Professional services marketing communication and PR

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Lonely on LinkedIn

Has any professional service practitioner gained value from participation in the social networking website LinkedIn?  I admit I've gone hot and cold on this site since I became a LinkedIn participant more than two years ago.  At first, I was invited to link by business associates and professionals that I knew.  It's easy to click

What should be expected of “marketing experts?” Part VII

I've been ranting in a series of posts lately about what should be expected of marketing experts (and of course what we should expect from ourselves). Fiona Czerniawska's article on thought leadership last week from Mike McLaughlin's fantastic Management Consulting News brought new perspectives.  Czerniawska reported on her research about the comparative amount of thought

Where are the clients in Competitive Intelligence?

Last night, I saw a 30-second TV ad called "Business: Inspiration" on Visa's new "Life takes Visa" campaign. Maybe my brain has been cramped these past few days, but I reacted as negatively to this pitch as I did to seeing yesterday the marcom materials for Jeffrey Gitomer's new book.  (And I'm a Visa card

Pay attention to shifts in advertising and PR strategies

Most of the professional service firms I observe are early in their learning curves regarding how to embrace social media -- blogging, podcasts, Internet communities.  Most, except for the largest firms, still shy away from advertising.  (Only 5% of the more than 375 respondents from our recent study "Increasing Marketing Effectiveness of Professional Firms" labeled

Quality is your best salesperson

One of the most important axioms I ever learn about professional services marketplace leadership was from Carl Bochmann, a former Booz Allen Hamilton partner, who taught me that "quality is your best salesperson."  No matter which professional sector I've advised, be it accounting or executive search, management consulting or architecture, or any other, this lesson

Clients in control

Recently I've ranted about how professional service firms need to do more to embrace the strategies and tactics of social media, with its underpinning of client participation.  In one blog post, I urged professional companies to start getting comfortable with what I called "reality marketing," to the point that they embrace experience-like web cam views

Harnessing word of mouth

How serious are professional service firms regarding word-of-mouth about their firms?  I read an interesting post by Jackie Huba, coauthor of the great book Creating Customer Evangelists, and blogger on the Church of the Customer blog.  Jackie's post features some excerpts from a study about how often buyers verbally discuss various brands and companies.  It's

Professional service firm identity management – Part 3

Here's Part 3 of my discussion on identity management in professional service firms.  In a recent post and separate article, David Maister comments on the challenges that professional service firm leaders have in sticking to their strategy.  I've seen it happen myself: a firm determines a course of action, and then allows itself to be

Professional service firm identity management – Part 2

Here's Part 2 of my discussion of Identity Management issues for professional service firms. Building an undifferentiated identity around a celebrity spokesman.  A few days ago, Larry Bodine's blog featured a post about accounting firm J.H. Cohn tapping Yankee manager Joe Torre to be its celebrity spokesman.  This move certainly will bring the firm some