Simon Reynolds explains why he joined Barker PR during a pandemic and why it is now more important than ever to continue key marketing messages.
After a hiatus away from the dental industry to explore a fresh challenge and lifestyle on the Isle of Man, I’m delighted to return to the world of dentistry. Albeit during a challenging period for the profession, industry and society as a whole.
As a marketer by trade with almost a decade’s experience of working in the dental industry, I have always been passionate about marketing, PR and communications; recognising the criticalness of such activity to a business’s success.
The power of a creative and well-structured communications strategy can make a brand stand out from the crowd. It can help navigate through challenges and change, building long and lasting relationships with your target audience.
It’s an extremely exciting arena and one I’m relishing the opportunity to work within.
Herein, I have captured the seven primary reasons why I joined a dental PR and communications agency – Barker PR – during a worldwide pandemic.
- Now more than ever
The way a brand engages with its customers, other stakeholders and the wider market during these unprecedented times will undoubtedly strengthen client relationships, building brand loyalty and reputation, and increasing opportunity.
This can set a brand apart from the competition. Which is historically well evidenced by the many companies that have gained market share by continuing to invest in a combination of advertising, PR and communications through economically challenging periods.
Some companies opt to tighten the purse strings and switch off their marketing activity during such periods of uncertainty. Smart companies invest. They adjust their strategy accordingly. And they continue to reach out and communicate with their audience, maintaining brand awareness and engagement.
- Less face time
In a society where we are forced to spend less time together and socially distance, there is less opportunity to be in front of the audience they serve.
Field-based reps are very likely spending less time on the road visiting practices. Practice teams aren’t able to see as many patients due to current restrictions.
With this in mind, it’s important that a brand does not lose its voice and continues to extend its key messages to the profession via other channels. Such as a highly effective PR and communications campaign.
- An ever-changing beast
Rules and regulations from government, associations and regulators alike are extremely fluid. The way society operates, and dental practices function, can change very quickly in line with infection rates. Supply and demand, service delivery, logistics and so much more can turn on a dime for the industry’s suppliers and practices alike.
With such rapid change, there is the need to be nimble and pivot as necessary to deliver the most appropriate communications. Ensure the messages a brand extends to its audience resonates effectively.
- A heightened awareness of ‘news’
Quite simply, people want to know what’s happening, what’s the latest, what’s changed.
The world faces arguably one of its biggest challenges in many years. A global virus has affected everyday life in ways many of us had never imagined. Society therefore wants to keep up to speed with the latest developments. They generally achieve this by consuming relevant media content.
People want to feel informed, educated, supported and enlightened. They will connect and build loyalty with the brands that also tell a story to deliver these outcomes.
How can a brand ensure it is sharing the right story? You’ve guessed it – via a well-structured PR and communications strategy.
- The rise of the influencer
Social media influencers have been around for quite some time now. But specifically in the world of dentistry there has been a significant rise of social media ‘stars’ in the last couple of years.
Such people act as a new generation of key opinion leaders. They can help a brand amplify the key messages associated with its product or service to either, or both, industry peers and consumers.
The management of the relationships a brand holds with relevant influencers, and the content delivered via these channels, is now a key part of PR and communication.
- The long game
Putting current challenges aside, there is, and always will be, a need for dental care and the companies that supply the industry.
With the economic downturn and industry adjustments that will play out accordingly, there will, no doubt, be winners and losers. Some companies will not survive; it’s the harsh reality of life.
However, for those companies that adapt, embrace change, offer support to the profession, and tell their story effectively throughout this period, they will flourish and increase the strength of their brand for the long term.
- Past experience
Last but not least, before joining Barker PR, I had first-hand experience of working with the team.
In my previous role, I was a very happy client of Barker PR. Experiencing the creativeness of a well-established team that has years of industry knowledge, also delivering unrivalled results.
Clearly then, I was extremely attracted to join a thriving and ambitious agency that has a real ability to think outside the box.
In summary, with the challenges we all face and no clear end in sight, there is a significant need, perhaps more than ever, to apply and continually adjust an effective PR and communications strategy.
This is why I have joined a specialist agency that can assist the dental industry in tackling this exact challenge. The demand is here and now.