Finding your feet with communications

Big Foot Communications was introduced to help small to medium-sized businesses make use of the many different communication channels available to them.

The company specialises in public relations, social media and podcast production and has worked with a range of industries including events, education and transport. In this interview, founder of the company, Emma Gascoigne, explains four tips to help navigate the changing landscape of communications.

We are lucky as communicators to have so many ways to tell our story. Just 15 years ago, people were still sending press releases in the post and having a website wasn’t even a given; and as for social media – nobody had even heard of it! Keeping pace with change can be a real problem even for large organisations. So how are smaller businesses meant to cope?

Ensure all communications are in touch with your audience

I’m always trying to keep up with change and evolve how I do things. I was responsible for introducing social media to a transport company back in 2008 when Twitter was not commonly used as a customer service channel. A big lesson that I learnt during this time was how important it is to be in touch with your customers and I found that this linkage between the real-time customer feedback led to more in touch and meaningful PR campaigns. It is so important that anyone involved in communications immerses themselves in your world by experiencing your product or service and taking time to understand your customer.

Are you making use of all the fantastic opportunities available to you?

It is irrelevant how big your company is now; the disruption of traditional PR and marketing means there’s so much you can do without a big budget. It should be empowering for a small business owner that you can read reviews about your brand or service, take photos on your phone to a high-quality, make a video, have an online presence and influence where you appear on search engines. Having a clear strategy can help to navigate all of this to ensure that these opportunities are actually delivering value for you. Using the plethora of channels consistently, and with purpose, is important for anyone wanting to maximise their return on investment.

Respect other people’s time

We need to be more mindful of our own and our colleagues growing tasks, so take time to understand what really gives value and concentrate on those items. Sometimes it can help having a company like ours to help you find your feet. It is especially important when thinking of PR. Reporters now have a pressure to not only write or report news, but also to get images, infographics, edit video and use social media. Therefore, it is essential in PR, for example, to be ensuring you actually have a news story and how you can package it up and provide the reporter with everything they need.

Build real relationships

It’s hard to navigate the best way to talk to people. E-mail usage is decreasing and according to a social etiquette book I read recently, you should reserve phone calls for extreme cases such as to inform of a bereavement! I’m not sure I agree with that, but the way we form relationships with our stakeholders is going to evolve more and more, but face to face is always going to be a key form of communication and it is why we are all lucky to have B4 to help us build meaningful relationships.

Big Foot Communications, based in Oxford, is producing podcasts for B4 Magazine. Listen on iTunes, SoundCloud or by visiting b4-business.com. If you would like more information about working with Big Foot Communications contact us below.

Big Foot Communications

We help businesses tell their stories to employees and stakeholders.

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