We talked our way out of business this week. We do it a lot. A potential client contacted us and wanted to do some PR. He wanted to appear in industry press and raise the profile of his business. The industry he works in is one we know well, and we have an amazing media contact list for it.
He wanted the results of the campaign to be more visitors to his website. This is the easiest way to see return on investment from a campaign, as there is no hiding from Google Analytics. Upon closer inspection we discovered that his website was seriously lacking. Built on a dated platform, the site had been added to over the years by a variety of staff. The content was not consistent with the image they wanted the press coverage to portray, and the site didn’t work as well as it could on mobile devices.
We could have just said yes to the work, and driven traffic to the website, but the chances of the visitors to it being turned off the company as a result were high, and therefore we politely advised the client that there was no point investing in a PR campaign until they had looked at updating the website.
As the potential client was a family company, we then ran into historical politics. The site was run and managed by a relative of the Managing Director. A Managing Director who couldn’t see an issue with the website, and was not open to our objective heckling. He thought we were on the up-sell. The site wasn’t updated, we didn’t get the PR work.
We could of course have pitched and won the business. We could have got them the coverage they craved and the increased visitors they desired. What we couldn’t have done, was change the opinion of the site visitors. Good PR is about raising profile and improving reputation. If we have to turn down business to do this, so be it. And whilst we’re happy to create a brand-new website, we also happily work alongside the client’s own web developers, helping them to create a platform that adds to the company’s online reputation.
So if you want a debate, a heckle, or a refusal to do as we’re told, come and chat to us!