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Richard Houghton
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Associate Partner, Agency People
Associate Partner, Agency People

46 followers
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I know that many of us have had circular conversations about the need to stop giving away our best ideas and thinking for free in the pitch.

This video has done the rounds in the last few days but it makes an important point. God knows how we got into this situation, but the response from other businesses when asked to work for free in the film are priceless.
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One of the most engaging presentations at last Friday’s Annual PRCA Conference was from Toby Harrison, Planning Partner, Adam and Eve DDB (the agency behind the John Lewis Christmas ads if you didn’t already know).

He covered a lot of ground, but the stand out piece for me was his surprise that during the PR pitch and planning process most agencies rely almost exclusively on desk based research.
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Agencies are going to need to be super flexible to compete for the best talent was the message from an Hanson Search / The Work Crowd sponsored panel discussion I chaired yesterday at the Ivy Club on the topic of the Future of the Workforce.
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Long hot summer...
If you are going to be giving any time on your holiday this year to starting your own agency here are six things to make sure you give serious consideration to: http://agencydoctor.biz/2015/07/long-hot-summer/
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Defection to advocate. Where are your clients?
Most agency heads pride themselves of being close their clients and knowing whether they are happy with the service they are receiving. Not that happy is an objective measurement of a campaign’s success.  Without a structured and objective process is really hard to know how satisfied our clients are.
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This year's PRCA Benchmarking Survey showed that 46% of those that left agencies in the last 12 months left the industry completely. I'm pretty sure the lack of flexible working is a factor in this.
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Summer is officially here, so along with dusting off the shorts and flip flops now is a good time to see if your agency has developed a ‘spare tyre’ over the winter.

There are five consistent levers management can pull to drive growth - people, client service, marketing, sales and finances.  It is these that the health check should investigate.
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Weber Shandwick's Adam Mack on importance of brands in delivering value and driving profit - "In short, if we spent less time with our heads in the PR weeds and more time with our heads in the brand clouds, we’d do better work with greater (measurable) impact for more fee."
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I wrote a very short blog back in February about the importance of strong and consistent Leadership in an agency. With so much discussion in the political world on the need for strong leadership currently I thought it would be a good time to expand on the topic.
http://agencydoctor.biz/2015/05/follow-the-leader/
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