What is the future for the Public Relations Agency industry? The debate started across on Forbes, continued on FIR and we add our own suggestions from an interview taken for the source material for our book, “The Creative Agency of the Future“, being written now.
Questions: What are you doing differently in the past 2 years in….
We have stepped back from trying to expand – we took offices – and I had the ambition to increase headcount and it didn’t work out. I am pretty happy now.
I knew it wasn’t working when I didn’t have the passion for growing the business for its own sake or just to make more money. Finding it too much of a distraction for doing the quality of work that I wanted Weaver to be doing. That declined as I delegated more to people who weren’t the most highly qualified people in that field – it’s especially hard to source great people in user experience.
I am so much happier now – my new challenge is juggling Weaver with wiiv.co – a startup – which is taking a lot of attention and time. Wiiv has 2 guys in Poland (my tech co-founder and another developer), while the developer Weaver uses a lot is in Manchester and often I meet clients remotely.
We use Basecamp to organise our campaigns.
We looked at a lot of accounts packages and we find our systems of spreadsheets have given us the flexibility we need – we use Office in conjunction with BaseCamp and paymo.biz for admin and financial planning functions.
I have a part time administrator who’s been with us for 4 years and he is freelance and manages all the admin and some project management as necessary.
We rely more and more on BaseCamp for non-technical project management, GitHub for wiiv for managing the codebase – it dovetails with BaseCamp – we came up with a load of hacks. We use Google hangouts instead of Skype as it’s more reliable; Dropbox, Google Docs; PayMo – for time tracking.
Campfire Chat – because it’s all documented and saved – we hang out on that all day.
I used to insist on NDAs more than I do now – for freelancers. I sign them if clients ask. I often find clients aren’t very sophisticated in negotiating IP or its transfer. Because business is based on referrals I tend to go with the flow.
This is why I’m building Wiiv. I spent a year focused on consulting projects and not networking at all, and I found the referrals dried up temporarily. That inspired me to start something – a place where people can showcase what they do as makers in a deeper and more interesting way than what they do now. Why should I have to go out and network and do the small talk? There are folks out there who need these skills – they are not all that common.
I’m about to send out a newsletter by email, my first in two years. – Weaverdigital.com – first one in two years.
It has to be alive – it seems increasingly futile to capture knowledge and store it. You build your lines of communication; strengthen and clarify them and of course trust them. Let people get on with their thing, talk about it, analyse it and feedback. There is no time to stop and capture stuff that’s not directly relevant to the live design process.
Today we found 3 new websites that impact on what we do at Wiiv — that’s how fast it moves.