Hey, you’ll never guess what happened to me last week.
You’ll love this. You know my 200cc Vespa Granturismo scooter?
Well, there I was stripping down the engine, and after I’d removed the actuator arm with holding spring, I noticed that the little brass bearings had very few cuts or pit marks (other than the oil gap cut through the middle). Fantastic, eh?
At this point, I must face up to the fact that this news is not making you jump up and down with joy. Possibly because you’re not a regular reader of ‘Scooter Engine Stripdown Monthly’. (If you do get that magazine you’ll possibly be wanting to know if the breather was clogged when I unscrewed the clutch cover. You may be tempted to invite me to your ‘Scooter Nerds’ Facebook group. And if I told you that I was organising a Vespa Bores’ Jamboree later in the year, you’d probably be asking ‘where do I sign?’) You know all the rest, and sorry if I’ve laboured the point a bit. But it’s a good PR parable.
It’s fine to decide you need PR services, but you must see these as a joined-up part of all the marketing tactics and strategies. What kind of value can companies expect when paying for PR? There can be a tendency to see PR in fairly narrow terms as just the sending out and monitoring of press releases. A more holistic approach sees PR as an integral part of a joined-up approach to marketing. We often hear the term ‘marketing mix’ but even that implies that all the elements combine to form some kind of amorphous mass. Which isn’t in my view, what it is all about. All the elements need to work together.
That means viewing marketing, social media, traditional marketing – in a holistic context. It’s a bit like all the elements talking to each other. No stories? Look to your team, or think about outsourcing to a trusted copywriter/ Clients want to know you’re paying for a great deal more than the regular sending out and monitoring of press releases.
It’s all about the old features benefits thing, where features are the things we do for you, and benefits are the end result. The thing is, you’re not going to get to those end results unless you have stories that are of value. How do you define the value of a story? Not as a strict monetary value, but more whether it has traction. Do you have a story of value? Ask me and I will tell you. Where are you looking to get your stories? Regularly in your targeted trade press, and further afield. To that extent it is an ongoing task for your PR consultant. They must look beyond the carrying out of set tasks and move to a different way of doing things, encompassing all your marketing. That means getting all the basic blocks in place.
- Are all your social media profiles built and established?
- Is your branding done, and does it reflect what and how the the company does?
- How are you reaching out to existing clients and staying in touch with them?
- Are you talking to them often, and how professional do you come across?
- Are you reaching out to key influencers, people who will help to create the stories your brand needs.
- Is your MD or other key person identified as a thought leader in their industry.
- Are you helping with their blogs and other media appearances, providing the requisite media training to do the job adequately?
- Are you prepared to stand your ground when you need to?
- Do you respect and want your PR company to stand up to you and argue their ground when they are within their own area of expertise?
- What kind of personal relationships are you building? How much regular contact are you maintaining? ‘What’s news?
So take some time to go through this checklist. And, if you need to, go on to No.11. Which is of course, to call Best Words. I guess you saw that coming. And on the offchance that you are actually a Vespa nut, you might want to buy a scooter from me too.