Rebecca Oatley, managing director and owner of Cherish PR, looks back on a rollercoaster year in which she has fine-tuned her vision for the future.
What does your business do?
We are a PR consultancy that specialises in working with innovators – companies that are changing the way that businesses and consumers run our lives. We work a lot in technology, with new platforms, apps, marketplaces and hardware. It’s a fast-moving and really exciting space to work in because it’s changing all the time.
How has 2017 been for you?
I learned a long time ago that every year in business is like riding a rollercoaster. Business goes up and down yes, but the effort that you put in on the climb then results in you hurtling towards delivery at a thousand miles an hour. There has been a lot of that in 2017. What has been interesting to experience in 2017 is the macroeconomic forces that are impacting small businesses like ours.
Firstly, we thought that Brexit was going to
Whilst business is relatively steady, we have noticed a real reluctance to commit to long-term contracts and our clients generally are increasingly project focused. It’s harder but has added lots of dynamism to the business and that’s good.
What was your greatest success?
We have had some pretty amazing campaign successes this year – some great Awards entries for 2018 – and it’s wonderful to see our work having a real business impact for our clients. We have introduced new investors, opened the door to new deals and driven considerable consumer uptake of clients’’ services. I am really proud of that.
And your greatest challenge?
Staff. We are a small business that relies on people and this seems to be a year when we have had a lot of transition. It’s hard to say why. Looking back, it was probably inevitable as we had a team who had been with the agency for some time.
Yet the pressure of changing staff, training and nurturing new talent has been really heavy and whilst we have continued to deliver great work for our clients, the existing team have had to take on a much heavier workload than they should have. I am really grateful to the guys that have picked things up. They have been brilliant.
What do you think 2018 will hold for you?
In 2017, we fine-tuned the vision for the business and we have a very clear mission for the future of Cherish. I think 2018 will be a year in which we focus on developing our team towards that vision. We have all shared our career goals and as a team and agency, we are going to help each other deliver those goals. I think through great people realising their goals, we will continue to deliver the product and profit that we have seen over the past few years and work towards our mission for the agency – to deliver strategic and outstanding PR for the most innovative companies.
How will you spend Christmas and the New Year?
With my family in a cottage in Wiltshire. It has been such a hectic year that we have decided to completely remove ourselves from the mania of London and head somewhere really quiet. So we’re holing up for Christmas in a cottage with a roaring fire that’s opposite a church and next door to the pub. What more do you need?
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