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This week on the PRmoment podcast, in the latest of our life stories series, I’m pleased to welcome founder and MD of Fanclub PR Adrian Ma.
Fanclub was established seven years ago, has a turnover of £1m and employes 11 people.
It has a consumer and B2B client portfolio including Tesco Mobile and every PR person’s favourite organisation The NLA.
Adrian has some really interesting things to say about the progress of PR’s diversity problem from about 32 minutes onwards.
[00:01:35] Adrian tells us about his first year in business and why there were times when it was a struggle to keep it going.
[00:01:50] How a chance meeting with a journo led to Adrian setting up Fanclub PR.
[00:02:28] How Adrian started Fanclub with a £500-a-month client.
[00:03:34] Why Adrian had to freelance for about two years before he was able to dedicate his time 100% to Fanclub.
[00:07:38] Why you have to commit to launching your own business and then things will happen for you.
[00:08:31] What were Adrian's biggest challenges during Fanclub’s story so far?
[00:12:38] How working with ad agency TBWA opened Adrian's eyes to the need for better creative excellence in PR.
[00:14:29] How PR agencies have grown up in terms of their creative process.
[00:16:00] How Adrian's real passion is music: he runs a record label, was a DJ and plays the keyboard.
[00:19:30] Did Adrian give up his dream career in music to run a PR firm?
[00:20:30] Are there more people writing PR books than reading them?
[00:21:42] Why Adrian doesn't believe enough emphasis is placed on understanding PR as a craft and its relationship to the other marketing disciplines.
[00:24:49] Why Adrian believes this generation of PR practitioners is going to be a huge force for change in the marketing mix.
[00:26:19] How Adrian doesn't feel that there's enough being done for agencies to look after the mental wellbeing of their staff.
[00:28:13] How working with Helen Holland and Neil Backwith at Komodo (now Chameleon) helped Adrian understand how to better run a business.
[00:30:05] How Fanclub has come to specialise in digitally integrated work.
[00:32:11] Why Adrian believes that the PR sector is not more diverse.
[00:33:30] Adrian outlines two social trends that mean that often young BAME people don't see PR as a credible career.
[00:35:25] The story of a of an Tariq Ahmed who noticed that his white peers were getting better jobs than he was and changed his name.
[00:39:13] How according to the last census, 45% of the 8.2 million residents of London were white British, but how the workforce of most PR firms in London is far more than 45% white British.
[00:40:55] Why PR agencies need to represent the society they're trying to communicate with.
[00:41:17] What would Adrian do to improve the diversity of PR?
[00:43:31] Why unconscious or conscious bias in the recruitment process against BAME applicants is better described as prejudice.
[00:47:52] Why firms must not think its a case of “one and done” when it comes to BAME recruitment
[00:48:24] How for there to be real change in PR’s diversity we have to get better at encouraging BAME people into it and improve recruitment practices.
[00:48:54] How clients can be a significant catalyst for improved diversity.
[00:49:56] How Adrian sees AI and AR impacting public relations.