#HRM20: culture of quality stands the test of time
It seems to be a lifetime since I first joined HR Media and in some ways it is – a working lifetime at least.
Way back in 1998 when I stepped through the doors of what was then Hurndall Ross Media at the Workstation on Paternoster Row as a fresh-faced student I couldn’t really have thought I’d be still with the company 20 years later.
However, much like life, it hasn’t all been one long perfect journey. There have been bumps in the road, side roads, stop overs and the occasional need for substantial refuelling (or as is more commonly known ‘parties’).
My first day at HRM was as a student as part of a 10-week work placement from Sheffield Hallam University. I remember one of my first meetings was with Yuri Matischen at the old Players’ Café near Sheffield Arena.
Funnily enough, just a couple of days before writing this blog, I met with Yuri again but this time in Birmingham as we put plans together for our longest serving client Westfield Health’s sponsorship of the British Transplant Games.
I suppose the above story gives a little insight into my time at HRM. Much has changed but also there has been plenty stay the same. Let me explain.
At the beginning we were very much a traditional PR agency of the time. Businesses were starting to understand the importance of communication and the media world – particularly the newspapers – were showing the first signs of needing more content.
As vastly experienced journalists the founders of HRM, Martin Ross and Alison Hurndall, were perfectly placed to exploit this.
My days during my work placement and subsequently as I stayed on part time through my final year of university and then onto a full-time contract were spent writing. I’d never really considered myself a writer before. Sport was always my passion.
I quickly found I was half-decent at it and enjoyed telling people’s stories. The thrill of seeing my words in The Star, Sheffield Telegraph or Yorkshire Post never really went away.
In fact one of my career stop-offs has been a substantial period of time working for Sheffield Newspapers as a sports reporter and news editor.
But back to my explanation… you’ll often hear now people, like myself, saying ‘content is king’. It is as true now as it was back in the late 1990s, but it is just different content.
I could bore you even more senseless with stories of faxing or posting press releases to hundreds of media outlets over the course of an afternoon when the same process now would take mere seconds via email.
Or I could go in depth about the challenges businesses have to make their voice heard in a busy marketplace and why the media have a fight on to be trusted by a generation who have been brought up on Snapchat and Instagram.
But they’re discussions for another day.
What I have found over the past two decades working with HR Media and staying close to them during periods elsewhere is that we strive every day to be the best we possibly can be.
Our clients are front and central to everything we do and that is reinforced every day to our whole team in the way we approach every task.
Twenty years are a very long time. There are people working with me now who weren’t even born when I had my first day and I certainly don’t consider myself old at 41!
What that time does though is gives you a sense of perspective. I couldn’t have asked to work for better people (and I use the word people rather than company deliberately) in my career.
HRM as an organisation deserves to celebrate its 20th year in the best possible way but the real congratulations should go to Alison and Martin and everyone else who has played a part in making us the best PR agency around.