Guest post: Being disruptive

Guest post: Being disruptive


Innovation at The Crowd &I, an up-and-coming PR consultancy, is driven by clients according to founder Gem Griffiths. It’s an approach that is consistent with the recent Harvard Business Review paper on disruption in professional services. by Gem Griffiths

Disruption in the PR profession is rare.

PR consultancies have fine-tuned their services and processes to satisfy client and market demands in the last decade. But few are being disruptive and transforming the way they think, do, behave, learn, teach and speak about PR.

According to a recent paper by Harvard Business Review (HBR) the profession is about to experience a sea change as the consulting business model is on the cusp of innovation. As Stephen Waddington explains, the paper is a must read for all PR consultancies as it reveals how disruption will reshape the profession and have a significant impact on firms and their clients.

This is music to our ears. The Crowd &I has studied disruption in close detail for the past two years and is now introducing ways to revamp the ‘traditional’ PR consultancy business model.

Our inspiration for this new way of working? Our clients.

We work with some of the hottest venture capital backed start-ups to come out of Stockholm, Sweden. Four of the top five companies mentioned as ‘ones to watch’ in a 2012 feature in Wired magazine are clients.

These companies have taught us the true meaning of the word disruptive.

They’ve taught us to think differently and they’ve shown us how you can apply the lean start-up methodology to the world of PR.

Earlier this year we started to apply these lessons to our business by ‘hacking’ (to use a developer term) all elements of our company.

We started with our processes. Our ambition is to bring down the barriers between our clients and us. We want to open our doors and invite our clients in to look around our business and see updates and progress of campaigns in ‘real-time’.

This allows us to spend less time on administration and more time on gathering intelligence and data to inform our campaigns.

We are eliminating the guesswork in PR to ensure our clients know what to expect and the positive response from clients to some of our new processes is testament to the fact that our approach is working.

There is a way to go before we can say we are truly disruptive but we can safely say we have started the journey and fully agree with HBR that change is afoot.

It is a long road to success but we are confident that the fruits of our disruptive labour will be well worth savouring.

This article was originally posted on The Crowd &I's blog.

Gem_GriffAbout the Author

Gem Griffiths is the founder and managing director of The Crowd &I, a member of the CIPR Social Media Panel and winner of the CIPR's 2013 outstanding young communicator award. You can connect with her on Twitter @gemgriff.

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