When Souter PR started trading in 2001, probably the biggest part of our job was to generate positive coverage in traditional print or broadcast media.

Over the past 17 years, the role of PR in the overall marketing strategy of a company has changed dramatically. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) describes PR as follows:

‘Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.

Customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists and regulators can have a powerful impact. They all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with – whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organisations.’

How we help our clients to encourage stakeholders to ‘buy into’ their products or services is now a multi-faceted challenge. The ultimate aim is to enhance reputation. This can of course only be achieved if we believe in what our client is trying to achieve. Are their products innovative and attractive to potential buyers? Do they engage with us as though we are a part of their own organisation? Are they prepared to invest to make the whole thing work – video, photography, events, marketing materials, available personnel? Is the client engaged with PR throughout its whole organisation from sales force to production line, delivery driver to director?

The CIPR says PR is a ‘planned and sustained effort’ – it’s not usually just about that one big annual push through a trade fair or a fashion show. Suppliers need to engage with their customers (and potential ones) via a continual drumbeat of positive messages. That’s what our job is all about – through social media engagement, website blogs and news stories, promotional materials, events, training and traditional media. It’s a long-term game – developing a positive, growth-driving reputation along the way.

Contact us to discuss how we could apply our PR skills to improve your reputation, and ultimately, your bottom line. Call 01625 839319 or email info@souterpr.co.uk