25 years in business

Phillips Profile reunion at 17 years
Phillips Profile reunion at 17 years: PR Anniversary team celebration at The Jockey Club, Newmarket
How it is that 25 years have passed and we are still here is a question difficult to answer.

How did we get here?

Diary entry, 1st October 1996
Today, I opened Phillips Profile

Diary entry, 1st October 2021
Today, we celebrated Phillips Profile’s quarter century

I don’t think it occurs to one on the first day of a new business just how many years it might last. Far more important is whether any clients will cross the threshold of the new offices and whether we’ll be able to afford to pay the landlord. Then later on, the total absorption in current client requirements commandeers all energies and the horizon has to wait its turn.

This will sound familiar to any small-business owner.

As will the observation, learned from hard-won experience, that running a business is to ride a non-stop roller coaster. Equally, that cash-flow is king. Neither should be underestimated as educators: clinging on to the first and chasing the second teach resilience, realism and a useful dollop of healthy scepticism.

The greatest lesson, however, and it takes time to learn, is to not worry. Over the years, I’ve come to realise that within the apparent chaos of meetings, deadlines, drafting copy, driving long hours on roads increasingly crowded and organising events of greater or lesser significance to meet client expectations there is a pattern of kinds to be discerned: that things happen in due season, and it is a pattern that repeats. Once realised, worry becomes superfluous, to be replaced by crossed fingers and patience.

It is in this way that have we learned to take the horrors in our stride, and these have been numerous over the course of 25 years. A Reception at the House of Lords where the clients were held up in traffic and blithely asked us to host on their behalf; a banquet where the venue was completing its refurbishment right up to the time of guests arriving; a residential conference that ran out of delegate accommodation, shunting one of us into the red-light district overnight; these and more have kept our guiding principle of ‘Assume nothing’ front of mind at all times.

How it is that 25 years have passed and we are still here is a question difficult to answer. We have always taken a lively interest in changing attitudes, without becoming enslaved to trends, which keeps our work with clients right up to date; we remain true to our own intelligence and standards, and open to our clients; and we enjoy to the full the work we do individually and as a team. 

If there is a secret to be had to our longevity, I rather think it may be laughter. A sense of humour is present in all of us and has dissolved many a difficulty.

And the horizon is still waiting its turn.

Margaret Phillips
Founder & Senior PR Consultant

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