Guest speaker for Independent Agencies Dinner revealed as Citypress chief executive
With just over two weeks to go until the Prolific North Independent Agencies Dinner, we're delighted to reveal the guest speaker as the Chief Executive of Citypress.
The Independent Agencies Dinner is the second in a series of exclusive networking dinners hosted by Prolific North, following on from the Digital Agencies dinner in March.
Hosted at Cloud 23, offering a unique view across the city's skyline, this dinner will be on Thursday 4th July from 7pm until 10pm.
Designed to bring together the senior figures and business leaders from the North's high-growth sectors, the dinner events are a great chance to build a network and discuss challenges facing the industry.
The evening will include a three-course meal and a talk from Charles Tattersall, the Chief Executive of Citypress - an independent Manchester-headquartered PR and comms agency that has held onto the number one spot in Prolific North's Top 50 PR agencies for four years running.
The evening will include a 15 minute Q&A between Prolific North Editor David Prior and Charles Tattersall, where Charles will speak further on the current landscape for independent agencies.
We spoke to Charles, who has over 20 years of experience at Citypress, ahead of his appearance at the dinner. Buy your tickets to the dinner to avoid missing out on what else he has to say.
How have agencies like yours needed to adapt in recent years? How has their offering changed under new pressures?
"Obviously, independent agencies are very different from networked agencies. Networked agencies will have lots of different services at their disposal so they will be able to call on their parent company for specialisms that you might not have in your own business.
"What we've done to ensure that we compete with bigger networked agencies, is to make sure we've built our own specialist services. In the agency now, we have a dedicated research and analytics team, we've hired a senior figure from Ipsos MORI, we have Public Affairs in-house now. We have a dedicated social media team and a dedicated design studio with animators.
"Independents have to make sure that they can provide as many of the services as their larger networked competitors can, and that requires investment. Often the return on investment isn't immediate so a long-term perspective."
How important is it to get industry leaders from independent agencies together for an event like this?
"If you are in charge of an independent, you are very much running your own business in isolation. Every business owner will tell you that sometimes it can be quite lonely. I'm pretty lucky because I've got two other really good shareholders that own the agency with me, who I work really closely with.
"I also rely on a network of other professionals, whether they're friends, colleagues or associates, and I call them up when I need advice. A dinner like this is really important for people to be able to discuss current problems and challenges, and share tips and ideas for how to overcome them."
What's the biggest challenge facing your agency?
"I think the challenge is always the same and it comes down to one thing: Talent. The only way that we're successful is if we have got the very best talent. Agencies have got to make sure that they are able to appeal to them and recruit them so you need an attractive employer brand. You also have to make sure that you support people through training and development.
"If you do that right, everything else is straightforward. I used to say that all we are is a talent agency. Our best product is the collective know-how and the experience of our people. If you can't get good people, that's going to stifle your business."