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It's all up from here

We all know January can has a depressing reputation. As such it has been remarkably reassuring to observe so many blue skies of late (at least in business terms!), with marketing budgets rising and more than flattering figures on the home front, all suggesting ever more demand for quality PR services.
So whilst 2013 was a year in which businesses were forced to take stock of what was working, and stop what wasn’t, it seems now is the time to focus on all that we’ve learnt during the process. Which is rather fitting, considering this is the age of big data, wherein companies need to use analytics and insights in order to maximise sales potential.
The North West appears to be leading the fightback, too, helping the UK as a whole file far better than expected books at the end of the last quarter. According to The Telegraph earlier this month, firms from this region are growing faster than anywhere else in the country, giving a welcome footnote to the notion that Britain’s overall direction is now set on a positive course. Not that we can sit back and rest on any laurels, mind.
Here at Smoking Gun PR the agency experienced 30% growth over the past 12 months for precisely that reason. Business spend isn’t necessarily being reduced so much as precision targeted. Leaders and managers demand and deserve tangible results for their monetary outlay. And, even when costs have to be reigned in, more and more decision-makers understand that any form of marketing and public relations- providing it proves successful- is now a necessity in the overall strategy. Cut out exposure via traditional or new media methods and more often than not there’s little point continuing to trade at all.
Even on an agency level it’s vital to consider the PR push. Without word of mouth created through cost-effective work undertaken on our own behalf then new business inquiries would undoubtedly drop. Irrespective of the industry then, if there’s one consistency worth noting from the past it’s that reputations alone cannot sustain long lasting growth. Instead, we must all strive to boost exposure by assessing our place in the market and trying to improve that in a tone suited to the brand. In short, finding the most comprehensive approach to increasing visibility across all levels, and all mediums, for the best price, needs to be priority one in order to fully exploit the apparent promise of 2014.

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