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Smiling to the Bank

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Post Smiling to the Bank   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:43 am

How to keep smiling, with or without empty pockets

Several businesses, institutions and even Governments already have an idea about what they want Public Relations and Marketing to do for them. And there are several firms with attractive lingos to choose from. But while achieving excellent results in PR and Marketing may become boring and seemingly easy for experienced Marketing and PR firms the hard question is: Does the strategic and creative plan exist? You see, sales is one thing but medium and long term planning may call for flexibility and different approaches because the emphasis is on IMAGE. Former late and esteemed Barbados Prime Minister Errol Barrow once asked of citizens: What mirror image do you have of yourself? If we flip the coin I would ask: What image do you want for yourself, your business, your institution?

Deep pockets or empty pockets the solution is to find creative solutions that are sustainable. Recently a client mentioned they had shelved plans for advertising. "Everyone is telling me I have to pay," he said repeatedly. Not so I assured him. So I am working to prove him wrong. But do you know what is the bigger challenge? Convincing the client to understand that there are creative solutions.

In times of recession, with deep or empty pockets for individuals, companies and institutions it is possible to go smiling all the way to the bank - even with empty pockets!

Media houses, either traditional media or new media, thrive on news that their customers are looking for. These audiences are broken down by individual interests, cultures and age. But companies, individuals and institutions are sources of information. And information can be newsworthy. The challenge is to find or mine that information and package it to meet the needs of diverse audiences. For example, the business of a company may be embedded creatively in an article on industry trends without advertising products or services. Then there is Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. With a decent camcorder and free video formatting software you can create interesting videos that promote your business indirectly on both your Youtube channel and Facebook page. And Twitter tweets can be used for direct sales pitches and to promote your Youtube and FB pages. With some technical assistance you can have a blog with decent, customised signage.

So the technology and tools are there, but you will still need an experienced PR or Marketing consultant. If you are very short on money then the option is to bend your back to the plough. If there is an available budget the ideal option would be outsource services to specialists. I hope this article has been an eye opener.

Hallam Hope is a Marketing & Public Relations consultant.

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