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In times of economic downturn and crisis, brands traditionally invest more heavily in affordable PR & Comms to maintain visibility and customer engagement. Today we can’t escape the predictions of a gathering economic storm as reports released by the CBI show that the UK economy contracted by 0.3% in April 2022. Whilst many of us have seen off previous recessions and more recently the impact of Covid, then this next economic cloud is likely to soak us in a lot more misery.

So, with purse strings tightening everywhere, here are some thoughts on the areas we as PR & Comms experts advise you to prioritise to secure ongoing engagement:

    • Internal comms, to ensure the business voice is consistent, confident, and relevant in terms of differentiating products, promotions, and pricing. Your internal team must all buy-in and speak with one defined voice.

    • Relevant and sensitive client comms with your existing and loyal customer base to maintain and engage conversations. Good newsletter marketing with your regular customers is key, adapting the messaging and being sensitive around the broader market economy, perhaps developing appealing promotions, offers and incentives to encourage sustained loyalty.

    • Profiling of your people and their opinions. Sharing their passions, opinions, and successes (and sometimes failures) can reinforce the authenticity and values of your business. These are often colourful stories and easy to find, and many times an unsung hero can be celebrated in different ways across different channels.

    • Maintaining visibility through regular, targeted earned media and influencer work. Memorable, light-hearted creative content, sharing positive and uplifting stories often lands well in a dismal news cycle. Product gifting underpins much of this work, as does ‘bookable PR’, where an offer, promotion or a quirky headline can drive a sale or booking.

    • Partnership marketing can deliver affordable customer acquisition, grow sales, and increase awareness. We encourage clients to work with other like-minded brands, businesses, and influencers where there is shared benefit and synergy of purpose, narrative, or outcome. We don’t encourage lots of these, but a few strategic alliances can create a very powerful sales channel.

    • News, launches, and product reveals. Key here is to create these business moments with an eye on the broader climate. Excessive spending or flagrant flashing of cash doesn’t go down well and can be misconstrued and backfire. Creating plans that are sensitive and respectful to the broader climate and plan, and which you personally would feel comfortable defending in the face of criticism are important.

    • Creativity is king. If you invest anywhere then invest TIME in creating and thinking and talking as a team to your agencies. Some of the BEST work comes to the fore in times of crisis, when budgets are under pressure. The best ideas are usually not the most expensive.

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So why do we think PR & Comms is leaned on more when there is pressure on budgets? Creative PR & Comms can provide the most affordable means to develop and unleash big campaigns without a big price tag.

Traditionally, we all know that PR & Comms agencies are the unsung heroes, viewed by many as the poor relation to wealthier brand creative, digital, advertising and e-commerce agencies. And yet PR & Comms engages across the entire business. The touch points reach customers, employees, the board, shareholders, and investors.

As we all scrutinise budgets over the coming months, make sure to stop and think and ask your PR & Comms team how they can support you with effective, affordable comms to engage all your key audiences, both internally and externally. You don’t have to spend big bucks with big agencies!

Find out how we can help you and your business, get in touch!

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online pr

We at Siren Comms are in the process of becoming a Benefit Corporation, also known as B Corp.

 

This is a certification that shows the world what your company stands for. What drew us to this is that B Corp gives us an opportunity to declare that we care about more than profit, that balancing profit and purpose is important to us as a company. Working with our clients Delphis Eco, a sustainable cleaning brand and XeroE, an emission-free delivery service that are both certified B Corps inspired us to take the leap and apply for it. 

 

To become a B Corp is not an easy process, there is a rigorous assessment by the non-profit B Lab that gauges a company’s positive impact on workers, communities, the environment and its policies on accountability and transparency. The journey starts by registering and doing their free online B Impact Assessment. It’s a long set of thought-provoking questions with multiple choice answers that review your business policies, operations, treatment of staff and environmental impact scoring your responses out of a total of 200. To be eligible for B Corp certification, you must score at least 80 out of 200. The questions encourage businesses to ‘delve deep’ and drives you to form opinions on how you think things are going to be. 

 

Benefits of being a B Corp include: 

Being part of a like-minded tribe: businesses are part of a community where they can learn from and share their own ideas with other B Corps. B Lab hosts various events throughout the year that brings B Corps together 


More Credibility: consumers and other businesses trust companies with a B Corp status., With that seal of approval, they know your business is honestly committed to creating real environmental or societal change. 
Staying ahead of the curve: the assessment measures your business’s social and environmental impact. It gives businesses measurable benchmarks that push them to maintain and improve their company’s social and environmental benefits. There’s a re-certification process every three years to ensure companies are alert to improvement opportunities. 

Attracts the best talent: Being a B Corp helps to attract and retain good employees who are already committed to issues of sustainability and/or social change, they are already engaged in what you’re doing. 

Gain media exposure: Publications are keen to cover companies who pursue purpose before profit, as millennials enter the workforce and consumers increasingly seek companies that are transparent and responsible. B Corps have a step up on the competition for exposure on these topics.  

 

The leaders of B -Corps believe that sustainable business is better business and that they can use their business as a force for good. We are excited to be on this B Corp journey, the process has really made us reflect on our business and areas we need to improve on that were not apparent before. We hope to have good news on our application soon…watch this space! 

 

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