Jason Kelly, freelance marketing and public relations consultant looks at why the UK marketing and public relations sector is suffering because of its growth during Britain’s service industry boom – when did Britain become blue collar allergic?
Britain may have started the industrial revolution, but as normal we stood back smiling at our industrial landscape whilst other nations took it to the next level of evolution! Just like the England Football Team when they score a goal, industry sat back to admired its skill and success, and then decided engineering and manufacturing was no longer in style.
For the past twenty years or so Britain’s industries have become more service-based than production-based, manufacturing was sent overseas to nations who now have a stronger economic prowess then we do. Instead Britain decided the white collar looked smarter than the blue collar and so the service industry established itself – so much so that the creative industry evolved. Employing thousands of people across Britain the creative industry is made up of marketing and communications firms offering online and offline services to support finance houses, customer service management organisations and the retail and leisure industries.
Already countries who are more dependent on traditional-based industry are claiming they are either out of a recession, or are seeing sunnier days ahead; accept for the UK that is. While other nations are preparing for good times, the UK is still swimming uphill trying to trade anything it can find to drive revenues back into the UK economy.
It’s not all bad, some larger agencies are managing to hang on to clients, but other businesses with smaller balance sheets are seeing staff numbers cut and even firms closing – will the UK creative industry go the same way as the UK manufacturing industry?
The UK Government needs to support traditional based industries by offering incentives, such as fiscal-based packages (that work) – to support UK-based manufacturers, whilst at the same time making Britain an attractive location for overseas firms to set up operations. More investment needs to be given to attract the entrepreneur – I know there are programmes already available, but the Government needs to make this a priority. Government-based business support organisations need to ditch their current thinking processes that both start-ups and established-based firms only need help with producing business plans or promotion during overseas trade fairs.
Maybe the Government should support traditional-based industries and the creative sector by commissioning the creative agencies to reenergise ‘blue collar pride’!