Below are a few FAQs based on the different aspects of our services. We also write a lot about the media in our blog and even give some free tips and advice.
What type of business do you work with?
We work primarily with small, rural tourism businesses BUT before you move on, we'd like to define it for you. We take an alternative view on tourism which is why we work with businesses from castles to campsites and farm to fork. We basically work with any business that is promoting the great British countryside; whether it's a farm that has diversified into glamping or events, a drinks producer that is sourcing products from British farmers or a heritage site that wants to attract a different audience.
We've even come up with our own unique formula for tourism PR to help our clients cover all bases.
However, basic PR principles apply to any industry so please get in touch if you have any questions.
What is PR?
Driving footfall to or consumers to support rural businesses is our passion, which is why we specialise in PR and helping businesses owners to unlock their potential. PR is essentially about building a reputation and getting people to talk about you through the great work you do, whereas marketing is about paying people or publications to promote your business for you.
To build a reputation, you first have to talk about yourself, which as Brits we're not very good at doing. Blowing our own trumpet is not something we're comfortable with. We'd rather talk about the weather, right? Well, why not turn the weather into a PR opportunity? Is it directly affecting your business? Talk about it.
PR is all about finding ways to put your business in the path of the right people without directly marketing to them. If people trust you and identify you as an expert in your field, they'll buy from you. Which is why the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson have such a high regard for it.
Why should I outsource my public relations?
Public relations is a professional service, a bit like accounting or marketing. While PR should fit into your marketing outcomes, it's actually a completely different kettle of fish. The marketing department might set targets, messaging and advertising budgets but a PR specialist will know how best to target your story to certain publications, the legal aspects of what you can do or say and have your back should anything go wrong.
But unlike marketing or advertising, it's much more difficult to track a return on investment and, in fact, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations has stopped its members (such as us) from comparing the cost of PR to advertising because it's not ethical.
While PR will get a much further reach for your campaign than one advert and at the fraction of the cost, they are different marketing tools.
By outsourcing your PR you're not only freeing up some of your own time, you're employing the help of a trained professional who has the skills, experience and contacts to tell your story across multiple platforms.
Alternatively, if you're not yet ready to outsource your PR, why not take a look at our Academy packages which will guide you through creating your own strategy.
How much will outsourcing PR cost?
If you want to keep an eye on budgets and outcomes then we've put together some packages that will allow you track your PR activity every month and keep us both accountable. We not only help with your day-to-day and month-to-month story-telling, we also work closely with our clients to upskill them give them a better understanding of PR. The longer we work together, the more we'll learn about your business and vice-versa.
Alternatively, if you would like to speak to us about putting together a one-off campaign, or adding in extras, we'll be happy to consult with you.
How much time will you spend on my business each month?
Our packages are carefully costed to cover my time and costs but still give you great value for money. With the Taking Root package we would expect to spend about two-and-a-half days a month on your business, spread out throughout. That covers consultation, daily journalist requests with responses and the time it take to write either a press release or the blogs for your business.
With the Mighty Oak package, we'd increase that time to four days a month to cover the additional consultation and writing/distribution time.
Additional bespoke services will be subject to consultation.
Will you manage my social media for me?
We're afraid we don't offer a social media management service but for a very good reason. While our consultation services look at social media as an aspect of your PR strategy, we believe that social media should be managed in house. Increasingly, customers are turning to social media as their first port of call for customer service and while we can advise from a communications perspective, your customers want to know that they're speaking to you, or at least someone within your organisation. By outsourcing your social media, not only are you losing your unique voice, you're losing the "face-to-face" aspect of your business which is so important.
Plus, content-wise, you'll produce the best social media content because you work in your business day-to-day. But if yo're unsure about what to post, we'll be happy to help steer you and help you find your voice.
The Rural PR Academy:
Which businesses are better suited to the Academy?
The academy is designed with small, independent tourism and food/drink businesses in mind and would suit B&Bs, self-catering cottages, attractions, campsites, glampsites, farms, diversified farms, pubs, restaurants, cafes, food producers and anyone trying to attract business by supporting rural tourism but are not in a position to outsource their PR.
What makes it different to other PR courses?
The Rural PR Academy is a unique structure unlike any other PR courses as it works on two levels. While in the background we're slowly building up a complete strategy that will help to steer your media plans for next year, we'll also hit the ground running by actively sourcing and responding to regular journalist requests and getting your business out there.
If you choose the Grow package we'll also give you weekly one-to-one support to help you to tell your story - whether it's identifying a story that you could work with a local media outlet on or tips and tricks for streamlining your social media platforms, right through to dealing with a completely irrelevant (to PR) issue. We're here to help any way we can.
How much time will I have to put in?
It's completely up to you. Each month we'll use our website and our private Facebook group to update you on each topic. We'll also set short tasks to help you to build your strategy. The more time you put in, the better your strategy will be. Plus, on the Grow package we'll be in touch with you weekly on a one-to-one basis and act as a personal cheerleader for you and your business.
What will I gain from the Academy?
A great insight into the media and how PR can impact your business. From writing insightful blogs to hunting down a journalist on Twitter, we'll help you to build content and reputation step-by-step so that it doesn't overwhelm you all at once.
By the end of the course you'll have a strategy for moving forward with your PR in the new season, you'll have put down the foundations for your reputation and will (hopefully) have made friends and contacts along the way.
It's past March, can I still join?
Yes! You can join at any time up until October (at that stage we'll be enrolling for next year) - you'll just have a bit of catching up to do.
Can I opt in and out?
If you decide after a month that the Academy isn't for you, you can opt out but due to the nature of the content we can't offer an opt in and opt out programme at this stage.
What are your bespoke services?
Our bespoke services range from full marketing support to copy writing and can be used as a one-off services or added onto our PR or Academy packages. For example, if you're keen to do the Academy but you feel you need some one-to-one social media training or you don't feel confident enough in your writing skills to write your own blogs or press releases, we can do that for you.
I'm looking for support you haven't listed, can you help?
Yes! We're so much more than a media agency and can help out in a number of ways, some of which we may not have even though of. And if we can't, we probably know someone who can. For example, if you need a professional photographer or a web designer, we'd be happy to recommend some of our preferred partners*.
* These are people we've worked with before and know will do a smashing job.