James Rix a CEO and founder of Street PR UK LTD – promotional campaigns and staffing – JJF Events LTD, Nightclub Events
Street PR’s mission:
“To raise the standards of the staffing industry through consistent training and improving our service. To make our customer service/experience teams the benchmark for the industry and to make our staff something our clients can be proud of.”
1. Is this your personal mission too or do you have your own for the company and yourself?
Wow – I think my personal mission is to go to work and enjoy myself. I think we are all at our best when we enjoy our work and I love what I do and that’s why I like doing it 80 hours a week. I love seeing my staff, clients and in StreetPR’s case, the extended promo and events teams grow with my business. I get such a buzz.
2. How did Street PR become a thing, what made you (and others) think of the idea?
It all comes back to my days as a 16-year-old in London needing a job. I started working for clubs and bars handing out leaflets. A guy called Steve offered me a job for commission, I think back then I got £1 for each person I brought to the nightclub – I earned over £100 in a night, I was hooked! It wasn’t until I was 24 that StreetPR became a proper “thing” and in the early days it was really all focused around the events and clubbing industry. Then after my year off in 2011 whilst riding my motorbike from London to Australia I decided to come back to the UK and rebuild the business to work with much bigger clients on a national basis.
3. As a director of Street PR, what is the best thing you get to do?
Work with big events and start-ups. I cannot split the two. There is nothing better than turning up to Wembley or the Emirates etc. on event days and seeing 100 + of my team making a big positive impact on people’s day. I get to think wow we are a part of this… it’s a dream come true for me. With the start-ups I think I love seeing the growth; working with other entrepreneurs to figure out how we can take their products to market and grow them nationally… again seeing people like Hello Fresh, Hassle.com, and Love Space just grow from strength to strength is a huge buzz.
4. Being based in London has allowed Street PR to be exposed all over the UK, have you ever thought about expanding overseas?
We are still working hard on a UK national presence and it’s high on my current agenda to recruit more quality staff nationally to help my clients get projects done easier on a national basis. We are currently considering offices in the midlands and in the North of Scotland. Internationally – we already work in Dublin and I’m currently talking with a number of potential partners in Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland. My aim for 5 years is to have a footprint in 5 countries.
There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about business owners using personal financing facilities to expand, and keep the business afloat, just like Street PR Businesscomparison.com was designed to help other businesses. Our role is to help business owners seek clarity when making financial decisions.
5. If you needed some form of business funding would you consider using a business comparison site?
100% yes. Its’ so important to have good cash flow and the big companies tend to be worse at paying on time. As a result, start-ups need to have a “money mind” forward planning is key – it’s not good running around trying to find money, once you know you’re going to run out it’s too late. So a comparison site that shows you everything clearly is a great idea…… Well Done!!
6. Street PR has three commitments; Integrity, Growth and Staff. What is your commitment to the company?
To always make the decisions based on the team I work with and how the outcome would affect them – I think this keeps me level, driven and sensible… ish
7. Personally what has been your favourite campaign/event?
I’m very proud of my Customer Service teams at stadiums – Wembley, Emirates, Leicester, Lord Mayors Show… in the events company I’m very proud to have run events at Ministry of Sound and Fabric.
8. Street PR has worked with many big clients, such as; Lotus and the Princes Trust. Did it surprise you landing such well-known brands?
In the early days of course. But I think in the early days it’s what keeps you fighting day and night. As clients get bigger it’s easier to forget how much you fought against the big guys for those deals. I’m very proud to say we still work with both those clients today, as well as a host of others; currently 500 companies in the UK have used StreetPR, with about 200 of those being “regular work”
9. Before Street PR was created, what did you do?
From the ages of 16 – 18 I studied Drama and Music at Urdang in Covent Garden.
Between the ages of 18 – 22 I ended up MD of a small start-up called Nightclub Information, it ended up getting sold when we had 3 shops and about 20 staff – we sold tickets to nightclubs in central London.
When I reached the ages of 23 – 28 I founded Wicked Student Nights and StreetPR – Very event and club focused.
At the age of 28 I rode a motorcycle from London to Australia – it took 11 months and we rode in over 30 countries.
And at the age of 29, I became an Owner/CEO of StreetPR UK LTD, Owner of JJF Events LTD.
10. What are your plans for the future?
Work with more and more technology in the experiential marketing sector to improve conversion and engagement for client brands. Work on our national reach and open offices in Europe and beyond. Build up StreetPR’s Social Media Division “Bluesocial” which has already won business with Land Rover, Easy Hotels and BMW. Furthermore, to work on a student-specific marketing plan for companies wishing to target students. In the events company, the plan is to expand our corporate, student and boat party brands further around the UK.
11. After looking at your interests, we can see that you’re a huge risk taker (or should we say ‘Rix’ taker?!) Do a lot of these adventures happen within the company?
Rix taker – I like that. There is definitely a sense of adventure within my team. I’m very lucky to have a great team and sometimes it’s important to take risks, but also whilst trying to protect that team if they go bad, and “risks” by their very nature at times tend to do so.
12. Do you think risk taking is an important skill/asset to have when running your own business?
Yes, but I would argue any idiot can be risky. It’s about management of risk. We try and plan “down the line” and protect the asset from risk wherever we can. But innovation is just risk gone well, I mean starting your own company is risky enough and normally you don’t have any money or idea what you’re doing, get past that bit and everything else is just part of the game.
To finish with James, could you please tell us five motivational tips for employees and employers?
Turn up on time – never start your day late. Starting with a negative is just the worst thing you can do.
Be honest – You’re only human, you mess stuff up – everyone does – so be honest and work as a team to fix problems.
Have fun – Okay so you can’t mess about all the time but you can enjoy yourself a lot at work, and you should – after all you spend most your life at work!
Goal set – Having goals motivates all my staff to know what we are trying to do all the time. This helps keep us all on target – even me!
Work with people you like – we all sometimes “have” to deal with someone we clash with – but as a general rule don’t work with people you really don’t like. Be it a boss, client or in our case temporary staff, I try to work with people I like and give those I don’t to a competitor to hire or work with!!