You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Professional services’ category.
Bill Gates once said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
That may seem a little extreme but the sentiment really is quite savvy.
In these austere times, many businesses are feeling the financial pinch as reports of quantitive easing and double-dips become the norm. Competition is fierce with only the strongest surviving in an extremely turbulent marketplace.
Unfortunately, all too often marketing and PR budgets are among the first to be cut in a knee-jerk attempt to save money and cut costs.
What is ironic, is that it is exactly these areas that, I think, companies should be investing money and effort into to differentiate their brand and give them the competitive advantage needed to survive in what is becoming an increasingly ‘me too’ market.
Managed properly and integrated, a strategic PR campaign can provide a cost-effective tool that can positively affect businesses when skies are grey. Effectively communicating with your target customers and keeping your firm in the public eye; commenting on the issues that matter, can help you stay ahead in a difficult climate.
PR is an investment that can deliver real benefit to the bottom line so whilst I I would certainly advocate Mr Gates’ philosophy, I probably wouldn’t want to bankrupt myself in the process! But then, who am I to disagree with Bill?
While celebrity endorsements, competitions and abseiling down a building may be perfectly natural in the consumer world, professional services PR is different. We look at the differences and how credibility, trust and reputation are king in the professional services world.
“While some good product placement and a loving endorsement from Peter Andre might be great PR for the latest aftershave or book launch (or maybe not!), Peter’s wise words probably won’t instil much confidence in the ability of a law firm to do its job – a different approach is clearly needed!
“In the professional services sector, credibility, trust and reputation are the core of your proposition and therefore it’s vital your public relations campaign is geared toward protecting and reinforcing this.
“For nearly a decade, Bell Pottinger North has shaped, managed and protected the public perception and wider understanding of law firms, accountancies, architects etc. and not once have we felt the need to drop a senior partner out of a light aircraft with a strategically branded parachute.
“We work with firms of all shapes and sizes to create and implement effective results-driven public relations and wider communications campaigns that are bespoke to our clients needs.
“We do this through a slightly more conservative approach that resonates with and targets the people that our clients want to do business with.
“Through a variety of PR techniques and wider marketing mix disciplines, we effectively position our clients’ brands and differentiate them in an increasingly crowded market. We want to increase your brand’s awareness specifically to help change the buying perception and behaviours of your target audience.
“In today’s media-savvy and media-hungry society, audiences instinctively look beyond advertising. Editorial coverage is far more credible and carries the tacit endorsement of the journalist. This ‘no tricks or gimmicks’ approach reassures clients that the message you are delivering is genuinely true and can provide reassurance in these difficult times.
“Our ‘horses for courses’ approach means that, every day, we are delivering punchy, targeted PR campaigns for our clients that keep them in the public eye, establish trust and help to deliver the credibility factor.
“It’s our job to control the messages that the media receive about our clients and their services in an appropriate way that does not detract from or diminish its strength.”