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Martin Loat’s 10 Lessons of How to Run a PR Firm Over 22 Years, on the PRmoment podcast

Today we're chatting with industry legend a long-time owner of Propeller - Martin Loat. We look back on his 30 years working in public relations and including 22 years as a PR agency owner at Propeller.

Martin talks about the ups and downs of agency ownership and why he decided now was the right time to exit. In March Martin sold the business via an MBO to Kieran Kent, Jody Osman and Rose Bentlley in an MBO backed by Triple Point Ventures.

Propeller is a B2B PR firm with a turnover of £4 million with 44 employees.

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And thanks so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors of the PRCA.

Here is a summary of what Martin and PRmoment founder Ben Smith discussed:

1.30 mins Martin tells us why he decided now was the right time to sell his business.

“I did feel I’d taken Propeller as far as I could in my own vision - I was at the helm for 22 years!”

3 mins Why did Martin decide an MBO was a better option, rather than an EOT?

5 mins How does it feel after 22 years to not be involved with Propeller? Relieved, sad, happy?

8 mins Martin reflects on the stages of Propeller over the 22 years.

Lesson 1: Work for a well-run PR firm before you start your own business

Lesson 2: Cashflow!

Lesson 3: How to focus on growth.

“Win them, keep them, grow them!”

Lesson 4: What hiring the best people really looks like.

Lesson 5: Developing a proper new business plan

“My story is about a range of self-learnt lessons”

Lesson 6: Your staff/ people

Lesson 7: Keep developing your offer

“If you only have one egg in the basket - if something goes wrong you’re under a bit of pressure”

Lesson 8: You have to change your structure as you grow.

“One of the lesions is that the structure you are now is probably not the right one for growth”

Lesson 9: Learning from your mistakes

Lesson 10: Delegation

38 mins Having spent 25 + years in PR - is Martin hopeful or fearful about the future of the sector?

41 mins What does good B2B communications currently look like?

42 mins What’s next for Martin?

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