ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Is business booming in your region?

Geoff Simms Harrison Cowley

Geoff Simms Harrison Cowley

‘We had a good look at Devon and Cornwall before setting up in Plymouth

at the beginning of March and already there are signs that this region

has genuine opportunities. A huge effort is being made by professional

bodies to encourage inward investment which augurs well for any PR

agency arriving in the region, especially a network with a Brussels

office. The industry here is largely fragmented with a lot of one man


Chris Arthur Key Communications

‘The main issue facing all professional organisations in Birmingham is

the age-old problem of Birmingham versus London. The Midlands is known

for industrial metal-bashing manufacturers but there are a lot of hi-

tech professional services, retail and local blue chip companies who are

realising they don’t have to go to London but can just go down the road.

We often pitch for London accounts against London agencies and win. None

of the affiliates of major companies like Shandwick and Edelman PR

really made it work here. It was not the money spinner they thought it

would be.’

Robin Ashby Bergmans PR

‘We are experiencing growth of people and business in Newcastle but this

growth is driven from outside the North East region. A lot of our

business is now in London due to the agency’s specialist niche of

defence and lobbying skills. The North East is in a state of flux. Coal

and ship building have virtually died but there is a lot of new industry

with companies like Nissan and Siemens moving in.’

Francis Xavier Carty PR Institute of Ireland

‘The Irish PR recession is over. I know from speaking to people recently

they have all noted a growth in the last 12 months. There is a

tremendous interest in public relations with far more public relations

students than there are jobs. But there is a growth in the numbers of

political PR advisers required by government departments and financial

public relations specialists have also benefited from Ireland’s high

profile privatisations.’

Paul Carroll Communique PR

‘Public relations in Manchester is a burgeoning market according to the

PR Week league tables but while we are patting ourselves on the back we

must acknowledge we are not a massive business in terms of turnover. The

biggest issue is the calibre of recruits. We need ambitious people as

well as training and funding to get the sort of impetus needed to turn

the Manchester public relations industry into a public relations


The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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