So long and farewell, PR
By Rich Leigh on Friday, October 4, 2013
I joined Frank PR back in June, after almost five and a half years at 10 Yetis in Gloucester. It was a big decision to work in London – in doing so, it meant four days a week spent away from my wife and two kids to become The Best PR Person I Could Be and as it turns out, that was four days too many for me.
It was always going to be a ‘suck it and see’ move and it just wasn’t for me, though the team at Frank is great, I’ve enjoyed my time there and London was ruddy good fun. Why, only the other day I was brazenly asked if I wanted to do, um, *something* in a pub toilet with a middle-aged man who’d seconds before announced to the assembled throng of ruddy-cheeked midweek drinkers, but nobody in particular, that the men’s bathroom stank, would you Adam and believe it, ‘like shit’. I graciously declined his tempting offer, as hard as that may be to understand. The man then proceeded to compliment my friend, stating he thought Indians had ‘the most beautiful skin’. She’s half-Jamaican.
Fortunately, everybody at Frank was supportive of both my decision to give it a go despite knowing the potential outcome and also of my resignation. In fact, that I was able to work Monday to Thursday in London and at home on Fridays given my situation was considerate and a great and hugely appreciated example of work flexibility.
So, what to?
Well, outside of work, I’ve been spending time in the evenings working on the very site you find yourself on, the weekly newsletter and another, much bigger, project attached to it (which is now behind schedule, perhaps unsurprisingly). I’ve been helping (and will continue to help) fellow Gloucester-boy Jamie McDonald with his PR as he runs 5,000 miles across Canada by himself (which is RIDICULOUS and for a great cause, read more about it here), amongst other things and more recently, I’ve been helping my brother with his new live music venture.
But, the thing I’ve been working on most behind the scenes is this, a blogger outreach business I launched earlier in the year with 10 Yetis’ co-founder Andy Barr: bloggabase.com. It’s at a tipping point; at which it’s proving popular with bloggers and (PR/marketing) subscribers alike, but desperately needs full-time love to get to that next level.
And that’s what I’m going to be doing.
There is proving to be a real market for a platform that gives marketers a line to bloggers that ACTUALLY want to hear from them. Bloggers can also make requests for products and information. Feedback from both bloggers and subscribers (from one man bands to large agencies and in-house teams) has been incredible and I would regret not giving it my all – so expect to hear me bleating on about this A LOT.
Of course, I’ll still be in and around the industry with bloggabase, tweeting about PR/the media @RichLeighPR and PRexamples will still continue, so please do continue to send me examples of stunts and campaigns.
Who knows? If start-up life doesn’t have me living in a cardboard box with my family; me with an ironic Shoreditch beard, I may well be back in PR (ideally with slightly heavier pockets) in a couple of years. In fact, it’s highly likely.
PR is a brilliant industry and one in which I think, if you don’t take yourself too seriously and remember that what we do isn’t saving lives (99% of the time), you can have a lot of fun – whilst, importantly and when done well, providing a useful service to clients. Sure, things aren’t perfect, but it beats what these guys are doing by a long stretch.