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Luke Thompson: “We often compete against big, well-established companies – and we usually come out on top”

In our latest company interview, we sat down with our Head of Client Services, Luke Thompson, to discuss the agency’s core values, our commitment to clients, and why the work we do sets us apart from the rest.

Luke Thompson sitting at a desk working

In our latest company interview, we sat down with our Head of Client Services, Luke Thompson, to discuss the agency’s core values, our commitment to clients, and why the work we do sets us apart from the rest.

Biggest differentiator from other agencies?

Luke: We are a specialist communications agency servicing a small corner of the market – successful, high-profile, and high-net-worth individuals and families. Most reputation agencies will typically service the whole market, everyone from listed companies to universities and charities. We don’t – we are specialist and focussed on our core market. It does mean we end up declining work if we don’t feel it’s a fit for us, which is a weird concept in the PR industry.

Does that mean you offer different services to most agencies?

Luke: Yes, for a start, our menu of services is much broader. We are a full-service communications and reputation advisory agency with over 20 different services on the website. We are completely purpose-built to service private clients, individuals, and families – and that is reflected in our offering. For example, we support clients with succession planning, advising them on that process from a communication and media perspective.

I would say we operate more like a law firm or a management consultancy than your typical PR agency – a lot of our services are advisory. A client might come to us with a unique problem or objective – and we will provide sophisticated, strategic communications and reputation advice in response.

What do you think your competitive edge is?

Luke: Ultimately, we understand the communications and PR needs of individuals and families better than anyone else in the market. That might sound quite bullish, but I am emphatic about this because every element of the business has been built around that mission. I have always felt if we lost that purpose or outlook, we’ll end up tripping ourselves up. We know who we are as a business.

What is a good service?

Luke: Our goal, purpose and North Star in the client services team is to provide a world-leading, best-in-class service to clients. That is what unites us, and it’s my job to make sure we never lose sight of that. I am not satisfied with providing a good service – I want to provide an exceptional service that goes above and beyond a client’s expectations.

An exceptional service means putting the client at the very centre of everything you do. It means transparency, giving impeccable and honest advice, attentiveness, and reliable execution. It’s about getting to know the client intimately, too – going to extra lengths to build a relationship with them, finding out their ambitions and motivations and becoming completely immersed in their worlds. On top of that, it is about delivering products, services and strategies that are process-driven and tried-and-tested.

I genuinely believe we are raising the bar and setting the gold standard across the industry in PR services.

How have you taken steps internally for the team to deliver a good service?

Luke: This all starts with culture, and we have built a strong client-centric culture within the team. Everything we do is grounded around providing clients with the best possible service. Yes, you can constantly improve your processes – which we do – but ultimately building and strengthening that shared purpose collectively across the business is vital. 

I’m determined never to lose that even as we grow with more clients and team members. It means we can deliver that world-leading service on a much larger scale.

But what do you think makes a good service to a client?

Luke: Ultimately, it’s about trust. Clients want a trusted, long-term partner and adviser – in the good times and the bad times. They do not want to be a number on a database – one of hundreds of clients. Our clients will already be given a personal, quality service by their accountants, bankers, and other advisers – we provide that level of service for PR and communications.

We blend the high-quality, high-touch personal service families expect from a private bank with up-to-date, modern communications techniques. We are available 24/7 to provide clients will strategic, evidence-led communications advice.

What are you doing differently to other agencies?

Luke: One of our key strengths is we are completely evidence-led. We commission a new piece of public polling every month on a wide range of issues affecting the high-net-worth community. I think so much of PR is often about making recommendations based on judgement and experience. 

Being evidence-led enables us to provide clients with well-rounded strategic communications advice that is grounded in empirical, proprietary research and evidence. No other agency I know does this and our client base has exclusive access to this monthly research.

We are completely purpose-built to meet the unique needs of successful individuals and their businesses. Every fibre of our business is built to service private clients – from our tried and tested processes through to our flexible pricing model. It means we can understand our clients’ needs, expectations, and requirements better than anyone else in the market.

What do you think will drive the growth of the agency?

Luke: Building brand loyalty. Our clients view us as their long-term trusted communications partner. By building trust and delivering value for them, we ensure we are on speed dial for when they require any kind of communications support. 

I want them to view us as the best in the business, reliable, innovative, and someone who understands their needs and requirements better than anyone else in the business – and not just today, but in 10, 20, 30 years. I am proud that we have never lost a client.

How do you monitor client satisfaction?

Luke: Monitoring this anecdotally is not enough for us. Being client focussed means listening to what clients think – good, bad and ugly. We have started to issue all of our clients with quarterly satisfaction surveys to track how we’re performing and formally capture feedback. We are then able to monitor performance and satisfaction over the long term. 

This is essential for continually providing a top-class service for any business.

What are you most proud of within the team?

Luke: For me, it’s that we bat well above our average as a small, but growing, business. We are competing against some big, well-established companies – and we often come out on top. 

Our portfolio of clients is seriously impressive and includes highly successful, high-profile businesspeople, investors, family offices and much more, and I think that speaks for itself.

About Transmission Private

Transmission Private is a full-service communications agency, known for advising many of the world’s most successful individuals on their reputations. As a firm, we are recognised globally for our unrivalled strength in communications, stakeholder management, digital profile, and advisory support. Headquartered in London, its client list includes members of the Forbes Billionaire's List and The Sunday Times Rich List, as well as leading family offices and family businesses.

Transmission Private publishes a monthly newsletter that tracks the future of reputation management for private clients.

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Transmission Private publishes a monthly newsletter that tracks the future of reputation management for private clients.