James Staunton launches mortgage PR agency
James Staunton (pictured) has left comms firm Instinctif Partners to launch a new mortgage PR and thought leadership agency, Air Cover PR.
Staunton, who started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, was one of the three owners of award winning property and financial services agency, The Wriglesworth Consultancy. When Wriglesworth was sold in January 2015, Staunton became a partner in acquirer Instinctif.
Staunton said: “I want to do a lot with Air Cover PR. First, I want to fight juniorisation. Most London corporate PR agencies roll up to pitches with the senior team, then keep their costs down by farming out the work to graduates fresh out of university. These kids learn on the job, at the clients’ expense.
“I’ve been around the industry for 20 years now – my first taste of mortgage PR came in 2002 when I worked for Tulchan Communications on Bradford & Bingley’s purchase of a £650m GMAC-RFC loan portfolio. Since then, I’ve provided specialist comms support to mortgages clients, from packagers, software providers, and lenders – to brokers, trade bodies, and servicers.
“I’ve even done some mezz. I don’t want to waste that exposure to the industry; I want to exploit the experience.
“Second, many businesses in the mortgage space would like to position themselves as thought-leaders in their field. But that’s challenging without the right skills in house or the senior comms bandwidth – especially at a competitive price.
“I am setting up Air Cover PR with a view to carrying out research on behalf of clients in the mortgage sector, delivering research content that can lend them a voice of authority in the industry. Without expensive premises in London, the research will represent good value for money, too and help empower the mortgage underdog!”
“Third, I want the agency to be more closely aligned to our clients’ commercial objectives, providing them with reputational air cover so that their marketing teams – and their BDMs on the ground – never have to go into a meeting cold, without the brand awareness they need to help them achieve their goals.”
Air Cover PR has already signed a contract to provide the corporate PR for specialist buy-to-let mortgage broker Mortgage for Business.
Duncan Kreeger, CEO of bridging lender TAB said: “James was a massive asset to West One Loans when we were getting the business up and running, helping us take our corporate PR to the next level. I’m sure Air Cover PR will be a huge success.”
Bridget Designs, a creative digital studio based in Canterbury, Kent, built the Air Cover PR website.
Founder Bridget Tann said: “We take great satisfaction in designing original, creative, effective websites that are tailor made for every client. We’ve provided Air Cover with bespoke web design and development, graphic design, and branding support and we’ve really enjoyed working with the business. We’re proud of the new site and are looking forward to deepening our relationship as we undertake the ongoing website hosting and maintenance.”
Accountancy services are being furnished by fellow PriceWaterhouseCoopers alumnus Yukimi Rabnott of On the Spot Accountants – with bookkeeping provided by Charmian Heys, director of Now Accounting Services.
Heys said: “It’s an interesting business – a blend of the serious b2b consultancy and creative agency. It’s great to have Air Cover PR on the client roster.”