Difficult times calls for new measures
Cutting back on overheads and staff numbers is a common occurrence in the North-east at the moment, with many firms operating at the bare minimum and employees’ skillsets being stretched across a variety of different duties and responsibilities.
What we have witnessed time and time again is the lack of resource in a company’s marketing department when times are tough. We have even witnessed firms asking admin staff, who have no PR or marketing experience, to update their social media pages or manage their PR and marketing activity.
However, if there is one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on in this competitive climate, it’s your marketing budget; how do you expect customers to engage with you if you are not making the effort to communicate with them? And is your company reputation worth so little that you wouldn’t invest in a professional to manage it?
There may not necessarily be a budget to employ a full time marketing or PR manager on an annual salary, yet it is worth exploring other options for the sake of your brand’s reputation and growth.
We have seen a number of our clients looking for more internal support to help with their communications activity. This flexible in-house consultancy basis allows us to essentially become the client’s own internal marketing and PR Pro, providing them with an in-house resource without the large cost in these difficult times.
Whether this is for a few days a month, or a couple of times a week, different clients have different requirements and this is why it has to be a flexible approach, where we can use the time effectively to soak up all the information needed to carry out a campaign or pick up on news stories worth communicating externally to key stakeholders.
The proof is in the pudding
Early last year, one of our account managers covered maternity leave for a client’s marketing manager a couple of days a week. A logical decision made by the client, who wasn’t looking to employ someone on a fixed term to fill this role. Having managed the PR for this client for some time, our account manager was also already equipped with the background knowledge of the company to carry out the job effectively, which meant less training was required, thus saving the client time and money.
The partnership was mutually beneficial, as the client now had a competent marketer and PR Pro working internally for them, whilst we were learning more and more about the client, resulting in more effective campaign planning.
Benefits from this in-house approach include:
- Insight – having a PR Pro working for you internally allows them to soak up all the information, business chatter and projects taking place in order to suggest the best marketing/PR approach to take, or which news stories to push out externally – things that may often be missed otherwise.
- Budget – working in-house allows us to gain a better understanding of the client’s quarter/annual marketing budget, any planned up-coming business developments or projects, and how PR can complement these.
- Empathy – Gaining an internal perspective enables us to empathise with certain aspects of the client’s/marketing manager’s role, such as any pressures they face internally or with the board, as well as the steps they have to take for the approval process, enabling us to work to deadlines more efficiently.
- Planning – This inside knowledge helps to plan PR & marketing campaigns better, by knowing the ins and outs of the client’s upcoming projects, who they are in talks with for potential business, the sectors they are focussing on and their overarching strategy for the year ahead.
- Accurate judgements – Having a bird’s eye view of the long-term strategy allows us to make accurate decisions in terms of using the correct promotional tactics to promote a product/service or enhance the brand. Whether this is using online platforms such as social media to create a targeted approach, or hosting an event to speak to an exclusive audience, we can advise, plan, implement and measure the campaign idea from start to finish.
- Social media – The planning, creation, management and distribution of social media content is a standard service we offer as a communications agency, however we have come to notice that this works a lot more effectively when the social media manager is operating in the client’s environment. Working internally means that we can talk to various members of staff to pick up on potential stories and take photos of people and things to use as part of a social media content strategy, without missing a beat.
If you would like to find out more about our in-house consultancy services and how we can assist you with your PR and marketing activity, we would love to hear from you!
Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01224 857999 to find out how you can use our expertise to enhance your brand’s reputation and help make you stand out from the crowd.