Amongst the holding company owners, one of my favorite people, both personally and professionally has always been Lord Chadlington – aka Peter Gummer. The founder of Weber Shandwick, the largest PR agency in the world, Chadlington today runs Huntsworth, one of the largest publicly traded communication companies in the world. We have spent time together and I never left not learning a tremendous amount – and thoroughly enjoying myself.
Courtesy of Odwyer’s PR I learned today of a speech he recently gave at the Public Relations World Congress, and of characteristics he looks for in his senior employees and just had to share it:
- “I want that aura of certainty which comes when you are sitting with the client chief executive and he feels that you have been there before and that this is your rightful place. A person cannot be “tongue-tied” or appear “out of depth.”
- I agree. So much of Public Relations is understanding business – and being smart.
- “Digital is the great opportunity for the next ten years.” PR people are “content specialists” and “must think digital first and analogue second.”
- PR is about creating content and managing communications – in whatever format it is, whether digital, online or off.
- Chadlington hires PR pros who are confident but not arrogant – people who can write and speak yet argue coherently and persuasively. They can “put forward a case at the highest client level and be strong enough to know and admit when you have got it wrong.”
- Someone who succeeds in PR must understand “travel, unsocial hours, managing family and personal commitments.”
- Public Relations is a business for the young & young at heart. Its non stop urgency and always moving. Not an easy lifestyle and especially working at a PR firm anyone who works in PR has to love their job to be great at it.
- In every meeting I have ever had with Peter, he has spoken of hunger and passion and his speech says employees must be “for success and driven by the desire to do a great job and make money for the client, agency and himself.”
- He’s absolutely right – goes back to business and understanding business. Passion counts.
- People must be able to “create order out of disorder”, and “trust and loyalty are paramount.”
- Winning in PR is about constant problem-solving.
Thank you to the brilliant Lord Chadlington for these comments – they will be taken very seriously by all of us at 5WPR.