Value for money PR
Posted by: Gemma Keogh | 15.10.15

 

More and more health and social care providers are seeing the value of investing in PR to manage their reputation, build brand awareness and engage with new audiences. It can be a little daunting hiring an agency for the first time, particularly if you don’t have any experience of the industry and are feeling the pressure to get immediate results. So here are a few tips for first-time PR purchasers on how to get value for money PR:

Think holistically – if you want media coverage or a presence on social media but don’t have an up-to-date website or online business profile, then all positive impact from the PR will be lost. Nothing kills a bad product faster than good PR and if you don’t have your comms ducks in a row you wont see the return on investment. PR must work together with your other marketing and comms initiatives, it should be at the heart of your operations, driving messaging and campaigns, rather than an add-on or after thought.  

Be proactive – Reputation management is not just about sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring, or sticking your head in the sand and avoiding threats to your reputation, be proactive. Okay so you’ve hired an agency but make sure that there is a proactive strategy in place so that your brand’s key messages are reaching your stakeholders, allowing you to influence the conversation within your sector.

Be a storyteller – the most effective PR tells the story of a business and includes the voices of patients/residents/tenants. The stories are honest evidence of the services you provide and demonstrate the positive outcomes of your work. They are much more engaging and hold greater influence over stakeholders than traditional advertising because they are personable and people can relate to them.

Get team buy in – staff are one of the biggest brand advocates so it’s essential that your senior team is on board with your PR initiatives and that this filters down through the team. If you want to position your company as business leaders or do a thought leadership campaign then you’ll need spokesmen/ women who are on message and see the value of the work. This means they’ll be more available and flexible for last minute media requests, more willing to be in photo shoots or attend launches, and everything will run more smoothly with greater success.

Bigger is not always best – don’t always choose the biggest agency or London’s premier team because they will come with a premier price tag and if you don’t pay the big bucks service levels may suffer. Look closer to home at regional agencies, particularly those with a speciality in health and social care. Admittedly I’m biased, but we set up Arc Seven outside of London for a reason. We are happy folk – we live in beautiful surroundings, we’re surrounded by like-minded and innovative individuals who also fled the big smoke and we LOVE our work and our clients! Happy folk make good PRs!