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The latsest news and thoughts from the Ginger PR team.
If you were asked to describe your company or organisation and what it does, in just one or two sentences, how many words would be jargon?
When talking to people on the outside of your business, are you often using language that sure, sums things up for you, but means diddly squat to them?
We're all guilty. Even PR practitioners. In fact, most definitely PR practitioners. ROP, Sunday for Monday, DPS and spiked... clear as day to someone in the industry but if I used them when talking to a potential client, not only do they make absolutely no sense, it also shuts down the conversation. No-one wants to be the idiot that asks a potentially obvious question.
I was recently asked to look over a brochure that needed a rewrite. I read it (more than once) but had no idea what the company offers. I'm sure they thought the message was clear. It's likely it'ssimilar to other literature they've produced. It's all too easy to cut and paste, rehashing the same convoluted information. It's amazing how long the life span of bad wording can be.
With this in mind, here are my top tips to avoid industry gobbledygook and confusion when it comes to communicating with potential new customers (or anyone outside your business).
Think about who will be reading what you've written. Who is your audience and what's important to them?
Remove any technical words that your customers aren't likely to understand.
Keep it simple. Don't go into too much detail - otherwise you're in danger of boring your target audience.
Get someone who knows nothing about your industry to read your brochure or marketing materials. Can they understand it?
Read anything you've written out loud. If you're stumbling over words and have to take a breath mid sentence, chances are it's too long and complex.
Now go forth, talk plainly and engage!
For many businesses, hiring a PR consultancy can seem like a totally alien concept.
Often billed as a 'dark art’, public relations really could do with its own PR campaign, explaining what PR is, how it can help and why every organisation should have their own PR strategy.
Here are some of the most common questions I am asked, and hopefully the answers that will help to clarify a few things.
What will a PR consultancy actually do for me?
PR consultancies can help in a variety of ways; each of these are about helping to tell the right story to the right people.
That might be writing articles they then share with media about what is newsworthy at your company. It could be contacting bloggers and introducing them to your brand, or coming up with an online strategy that pinpoints what information you should be sharing on social media, and how. These are just a few examples but before any of them are put in place, a good PR will spend time finding out what your company wants to achieve and then plan out the best way they can help get you there.
What are the benefits?
This could be an endless list but my top three are:
1. Stand out from the crowd. Even before social media, we lived in a crowded marketplace. If you want customers, clients, potential employees to know what you can offer them, you're going to have to stick your head above the parapet and make yourself known. PR can communicate why they should choose you, sending key messages.
2. Reputation building and loyalty. People want to engage with companies and brands they can trust but they need a reason why they should be trusted. A good PR campaign can build that trust by finding creative ways that demonstrate happy customers, innovative concepts or investment in the business that will result in better service.
3. Speak to audiences old and new. This point cannot be underestimated and to me, is at the heart of what PR is all about; communicating to the people you want to engage with. Do you have important news to share? Do you have delicate information that needs carefully explained? Do you want to encourage footfall? Do you need to reposition your brand and embed new company values?
PR is exactly what you need.
Why can't I do it myself?
Experience and expertise. Just as you use any expert service because of their knowledge, such as a dentist or accountant, the same can be said for PR.
A PR consultant has specific industry knowledge and an understanding of the creative process that will marry a communication strategy with your business objectives. They know how to position a story that isn’t just ‘selling’ your business, but that it is of interest to the media.
They also have the contacts that have been developed since their very first day in the job. In my case, that’s over 15 years of building relationships and understanding how I can work with them, to both their and my clients’ benefit.
And of course, this all boils down to time. PR and marketing takes time and often takes a back seat before completely falling off the radar. That won’t happen if you get an expert to do it for you which in turn will give you the time to concentrate on work you are an expert in.
Pic credit: VMA Group
A typical week in PR... no such thing! However, I did my best to share what goes on behind the scenes at Ginger PR HQ for the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce blog.
With two small children there is an eternal juggle and the work life balance has to be right. Luckily, when you love your job, it's all worth it.
Click on through to find out more about life running an independent PR practice.
One day event helps businesses understand the power of PR
We are very excited to announce our Ginger PR Pop Up.
The Pop Up is a chance for businesses in Dundee and the surrounding area the chance to find out more about PR and what it can do for them.
Taking place at The Bach on Wednesday 28th March, companies or individuals can book one of the free 30-minute consultations where they will receive advice from Ginger PR director, Elaine Fleming, who has over 17 years industry experience working with brands including Scottish Rugby, Domino’s Pizza, Buchanan Galleries, Barratt Homes, Kintyre Gin and Peter Vardy.
Elaine said: “This pop up is an opportunity for Dundee and Angus businesses to get a better understanding of what PR is and more importantly, what it can do for them, and how it can be used to deliver the right message to their target market. PR has changed dramatically in recent years as has the way it can be used to help to achieve growth.
“Ginger PR is based in Angus and so we understand the challenges and opportunities that local businesses face when trying to raise their profile locally and also on a national level.
“Those successful in securing a slot will get practical advice and tips on the areas that interest them most whether it be, social media, how to launch a new product or how to write engaging blog content – and how often.”
A limited number of places are available. Those interested should email email@example.com with the name of their business and the areas they would like to discuss at their consultation.
Ginger PR Pop UP. The Bach. Wednesday 28th March.