PR agency 10 Yetis gets into bed with video

Why did you decide to invest in a video production company, rather than just grow a team in-house?

Being brutally honest, we wanted a much better quality of film than we had historically delivered with our in-house attempts. We now have access to a massively experienced team who have proven skills at the highest levels.

How did you track down a suitable company? Where did you start?

We worked on some joint projects together and basically just clicked. Our in-house tech team and all the PR people found that working alongside The Online Video Company delivered some brilliant results for clients and for ourselves and it went from there. I guess it is like going from Business Best Friends to being Married now.

What three lessons did you learn during this process that other small businesses could learn from?

1. I guess the main thing is not to rush things through.

2. Always make sure you get sound advice from someone not so close to what is going on. In our case we have a brilliant business mentor that has been with us since the start and he is spot on when it comes to giving it to us straight.

3. Try not to get too stressed out! There have been a few late nights but we always knew that the end result would be good for both parties.

Can you disclose the value of the deal? Or your stake?

In short, we now have a 50% stake in the company for that oh-so-great PR line of "an undisclosed sum".

How long did it take to broker?

My previous PR experience of publicising merger and investment deals confirms that our approach has taken a lot longer than most deals of this nature. We spent a load of time working together on joint projects to make sure everything fit together as we wanted it to and then sat down to thrash the details out.

How expensive is it, in terms of admin, to make an investment of this ilk?

Again, our approach was slightly different and a new company was formed as the vehicle for the business. Nowadays forming a company is relatively cheap, as is getting shareholder agreements and the like drawn up. In tough economic times, every company is fighting for new business and many legal companies now offer fixed price services. Great news for new businesses!

What was the biggest challenge you faced during this deal?

I imagine everyone says this, but we wanted everything done yesterday.
We also spent a significant amount of time making sure that the tech side was in place to support everything we want to achieve in the future. We have some fairly grand ideas in terms of video tools for small businesses along with interactive online videos and we needed to make sure what we want to do was actually possible.

Will The Online Video Company now be based from the 10 Yetis offices? Or will it remain a separate entity?

The Online Video Company will work out of the same offices as 10 Yetis, albeit on different floors and more aligned to our in-house tech team.

It will remain an entirely separate entity from the PR company as it is a hugely successful brand in its own right with a very strong portfolio including the likes of Keele University and even filming the Prime Minister for its last event commission.

Won't it be a conflict of interest for TOVC working with other PR firms?

My main concern is trying to address this area. There is absolutely no long-term commercial sense in 10 Yetis trying to poach TOVC clients that work with other agencies and that just isn't how Jilly or I, as the two founders of 10 Yetis, run our businesses. In case there is any doubt, the two teams are totally separate, I will have very little if any interaction with TOVC clients and we really want other PR Agency's to come along and test The Online Video Company out.

We invested in the company because we love the quality of the films they produce, really get the direction of the company and most of all, can see how it fits with the growing focus on online videos for the PR campaigns that we run and manage.  If we saw this, other PR Agencies will as well.

How has the PR industry changed over the past two years - what future trends do you anticipate?

Jilly and I are in the strange position that we both never worked for a PR Agency before we set up 10 Yetis so all we can talk about is the changes that we have seen since we formed the company in 2005.

The last two years have seen a massive increase in demand for pre-packed video clips to support public relations campaigns. Before this we were seeing the usual trends that I presume were being echoed across our industry in that bloggers and mainly trade media were looking for video content from PR's and clients. This is now the case across board though, from national broadcast and print media through to large online news sites.

More and more of the public relations briefs that we win are designed to be interwoven with a company's social media and search engine optimisation strategy and once again, many of the hooks that we launch these types of campaigns from are videos, web clips or interactive media packages. This is why The Online Video Company is a perfect fit for us.

Find out more about 10 Yetis

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