After two years, it’s time for a change on a couple of fronts, one of which is a bit… well, I lost a bet and I’ve done something my mum was not best pleased about. I’ll get to that later in the post.
Firstly though (and the bigger news from my perspective) from here on out, Rich Leigh & Company, the PR agency I started in late 2014, will be known as Radioactive.
We started out with a focus on personal PR and, while that’s still something we do for a handful of clients, I quickly found that the majority of client enquiries were from brands and organisations, with a big focus on link-building, creative campaigns and press office work.
We’ve been fortunate enough in our short (half) life to do project work for some big names like Gocompare.com, The National Gallery and Paddy Power, and have retained some amazing clients who we’re grateful to have had with us since day one.
Having my name in the agency name worked for one that specialised in personal PR, but a couple of years on feels more corporate than we are, and stifling from a branding perspective.
Just as Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became waaay cooler as a result, the pitch is that we can change brands from the inside out.
At the start of 2016, charity client and friend Jamie bet me that he’d have more Twitter followers than me (@RichLeighPR) by the end of the year. It seemed a harmless bet and one that I didn’t particularly mind losing, given what he does. We decided we’d come up with the forfeit come the end of the year, either way. I expected something embarrassing or inane, like having to tweet something ridiculous. That’s probably what I’d have done.
How wrong I was.
I used to joke that we should change Jamie’s name by deed poll to ‘The Flash’. He ran across Canada dressed as the superhero and I said, stealing a throwaway joke from Friends, that it’d be hilarious if his first name was ‘The’.
Well, he passed my number of followers in late November. And he hadn’t forgotten.
Being a good sport, I’ve agreed to his forfeit, with a couple of conditions, and – let’s just say my mum wasn’t particularly impressed when I told her about this.
After finalising it last Friday, my name is now legally Mr Public Relations.
First name Public, last name Relations.
My conditions were that a) it wasn’t forever (at least six months) and b) that I got to choose when I announced it (knowing I would be changing the agency name too, I thought now’s as good a time as any).
It’s daft, but I’m embracing it.
‘New year, new me’, and all that.