Has cutting comms budgets during coronavirus been a wake-up call for businesses?

Is it time to call the big name PR agencies bluff?

I think it is probably a truism to say that after coronavirus everything will change. It already has. Whole markets have changed their focus – making ventilators rather than floor cleaners or F1 cars, sanitizers rather than gin, gourmet restaurant chains making up food boxes for frontline workers. In other markets the sales emphasis may have changed by going entirely digital, providing more home deliveries, or managing operations using remote assistance. But it isn’t just operations that will change due to the impact of the virus, communications budgets will also get a re-think. Everyone will want to get back to business as usual as soon as possible after the pandemic, but budgets won’t instantly be the same as they were before. Here’s how you can still achieve great PR results while avoiding large agency fees.

A wake-up call to re-think your marketing and communications strategy

We all need to re-consider our ongoing communications strategy to take advantage of these new business opportunities and make up for any that were lost during the pandemic. Prospects are already looking for information on how to deal with the new reality and so are the editors of the key magazines they read. So now is the time to produce new content or adapt your existing material to help them both. There’s lots to be done and by starting to prepare now you can be up and running before your competitors.

But most marketing budgets have perforce been reduced – anything from 50 to 100%. How many businesses will rush to return to marketing spends at pre-COVID-19 levels?

Do the results match the big retainer?

Companies will start to look more forensically into the money they are spending on agencies charging high retainers – $10k to $15K monthly fee is usually just a starter before they get on to special projects – and begin to look for results. The media coverage, the engagement with influencers, the lead generation pipeline, the prospect account nurturing?

Get up to speed fast – take advantage immediately of new market opportunities

Before you consider returning to your high cost, high administration and big-name agency, come and talk to IBA. We have pioneered a revolutionary new Pitch&Place service that works from a single content hub. It slashes your agency costs and guarantees regular coverage in your top industry publications. We’ll produce a regular stream of monthly blogs, opinion pieces and by-lined thought leadership articles covering the changes in your market. All of this is supported by regular social content which will allow you to establish a reputation and industry leadership.

One geography costs less than $3,000 per month, with the cost reducing as you add more geographies worldwide or more markets – a fraction of the ad equivalency cost for a single country or global campaign. You’ll return to pre-COVID-19 PR activity levels at a third of the cost – you don’t need to spend more to get great results.

IBA calls the big-name agency’s bluff

Our method is tried and tested. It’s fast and guaranteed to work because we’ve developed the service with a mix of start-ups and tech industry leaders. You can be up and running in a month – before your competitors have even started to reorganize. And you’ll start to see immediate coverage – see how it works here. For more ideas about what it can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us via email. You can also keep in touch with us by following @IBAPR and @iBAengage on Twitter and IBA International on LinkedIn.

Jamie Kightley is Head of Client Services at IBA International.

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