If someone asked you who the UK’s biggest PR agency was, you’d probably think of some soulless corporate giant, likely owned by the yanks, and then punch them in the face.
But the real answer is actually fascinating. Well, kind of. OK, probably not at all but you’re here now, so there.
It’s not some fancy City-based PR outfit run by besuited spivs who couldn’t cut it in journalism. Au contraire, Blackadder.
It’s actually a middle-aged beardy with a drink problem and countless demons, who works predominantly in bed, in his pants. Somewhere in Bath.
Dominic Hiatt, who used to be a journalist, and who used to work in normal PR, had an epiphany during the first lockdown in April 2020. He thought:
F**k it. All my life I’ve been trying to up my day rate, so now I’m going to give it all away for free. Seems like the sensible thing to do.
“Completely irrational”, “commercial suicide”, “up your meds, fruitcake” and “tosser” were just some of the lines thrown at him by his bewildered colleagues.
Blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas)
But on the plane of pataphysics where Hiatt spends most of his time, it ticked all the boxes and felt like the right thing to do.
That and the fact he wanted to give the conventional PR world the bird, as it’s full blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas).
And so, dear reader, the idea for Newspage, the UK’s first free PR platform, was born.
Newspage reached the grand old age of two a week or so back and Hiatt, with a bit of help from some tech geeza he has never met in Prague and a disillusioned banker in Finland, has managed, quite incredulously, to land himself several thousand clients, the vast majority of whom pay him sweet FA.
But he doesn’t care.
All that matters is Newspage, the UK’s biggest PR agency with thousands of clients, is run by one bloke, in his pants, in Bath (OK, technically they’re not clients, they’re users, but you can overlook that bit).
And by the dog, Socrates, what magic he works.
Each day, Hiatt’s ‘Newspagers’ rip their way through the media like that scene from The Return of The King when those dead dudes hop off the boat and have at it with the orcs and stuff.
And they love it. So much so that one, Lewis Shaw, has described Newspage as the “Ford Escort Cabriolet of PR“. If you’re under 40, Google it.
Il faut imaginer Sisyphus heureux
With each piece of media coverage that he secures for someone who would never be able to afford a PR agency, Hiatt’s day is made.
He’s generated well over 100,000 pieces of media coverage for Newspagers to date, and with each piece, the demons in Hiatt’s head subside for a few magical moments.
Like a whisky-addled Sisyphus on all manner of prescription meds, he is happy.
But more importantly, so are his users.