Norfolk County Council offers free advice to SMEs

Norfolk County Council is believed be the first local authority in the UK to offer free PR consultancy advice to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The initiative is part of the economic partnership project for the area, Shaping the Future, and allows local firms to get free advice and press release distribution from the Norwich offices of PR consultancy Band & Brown Communications.

The agency’s Norwich MD Patrick Peal said the initiative, called DIY PR, is part of its contract to assist the council to promote the partnership’s work over the next three years. It is also promoting the council’s website (, which relaunched last week and contains a link to the DIY PR service.

Peal said the free consultancy service would be reviewed after six months.

He said: ‘We are being paid a flat rate as part of our contract. We are not sure how it will pan out. We may end up being inundated and, if that happens, we will have to review it.’

He added that local IT companies were among the first to use the service.

Band & Brown Communications, which last week won the Grand Prix at the Eastern Region IPR Pride Awards, reports to council head of economic development Sandra Dineen.

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