Richards has been credited with delivering positive outcomes on campaigns for subjects as diverse as physical activity and business-rate relief for pubs. "When Simon is leading an account, clients know it is in safe hands," says FHF public affairs MD Michelle Di Leo.
What attracted you to PR?
Is this where I give the honest answer, or where I say I’d dreamed about a career in PR all my life? Having worked in Parliament for two years, public affairs seemed a natural progression. And I love speaking to people and getting in front of clients. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
How has PR differed from your expectations?
At least I now know what’s actually involved – my only previous thoughts of PR were a mix between Alastair Campbell and Max Clifford. Thankfully, it’s better than my expectations…
What skills and attributes do modern comms professionals need?
Being able to think outside the London bubble is crucial. (It’s a bugbear of mine, coming from the mighty Coventry.)
How important is ‘old media’ to you and your job?
Very. We managed to change regulations on business rates as a result of a campaign via the front pages of the broadsheets and the [BBC Radio 4] Today programme. That’s where our influencers go for their news.