The financial crisis of 2008 may seem a lifetime ago, but we are far from recovered. Economies are growing very slowly by historic standards and UK public debt is double its pre-crisis level relative to the size of the economy. This is keeping firm eyes on quick return on investment for services. Kirsty McMahon, new client strategist at Stone Junction, explains the negative impact on your PR campaign.

There has always been one reason or another to keep tight control on the purse strings, whether it’s financial crises of regional or international proportions or seismic political shifts like Brexit. Marketing spend is often the first to be assessed for savings potential, mostly because it can be tricky to prove return on investment (RoI). This keeps the pressure on marketing managers to shoot for quick wins to keep hold of their share of the kitty.

While this is completely understandable, the attention on quick wins results in building PR and marketing campaigns that rely on entirely the wrong tactics for long-term success. Social media competitions, paid for content, Facebook ads and discount deals will get you some low hanging fruit to showcase increase web traffic and sales, but it’s a bit like building a house of straw in an area prone to hurricanes — you’re going to have to rebuild it after every storm season.

Instead, marketing managers need to think longer term and outline a strategy that will show RoI in a sustained and reliable way. Thought leading content PR, media relations, speaking opportunities and high value downloadable assets are all foundations that will build you one of those new-fangled hurricane proof homes that will be standing for generations.

JP Hanson, chief executive of international strategic consultancy Rouser, recently wrote a very interesting article supporting this point for Marketing Week, which you can read here. He said, “The problem with the approach is that while long-term strategies always provide short-term results, short-term tactics practically never have long-term benefits. In fact, due to their nature, they tend to erode brand equity.”

I can’t put it more succinctly than that. There are several ways to demonstrate what results a long-term approach will yield and when if you are working with a PR agency that can help you develop a strategic map for the next three to five years, plotting campaigns, tactics and goals in a realistic manner.

If you’re struggling to prove your RoI point, give me a call on +44 (0)1785 225416 or email kirsty@stonejunction.co.uk and we’ll have a chat about how we can help.

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