5 Questions for Peter McKay and Rachel Maund [INTERVIEW]
The Publishing Training Centre and Marketability are working together to promote training.
Preliminary step towards takeover? Absolutely not, says the PTC’s Peter McKay and Marketability’s Rachel Maund, who are cheerfully adamant that recent announcement is a pragmatic response to falling training budgets and recognition that it makes more sense to collaborate than it does to compete. Lottie Chase, Marketing Executive interviews the two about the new partnership.
1) So if ‘collaborate’ isn’t a euphemism, what does it mean?
Peter: The professional and business skills needed to run a successful publishing concern have evolved over time, and recently the pace of change has speeded up. From my point of view, the way that the PTC and Marketability have evolved means that our services are fundamentally complementary. Finding ways of working together makes sense for our clients as well as ourselves.
Rachel: I agree. My relationship with the PTC has always been warm; after all I’ve been a PTC tutor for over 20 years! We already refer enquirers to the PTC when we know they have a course that meets their needs where we don’t, and all our new partnership really does is formalise that.
2) You’re both career-long marketing professionals. What makes you think that this cross-promotion is a good idea?
Rachel: With our reputation for marketing training, and PTC’s for editorial training, some form of collaboration just makes sense. When Peter and I looked at what we offered between us we realised there was surprisingly little overlap, and where we do compete we’re mature enough to let potential delegates decide for themselves.
Peter: Since the impact of the recession from 2009 onwards, there has been an overall reduction in the number of people working in publishing in the UK and many companies have drastically reduced what they spend on external training services. In this environment we have to work harder and smarter to get the message across.
3) How will Marketability’s courses slot into the PTC’s portfolio?
Peter: Well at one level they don’t have to “slot into” anything. Marketability is independent and in charge of its own destiny. The PTC is happy to collaborate with Marketability because of its known high standards and reputation.
Rachel: And for that matter we won’t be slotting the PTC’s courses into our portfolio, either! This is a two-way arrangement, so expect to see both companies promoting each other’s courses on a regular basis in future.
4) Why do you think training and professional development is so valuable to publishers?
Rachel: It’s never been so valuable as it is at the moment, with many staff doing bigger jobs than ever before now that companies are so lean. The current economic climate makes everyone feel vulnerable, and attending a training course is both a vote of confidence in the employee and a fantastic way for them to realise that their challenges are shared with others. One of our most frequent comments from delegates (and the one we like getting the most!) is that they’re raring to get back to the office and put their new skills, ideas and confidence to work.
Peter: Having skilled and motivated employees drives business performance. Survey after survey has shown that enabling employees by giving them the chance to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to do their current job and develop is a powerful motivator.
5) How will this new relationship change the way delegates book their courses?
Peter: Nothing changes, when a potential delegate for a Marketability course discovers the course through PTCs marketing they will be directed to the Marketability booking process.
Rachel: Exactly. The only practical difference for participants will be the venue for the three editorial courses. And our marketing workshops are completely unaffected except, we hope, for the occasional plug by PTC!
For more information of the PTC and Marketability’s cross-promotion please head over to the PTC’s website www.train4publishing.co.uk.