Well, hello again. I trust you are well… end of the world and all.
It is finally time for me to try and revive my pandemic-smashed business.
CogitoPR was born nearly a decade ago and was just realising its potential when somebody ate a bat in China. Apparently. Allegedly. Mythically.
Undeniably, the British government strangled my business to within an inch of its life while holding the dual resuscitators of Frankie Furlough and Simon SEISS just out of reach.
It is not dead but it limps now. And struggles up the stairs.
Thanks for that Boris.
Long-standing clients, neigh friends, retreated to survive underneath their own restricting, suffocating masks.
I both understood and lamented the exodus, knowing, as has proved the case, their public relations would be poorer for our separation.
It meant I had to make use of my professional background with a return to the newspaper industry in order to buy my daughter some new school shoes.
So I’ve had my proper dose of Covid (in every sense), watched it hamper my little girl’s education, put pressure on my wife, and alter the course of our modest little life plan.
But I’m back now, wounds licked and ready to revive CogitoPR.
If it does not work I’ll soon conclude the market is either not there for my work, or I just cannot reach it effectively. And I’ll just get a job with a drill.
But before it comes to that I will be unveiling (or far less grandiose word) a new range of writing and content services in April 2022, and seeing if anyone wants to give them a spin.
I often wonder where someone like me – with origins in pre-digital newsrooms – fits into the new have-a-keyboard-can-publish world.
I guess I’m willing to bet that the proliferation of superficial graphics, shiny-toothed Insta influencers, and social media soundbites are still not optimal for long-lasting brand building.
We shall see.
Don’t get me wrong, there is some great, imaginative and engaging content online. But there is a lot of dross too.
I’ve seen many ape and damage my profession, spurred on by pennywise/pound foolish firms led by the Facebookinati.
But they are not journalists, as I’m sure my real peers will agree.
Technology has just given them the access to publish as the internet’s great race to the bottom in glorious technicolor plays out.
There is a much wider debate surrounding all of that (look out for a future dedicated blog) but my view has always been the same: they are not journalists. Not even close.
I mean… I climbed a ladder the other day but I don’t tell everyone I’m an astronaut now.
My re-launch marketing strategy will be to share blogs on a new website on a range of topics close to my heart. All very freelance-y, working parent-y… bullshit caller-y.
I’m hoping to re-engage with former clients where possible, and find new ones.
I am looking for those who really believe in what they are doing. Those who have worked so hard to get projects off the ground, wearing white, blue or whatever colour-collar they like.
The ones who – quite rightly – often sit there after a brutal week and think the bare minimum they deserve is to have somebody brilliantly articulate their journey. To understand their origins, ethos and direction.
And to make sure others do too. To journal their story.
To achieve that, what they will need is a journalist.
If you are lucky enough to find one – especially an experienced one – then jump on them because my ilk are a dying breed. The A-Team, if you like.
Acronyms like ‘NCTJ’ and, even better, ‘NCE’, will be helpful in that regard.
Throw in shorthand, copyright knowledge, compelling command of the written word, and a portfolio of stories which likely changed the society you live in to some degree without you (and often them) even realising it, and you’ll have your unicorn.
And please do remember if you are struggling to track one down – I am always available.