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Ben Smith, Founder, PRmoment.com
This week on the PRmoment podcast I’m pleased to welcome Richard Fogg, CEO of CCgroup.
CCgroup has a fee income of £3.5m and is an independent, technology-focused PR firm in London.
The business was previously known as Companycare and rebranded as CCgroup in 2006
Rich and his business partner Paul Nolan completed a management buy out of the business in 2018 and we talk in detail about that process.
[00:03:16] Why Rich believes his Bournemouth PR degree gave him a massively unfair advantage in his career.
[00:04:16] Why it annoys Rich that PR courses get such a panning in the industry.
[00:04:20] How it frustrates Rich that the sizeable body of PR theory out there is rarely used.
[00:04:27] How Rich believes there is a correlation between our industry's inability to use its academic models and our difficulties in getting onto boards.
[00:05:24] Why Rich believes that PR grads have a much broader appreciation of what PR is and how it’s evolving.
[00:06:12] Whether you make a better PR person if you have a PR degree as opposed to someone who has a geography degree or a degree in politics.
[00:09:34] Why CCgroup has made PRCA CPD a necessary condition so a group for pay rises, promotions and bonuses.
[00:09:57] Why the pace of change in the PR sector means that unless you invest in your career by listening to podcasts, going to events and learning you will become less and less valuable to your employers.
[00:13:24] How as the CEO of CCgroup Rich is about to go on sabbatical for three months.
[00:17:29] How it is that Rich has only ever had one job and has been at CCgroup for 20 years?
[00:18:18 ] How the working relationship between Rich and Paul Nolan has been critical to the growth of CCgroup
[00:19:38] Why Rich's dad's company going bust whilst he was at Uni meant he was at first terrified of running his own firm.
[00:19:53] Why Rich has had Neil Backwith as a mentor for 15 years.
[00:22:52] CCgroup has launched a couple of new divisions in recent years, in hindsight Rich talks us through which ones have worked and which ones have not.
[00:24:12] Why CCgroup launched and then ‘unlaunched’ its B2B audience insight business Aperture.
[00:27:54] Why CCgroup sold its consumer tech business Escapade as part of an MBO.
[00:29:57] Why 80% of CCgroups clients are headquartered in the US.
[00:30:52] How the US business will be 10% of CCgroup’s revenue in 2020 having only started in 2017.
[00:35:49] Rich identifies consistency of work as the key to business development.
[00:37:00] How a merger that didn't happen started the process of Rich and Paul Nolan completing an MBO of the business.
[00:39:15] Why Rich and Paul Nolan decided against using bank loans or private equity money to buy the business.
[00:41:03] How the CCgroup MBO worked for both the buy side and the sell side.
[00:41:15] Why Rich believes there aren't more management buyouts in the industry.
[00:47:05] Why Rich believes PR as a sector lacks confidence.
[00:51:15] Why the PR sector needs to close its ears to the people that slam the industry for column inches and in conference platforms.