We are seeing a commoditisation of consumer PR, says Greg Jones, managing director of Engine Mischief

This week on the PRmoment podcast we're talking to Engine Mischief managing director Greg Jones about what he sees as the challenges in the consumer PR market at the moment.

Thanks so much as ever to the podcast sponsors, the PRCA.

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Here’s a summary of what Greg and I discussed:

1.30 mins Why does Greg believe there is an increasing commoditisation of the consumer PR market in the UK?

2.30 mins “People are being driven to set up on their own...and that results in an oversupply of agencies”.

3.00 mins Will an oversupply of agencies create commoditisation, drive fees down and result in decreased standards of work?

3.30 mins The rise of procurement, and the KPIs against which procurement are judged, means the costs are being squeezed ever harder.”

“The job of top tier agencies such as Mischief is to demonstrate value, not costs”.

4.30 mins Bearing in mind the increased role of procurement, to what extent are brands buying value when they hire an agency, and to what extent are they buying costs?

6.00 mins “There has to be some happy medium to being commercially competitive and recognising the commercial pressures that our clients are under, while also remaining committed to doing creative, impactful work.”

8.00 mins Greg talks us through the negative cycle for employees, clients and agencies of overservicing.

9.00 mins How to avoid overservicing in an agency business.

11 mins Greg talks about when you have to talk away from business: Ultimately you have to draw the line somewhere. If they (clients) are willing to compromise on quality in favour of cost...we’re never going to be the cheapest in the market and (I don’t want us) to be the cheapest in the market.”

13 mins How the rise of the virtual agency has removed one of the last barriers to entry to the PR agency market - the office.

15 mins If you’re buying PR, what are the telltale signs that an agency is trying to cut costs/running at a low margin?

17 mins Greg on the confidence of the PR sector at the moment: “Our pipeline is full to bursting.”

19 mins Has the type of work that PR agencies are doing changed over the last 12 months?

24 mins Greg talks about when Mischief hopes to re-start its experiential work.

25 mins How much harder has the COVID dominated news agenda made it to get media cut through?

26 mins Have we returned to the pre-COVID world where recruitment is the biggest growth-limiting factor for PR firms?

29 mins Will virtual working patterns will make PR firms less fun places to work?

32 mins Consumer PR is about culture and the pandemic is potentially going to redefine a lot of the UK’s social culture - so how will consumer PR need to redefine itself?


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