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Ben Smith, Founder, PRmoment.com
This week on the PRmoment Podcast, in the latest of our life stories series, I interviewed James Hickman, director, Hatch Communications.
Hatch is a Leeds based consultancy founded in 2008 and they now have billings of £2m per annum and 25 staff. Hatch had 80% growth last year, all of which was organic growth.
Clients include Diageo globally and the Rugby League World Cup
Here is a summary of what James and I discussed:
[00:00:56] Whether it is tougher to build a PR agency business outside of London than it is within it.
[00:03:22] How face-to-face client contact is so important in building longer client relationships.
[00:04:46] How small agencies like Hatch can win big clients like Diageo.
[00:08:41] Why some agencies in Manchester and Leeds have been "digital native" for longer than many London firms.
[00:10:31] How the co-founders of Hatch Jason Madeley, Matt Peden and James launched Hatch from the ashes of Ptarmigan PR.
[00:13:35] A lesson for PR agencies everywhere: Why Manchester's biggest agency Ptarmigan went from 50 people to 5 in two years.
[00:15:56] Why James finds PR graduates a really good source of talent with a broader skill set than in the past.
[00:16:21] Why the current decreasing number of PR degree places is a problem for the sector.
[00:18:05] Why Channel 4 coming to Leeds is a big shot in the arm for Leeds creative sector.
[00:19:58] How the creative agencies of Leeds wooed Channel 4 to move to the city.
[00:22:51] Which other agencies in Leeds and Manchester does James admire?
[00:24:49] How Hatch has grown at 80% in the last 12 months and what the future holds for the business.
[00:28:52] How working with partner agencies in a collaborative way has helped Hatch grow.
[00:29:33] Why geographical based PR firms are a concept from the past - geography is now not a relevant factor - it's about vertical expertise and specialist knowledge.
[00:30:54] James talks us through Hatch's role as a sponsor activation agency.