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Meet the founders: Who the hell are we and what have we got to say?

Updated: Feb 6

By Lynsey Barry:

I met Pat 12 years ago when a very tall man walked into a room full of PR women with a confident stride and an awful dad joke. We clicked and over a decade later, here we are setting up a business together.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to know a bit more about the people behind our agency, what makes us tick and if you were to work with us, what it would be like. So, here it goes.

Founders, Lynsey and Pat

What keeps us passionate about PR after 20 years in the industry?

L: There is literally never a dull moment. The industry is evolving but the principles that I learnt 20 years ago still stand true. It’s about making the brands we work with the best versions of themselves. Not just to the outside world, but from the inside too. You can’t get away with puff and bluster, people expect substance behind what you say and I think that’s excellent for the reputation of our industry.

P: Two things. Firstly, getting coverage or seeing great content go live. There’s no feeling like a really great media hit. While a lot of our work is now multi-channel, we’re a PR agency and media relations is at the heart of that. Secondly, having the chance to be at the cutting edge of whatever sector our clients are in. If they’re tech clients, which they often are, we get to learn about the emerging innovation that is going to change the way we live and work forever. And we are given the opportunity to tell that story – it’s an honour.

Three things a brand starting their first foray into PR needs to consider?

P: Keep it simple. Tell a great story. Keep going. We’re dedicated to finding simple ways to communicate complex themes. This is vital for anyone kicking off a PR campaign. The minute it becomes complex is the moment it will begin to falter and confuse audiences. With that in mind, having a compelling story to tell is at the heart of how people communicate – and it shouldn’t be any different for brands. Finally, don’t stop. PR works best when it’s a constant drumbeat of activity. There will be times when campaigns are needed to support specific goals, but a stop-start approach to PR will limit the overall impact.

L: Have you got buy in from the board level? Ultimately, that is the difference between success and failure, especially in the first six months. Don’t be afraid to test things. Yes, there are guiding principles to PR and we will bring all of them to the table. But it isn’t a one size fits all approach. The first 90 days are crucial in defining what works for your brand and what will bring great ROI. Chemistry. There are a lot of PR agencies out there, and most of them say very similar things! People buy people. Setting up Five not 10 we’ve experienced first hand how important relationships are. Find the partners that feel right for you, and the rest will come. Simple 😊.

What makes a great PR campaign?

L: Simplicity. Which doesn’t necessarily mean simple! Think of any memorable campaign and you should be able to explain it easily to your mate down the pub, or your nan.

P: It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what the desired outcomes are. A successful PR campaign is one that meets the goals set out at the planning stage. However, there are some universal truths you might see. Inevitably, these all come back to simplicity. The key is a story based on an insight the audience can relate to, which is told with simplicity and clarity. As we’re in our infancy as an agency, I’ll highlight someone else’s story as a great example. It’s a little old now, but it stands the test of time. The Beano once sent Jacob Rees-Mogg a cease-and-desist letter for impersonating one of its characters, Walter the Softy. Brilliant. And it probably cost very little: just writing a letter and sending out a press release.

What type of clients do we love working with?

L: Nice ones! Goes without saying. Joking aside, my favourite clients are those who are prepared to be bold, who you can be open and honest with (you can take the girl out of the north, but you can’t take the north out of the girl!), and who trust you. When Pat and I decided to set up Five not 10 one of the first things we said we wanted is to enjoy what we do. And the right type of clients are essential to that.

P: Tech. It’s that simple. I’ve worked across lots of sectors, including healthcare, public sector, consumer, retail, logistics, travel and much more. But I’ll always love tech. Not because I care a great deal about how it works, but because of the impact it can have. Software is being created and implemented now that blurs the line between the human brain and AI. It’s doing things we never thought possible even a few years ago. And it’s beginning to make us question what it is to be human. I find it endlessly fascinating. That and clients who are hardworking, but great fun and want to be part of the same team – all working towards the same goal.

What are we excited about over the next 12 months?

L: Everything. The last 18 months has turned the world upside down and the planner in me is looking forward to a bit more solid ground. Although starting our own business probably isn’t the best way to achieve that! PR has come to the fore and really stood up for itself as a key part of the marketing mix. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings.

P: Being the master of my own destiny along with my partner in crime, Lynsey. We’ve worked together on and off for about 12 years and have a good idea of how to run things. I’m sure what we think now will change and evolve as the reality of having our own agency hits, but I’m excited about working with clients that I have a passion for and building something we can be proud of. It might be big. It might be small. Who cares, as long as we do great work and enjoy the ride.


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