While the last few years have witnessed new opportunities and tools to advance media and client engagement, the period also has been marked by tumultuous economic conditions. During that time, many PR agencies, especially small- and medium-sized firms, have struggled to maintain clients, and attract new ones.
With strong signs of a pick-up in business activity, the climate now is right for PR professionals to develop strategies and tactics that can help them bring in new clients as well as hold on to current accounts.
The following are tips that owner-practitioners can use to boost their chances of profiting from the economic upturn.
1. Think locally. Local business can provide a source of clients both in terms of the PR and marketing services the businesses may need and the networking opportunities they can provide. They may also offer the chance for cost-effective advertising for you or your current clients, such as the potential to rent prime window space for campaigns and promotions.
2. Invest in the right tools. Widgets (small, stand-alone applications you install within a webpage, blog, desktop, etc) can enhance your efforts and help automate much of the marketing and sales process for you. By investing in widgets for email marketing, blogging, idea generation and other online marketing endeavors, you should be able to improve efficiencies. This automation will help free up time, so you can focus on prospect and client relations.
3. Go mobile. Smartphones, tablet computers, and mobile applications have practical uses for PR owner-practitioners. These devices can help you manage client and prospect relations both remotely and in-house, since they place the technology right at your fingertips nearly all the time. Mobile applications provide various capabilities conducive to next-generation marketing and PR.
4. Enhance employee engagement. PR, perhaps more than many other fields, is susceptible to fluctuations in work cycles, wherein agencies bounce between overloading and underutilizing the in-house communications teams. This constant shifting in work flow wreaks havoc with employee morale and retention, which in turn can seriously compromise an agency’s profitability and future. In fact, studies have shown significant links between employee tenure and client satisfaction and retention. Tracey Bochner of Paradigm Public Relations shares some insights into employee retention and agency growth in this video interview with BurrellesLuce‘s Johna Burke at PRSA’s Counselors Academy.
5. Make goals measureable. Smart goals are ones that are specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely. To ensure that you’ve expended your efforts most profitably, you need to be able to measure your goals and demonstrate how your efforts translate back to your business and key objectives. By making your measurement a priority you are better able to counsel your own clients on its importance.
6. Look to the winners. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to be creative in your PR activities. Look to current campaigns or materials that can be repurposed for new audiences, outlets, and verticals. And search beyond your own company’s experience so that you’re timely with your own initiatives and aware of other successful campaigns.
Networking is one of your most important tools as a communications professional. With the proper thought and effort, PR owner-practitioners can capitalize on a strengthening economy by forging bonds with prospects, clients, vendors, and employees — and utilizing digital tools that help them meet the objectives of core constituents.
Taking control of every stage of your media planning, monitoring, and reporting needs is simple and effective with BurrellesLuce. Our comprehensive suite of affordable services is fully integrated in one convenient and easy-to-use portal, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™ . Incorporate and review your traditional print, broadcast, online and social media results in one report. Research and engage journalists and bloggers, and intelligently plan future campaigns. Build and manage social media communities. WorkFlow gives you everything you need to start organizing and managing your media relations and public relations results.