Interview | 10 Aug 2017

Richard Fogg on work life balance & automation in PR

Posted in Top tips, Tools & Advice, Motivation & inspiration, Interview, Client,

We asked Richard Fogg, CEO of CC Group and Aperture Insights, to reflect on the secret to achieving a good work-life balance, how to identify and reach your goals and the challenges he sees for the PR industry and some possible solutions.

CC Group is a highly regarded independent B2B technology PR agency and Aperture Insights is a B2B consultancy that harnesses data and psychology to provide strategic insight.

Madeleine Weightman, the co-founder of The Work Crowd, asked Richard to share his insights and the secrets to his success.

View the entire interview below: 

After 18 years at CC Group, Richard pinpoints what led his career to where it is today and the how it helped him shape his outlook on life and work.

‘The one pivotal moment that defined my career journey was working with a mentor. The experience gave me a strategic perspective – setting goals, forward planning, visualising what I wanted my life to look like. Once you envision that, you can then determine the actions you are and are not willing to take.’

Richard is happy with his career today because he took the time to consider what was important to him. Being CEO of an independent company allowed him flexibility and control in his day-to-day life and career, but it has also helped his personal development.

‘I realised work-life balance was a core value of mine.'

‘Whilst I could have gone and joined one of the big network agencies, ultimately, my life wouldn’t have been my own. When you take over an independent, you march to your own tune. You have more flexibility and the opportunity to handle your career and personal development the way you choose.’

Richard works with some of the world’s largest tech companies and emerging players in a rapidly changing industry, so he is well aware of the big challenges at the moment.

‘One of biggest challenges that we in the PR industry are facing is customer insight, which without sounding trite is why I have set up a customer insights business.’

‘Next is recruitment. How do you find the best people for a job? An agency is just a collection of people at the end of the day...’

‘Then you need to look at organisational structures. How do we set ourselves up for a PR environment that is continuously changing? The different skills sets we’ve needed to bring on board across content marketing, social and analysis have been significant. That’s before you even consider where the industry is now starting to focus, such as analytics, data, behavioural psychology.’

‘Finally, efficiency. How do we make sure we continue to offer a great service, whilst being profitable and taking an agency’s profitability from say 12% to 20%, which a digital marketing agency commands?’

Richard and his businesses embrace a dizzy combination of creativity, flexibility and technology to find solutions to these problems.

‘Creativity in recruitment and diversity, not just in terms of gender and ethnicity but also in skill-sets, are important when we think about attracting the right talent. As a business, whilst we are not perfect, we have invested a lot of time in trying to get this right.’

‘Around organisational structures and efficiency, we are trying to make the model more flexible. Once we restructure our business to be more porous and work on client campaigns in different ways, the opportunities The Work Crowd provides are going to be really important.’

‘We embrace technology and invest heavily in automation and augmentation to address efficiency, reduce the admin burden and make our lives easier.’

‘This enables us to spend more time doing great work for our clients.’

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