Glasgow Publicity Club Looking to Reinvent Itself

The long-term survival of a Glasgow-based marketing and communications network rests on its ability to reinvent itself, the organisation’s head has told allmediascotland.

Alan Kelly, president of the long-established Publicity Club of Glasgow these last three years has said a “new formula” is needed if the club is to remain relevant to the industry it set out to serve.

The club, which dates back to the 1920s, is run by a committee of volunteers who together plan a programme of events designed to raise money for charity and ensure networking opportunities amongst the various disciplines in the publicity industry in Glasgow.

A former managing director of advertising and marketing outfit, Barkers Scotland, Kelly insisted the not-for-profit organisation is “still alive and kicking”, albeit acknowledging that the days of 600 people turning out for a single club event are gone.

Speaking of the challenges facing the club, Kelly said: “We will not attract that number of people to an event because the industry has shrunk to such a degree that really what we want to do is tailor the events that we run to meet the demand that is out there.

“The industry we’re in… is very much a changing scene and has changed quicker now than it probably has done in its history. For us to keep pace with that we need to go out and do some research and find out the answers to a lot of questions that we’re putting together just now to determine exactly where the club goes from now on in.”

Kelly expressed hopes that the findings of research work, due to be carried out later this year, would shed light on what role the organisation might play in future.

He added: “The Publicity Club has had a very prominent role to play within our advertising and marketing industry through the years, albeit at the moment it’s not as significant as it used to be. But that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t rescue it and get it back on the road again because this is a very cyclical market and it’s going to come back again.”

Meanwhile, the club is on the lookout for old memorabilia with a view to holding an exhibition to celebrate its 85th anniversary next year. Golf trophies, old photographs and posters of events, and a wooden lecturn previously used at monthly meetings are just a few of the articles they are asking anyone who has ever been involved in the club to hand in.