Firefly Senior Account Manager, Simon Bibby on why to be king of the swingers you need to walk and talk on both sides of public relations.

When conversations with industry folk turns to how my career in PR has taken me to my new role at Firefly, I know my in-house background is a good conversation starter. A common question is which discipline I prefer. Having given it some serious thought (then deciding I needed to use Jungle Book metaphors to explain it), it’s an unanswerable question that could have featured in one of my favourite 2010 tactical press releases.

It’s possible to argue a case for both; however the best answer is to do both. It’s the only way to guarantee a leopard changes its spots and in doing so, ensure a PRO understands the pressures and needs of both prowls.

The established norm with agency folk is that you learn your living in agencies first, and then earn your living in-house.  Having chosen a different path already in my career, I can see obvious pit falls in their concept that you rise in an agency and then step into “semi-retirement” in your in-house home.

Now I’m back agency side (I first worked in an agency after studying PR at Uni – the merits of which is a debate for another blog), here’s what I appreciate and respect about in-house heroes:

Now I’m working for a successful and driven EMEA PR agency, here’s what I understand about agency action junkies:

These values are interchangeable, but unless you have played out both scenarios, it can be difficult to see that both sides are more alike than most people think. In the end it comes down to how you contribute to business growth, which at a granular level is determined by the human condition.

This is something Mowgli gets by the end of The Jungle Book and should be a bear necessity for fulfilling your PR potential.


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