SPOTLIGHT ON: ROB BROWN, MANAGING PARTNER, RULE 5

Name: Rob Brown
Company: Rule 5
Job title: Managing Partner & 2016 President of the CIPR

Twitter: @robbrown
LinkedIn: Rob Brown
Website: www.rule-5.co.uk

Did you go to university? 
Yes, I went to York where I read Politics and Economics

What was your first job in PR?
Graduate trainee, Staniforth Williams. 

I think I preferred it the first time round.

How did you get from there to your current role?
Via several agencies, notably McCann Erickson and back to Staniforth as MD 20 years after I started as a trainee. I think I preferred it the first time round.  

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Really no two days are the same – today I’ve met with the CEO of a TV post production facility, pitched to a brand sponsor of a major sporting event and discussed a client appearing in the Media Show to discuss eyewitness video of the Brussels airport bombing. I’ve had a forecast discussion with my business partner and dealt with a few matters arising from yesterday’s board and council meetings of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).  I read on average 100 emails and send 20-30 most days.  

What do you like most about working in PR?
The variety.

There are no free lunches.

What’s the hardest thing about working in PR?
It’s a tough, low margin business these days. Everybody in it works hard. There are no free lunches.

Who is your PR inspiration?
There are various people who I’ve admired over the years. WPP’s Martin Sorrell is as much a PR man these days as he is an advertising man. My best boss was Tim Lindsay, an ad man but alas we worked together for a very short time. I think you should take inspiration from outside the profession too. Alex Ferguson was a very interesting and inspiring leader.  

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you?
Two ears one mouth. Tim Lindsay.

it’s the content not the channel

Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
Guardian Media Monkey, Prolific North, Campaign, PR Week, Mark Borkowski, Wadds’ blog and increasingly LinkedIn posts – it’s the content not the channel.  

What are your tips for aspiring PRs?
The three Ps. Be persistent, be patient, be polite.

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