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PRmoment Podcast
Chris Lewis on the PRmoment podcast
September 10, 2018 Chris Lewis, founder and CEO of Lewis Communications

This week on the PRmoment Podcast I’m pleased to welcome founder and CEO of Lewis Communications Chris Lewis.

Chris established Lewis 25 years ago and today it is a truly global agency operating in 26 markets with a fee income of £50m and circa 500 employees. Lewis is the only current example of a British-owned PR and communications firm that has successfully scaled its business globally.

Here is the flavour of what Chris and I discuss

  • Why survival was the primary objective for Lewis Communications when Chris started the business 25 years ago
  • How a lucky break (literally) gave Chris the opportunity to start Lewis PR
  • How Lewis PR grew in the early years
  • Why in a consultancy business it is always a team of leaders who is responsible for the growth of the business, not an individual leader
  • Why PR firms must change their mindset when it comes to training and staff development
  • Why good leaders should not be authoritarians, but water carriers
  • Why Chris wrote the book The Leadership Lab on how leaders must utilise a wide enough diversity of opinion
  • Why the growth of Lewis can be tracked by the arrival of people within the business
  • How Chris found the right people to help him grow Lewis PR
  • Why many PR people are brilliant professional advisors, but not commercially successful
  • Why there is a fundamental difference in the professional culture between marketing services firms and professional services firms
  • Why no Private Equity firms have sold a PR firm for more than they bought it for
  • Why controlling your own balance sheet gives you control on how you invest
  • Why the current environment of rapid change in the marcomms sector means that investment in technology and people has become even more critical
  • Why the model of PR firms talking to their clients everyday gives communication firms a competitive advantage
  • Whether Chris fears for the future of public relations
  • Whether marketing has become a tactical business function, not a strategic function
  • Why protecting the reputation of a brand has become far more complicated
  • Why British businesses have a tremendous advantage globally; from timezones, to travel, to law and language
  • Why Chris is surprised that more British PR firms have not scaled more rapidly internationally
  • The three pieces of advice Chris has if you are thinking of setting up a PR firm
  • Why profits are the byproduct of a business having a healthy culture
  • Why most successful people are built on a litany of failure
  • What re-investment looks like in a PR firm
  • Why Chris wrote the books Too Fast To Think and The Leadership Lab
  • Why leaders should never feel like that they are the brightest person in the room - their job is to make their team feel like the cleverest people in the room.
  • Why the providence of certainty is mediocrity
  • Why humility is a vital leadership trait
  • The future plans for Lewis PR
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