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New research shows senior PR consultants see themselves as strong team leaders, not yet ready for business leadership

In the run up to the launch of PRmoment Leaders, we engaged research firm Censuswide to conduct research for us, asking senior PR professionals in the UK to assess their own leadership skills.

The respondents identified themselves as holding senior positions in agencies. They were mostly females, between 35-50 years old. Their responses are unsurprising in some regards, unsettling in others.

The top 5 findings are:

1. They’re tactical masters and proven team leaders:

  • They have belief in themselves as ‘owners’ of agency culture
  • They have confidence in their abilities to run teams, manage clients, deliver campaigns and win new business (av. win rate 30-40%)

2. But there are challenges:

  • The biggest problem they confront every day is managing unacceptable client expectations
  • The key weakness they identify, for themselves and their agencies, is how to use data well (especially for measurement)

In client relationship management, what would you most like to improve?

Data supplied by Censuswide

3. They want to keep learning and to widen their horizons:

  • They need to know more about SEO and AI (in that order) above everything related to their PR and comms work
  • They want to step out of their own agency ‘echo chambers’ to interact with industry peers (the no.1 stakeholder group they don’t currently interact with)

4. If only they had more time:

  • They have little bandwidth for anything beyond an overloaded day-to-day working life
  • Even now post-COVID, they wish for more face-to-face time with all stakeholders and especially with their clients

5. Critically, they don’t feel equipped to ‘own’ their agency business:

  • While they have deep understanding of their clients’ businesses, they’re not confident they sufficiently understand the business aspects of their own agencies
  • They feel least equipped to confidently future proof their agency business

What leadership skills would you most like to improve?

Data supplied by Censuswide

So, the results are unsurprising in that they show senior people in the PR agency world are great at PR, confident and trusted in being able to run teams and campaigns. 

However, the flip side is that they’re heads down all day, delivering for others. If they can be freed up in terms of time and focus, and helped to round out their business skills, they’ll be able to step up and lead their agencies in the future.

We’ve set up PRmoment Leaders exactly to help this cohort reach their full potential.

I’d love to talk to agency leaders who would be keen to hear more about how our programme is great for their best people and for their business.

Please click here to directly book a time slot with me over the next few days.

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