Office flexibility has come a long way

As we continue to build on the launch of Eleven Hundred Agency we’ve been chatting with a lot of different people, from prospective clients to partners to journalists.   One of the most common areas of discussion has been how setting up Eleven Hundred Agency compares to Johnson King 26 years ago.

On the face of it the two agencies are very similar – specialised boutique PR firms focused on servicing technology and professional services firms.   However, in practical terms, setting up Eleven Hundred Agency has been so much easier. 

The prevalence of co-working space (like the excellent BDC Works at the Business Design Centre) provides a really fast and efficient way to get going with a physical working space that comes with access to desk space, meeting rooms, broadband and all the essential basics.

Getting up and running with IT systems is another area that has changed beyond recognition.  No need to spend thousands buying and installing servers, network cabling and equipment like we did the first time around.  Simply buying a laptop and subscribing to a cloud based file service (like Box) and you are away for a few pounds per user per month with a system that is not only quick to establish, easy and cheap it is a far more flexible solution where all information can be accessed from anywhere with wi-fi.   

After more than two decades in the PR agency business we, of course, have a much stronger track record and larger network of contacts than when I started Johnson King at the ripe old age of 27.   Now, when it comes to communicating with our network, the accessibility of social media – be it LinkedIn or Twitter – is invaluable and another massive area where things have improved beyond recognition.  

Of course, although these factors make setting up a new agency a quicker and easier process, it means there is more competition than ever.  The same challenges remain in making it successful - doing exceptional work, winning clients, impressing clients and establishing a strong, differentiated brand are arguably more difficult than ever, but that’s the fun of it.