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Adrian Talbot, finance director of Hotwire PR, on the financial management of a PR firm during Covid-19

On the PRmoment podcast this week, we’ve got Adrian Talbot who is the FD of Hotwire PR. He’s one of the most experienced FDs in public relations, having been at Hotwire for over four years, before that he was at BBH, College Hill (now Instinctif) and Burson Marsteller.

Here’s a summary of what Adrian and I discussed:

  • Whether the FD is currently the most important person in an agency business.
  • What do agency owners/FDs need to do to manage their agency businesses through the Covid-19 lockdown and the 18 months that follow it.
  • Whether most client budgets are in turmoil at the moment.
  • In such uncertain times, communication is currently so much more important with your agency employees – beyond group Zoom calls how do you make sure everyone is OK?
  • Whether clients are taking longer to pay since Covid-19 kicked off.
  • How to judge which clients to show greater flexibility towards when it comes to payment.
  • The importance of retaining working capital in all agency businesses currently.
  • Whether Hotwire has taken advantage of the government’s furlough scheme.
  • How one of the great challenges with the Covid-19 financial crash is that no one knows how long it is going to go on for. How can you possibly forecast that financially?
  • Re-scoping work into digital is the current plan of PR agencies everywhere – how successful can that be as a strategy? Wasn’t most work digital already?
  • As the FD of a global PR firm, what global trends do you see client-side?

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