I was at a friend’s BBQ recently and I couldn’t help but notice the huge pile of groceries stacked up in his garage. When I asked if he was prepping, they explained they were buying in bulk to offset inflation. Knowing the almost infinite appetites of my teenage children I’m not sure this would work for me, but there you go.
Fortunately, in the world of European public relations there are alternative ways to finding efficiencies that do not depend on bulk buying. If fact, these strategies are all about achieving more with less. Just as greater speed and agility can be achieved through shedding unnecessary weight in a sports car, the same can be achieved through your PR programme in Europe if you take the right steps.
One of our favourite expressions at Tyto is ‘creativity loves constraint’ and this is unquestionably true when it comes to how you structure your pan-European communications. If you run a pan-European PR campaign, you will immediately recognise some of the inherent inefficiencies in the traditional pan-European approach.
That traditional approach will usually centre around working with a traditional pan-European agency with offices in different countries or it will involve working with multiple local agencies that you coordinate. However, because even traditional pan-European agencies are structured and organised around separate country teams, what you will be experiencing in both cases is an unnecessarily rigid and siloed model that equates to waste, sluggishness, and lots of painful budget conversations. I should know, I spent 17 years creating one of the market leaders in the traditional international agency model.
Duplication in agency management, duplication in office infrastructure, duplication in campaign strategy, creative, project management and reporting are just some of the obvious inefficiencies in this legacy model. Duplication is bad in and of itself, but it also highlights a lack of collaboration. Finally, because agency leaders in these models are measured on local financial performance, their personal priorities will often run into conflict with your business needs. Which, when you think about it, is both irrational and a bit perverse given who is paying the bills.
When we created Tyto we wanted to create a model that delivered greater results and output for the same budget for clients with pan-European agency needs. We achieved this through our proprietary PRWithoutBorders™ operating model which involved Tyto being built from the ground up as one fully integrated team working as one across borders. We have in-country experts, but we don’t have separate country teams. Tyto has only one team, enriched from all the people we employ from across Europe.
The benefit of this model is that it means we can build fully integrated multinational account teams for clients spanning multiple countries. You need a PR team for UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands? No problem.
In Tyto’s model, client accounts are led, planned and strategised by one leadership group working in tandem with our content, media and influencer experts in different countries. This integrated model not only means that we can deliver between 25-30% more value for the same investment, but it also means we are far more considered and nuanced in how we design campaigns with relevance to all target countries. This contrasts to the traditional agency model which is often very UK focused.
When you build a business around countries you inevitably get siloed interests fuelled by local incentives structures. Unpicking these is difficult as a legacy agency. Fortunately, we have been able to build Tyto in a very mindful way so that our PRWithoutBorders™ is woven through everything we do. For example, we only work with clients who need multi market PR because then this helps to bind our team together and continually hone our pan-European expertise. The proof in our model is that we had 99% client retention in 2021, and the one client who parted ways with us in November returned to Tyto in February this year.
The financial pressures brought about by inflation and a potential recession will inevitably force us all to consider how we can accomplish more with less. I’m pleased to tell you that as far as multi market pan-European PR campaigns are concerned, less can in fact equate to even more value, results, creativity, and a richer agency partnership.