Richmond & Towers: Owning the conversation on communications

Owning the conversation

7th November, 2019 by Dylan Patel

There’s a certain irony to the fact that we work in communications and yet, historically, PR is an industry in which people tend to communicate poorly with each other. Perhaps it’s because we’re so focused on communicating externally with clients and journalists, or perhaps traditional corporate structures simply aren’t suited to how we function.

We all know the effects of poor communication with clients and journalists, but poor internal communication can have similar effects on the productivity and output of an agency. When lines of communication are blocked and employees don’t feel like they’re being heard, they protest quietly. They stop trying as hard and become actively disengaged. Emails get missed. Deadlines slip. Priorities become…less of a priority.

We’re lucky that the very nature of our set up at Richmond & Towers is such that people aren’t defined by their seniority, and we’ve worked hard to foster an environment that’s open, honest and collaborative. Hot desking helps as it ensures the senior team aren’t squirreled away in offices, and our communal dining table is full every day with people from across the agency enjoying lunch with each other rather than sitting at their desks, beavering away.

There’s always room for improvement though, and we’ve always sought to ensure the people who work at R&T are at the heart of what we do. Our recent transition to becoming the UK’s first employee owned PR agency was just the first step in doing our bit to ensure employees feel as though the work they do has real meaning. As owners, all employees not only have a vested interest in the success of the company, but also in their own roles and how they go about their work.

As part of our new structure, we have monthly owners’ meetings where burning issues are raised and discussed, owners are invited to monthly management meetings on a rota to ensure transparency and accountability, and where possible, owners are consulted on company decisions. The idea is that we want everyone to feel confident that their voices are being heard, and the above, paired with our mentoring programme, weekly round-ups and monthly socials, are all designed to foster an open, collaborative culture across the agency. It’s early days, but we think this can only mean great things for the future of R&T.