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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Where's the Value of Communications Consultants?

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Look, I'll come forward and admit it...at face value, public relations can be a subjective affair.  At times, getting to the point of what it clearly delivers can be a challenge.  So let me make it very clear.  If I were to pick one fundamental value proposition good communication strategy delivers, it is reputation.

The challenge however for organizations is getting to understand that reputation is something that is priceless. In fact it touches every aspect of a good functioning cause. Public Affairs consultants are reputation brokers. We build and protect reputations and by doing that we impact on good functioning of marketing by making certain that evert dollar spent is done so strategically. We keep organizations in tune with their stakeholders, clients, and even internally with staff so as to ensure organizations hold onto valuable employees.

This is what I called Omnifluence in a previous post: the measure of our effectiveness in influencing the entire stakeholder universe. Communications/ Public Relations Consultants are brokers of influence. Those organizations that can capitalize on this knowledge base are the ones that will see mutiple benefits in the end.

Do you have the internal staff and expertise to commit the internal resources to your public relations, marketing, advertising efforts? 

If you have the internal staff, and they understand Guerrilla PR principles, then there may be no reason to hire an outside agency. Paradoxically, the busier you get, the easier it is to parlay, or "set aside" consistent, important PR activities. Don't get caught in that trap! 

You may need PR, and you may even have the people to conduct your public relations, marketing, advertising campaigns but that's not enough. To be truly effective, your PR campaigns must be conducted with PASSIONATE CONSISTENCY.  It is for this reason that why I believe it makes good business sense to hire a public relations firm to market your product or service.

Many people think of consultants as expensive. However, a good consultant can save money. First, because hiring someone in-house with that much expertise could cost much more (think fixed expense vs. variable expense). Second, because they have highly specialized knowledge difficult to find in an employee, consultants can identify areas of vulnerability—such as illegal claims made on your product packaging or gaps in your quality control program—which, if not addressed, could cause a financial nightmare down the road.