The value of public relations
Every organisation, irrespective of size, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. Customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists and regulators can have a powerful impact. They all have a view on the organisations they come into contact with - whether good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organisations.
In today's competitive market, a reputation built up over time can be a company's biggest asset - the thing that helps you stand out from the crowd and provides you with a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with an organisation’s stakeholders.
Richard has worked both in-house and on the agency side, serving as public relations (PR) consultant. During his earlier days, he headed up the PR function for several Midlands advertising agencies providing media relations support as well as customer newsletter production, sponsorship and promotional activity and exhibition support. His clients have included construction and engineering companies, house builders, property developers, product manufacturers, car rental, call handling systems, health authorities and charities.
Moving in-house, Richard headed up the media relations function of the car manufacturer, Toyota Motor (UK) Ltd, regularly liaising with all types of media including national and regional television and radio, national daily newspapers and business publications as well as European media and trade and technical publications.
He was responsible for handling the European media launch of a new Corolla model, achieving an estimated £5 million of free, positive exposure (follow link for further details). He also coordinated all media activity surrounding a prime ministerial visit (John Major) in honour of a phase two ground breaking ceremony and £200 million investment.
Writing press releases and in-depth articles, preparing sensitive Q&A’s for the directors, speech writing for Japanese dignitaries and the handling of prestigious factory visits such as Top Gear all served to create a positive profile and good will for the business.
Since then, Richard has successfully managed PR in-house for both PwC’s Midlands operations and those of Withers and Rogers, a UK top ten patent and trade mark attorney firm. For PwC, the Midlands were consistently the top performing UK region. At Withers and Rogers, despite starting its media relations programme from scratch, the firm consistently outperformed that of the world’s largest patent and trade mark attorney firm (competitor).
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