UK business – not just media and PR – is facing unprecedented change with Brexit underway and a general election looming. So, what do leaders in PR need to do in this fast-paced environment. Aliya Vigor-Robertson, co-founder at JourneyHR, discusses what skills they need.
Our industry is rife with consolidation and expansion, which means that many agencies now face the challenge of adapting to new leadership teams and executive appointments. At the same time, today’s industry leaders need to cope with an uncertain political climate, address concerns over fees and payments, embrace emerging technologies and manage changing client and employee expectations. So where do we start?
Beware of blind corners
‘Uncertainty’ has become a buzzword that we’re all becoming numb to, but the truth is, it’s still having an impact. We are on an uncertain path, with a general election and the details of Brexit still to be determined. However, the show must go on, and having an innovative, experienced leader in the driver’s seat will allow agencies to capitalise on this changing environment, rather than succumbing to it. By aligning the agency with industry expectations and assessing ‘risk’ areas of the business, changes and efficiencies can be implemented sooner rather than later.
A rocky road
The marketing industry is still in the relatively early stages of the ‘fee transparency’ issue. Many agencies are still working to establish if they have any historical issues related to unjust payments and ‘kickbacks’ and, if needed, figuring out what to do about it. Strong leadership is the only way through this. Correcting this longstanding trend is an industry-wide challenge that must be managed with precision, communicated with honesty and resolved without jeopardising confidence. It will take a tenacious, inspiring and genuine leader to drive an agency along the rocky road that lies ahead.
We’re all still learners
Changes in technology, employee expectations and clients’ needs mean that workplaces and workforces are changing. As a business adapts to these developments and futureproofs itself against further changes, how can a leader stay ahead of the game? Truthfully, it’s a challenge. However, a strong leader will position the business strategically, promote agility and hire teams that can navigate through a changing environment to ultimately triumph.
The key to being a successful leader is to champion the beliefs that resonate with you. Passion is contagious. Create a compelling vision that people will want to follow and surround yourself with brilliant people who can make things happen.