By: Julia Fitzgerald - Senior Account Manager Jargon Group Cardiff
With today’s working landscape so different to five years ago, courtesy of COVID and the lockdowns we all endured, demands from both employees and clients have changed how people in the PR industry work. This structural change has also, arguably, made us more appreciative of what is on our doorsteps.
We have the ability to work from anywhere, so companies like mine are utilising our teams' local knowledge and local presence to build relationships based on our familiarity with how things work 'here'.
PR is known for putting companies in the spotlight for their achievements, product and service advances and exciting milestones. We pride ourselves on representing clients in different sectors, from manufacturing to technology, and an important part of the job is ensuring we communicate in the right tone and for the right audience.
It goes without saying that the right messaging is at the centre of any successful PR campaign. As a company with clients located around the world, all of which have different cultures and ways of working, mastering local PR closer to home has been crucial to our growth.
Over the past two years we have expanded our national presence to include bases in both Cardiff and Manchester. In a market like Wales which values local connections, building an agency with people who share roots with clients means we have been able to provide them with a valuable, local service from the start.
The importance of local relationships
In the age of social media, it is easy for the importance of local media outlets and local PR to be underestimated. Local publications, radio and TV stations are not scaled-down versions of their national counterparts; they are specialists in their areas, and will focus on local issues and stories long after the national outlets have moved on.
Familiarity with the local economy makes the difference in how news and insights are portrayed which is perhaps something only those on the ground can truly comprehend. Without a connection with a story, and how it develops, news can end up being a short-lived one-off whereas the local media often look for an opportunity to tell the the whole tale.
In Wales, as with other regions of the UK, people are proud of the achievements of organisations and industries and are willing to invest time and money in keeping business ‘in house’ to support the economy.
Communication is key
While managing PR regionally with the right messaging is key, drawing on local cultural nuances will always make a positive difference when it comes to journalist outreach.
Not all clients are city-centred based, meaning they are may be removed from what is going on in the region's cities which can lead to a disconnect with messaging that is considered topical elsewhere. Tailoring approaches and opportunities and avoiding blanket messaging thereby making it easier to engage with local media, customers, viewers or readers, ensures optimal impact.
In PR there must be a solid connection between the client and the agency's team. This is doubly true when you are operating locally - in whatever town, county, region, state or country. As an industry we must focus on devising ways to craft the best and most engaging communications so that the right messages reach the right audiences regardless of their location.