Working in PR can be a fast-paced job, but when you’re also the owner of your PR firm, there is a lot more pressure. Running a business in any industry comes with challenges, but taking care of other individuals and companies’ reputations for a living can be an intricate task that only certain people can manage.
If you run a PR firm, you will likely have a lot of experience with this kind of work, but you might be new to the ins and outs of business management. If your PR firm isn’t performing as well as you’d like it to be, here are some things you might want to consider to help improve business.
Strengthen client relationships
Without a good client list, there isn’t much of a business to have, and this is why client relationships are so vital. You will already understand this from your previous roles within the PR industry, but consider how things can be improved in your firm. Firstly, look at your employees—have the right people been placed in charge of the right client accounts? Could certain staff be utilized more efficiently elsewhere? You should also think about what else your firm can offer clients; how can you go above and beyond for them? Even small gestures like sending greetings cards on holidays or ordering a spread of cakes or pastries for your meetings can make your clients feel special and appreciated.
Update your website
The majority of people now rely on online searches to find businesses. This is why your company website must be maintained and look professional at all times. If your website hasn’t been updated in a while, it could be time to give it a reboot. Make sure that there is fresh content on your blog page, as well as updating any essential information like contact details, new clients, or new staff members. Your website must be easy to navigate, too, so check that all the page links go to the right places and everything is labeled clearly. For improved customer service, add a chat button to your website so new and current clients can talk with your team directly.
Updating your website is worth doing, but perhaps you should consider rebranding the firm. Every business will do this occasionally, as it’s important to stay relevant to keep customers engaged and to show that your company can compete with new businesses. Although logos and taglines might not seem important to some people, the truth is your branding can affect your business in a big way. If your branding isn’t memorable or doesn’t clearly convey what your company does, people will switch off and move on to something else. Think carefully about your PR firm’s current branding and whether it’s working for you or not—it could be time to revamp your image.
Source new contacts
As well as having a strong client list, you must have good contacts in the press and other areas to carry out your work. While you might have built good relationships with some individuals in this field, branching out and finding new contacts will only help your firm even further. Look at your contact list and consider whether you have people from a variety of publications, e.g. fashion bloggers, broadsheet journalists, food critics, radio presenters, TV broadcasters, etc. The more variety the better, as this will allow you to cater to a range of clients appropriately. Make the most of professional networking events and make sure every press release that is sent out is engaging and enticing.
Look at your marketing
Strong marketing strategies are essential for every business, and if your firm is underperforming at the moment, perhaps your marketing campaigns have something to do with it. Hire a professional marketing agency to help you with this if you haven’t done so already, or look for a better firm if you’re dissatisfied with the one you’re using. You should also look at in-house marketing you can do, particularly on social media or by writing blogs for your website, or guest posts for someone else’s. You could also organize pay-per-click advertising on search engines or social media yourself to help boost your visibility at affordable prices.
When was the last time your staff attended a training session? All employees must have refresher courses, as well as the opportunity to learn new things that are relevant to your industry. If it’s been a while since this has happened at your firm, organize the time for staff training as soon as possible. You could even send them to external seminars or training programs for PR professionals. It’s also worth holding appraisals with your team members to touch base with them about their performance, and to find out if they have any concerns regarding their role at your firm. This is a great way to keep connected with your team and to resolve any problems there might be quickly and efficiently.
If you’re concerned about your team’s performance, perhaps offering employees incentives could be a good idea. It’s important to make sure your team feels appreciated and that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. To help minimize resentment in the office and to boost morale, set up prizes for those who hit certain targets each month. Offer them things like food and wine hampers and gift vouchers, as treats they can enjoy if they win.
Look after employee well-being
Finally, while staff training and incentives are great for improving employee performance, you should also look at how well they are being looked after in your firm. Working in PR can be a lot of pressure at times, and everyone reaches a burn-out point eventually. Consider what you can put in place at the office to make sure you’re encouraging your employees to look after themselves, like contact information for counseling services that you will pay for, mindfulness tips, and healthy foods and drinks in the office breakroom. Happy, healthy employees will be productive and lift morale in the workplace, which should help your business get back on track.
If you’re concerned about the performance of your PR firm at the moment, take some time to consider the points above and whether your business needs to look more closely at them.