working hard

Regional agencies have a point to prove and as a result, often work harder to show they can more than contend with city agencies, again, providing better value for money.

9 Talent pools

Talent and creativity exist around the UK, not just in the cities. Exceptional agencies across the country are attracting top PR professionals who don’t want the London commute and are helping to grow creative hubs outside of the major cities. Outstanding talent can be found in many locations such as Suffolk which offers a highly attractive alternative. More and more universities are also offering PR and creative degrees, meaning that expertise is developing across the country.

10 Multi-skilled

Professionals at regional agencies are often required to master a wider range of skills whereas larger agencies tend to have dedicated employees working on specific aspects of PR. Whilst this offers honed expertise it can lead to a disjointed approach which impacts on results.

At the end of the day, choosing an agency should be based on how well the team understands a client’s needs and its ability to deliver campaigns that strike a chord with your audience, not location.

Wellbeing in change – three things that can help

By Jo Twiselton
Original Post

My passion for wellbeing began over ten years ago and is driven from my own experience in two areas: my own career in communications and change, plus the impact I’ve seen big organisational change have at a personal level – and that includes being on the receiving end of poorly managed change.

My first run-in with change was a reorganisation in the very early days of my working life and it’s stuck with me ever since. We received long, jargon-filled announcements with little understandable explanation of why the change was happening and not much opportunity for those affected to ask questions and make sense of it for themselves. And, for those of us not directly impacted by the change?  Well, a few, including me, felt what’s now known as ‘survivor guilt’ – being left behind when others are gone. Overall, it was a pretty emotional experience.

With this experience – and others since – I know that big change can often create wellbeing havoc and have a negative effect on organisations.  So, part of my approach is helping people to help themselves when they face change. This stuff can really make a positive difference to people – and organisations.

Three areas of wellbeing

The term ‘wellbeing’ is used interchangeably to mean many different things, but for me, it’s about three main areas:

  • How I can notice more about how I’m feeling
  • How I can better look after myself – physically, mentally and emotionally
  • How I can be kinder and more compassionate to others – and myself

There are heaps of topics you can explore that sit beneath these, including exercise, nutrition, resilience, emotional intelligence, coaching, self-awareness and mindfulness amongst many, many others.  But most recently, the ones I’ve found that resonate with people the most are:

  • Being part of a trusted and honest support network – so having supporters who can look out for you and you can look out for them, particularly when things get tricky
  • Whatever is happening, recognising that there are things in my world that I can have control over, such as how I talk to myself and others, what I choose to eat and drink or watch or read
  • Being kind and compassionate. In the words of JM Barry, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

I love to hear about ways that people support their own wellbeing, particularly during tricky change. If you’d be happy to share your approaches or would like to chat more about this, do get in touch.

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Jo running a recent CIPREA workshop on wellbeing, Images by Becky Asplin Photography.