Q: Does our business need to be on social media?
A: That is a great question, and the answer really depends on your target market. If the people who buy what you sell use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, those should be considered as part of your marketing toolkit. For a number of reasons, we recommend that a great website be the cornerstone of all marketing efforts. From there, you can explore other options for consumer communication. If you had to choose just one, it may make more sense, for example, for you to use email marketing over Facebook. It may be more beneficial for you to ramp up SEO with great website copywriting (blog articles). You may find that Instagram is hot with your customers now… We never recommend what we call a “spray and pray” strategy, which includes posting content on all platforms and seeing if anything sticks. Instead, research and consulting can help dial in the options for online marketing to two or three key areas in which to focus energies.
Q: Can you edit documents that we have created in-house?
A: Yes! Our messaging and editorial team has helped companies edit all kinds of documents. You can have a second set of eyes on public-facing documents before they go live or before they go to the print shop. Professional editing projects have included corporate letters, customer handbooks, employee newsletters, resumes, LinkedIn profiles, brochures, sales fliers, HR-related documents, crisis communication plans, and much more. We edit for message clarity as well as accurate grammar and punctuation, using Associate Press style as a guide.
Q: How is a business like yours different than other service providers?
A: There are many marketing-related tasks that local companies like yours may need help with, today or in the future. That list may include things like developing a marketing strategy, creating fresh brochures or sales sheets, editing text and photos on your website, writing blogs, sending email marketing campaigns, managing social media accounts or consumer reviews online, working on corporate branding, or even brainstorming business-development ideas. PR Consulting is unique in that we can manage all of those tasks on your behalf; we are your “one call does it all” service provider. That is a relief to the leaders who hire us! There are other great providers in Whatcom County who specialize in a more targeted scope of work. They may produce content but not do graphic design or manage social media accounts. They may develop websites but not be able to generate content for the pages they are developing. They may do administrative-type work but not copywriting. Working with PR Consulting can save you a ton of time because you won’t have to explain your brand, goals and target audience to multiple vendors, each of them handling either your website, publicity, graphic design, branding or social media management.
Q: If I hire you, can we still do some marketing tasks in-house?
A: First, we can consult about your goals and put a plan in place for moving forward. Once the plan is in place, you can decide if there are any tasks that you (or your team) have the time, desire and skill set to do in-house. If time is scarce (it is for many!), or if there are skills gaps preventing the consistent completion of necessary to-dos (often the case!), our team of marketing and PR experts can manage them on your behalf.
Q: What if I’m not very good at delegating?
A: So… That is a challenge at times. We can empathize with this completely. Sometimes, it is a piece of your livelihood that you’re delegating. That’s a big deal. Many business leaders struggle with this until they find the right people/person to delegate to. We want to be that for you! In the best scenarios, PR Consulting’s team will quickly earn your trust. You’ll understand the purpose of what we’re doing and trust our skills and the process. In the case of blogging for your company’s website, the process goes like this: our team pitches an idea, gets approval or a little feedback from you, uses our copywriting skills and SEO knowledge to develop the content, sends you a draft for approval and a check of accuracy, and then publishes the content. Once we’ve established a trusting relationship, this is a process that should take just minutes of your time, not hours. If delegating hiccups come up, and if you’d like to learn to be better at delegating, we’ll communicate with clarity and transparency to help you through the process.
Q: How do you work with clients that have a limited marketing budget?
A: One of the first projects you can assign to PR Consulting is that of developing an onboarding plan/task list, which will include a thorough review of your existing marketing efforts that dials in your goals and target markets and outlines tasks that you would like to delegate to our marketing firm in the weeks ahead (possibly reworking web copywriting, freshening branding, kickstarting social media, or other similar tasks). A budget will be included in that plan so you know what to expect. PR Consulting’s team will then systematically work through the plan based on your budget. Understandably, if you have a $2,500-per-month “let’s get stuff done now!” budget, we will move through tasks faster than someone with a $600-per-month budget. Our team works hard to be respectful of all clients’ budgets and to keep them informed of suggested changes along the way (mainly related to “task creep”). You might set a budget based on initial goals, and then when we get started, you may ask us to take care of other projects without thinking too much about the extra time it will take to complete those projects. We’re totally happy to help clients with as many tasks as they need help with; we just ask that they understand that the budget, or project completion dates, may need to be adjusted.
Q: Are you the type of marketing people who have to have things done your way or not at all?
A: This question actually makes us chuckle. We would more accurately describe PR Consulting’s style as “making suggestions and subtly nudging along with encouragement, ideas and support.” You, after all, know your business the best. You know what methods have worked in the past and what methods have not. We can bring in fresh ideas or even tweak current efforts to increase their success rates. Working together will definitely be more of a team-like, supportive relationship.
Q: Who will my point of contact be, and who will be communicating as my brand online if you manage social media?
A: This is a great question, and this is one you should ask any Bellingham social media management company or online branding consultant you may be considering. At PR Consulting, managing the voice of your brand online is something that is taken very seriously. We understand that you are trusting us with something that you have ownership of. That means something. Our team is experienced, thoughtful, careful and cautious. Patti Rowlson and Matthew Anderson are the only individuals on our team who will speak as your business online. We do not work with interns or delegate this work to others who would not have a similar level of expertise.