Since 2017, Redgert has been on a mission to export his uniquely Swedish communications approach worldwide, establishing offices in key cities such as Stockholm, Helsinki, London, Berlin, New York, and LA. Now, his journey brings him back to his roots, as he prepares to launch a satellite office in São Paulo, Brazil.
Beyond his PR prowess, he remains hands-on, engaging with clients and media on numerous agency endeavors. The ethos of Redgert Group revolves around being “’the entrepreneur’s best friend”, encompassing growth-focused consultancy services that extend beyond communications, and strategic investment ventures.
We caught up with Redgert to get his thoughts on the future of the communications industry.
What book, podcast or other media do you recommend to other comms pros?
My general advice for everyone within the communications industry is to read, watch and listen to media that is not industry-specific. Learning about other sectors will help you to challenge your own. Gaining a broader understanding of business in different sectors will also give you a better understanding of your clients’ needs and challenges. This is crucial in order for you to apply your communication skills in a way that creates real value for the companies that you work with.
Personally, I enjoy an entrepreneurial story, and especially the ‘old school’ ones. Walmart founder Sam Walton’s autobiography Made in America is one of my favorites – it truly captures the essence of the journey of building a company. Built to Last, Good to Great and Principles are other books that have had a real impact on how I run my business.
When it comes to podcasts, I love Guy Raz’s ‘How I Built This’. It just provides endless inspiration, as well as food for thought when considering the importance of strong communication skills in building a business.
What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for work?
Instagram. People don’t have time to read long emails anymore, so it’s easier to get to the point in a short message via a DM. And if you are writing to someone for the first time, they will get a sense of who you are instantly. I believe communication will become more personal and analog moving forward. Anyone can use AI, but not everyone can build meaningful and personal relationships.
What excites you most about the future of communications?
How financial communication and show business is slowly but surely coming together. I’ve been following Kim Kardashian’s SKKY Partners with great interest since the firm launched last year. And a touted Skims IPO would be game-changing. Were that to happen, we’d likely see it on The Kardashians and with that, suddenly millions of people, often overlooked as possible retail investors, would gain a greater understanding for the journey of taking a company public and be a lot more enticed to try their luck as retail investors themselves.
If my prediction is correct I think we’ll see more companies dare to be innovative with their financial comms, and more public figures, influencers and celebrities fronting the investor relations of the future.
What communications challenge keeps you up at night?
I think the most important challenge of our line of work is to ensure we never stop delivering real value to our clients. There are so many agencies out there that cost a lot but do very little while dragging accounts far beyond their expiry dates. I never want our company to be mistaken for one of those.
What keeps me up at night is how we can ensure that we are “not just another agency”, and that we focus on the right things in order to actually help our clients improve and grow. Losing sleep over something that we are actually really good at is perhaps not what the doctor would recommend. But I think it’s healthy, and it keeps me on my toes to ensure we continue to evolve and deliver great work every day.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career?
I don’t see many work situations as challenges, just inevitable parts of the journey and something to learn from.
To me, the biggest challenge is probably the recurring feeling of guilt stemming from trying to balance every part of life equally – work, relationships, physical and mental wellbeing, etc. Building a business, caring for your family and friends and trying to start a family is a lot to handle at times. In all honesty, I think this is a challenge I might never overcome – and I’m enjoying every part of it, so I wouldn’t want life to be any other way.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
I read a quote on Instagram the other day from Ian Schrager, the iconic entrepreneur who founded the legendary nightclub Studio 54. He said, “If I do a job in thirty minutes, it’s because I spent ten years learning how to do it in thirty minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”
I think everyone working in communications has had to defend their fee to a client at some point. The clients claim that the fee is too high compared to the amount of time you will need to put in, but it is not about the hours of the project, it is about your life’s work leading up to you being the best at what you do.
Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.