Piaras Kelly is an Account Director in Edelman’s Dublin office. Piaras also manages the publicity for the Dublin Web Summit series and does pro bono work for AdVIC, the advocacy group for families of victims of homicide.
In Dan Edelman’s recent interview with advertising age celebrating his 90th birthday, he made this statement, “If you’re not enthusiastic, how do you expect the client to be enthusiastic about what you’re doing?”
How does Edelman go the extra mile to remain enthusiastic as a PR agency ?
You can always look at Edelman as an enthusiastic PR firm. One of the main reasons for this is that we continue to invest in pioneer thinking – be it in terms of recruitment or intellectual property.
On the recruitment front, it’s exciting to see people like Michael Slaby, David Armano or Richard Sambrook join the firm. These are guys who are genuine thought leaders in their field and getting access to them really helps you bring things to another level. Getting different perspectives on things really keeps your outlook refreshed and as a result it helps us bring new ideas to our clients.
We invest in intellectual property on an ongoing basis. A lot of people are familiar with the Edelman Trust Barometer, our proprietary research which helps us advise clients on their communications strategy. We are also always creating new programmes like goodpurpose which help us create unique campaigns for our clients. Simply put, these insights lead to new ideas which mean that we have a enthusiastic outlook by nature.
Can you briefly describe what took place at the internal Edelman meeting in Chicago you attended this June ?
I took part in our annual Leadership Academy in Chicago in June. Every year every office typically sends one representative to a global meeting where we share our experiences, get to hear Richard Edelman’s vision for the next twelve months and beyond, and get access to some of the brightest minds in the communications industry.
What are some of the key points you took away from Dan Edelman’s speech at the Chicago internal Edelman meeting ?
The main thing I took from Dan Edelman’s speech is that nothing is impossible. Here’s a guy who started a company and over time developed it into a global company with over 50 offices and 3,000 staff worldwide. That’s a serious achievement. It’s inspirational stuff and makes you ambitious to try and make your own great strides in your career.
What makes the PR industry in Ireland unique ?
The main difference between Ireland and other markets in terms of the PR industry is scale.
Everything is much smaller which throws up its challenges as budgets are tiny by comparison to big markets like the US, but it also means that you have to be really creative to create cut through promotional campaigns for clients.
From a traditional media perspective, there’s less media outlets so you really need to know your stuff and have good relationships with the press. It’s the same for the political system and the broader stakeholder world. We’re a small island with a population of around five million people, which means everybody knows everybody, and if you don’t know somebody you’ll know someone who does. So it’s much easier to develop relationships and get access to people.
We also generally work on multiple accounts instead of 2 or 3 accounts like some other markets, which means we are great multitaskers.
What do you enjoy most about working for Edelman ?
One of the main reasons why I enjoy working for Edelman is the faith they put in their staff. I’ve had some tremendous opportunities working here and have been given the responsibility to be able to develop to the next level. So in terms of professional development, I’ve been able to progress up through the ranks, while getting access to some really bright minds which has broadened my horizons.