Lansons duo Clare Parsons and Tony Langham enter PRWeek UK Hall of Fame

The 2021 inductees to the PRWeek UK Hall of Fame are Clare Parsons and Tony Langham, the co-founders of Lansons.

Clare Parsons and Tony Langham
Clare Parsons and Tony Langham

It is the first time a duo has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Clare Parsons and Tony Langham are inseparable as a couple and jointly responsible for the long-term success, reputation and progressive culture of this 32-year old PR agency.

Last month Langham, who co-founded Lansons in 1989 with his business and life partner Parsons, announced that from the beginning of 2022 he would step away from being chief executive to become executive chairman.

Parsons, meanwhile, will move from her role as non-executive chair to non-executive director.

Gordon Tempest-Hay, the former UK chief executive of Teneo – who inducted the duo into the Hall of Fame last night (Wednesday 20 October) – will join Lansons and take over as chief executive.

Lansons won Mid-sized Agency of the Year in PRWeek’s Best Places to Work awards earlier this year, a scheme in which it has a long history of success.

As well as founding Lansons, the entrepreneurial duo have founded or early-stage funded four other businesses, including Hope&Glory PR and Opinium Research.

Parsons and Langham are proud of their state school backgrounds and of their consistently ethical approach to running their agency over three decades, which includes sharing equity among staff and democratic decisions over which clients to work for.

Langham said: “Clare was the one who got us up and running in the summer of 1989, before I joined her in the autumn and we launched Lansons publicly in November. Her clients and fame in financial services got us going.

“Lansons is a company started by a woman and a man that has always been gender equal, not as a cause, but because it’s just the right thing to do. We’ve shared ownership with colleagues since 1994 because it’s what we believe in – and early next year will transfer over most of our 70 per cent stake in Lansons to colleagues without them having to raise or borrow any money up front.”

Danny Rogers, editor-in-chief of PRWeek UK & EMEA, said: “I’ve long admired Clare and Tony and an agency that is consistently one of the most stable, respected and progressive firms in our industry. It is right that the PRWeek Hall of Fame celebrates their success and influence on the industry at a time when they are about to step away from leading Lansons but stay very much involved in this pioneering business.”

Tempest-Hay said: “Together, Clare and Tony founded and have led a firm that, for over 30 years, has succeeded in the economically good times and in the pit of the deepest recessions. Their success was founded on a set of principles way ahead of their time. They are people who understood that you built a business in this way not just because it was the decent thing to do, but because it was a driver of success.”

Previous PRWeek Hall of Famers

2020 – Edmund King

2019 – Sue Garrard

2018 – Jackie Cooper

2017 – Alan Edwards

2016 – Lord Bell

2015 – Matthew Freud

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