Would you give the company accounts to someone who couldn’t add up? No? So why would you try and do your own strategic communications?
Consider this. You’re a decent sized SME with a healthy turnover and strong growth. You’re trying to penetrate new areas of your market, increase your brand equity and develop a stronger relationship with your customers and other stakeholders. You’re also trying to reach more people with your story and your product. You need a strategic approach, strong media contacts and an understanding of what gets a run and why. So… you decide to do it yourself.
Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. But this is still a path many business owners take in the mistaken belief that building a profile, gaining the right kind of media coverage (notice I said, RIGHT kind) and building a brand is as simple as pressing “send” on an email or fax. The scenario I’ve put to you is just as ludicrous as suggesting that business owners take a DIY approach to legal, HR or financial strategy. Truth is folks, strategic communication, corporate affairs, whatever badge you want to give it, is as much a speciality as any other. The other truth is, whether it’s a washing machine or advice you’re buying, you will always get what you pay for.
How do I know this? Apart from starting and running a successful national consultancy of my own, I was a working journalist for nearly 15 years before this. I have seen the good, the bad and the downright insane from both sides of the trench. So let me give you a few examples of the kind of thing I’m talking about, perhaps they’ll sound familiar.