Managing Professional Communications Agencies - Overview of internal and external profit management

If you have problems booking this course please call our booking hotline number 01962 832542 or email Our offices are open 9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.



Why attend

This overview course helps delegates to see that financial understanding is a critical skill for successful, senior account handlers and board directors - not just the FD! It demonstrates graphically how their actions can influence their firm's profitability by more than 100%. It focuses on the key levers that affect agency profitability and how they can be managed to ensure that staff are effective without being over-worked or over-stretched. It also helps delegates to understand the key factors involved in winning, managing and growing client accounts profitably. It examines the factors affecting client profitability and how to monitor and control them. The session aims to provide senior account handlers with the skills necessary to ensure that their agency is properly paid for the work that it does.

How attendee will benefit

Attendees will:

  • Be able to optimise their firm's financial performance and maintain profitability even when the unpredictable happens.
  • Understand the different ways of managing time and fees to ensure that over-servicing is reduced (or eliminated entirely) and that better time management always leads to greater staff satisfaction and improved morale.
  • Be able to manage their clients and accounts effectively to ensure that they optimise profitability and growth opportunities. Their teams will enjoy greater clarity of purpose and higher satisfaction. The firm will grow faster and enjoy greater profitability.

Who should attend

This course is aimed at management level who would like to gain commerical and business management skills.

What attendees will learn

  • The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the following:
  • Strategic and financial planning and forecasting
  • Why ‘time' should be your currency not £s….
  • Key ratios - what are they and what do they tell you?
  • Over-servicing - the root of all evil - and how to kill it!
  • Understanding ‘utilisation' and ‘capacity'
  • Estimates, quotations and budgets
  • Basic accounts, revenue and capital expenditure
  • Growing existing clients/accounts - the 9 things we all forget to do!
  • Winning new business - establishing a profitable basis
  • Client contracts - what's important and what's not
  • Negotiating the deal - a simple method to ensure optimum profitability
  • Dealing with difficult client contract demands
  • Maintaining a client service/profitability balance


Attendees will receive a copy of the full presentation.

About the trainer

Neil Backwith is a highly experienced business manager. He is a specialist in agency/consultancy management having spent 10 years as a client and then 22 years with Porter Novelli, rising from Account Manager to European CEO and Global Board Director. His focus on commercial skills is one which is rare in PR, directly linking agency profitability to strong time management. He is also a trained psychologist, author of the highly acclaimed book ‘Managing Professional Communications Agencies' and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He received the CIPR ‘Norman Manners' Award for PR Professional of the Year in 2007