There’s a tendency in the PR sector to always focus on youth and the next big thing. Who is the new kid on the block changing the shape of the industry? Which PR agency is the rising star, winning all the new business? Naturally, new fresh energy is a big part of keeping the industry and its ideas moving forward, but PR is often wrongly perceived as a young-only industry. It has a lot of grey haired (or in my case no-haired) professionals who have been around the block many times and know every turn and dip in the pavement. Certainly in our B2B PR sector experienced agencies and consultants count for a lot. (With its long serving PR sector Manchester certainly has a few!)
Reg Rowe, the founder of aptly named Gray Hair PR, has actually just launched a Fifty Over 50 Awards to celebrate more seasoned PR pros. What a great initiative. Rather than showcase the fastest climbers, let’s give some of the limelight to those who have stood the test of time. In B2B PR deep understanding of the business behind PR counts, where long term client and media relationships add significant value and where there is little, if any, learning time on the job. B2B PR success rests on the agency having a deep understanding of the client’s often complex business model, products and services.
Of course PR agencies need new blood too, especially under the pressure to rethink PR in the wake of social media and inbound content marketing. And it’s not enough for the ‘grey hairs’ to expect their younger colleagues to deal with ‘all of that stuff’ – they must do so as well. In my opinion one of Fifty-over-50’s top measures should actually be who is adapting and embracing new ideas and methods. Let’s not forget, we were all green around the gills once and the youth of today will become the grey haired PR folk of tomorrow!