The PR scene in Manchester and Cheshire is highly competitive.
PR agencies trying to secure for their clients those vital column inches or search engine rankings will be constantly trawling established and emerging media for ‘windows of opportunity’. More than that, they’ll be having joined-up brainstorms to create newsworthy stories that will knock the competition ‘off the front page’!
Of course, this is all good news for the media. One only has to look at the success of publications such as the Manchester Evening News, Cheshire Life and so on to gauge the vibrancy of the social and business scene. No doubt their advertising departments flourish on the back of it.
As far as PR goes, it means that a certain level of strategic planning has to be involved. In particular, for a PR agency’s campaign to succeed, it will need the active involvement of a senior person in the client company. Without their strategic direction – and someone in authority to push through ‘on-message’ publicity – the PR agency’s job is impossible.
Of course, this isn’t applicable solely to local PR, but the intensity and sensitivities of local market conditions can play a major part in a story’s usability. On the other hand, the opportunities for local PR to offset negative perceptions of a company’s activities or ‘massage’ local public opinion can be priceless.
The implications and influence of local PR go right to the heart of what public relations is all about, namely, managing corporate reputation. Corporate social responsibility starts with a local dimension which may seem a million miles away from a company’s need to make profits. No business exists in a vacuum, however, and every bit of information or news that leaves a company must be considered alongside the impact it will have on the local community, the workforce, suppliers and customers.