Last week at #PRFest, I made the announcement of the launch of the Scottish PR Collective.

It may have got a little lost in the #PRFest buzz! After all we had over 5.5 million impressions of the hashtag and reached nearly 1.5 million Twitter accounts!

I developed the Scottish PR Collective (SPRC) to turn the agency model on its head. I don’t want to employ anyone nor have bigger overheads and I still want to retain full control of the work I do on behalf of and with clients. Other practitioners have been thinking the same.

I floated the idea with a number of other practitioners I know and each of them were hugely encouraged. I designed an information document with proposed brand and website designs, an application form and sent it out to a select few, before receiving feedback, tweaking and going wider.

This group, initially 10 independent practitioners, have their own PR businesses and they are effectively a PR agency, it’s just there is only one person working there. They work with their own clients too. SPRC was developed to promote independent practitioners in Scotland, allowing businesses and organisations to find them more easily and indeed to take advantage of the increase in demand, as brands look for extensions of their teams, one point of contact and without the large overheads.

We have a wealth of independent practitioners in Scotland, mostly of a senior level, with amazing experience and skills to tap into. The whole idea is a win for everyone and we all felt it was about time someone banged the drum for independent consultants, underlining the value they can add no matter what their involvement.

In addition to the opportunity to help our own businesses grow, we will also collectively work together on bigger projects, cover holidays, offer advice and support, and we each offer something a bit different.

With the rise in the desire to have a better work-life balance and the requests to work with skilled and experienced independent practitioners, this collective offers flexibility and we’ve got each other for wider network support.

A website has been developed to make searching for and finding relevant, skilled practitioners, more easy and in the hope more independent practitioners can grow their own businesses and client base.

If you’d like to join SPRC or you’d like to chat to me about using the collective for your business/organisation please do get in touch.

Pictured for the launch at #PRFest, some SPRC members. From front to back: Laura Sutherland, Aura; Fiona Stewart, Interwoven PR; Ruth Allan, ruthmedia and Jenn Nimmo-Smith, Electric Shores.