What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought I would make a good explorer, probably helped by the fact I grew up in a forest and spent most of my childhood setting up camps or finding good trees to climb. Other than that, I was definitely the pacifist figure amongst friends and secretly thought I could put my diplomatic skills to great use if I became a hostage negotiator or perhaps UN Secretary General!
If I wasn’t talking to you now, what would you be doing?
I’d be finishing some update reports and later I intend to make some calls with analysts about client results.
What is the most interesting thing about your work?
It would have to be the range of projects and people who we build relationships with, combined with the different media we work through which make every day extremely varied and challenging – it’s really a very rewarding environment to be a part of!
Is there a common misconception about PR?
I think there are numerous misconceptions about PR! In my view, these often stem from those less familiar with the industry or who underestimate the growing need for PR as economies and societies continue to integrate within such a fiercely competitive global setting.
How has the industry changed in recent years?
The industry has adapted itself tremendously over the last five years. This is mainly a result of shifting economic, technological and political landscapes, which have created a progressively more complex space that is increasingly dependent on good communication, constructive engagement, dialogue and transparency.
What developments do you expect to see in the next twelve months?
Unfortunately in the UK we face a tough year ahead of us with slow growth, higher taxes and stagnant living standards. Yet, while we may be facing dramatic spending cuts and a tough government restructuring programme that stands to affect all industries for many years to come, I don’t believe its all doom and gloom! What’s important is to remember there are still a number of companies doing well and who continue to record strong growth.
In terms of PR, what is essential for the industry is that it remains adaptable and continues to find new unique ways of handling news and restoring the current loss of trust felt towards many financial institutions, companies and individuals. But the delivery of clear and consistent messages along fast-paced digitalised networks is no easy task. This is a huge challenge for PR practitioners who must establish ways to cope with the quantity of communication needed to stretch to new audiences. In this respect I anticipate some exciting new developments in social media and PR 2.0, which has already transformed the industry substantially over the last few years and will continue to do so well into the future. So I would say we are in an exciting transitional period for the industry!
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