Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A view from the City

How heart warming to see that in these times of riots, protests, countries on the brink of bankruptcy and Frankie Cocozza (!) that the PR industry has such a great wave of talent coming through. The recent PR Week 29 under 29 (11.11.11) showed off the cream of the crop and it was great to see the future stars emerging.

Whilst I am all for celebrating the achievements of these undeniably excellent young professionals, I wonder whether it actually goes far enough.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments Alex Sandberg, Chairman and Founder of College Hill shared in the last issue of PR Week (18.11.11), which for a number of reasons is well worth a read (including tales of him seeing Hendrix live in Covent Garden). For me, what resonated most was the passion and fire which still burns inside after all these years and the fact he is still so hungry for success for both his business and the industry as a whole. "On a good day, the best agencies are as good as any professional service because we can add huge value. Some of the planet’s best brains work in PR and I sometimes wonder whether we are proud enough of what we do," said Sandberg.

I couldn’t agree more. In my experience, comms people as a whole are an underrated breed and too often underrate themselves. Industry leaders are singing our praises and UK plc sees the value of effective communications so why don’t we?

Taking that point to the next level, should we as an industry celebrate talent (young or otherwise) across the board and shout about the best in Consumer, the best in City PR and the best in Healthcare for instance? If we are going to do it, let’s do it properly.

One of the joys of my job is that I see how many great comms professionals there are and contrary to popular belief, there are also plenty of jobs around. Whilst there is an undeniable risk aversion that continues to pervade amongst employers, there are still many agency and in-house roles which are yet to be filled and are there waiting for candidates with the requisite skills...they just might take longer deciding on the right one! I therefore maintain that whilst there will be significant challenges next year, there will be a good pipeline of opportunities out there for us all.

And don’t get me started on Cocozza!

Tim Ledeboer - Associate Director, Corporate & Financial