Jon Lonsdale on the PRmoment podcast

CEO and co-founder at Octopus Group, Jon Lonsdale, spoke to PRmoment for its latest podcast. The conversation swings from setting up an agency and company culture, to the Brand to Sales approach we coined, and what it’s like to work in B2B and technology.



[00:01:14] Why ‘running a business with your mates is about as good as it gets’

[00:02:44] How our founders have retained a good working relationship over a long period of time

[00:03:04] Why OG partners treat themselves as employees to avoid Octopus Group having a ‘cult of the owner’

[00:06:03 ] How we’ve codified and developed a methodology for our Brands to Sales approach

[00:06:13] Why we have specified hard sales metrics in many client contracts

[00:07:03] How PR firms are able to have radically different commercial conversations with clients when they’re willing to commit to hard sales metrics

[00:07:23] Our client scorecards approach to KPIs

[00:08:27] The interconnectivity of reputation and sales

[00:13:23] The structural changes made to OG as a result of the Brands to Sales approach: ‘ripping the business up’

[00:13:35] How it took four years to restructure the business to the new approach

[00:14:01] Why we had to re-skill the whole agency around digital techniques and digital marketing

[00:14:49] Why net client fees have gone up since taking a Brands to Sales approach

[00:16:02] Why Jon believes PR teams moving to an impact on sales approach increases budgets and means that, as an agency, you become a sales tool, not an overhead

[00:19:30] Our internal training programme: the Brand to Sales Academy

[00:24:43] Why modern agencies need to have the capacity to flex, and move skills and people around

[00:25:07] Why we had a tough year in 2017

[00:28:20] Why we abandoned a multi-brand approach 

[00:31:08] Why Jon loves running a business in the technology sector

[00:33:07] The theory that it’s easier for B2B PR firms to win larger parts of an integrated brief than their consumer peers

[00:35:10] Why Jon believes that the creativity in B2B campaigns is as good as the creativity in B2C – it’s just not as loud

[00:40:14] The type of PR buyer who wants to purchase all of their marketing services from one place