Working in B2B PR we often find ourselves sandwiched between the serious and demanding needs of our blue-chip clients and the somewhat fluffy, youthful and flaky reputation certain parts of our industry seems to enjoy promoting, and which we, as a PR firm, are by definition associated with. Try as one might to present a consultative and serious approach to what we do, there is always a PR firm that drags the rest of the industry back down ‘fluffy bunny alley’ either by some inane stunt, or bad ‘self-marketing’.
What made me put finger to keyboard on this subject today was in article in media about a London PR firm that has done away with its desktop monitors and desks to offer ‘free range working’ to its employees. This apparently involves providing “60 staff each having a fixed seat in their Soho office (so) they can work anywhere around the office — at kitchen-style tables — or in a local café,” according to the article.
Such a magnanimous gesture by the agency’s management will apparently lead to “an environment that reflects the way young people work.” Presumably some of those ‘young people’ may prefer their own desk for efficiency or privacy and, rather than be tethered to the environs of their office or local cafes, prefer to be given proper ‘free range’ and be allowed full scope of working from whatever location they wish, whether that be home, region or city. Such gestures as described sound somewhat like the approach taken to prisoners as they reach parole, being allowed limited liberty to prove they are no-longer a threat to society.
There may of course be good and practical reasons for some PR firms to feel the need to share such trivia with the wider world, but sometimes I wish that for the rest of us they wouldn’t.