February 1, 2023

Spend Smart on Marketing Heading Into a Recession – How To Make Short PR Budgets Work for the Long Haul

Our Recession-Aware PR, Social Media, And Blog Content Retainers, Introduced to Core Clients in 2008, Are Available to New Clients for The First Time 

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Some of the news heading into 2023 has been great. Deloitte’s annual CMO survey points to a 3.9% increase in marketing budgets for 2023. PR and SM spending is set to increase, with 60% of marketers pointing to them as the highest-ROI initiatives they run.  And headline after headline points to the rise of boutique PR agencies, like ours, as many CMOs are looking to decrease spend and turn away from big agency fees. 

So then, why is my LinkedIn feed filled with news of layoffs? 

Look, we all know that when economic indicators are pointing “down” that top of funnel, discretionary budget initiatives like Marketing are suddenly on the chopping block in many organizations. “We’re focusing all spend on conversions at this time.” It sounds like it makes sense, until you get a couple of quarters down and suddenly your share of voice has plummeted, your CPA has increased, and your paid/conversion teams are asking for increased budget to hit their numbers. 

As the anti-agency agency who comes from the client-side, we know the head of marketing is still expected to deliver the same results with a reduced budget. “When revenue looks great, the Sales org gets the credit and when the revenue is off, Marketing gets blamed” – same song whether there’s a recession or not.

At Kel & Partners, our strategies are focused on building traffic to your sales funnel. We do this through smart and low-cost PR, Blog and SM strategies for our clients. 

In 2008, we provided tailored, recession-aware, stepping-stone retainers to our core clients when the economy hit a wall, and helped our clients’ Heads of Marketing shine through it all. (It’s one of the many reasons why we don’t do any Marketing at Kel & Partners and 90+% of our new business over the past 20+ years has come from existing and/or previous client referrals. In some cases, Entrepreneurs/Founders/CEOs have come back 4+ times to hire us to provide high ROI PR and social media services for their new ventures.)

For 2023, we are offering three tailored, recession-aware, stepping-stone retainers to the broad public- designed to keep feeding your funnel, keep your paid teams armed with audiences to target, a solution for those with long-term plans faced with short-term budget constraints. 

PR – $5k/month

  • Inbound PR – we subscribe to and monitor various databases/hashtags used by members of the media hoping to connect to experts for interviews, and pitch you to all that apply. 
  • Outbound PR – we have built relationships with journalists and a database of dozens of expert source directories where we’ll publish your profile so that members of the media searching for experts can easily find you. 
  • Responsive PR – we monitor for all coverage of your competitors and your space and reach out to reporters in real time to put you on their radar. 
  • Custom PR – as part of this retainer, we’ll research and execute a custom pitch each month that will include outreach to podcasts, broadcast, print, digital and blog (where applicable.) 
  • Announcement-based PR – as part of this retainer, we’ll write/issue a single press release for your company news. We’ll conduct research to build custom media lists and conduct outreach and follow up to earn you coverage. 

SEO – $5k/month

  • In this retainer, we’ll work in conjunction with your technical SEO team to build a blog editorial calendar to promote link building, then write 2 SEOd posts for your blog each month, and a series of social posts for your employees to use to publish on their own social networks to drive traffic back to your site. 
    • People-first blog posts: Google’s latest algorithm update favors “human-authored” content. We’ll conduct interviews with your in-house SME’s to create unique content in their voice, and give them all of the tools they need to amplify reach via their own social channels. 
    • Custom visuals: Google loves custom images, and our in-house designers will create them for your blog content so you’re crawled and indexed by Google more quickly. 

SM – $5k/month

  • In this retainer, we’ll focus efforts on 3 channels that give us the best tools for SEO support – YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business (local biz) or Pinterest (ecom/national). For all three platforms, we’ll manage any supplemental spend for promoting content, without an agency markup. 
    • YouTube: We’ll optimize your video content for publication and conduct community management daily. 
    • Twitter: We’ll create optimized Tweets for all of your site content and use our paid scheduling tool to publish them. We’ll conduct community management daily. 
    • LinkedIn: We’ll optimize your corporate page, create regular posts for new site content and company news, and train your employees on how to publish/share content for their own social networks on this platform.
    • Google My Business: We’ll ensure the accuracy of your GMB data and publish optimized local content. 
    • Pinterest: We’ll optimize and publish pinboards each month, creating new content daily and conducting community management regularly. Where applicable, we’ll manage any supplemental spend without an agency markup. 

As the anti-agency agency, as a female owned and operated agency, and as an LGBTQA+ certified business, we pride ourselves on our no-BS approach and how we operate as an extension of our client teams. 

We’d love the chance to earn your business.

By Meag Shaffer - Meag is the President of Kel & Partners, the anti-agency agency for public relations & social media.

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Kel & Partners is the anti-agency agency for public relations & social media. We craft and execute fresh strategies that increase full-spectrum awareness to help our clients achieve their overarching business goals. Our clients live & die based on their ability to get above the noise level. Our client-side DNA and radical transparency blend to create a kick-ass partnership with our clients.