Gorkana Interview – Andrew Baud

Gorkana
This article originally appeared on Gorkana.com

Andrew Baud, MD of Tala, on keeping his powder dry, admiring the late Marie Colvin and why PR measurement is the perennial nut that refuses to crack.

When not in the office you’ll mostly find me…

Coaching eight-year-olds on the rugby fields of Chipping Norton or racing around Oxfordshire with my own five children.

Working in PR is…

Often as close to the front line as an office worker gets. Fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. Meeting with and working alongside such diverse and interesting people is humbling and fulfilling.

Which social media platform has changed your life…

From early days as a marketer and communicator, digital has always made natural sense to me. As a junior exec in the early 90s, I could see the potential and was experimenting with the early forms of online networking. Now, day-to-day, social media has simply been absorbed into the milieu and integrated into absolutely everything we consume and engage with.

If I could breathe new life into a brand, it would be…

The Conservatives. The party’s unfortunate reputation lingers, despite its progressive policies and role in saving the country from economic meltdown (feel free to debate!).

The most important lesson PR has taught me…

To be as analytical as a lawyer, but to be prepared to get mucky and duck and dive like a fly-weight boxer.

You’ll find on my bookshelf…

Six debut books written by friends and peers, all of whom who have reached an age, and finally found the time and support to get their magnum opus published. Also random biographies, from Guy Martin to Hillary Clinton.

The journo I’d most like to have a drink with is…

The late Marie Colvin. We have never done anything that would be worthy of her reporting, but I have the upmost respect for those in the media that courageously and selflessly put their lives on the line to bring back the stories that the world must hear.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…

A presentation coach once said to me “be more Italian and less Scandinavian.” Fine, but I am half Swedish!

PR measurement. Discuss…

The perennial nut that refuses to crack. Until professional measurement standards are valued by the majority of clients, it won’t be routinely espoused by PR agencies. Our experience indicates that it’s sometimes tough to get effective media monitoring in place, let alone insightful analysis.

The thing I catch myself saying the most is…

I’ve subconsciously acquired many of the stock-phrases used by my former and well-respected bosses such as “keep your powder dry,” “we need a three-pronged approach” and “let’s heap opprobrium on them”.

My guiltiest pleasure is…

Kingsholm, three pints of Guinness and having a good old bellow for “Glaaaaaaawster”.

The worst thing a journalist has said to me is…

“Are you really trying to tell the investigations editor of the Guardian how to do his job?” Not sure it was the worst thing said to me, but it was certainly delivered in the most threatening way.

If I wasn’t in PR, I’d be…

Living a simple life, probably in a forest. So long as it had broadband.