The wind down at WG

Despite winding the business down, we’ve been awfully busy the last two months. I have been in Toronto working on a major client project. My team has been wrapping up loose ends for clients, managing two product recalls and rocking media relations. Lynsey landed In Style magazine for Lesley Stowe! This of course, called for a round of shooters at the boardroom table.

There has been a lot of discussion about my blog posts about closing the business and the changing world of social media and public relations. There have been essays written on it, round table colleague sessions analyzing it and media interview requests questioning it. I was initially surprised by the reaction, but I now realize that our industry is in a bigger state of flux than even I thought.  I still stand my ground that we as an industry are not moving fast enough. So, to answer everyone’s questions, I ended up doing an in-depth article with BC Business magazine to elaborate more on the changing face of PR. The issue comes out in September and I will blog about it when it does. Never one to shy away from controversy, I have a feeling that this piece will stir things up.

Closing the firm has certainly been harder than opening it was – there are so many facets to running a large agency. It has been our finest logistical challenge to close down, keep our clients happy and find them new resources. Our team is finding jobs. We are donating some of our furniture to charity – notably Crabtree Corner in the Downtown Eastside. We also donated our art work to the BC Cancer Clinic in hopes that it will make the waiting room a little easier to bear.

We edge closer and closer to the wind down of the firm at the end of August. As each day passes, I feel sadder to see my team prepare for their next adventures without me. It’s selfish, but true. I really hate to see them leave.

Mat

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~ by Wilcox Group Team on August 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “The wind down at WG”

  1. I look forward to reading the piece in BC Business magazine Mat. I agree that the PR industry is radically changing and most firms and PR educators are not adapting quickly enough. Social media has leveled the playing field and those who do not adapt their practices to reflect the new demands of consumers (and the opportunity measure the impact of their voice in the online conversation) will struggle in the future (if they aren’t already).

    Best wishes in these final days of Wilcox Group.

  2. To survive in any business – not just public relations and communications – we have to be adaptable, always being willing to learn, change our approach and let go of attachments to old ways of doing things that worked at one time, and don’t anymore. A lot of assumptions about why Wilcox is closing its doors have been flying around town, the most common being that (as one blogger mentioned) social media killed the PR star. I think that’s an oversimplification – social media isn’t the only part of the industry that’s changing – and I look forward to the BC Business piece for more details.

    Hand in hand with adaptability is nimbleness – having the ability to change and adjust quickly as the needs of our clients and the marketplace change. It’s harder to make these changes in larger organizations, and with clients who’ve formed a strong attachment to assumptions about their business (and ours) that no longer hold true.

    Best of luck in your future endeavours.

  3. Lesli and Jeanette,

    Thank you both for your kind words. Adapting is the game of business, and as tough as it is, it’s the right – and only – thing to do. I’m looking forward to the BC Business article too!

    Mat

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