Effective Communications for 2015

In the final Chamber networking event of 2014, Charlie Pooley, Managing Director of Public Relations company Funky Cucumber Limited treated us to a master class on planning effective communications for 2015.

The end of one year and the start of another is an excellent time to take stock: to consider the year’s achievements and to plan marketing initiatives for the coming year.

“As a starting point, write a list of everything you did in 2014 to promote your business; target new leads and build relations with existing customers. Involve colleagues in the process and give an honest appraisal of each activity – what was the aim, was this achieved, has it given the business a positive return – if not, why? Also look at how much time was spent on each task and if there is a more time/cost effective way of achieving the same results… Evaluating the success of initiatives like this will not only save you time and money in the long run, it will also inform future PR strategies.”

Having established that few of those attending make much use of external PR agencies, Charlie concentrated on initiatives that all businesses can take. These included:

  • Ensure that your web site is up-to-date and use analytics tools such as Google Analytics to keep improving it.
  • Consider other forms of promotional literature – do you have them, and are they up to date? E-brochures are easily updated, at much lower cost than traditional print brochures.
  • Consider what social media channels might be appropriate to your business and how you might use them.
  • Network, attend events, consider putting yourselves up for awards. Be proactive in researching events beforehand, including delegate lists, and following up afterwards.
  • Don’t ignore opportunities for coverage with newspapers and other media.

There was a useful discussion on a number of points, in particular social media.

This event was supported also by The Business Club South Bucks: “Running in South Bucks now for three years now, our aim is to provide an enjoyable, educational and useful networking group for a variety of local business people. We are actively seeking new members from across all business sectors and warmly welcome you to come along to find out more.” We were glad to welcome several of their members.

After the formal proceedings there was a riotous version of pass-the-parcel with prizes in the form of services from various Chamber members.