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Who do you know? Starting a marketing or PR campaign

Jul 11, 2017

Who do you know? Starting a marketing or PR campaign
by Rob Mulholland

There are many questions to consider when starting marketing or PR campaigns – what’s our objective, what’s our budget, do we have the time or the right skills to pull off the work?
These are all very necessary practical considerations that must be addressed when planning marketing communications activities but sometimes taking a step back and asking a wider question could help you find short-cuts to impactful campaign.
That question being: “Who do we know?”
This is an especially useful question for small businesses and start-ups to consider due to not always having large budgets at their disposal. If starting your brand-building exercise from scratch, accessing the people you know and finding ways to either compliment their business with yours will, in most cases/sectors (I guarantee), bring more regular trade through the door than an ad campaign.
We always ask the “Who do you know” question of all our clients. Sometimes it will be disregarded but it’s only when we persist, and have a conversation about who they’ve in turn been having conversations with, we find a huge amount of potential capital ripe for marketing and PR activities.
In leading discussions on this subject we ask clients to consider both professional contacts and personal contacts – many people feel shy about talking shop with the latter but we’ve seen how well this can work with 1, 2 and even 3 degrees of separation.  
As well as who clients currently know, we also get them to consider who they would like to know. This is extremely useful in enabling us to engineer a plan of how we can bring these parties together.
So next time you’re about to start the practical planning of a future marketing and/or PR campaign, just ask: “Who do we know?”