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Twenty years of Splendid: Alec Samways, CEO and founder of Splendid, on the PRmoment Podcast

On the PRmoment Podcast, we interview UK public relations leaders, and today, we’re chatting with Alec Samways, CEO and founder of Splendid.

Splendid is an independent consumer PR firm based in London. Its fee income is over £6m. Splendid was launched in 2004 and so celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Also, thanks so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors the PRCA.

Here's a summary of what we talked about:

2 mins Alec reflects on the consumer PR market in London at the moment.

“We’re seeing way more opportunities...The process has become really, really protracted. We’re waiting on ten decisions at the moment.”

7 mins Splendid is one of a handful of independent PR firms in the UK that has made multiple acquisitions in the last couple of years. Alec tells us why Splendid decided to start buying other businesses.

“We won 3 big pitches in one year, all evaporated within one year…So I said to my head of finance: ‘Is there a better way?’”

“It was a reaction. It was about controlling growth.”

15 mins Splendid has bought Riot, Kingdom Collective, and DIY. Alec talks us through how those deals come about.

“Intuitively, PR has to be the authentic channel because we are the ones that earn it. We don't buy it. Do (outside) people see us that way? No.”

“I’ve always felt the answer is strategy and measurement.”

28 mins Alec talks us through the life cycle of Splendid. Where did it start, what have been the ups and downs and where are you now?

“The last five years (for Splendid): Rock & roll with a plan.”

29 mins Splendid has had a good couple of years. It has outgrown the consumer PR market over the past five years.

30 mins Was the COVID period a necessary step to allow Alec to simplify his business?

37 mins Alec describes himself as an inverted snob. What did you mean by that?

41 mins How does Alec look back on 20 years in business?

47 mins “Praise in public, constructive criticism in private.”

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