The PR value conundrum – what does value look like?
Value can mean many things and it is often difficult to measure the value of a service. However, when it comes to our PR and digital services offering, we have a very clear understanding of what value looks like from a delivery and business impact perspective.
From time to time, when prospective clients enquire about our service, irrespective of the budget proposed, we get asked whether we can provide our service at a reduced fee or even slash it by half. This is usually when a value discussion is required. We need to educate prospective clients on what good looks like and what is required to make an impact.
Affirming our worth isn’t a bad thing – it reminds us of the quality output promise we make to our clients. But how does a client know if he or she is receiving value?
Quality and impact
For us, value is about delivering a return on investment (ROI) while meeting the objectives that have been set out by the client.
As specialists in PR and digital services, specifically for ICT clients, we know our stuff. We have a deep understanding of the industry, tactics, media and what is considered newsworthy. But isn’t this what’s expected from a specialist tech agency? Perhaps, but we have more qualities that differentiate our offering.
The quality of our service can be attributed to a team of three servicing a client: a strategist; an account manager; and an experienced and knowledgeable writer who is specifically matched to a client. Mix this with a strategic plan linked to a client’s business objectives, a healthy dose of tenacity to secure media placement of quality content that moves the needle for our clients and you have the perfect storm to deliver ROI. Surely quality output, plus ROI and meeting business objectives equal value?
Now, how do you attach a value to value? This is where we need to demonstrate our worth. When you engage with a potential client, attributes such as knowledge, understanding, consultation, quality and delivery remain words (and promises) on paper.
Delivery and results
The real test is whether a consultancy can deliver on its promise during the first 90 days of service. The objective is to implement the right tactics and messaging. However, a good agency will pressure test messages and differentiate the client from its competitors. An agency worth its salt will offer clarity on what is happening in the industry and elevate tactics and messaging above the clutter to deliver solid results that meet the client’s business objectives.
The result is that a client invests in value and receives value. An agency that takes a collaborative approach to client delivery will also do regular temperature checks with the customer, will commit to review sessions and will put measurement tools in place to ensure that the strategy delivers on its promise to meet specific business objectives.
B2B tech companies should view PR as an investment that enables them to demystify their products and services, build credibility and emphasise the business value of their offerings. However, B2B tech businesses should demand value and expect nothing less.