Why start up PR firms are bucking economic trend

Friday, 23 March 2012, 12:25 | Category : General
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I really enjoyed reading PR Week’s Focus of 9th March “Can hard times create successful start-ups”. It was particularly heartening to read Tony Langham’s story about how he set up Lansons as well as the stories behinds some of our best loved UK PR agencies like Frank and Launch. It seems lots of successful agencies were set up in dark economic times and still going strong.

Seven years ago we set up The PR Network and we’ve ridden some pretty turbulent economic storms, but stayed firmly focused on a flexible structure that has kept us agile and one step ahead of the market.

All those featured in PR Week’s article urged a cautious start, and keeping up front investment to the minimum; they cited working with freelancers as a necessity – something at the heart of our proposition. This is a trend we’ve embraced and seen grow in strength over the last year or so. This type of flexibility will enable even more entrepreneurial comms professionals to take the plunge and set up on their own – something our industry, and more importantly our economy needs.

Just a quick trawl of recent PR Weeks show that on average there are 2 new agencies launching a week in the UK at the moment. So, why is the PR world growing at a time when Experian records that 21,000 business failed in the UK last year? Well, arguably PR is something you shouldn’t cut in a recession, marketing is increasingly important to stay ahead of an even more competitive market place.

Perhaps also it is because we are in one of the few sectors that can celebrate entrepreneurship. You don’t need to invest heavily to start up a business in PR and comms. You just need your reputation, your contact book and a good idea. Seven years in, we’ve not regretted going out on our own for one single minute. We are proud to be doing things differently and to be supporting some of the best and biggest and newest PR agencies in the UK. We work collaboratively with many of the leading agencies in each sector and provide freelance and permanent recruitment solutions to a huge list of consultancies and in house teams.

Let’s hope this trend continues and I wish all the recent joiners to the world of comms business owner all the success over the next year. Keep the faith and keep doing great work for your clients, the rest will follow. And, to those of you sat there reading this and still debating whether to take the plunge I say, just do it, you won’t look back!
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