Alan Edwards (publicist)

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Alan Edwards
Born
Alan Edwards

1955
ResidenceLondon, England
OccupationPublicist
Websitewww.outside-org.co.uk

Alan Edwards (born 1955) is an English publicist and CEO of the London PR company, The Outside Organisation. Over the last 40 years, Edwards has worked with many clients in entertainment, from The Rolling Stones to The Spice Girls,[1] Amy Winehouse, Shakira, P Diddy, Prince (musician), Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Usher, Paul McCartney and The Beckhams[2]

In 1996, Edwards founded The Outside Organisation,[3] which was recently named the number 1 entertainment PR Company in the UK by PR Week magazine (2014)[4] Their current clients include David Bowie, The Who, The SSE Arena, Wembley Stadium, Bon Jovi and Led Zeppelin, amongst many others.[5]

Early life[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

Alan was born in 1955 in South London and brought up in Sussex. Early on, his main interests were football and music and by the time he was 13, Edwards was started reading music magazines and sending in reviews.[6] He attended Worthing High School in Sussex and left aged 15, taking numerous jobs and going on to travel through Asia.

Career[edit | hide | edit source]

1970s and 1980s[edit | hide | edit source]

At 17, Alan began working as a freelance reviewer for music papers including Sounds and Record Mirror.[7] After former NME editor Keith Altham offered him a job at his publicity firm, Edwards broke into entertainment PR working on music group The Who[8]

After three years, Altham allowed Edwards to create a sub-division with a roster of his own clients using Alan's contacts in the punk scene. Among his clients were The Stranglers, The Buzzcocks. The Damned (band) and Blondie (band). In 1981, Alan met the Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger, in New York City[9] and went on to represent the band for the next nine years. He formed the company (Modern Publicity), which traded for more than a decade and picked up global clients, including the Stones and David Bowie. He also spent a year in 1988 working for American corporate PR firm Rogers & Cowan.

Following his return to the UK, he added Duran Duran and Bryan Ferry to his roster. Alan also worked with Prince and represented him again in 2007 when Prince completed his 21 nights at The O2 Arena[10] The company grew in the eighties adding artists such as UB40, Robert Palmer (singer), INXS and The Cure to the roster.

1990s and 2000s[edit | hide | edit source]

In 1990, Edwards formed Poole Edwards,[11] which evolved into one of the first online PR companies, Outside Line. In 1997, Edwards began representing the Spice Girls, which led to further pop clients including Atomic Kitten, Boyzone, Westlife, All Saints (group) and Leona Lewis.[12]

Crisis Management[edit | hide | edit source]

The Outside Organisation worked with the courts both in the UK and abroad in Naomi Campbell’s appearance at the Hague War Crimes trial of Blood Diamond suspect Charles Taylor (Liberian politician).[13]

Awards[edit | hide | edit source]

Edwards won a Music Week Award for best PR campaign for The Rolling Stones and David Bowie and PR of the Year for Record of the Day.[14] The Evening Standard has named Edwards one of London’s Most Influential People.[15] In 2014 Edwards, along with his company The Outside Organisation, was named the number 1 entertainment PR in the UK by PR Week magazine.[16]

Corporate PR[edit | hide | edit source]

Edwards has consulted for government committees and has worked with numerous businesses and corporations. He worked on the Channel 5 (UK) sale by Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell, the Guy Hands/EMI takeover and the sale of Chrysalis Records to BMG. He also works with AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group), the owners of SSE Arena, Wembley and The O2.[17]

Exhibitions[edit | hide | edit source]

In April 2015, Edwards will conduct a live event at the V&A on the role of PR within fashion, culture, media, entertainment, sports and politics over the last 40 years, using selected photographs, press cuttings and diary entries from his own archives. Guest speakers include Dylan Jones, Editor of GQ magazine, music photographer Dennis Morris, Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, Timothy Bell, Alastair Campbell and Bob Geldof.[18]

Personal life[edit | hide | edit source]

Edwards lives in Belsize Park in London. He has two daughters, Josey and Ruby, and two step daughters, Bryony and Lola, plus several grandchildren. He is an avid Arsenal FC supporter.[19]