Proper foundations for professional services

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We’re thinking of entering the building trade. We reckon it would be a great bolt-on service to offer; we’ll handle your publicity, run your social media campaigns, organise your launch event, improve your presentation skills…. and then build your new offices.

Well, why not? Afterall, we’ve seen those DIY programmes on TV, we own a couple of ‘simple home improvements’ manuals between us and Tiger Taz once helped lay a new patio. That qualifies us, doesn’t it?

Tell you what… if it helps cement our relationship (pun intended), we’ll try to find one of those free one day courses (there’s bound to be some that include bricks and mortar) and read up on a few regulations. Once we’ve done that, we’ll be able to blind you with building science when we meet to discuss the floorplan we’ve nicked from Google and will be passing off as our own.

Rubbish, right? We at Turquoise Tiger could no more build your offices than offer brain surgery or electrical engineering. Of course, the difference between all these areas and PR is that there are some pretty stringent rules and regulations to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Would you give your construction project to someone with no relevant experience; someone who’d never even seen a cement mixer? No, of course you wouldn’t, because that’s exactly what programmes like Rogue Traders and Watchdog warn us about.

Unfortunately, not all business areas are afforded that luxury. Take PR, for instance; apparently, all it takes to set up in business as a PR expert these days is a professional business photo – complete with a gleaming, white smile – a snappy website and the gift of the Blarney Stone.

Don’t get us wrong, there are some amazing PRs out there and we’ll happily recommend a few if we’re not your cup of tea, but there are an awful lot of blaggers as well.

It’s one of those areas, isn’t it? We live in an era where anyone can get a press release into the local newspaper and, if you’re lucky enough, you might even scoop a bit of national publicity, too. But let’s say you’ve done that… does it qualify you to set up as a public relations consultant? Does that mean you’d be able to secure a consistent, ongoing publicity campaign through multiple media channels? And if you’ve decided you need someone to work on your PR for you, wouldn’t you want someone with a more robust background than that?

Just for the record, us Turquoise Tigers have clocked up more than 45 years of combined publishing, journalistic and PR experience between us. What does that mean? It means we’ve been journalists, editors, page designers and publishing managers, as well as spending time in PR and marketing departments. It means we really know what the editors want and we’ve spent real, hands-on time on both sides of the fence. It means we’ve spent decades building very tangible, solid foundations on which to run our business. It means we know our stuff.

If you take nothing more than one simple piece of advice from this blog, let this be it: don’t be fooled by sharp suits and clever language – make sure your PR really has the practical experience you need to publicise your business. It takes much more than the ability to write a press release!

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4 Responses to Proper foundations for professional services

  1. Kate Beddow says:

    Oh this is so true honey, I have met so many people at networking days claiming to be everything from PR experts, to life coaches and web designers and you can tell, having talked to others over the years who know their stuff, that they have been made redundant or had a family and decided to go into it with no experience but knowing that as you say you can blag your way through if you have the gift of the gab. It’s really scary cause people will be taken in by this new brand of “expert!”.

    • Alison says:

      Absolutely, Kate. We’ve come across many people who have had their fingers burnt by contracting their marketing out to an ‘expert’ only to see their money swallowed up in no time with little or no return on investment. That’s why us Tigers always advise people to really get to know a marketer and check out their track record before signing them up.

  2. A perfect rant/blog I couldn’t have expressed it better myself. There are so many ‘experts and gurus’ about. How do we know? Because they tell us they are!

    • Alison says:

      Thanks for your comments Lesley. We’re glad you liked the blog and that it struck a chord. There’s no substitute for real-life, practical experience and as former editors, news editors and sub-editors with more than 45 years’ combined experience we like to think we can advise from a place of knowledge. The Turquoise Tiger den always aims to be a blag-free zone.

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