When PR Boutique meets Governmental Agency: How we made it work?
Despite the rarity of boutique firms working with governmental agencies, Right Hook Communications had the privilege to work with Maritime SG Connect (MSC) Office to boost their PR and Social Media campaign for the past year. As a young boutique PR firm, working with MSC Office was a big account and a great opportunity, which made our team stronger.
MSC Office is a national initiative aimed at connecting students and jobseekers with the Maritime Industry. The collaboration was a huge success delivering a total of 63 coverage clippings, which generated over $1.2 million, in PR value.
Here are top five points any boutique PR agency needs to keep in mind when working with a governmental agency.
1. Think Strategically
Always keep in mind your long-term goals and set out your campaign plan accordingly.
It’s challenging to pitch all year round, preparing press releases and pitch notes, attending events and delivering other relevant PR materials and collaterals. By attending numerous maritime events, Right Hook succeeded in sourcing unique and fresh angles to engage the media and to keep them interested in our client’s activities; giving our pitching efforts the right punch. Of course, maintaining healthy and close relationships with journalists goes a long way as well.
Planning monthly themes helped to structure our content and to manage both our own and our client’s expectations better. Right Hook came up with 12 monthly themes spanning the whole year, dedicated to all things maritime, keeping the target audience hooked. Some of these included Day of the Seafarer, National Engineers Day, and in the male dominated maritime industry, leveraging on International Women’s Day to encourage female participation. This shows the importance of planning ahead. It also allowed us to be more disciplined with our content and ensured that no important dates or milestones were missed.
2. Be Consistent
Make the conscious effort to ensure a constant flow of information to your target audience and clients. This is to keep them aware and sufficiently updated about what your company is doing, what progress is being made and whether any course correction is warranted.
Through working with MSC office, Right Hook ensured that all our PR and social media tactics unfailingly served our main goal of raising awareness about the maritime portal, to both students and potential maritime job seekers.
It is also important to stay up to date with your client and their industry. Being new to the maritime industry, the Right Hook team took the initiative to attend events and even organised a team excursion to the Singapore Maritime Gallery to familiarise ourselves with the industry and stay current with the latest happenings.
3. Use your Assets
The best way to get free press is to make the most of what you have. It is important to capitalise on events and interviews to generate greater buzz.
The MSC Office connected us to the relevant personnel, such as female engineers in conjunction with International Women’s Day, as well as capitalising on personal stories of prominent people in the industry on Lianhe Zaobao, Teenage, Elle, Berita Harian, HRM, Warna 94.2FM and many more.
It even gave our team a wonderful experience on board Kota Singa Singapore during an interview where we experienced the ins & outs of everything maritime at PSA Singapore. It was truly eye-opening and shed light on the hard work of all Maritime personnel.
4. Stay Relevant
Know your target audience well and learn to relate to them. No one is going to listen to something that is not relevant.
As our key target audience groups were students and the general public, it was important to relate the industry to them and think about what they would want to know - job scope, career progression, income and work life balance are all points that should be weaved into the content.
People respond best to other people. It was therefore important to humanise the industry and the jobs to make them more personable. Making a list of what a potential career in maritime will be like makes for boring reading, but regale your audience with true stories that maritime personnel experienced, and you’ve got their attention. A great example of this principle in action was a Facebook post about a 4th Engineer sharing how her interest in physics and travelling led to her joining the maritime industry. This post became our best performer with the highest likes and impressions on social media.
Once you have a compelling story, it is essential to share it in all the right places. It is key to know the preferred media of information consumption of your target audience. For example, we connected with the cool young adults through radio station Capital 95.8 FM, which garnered over 141 Likes and 10 447 Impressions on Facebook – amongst many other publications.
5. Manage Expectations
Reality check: You (and hopefully your client) need to know that miracles usually don’t happen overnight. Setting expectations that are too high will lead to disappointment.
It is important to set realistic goals, especially when things are not within your direct control. Though initially slow, our Facebook and Instagram posts quickly gained momentum, increasing in likes and impressions at an accelerating rate over time. Remember to stay positive and think of how you can improve one step at a time. The beauty of social media and it’s many feedback mechanisms and data points, is that it encourages structured experimentation so you can keep improving over time.
As a young boutique PR firm, working with a governmental agency was, of course, a learning process. Although it may have seemed that we might have been biting off more than we could chew, working on such a large account allowed us to flex our creative muscles. Managing our own team’s and our client’s expectations over the past year was challenging, but ultimately rewarding.
Thankfully, with effective communication, dedication and team work, we achieved some impressive results that we can look back on with pride.
We may be young and small, but just like David had the right tools to defeat Goliath, Right Hook is equipped with the right people and experience to pack a solid punch.
If you are looking for an impact, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org now!