PROFILE: Michael Frohlich, managing director, Resonate

Based in airy Farringdon offices, with splashes of colour everywhere - from brightly coloured rugs to huge posters featuring scantily clad women on the cover of client Nuts magazine - Resonate is every inch the creative, consumer shop.

Similarly, its managing director - Michael Frohlich - is consumer PR through and through, with a flamboyant, effervescent manner, a great sense of humour and heaps of restless energy.

‘My team will be the first to say that I have the concentration span of a gnat,' he says. ‘They hate taking me to client meetings. Well, not hate, but if I'm in the office for a day without a meeting, by the end of the day I'm going stir
crazy. I'm climbing the walls.'

But though Frohlich appears to run Resonate as a small hotshop, it has been part of Chime Communications' corporate PR behemoth The Bell Pottinger Group since its launch by Frohlich and Graham Drew in 2003.

It was nine-strong by the end of 2006, but a merger with Bell Pottinger Consumer at the beginning of the year saw staff numbers rocket from nine to 25. All staff now work under the Resonate moniker and report to Frohlich.

Lucy Freeborn - now associate direc­tor heading Lexis PR's youth PR offering, Six - reported to Frohlich at Shine. He taught Freeborn about running the ­finances of a company and was ­always ‘hilarious fun' and ‘treated every­one with respect'. She also praises his ­intuition: ‘He almost instinctively knows how to deal with people in different sorts of situations.'

Frohlich played an important role in the growth of Shine, where he was managing director during a period of ‘tremendous growth', but he is diplomatic enough to avoid discussing the finer details of his time at the agency.

Similarly, the usually open and chatty Frohlich will not be drawn on whether or not he owns part of Resonate. He does say, though, that ‘word got to Lord Bell' that he was interested in setting up alone, and then Bell Pottinger offered to back him.

Frohlich describes himself as someone who gets stressed by ‘not knowing' - ‘I hate not knowing what the client thinks or the staff members think - once I know, then I can deal with it. Or I hate it when you pitch for new business and you don't hear. I want to know now!'

Fittingly, he leaves nothing to chance where his own interview is concerned. He cannot help taking a peek at the camera's screen to check the results of the photo shoot, and he prepares four sheets of A4 to ensure he has all the rele­vant facts and figures to hand.

The figures include the fact that Reso­nate has won around £750,000 ‘gross new business' so far this year, and that - he says - they would be in the top 12 of the PRWeek's 2006 Top 50 consumer league table, implying the agency is above the £2.7m fee income mark.

The merger has been very successful, he says, but Resonate's ambitions go well beyond being a successfully merged entity. ‘The group vision is to have the top agency in each sector,' he says. ‘My goal is to become the top consumer PR offering in the UK.' He plans to be in the Top 10 of the PRWeek consumer league table by 2008, and eventually to employ around 100 staff.

‘I don't want it to come across that it's all about megalomania! I don't think there are many people who have the same opportunity to actually have the structure and the support to be able to grow a serious agency. I'm so grateful for the opportunity and I want to people to be proud of the agency - that's what I'm driving for,' he says.

Frohlich is 35, married with two boys and lives in Pinner in Middlesex. ­Although he comes across as a very ­sociable man, and spends a lot of time at lunches and dinners with clients and journalists, he says he can be ‘an unsociable, grumpy old sod' at the weekend.

He studied politics and economics at Manchester University, but says he is ‘not a clever person', adding: ‘I'm quite creative and strategic, but I am very realistic about what I can and can't do.'

Frohlich identifies his strengths as his ‘ability to motivate people' and his ‘passion and hunger', which is just as well - such qualities will be required in abundance if he is to achieve the Bell Pottinger Group's vision.

CV - Michael Frohlich

2003
Managing director, Resonate

1999
Associate director, rising to managing director, Shine Communications

1996
Account manager, rising to account director, Bell Pottinger Marketing & Events

1993
Marketing manager, United Joint Israel Appeal

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