Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Practice What You Preach

There have been countless articles, blogs, and speeches about the importance of companies maintaining an aggressive public relations program during this recession. They all emphasize the need to continue to “invest” in PR as a key element in an overall marketing program. And, they stress the importance of maintaining PR efforts over the long haul.

I have not seen many such proclamations about agencies needing to continue to “invest” in themselves, beyond the obvious need to market the firm to attract new business.

Independently owned firms in particular have a greater ability to “sacrifice” short-term financial goals for longer-term growth and healthier profits by remembering what made their firms grow and continuing to invest in these and other time-tested practices:

• Quarterly business and strategic planning with an eye to identifying and maximizing opportunities;

• Structured, facilitated management meetings to thoroughly discuss and solve key issues affecting the firm and develop new ideas for growth;

• Client surveys by qualified consultants to find out what your clients are really thinking and to identify opportunities that they may not share with your account teams;

• Revisiting your firm’s vision (or creating one) and the strategies to get there to provide a roadmap for the future;

• Rigorous account reviews to dissect relationship issues, brainstorm on opportunities, and review the quality of results;

• Training, skills development, and coaching for key executives to help hone skills, develop new ones and work on leadership and management issues

While stressing the value of maintaining long-term public relations efforts to clients and prospects, don’t forget to practice what you preach and invest for the long-term in your own firm.

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