This week, marks the fact, that I have been working in consumer PR, and to be more specific for Escapade, part of CCgroup, for thirty years!!
This becomes slightly alarming as it transpires that this is more years than many of the team here have been alive!
Over a celebratory glass of fizz and slice of cake, the conversation naturally turned to how the working life of a young account executive in the late 1980s/early 1990s differs from life today.
Lots of explanation, exclamations and a fair few expletives of disbelief followed. So, I thought that I would share a few of old style working practices and challenges with you.
The only cloud in the world then, were the fluffy white ones in the sky. Files were shared by careful management of floppy discs. And the server was a large grey disc box!
Written content was a core part of life but how the information was disseminated was greatly different – think mass faxing, posting and hand delivery.
Using huge printed journalist directories to build your media contact list, photocopying, printing images, picture caption stickers, stuffing hard backed envelopes etc etc– a release could take more than half a day to distribute.
And of course, obtaining approval for copy was tricky to start with. No track changes, shared client files but telephone calls and hand written faxes.
I vividly remember approving a newsletter while traveling back to Reading from Manchester. This involved the latest version being faxed to various motorway services on route and ringing through the changes, from a phone box of course, and repeating this three times while driving down the M6 and M40.
I do miss some elements of how PR life used to be. Without digital platforms (or very little at that stage), you talked a lot, met a lot and forged the type of relationships that last 30 years and more.
But, I am so much more excited about the future and the ever increasing and integrated role that we play today.
The immediacy and open nature of today’s communications platforms, means that we have to really be part of our clients’ business, which makes life much more interesting and motivating.
Our consumer lifestyle digital PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Online Retail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.