24th July 2017
Cycling fan, San Francisco's Elliott Suthers considers the parallels of PR and pelotons.
Working in Silicon Valley means that the Grayling team gets to support companies that are literally changing the world. Some are revolutionizing healthcare, others banking. Some are even setting out to change the future of air travel. But disruption takes a certain set of skills, and often media relations and communications aren’t high up on that list at first. This means that when it comes time to get their story out, many founders don’t know the first steps that they should take. This, in turn, leads to the very first question that most startups ask when we meet with them: “Why do I need an agency? Can’t I just hire a marketing director?”
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting up at ungodly hours to watch the Tour de France. (Congrats, Mr Froome!). One of the first things you notice when you watch a race as grueling as as The Tour is the level of teamwork that goes into making successful campaigns. It reminds me a lot of how a good PR agency should work. So, my response to the question “Why do I need an agency?” is: Because you need a strong team that knows its strengths and can compensate for its weaknesses. It needs to draft on each other and turn to one another when the going gets tough – which in PR, is often.
Let’s take a closer look at how this analogy plays out in an agency environment:
So, there you have it – an unconventional way to look at your PR team. Now let’s get out there and get you the yellow jersey.
Elliott Suthers is a senior vice president in Grayling's San Francisco team.
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