As we head into our 21st year as a PR consultancy, I find myself reflecting on why we have lasted so long as an independent consultancy when the industry norm is to burn brightly for a few years and then fade away, change ownership and personnel, or be absorbed into a larger concern. Phillips Profile has avoided these fates – Margaret Phillips, the owner and founder is still very much at the helm and the team working with her has done so for years. How so?
PR is a slow burn. It’s about building relationships, not just with journalists but with clients and their teams, with specialists from other marketing and design disciplines, and also of course within the consultancy itself. And the relationships cannot be for the short-term, to achieve a current objective to be then discarded and ignored. Yes, for now you may only want to place a single, one-off story in
Potato Grower Magazine or Progressive Greetings, but in five years’ time you may have another client who would benefit from the insight that the editor can give about the industry. If you have established the right kind of relationship in the first place, that opportunity is available, and that contact is a resource that you can draw on to add value to your current clients.
A recent example reminded me of how this building of mutually-respectful relationships is at the core of what Phillips Profile does. A few weeks ago I had a client wanting to sell into a new market. Because of a relationship that had been established more than a decade before whilst organising a promotion on behalf of a completely different client, I was able to reach out to the MD of a leading company in the relevant sector and find out whether the proposed product was likely to be of interest in that market.
The key to these enduring relationships is that they are built on trust. An editor needs to know that if an article is promised that it will arrive on time and be accurate, literate and relevant to his readers. A client needs to know that the consultancy will be on her side, working for the company’s success whilst bringing an honest external perspective. A consultancy’s employees need to know that they are valued and their skills recognised and developed.
Phillips Profile don’t do ‘puff’ and we don’t do ‘spin’ whether we are talking to the media or sitting in client meetings. And it is that consistency of approach that has enabled us to be here 20 years later delivering our brand of PR and looking forward to the next 20 years.