What is the best way for agencies to pursue new business during uncertain economic times?
When chasing new business, agencies should focus on the three pillars of business development – prospecting, penetration, and promotions, says Jeff Wilson, AVP and director of business development at CRT/tanaka. Prospecting new clients should be systematic and ongoing, and not just a focus when the economy is down.
“Penetration means looking closely at your current clients as sources for new business,” he says. “The best source of new business is the client you already have.”
Think about whether there are different divisions within the company that you aren't working with, or if you offer services that clients aren't utilizing. Agencies also should heed the advice they give their clients and not slash PR and marketing budgets during tough times.
“If anything, be more aggressive,” Wilson advises.
What online and social media tools are available to help increase my exposure at events and trade shows?
Innovative communications tools can help drive exposure before, during, and after events or trade shows. This can help drive interest, leads, and sales, says Susan McPherson, VP of global events at PR Newswire.
“For example, exhibitors can create a microsite that contains information on the exhibitor's organization and provides the opportunity for event attendees to download information, schedule appointments, and engage in meaningful ways with the exhibitor,” she says.
To maximize the microsite's impact, McPherson believes exhibitors should send a news release with video and social media tagging to entice visitors to further engage with the exhibitor and drive them to the site.
“For even more targeted exposure,” she suggests, “an exhibitor can store its organization's thought leaders in an expert database that is easily searchable by those who cover their industry.”
RMTs vs ANRs
What are some ways to determine whether to use a radio media tour or an audio news release to get exposure for an issue?
ANRs work well in breaking news situations, or when the story has a consistent, straightforward message, says Susan Matthews Apgood, president of News Generation. Generally, if a story can fit on one page, with double-spaced lines, then the issue is straightforward enough to use an ANR.
“If the issue warrants more explanation than a 60-second release,” she adds, “consider a radio media tour.”
Apgood believes an RMT is the best option for issues like new medical treatments or something discussed as the focus of a TV program.
“These allow spokespeople to interact with reporters [and] provide more explanation of their issues,” she explains. “And it gives the reporter the opportunity to take a certain angle they may be interested in.”