The Wrap: James Crawford, Managing Director of PR Agency One

Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.

This week it’s the turn of James Crawford, Managing Director of PR Agency One.

After being outed this week by the MEN as a tie-phobic, geeky chess player, I had to regain some street cred and was pleased to be invited to comment on this week’s The Wrap. 

So, without further ado, I’d like to curry favour with my red brethren and voice my concern at the recent goings-on over at the Etihad (sorry Emptihad) stadium. They’ve signed a £10million deal with Amazon for a behind the scenes show. In all seriousness, it sounds like good business to me but I do have concerns about their viewing figures anywhere outside of Stockport. However, with an extra £10million in the bank, it will be Sheikh Mansour who will have the last laugh here.

I spent a bit of time with Danny Ashton in Las Vegas and I think he does some good work at visual content marketing agency, Neomam. I don’t get to catch up that often with Danny so I was pleased to see he’s expanding his team with the hire of Hannah Bednarova.   

Replacing baby Jesus with a sausage roll was actually a genius move and don’t let any faux outrage and subsequent apology tell you any different. All I can say for Greggs is that while we are spoiled for choice here in Chorlton for restaurants and places to eat, when the new Festive Bake is launched there are ripples of genuine excitement amongst our account execs.

I was pleased to see Prolific North launching its Tech 100 this week. Tech now makes up over 40% of our fee revenue and we hear time and time again how the region isn’t supported as well as it should be. Let’s hope that that RSM, the Tech 100 partner, can help open the door to the all-important funding ecosystem that the region is still missing. We all want more unicorns up here in the north. Time will tell.

A little bit of me dies with all the fawning over the new Christmas adverts (Christmas is about the kids innit) but what did amuse me is that the character in the new John Lewis advert is called Moz, which is also the name of an SEO tool that we all use here at PR Agency One.  I wonder if any discombobulated John Lewis customers will sign up for Moz's Open Site Explorer? 

I see that Lawrence Jones has invested in a new tech start up. Good on him. As evidence of the strange way my mind works, I then immediately started to wonder if I’ll ever get an invitation to play him at Chess. I’ve seen photos of him take on Richard Branson over the board but so far he has ignored my Twitter overtures for a game. Maybe he thinks I was joking. Lawrence, my first move is 1 d4. Over to you.

And finally, it’s good to see Rob Gray’s Squad in the news this week with their work for JW Lees. My relationship with Rob is a bit intermittent, just like with Danny Ashton at Neomam. We very rarely see each other - about once every four years or so - but when our paths do cross you realise that he’s a bright talented and insight-driven guy. There are many other talented people up here in the North, and what I love about reading Prolific North are these little reminders about the strength in depth we have up here.