Finding value for money whilst benefitting from an effective PR campaign that delivers impactful results… is this too much to ask?

With the perception of big campaigns only involving high-profile stunts, expensive celebrity led campaigns and over the top experiential events, it’s no surprise that brands with small budgets think good PR is out of reach.

The reality is very different. PR ideas for small budgets need to be agile and clever, with tight planning and no room for waste.  This is often where creativity is at its best. Agencies have to work harder and think outside the box to deliver strong results.

So how is this done?  How do we find PR inspiration from the smallest of ideas and budgets, and turn it into a successful campaign that delivers tangible results?

From our experience, it all begins with the planning.  To create something impactful that doesn’t cost the earth, we must know the brand’s story, target audience and be clear on the objectives.  The rest is down to the brand and the agency to work together; ultimately, it is about the communication between the two.

This seems simple, but many businesses go into a PR plan not fully knowing or understanding their end goals or the people they are trying to reach.  The key to the working with small PR budget is to identify how the brand’s target market consume their media and figure out a low-cost way of reaching them. For example, when we recently activated an organic influencer campaign for Scotland’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit Feragaia, we only targeted a tight knit group of outdoor adventurer influencers.  Instead of focusing on the reach of the influencers, we looked for people who would be authentically engaged with the brand and have the ability to produce quality content.  The campaign delivered 268.7k reach with no additional spend whatsoever.

Integration and amplification are key factors that can be the difference between success or failure. PR works best when there are multiple elements: media relations (trade and consumer), social media campaigns, influencer outreach, thought leadership and events – all working together and complementing each other.

And this is also where you can do some of the leg work and use the PR assets to the brand’s advantage.  If you can manage and amplify some elements of the campaign in-house – i.e. share content on your own personal pages, use press coverage in buyer or sales presentations – you’re winning.  Save the budget and put it to good use elsewhere whilst keeping the conversation going.

So, if you want to raise awareness and brand fame, build credibility and get people to understand your brand’s story, try thinking outside the box.  Be mindful of what can be managed in-house and what services you really need to work with an agency to deliver.

A good agency has the media contacts, the expertise and the experience to deliver impactful results with less money.  They will also tell you when a story isn’t a story, or when it needs help to make it land editorially – it may need some cultural or creative builds to make is mediaworthy. It’s these benefits you want to make the most of. We know what works and what doesn’t – we just need to know your story to find a way of telling it.