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Businesses are constantly engaged in communications with their internal and external audiences, but when I ask them ‘why’: crickets.

I am invariably met with blank stares. It’s almost like nobody has ever considered it before, and yet understanding why you’re communicating is essential to getting it right.

That’s because communicating is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. There has to be a purpose to it, something you want to achieve or accomplish.

If you don’t get to grips with the question of why you’re communicating in the first place, it’s all too easy to…

The Government gets a lot of flack for its Covid communications, but I have to say, I think it’s been brilliant. Here’s why.

Firstly, the use of three line slogans: just like ‘Get Brexit Done’, messages like ‘Hands, Face, Space’ are simple to communicate, easily understood and highly shareable.

Secondly, message testing: in PR and marketing, it’s important to understand how your audience is reacting to what you’re saying, then respond to that by refining and finessing your messages. They do it by briefing journalists on key topics, then gauging public reaction and poll results, before tweaking formal announcements.


The Bank of England says the UK is in recession

The UK is officially in recession, according to the Bank of England, following two successive quarters of contraction or ‘negative growth’. It’s the first time in 11 years according to BBC News.

On the whole, businesses tend to fall into one of two camps when it comes to marketing during a recession.

They either retrench, hunker down, slash their marketing budgets and cut-back on promotional activity; or they invest more than before, double-down on promotional activity and increase their spend on things like advertising.

The former saves money in the short-term, enabling businesses to conserve cash and try to ride-out…

The relatively low costs make digital advertising on search engines, display networks and social media very attractive, but campaigns are better when supported by advertising that uses more traditional channels too.

In 2019, 45.7% of total UK advertising spend was on search and social media.

It’s easy to see why.

For a start, it’s self-service. Businesses that choose to go it alone can put together their own creative content and copy and be advertising online pretty quickly. It’s even easier on social media where platforms like Facebook encourage businesses to ‘boost’ their posts almost at the click of a button.

Like many others around the world, Britain’s economy suddenly plunged off a cliff in March 2020 as Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced. Marketing for recovery will mean going back to basics.

As they seek to emerge from months of hibernation, UK businesses in all sectors are going to have to go back to marketing basics if they want to stand a chance of reviving their fortunes.

By that, I mean really considering what marketing is and doing more of it.

Ask most people to describe marketing with examples, and they’ll probably point to things like advertising and social media engagement. But more often than not, these are just associated with promotion - the 4th 'P' in the marketing mix.

Real marketing is about something much more essential, and businesses are going…

Lee Petts

Founder and MD at PR and marketing agency Fifty2M, helping organisations stand-out and cut-through. Lifelong learner sharing insights and experience.

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