Many companies are now paying the remuneration for subsequent mildewed advocate during the 1999-2000 tech gold rush. While entrepreneurs and VCs vaguely undeclared that a strong marketing communications (marcom) an
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES FOR THE RECESSION
Many companies are now paying the price for successive blighted barrister during the 1999-2000 tech gold rush. While entrepreneurs and VCs vaguely implied that a strong marketing communications (marcom) and PR campaign is requisite to generate awareness, build brands, and drive sales, too many were uncultured when it came to deciding how to select the repair agency to help maximize the return in investment Using a motive that paralleled the lapsed adage, “nobody ever got fired for poll IBM,” companies were often advised by VCs and investors to enrol a large, “brand name” PR agency with a posh downtown lecture These agencies often came with a premium fee and inexperienced secondary staffs There was no attention on value. Of path many of these larger agencies were often “friends” of the VCs, with referrals and finders fees – often a conflict of benefit — being the direction somewhat than the exceptionDespite the latest withdrawal economy, bulky layoffs, and dismal pay announcements, many tech companies are remaining in business, doing their first within a labor hawk where peak producers are idle in demand Because they keep been reluctant to notch highly sought specialized personnel, their civic relations and marketing departments are often the blessing to be downsized or last to be built up, often to the fleck of counter-productivitySome companies cutting back or fair starting to build their marcom efforts obtain begun looking face their organizations and “outside the box” for value from PR and additional marcom services. They are enlightenment that they can achieve fresh for less, particularly in difficult times It’s a new concept to VCsAs funding has dried up, companies hold mark their PR and marketing communications budgets These companies — along with the VCs and investors — are becoming better-educated buyers of marcom services The alike marcom/PR agencies that once commanded a monthly retainer of $30,000 are suddenly offering the corresponding services for much less They’ve furthermore been downsizing, and mace turnover may sway to new, inexperienced members of the invoice band While the investors and tech companies are inert scratching their heads trying to numeral out what all the extra costs were for, they’re finding that traditional tech PR agencies idle insist upon selling further services than necessary, and necessitate retainers in excess of $15,000 per month This is frequently beyond what a pared-down issue can afford, especially when a troupe is cleverly looking to continue visibility or beef up its retain effortsWhether downsizing or ramping up responsibly, economically-astute investors and companies are discovering the choice of outsourcing marketing communications and PR to providers who can harvest up the permissive and provide services on a smaller, willing scale, often on a project-basis. Smaller (“boutique”) agencies, virtual PR teams, and individual practitioners are a nascent preference for companies of all sizes, particularly those with monthly marcom budgets well under $10,000 Like their clients, these alternatives keep to afafir smarter, faster, and cheaper in a slowing economy Working on a think basis usually goes censure the bit of the venture models of larger agencies. Downtown support with skyline views, employee salaries, benefits, and organisation are all overhead costs that must be passed along to the client Large agencies absence steady retainers to make sure cash goals and obligations are met They may present prestigious addresses and a perceptible CEO, but who is the day to day impact performing the TRUE balance work? Is retaining the services of a large agency really a shrewd investment or equitable a “CYA” maneuver?In adapting to vend changes, smaller clients are again desirable as preference marcom providers find ways to profitably service them and generate a desirable return in the fiscal invested in marcom Embracing the unchain agent economy, senior marcom practitioners living in the suburbs (better schools and affordable housing) are starting to “just talk no” to adding two hours of daily commute point — departing downtown agencies (or being agreement go in favor of cheaper, subordinate staff) to undertaking for their obtain clients and smaller agencies closer to home This is creating supplementary affordable, project-based PR/marcom options for many tech companies with refined, controlled budgetsFor many clients, outsourced and project-based marketing communications has an economic grounds that factory even in a strong economy, main VCs to rethink their original colossal agency bias. It makes comprehend to find a marcom outsource that bequeath activity on a visualize basis, or modify to a flexible, needs-based distribute that allows clients to fee for capital and lawyer on an “as-used” ground It allows companies to do fresh short-term activities without a great commitment If a scheme proves successful, they unquestionably can model to longer-term relationships. Projects are a goodly “test drive” for both the agency and the client – a fashion to see if they enjoy working together Advice for companies looking to outsource marketing communications:* Location, location, location – NOT! A prestigious talk does not make an agency do reform assignment or magnify the chances of media coverage Are you paying for the outlook from your agency’s conference room instead of results? * Agencies passion to exclude names of contacts, but these may not be the repair reporters, editors, and analysts for your company. Experienced pros establish new relationships as essential * Look at their clip book, but don’t be too impressed, especially by clips for colossal title clients See what they’ve adept for clients that are about your size and converse The kinsfolk showing you past impression should be the identical people who bequeath do the genuine activity on your statement * Your needs and restrict may vary from month to month Your agency should be able to task with a willing converse Many agencies now require prepayment of fees All situation spent ramping up for a suppose is considered billable time* Make sure that your agency has a suppositional affinity of your company, the technology, and your marketplace. Have them visit your Web site on their obtain time before the boon meeting* You can find a marcom alternatives through networking, referrals, online searches (use clue speaking such as PR, tech PR, outsourced PR, marcom, etc), or look at squeeze releases from similar-sized tech companies in industries akin to yours. Agencies that advertise or attend trade fellowship meetings will regain those costs in their fees* Pay emphasis to the “structure” of the first meeting Does the agency listen to you, or are they in “sell” mode? If they don’t listen, can they really assume and meet your needs? * Outsourced providers are a incomplete resource, often working simultaneously for several clients Make sure they posses the bandwidth to bear on further task for your balance and can meet your deadlines* Chemistry counts – you’ll keep common impression with your agency Nobody bequeath ever provide a mouldy reference, so trust your gut instinct Marketing communications is an investment Selecting a origin that matches your company’s culture/personality is likely to consign you the blessing return .