Most accounting firms I know – especially the smaller ones – don’t invest a lot in PR. (Matter of fact, most of them don’t invest anything at all.) The reasons for this are fairly simple:
- It’s difficult to measure. You can spend between £100 and £300 a month on good PR and see absolutely nothing for six months or even a year (nothing you can trace back directly, that is).
- It’s less understood. Some of these marketing tips you get by email are so simple, anyone could do it. PR involves good writing, a clear understanding, and matching a structure.
- It’s vague. It provides a general good feeling about the company, and causes people to think, ‘I know I’ve seen that logo somewhere before’. Accountants particularly are not a big fan of such undefined stuff. It’s more about feelings than it is about facts.
- It requires experience. The more you know, the more connected you are (or your PR person is), the better your PR is.
So, should you bother? Maybe just stick with what you’re doing now and leave PR alone?
I’d say definitely not, and here’s why.
Everyone else is sticking with what they’re doing now, and expecting different results. Does the word insanity come to mind?
Here are my tips about getting good PR for your accountancy firm:
- Get practical help from someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re not a PR consultant, don’t pretend to be. Find someone who is and get them to help you. They know how to get good PR for you, and you know how to help serve your clients. Stick with what you’re good at.
- Stick with it. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, give up after three months and you haven’t “seen any new business yet”. Prepare yourself for not seeing any new business directly resulting from your PR for perhaps a year. Or longer. One company I worked for got a new client and thought it was because they met them at a networking organisation. Truth was, the new client had seen the company in the paper, met someone else from the same company a month ago, and received a newsletter in the post that morning. How do you measure PR?
- Budget for it. You have to put money into it, or it’s not going to happen. There are PR consultants who can get some good press for you for about £100 or so a month. The more you spend, the more noticed you get. It’s up to you. Perhaps it’s a better spend than that random advertisement you got suckered into (again), or the business cards for team members who never use them.
- Learn more about it. Go to networking events or business seminars or online webinars and learn what PR is all about. The more you know, the better it will work for you. It’s amazing how much information is out there.
- Get clever. Trade services with a marketing or PR consultant so that you are both helping each other. Work out a long-term plan, not just a 3-month or 6-month plan.
Get your name out there, everywhere, for a long time. You will reap the benefits in the end.