04 Jan The 10 Flack Commandments

 

Or how we learned to stop worrying and love spreadsheets. Here’s a piece we wrote for PR Week about starting up. Basically, be more G. 

It’s now almost twelve months since we threw caution, job security and the ability to afford nice clothes to the wind. One year on, slightly greyer, and much more in love with the PR game than ever before, we were asked to share what we wish we’d been told way back when we jacked in our dead-end jobs, quit the band and made a break for it as a two-piece. Here are our top ten tips for the start-up class of 2016. We believe in you.

Get Your Name Game Strong.

There’s a UK agency with a name that actually could be mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease (answers on a postcard). There are also, like, 50,000 other agencies named after old white men. You don’t want either.

Do It With Someone Else.

It will be pretty lonely otherwise. Make sure that person is nothing like you professionally and very like you personally – you’ll want a mix of skills but you’ll also want to go out and plot, scheme and pop bottles together.

Only Pitch Clients That Get It.

The clients you win in year one will define your agency, the work you make and the people you hire. So don’t pitch just for the cash money because it’ll cost you far more in the end.

Don’t Stress.

Like Biggie said, ‘The cheddar breed jealousy.’ Don’t sweat it if you get the occasional angry letter from heartbroken exes. Instead, stride around the office pretending you’re in Wolf Of Wall Street. You’ll be fine.

Respect The OGs.

Search out some grey-haired types who’ve been and done it, buy them drinks and soak up their wisdom. For us, it’s usually the partners at Mother, our excellent ad agency investor.

Take A Break.

Go away, recharge, come back hungrier (and more tanned) than before.

Interview Someone Every Day.

Finding talent is tough when you’re new.

Headhunter: I’ve got a great opportunity for you. Err, it’s with an agency that’s only been going three weeks…

Candidate: *Click* *Dial Tone*

But that doesn’t mean you should lower your standards. We’ve interviewed close to 500 people this year, which is time consuming but worth every minute. Nothing beats the buzz of meeting someone who you just know is the perfect fit.

First and foremost, you’re looking for people who…

Care About The Work More Than Anything Else.

But also…

Care About Having A Lot of Fun.

Fun for its own sake. But don’t forget clients can 100% sense it when the pitch team in front of them passionately believe in what they do and love where they work.

So. SRSLY. Stop Reading This And Just Do It.

The PR industry needs more creative businesses. No client ever said, “I want to buy a big boring old network agency”. Like giant Sports Direct mugs, they just somehow accidentally end up with them. Now’s your chance. Do it. Carpe diem.