Following Third City’s relocation to a new office in Clerkenwell, we spoke to founder Mark Lowe about how the agency has grown, its “Third Citizens” network and the secret to happiness at work.
Congratulations on moving into your new office! How will this new space affect the work Third City does?
It gives us the space to expand our core team and to grow our Third Citizens network, which brings new thinking into the agency.
Can you tell us more about this network? What does it take to become a “Third Citizen”?
Third Citizens are collaborators from within and outside PR – including academics, social researchers, planners and data scientists. They’re people we work with to deliver our core offering of “enlightening thought” to clients. There is no particular qualification required. We’re open to conversations with experts from all walks of life.
Your agency was named one of the best places to work in PR at the 2017 CIPR Awards. What’s the secret to creating a great work environment?
We’ve developed a strong culture and we want our employees to grow with us. We believe that if they have great experiences outside work that will make them better at their jobs. That’s why, for instance, we offer enhanced parental benefits and “expedition leave” to consultants who’ve been with us for a few years.
Since you founded it in 2011, Third City has grown quickly – what inspired you to start your own agency? And how has being the boss changed your daily life?
I’ve always valued my personal independence and starting an agency is the natural extension of that. It hasn’t changed my daily life radically but when you run an agency you do spend a lot of your time thinking of ways you can do it better.
Third City has secured some big name clients over the past six years, including Expedia, Pizza Express, The Open University. But what’s the best campaign you’ve worked on, and why?
We’re very proud of the #OutsmartEpidemics campaign we delivered for the Wellcome Trust, which has made a real difference to disease prevention in the developing world.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own PR agency?
Find business partners you know are smarter than you.
There are some great places to grab lunch around the corner from your new digs on Leather Lane. But what’s your favourite London eatery, and why?
My wife is a Kiwi, so it has to be Providores on Marylebone High Street. Peter Gordon is one of the world’s most inspired chefs.
- Pictured: (left to right) Third City’s creative director, Henry Warrington, managing partner Graz Belli, managing partner Mark Lowe, partner Chris Blackwood, managing partner Gill Brown and associate partner Zana Walker-Robson