How can I advertise my PR agency?
I want to start advertising and marketing my PR firm to acquire new customers but I'm not sure how to start. My business partners say that PR agencies don't normally advertise BTL or ATL. Can anyone please share your thoughts on this?
I assume you refer to ATL instead of OTL and in regards of a PR agency I would definitely focus your attention on BTL instead of ATL advertising. The reason Why I would focus on BTL is that to me it makes more sense to focus your PR on a specified group of businesses rather than a broad group. For example PR for the tourism industry works through different channels as for the games industry.
So I would say focus your energy on an industry that you feel comfortable with and have plenty of knowledge about and start approaching companies in person, by direct (e-)mail or telephone. Show them you have PR insight, perhaps even try and dig out some dirt on them and let them know how you would be able to help them turn a seemingly bad situation into a good publicity opportunity.
Think of it more as an interview process. The best way to hire is to hire someone you have worked with in the past; likewise, the best way for a brand to hire an ad agency/PR firm is to work with them. No, I'm not saying give your expertise away for free. I'm saying utilize your existing portfolio of brands to engage and then soft sell potential clients. An easy, low cost way of doing this is through co-branded promotions. Who hasn't opened their Facebook, Twitter or other social media without seeing some sort of giveaway or sweepstakes? It's an easy email grab that can then be loaded into a drip campaign and from that point on, it's just simple math. So, choose one of your current clients, either a B2C product or service, and then contact a prospect to collaborate with your current client on a co-branded promotion. This allows you to showcase your work for the potential client; plus, you'll keep your current client happy by using innovative marketing techniques. It's the definition of a win-win.
I would suggest make a list of companies in the sector of choice, who could benefit with your service, find the contact details of concerned people, use linkedin/their website and reach out to them.
Also you could reach out to bigger PR firms in your country and partner with few to check if they could outsource some the work to your firm
Create some buzz for your organization by writings blogs in relevant forums.
Everyone can use advertising. Yes ATL might be the wrong route but BTL would help spread the word. But the key area where I would focus on if I were you would be digital marketing and social media marketing to spread the word.
From my point of view, services are special productos to communicate, and that means that traditional strategies not always apply, specially when services are based on expertise / knowledge and relationship transfer, in that case I consider WOM (Word of Mouth) the most effective, which represents to find the way of incentive your clients to recommend your company based of course in a good experience, that is some thing that you can promote, since the basic exercise of ask them for written recommendations or a verbatim posted in your web. If viable you can stimulate the practice with some incentive as a gratitude, being careful of not become it in an influence of the comment, because that might generate an ethical issue. Of course there are important tools that you always need to use as a good web page that efficiently presents what do you have, that hopefully you have previously made sure your self really meets the necessities and expectations of your target group; you can transmit key messages by triptychs, mailing, data base management, participate in events related to your field, etc. This is not the unique way, but given the limitations to transmit here, I consider this is the must recommendable. Hope it helps! All the best!!
1) Create online content/tutorials explaining the benefits of the service you offer, rank this content well and make sure it appears along the same search results as the content created by your competitors. Make sure you also create tutorials and case studies on Youtube and Social Networks.
2) Offer free incentives for reviews, refferals etc. Consider coupons websites.
3) Network in industry fairs, get some "Speaker" time by joining workshops for start-ups etc.
4) You should be warm enough for investing on paid ads at this stage, dont just stick to one platform, test them all out.
I would say references, references, references. A positive review and reference goes a long way.