I am all for an holistic approach, combining PR, marketing, a bit of blogging, social media and the like to help connect with audiences.
It isn’t a dark art but instead more about telling people what you’re doing clearly, effectively and entertainingly, if you can. And you should be able to, if you’re passionate about what you do then it should be easy to get the message out.
Chances are, if these are all things you want to do then you’ll be hiring an expert to get on-board and help you out. You’ll meet for a chat, they’ll wow you with networks and follower numbers, an understanding of the newest technology and the time they can offer you. But there could be one question you’re not asking and it’s an important one. What are your goals and how are you going to measure them.
KPIs are big in the private sector but we’re often really bad at them in the arts and for PR and marketing it is incredibly important. Not only does it help measure how good a job you’re doing but it helps with funding applications, awards and helps keep you on track. Even if your business plan and strategy is written on the back of a napkin, you need markers in place to know you’re heading in the right direction.
All too often we stride off in what we think is the right direction, not listening to anyone else and then bemoaning all and sundry when it goes wrong. Instead if we have clear, regular goals that everyone knows about, we can help eachother stay on track.
So if you are hiring someone to help raise your profile and get your name out there these are some questions I’d ask:
*Where do you see us being in five years?
*How do you measure progress?
*How often can you evaluate figures and provide regular reports of activity?
*What does success look like?
*What impact will you work have?
These are general, of course and can be applied more specifically to different activity but evaluation is so important, particularly if we rely on funding. We need to be able to prove the job we’re doing and not only show the direction we want to go in, but how we’ll know we’re there when we arrive.