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Monday, 30 March 2009

Budgeting for PR

Have you ever wondered how you get from the small business to the large business marketing effect? If you have the vision to accelerate out of the end of this recession, understanding the synergy between sales, marketing and PR and budgeting for them, will enable you to do just that: accelerate your business.

We work with businesses of all sizes and over the last 22 years. I've noticed the main difference between the smaller and the larger business is that many small to medium businesses don't think they have a marketing budget. And they rarely admit to having a sales or PR budget.

In reality, most small businesses have made a substantial investment of time and money.
If you add up all the money and the time you spent in the last 12 months on any of these, you have the makings of your budget:
  • the website,
  • taking a 'special deal' in a directory or an advertising feature,
  • your membership subs & meeting fees plus time for attending networking events,
  • the online directory listings and forums, plus social networking sites,
  • writing sales proposals
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • responding to sales enquiries
  • encouraging referrals from customers or complementary businesses
  • signage for a building or vehicle
  • maybe some Pay Per Click experiments?
  • or a promo item?
  • marketing materials - folders, leaflets, brochures?
  • a mailing list?
  • email flyers?
  • a newsletter?
  • a blog?
  • photos, videos or podcasts?
  • local sponsorship in kind?
  • stalls at trade fairs
  • other sales, marketing, PR promotional activity

Chances are you have already made a fair investment of time and money in some aspect of the golden promotional trio: sales, marketing and PR. But you may be struggling to know what's effective? The standard advice is to monitor what works, then do more of it! And of course there's a lot of truth in the saying: "you can't manage what you haven't measured". But it's easier said than done.

If you ask customers at the point of sale how they heard of you, most people will stop after one answer: probably the most recent thing that brought them to you. Now that is an important clue, but would they have bought if you hadn't come recommended (word of mouth, or in the media, or online)? Would they have bought if your website was out-of date or the branding wasn't attractive and the brand values consistent?

In most cases the 'buy' decision is a complex balance between:

  • Your profile and reputation (PR), plus
  • A clear understanding and attraction to what you are selling (marketing and branding) plus
  • A good sales process to ensure lots of referrals and to clinch the deal efficiently.

Plenty of people will offer clever tools to monitor what works for you, but you'll only really find out by talking to customers and getting their feedback on all aspects of your sales, marketing and PR.

Plus you'll pick up invaluable feedback and ideas for developing your products and services in response to demand and for new markets.

More about the golden synergy between on and offline PR, marketing & sales next time.

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Friday, 27 March 2009

New site

You may not see the difference, but this is a new site for PHPR. It now has a nice new integrated blog facility. Under the bonnet, the whole site's been re-developed by shopfitter.com to be search engine-friendly. Watch this space ...

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