What agency would you launch today?Posted: September 9, 2010
We are what we are. For many that means middle aged and over weight. For others it means happy but a little lacking in the career department. In short we all have thoughts about what we’d do differently if we could start again. PR agencies are a collection of people that are, like all of us, imperfect. As a result, agencies often find themselves riddled with the very flaws these people possess. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great firms out there but we all know they could also be a lot better. Even the good ones would love to turn back the clock and change a few things. Given that’s not going to happen the only real choice, for some, is to wipe the slate clean and start again. But the decision to start again doesn’t guarantee that the ‘new agency’ will really be any different. Most people who start firms, do so with a set of skills derived form experience. In other words they know what they know. This makes it hard for them to really innovate. To get revenue they have to sell the services they have always sold and hire others they already know. In all likelihood that means they quickly start repeating the same mistakes, albeit with a new business card. To really start anew requires people to do things differently. This means offering new services and delivering old services in a new way. This is best done by hiring people that are not familiar with the old ways, people that challenge even the simplest assumptions of the old business model. This is harder to do than you’d think.
I’m therefore proud that in launching Beyond (www.bynd.com) we are doing just that. We could have hired a bunch of PR people we knew and sold services that sounded a little different but were, in reality, existing services with a coat of paint. Instead we’ve hired people that scare me because they talk a language I don’t always understand and have a way of looking at challenges that is alien to me. I’m sure we will learn that some of what we are offering isn’t what customers want but I also know that we are offering is truly different to anything customers can get elsewhere. For those entrepreneurs out there who are thinking about starting their own firm, I hope Beyond will remind you to create a business that is truly something new. Go Beyond!