Maja Pawinska Sims 27 Sep 2023 // 8:00AM GMT
LONDON — The PR Network (PRN) has evolved its business in response to the changing needs of global clients, 18 years after it launched as the first remote-first agency.
The B-Corp firm has restructured its service offering under three pillars: corporate reputation, including a sustainability and ESG advisory; brand experience; and global agency teams, which includes the bulk of its current work acting as a global or regional agency lead for clients including Workday and Western Digital, or supplementing clients’ existing geographical or disciplinary scope through its network of associaties.
Since it was founded by George Blizzard and Nicky Regazzoni in 2005, PRN has built a cohort of senior partners in 60 countries to create a £5m+ business. The agency, which has never had an office, now has 10 employees based in the UK and 1,318 associates worldwide, who work together remotely in bespoke teams, depending on the client brief.
The PR Network's portfolio now includes Dropbox, Yoti, what3words, Beyond Meat, Toyota GB (including Lexus), BBC Studioworks, Heathrow Express and Zipcar. In the past year it has delivered work across 37 countries.
Regazzoni said the pandemic had driven significant growth by normalising remote work, seeing PRN double in size and winning large clients in its core sectors of technology, B2B and consumer, including growing one client into a 19-market account.
She said the refresh was based on an eight-month stakeholder engagement project involving clients, key staff and the agency’s virtual team across the world to update the agency’s offer to reflect post-pandemic PR and communications needs.
Regazzoni told PRovoke Media: “Covid made the business case for remote work, so we wanted to revisit our original positioning of being the first virtual agency with remote, flexible teams. What came back from our clients was that they appreciated the benefits of us building teams efficiently and affordably for exactly what they need, but that they also wanted us to handle more strategic consultancy as well as traditional PR.
“We have incredible people in our network who are experts in crisis management, strategic communications and ESG, but we haven’t been shouting about our capabilities in these areas and the strength of our network.”
She added: “The agency has grown up, we’ve restructured the management team and we have a great client base – it’s time to go out and be a bit more confident, with a new shopfront, and build out from there, especially in strategic consultancy. This is a real coming-of-age point for the business. There’s so much potential, we’ve only just scratched the sides.”
The agency has also undertaken a brand refresh and updated its visual identity, including a new logo and website.
Managing director Eileen Boydell, who was promoted to lead the agency in October 2022, taking over its day-to-day running from Blizzard and Regazzoni, said: “2023 is a landmark year consolidating 18 years of delivering international campaigns. We’re also celebrating being certified as a B Corp, reflecting our vision to create smarter ways of working to benefit clients, our associate community and the environment through our remote-first approach. With our new brand proposition, fresh identity and augmented services we can help more brands do great work.”
PRN’s future plans include more senior hires within its three new pillars, as well as looking at how it can build out the business in strategic geographic markets including the US and India. The agency is also continuing to work with clients and AI experts to build appropriate use of AI tools into its tech stack, with an AI training programme that was started in early 2023.