THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Can London based agencies run a successful regional network?

Hill and Knowlton has closed its Manchester office to concentrate on its London HQ

Hill and Knowlton has closed its Manchester office to concentrate

on its London HQ



Louise White



Camelot



’Our prime reason for appointing Harrison Cowley was its network of

regional offices. Regional media are becoming more hungry for local

news. I would have thought it was a time when agencies would be

expanding their regional offices. There is a danger that if you use lots

of individual regional agencies your message will become confused and

fragmented.’



Ron Dyson



McCann-Erickson PR



’A true and effective national network demands an egalitarian structure

which is based on full service capability and resource - not satellite

operations dependent on control and support from an all-dominating

centre.



In the long term, the ’ivory tower’ approach will never work. No, I’m

not the least bit surprised that there has been another casualty from

the ’satellite’ school of public relations.’



Helen Cree



Shandwick



’You need real local understanding and experience. Individual offices

need to have independence, because if you dictate what to do to them you

are wasting their knowledge. If you have got good people then give them

their heads. Good brand recognition is also important and that’s one of

the benefits of scale.’



Nick Cobban



Barclays UK Banking Services



’The focus of people who work in public relations can often be

distinctly London orientated. For Barclays, positive regional media

coverage shouldn’t just be an accidental add-on to national PR activity

but a key objective in its own right. Public relations agencies which

have a regional presence can concentrate on achieving that objective in

a way which those based solely in London simply cannot match.’



David McLaren



Hill and Knowlton



’Yes, if they have a clear strategy and if they are not pursuing too

many other priorities. We are a global and national firm, that means

that we do not have a regional priority. You have to be ruthless when

you make business decisions. Frankly, we didn’t have a clear regional

strategy. Just one office in Manchester does not a regional network

make.’



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