There’s no doubt financial belt-tightening has stemmed the flow of PR budgets. Companies are reluctant to spend what little revenue they do have on improving their media profile. Ironically – as I have discussed many times before – now is the time for companies to raise their profile and gain new custom.
The other difficulty facing PR companies is the increase in communication platforms. On the one hand they offer a quick, easy way of getting a message across; but on the other hand you have to work harder to choose the right communication channels for your clients.
Although many social media platforms are free to join and to use, you have to invest a lot of time into them in order to reap any reward. This brings me to my next point – managing client expectations. Clients often have unrealistic expectations of what media coverage they will get. On top of this they also have unrealistic expectations of how far their budget will stretch. Starting a new Company, introducing a new product or re-branding may all be highly significant events for any particular business – but these events are not necessarily news worthy. Even when something is news worthy, it won’t necessarily get reported because of competition with other news (for example, this weekend’s Jubilee celebration).
Whether it’s traditional or social media, you need to understand the places that your potential clients go to, to find out information. If it’s traditional media then you need to make contacts with the editors or journalists working on the top ten publications in your sector. Study their publications and come up with ideas about how they can write about you even if you don’t have any significant news. With social media, it’s important to understand how the community interacts – what are the discussion areas and how can you become part of it? Engage with potential clients and build relationships through social media interaction. You will get results by having targeted PR campaigns where your aims have been set out from the get go.