Emirali founded and sold his first PR/media business while at university. He co-founded Crest in 2015, guiding the agency to a multimillion-pound valuation in year one. Crest’s 15-strong client roster includes a global coffee brand and a publicly listed pharma firm.
What attracted you to PR?
The media is a fascinating and constantly evolving entity and has always been an interest. I had the pleasure of spending three years at a great agency in the corporate/public-affairs space, but my passion was always on the commercial side – using the media as a tool to sell stuff.
How has PR differed from your expectations?
There’s a lot of ambiguity about what PR actually is. The boundaries between marketing, advertising, publishing and PR have blurred massively. A lot of modern publishing companies like BuzzFeed and Vice are developing internal capabilities, and that’s something agencies will need to compete with.
What skills and attributes do modern comms professionals need?
Being plugged in to popular culture is so important. If you’re a CMO or agency lead under the age of 35, you have a massive advantage.
How important is ‘old media’ to you and your job?
I’d say 10 per cent of our focus is on old media, and that’s probably the same for most consumers too.