Rick Guttridge, founder of Smoking Gun on the PRmoment Podcast

Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast.

This week we’re chatting to Rick Guttridge, founder of Smoking Gun about his career story in public relations and how he went from a procurement officer for the Royal Mail to PR agency CEO.

Smoking Gun is a £1.5 m PR firm based in Manchester, clients include Interflora, the NHS and Alton Towers. It has 15 employees.

Previously Rick worked for Brazen and Connectpoint PR. He and his wife Vanessa founded Smoking Gun in 2010.

Smoking Gun has had an interesting few years, it was impacted by both Brexit and Covid and Ricks going to talk us through that agency journey on the show today.

And do check out the home page of PRmoment for our latest webinars, including The State of Social Media Report.

Finally, thanks to our PRmoment Podcast sponsors, The PRCA.

Rick, welcome to the show:

1 min Rick talks us through what has been an up-and-down-and-up couple of years for Smoking Gun through Brexit and the Covid period was for an independent.

“We’re living in a world of constant turmoil…you need medication after watching the nightly news”

“Having to let good people go is the hardest part of the job”

“Feb 2020 was our biggest ever month…and then Covid came along”

“How long will the cash last - there’s a horizon here for when the business will fold”

12 mins Did the PR business come back slower in Manchester than in London?

13 mins What’ shape of the business now?

“Sometimes everything goes against you, sometimes everything goes for you”

14 mins Rick updates us on the runners and riders in the Manchester PR scene

17 mins How the last 10 years has seen a changing of the guard of the biggest PR agencies in Manchester.

“I reckon there’s about a third of the number of staff journalists around that there were when I started 20 years ago”

21 mins Rick talks us through how he made the jump from procurement to PR!

28 mins A discussion of whether too many in-house PRs still see PR as a media relations-only discipline.

“The bigger the organisation the more segregation there is. We really need to break down those internal silos”

30 mins Rick talks about an increasing trend of big pitches wanting to include a number of non-London-based agencies.

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