Ten years and counting: Wright Communications’ Nikki Wright on making it in the PR world

Cutting it in the PR industry is no easy feat, and while agencies jostle for a position in an increasingly crowded market, one agency is already celebrating a decade in the game.

Wright Communications, the Auckland-based public relations consultancy founded in 2006, has worked with a number of prominent companies including Toyota, McDonalds, Air New Zealand, and Colmar Brunton. 

With a focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR), founder and managing director Nikki Wright says that it’s played a huge role in keeping Wright Communications competitive for so long. “When we set up the business ten years ago, we had a clear purpose to help clients do the right thing. I started the business as a full service public relations consultancy but with a focus on corporate social responsibility, partly because I had a personal passion for it, but also because that was what businesses were beginning to prioritise,” says Wright.

“We were working within the niche of CSR, so we had a competitive advantage that set us apart from other agencies. But at the same time, we were able to coexist with these agencies because a client might have their traditional PR company for their marketing, but use Wright Communications for more specialised services.”

As a greater number of PR firms have embraced the CSR approach, Wright says they’ve had to invest in more training because of the highly specialised nature of the services they offer, with the company heading to Landcare Research in Lincoln to gain more of an understanding on things like carbon emissions and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Wright also notes the rise of digital environments, which although having existed a decade ago wasn’t something clients interacted much with. In addition, the rise in media consolidation and the reduced number of journalists over the years have presented another challenge for the PR world.

“I think the PR industry is going to evolve radically,” says Wright. I think there’s going to be more targeted communications and more consultancies focusing on sustainability, whether that’s through the corporate end of the spectrum or the consumer end of the spectrum.”

“I also think data is going to play a pivotal role as well, so we need to keep thinking about how to improve our analytical skills around things like maths, statistics, and science. On top of that, what’s also going to be important is the art of storytelling. I think it’s going to become more difficult to stand out and be authentic. So for companies who can do that in a bold way, they’re going to be the ones to attract the right kind of attention.”

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