Last Friday saw a rare event. The Economist’s Britain Business correspondent, David Shirreff braved the rain and cold to come pay a visit to Ogilvy Public Relations. Forming April’s part of Ogilvy’s Masters of Media programme, David spent an inspiring and informative hour with the team discussing everything from the Economist’s editorial mutualism to the likely consequences of the EU debt crisis and the rise of China.
The world respects the Economist. Turns out they respect themselves just as much. Speaking about their editorial format, it was a welcome surprise to hear of no cliché angry news editors running along corridors demanding deadlines. Rather, those lucky enough to work at the Economist spend every Monday morning with colleagues allowing thoughts they’ve percolated over the weekend to spew out into spontaneous and impassioned discussion. Essentially, people brainstorm ideas, contest theories and develop the stories that will finally form one of the most respected global publications, through peer based debate. So, if you have a really gripping story about pirates, say in the Gulf of Aden and their impact upon global shipping routes and the likely insurance implications, broaden the idea. Think big. It may very well be up the Economist’s alley.
Perhaps the most engaging thing for readers of The Economist is the informed debate that it brings to the world. Accessible, researched and thought-provoking, The Economist has been the catalyst for new international policy, formed staunch opposition to things that ail the world and contributors to debates which genuinely shape the world around us. The fact is Ogilvy got something, that far too often, PR agencies miss out on. Non-PR related discussion. How do I get my client into the Economist? Do you like this story? Was not the point of this visit. We wanted to hear about the EU, banking regulation, Libya, China and where the UK sits in the global mix. David duly, and in the collegial way which the Economist obviously enshrine, engaged Ogilvy people with a lively discussion on European debt, China’s rise, oil prices and uncertainty in Africa; and a few things in between.
Ogilvy PR was treated to something a little more cerebral last Friday. And, like the Economist editorial meetings, it sent our brains into overdrive. We are well and truly looking forward to the next event in our series; Masters of Media.