Time to reflect

Written by Paul Stallard

Everything we do at our PR agency is to make our clients look good – and it’s therefore crucial that we work closely with them to ensure that we’re helping them achieve their goals. Working together on planning and messaging sessions helps establish a company’s priorities – whilst regular updates ensure that everything is being kept on track.

But in the day-to-day life of press office activity, briefings, comments and news hi-jacking, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture: the why and the how.

At Berkeley Communications, we expound the virtues of storytelling: we genuinely think it’s the best way to cut through the noise, get traction and, most importantly, achieve coverage. And whilst the clients we work with actively agree with our methods – attending our storytelling courses, brainstorming ideas with us and participating in briefings to ensure that we nail the messaging together – the story can sometimes get lost as we move throughout the month, quarter, and year.

With a regular schedule of content constantly flowing between clients, agencies and journalists – and often going back and forth between head offices and numerous in-house teams – it’s easy to lose sight of what a client is trying to achieve, and thus ensure that agency activities are paving the way to meet this goal.

For our clients, this is generally press coverage: in order to help support company objectives, including new offices and product launches, a business (understandably) wants column inches to help raise awareness and increase customers and sales.

That’s why we firmly believe in the importance of touchpoints along the PR journey. By taking time to reflect, we can identify – as a team –what hasn’t worked, so that we can re-focus our approach. This might include agreeing methods and timelines to ‘storify’ press releases that wouldn’t otherwise get traction with the UK press – whilst also keeping every part of the client organisation happy and pulling in the same direction.

It’s also crucial to identify what has worked, so that we can continue to deliver that approach and keep the coverage rolling in – plus look at what can be done to strengthen an approach even better and boost numbers even further.

As weeks turn into months, months turn into quarters and quarters turn into years, it can be ever more difficult to find time to reflect – with urgent emails and tasks always jumping to the top of our to-do lists. However, it’s important to find this time and ensure that everyone is telling the right stories – and whether the story has actually changed since the start of the process – to result in the best outcome.