Welcome to our August Founder’s Thoughts piece. We’re delighted that entrepreneurs understand the importance of getting their brand into the press and applaud those that set out to do it themselves. Often, start-up business owners will spend time researching to build their own list of publications and write and send their own press releases. This is, of course, something anyone who is a competent writer can – and in the early days of running a business – should do.
Furthermore, we understand that what we do isn’t rocket science and how important it is for businesses to manage costs so how do we justify our existence?
First it is important to understand why people use us. Ultimately, entrepreneurs all suffer from the same challenge – we simply do not have enough time and understanding of where our time is best spent.
You may be a competent writer or have already caught the attention of a journalist and gained some press coverage which is great. However, with 10+ years’ experience in PR and marketing, having grown my own business on PR alone without a penny spent on advertising, I know that it takes a well-thought out PR strategy and ongoing production of carefully written targeted content to gain the results you desire. Putting out one press release is not going to accelerate your firm’s growth. Instead, gaining continuous media exposure to build momentum is what will lead to increased awareness, credibility and ultimately inbound enquiries and comments from people advising ‘we see you everywhere!’
With this in mind, here are my seven key reasons for opting to use a PR partner:
- We have the contacts:
Not only have my team and I built relationships following our experience of working with dozens of journalists and bloggers, particularly within Yorkshire business media, for more than 10 years, we also use several media databases to continuously build relationships with key influencers. Using a national media database, we’re able to select journalists who write for certain keywords, sectors and geographic locations to proactively target the right people in consumer, trade and business media, at the click of a few buttons.
- We know how to pitch:
Journalists are struggling with time pressures more than ever and rely on PR agencies such as MacComms to provide them with good, topical and timely content to fill their publications. We know the deadlines of the main Yorkshire business press, whether a journalist prefers a phone call, email or even a WhatsApp message. Having built up good relationships with key editors and journalists, we frequently meet with them to provide updates on our clients to ensure we make their jobs as easy as possible.
- Money saving:
Yes, that’s right, a good PR partner could actually save you money by getting the results you require resulting in a strong return on your investment.
To employ the average in-house PR manager in Leeds will cost approximately double the salary that MacComms typically charges per month, and this is before the PAYE, tax, other HR, office costs and general overheads. With this, you get a whole team of people dedicated to promoting your business from digital expertise, senior PR account executive level up to me at director level to oversee everything my team does on your behalf. We work for you across the month and the costs you pay include the media databases we have invested in which would cost you thousands to purchase yourselves.
- Saving you time to focus on growing your business:
Even if you can write a cracking press release, if you’re running and growing your own business, is that the best use of your time? With our expertise it is likely that we will write a compelling press release and understand more personal and innovative ways to capture the attention of your key influencers and media contacts in far less time than you are able to.
As I said earlier, we’re aware that what we do is not rocket science, but there is an art to executing PR properly and one which takes time to do correctly and consistently to build the momentum needed to convert the awareness into business growth.
- A strategic approach:
When agreeing to work with a new client, we firstly arrange a kick off meeting to gather lots of information from you, collectively understand where and how we want the business to grow to and ensure we create a strategic PR plan first and foremost. This then ensures that all activity undertaken is carefully targeted towards your key influencers and will ultimately reach your prospective customers (the key reason for appointing us) your industry (if you’re on a big recruitment drive, for example) or suppliers / people you wish to partner with, depending on what the objective is.
- Monitoring results:
A company may have some in-house support to draft and send a press release, but do you have the tools to follow up and track the coverage and results from it? It is important to understand where you have featured, how far the message has been received and what that means in terms of business growth. We work with our clients as an extension of their team to understand what works best, where enquiries are coming from and our digital whizz Sophie loves nothing more than delving into the website analytics and social media insights to understand how our PR activity has supported the growth of your online presence. These findings are recorded and provided to you in monthly reports. We push for as much intelligence as possible to help us focus our efforts on what is bringing the most traffic into your business to ensure that you achieve a consistent ROI.
- Joining the MacComms community:
The last three years in business has been a huge learning curve. From just me running and doing all the work and saying yes to anything and everything, my team and I have learnt who we work best with. As a values-based business, it is important that we only work with people we like and who fit our brand values. We’re therefore far more selective and ensure that clients welcomed into our community are those we feel genuinely passionate about and thus put our hearts and souls into promoting. This includes keeping our eyes peeled for any and every opportunity whilst liaising with the media or even out and about whilst networking. We’ll also promote your brand within our own communications and become an ambassador for your firm, shouting about your success, the press coverage and award shortlisting’s and wins we’ve helped you achieved, as well as sharing the fruits of our other clients’ labour – the bottles of Cooper King gin went down particularly well as thank you gifts!
If you have a greater understanding and respect for just how much work we do for the businesses we partner with, and would like to discuss joining the MacComms community, utilising strategic PR to grow your business, contact us to discuss how we can help.