No, it’s not a trick question. PR and marketing professionals argue that their disciplines should be represented, or at least discussed at board level, a view that we at Brouha, as specialists in strategic PR, support.
Whether your PR is managed in-house or by an external agency, it is not only desirable, but crucial for senior management to take an interest. PR and marketing are, after all, the external face of an organisation, putting across what you stand for to customers and prospects. In the PRCA’s latest industry report into the PR industry, it highlights that Reputation Management has overtaken SEO in terms of perceived importance, for the first time. Which means businesses have recognised it’s worth and are taking it more seriously.
In our experience, you can see the difference in the results when the discipline is taken seriously at board level, and when it isn’t. So, how close are you to the team or individual communicating your messages to market?
Whether you opt for in-house or agency, one bad relationship could lead to friction for your entire company. Are you aware of the relationships your representative holds on your behalf?
Memberships demonstrate professionalism
When choosing your PR and marketing personnel or agency, a good indicator of their professionalism is memberships of key industry organisations, the Chartered Institute of PR and the Chartered Institute of Marketing for example. It may sound obvious, but it’s worth also taking a close look at all of their previous work. Talk to existing and previous customers or employers about their relationships with the press, prospects and customers.
Although we live in a digital age with social media seemingly taking over sometimes, industry magazines, both on and offline, are still critical to a full marketing programme, so relationships with the press are a must-have. You need someone that has skillsets and relationships across the board – not just in one area, or with one publication.
In-depth market knowledge
And finally, to offer true strategic PR at board level, those representing you should have an in-depth knowledge of your company and the market in which it operates – some of this will come in time but it saves a lot of time and hassle if a certain level of knowledge is held up front. There’s nothing like direct market experience when it comes to discussing what will work and what generates real results. An agency or individual who has worked in your sector, perhaps even with your competitors, can bring a completely new and impactful perspective to the table. And let’s face it, how can anyone advise in your best interests if they don’t fully understand your offering and how it fits into the overall market?
We strongly believe that PR and marketing are areas worthy of board level attention to ensure your company is being represented in the way you want and deserve. What do you think?