George Pitcher sets out plans for Jericho Chambers to overcome 'redundant' PR model

Former Edelman EMEA CEO Robert Phillips and public affairs veteran George Pitcher have vowed to shake up the 'tired and redundant' PR model with the launch of Jericho Chambers.

Jericho: George Pitcher, Christine Armstrong and Robert Phillips
Jericho: George Pitcher, Christine Armstrong and Robert Phillips

The strategic consultancy, Pitcher said, will eschew traditional PR tactics and will instead target those organisations and companies that ‘recognise the way of operating now is entirely different from the way it was before 2008’.

‘A lot of what we’re endeavouring to overcome is that one is simply in the business of delivering messages to market, which is a tired, redundant model that characterises much of what PR has been,’ Pitcher said. ‘We will be publishing copyright and patented material that demonstrates to the corporate world how to be transformative.’

Pitcher added: ‘Companies can’t just continue in this dreary cycle of lying then apologising. We need to move from a compliance culture to a values-led model and a lot of people don’t know what their values are other than meaningless mission statements.’

Jericho launches with four members, including ex-Penn Schoen Berland executive Christine Armstrong focusing on human insight and Jules Peck specialising in sustainable development. The founders expect Jericho to double its membership by October.

The venture is modelled on a barristers’ chambers, with each member essentially operating on a self-employed basis and contributing to the overall costs of the organisation. Jericho will also use a wider network of partner businesses.

Pitcher, who conceived Jericho with Phillips two months ago, declined to name its launch clients, but said it was working with firms in ‘retail utilities and the more imaginative corners of financial services’.

Philips, who left Edelman in November 2012, is specialising in trust. Pitcher, an Anglican priest who launched public affairs agency Luther Pendragon in 1992, is covering public ethics.

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