Sixteen years ago today Coast first opened its doors. We have been privileged to work alongside some of the most interesting, largest and clever professional services firms around the world - and a few outside of the sector to keep everything in perspective.
Here are 16 things we have learnt along our journey.
1. Media relations matters more today than ever before. It helps individuals and firms stand out in a very crowded market.
2. Professional firms deliver by a long margin the best thought leadership campaigns in the B2B and B2C space.
3. Lawyers and accountants still struggle to present a clear and strong opinion. Good PR advisers can help.
4. Professional services firms do content marketing better than any other industry. They've been doing it for a long time.
5. Journalists still welcome and actively seek insightful and timely comment from professional services firms. That is unlikely to change.
6. Press office Twitter feeds are a complete waste of time.
7. Partners and fee-earners need to trust their business development teams more, particularly giving them greater freedom when buying creative services.
8. Buying decisions take way too long.
9. Build a good referral network - it's invaluable.
10. Small and mid tier professional services firms are all too easily swayed by the patter of large City PR firms yet are rarely served well by them.
11. Listen more than you speak.
12. Work hard to improve your writing - it's a valuable skill.
13. Read widely.
14. Professional services marketing remains a small community - and people have long memories.
15. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Whilst it can be uncomfortable, challenge your clients.
16. Much has changed, yet much remains the same. Firms still love promotions and new partner press releases - and still use 'We are delighted to announce....'