Today, 11th February 2019, Prominent celebrates its 5th birthday. As we reach this milestone, MD Helen Rudd looks at the journey so far, what she has learned along the way and what the future holds.
According to research, just 40% of small businesses reach their fifth birthday. Prominent is one of them.
It seems to be an exclusive club. Businesses that fail to make it general make the mistake of hiring the wrong staff, get caught up in cash flow issues or fail to understand their market.
As a communications professional and a strategic thinker, understanding our target market has always been a strength of mine. And as a team, we help people understand their audience and decipher which are the best tools through which to reach them.
Cash flow and bad hires, however? I can’t claim to have escaped those pitfalls entirely. But what I can say is that making mistakes is the reason Prominent is still here and is flourishing.
Luckily we’ve had the infrastructure, client support, supplier support and work successes which have allowed us to learn from any hiccups.
We’ve taken some risks, but we’ve also said no when it was the right thing to do.
And, one of the main reasons we’ve made it to our 5th birthday is the people – the good hires - who are part of our team.
I haven’t restricted my workforce with strict policies and rigid job titles. I’ve put my trust in them, given them the power to develop their careers and follow the path of their choice. I’ve stepped back and given them the glory, but I’ve stepped in front of them when something has gone wrong. I’ve had their back and tried to foster a culture where people look forward to coming to work and be part of something. And our clients have benefitted. I don’t know how rare it is in our industry, but on day one we started with three clients, and guess what….all three are still with us today.
Prominent isn’t my business – it belongs to the team. And by feeling a sense of ownership and pride every single one of them have gone above and beyond when I’ve needed them to.
And I think that’s why we’re here today – and flourishing.
Over the past five years there have been a lot of changes within the PR industry; things have moved fast and they have moved online. And there will be even more rapid change over the next five years I’m sure. But regardless of the shifts, one thing remains constant - brands and organisations always need to communicate with their market. They will always need to understand this market too and they will always need to sell their products or services. With this in mind, I can only see PR going from strength to strength.
More and more we are seeing women in senior roles, we are seeing PR and communications being given a seat at the boardroom table and we are seeing the importance of employee engagement being realised.
Although industry in general is feeling a sense of unease at the moment as we head towards one of the most momentous days we’ll ever experience as a nation, the companies we speak to are using PR and communications as a part of their Brexit-proofing strategy.
So when it comes to our industry and it comes to Prominent, I feel comfortable in predicting that the future is bright. The future is pink.