How to launch a PR agency in Manchester in 2016

Well, here we go. I’ve finally launched my very own PR agency in Manchester.

How do I feel? Excited, nervous, anxious, happy…all those things and more. Those who know me best know I’ve always wanted to eventually ‘go it alone’. The truth is, I would have done it years earlier, but for the fact my previous agency was such a damn good place to work. My parting with RMS PR was amicable and supportive. I’ve maintained a great relationship with the MD and my former colleagues who I know genuinely wish me all the best with my new venture. They know more than most how much I’ve yearned to launch my own business and do things my own way.

So, what’s Sugar?

After spending more than fifteen years operating in the Manchester PR industry (in-house and agency side) its clear that there is a real need, more than at any other time I’ve ever known, for a genuine specialist b2b PR and Content Marketing agency. Sugar brings a personal, hands-on and entrepreneurial approach to working with clients. Importantly, Sugar will only work with clients we want to work with. My agency isn’t about growth, money, big cars or an ego trip for me. It’s not about rinsing clients for every penny you can get or being a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ (and master of none).

It’s about doing brilliant work for great clients and, all being well, creating some new PR jobs for talented people and their families. I’ve already started the search for two talented people to join me at Sugar. Please spread the word and let me know if there’s someone you’ve got in mind.

From the outset I’ve ensured that my people will come first. Loyalty means a lot to me and doing the right thing by people (small things and big things) – in good times and bad – is an important value I won’t ever allow to be diluted. I know what I’m good at. I know what I’m shit at. That’s why I’m going to surround myself with people who are brilliant at what they do. Somehow I’ll slot in the middle somewhere.

The Sugar way

As the lines between marketing channels become increasingly blurred – having a rounded, holistic view of your paid, owned and earned media has never been more essential. In today’s business environment nothing should sit in a silo. Too many businesses are trying to execute too many campaigns across too many channels where they clearly don’t have the resources to do it properly. Let alone measure it.

My approach with Sugar is to work with clients – rather than working for them. Many PR agencies complain about clients working against them. That’s because they are taking a ‘service and task’ approach to their client relationships rather than a mutually beneficial team approach to PR and marketing challenges.

We’ll always give honest, unbiased and add extra value everywhere we can. I want Sugar to be the greatest agency in the world. I want my clients to feel that passion.

Something special

I’ve called this blog ‘How to launch a PR agency in Manchester‘. But to be honest, I don’t know how to do it. There are many top PR agencies in Manchester and a wealth of choice for clients out there. I hope that by adding Sugar to the mix, I, offering something new, exciting and stimulating to the melting pot.

I’m fortunate to have loyal, quality people around me who trust me implicitly to deliver something amazing. Not least the three little ones I created that adorn this post.

I’ve got loads of people to thank. My family, friends, colleagues, clients and advisers who have helped me get to this stage. You are all awesome.

Now, the real work begins.