This week saw an incredible opportunity for the Firework team, when we were fortunate to attend the CBI Conference with one of our key clients, Advanced. And whilst we worked hard to ensure the company gained as much media coverage as possible, we also had the chance to hear the political party leaders speak about the importance of innovation, growth and prosperity in today’s uncertain climate.
It was inspiring for many reasons. To see two leading female figures in business speaking at their first CBI Conference – Theresa May as Prime Minister and Carolyn Fairbairn as Director General of the CBI was, in itself, a milestone moment. From a business confidence perspective, it was reassuring. Despite the concerns surrounding Brexit, there was a palpable confidence and boldness about the ambitions for the future which even the media couldn’t deny.
Sir Martin Sorrell adeptly represented our creative and media industries as he participated in a panel discussion with SKY News business correspondent, Ian King. Admittedly he talked about the increased uncertainty and indeed anxiety amongst employees and businesses on a global scale. However, even he commented that no one really understood what Trump will actually do, hence it could actually be a good thing for business in the short to media term.
As a small business, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the talk of private-sector led recovery. But listening and being part of yesterday’s event made us recognise how every single business plays a role in the importance the success of Britain’s long-term sustainable growth. As Firework nears its fifth anniversary, we could easily be intimidated when we stop to consider how many businesses simply fail to reach this milestone.
However, as we sat in sumptuous surroundings of Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel and reflected on the numerous occasions when we had frequented this venue, either for press briefings or launches, we realised one thing. It is that the buzz and adrenaline of a big event is an un-wavering constant in PR. It’s still incredibly exciting to be operating in the PR sector today as it was when we started out. No matter how much the world has changed over the last twenty years, there is still nothing like the thrill of watching the power brokers of industry deliver their visions and ambitions, which in seconds had become news grabbing headlines being reported around the world.
It was certainly a first for some of the high potential millennials working at our client’s company, Advanced. Watching their CEO disappear into the broadcast booth at the back of the main hall to then witness it live on BBC News 24 or hear the interview live on BBC Radio 5 Live was inspiring. Of course, the more recent dimension of being able to share behind-the-scene pictures and captions of the interviews, as they are happening, on social media just added another element of intensity of the fun.
For us, these high pressured, intense scenarios – where huge brand-building opportunities to reach audiences of millions are secured at the last minute and the turn-around to ensure our clients are briefed, prepared and ready to go within minutes – are what make us tick. To have the chance to immerse ourselves in twelve concentrated hours of headline-making political, economic and business strategy, and see this translating into the national news agenda, is what made us choose PR and keeps us in it. It’s perhaps a little worrying that we thrive so much in these situations, but there’s simply no way we could do another job!
by Andrea Hounsham & Clare Wall, Founders and Directors of Firework PR