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David Ford

Interview
to
David
Ford,
Presidente de Ford-Peacock Consultancy
Ford-Peacock is a business-to-business PR and Marketing

Consultancy, specialising in the IT and telecommunications
sectors. FPC combines marketing and PR expertise with a
good technical understanding of IT and broad commercial
knowledge and experience. Their clients are very varied,
leading them to work in almost every sector of industry and commerce.


redrrpp: Can you describe the evolution of PR in the last 10 years?
David Ford: It has become more professional and more readily recognised
as core to a company’s strategic development as well as a key marketing
discipline
redrrpp: Are PR in your country a strategic resource
or are they only viewed as a Marketing tool?

D.F.: Both; however the smaller the company, the more likely that the
marketing role of PR will take precedence

redrrpp: In what ways do you consider the use
of the Internet as an advantage in the professional
exercise of PR? Can it be considered a disadvantage?

What about differences in technological development among countries?
D.F.: Certainly not a disadvantage; it has transformed our internal
and client relationship working practices and the dissemination of information
to the media. Certain countries are still more Internet aware but it’s
never proved a significant problem
redrrpp: What do you expect the development of the profession to
be for the coming 5-10 years?

D.F.: Much more difficult question!

redrrpp: What’s the theoretical framework
upon which the professional exercise of PR
is based at present in your country?

D.F.: I’m not sure there is a single framework. Our starting point is
«the management of corporate reputations to aid commercial growth».


redrrpp: Can you outline the profile of the ideal PR professional in your
country?

D.F.: There’s a long running debate in the UK on this. My ideal profile
is someone with practical commercial experience and a good communicator.
I don’t hold great store by PR qualifications, agency experience or journalistic
background. Ability to communicate and relate to clients is of central
importance. I can teach everything else.
redrrpp: We have learnt about cases in which PR agencies are replacing
Advertising Agencies, in the sense that they are handling a company’s
communications holistically. What’s your view about this? Can we speak
of a tendency?

D.F.: There is a tendency towards this but I am unsure whether the trend
is welcome. The two worlds are very different and it’s not easy to combine
the skill sets required.
redrrpp: Are PR regulated by law in your country?
D.F.: There is an industry code of conduct but otherwise normal statute
law applies.
redrrpp: In many countries the tendency is that many companies rely
on outsourcing for the PR Department What’s the situation in your country?

D.F.: This is true with small to medium sized companies; larger companies
often outsource specific projects to an agency or employ an agency to
work alongside an in-house PR department. A large corporate is unlikely
to have no internal PR resource.
redrrpp: Describe, in your opinion, strengths and weaknesses of PR
university courses of studies in your country

D.F.: No direct experience, but not impressed with the students I’ve met.
redrrpp: How does the layperson view the PR officer? Do you think
there are prejudices against these professionals? (if your answer is yes,
can you explain in what ways/why?)

D.F.: Suspicion certainly; largely arising from the misuse of PR in public
life. The layperson has little experience of the commercial PR officer
and so few opportunities to see high quality PR at work (as opposed to
political spin).

 

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