Although some professionals may call me one, I am not a fan of the phrase public relations consultant. The word consultant means to impart advice. I, along with many other public relations and communications consultants with whom I work, do so much more for clients. And often the clients are pleasantly surprised by the scope of connections and skills that turn their business outreach goals a reality.
Over the past 14 years working as a public relations professional, my style has evolved to become a professional who works as an extension of a client company’s staff. We’re a trusted partner. Clients confide in us, and yes we provide counsel. The best part is really what happens after the counsel concludes and the work begins. That’s when we become the tacticians. This is the list of everything we do and have done for clients.
Message Development–Ever try to write your company’s story? It’s hard! Is it real? Is it what your client and partners would say? That’s why we don’t just counsel a client to make a message. We make it for them. We interview employees, their clients, vendor partners and anyone else close them. We ask questions about what they think of the company, how they describe the people and more. That’s where the story becomes true and the brand becomes authentic. Then we write the message and present it to the client. We also help them integrate it into their communications systems via planning.
Planning–We don’t just tell clients what to do, we use the messages, identify their audiences, research the marketing communications options, write them down on paper (not just tell them), find out how much it costs and create a timeline. Maybe a client has someone on staff who can do the work. Great! We bring that professional into the process to create along with us. Maybe they don’t have someone to do the work. We have partners who do graphic design, photography, videos, internal communications and all of those other communications tactics that complement our integrated marketing and public relations expertise. I also co-own a company that helps client to find professionals at affordable rates.
The tactical work…
- Writing–and a lot of it! Letters, news releases, websites, social media, blogs, byline articles, employee memos, company descriptions for websites/online and the list goes on and on.
- Community Relations–We’re actually working with a client right now to craft a new community relations program. This project means consulting and meetings, yes, but it also means events, connections and ideas.
- Working with reporters–There are a lot of them in Indianapolis and I am fortunate to have built great relationships with many journalists. If you want to have an article written and published, it’s not as easy as you’d think. It takes many phone calls, conversations and connections.
- Trade Shows–A client recently decided it was time to get involved in trade shows. We created the trade show graphics, planned the communications, prepared their speaker for his presentation via editing PowerPoint slides and updating brochures (writing/graphics/printing).
- Email newsletters–Writing and keeping up with the graphics to make the content readable and consistent with message is part of our weekly work flow.
- Websites–Build it and they will come. So not true. We write the content and have partners who design and tech it out to our specs. Then we optimize it for Google and other search engines. Adding those blogs noted above keeps the content fresh and Google happy because you keep feeding content.
- Meeting prep and planning-I’ve work with clients to prepare small business meeting forums–AKA Roadshows.
- Photos–Some clients don’t have big budgets. I have a camera. I take a few photos and then they own the photos instead of buying them from a stock photo company or having a photographer come in to do staged shots. The latter, I’ve also coordinated for clients with bigger budgets.
This list could go on and on. So if your truly wondering what a public relations consultant in Indianapolis can do for your business… just ask them. Chances are they’ll do a whole lot more than you’d ever expect to help you achieve your communication’s goals.