Today I got the good news that we at Holyrood PR are to be invited back to give a second pitch to a potential client.
Like all the best leads, it came through word of mouth. It’s not an earth-shatteringly big or glamorous client – but we can see plenty of reasons why we’d like to work with them.
Now the only hurdle we have to get over is that one of the directors – who we’ve not yet met – doesn’t really “believe” in PR.
I don’t know why I should be so surprised. We fully understand some businesses have tried PR and its not for them. The particular flavour of PR we specialise in is media relations and I know there are some businesses who see no advatage to be gained from positive media coverage. I can disagree with them until I’m blue in the face, but at least they will give rational arguments for what they say.
But I’m stumped by the people who say they don’t believe in PR. What? We’re like the tooth fairy or Father Christmas? Or maybe a grown up version: some fantastical concept that stretches credulity, like Roswell, Area 51 or the moon landings?
I find this kind of thing draining and demoralising in the same way as I did when we had a client who, for his paltry two grand, got around 30 separate cuttings in all his target media and multiple positive key messages – then refused to pay up because it was the “wrong kind of coverage”.
Even worse is the fact that, as PR professionals, we are constantly reminded of the importance of measurement, while also being told that there is no effective (certainly no cost effective) way to actually go about that measuring process.
To add insult to injury, our own professional body, the CIPR, has told us that the only relatively simply measurement tool, the long tried and trusted AVE (advertising value equivalent) is now totally discredited. That is despite my own experience that most small clients (those paying less than £2000 a month) actually like AVE.
With these three negatives ringing in my ears I am now going to apply a bit of positive spin. I’m going to start a series of posts to bring joy and happiness into the world of smaler PR agencies. From now on, every time we get a proven bit of PR success I’m going to post it here. I am going to show, beyond any reasonable doubt, that PR does work. So there.
To start the series, I’d like to report a small success for Orchard & Shipman. The company offers a private sector solution to the council housing shortage, particularly to those famillies with the most acute and pressing need. They do this by persuading private landlords to offer their properties through the scheme. It has been a welcome lifeline to hundreds of families who, for a multitude of reasons, find themselves without a secure home.
Orchard and Shipman negotiated a favourble buy-to-let mortgage deal through the Dunfermline Building Society for those landlords prepared to back the scheme. We helped generate coverage on that, which in itself was pleasing, though measuring how many take up the deal as a direct result is more difficult to do.
However, one categoric result of the coverage – and a big pat on the back for us – was this: another major financial institution, having seen the media publicity generated, has now approached Orchard & Shipman and asked if they too can offer a favourable mortgage terms to landlords getting involved.
Whether anything comes of that approach is neither here nor there – but it shows without doubt, the power of PR. I thank you.