How consulting firms can harness PR for success

As a consultancy, being able to showcase your skills, knowledge, capabilities and services is your bread and butter. However, in a noisy and competitive environment, it can be difficult for consulting firms to get noticed.

This is where strategic public relations can help.

Considered and careful PR planning can help you raise brand awareness, enhance credibility, increase web traffic and bring media attention to you and your business.

PR strategy: it’s more than just press releases

There was a time when agencies would fire out news releases. Media coverage was the sole purpose of corporate strategy around PR. But there’s a lot more to it now.

Public relations strategy and PR tactics can now be folded and incorporated across a business’s operational purvey.

From engaging internal comms and employer brand exercises to inward-facing strategic council, crisis management and crisis communications, social media and content strategy… as well as writing press releases and getting press coverage.

The very nature of public relations and PR strategy has changed… there’s more to media success than can be found in a press release.

We also understand that our services are far less tangible than other businesses. So PR agencies can work very well with consultancy clients because we speak similar – or even the same – languages. We’re now far more consultative than ever before. Which helps when a consultancy client comes calling.

Choosing your PR Partner

Using a public relations agency can bring a fresh perspective to your marketing and communications strategies.

But, like with a lot of professional services, public relations agencies can differ hugely in their specialisms. So choosing the right agency partner is very important. After all, you wouldn’t choose a legal expert to represent you outside of their specialism, so why would you do any different when it comes to public relations campaigns and building your reputation?

It is important to find a PR partner with a proven track record in creating PR strategies for consultancies and the areas and sectors which matter to you.

It can sometimes be tempting to try to speed up the process of sourcing and appointing an agency. You’re keen to get going. But take the time and trust in the process. You’ll be better off in the long term finding the agency that’s right for you.

Once you’ve found a public relations firm you feel comfortable with, work with them to create a new PR strategy to enhance your brand’s reputation and public perception.

Building a comprehensive PR strategy

A solid PR strategy, which consultants can use to grow their business, will have clear objectives and measurable outcomes: far removed from the sometimes-used PR tactic in small businesses of firing out a press release when the business has a new client and forgetting about the bigger picture.

Your strategy will usually contain some overarching messages you want existing and potential customers to know about your consultancy business.

Underneath that will be your PR plan, divided up into campaigns focusing on different areas of your expertise. For example, your track record of delivering to tight timescales, or how your service has harnessed new technology to drive better outcomes for clients. Or a focus on certain sectors or verticals.

Your overall plan should include tactics to position you as an expert in your field, enhance your reputation, make you more visible to your target audience and let them know that your values align with theirs.

Ensure your PR plan includes clearly defined goals so you’re able to measure success against agreed PR metrics and key performance indicators. This will include the key messages of your company, a plan to gain coverage in the news outlets your target customers trust and monitoring of sentiment across multiple channels from social media channels to traditional media outlets.

Visibility and credibility: why less can be more

Your PR strategy shouldn’t just increase the visibility of your consultancy business, but also its credibility. But you shouldn’t focus on visibility, purely for the sake of it. Brand recognition is more about quality than quantity.

It may sound counterproductive, but there is greater value in having more concentrated visibility… sometimes less can be more.

This is because we’re now digitally dominant and where you place in a Google listing can be the difference between absolute success and total obscurity. Your brand mentions, media coverage, your social media posts and content, as well as your search engine optimization content all play a role here

But relevancy is king.

Having more content may sound great, but if that content is deemed as not relevant by Google and its crawling tools, that will negatively impact your visibility.

Focus PR efforts on what matters to you and your specific areas of expertise. Then lean into your thought leaders and leverage their experience for the greater good.

By doing so, you may have less in terms of sheer volume, but you’ll increase your relevancy, visibility and your credibility.

An analytical approach

To find out whether your strategy is working, you need to measure it.

Your public relations partner can grant you access to a suite of specialist PR tools, that you may not have the time, experience, analytical skills or resources to manage and navigate yourself.

This could be anything, from the more bread and butter media database and tools which track coverage and media mentions. Your agency may be capable of monitoring the growth of your Domain Authority, tallying backlinks from other websites into your own.

It could even go as far as advising on technical SEO; with keyword auditing and subsequent advice and strategy on content strategy, underpinned by technical SEO and keyword strategy.

With proper measurement, you can see where your public relations efforts are having the most cut-through.

This kind of insight is incredibly powerful, as it can give you and your partnering PR professionals tangible metrics into what is working and what is not.

In Summary

As a consultant, having a strong brand presence and credibility is crucial for attracting new clients and growing your business and strategic public relations partnership can be an invaluable asset in achieving this.

By carefully selecting a PR agency with deep experience in your sectors, you can develop a PR strategy and PR Campaigns that enhance your visibility, build trust with your target audience, and position you as a thought leader in your area of expertise.

By taking a data-driven approach and clear metrics for success, public relations activity can lead to heightened online presence – through earned media and your owned media and content – which can build brand awareness, increasing perceived value and reputational growth.

While increased visibility is the goal, don’t take your eye off the ball regarding cultivating trust through relevance. When you’re trying to build relationships, be it customers or media, this trust is key to brand building.

By honing in on your unique strengths and subject matter expertise, you build concentrated credibility rather than diluted awareness.

As the digital landscape continually evolves, having an experienced PR partner can ensure your content and messaging remain relevant.

In today’s crowded market, consultancies can no longer rely on word-of-mouth alone. A robust public relations strategy is now essential for standing out, nurturing your brand, and driving new business opportunities. Explore PR partnerships that can provide the strategic vision and execution to elevate your consultancy to new heights of success.

Ultimately, an investment in a PR firm is an investment in the growth and reputation of your consultancy.