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Kelso Consulting's blog for accountants

    Welcome to our marketing tips to help your accountancy firm grow

    Emergency marketing for accountants - forthcoming webinar

    With existing clients mothballing or sadly closing entirely, practices need to be slick at launching new services and gaining new clients. 

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Marketing, Covid-19

    Becoming a thought leader while furloughed - webinar recording

    Sadly large number of accountants are now being furloughed, while many smaller practitioners face a dramatic loss of business.

    For accountants and other professionals looking to use the time at home productively,  our webinar yesterday specifically looked at how people at home could use this to build their reputation for expertise.

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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Thought Leadership, Guide, Covid-19

    Becoming a thought leader while furloughed - Kelso's complimentary webinar

    Video for promoting TL webinar


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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Thought Leadership, Covid-19

    Launching business recovery, restructuring & other services during the Covid-crisis

    2020 could not be worse for many accountancy and tax practices.

    Swathes of businesses across travel, hospitality, creative, entertainment and non-food retail face an immediate existential threat. If it’s bad for them, it's going to be really bad too for those practices with lots of these clients.

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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Marketing, B2B, Covid-19

    Popular media business buzz topics - Kelso research

    Kelso Consulting has been looking into the popular business buzz topics of 2020 and how they compared to recent years.

    To see some of the media's popular business topics of early 2020, and our views on the ones that will re-emerge after their near obliteration by coverage of the Covid emergency, click here to read our media buzz themes research.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Media Buzz Phrases Research

    Becoming a thought leader while furloughed - forthcoming webinar

    Sadly many accountants and their support teams are being furloughed through the Covid-19 crisis hitting all manners of professions and sectors.

    Our forthcoming webinar is for those who want to use this time productively to develop their reputation for expertise, whether simply amongst their colleagues for their return to work, within their business network or even more widely in their industry.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Thought Leadership, Covid-19

    Kelso Consulting: PR support for clients during the Covid crisis

    During this difficult time I am pleased to let you know that Kelso Consulting is operating as normal supporting existing clients and other businesses needing communications advice and implementation.

    We have always operated on the basis that our team should be able to work fully remotely whenever needed... although we were thinking more of a fire or flood when our agency enacted this principal many years ago.

    This means we are staying safe at home while still having full access to all our files, systems, databases and other tools.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Making Google Ads work for your accountancy firm - expert insights


    Google Ads are used by many accountancy firms and can be a very cost-effective way of generating leads.  However, others shy away from them - some are unsure of how to set them up, while others are convinced they won't work for their market (although in 9 out of 10 times such beliefs are generally unfounded in our experience!).

    Because we felt more of our clients should be considering Google Ads for some of their campaigns, we teamed up with Google Ads expert Dominic Renshaw of AdExtra who gave an excellent overview of what is involved and how to set up and maintain a successful campaign.

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    Topics: Accountants, SEO, Website, Professional firms, Google Ads, PPC

    What is the impact of thought leadership from accountancy firms?

    Thought leadership is all about having interesting and attention-grabbing insights on the big problems facing your customers.

    You could be using these insights in interesting articles and blogs, well-argued reports and white papers, and also delivering them in videos, LinkedIn posts and of course face-to-face in meetings and when speaking at events.

    But is there research out there showing it brings commercial benefits for accountancy firms?

    Yes, there's plenty!

    For instance, when it comes to generating demand and increasing sales, below are some

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    Topics: Thought Leadership, Reputation, B2B

    Getting the best results from your accountancy's PR agency

    One of our most visited blogs over the past few years discusses how law firms can get the most from their PR agency.  The advice in it also applies very much to other professional firms, such as accountancy firms. 

    We have recently updated it ... although not by much as its advice has "stood the test of time".

    Click here for our new and improved "Getting the most for your accountancy firm from your PR agency".

    If you are looking at your relationship with your PR agency, or maybe appointing one for the first time, you will be interested in another of our blogs.  This one has been our highest read blog every year since it was written about three years ago!

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    Topics: Public Relations

    Blogging tips for accountants

    We recently held a webinar on "Successful blogging for accountancy firms" with accountancy outsourcers Initor Global'.

    At one level, successful blogging is surprisingly simple!  You just follow these 6 straightforward stages:

    The key steps for success with your accountancy firm's blogging are:

    1. Ensure the quality and relevance of the blog to your target reader
    2. Blog regularly (firms that blog once or twice a week get dramatically more leads than those who do it only once or twice a month)
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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Accountants, SEO, Social Media, PR, Blogging

    Short blogs or long ones - what are the benefits?(Part 2)

    The first half of this blog looked at the pros and cons of long blogs.

    In this second half we look at the pros and cons of shorter, punchy 350-500 word blogs on topics of interest to your clients and prospects.

    There are a lot of benefits to shorter blogs, as opposed to the long essays that some professionals like writing.  They include:

    1. Since it is far less time-consuming to write shorter articles, it is easier to get your team engaged.  
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    Topics: Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Blogging

    Long blogs or shorter ones: which is best for my accountancy firm's marketing?

    Should your firm be writing short punchy blogs, say 300 or 400 words, or longer ones that explore an idea thoroughly and give plenty of information?

    They both have their place, and in a perfect world your accountancy firm's blog may well have both. But before you start pasting any old stuff on your blog, let's explore the pros and cons of both... which will also explain why we typically recommend businesses new to blogging to get going with shorter ones to start with.

    However, short or long, a blog is no good if nobody reads it.

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    Topics: Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Blogging

    Bookkeeping startup appoints PR agency Kelso Consulting to build reputation ahead of scaling-up

    Kelso Consulting has been appointed by Ozlop as the innovative start-up prepares, after initial early successes, to scale-up its distinctive outsourced bookkeeping service.

    David Vine, Ozlop’s managing director, says: “While it is still early stages for us, it is important that Ozlop is laying strong foundations for growth in 2020 and 2021. Part of this will be ensuring we have a strong reputation based not just on our service but also more broadly on our expertise in helping small businesses, particularly microbusinesses with a busy owner.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Social Media, PR Appointments, B2B, Blogging

    Successful blogging for accountants - forthcoming webinar

    Webinar: Successful blogging for accountancy firms

    Posting interesting blogs regularly on your website is an effective and straight-forward way for accountancy firms of all sizes to attract leads.

    Straight-forward, but often difficult for many to sustain, with common problems including:

    - Getting stuck for ideas
    - Writers-block when it is time to draft 
    - Making the process unnecessarily time-consuming

    - Shallow content that does not engage readers

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Growth, Accountants, Blogging

    Building a business-winning reputation for your accountancy firm


    Our recent "Building a business-winning reputation" webinar looked at how accountancy firms can build a strong business-winning reputation, and how to get the communications strategy right to achieve this.

    This webinar is now available as a complimentary video and podcast. Just click here to watch it now or download it for later.

    Accountants inherently understand the importance of having a good reputation.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Communications, Strategy, Reputation, Brand, Scale-up

    Getting your accountancy firm to the top of Google

    If your accountancy practice does not appear prominently on Google when business owners are searching online for advice, you are missing out on one of the largest sources of leads for accountancy firms.

    The good news is that most accountancy firms don't have to apply complex secret techy techniques to dramatically improve their search engine rankings.  

    In fact, topping Google can often be achieved primarily through applying straightforward rules and a bit of thought to the text and other content on your own web pages and social media.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Marketing, Legal Directories, Accountants, SEO, B2B

    Kelso quoted in ACCA's Accounting & Business magazine on standing out

    Kelso Consulting's Tim Prizeman leads the expert advice for SME accountants in this month's edition of Accounting & Business, the ACCA Journal.

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    Topics: Growth, Accountants, Public Relations, Communications, Strategy, Reputation, Brand

    Getting your accountancy firm to the top of Google - SEO tips

    Many accountancy firms fail to appear in one of the most effective sources of new leads when prospects are searching.... the first page of Google.

    While many have put in the effort and generate a regular flow of suitable leads, many other practices either fail to make it a priority or are in denial about its benefits (which of course becomes a self-fulling prophecy).   

    Not sure where your practice appears?  

    Simply open up a browser and type in the sort of search a potential client would make (NB - not your firm's name!  Also, best done from a private browser window to stop your results being skewed by your browsing history).

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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO, Website, Inbound Marketing, B2B, Blogging

    Big Four "lobbying to survive" campaign scoring successes with key media

    The "Big Four" oligopoly of giant accountancy firms is again lobbying hard to protect its position and prevent some sort of break-up restoring a nearly-as-Big Five or maybe six.

    Their past efforts have been successful, and their new impetus follows damning comments from leading MPs on the various Parliamentary committees investigating the collapse of Carillion and the role of the Big Four firms. Their ire is particularly high as the Big Four billed Carillion, its pension schemes and the Government £71 million since 2008 relating to Carillion: yet failed to notice anything was wrong.

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    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Accountants, Communications, Crisis, Strategy, Reputation, Professional firms

    New seminars & webinars for accountancy firms

    Grow your practice in 2018 with great advice from our seminars for accountancy firms

    Kelso Consulting once again has a series of our popular seminars and webinars for accountancy firms in the first half of 2018, covering a range of business development issues, including public relations, social media, online ads and thought leadership. 

    We'd like to invite you and your colleagues to attend!

    Particular aimed at accountancy firm partners, together with their marketing directors, we will be hosting our seminars in London and, for Thames Valley businesses, in Newbury.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Sales, Marketing, Accountants, Public Relations, LinkedIn, PR, Thames Valley

    The best of our other recent blogs

    A round up of recent highlights from our other blogs

    You may well be interested in these Posts on Kelso's other blog feeds from over the past few weeks as they are also very relevant to accountancy partners:


    How to work with a PR agency: Retainer vs Project

    Written with law firms in mind, but equally applicable to accountancy firms, this article looks at the pros and cons of working with a PR agency on retainer and project, 

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Marketing, Thought Leadership, Accountants, Public Relations, Lawyers, PR, Reputation, Taylor Swift

    Getting your accountancy practice successfully dealing with the media

    What accountants really need to know about ensuring a successful first encounter with the media!

    You've heard about the power of media, maybe your competitors are getting great coverage, and you have been tasked with getting lots for your accountancy practice: but neither you nor the partners have done it before.

    That's not a problem as everyone has to start somewhere. But many accountants and their marketing teams approach media relations with misconceptions and unrealistic expectations which, at the very least, lead to missed opportunities and often mess the whole thing up.

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    Topics: Marketing, Accountants, Public Relations, PR

    Thought leadership for professional firms

    Football accounts report delivers 20+ years' of success for Deloitte 

    Today Deloitte is the UK's premier sports business consultancy.  But once upon a time it had no such practice - until three of its professionals decided to combine their professional passion with their interest in sport.

    It holds plenty of lessons for professional firms of all sizes... and other types of professionals too.

    Twenty years on, Deloitte advises the top names in sport across a wide range of financial and business issues.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Marketing, Thought Leadership, Case Studies, Accountants, Public Relations, Professional firms

    Accountancy PR:  Cloud bookkeeping innovators Pandle appoint PR agency Kelso Consulting

    Public Relations agency to deliver high impact press coverage & Search Engine ranking boost

    Cloud bookkeeping and accountancy provider Pandle ( has appointed Kelso Consulting as part of an ambitious Public Relations campaign to sign up 1,000s of freelancers and small business customers in 2018.

    The UK’s cloud bookkeeping market is crowded with several providers, and Pandle is distinctive through its intuitive and straightforward interface particularly aimed at Britain’s 4.8 million self-employed people, most of whom have little or no financial training.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Accountants, Public Relations, Winning Proposals, SEO, PR, PR Appointments, Cloud

    Accountancy firms' aversion to measuring their marketing ROI doesn't add up!

    It's time for accountancy partnerships to be measuring the return on investment from their marketing 

    Gauging the return on investment of marketing activity is a fundamentally important metric 

    for accountancy firms looking to grow, yet practices 

    we meet struggle to know whether the amount of time and money they spend on marketing is producing an effective return.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Marketing, Accountants, ROI, Marketing ROI

    What on earth is going on with LinkedIn?

    I used to strongly advocate accountants putting effort into their profile, building up their network and using LinkedIn for communicating. It seemed on the verge of turning into a really handy mini-CRM for social selling.

    But no more, useful functionality is now disappearing without notice or warning.

    Some of the important disappearances include:

      • Ability to categorise your contacts into groups - gone!
      • Ability to send messages to these groups - gone!
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    Topics: Social Media, LinkedIn

    Doomed accountancy firm mergers: 2 drowning men don't equal one swimmer

    Accountancy firm mergers - making them work

    Over the years I've observed many mergers at accountancy and other professional firms.

    Some have been stunningly successful, some have been failures and many somewhere in between.

    Clearly they were all intended to be huge successes, but something went wrong for many.  What was it?


    Well, I'm not an M&A expert but my observation is that those that went wrong had two things in common.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Accountants, Mergers, Strategy

    Our thought leadership services for accountants: new brochure

    For accountancy firms looking to add oomph and impact into their thought leadership

    Members of the Kelso team have been working with accountancy firms on thought leadership since before the term was used (20+ years!), so we've seen and solved a fair few problems in our time, many of them recurring ones!

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Thought Leadership

    Measuring the ROI on thought leadership - accountancy marketing

    In a few weeks time I'll be on a panel at a marketing summit discussing how to measure the return of investment for Thought Leadership activities.

    It sounds an esoteric subject and immediately begs some specific questions like:"What is Thought Leadership?"; "What resources are being invested and how do I cost such inputs as non-billable time?"; and "What actually is the return I am looking for and how will I know when I achieve it?".

    It's easy to start over-complicating things, so the key question accountants and their marketing teams involved in Thought Leadership projects should be asking are:

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    Topics: Thought Leadership, ROI

    Successful marketing is all about storytelling... but how do you make your stories stand out?

    "Successful marketing is all about storytelling" is an idea who's time has come... or a bit of a fad, depending on your perspective. Certainly the amount of articles about it seems to have risen exponentially in recent months.

    It wasn't always thus. I remember an occasion some 12 yearsor so ago when my colleague told the CEO of a tech company that standing out and being memorable "was all about stories"... well, the blank look he got back certainly told its own story.

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    Topics: Marketing, Accountants, Storytelling, Presentations

    Getting your accountancy firm to the top of Google - 6 easy steps

    At our recent webinar I shared a straight forward 6 step process for getting your accountancy firm to the top of Google, which is a hugely valuable place for any business to be, including those professional practices selling high value services.

    I have found there are two sorts of attitudes amongst accountants to the value of appearing prominently on Google. There are those businesses that don't think it is worthwhile,do not spend much effort on it and, ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Accountants, SEO

    Getting to the top of Google - why SEO is an important but easy skill for accountancy firms to master

    Got a problem or need a supplier? The first thing most people do now is look on Google.  You probably do too.

    And it is not just people looking for holidays and plumbers.... it is businesses looking for high-value suppliers and solutions for complex accounting, financial and management challenges.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Search Engine Optimisation, Accountants, SEO

    Should my accountancy firm be doing PR to increase sales?

    Do you read the regular advice comments from John Timpson, the chairman of high street cobbler and key cutter Timpsons?

    They appear in the Telegraph and elsewhere, and I am a big fan of his sensible advice for growing and managing a business... and given how ubiqtuous his firm is on Britain's high street, he has a track record of success to back up his advice.

    Recently, in his column he dealt with a question about whether a firm should start doing press and PR activity to generate customers.

    It is a question many accountancy firms' partners have asked. At big firms it is a resounding "yes",

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Public Relations

    Getting partners to engage with marketing initiatives

    Whenever we ask people in accountancy firms "What is your biggest marketing challenge?" invariably "Getting partners to engage" is high on the list.
    Why is it such a challenge? 

    Most partners are keen to get more and better clients. If a marketing department or another part of the practice comes up with a ready-made initiative that is quick, simple and appropriate for them to implement... why wouldn't you jump on it?

    Of course life is not that rosy when people are busy, perhaps sceptical and, maybe wary through past initiatives not working.  Maybe a past initiative did work well, but recognition was not forthcoming for those who led the charge?

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Marketing

    LION taming tips for accountants on LinkedIn

    While Twitter and Facebook encourage strangers to become connected, LinkedIn is all about relationships. However almost daily I am contacted by strangers who are merrily ignoring the rules set down by LinkedIn that state you should only connect with people you know.

    The strength in LinkedIn for lawyers is the relationships between people who connect with one another. It allows for recommendations and referrals that simply cannot happen between complete strangers.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Accountants, Social Media, LinkedIn

    When it comes to accountants on LinkedIn, the friend of a friend is a potential opportunity. Want to know how?

    A wise proverb states ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’, but in terms of LinkedIn We’d suggest it is ‘The friends of my friends are my friends’! The contacts of your contacts are going to be brimming with opportunities if you are in an accountancy firm.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Social Media, LinkedIn

    Why best accountants should never use the default invitation on LinkedIn

    Making the right impression when you want to build rapport with someone is vital, not least in business. Ever heard the saying: ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’?

    Yet on the social media channel that means business LinkedIn the majority of introductions are abrupt and use the standard ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Accountants, Social Media

    Image is everything for accountants on LinkedIn

    If you have ever been on Twitter you will have spotted those anonymous eggs that denote profiles that have not added a photograph and often flags a complete novice or worse a spam account. On Facebook the silhouette makes you suspicious and on LinkedIn, where it really matters, no photo means no business!

    When I see the anonymous head and shoulders silhouette on LinkedInit usually means it is a profile that lacks any attention and however professional the person is, you cannot help but make a judgement about a lack of attention to detail.Picking the right photograph is important too!

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Accountants, Social Media

    Awards:  if you're so good... why don't you have any??

    Awards help accountancy firms of all sizes stand out

    Ambitious accountancy firms looking to establish a leadership position in their markets should have awards as powerful proof-points.  If you don't have some, you need to get them!

     It is easy to rationalise-away the importance of awards. 

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Awards

    Thought leadership success tips for accountants - article in Professional Marketing Magazine

    9 signs your accountancy firm's thought leadership is doomed to fail

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Thought Leadership, Accountants

    Why Accountants should not promote their ‘company website’ on LinkedIn

    Do you have your ‘Company Website’ displayed on LinkedIn, literally? The default setting for the link with your contact info is to your company web address and at first glance this makes sense.

    In fact the Contact Info button – just below your number of connections on LinkedIn, is where your connections can easily discover your email, Skype address and telephone number. Other information includes being able to list up to three web addresses, include your ‘Company Website’

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Accountants, Social Media

    Accountants need not apply on LinkedIn

    What does your headline say on LinkedIn? If it simple declares you to be an ‘Accountant’, ‘Owner’ or ‘Managing Director’ then you are missing a major trick on LinkedIn; you should be using this to promote the difference you can make to clients!

    Your headline is the text that appears immediately beneath your name and is a key part to getting you found on LinkedIn and driving people to engage. Equally it is your chance to appear dull and uninteresting – so get it right and use best practice for your headline on LinkedIn.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Accountants, Social Media

    What can Netflix can teach accountants about networking?

    Did you binge over Christmas? No, we don’t mean third helpings of turkey or a bloat of mince pies (it should be the collective noun!). Did you gorge yourself on Netflix? Have you seen House of Cards? Or did you finally see Breaking Bad? How about Orange is the New Black?

    With over three million users in the UK subscribing to Netflix for unfettered access to so many TV series and movies there is a good chance you have spent some time over the Christmas break streaming.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Sales, Growth, Networking, Accountants

    How accountancy firms can STAND OUT


    We are back for a busy autumn with plenty of business available to be won - but lots of accountancy firms after it and strong pressure on fees.

    It is those firms that are distinctive and memorable that get recommended for the best appointments.  Those demonstrating distinctive expertise can charge more than their rivals and still win the work.

    How do accountancy firms get into such a great position of being recognised as having distinctive expertise?

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Upcoming Webinars, Growth, Marketing, Thought Leadership, Accountants

    Thought leadership for accountants - advice

    Does your accountancy firm need to better stand out against your competitors?  In a crowded market   another Budget breakfast and bought in tax tables isn't going to do it!

    Business owners and directors are looking for accountants that bring value through their insights and ability to solve commerical problems.  But how do you demonstrate it?

    We've been working with accountancy firms for over 20 years to help them stand out.  

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Thought Leadership, Accountants, Public Relations

    Why clients choose (and sack) their accountants

    Often winning a proposal involves demonstrating, in one way or the other, that you are considerably better than the opposition. ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Accountants, Winning Proposals, Pitches

    How Deloitte built a leading Sports Business practice with thought leadership

    Football accounts report delivers 23 years' of success for Deloitte 

    Today Deloitte has the UK's premier sports business consultancy.  But once upon a time it had no such practice - until three of its accountants decided to combine their professional passion with their interest in sport.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Growth, Marketing, Thought Leadership, Accountants, Public Relations

    Getting the most from your PR agency


    I recently had an interesting and wide ranging discussion with Peter Scott ( who advises numerous professional firms on strategy and management issues. Having previously run Eversheds for eight years as managing partner, he's certainly got great insights to share.
    Part of our discussion covered how professional firms use PR agencies.  He mentioned many really don't understand how to best use a PR agency, what skills good agencies bring to the party, and what are the best ways to work with them.  Why didn't I write something on the subject he suggested?

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Accountants, Public Relations, Communications

    Is your accountancy firm and PR agency in a "death spiral"?

    Are you locked in a death spiral with your PR agency?
    We often come across accountancy firms who have been sucked into the "PR death spiral" with their agency (and in-house too).  Here's how to recognise it:

    Initially it all began so positively.....

    A new PR team had arrived, and make lots of sensible-sounding requests for articles, materials and other content from the partners to pump prime the campaign.  It is quickly supplied by partners keen for coverage and wanting to play their part in a successful campaign.  It is a great start and hopes are high.

    ... Continue Reading
    Topics: Accountants, Public Relations, PR Disaster


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