We welcome Drew Benvie, UK Chief Executive Officer of Hotwire PR, to our regular series of interviews with leading figures in the South West and London business community.
About you and your business
Hello Drew, tell us about Hotwire PR and your role as UK CEO
Hotwire PR is a global public relations and communications agency. We are among the top 50 PR firms in the world. I am also founder of 33 Digital, which specialises in digital and social media communications. As UK CEO, I am in charge of Hotwire’s operations, especially in terms of business strategy and direction, client management and creating new business opportunities.
How has the economic recession impacted your business?
I am happy to say that Hotwire has experienced consistent growth since it was founded in 2001. The current economic climate is very challenging, but we have been successful by focusing on quality rather than quantity and working as specialists rather than generalists. We are always looking out for talented individuals to join our team.
What challenges are you facing over the next 12 months?
I have two main areas of focus in the next 12 months. Firstly, I am looking to expand the 33 Digital brand into four new countries: Australia, France, Germany and the United States. This will be a considerable challenge in terms of language and culture, but we are fortunate to already have established Hotwire offices in these countries. Secondly, we are looking at diversifying into new industry sectors. We specialise in digital and social media communications, which is not limited to any one type of business sector. Moving into different sectors will require developing different knowledge and skills. This is a very exciting time for us.
What is your view on the South West and London business scene?
We manage some campaigns that will have a particular regional focus, but the majority of our clients and the work we do for them is international in scope. We have our main office in London, with 85 people working there.
Do you have any Non-Executive Directorships? If so, what have you learned from the experience?
I do not have any Non-Executive Directorships, but I am involved in Mentoring.
Do you have any advice that you’d pass on to a newly appointed company director?
Never underestimate the value of innovation. Even if your business is not in the creative industry, be sure to foster an environment where innovation can thrive. New ideas mean growth for your business and will make it the focus of attention.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a big sports fan and hold a season ticket for Worcester Warriors, the perennial under-achievers of the Rugby Premiership. I also enjoy spending time with my family.
Who is your hero / personal inspiration?
My father is my role model. Although his work was very different, he is a constant source of inspiration.
What is on your I-Pod and what are you reading right now?
I am currently reading “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. This was recommended to me by a startup called Lift, which was founded by the people behind Twitter. I am a fan of management strategy books in general. As for music, I have a Spotify premium account which gives me access to a large range of music. I leave the song choices of the office playlist to my teammates with better musical taste!
Working with Moon Consulting
I have worked with Moon Consulting on several of their events, including being keynote speaker for their last Board 2020 Conference. They are very well connected, which is proven by the high level of speakers and delegates that they attract. Moon Consulting are very professional and the team are genuinely good people.