Q: How is a business like yours different than other service providers?
A: There are many marketing-related tasks that local companies like yours may need help with, today or in the future.
That list may include things like developing a marketing strategy, creating fresh brochures or sales sheets, editing text and photos on your website, writing blogs, sending email marketing campaigns, managing social media accounts and consumer reviews online, working on corporate branding, handling crisis communications, or even brainstorming business-development ideas.
Bellingham PR & Communications is unique in that we can manage all of those tasks on your behalf; we are your “one call does it all” service provider. That is a relief to the leaders who retain Bellingham PR & Communications!
There are other providers in Whatcom County who specialize in a more targeted scope of work. They may produce content but not do graphic design or manage social media accounts. They may develop websites but not be able to generate content for the pages they are developing. They may do administrative-type work but not copywriting.
Working with Bellingham PR & Communications can save you time because you won’t have to explain your brand, goals and target audience to multiple vendors, each of them handling either your website, publicity, graphic design, branding or social media management.
BPRC’s “one call does it all” approach is an efficient way to manage PR and communications for your brand.
Q: Does our business need to be on social media?
A: That is a great question, and the answer really depends on your target market.
If the people who buy what you sell use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, those should be considered as part of your marketing toolkit.
For a number of reasons, we recommend that a great website be the cornerstone of all marketing efforts. From there, you can explore other options for consumer communication.
If you had to choose just one, it may make more sense, for example, for you to use email marketing over Facebook. It may be more beneficial for you to ramp up SEO with strategic website copywriting (blog articles), or you may find that Instagram is hot with your customers now.
We never recommend what we call a “spray and pray” strategy, which includes posting content on all platforms and seeing if anything sticks. Instead, research and consulting can help dial in the options for online marketing to two or three key areas in which to focus energies.
Q: If we hire you, can we still do some of our own marketing tasks?
A: Yes, absolutely. It really depends on the skills you have in-house and where there are gaps at any moment in time.
Some of our clients outsource all marketing and communications tasks to BPRC’s team for consistency’s sake — ensuring that communications tasks are completed even during peak times when leaders are busy with other projects.
In small business scenarios, the business owner often delegates directly to our team. In larger companies, department heads and other leaders — such as human resources and sales department managers — are empowered to delegate projects to our team.
Other businesses manage some marketing tasks in-house, such as photography, customer relations, and graphic design, and then they have our team help with other public-facing communications. We may write informational articles for their website, update their WordPress website, or manage their social media accounts.
Q: How do you work with clients who have limited marketing budgets?
A: One of the first projects you can assign to Bellingham PR & Communications is that of developing an onboarding plan/task list, which will include a thorough review of your existing marketing efforts.
The onboarding plan will dial in your goals and target markets and outline tasks that you would like to delegate to our communications team in the weeks ahead. A budget will be included in that plan so you know what to expect, and you will be asked to help prioritize the task list.
BPRC’s team will then systematically work through the plan based on your budget — it is handled like a retainer system. Understandably, if you have a $2,000-per-month “let’s get stuff done now!” budget, we will be able to move through tasks faster than someone with a $600-per-month budget.
Our team works hard to be respectful of all clients’ budgets and to keep them informed of suggested changes along the way (mainly related to “task creep”).
You might set a budget based on initial goals, and then when we get started, you may ask us to take care of other projects without thinking too much about the extra time it will take to complete those projects. We’re happy to help clients with as many tasks as they need help with; we just ask that they understand that the budget, or project completion dates, may need to be adjusted.
Q: Who will my point of contact be, and who will be communicating as my brand online if you manage social media?
A: This is a great question, and this is one you should ask any Bellingham communications company or online branding consultant you may be considering.
At BPRC, managing the voice of your brand online is something that is taken very seriously. We understand that you are trusting us with something that you have ownership of. That means something.
Our team is experienced, thoughtful, careful and cautious. Patti Rowlson and Brit Volpenhein are the only individuals on our team who will speak as your business online. We do not work with interns or delegate this work to others who would not have a similar level of expertise.
Depending on the projects being delegated, you may work directly with Patti or Brit.
Q: What if I'm not very good at delegating?
A: That is a challenge at times, and we can completely empathize with the situation.
Sometimes, it is a piece of your livelihood that you’re delegating. That’s a big deal. Many business leaders struggle with this until they find the right people/person to delegate to. We want to be that for you!
In the best scenarios, BPRC’s team will quickly earn your trust. You’ll understand the purpose of what we’re doing and trust our skills and the process.
In the case of creating content for your company’s website, the process goes like this: our team pitches an idea, gets approval or a little feedback from you, uses our copywriting skills and SEO knowledge to develop the content, sends you a draft for approval and a check of accuracy, and then publishes the content. There are a couple of touchpoints along the way.
Once we’ve established a trusting relationship, this is a process that should only take a few moments of your time.
If delegating hiccups arise, we’ll communicate with clarity and transparency to help you through the process.
Q: Are you the type of marketing people who have to have things done your way or not at all?
A: This question actually makes us chuckle. We would more accurately describe BPRC’s style as “making recommendations and nudging you along with encouragement, ideas and support.”
You know your business the best, and we are well-versed in the PR and communications industry. Together, we can share fresh ideas or even tweak your current efforts to increase success rates.
Working together is more of a team-like, supportive relationship.