For any business, it is difficult to find the right employee but when you start talking about consumer PR you enter into a whole new world of difficulty.
At Furore, we specialise in fashion, beauty and lifestyle public relations and are one of the few agencies in the Midlands that regularly does battle with agencies form the ‘Big Smoke’ and wins.
In addition to the contracts we secure, we are also in an ever-tiring battle with our London rivals when looking to find potential employees.
Finding people locally who are excited about the sector is not difficult; however, getting them to view it passionately as a career is where the problems start.
What we have found in the past is that PR professionals who want to work in our industry are always under the misconception that to progress they need to move to the bright lights of London.
As you can imagine this is a worry as it sometimes questions our logic of being based in Birmingham, yet we are fiercely passionate about what we do and like to think we are pretty good examples of what can be achieved in consumer PR without the urge of moving to the Capital.
We are a small, dedicated team that offer a friendly service and highly effective PR. By working closely with our clients, we ensure good communications and long-lasting working relationships. In fact, we go beyond the call of PR and are constantly looking for ways to help our clients develop their businesses.
What we have found, is that this is the best attitude to have. It allows us to develop our relationships with clients making it easier to forge new contacts on their behalf. We encourage a lively and hard working atmosphere and pride ourselves on the service we provide to our clients.
This is an approach that is reaping dividends and we are currently in the process of searching for a new member of the team to bring their own skills to the table. Countless advertisements and phone calls have turned up no candidates and, knowing the talent of people in the region, it leaves me wondering where is everyone hiding?
We know from attending events that there are a lot of up and coming professionals who are doing amazing things on an international stage, but the majority of them are nestled snugly in the confines of the M25 circular. More irritating is the fact that most of them have grown up in and around the second city.
As a region we need to break this stranglehold and get them to consider the West Midlands as a great place to work.
It shouldn’t be a difficult task, to be honest. The creative sector is extremely buoyant and overtaking the likes of Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool in terms of its reputation. In short, we are the next big thing and believe me London is beginning to worry.
Our job is to let people know about this; text it, tell your mates, write articles, hold events, shout it from the rafters.
We need this level of momentum and interest to help us persuade talented people to work within the regional industry otherwise we will never get any bigger.
So what can any potential candidate get out of working in consumer PR? ‘Work hard, play hard’ is the motto and the benefits are huge especially, when a high profile event runs smoothly or a client’s story goes into press.
Furore is essentially a London style PR agency and gives a real experience of what consumer PR is all about, with no two days ever the same and situations changing with the click of a finger.
It’s a fast paced environment where people skills are a necessity and it is one of only a handful of jobs when you get to deal with celebrities, leading beauty brands and fashion designers on a daily basis.
We are keen to develop our own base of talent and regularly give graduates and students the chance to attend work placements with us. However, until that pipeline starts to develop, it appears we are seriously starved of fashion and beauty PR experts in the West Midlands.
* Nicola Davis is managing director of Furore PR, based in Digbeth.