Behind the Headlines With Jim Hawker
Jim Hawker, co-founder and owner of London-based PR agency Threepipe, says focusing on the PESO model when working with clients helps his team be effective. In this interview, Jim discusses his agency’s approach to integrated PR, shares the key lessons he’s learned throughout his career and explains what “Joined-Up Thinking,” Threepipe’s tagline, truly means.
What drew you to the PR industry?
The PR industry has delivered everything I was looking for when I set out looking for a job in 1996! I found creative and intelligent people trying their best to deliver commercial success for clients.
That hasn’t changed, but the way we do that has completely changed, and that’s what I love about PR – the transformational changes that have happened and our ability to respond to those changes. That sounds quite wanky but it’s the constant flux and the need to keep learning which keeps me excited.
Threepipe’s tagline is “Joined-Up Thinking.” Can you explain what this means?
Our client work is centered around the PESO model as we believe that you need an integrated approach across different channels to produce effective work. Effective being the keyword here.
I don’t believe you can create impactful work without having a joined up approach and bringing different skillsets into the traditional PR program.
At the simplest level, this is about understanding data and analytics and the ability to demonstrate the value of what we do. Increasingly, we are using paid media to distribute the content we are creating and in a very targeted way, either through native platforms or through social targeting – this all needs a PESO approach.
I understand Threepipe was recently chosen to create several consumer-facing campaigns for the Food Standards Agency. What do you have planned for them?
It is primarily an influencer marketing and community management approach to help the FSA create more compelling and engaging content.
They are an exciting client to work with because they understand the need to invest in good content but also the process in terms of how to distribute and track the impact of that content.
What do you think was the key factor in the agency winning that account?
Having access to the diverse skillsets within the agency. Half our agency is running paid media accounts and understand data and analytics to an obsessive level. The combination of this with the ability to develop creative and engaging campaigns was what swung it.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about PR throughout your career?
Never stand still and take a risk. I have moved jobs for less money to try different things and learn new skills.
What does an integrated PR strategy entail?
The word integrated masks a thousand truths. If you believe every agency website you read, then integrated means media relations plus community management.
For some clients, we are running their design, eCRM, paid social, website, media relations and community management – and all centered around a content strategy. That for me is taking us towards a more fully fledged digital agency and true integration.
Do you have any advice for those looking to begin a career in PR?
Make yourself interesting – do something that stands out.
Rapid Fire Round
1. I always thought I’d be… I never knew or had an idea of what I would be when I was growing up.
2. My biggest pet peeve is… Rudeness, bad grammar and littering.
3. The thing that gets me up in the morning is…This morning, it was a screaming baby and a new business proposal that needed some attention.
4. My favorite social media platform is… LinkedIn.
5. The most interesting thing about me is… I lived on a double decker bus for a year when I was 26.
6. My daily newspaper of choice is…The Times.
Image via Jim Hawker
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