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Can networks compete with mega-brand marketing budgets?

Mapped Globe in Hands

A common misconception across all sectors is that communications and PR consultants provide a service you can simply clip on to what you do. It would take quite a coincidence for the way a business is run and organised to perfectly match the ideal comms plan.

Networks of professional services firms who have linked up by association are a particular challenge, because each network member retains their own name, branding and culture. It is a hard to get recognised when the competing big boys can push a single, unified brand and message.

Consider also, for the firm leaders within the network, alliance or association, much of their available time is spent on the mechanics of keeping a firm and the group functioning. Unsurprisingly, an important area gets forgotten: the group’s ‘brand’, i.e. how others, especially clients, target clients and other professional firms see it.

Let’s break down the main challenges that networks and alliances face:

What is needed is a unified language and ‘narrative’ for the group and its members. Getting this right from a comms perspective isn’t spin – it actually involves some changes in the way things are done at the firms.

A strong strategy for building a network/alliance ‘brand’ therefore needs to include the following.

Groundwork

Building the brand

A network whose members have gone through this process will have an authentic story to tell along with clear concise messaging. For any marketing, business development or PR professional they will be a dream client, because they have understood from the outset what people want and need to hear.

We work with network organisations across the professional services sector and help them to define their purpose and promote their messaging across both their members and their external audiences.

Read more about our reputation management services.

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