Crispin Manners and Richard Houghton, co-authors of ‘Grow, Build, Sell, Live: A Practical Guide to Running and Building an Agency and Enjoying It’, talk about the implications of the Covid-19 crisis for PR firms

On today’s show, we’ve got Crispin Manners and Richard Houghton, co-authors of ‘Grow, Build, Sell, Live: A Practical Guide to Running and Building an Agency and Enjoying It’, talking about the implications of the Covid-19 crisis for PR firms.

Here’s a summary of what we discuss:

  • Most agencies have now dealt with the short-term demands of the Covid-19 crisis, but how helpful have the various government schemes been for UK PR firms?
  • Is pride getting in the way of some firms putting some of their employees on furlough?
  • In justifying why furloughing isn’t necessarily the right thing to do, Crispin refers to the Harvard Business article Roaring Out of A Recession.
  • Once agency owners have dealt with the first wave of imminent decisions, what’s next on the to-do list? People, cash, fee forecast, landlords and agency leaders need to look after themselves.
  • Why clients will try and find a way to say that things need to stop. but agencies must find a way of staying relevant to clients and prospects by delivering against the client’s business pain.
  • All agencies are going to have to evolve, but what might that look like?
  • Are we witnessing the death of the open-plan office with firms converting to a hybrid operating model?
  • Budgets are going to be tough for a while, so PR’s ability to show return on investment is going to be crucial.
  • Why agencies need to shift the way they price their services – from a time-based structure to a value-based structure.
  • Why we’re in a phoney war at the moment; some PR firms are not making redundancies because they are relying on government support.
  • How do PR employers need to reshape their businesses post Covid-19?
  • Whether the era of PR agency sector specialisation has just backfired?
  • Once we come out to this what’s the ‘new normal’ going to look like for PR firms?

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