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Barry Copping Blog

Six honest serving men

By Barry Copping
Posted 23 November 2012

I keep six honest serving-men
     (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
     And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling in Just So Stories.

It’s farewell soon for me as PRW Features Editor as I move to become Editor of European Rubber Journal (another Crain Communications title) from 3 December.

One of the pleasures of the Features role has been presenting, in reasonable breadth and depth, imaginative work in the UK plastics sector by SMEs. These firms often have limited resources and experience in marketing, public relations and communications generally, but no shortage of ingenuity, passion and flair.

The bigger players, and those with an in-house PR operation or who use an agency, will obviously know the basics, but here’s a bit of advice and encouragement for smaller outfits in getting a good story out to your markets.

  • What are you doing? Start with a clear and concise statement of your initiative, be it a new product, project or investment. Save the detail for later in the story.
  • Why are you doing it? Presumably to make money, but tell us crisply how the initiative will better serve your customers (and hopefully their customers, your own suppliers etc. along the whole stakeholder chain) and how you’ll achieve this.
  • You’ve decided when to take your initiative in terms of seizing the right moment. Are you stealing a march on your competitors, or maybe offering or adopting a new technology just at the stage when it’s mature enough to avoid teething troubles?
  • Who are the key players – corporate and individual?
  • Where are the key locations? Your own facility, your customer’s, or even these days the Internet or the “cloud”.

Keep up the good work, keep telling PRW what you’re up to, and my very best wishes for the future.

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