Northshoring your PR

Northshoring seems to be an ever-growing trend. And, like with most things in business, the PR industry is also part of the trend. Northshoring PR functions – whereby clients specifically shop for agencies outside of the M25 – is increasingly popular and, in this blog post, I will look at some of the reasons why.

This post is written from a point of authority as the majority of PR Agency One’s clients are based in London, or even further afield in Amsterdam, Malta, Ireland, China and the USA.

WHAT THE HELL IS NORTHSHORING?

Northshoring is when large corporations relocate or move large parts of a company’s operations out of London to cut costs and increase spending power. The definition also covers the supply chain, where large companies are choosing suppliers outside the overinflated and – some might say – overrated London bubble. Outside of the M25, there is a thriving and growing PR industry representing national and international clients. They are doing award-winning work and helping to shape the wider industry.

Most of the FTSE 250 are at it: either moving back office functions to the north, or choosing to live and work in the north because…it’s just better here.

The BBC, Burberry, KPMG, Freshfield, DLA Piper, and Ernst & Young all operate from Manchester. LateRooms, RentalCars…oh, and a few small companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are also in on the act.

WHY IS NORTHSHORING PR SERVICES BECOMING MORE POPULAR?

Reasons include cheaper rents, lower salaries, abundant skilled labour, a better quality of life and a lower cost of living. But it’s not all about cutting costs; the main reason (which I think often gets over looked) is that the quality of work outside of London is also equal to, if not better than, that in the capital.

Think about it. If you run a PR firm in London then you need to pay your staff danger money just to turn up. There is a clear London weighting in salaries due to travel, housing and the cost of living being so high. This cost has to be passed onto clients with higher fees. Then there are the exorbitant commercial office rents. In commercial terms, higher fees equal fewer hours spent doing client work. This means that results are likely to be worse. Agencies in the north can sometimes do double the amount of heavy lifting than their London counterparts.

There is also a shortage of talent in the capital; for example, many 30 year-olds want to leave the Big Smoke to settle down and have a family. If you’ve not made it to the top of the salary ladder by 30, then most staff will be struggling with work/life balance issues and looking to get the hell out of town. They’re either moving to a suburb or, more often, relocating to another city in the UK. This flight of talent means that some PR agencies only offer clients very junior staff, while charging top tier PR fees.

NOT SO GRIM UP NORTH

Manchester agencies like PR Agency One deliver award-winning work. The city is the second biggest hub in the UK outside of the capital. We have a strong and deep talent pool of engaged and happy people who get paid well, if a little less than in London. The rents are cheaper, the quality of life is better and access to London is a quick hop on the train.

The proof is in the pudding. We’ve got clients such as Decathlon, RADA, Perkbox, Serenata Flowers and many more businesses all over the world. They don’t just choose us because we are cheaper, they choose us because our proposition is unique and we offer good value.

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