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In Turbulent Times, Experience Matters: Choosing the Right Communications Firm

Robin Derryberry, Derryberry Public Relations

Government shutdowns. Political scandals. Economic upturns and downturns. What is the best way for businesses to promote a communication strategy that will reach target audiences with the best message? For many companies, part of that strategy is choosing the right communications firm to support your work.

Getting Started…

First, it’s important to remember that a brand is the first glimpse into a company’s reputation. Firms entrusted to assist with communication strategies should know what’s important to the organization’s mission, vision and most of all, the bottom line. Successful brands have authentic voices that mirror the business. From highly professional messages projected by law firms to playful posts from quick service restaurants (QSRs), those who understand a company’s brand create effective messaging.

Know Your Limitations…

As business owners or administrators, time is spent (as it should be) focused on meeting customer needs, coordinating daily operations and addressing employee issues. Just as companies depend on accountants, lawyers and bankers to handle various aspects of business, a communications strategist can take the worry out of how a company presents itself to the public. 

Kick the Tires…

In considering a communications firm, it’s important to kick the tires. What type of reputation does the firm have? How well-versed is the firm in addressing complicated issues? What type of track record does the firm have and are they willing to provide references for their work?

In Turbulent Times, Experience Matters…

From hot political races to business challenges, it’s important to have a guiding hand who puts issues into perspective and provides an effective strategy to get to the other side. In today’s world, experience matters and is as important as protecting a company’s intellectual property and reputation.

Knowing what to do with information is important.  Knowing what not to do is equally important; however, having a relationship with a firm that has a long-standing history can be critical to a company’s overall success.   

The Art of Discretion…

Some of the most important business and political battles in our region have been won or lost based on the discretion of those involved on either side. In a world that tends to live life on social media, it’s important to measure words, take a breath and listen to what others have to say before responding.  Knowing the impact and implications of messages can move political will and change minds. These same rules apply to business.

In considering a communications strategy and a partner to deliver the company message, it’s important to have a partner who can take an objective stance on the issue and isn’t encumbered by representing a competitor in the same industry.

And speaking of the art of discretion, many businesses may not want their clients to know they’ve hired a communications firm. They want their words to be authentic, relatable and true to their brand. So do we.

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