A few months back, we were contacted by an executive search firm looking for a new PR agency. They’ve been in business for over half a century, their brand is recognised and they are a strong player within each market they operate. But after just five months of working with their current marketing agency, they were looking to make a change. Why so soon?
The answer was sales, or lack thereof, and the fact that the agency quite frankly didn’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to a) the recruitment industry, and b) PR and marketing itself. Either way, it was a recipe for disaster.
“The results are tangible. The business has seen a 25% increase in sales year-on-year, and from our website alone, we’ve seen a 56% increase in visits to our blog over a six-month period. This, in turn, has boosted our search engine ranking.”
By committing to a specific timeframe, we’d say a minimum of six months, the return on your PR investment will become clear. And here’s the proof from a few of the clients we have been working with over the last couple of years:
Success story 1: Legal Recruitment client
We started working with a recruitment firm and the first press release we sent out appeared in a couple of legal trade publications and the business pages of their local newspaper. A partner of one of the region’s biggest law firms within their sector saw the story but didn’t have a need for a recruiter at the time. Four weeks later a position came up at that firm and the partner remembered reading about our client and he contacted them. Our client earned £30k in commission on the back of that placement and has been retained as their preferred recruitment partner ever since…we’d love to know the billings generated since that initial press release!
If you’re looking to drive sales quickly, run an ad campaign instead
Success story 2: Generalist Recruitment client
This is one of the largest independent recruitment agencies in their region, and while they were a ‘name’ within their market, they were not necessarily the agency of choice for local employers. What they needed was to re-engage lapsed clients and remind them of who they are and how they can help them once again. We developed an email and newsletter campaign that was formed part of a larger PR campaign. One of these emails alone generated £5,000 in new business sales. The entire campaign itself saw revenues for the agency grow by almost a third year on year.
Success story 3: Technology Recruitment client
A cyber security recruitment client of ours wanted to raise their profile and get in front of as many of the right people, in the right way and at the right time. We produced a series of LinkedIn Pulse articles and amended one of the articles into a press release. The press release appeared in the likes of the FT and The Guardian among others, and a senior associate at a finance company based in The City spotted it, contacted our client and made a successful placement with them. Our client earned £18k in commission on the back of that one placement which all came from a single press release.
The impact of PR is felt over time, and several studies have proven the return generated far outstrips that of advertising. Indeed, one report stated that 8 out of 10 senior marketers say that PR is more effective than paid media (advertising and marketing) as a method for driving interactions with customers/clients and prospects and for building trust in a business.
“We’ve seen traffic to our website increase by 49%, and the number of followers across our social channels has outstripped that generated by paid-for advertising formats by 9:1”
If it’s that successful, do we do it for ourselves? Of course we bloody do.
We don’t advertise, we only do PR and we continue to grow our business and we’re growing because we practice what we preach. In doing so, our turnover has increased by 147% year on year, and our team has grown from four people to 10 over the same period.
We are the fastest growing PR agency in the UK that specialises in the recruitment sector. That’s because we practice what we preach.
At a time when competition between businesses across all sectors is at a record high, I don’t care what sector you operate or how great you think you are, you WILL get left behind by your competition if you don’t take your PR seriously.
Marketing will boost your sales in the short term, but it won’t prepare you for long-term growth. Besides, if the clients we mentioned above are making that much money from their PR, it makes business sense that you do the same. Or are you really prepared to leave all that money on the table?