Question Your Traditional PR Firm

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Many Marketing & PR Firms have been hit hard by the economic climate as a result of their client’s budgets being slashed, some have been dropped all together and the marketing function has been taken back in-house as a cost saving exercise.

If you are one of the Marketing / PR firms that this has happened to, you must be asking the question why? If you are sensible, you will re-evaluate your strategy and change your ways to ensure it doesn’t happen with any more of your clients.

Not all firms have endless funds for outsourcing their Marketing & PR activity. The allocation of company money, is called a ‘budget’ for a reason! That said, when businesses feel the pressure and budgets get cut, it is slightly bewildering that is the marketing and promotion of the business that seems to suffer! On the other hand, cutting the expenditure on consultancy (eg: Marketing & PR firms) is the obvious choice when it is difficult to see results for your expenditure.

David Spencer of Edson Evers saysthe PR consultant must have a sound understanding of the business and perhaps even have access to some of the client’s analytics from the website – what keywords are used to find the website for instance?”

ClickThrough Search Engine Marketing say “Internet marketing spend will increase in 2010 and beyond, it has been claimed, as budgets recover and advertisers are better able to use the skills they possess.”

The old way of marketing and promoting the client such as targeting hard copy publications by sending out endless un-optimised press releases is no longer working, nor is it measurable.

PR Firms in the Web 2.0 era should be concentrating the majority of their efforts on gaining online coverage and producing serious results in search engine optimisation (SEO), driving relevant traffic to the client’s site and reaching a broader audience.

If you are the client, ask yourself:

  • What am I paying for?
  • What results am I getting for my money?
  • Does any of the PR activity drive traffic to my website?
  • What does my PR Firm do to improve where I am found on the search engines?
  • Is my web traffic increasing as a result of the work done by my PR Firm?
  • Are the results worth the expenditure?
  • Has my agency asked for access to my analytics
  • What is the ‘call to action’ on the PR communications sent out (Is it to visit my website? Is it to specific landing pages on my site?)

If your PR Firm isn’t trying to get you coverage online or drive traffic to your website, what exactly are they doing that you can’t do yourself?

If you are the PR Firm, you should be maximising coverage for minimal effort. Put it this way, you have already written the press release and sent it to editors and journalists, why not include optimised links back to your client’s website. Publishing optimised press releases in relevant industry news portals with press release distribution facility will:

  • Help with the client’s search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy
  • Reach a broader audience  – relevant news portals are not only viewed by editors and journalists but potential customers also
  • Allow the reader of your client’s news to instantly visit their website, thus giving you the chance to prove your worth and demonstrate that your PR efforts are working – they only have to check their web stats to find that out!

If you are a reputable PR Firm, driving traffic to your client’s website should be a fundamental part of the service you offer. You can then prove to the client begin tracking and monitoring your campaigns and prove that your marketing & PR activity is working and is worth paying for.

For more information about press release distribution, online PR, B2B SEO (search engine optimisation), visit SMPR at www.simplymarcomms.co.uk or subscribe to this blog here

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