Confessions of a 40-Year Old PR Virgin

Twenty years ago, the then 31-year old consumer PR guru Matthew Freud famously said, “There’s nothing sadder than a 40-year-old PR person.” When he was asked seven years later if he stood by the remark, Freud famously retorted that he made the remark as he assumed he’d be out of the game by 30 – which given that he’s just re-launched his company and brand for the ‘digital age’ at 50-plus, we can only conclude he doesn’t really stand by the claim so much these days! (Freud himself is quite a complex character, by the way, as this interesting recent profile in the London Evening Standard shows – it’s a good read, actually, check it out But you know what… a lot of people probably do think he’s on to something here. PR is still seen as a thing young, super-trendy, usually slightly posh females get up to – all partying, being rather superficial, the kind of wonderful caricature Jessica

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The Future is Knocking Too Loudly to be Ignored: Or, what I learned from one Amazing Social Media PR Campaign

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the sense of a departure from what we are now doing at Sarum and what more traditional B2B PR has been about – that we, as a consultancy, are starting to put clear water between what we do for clients and what most hi-tech agencies offer. This all came to a head recently with some really amazing work that we did for our client AIIM, the global information managers’ professional body, and its ‘World Paper Free Day’ campaign (and which I have previously flagged up here). ‘World Paper Free Day’ – which I will now, deliberately, call by its hashtag #WPFD, for reasons that will soon become pretty obvious – is an annual push by AIIM to make people and businesses alike think about their possible over-reliance on paper. If you think about it, we can end up producing, consuming and generally pushing around lots and lots of the stuff, even in

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Time to Stop the Mindless PR Spin Cycle

So I chat to another disenchanted software company today that’s been through the standard model of B2B PR and they’re pretty fed up with it all. Their experience is sadly very typical and so they come to Sarum in the hope of something a bit brighter, a bit more intelligent, a bit more engaging, a lot more imaginative and creative. Let me explain how the dreaded and standard B2B PR model works. The senior, good people on the PR agency side do a kick-ass, raise the rooftops pitch that blows the client’s socks off. Twelve months later, after a disappointing and mediocre run, the contract ends. Client goes back to market. And we start again. What’s wrong with this picture? Why hasn’t it changed in years despite its obvious flaws? My view is this.  There’s one fatal element in the model: juniors, aka Account Executives. Because they are the ones that delivered the pitch that their senior colleagues sold to

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