What’s the point of PR?

PR and marketing agencies – and the companies who use them – tell Gun Trade News what the role of an agency should be and how it works for them.

Getting the right message across in today’s information-saturated world is more important than ever. Employing a specialist PR agency means brands can concentrate on their sales figures and customer service.

The basic product that comes out of a PR agency is the press release. In my experience, magazines like to receive targeted press releases. The caveat is that the press release should require minimal editing – news editors will not want to waste precious time on what is probably nonessential information. It is imperative that every press release is ready for editorial use and accompanied by a high quality photograph and company logo.

With the development of social media, the role of public relations professionals has expanded to include clients’ representation online. The demand for Facebook and Twitter has exploded in recent years and provides businesses with a low-cost marketing platform that allows them to quickly and easily broadcast information to both existing customers and potential new customers.

Selena Barr

In looking for the services of a third party I needed someone who knew the industry. I was lucky to engage Anna Oliver of Fresca Marketing. Anna took my raw ideas and provided me with advice that culminated in a marketing strategy that saw my turnover increase significantly (that was confidential).

Since our initial meeting and following advice that included production of brand awareness, Anna has kept a discreet but keen interest in the business and is only too willing to assist. From my point of view Anna has outstanding personal skills, impressive attention to detail and a range of marketing and advertising contacts.

Chris Perkins, The Cornish Venison Co

We’ve been helping businesses to sell for over 20 years. Our philosophy is to listen and understand the needs of our clients, build a solid relationship and become an extension of their business.

Applying the appropriate creative solutions, with appealing, powerful design, targeted at the right audience is our contribution. The immediate and vital goal is to ensure our clients continue to succeed through these difficult economic times we are experiencing. It’s tempting to cut back on marketing when times are tough but everyone still needs to reach their customers.

Expenditure on marketing and advertising should be undertaken with a clear understanding of the expected return. We offer sound solutions for the promotion and marketing of products and services while always bearing in mind the available budget.

Gail Truman, GMT Advertising

We have been using Simon and Selena Barr’s services for over a year now and they have been instrumental in Edgar Brothers strengthening its media output. The addition of Tweed Media to the Team Wild stable was one we resisted, and our working relationship stayed with Tweed Media. We had generated a good relationship with Tweed Media and saw no reason to extend our requirements past that on a day-to-day basis, especially as TW was handling the PR for one of our competitors.

05 DerekEdgar copySimon and Selena have become an extended part of our marketing team, which is absolutely essential if any media/PR agency is to understand what the customer requires of it. Only by understanding how its customer operates can it understand the goals required by the customer and what is needed to reach that goal. Any business is a complicated multi-level entity, and anyone coming into any organisation from outside needs to have the ability to work in any environment and with the characters within it.

It has been essential to us to have an agency that understands the shooting market. I’m sure there are many in the shooting industry who have appointed agencies based on how well they have sold themselves (it’s their job after all) but who don’t understand the shooting market or the people within it. It is also important to have an agency who can keep matters confidential as new brands are discussed and distribution comes into it (only by knowing this can marketing be planned in advance and re-channelled at a moment’s notice if required).

It is, however, important to us that we do not lose our contact with the magazines, editors, authors and so on. Although there was some negativity surrounding us hiring a PR agency, any author or editor is always free to contact us directly. Our PR agency is there to help us push out our press releases, editorial and reviews and so increase our business with the dealer network, not to take over our whole marketing output.

Derek Edgar, Edgar Brothers

With the support of the Country Sports South West project, we engaged a marketing consultant local to us with relevant knowledge. Anna Oliver of Fresca Marketing translated our aims into a plan we could all follow, and we began to work together to deliver each stage.

Together Ken and I have energy and passion in abundance, we’re confident in the quality of our shoot, accommodation and service. Anna’s help in communications brought every element together.

We were particularly surprised, or I’d go as far to say amazed, by the power of PR. Engaging an external agency 10 months ago has been a wholly positive experience, and any initial reservations were put aside quickly. Collaborating skills and knowledge, with an aim in sight, opens up the business to exciting opportunities that are not always visible when working alone. We have exciting plans for expansion, and we’ll continue to invest in marketing.

Melanie Rose-Gale, Hendra Barns

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