PRCA chair vows to boost client regard for agencies

The PRCA’s newly installed chairman has pledged to improve the reputation of agencies in the eyes of their clients, by calling for ‘robust interaction’ between consultancies and in-house professionals.

Richard Houghton, whose day job remains his role as MD of tech agency Carrot Communications, said: ‘PR agencies are reliant on clients for business, so building relationships between clients and agencies will improve the value PR delivers.’

Houghton said the PRCA will take measures to ensure clients become more heavily involved with its work, although plans are currently embryonic. Activity, he added, could include inviting more clients to PRCA events, sharing best-practice information and seeking an overview of clients’ opinions and expectations on behalf of member agencies.

Houghton also hopes to increase PRCA membership, which comprises some 125 agencies.

He called on non-members to properly consider the benefits of joining. These include access to best-practice guides and training, and membership to the FrontLine networking scheme: ‘All organisations can benefit from sharing these best practices.’

Houghton, who will be chairman for two years, has replaced Kaizo CEO Crispin Manners, who will be honorary treasurer and vice-chairman for a year.

Houghton has been involved in the PRCA since 1997. Before launching Carrot in August 2000, he worked at Ketchum, Shandwick and Fleishman-Hillard.

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