15 things to consider when choosing new office space

Stopping off in Boston for 24 hours, helping to choose new office space. Here are the things to consider when selecting a new location for your PR firm:

– Size – obviously needs to accommodate growth without undue financial burden during ramp up

– Lease length – shorter means greater flexibility but lower incentive to spend on fit out

– Building type – often a trade off between good building systems and character

– Shape – PR firms need open plan space, good meeting rooms and some private offices

– Quality – balance between staff requirements and the client’s expectations (they’re paying)

– Location – near the media and analysts, not too far from clients

– Logistics – has to be easy for staff to get to, with plenty of public transport

– Surroundings – best if it’s near bars, restaurants etc where the team can socialize and entertain

– Views – they’ve all got them but what is it of?

– Safety – don’t want to run the gauntlet just getting to work

– Landlord – reputable? Helpful? Solvent?

– Competitors – close but not in the same building

– Lease – detailed without being onerous (but most are fairly onerous it has to be said)

– Timing – don’t want too much overlap and needs to be ready when you are

– Price – it all boils down to this when it comes down to it

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  • Ha! I can think of one practitioner (http://twoscenarios.typepad.com/) who revels in the military theories of Sun Tzu as applied to modern marketing (eg: keep your friends close and your enemies closer) but I am still interested in your thinking on this.
    Why does it matter if you are close to your competitors?
    And by close, do you mean within range of binoculars or just a sharp stick?

  • Well you don’t want your competitors in the same building since that could compromise confidentiality or cause confusion among clients/reporters. Walls have ears and all that.
    But I do think there is advantage to being in the same area as your competitors for recruitment purposes. Depending on the economic cycle, the constraint on a PR firm is often its ability to recruit and retain top talent. If your office is near to a large, qualified talent pool then you have plenty of potential new recruits. If you are above average at retaining those people, this is to your advantage since you will win more than you lose.
    If however you locate out in the sticks, sure you may be the best local option but your talent pool is going to be small. People might not want to change their routine or move house in order to come and work for you. It’s an objection you can easily avoid by chosing an accessible, familiar locale.
    Plus, our industry isn’t that big, so it’s kinda fun to hook up with other PR types over a beer sometimes. That’s when the sharp stick really comes in handy.