Sign in/sign up

Journalist Serkan Ozturk launches affordable agency PR For The People

By Briana Healey in Marcoms News on
Entrepreneurial journalist Serkan Ozturk has struck out independently within the public relations sector this month, styling himself as a ‘Robin Hood’ at the helm of his own ethical communications agency, PR For The People.
 
PR For The People positions itself at the lower end of the market, offering low-cost options to individuals, artists, start-ups, small businesses and independent projects, who cannot afford the fees charged by larger consultancies.
 
Clients can enjoy a full roster of services including media relations, press releases, features writing, social media management, photography and videography, as well as conflict mediation, LGBTI representation and cross-cultural communications.
 
Ozturk has launched the agency in response to what he views as the turning tide of journalism, after five years of working as a senior writer and editor at a host of publications including  Australian Doctor, the Star Observer, the Sydney Morning Herald and Crikey.
 
“I particularly want to provide low-cost solutions to people who may have never thought about professional PR services before,” Ozturk told Influencing.
 
“Rather than ordinary people and groups trying to get one or two journalists to listen to their story and not getting anywhere, I want them to come to me, and I will help them craft their story and target it to the people who matter and are most likely to listen,” he said.
 
On top of his writing career, Ozturk is also well known for a clash with 2GB shock jock Chris Smith, which occurred whilst working at Media Monitors alongside former colleague Brett Balinski in 2008.
 
The pair sent Smith a series of lurid and false emails that Smith repeated on-air to listeners,  without fact-checking its contents or the identity of senders.
 
The mischief, or ‘threats’ as Smith characterised them, resulted in police intervention and the termination of employment at Media Monitors.
 
“It was definitely a high-pressured, high-stakes situation! I knew at the time if I could deal with that kind of stress in the media that it would hold me in good stead in the long term,” Serkan reflected.
 
Initially, the conversy prevented Ozturk from “gaining any meaningful employment for about 12 months”. However, he said that changed when Smith later received negative coverage over workplace issues at 2GB, and it’s an experience that he believes that he is the better for having been through.
 
“I knew that I had the abilities to turn what many would perceive to be a negative experience into something that I have essentially built my career on.”
 
Ozturk said the recent exodus of 120 staff writers at Fairfax Media was another nail in the coffin for anyone holding dreams of having a fulfilling writing career in Australia, and was a key factor behind his diversified offering.
 
“A realisation came to me six months ago that it was going to become increasingly difficult to continue a career as a journalist, even in the short term,” he said.
 
“As the population of working journalists shrink, so does the pressure increase on the remaining few to not rock the boat politically or to do too many investigations. With so few advertisers left, everyone is looking over their shoulder and most are highly stressed and it’s simply not a great place as an industry at the moment,” he added.
 
Ozturk said some publishers and owners of major media titles are doing their best to change journalism from a craft into something more akin to glorified marketing.
 
“Journalists don’t have the resources as they are not being provided with them. It’s also for that reason a lot of good journalistic work is being produced by freelancers these days but ironically those freelancers almost always never earn a fair rate,” he said.
 
“And with less journalists being employed by major media companies, those same companies will now be relying on freelance labour and more and more, and also ‘help’ from PR outfits. I really feel that with digital technological capabilities expanding and literacy rates rising that in the near future everyone will essentially be a journalist. My newly formed consultancy is the first step in the direction of what is coming.”
 
PR For The People secured its foundation client this month, a health researcher seeking to commence private practice. Amongst other things, Ozturk has been charged with building their profile amongst the wider community and advocating on their behalf for the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.
 
“It has been a dream first job as it aligns with the values I would like the consultancy to pursue. We don’t just talk about diversity, we advocate and fight for it. In coming weeks, we will be helping line up speaking engagements and media appearances for our client with a goal of getting our client a regular “talking head” role on radio or television,” he said.
 
“I won’t be looking for shiny people or products to make more shiny. I want real people and ideas and a degree of authenticity. If you’re looking for something different or to get your issues out to a diverse and switched on audience, do get in touch.”
 
To contact Serkan, drop a line to hello@prforpeoples.com, call 0415 360 311 or head to http://prforpeoples.com.

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory


Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Marcoms News

RED Havas earns KitKat and Allen’s account

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

RED Havas is now the official PR agency of record for chocolate brand KitKat (pictured) and Allen’s.

The new deal covers storytelling-based PR, influencer, and brand experience duties, including new product launches for 2020. RED Havas’ remit for Allen’s will also include campaigns to attract more sweets enthusiasts to one of Australia’s iconic chocolates.

RED Havas was one of several agencies that joined Nestle Australia’s pitch. Incumbent PR agency of record History Will Be Kind opted to move on from the account after several years.   

“Nestlé Confectionery is home to some of Australia’s most well-loved brands so we’re excited to partner up and increase the impact both Kit Kat and Allen’s have on today’s popular culture. We believe the Holy Grail is to be a meaningful brand and that data-driven insights and creativity lie at the heart of achieving that mission. Watch this space for some uniquely shar

Horizon earns more sustainability duties

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Some of the Horizon Communications Group’s existing clients have tapped it for work on the sustainability front while landing a new one along the way.

On the current clients front, Horizon was assigned by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to build and execute a new behaviour change communication strategy for the Australasian Recycling Label and a new communication strategy for the ANZPAC Plastic Pact.

Designed for launching in late 2020, the Pact is a five-year accord between Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific island-nations to eliminate single-use plastics and to develop new standards for sustainable plastic materials.

For Planet Ark, Horizon will handle its national campaigns for the third-straight year, such as the National Tree Day and National Recycling Week.

Horizon will also continue communication duties for the NSW Environmental Protection Agency’s Love Food Hate Waste initiative. 

The new client duties come off the heels of Horizon winning t

Gloster stands down

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Sunita Gloster has exited the WPP organisation as its chief customer officer. 

She joined the company in January 2019, having spent a year at PwC Australia. No successors have been appointed.

WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Moonsees said Gloster’s exit was a mutual decision.

“On behalf of everyone at WPP AUNZ, we thank Sunita for her contribution and wish her the very best for the future,” Moonsees said.

Edelman earns Mars Australia PR account

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

PR agency Edelman Australia has won the account for Mars Australia.

The new deal will cover services such as reputation and crisis management, content marketing, creative development and production, and corporate communications.

“This new alliance combines the full range of Edelman Australia’s integrated communication services, and is the perfect synergy with both partners independent family owned companies, who are able to use their freedom to invest in the long term future of their people, businesses and the communities in which they operate,” read an official statement from Mars Australia.

Brown joins VMLY&R Melbourne strategy team

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

VMLY&R’s Melbourne office has enlisted former McCann employee Dan Brown into the brand strategy department, as a senior strategist.

He will be in charge of brand strategy for lead client Defence Force Recruiting and clients such as AusPost, the Department of Transport, and Vocus.

“As soon as you speak to the team here you can sense that they’re onto a good thing. They’re also bloody lovely too. I’m thrilled to be joining a diverse and incredibly talented team, and can’t wait to get stuck into the business end of things,” said Brown.

Brown’s entry firms up a year-long effort to build up VMLY&R’s strategy service. Ken Chan is already in as strategy director, complemented by senior digital strategist Josh Swingler, business analyst Amy Dromgoole, data analyst Anup Bale, and strategist Lauren Isaak.

OPR adds new executives

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

WPP AUNZ agency opr has promoted some employees to executive posts, effective this week. 

opr/Howorth group managing director Graham White is now opr’s first-ever COO. The move comes as he is marking 20 years with opr next month and 15 years with Howorth.

opr’s chief growth officer Jacquie Potter is now double-hatted as Howorth’s new managing director. She has logged almost 14 years with both agencies, even leading opr’s Melbourne operations for two years. 

Samantha Gale also joined opr as the new assistant managing director, based in Melbourne. She will be assigned to handle healthcare clients, with healthcare managing partner Rachel Stanton as her immediate superior. Gale previously held account manager/director jobs at Edelman Australia, Weber Shandwick, and Cox Inall Change.

“Key to opr’s growth is having the best people so that we can continue to expand our fully integrated marketing communications capabilities and ensure our clien

Four Pillars taps new marketing director

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Four Pillars distillery has hired Jemma Blanch as its first-ever marketing, events, and activation director. 

Reporting to co-founders Stuart Gregor and Matt Jones, she will be in charge of promotion efforts for Four Pillars in Australia and 25 countries. 

Blanch came in from Sydney lifestyle comms agency Liquid Ideas, where she signed up in 2011 as senior account executive and finished in early 2019 as client/culture director. 

“We are thrilled to have Jemma join the team, she is one of the most impressive talents we have seen come through the ranks of Liquid Ideas, she is a passionate believer in advocacy and creative marketing and a true lover of Four Pillars – she is the only person in history to have their wedding at the distillery,” read a Four Pillars statement.

Follow Blanch on LinkedIn.

More News latest

McLean takes on Ticker TV anchor gig
Ex-RED FM jockey Alana McLean goes before the cameras.

News Corp Australia community papers out of print
News Corp Australia is holding off community paper production.

5 Minutes with Julia Talevski
ARN's Julia Talevski drops in for a "5 minutes with".

Cassidy returning to ABC
Barrie Cassidy is working ABC’s One Plus One.

Will and Mel joins FIVEaa drive sports show
Will Goodings and Mel Usher are ready to rumble at FIVEaa’s drive sports show. ... Show more