Interview With Clare George-Hilley, Co-Founder Centropy PR

Centropy PR is one of the UK’s fastest growing b2b tech and fintech PR agencies, working with several FTSE 250 and Fortune 500 tech companies as well as an array of venture capital backed start-ups. Founded in September 2017, the company has seen a sharp rise in new business wins with clients specialising in artificial intelligence, analytics, and cyber security. In a special interview with TechRound, Clare George-Hilley, co-founder of Centropy PR talks about how to start a business from scratch, the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the industry and top trends for the technology outlook in 2021.

How Was Centropy PR Founded?

My husband and I had both worked in the PR industry for over a decade and were looking to try something new. Deep down, we always wanted to start our own business, but this required gaining the right experience and contacts to take the plunge. We felt there was a gap in the market for an agency that could link technology, PR, and policy together to offer more integrated campaigns to clients. After several months of brainstorms and discussions, we developed a business plan with prospective clients and hires, chose the name, designed the logo and rented an awesome office in Shoreditch. Three years on and we’re still loving every minute of it!

What Are The Company’s Values?

The PR industry is in urgent need of reform, ask around at any networking event and you will hear horror stories and complaints from junior staff about corporate cultures and bloated administration stifling creativity. We wanted Centropy to be a place where the focus on client service and team needs came first and have worked very hard to offer excellent salaries, training and perks to our people. The clients we work with will tell you that Centropy gets stuff done. We focus on delivering eye-catching campaigns that generate clicks, leads and substantial return on investment for our clients, with a relentless focus on delivering measurable results.

What Are Your Plans For Growth?

We have had an incredible first few years at Centropy PR and are growing faster than we could have ever dreamed. However, we are conscious of keeping service standards high and will never put new business priorities above those of our existing clients. A major problem across the industry is that agencies win a client then neglect it; we will never, ever do this. Every single relationship matters, no matter what the size of the budget or duration of the work. Now that we’ve built a strong portfolio of core clients, we are looking for some new wins to take the company forward.

What Challenges Have You Faced?

Juggling the responsibilities of running a company and looking after two children (with a third on the way) is no easy task, I can assure you. Likewise, winning the trust of new clients when you are a challenger agency can be tough. We have to work twice as hard as our more established competitors in order to stand out. It’s not easy running your own business, it can be exhausting, and the stress follows you around, even into holiday time. However, the sacrifices are worth it and I honestly wouldn’t rather be doing anything else.

How Are You Dealing With The Impact of The Coronavirus?

The Covid-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the way tech companies operate and our agency has been in full working from home mode since the acceleration of the crisis in March. We have daily team meetings via Zoom and team WhatsApp groups to keep the banter and workload flowing, so far remote working seems to be going well. We respect the fact that this is a human crisis that has cost lives and livelihoods. In response we have increased the company’s charitable donations and offered up free PR services to local businesses, such as restaurants and cafes that really need some help.

Clare George-Hilley is co-founder of Centropy PR, which is based in Shoreditch, London.