Expert Suggests New Strategies Small PR Agencies Can Deploy to Get Clients
By Azeez Disu
The Managing Director of Integrated Indigo Limited, Bolaji Abimbola has said that one of the major concerns for most small public relations agencies when starting is how to attract clients but beyond that having the right strategies in place to grow with and retain them for long matters.
He disclosed this recently at the monthly PR Clinic of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) where he spoke on “Clients Acquisition Strategies for Small PR Agencies”
Abimbola stated that the concern of attracting and retaining clients has discouraged many from starting their PR shop and many have had to shut down after operating for some time.
“For small PR Agency owners like every other consulting firm, attracting a steady stream of clientele is one of the major concerns when starting out and in the early years.
“But it is not only about attracting the clients but also having strategies in place to grow with and retain them for long.
“This concern has discouraged many from venturing, so for those who have crossed the rubicon and are ready or have started, congratulations!” he explained.
Suggesting some of the strategies to deploy to grow, he said the key acumen for growing small businesses includes: Know your client/ define your market, know your competition, hire the right people, dare to be different/carve a niche, and accept technology changes.
In his words, “The very first step in your journey to running any small business is to write a business plan or get someone to write for you. Please note that it is more rewarding to write it yourself. In the plan, you need to carefully identify the kind of clients you want to serve both in the short and the long term.
“You have to be intentional by defining your market (SMEs, Multinationals, NGOs, and Government Agencies, etc.). Write down the names of your potential clients even if you are not clear on how to get them.”
In another vein, he said “As a small agency, one of the winning strategies is to stand out, be different; you may choose to serve only SMEs, or Start-Ups, Fintechs. You may also choose to specialize in PR Training (NECCI) CSR (Tru Contact), Strategy, or Crisis Communication. You need to create your own blue ocean strategy; you may choose to provide services to Private Schools (Case Study -Chrisland School).”
On leveraging technology to grow, he said “In the fast-changing world that is disrupted by technology per seconds, any small agency desirous of winning in the marketplace must embrace and accept technology changes as one of the catalysts for growth.
“Media monitoring tools like MediaToolKit has replaced manual media tracking. The tools not only track mentions but can analyze the tonality, sentiments, and more.”
Thereafter, he outlined three major ways of getting clients; they are through referrals, cold calling/unsolicited proposals, and pitches.
In addition, he pointed out that key tips to grow small PR Agencies include share helpful content related to your niche, be present online (website/ social media), invest in SEO/SEM, attend meetups and events related to your ideal client’s industry.
Others are partner with other consultants or firms; join LinkedIn groups related to your ideal client’s interests, follow-up with old leads, and use online job listings.