Written by Laurence James • Published 27th November 2019 • 2 minute read

There are few things that get me more in the festive spirit than watching Home Alone 2 and listening to The Pogues’s ‘Fairytale of New York’, my favourite Christmas film and song. So when it was announced that The PHA Group would give me the chance to create my own Christmas memories in New York, I was ecstatic. Although hopefully my adventures there will be happier than those of Macaulay Culkin and Shane MacGowan!

Thrilled by the idea of actually experiencing New York at Christmas for myself rather than through the screen or the radio, I’ve even signed up to the idea of ice skating at the Rockefeller despite possessing all the technical ability of Bambi. But other than ice skating, or following in Macaulay Culkin’s footsteps and exploring Central Park or going to Broadway as Shane MacGowan promised in his song, I’m also excited to experience what New York has to offer in the world of PR.

Having only ever worked in a London-based PR agency, getting a flavour for how Americans do public relations in the Big Apple is an appetising thought. I’m eager to learn how a US agency manages clients, communicates with the press, drafts content, generates creative campaign ideas and integrates social media. Rated ‘Agency of the Year’ by the American Business Awards three years in a row, 5W will be a great place to gain these important insights to bring back to the UK. My predecessors have already brought back ‘Perfect 10’ which has been successful in generating creative ideas for clients and encouraging integration across The PHA Group’s different departments. I’ll be keen to trade more innovative ideas and achieve similar results for both agencies.

Then there’s the partnership between The PHA Group and 5W, which continues to go from strength to strength. Learning how the two are different, how they co-operate and how the partnership works in practice will be an interesting and useful exercise. In particular, for consulting new and existing clients across a range of sectors and sizes who may have an interest in securing US coverage, for example, established brands on the international stage like recruitment firm REED, or Takumi, a start-up influencer marketing platform growing its presence in America.

And finally, there’s the US media. Is it more challenging to secure national coverage in America? Is print media facing a similar plight across the pond? Does the USA’s vast size translate into more regional publications? What are the US broadcasters like and do they operate differently? What is the best way to approach US journalists? So many questions. The answers await…

…and the waiting is almost over. Next week, myself and three colleagues will be arriving in New York like Harry and Marv in Home Alone 2. “The land of opportunity” Harry tells Marv. It certainly feels like that for me too – and what an opportunity it is!