Cambridge marcoms agency, The Foundry House, has launched a new Virtual Communications Director service that provides SMEs with strategic planning, advice and support while developing the PR/marketing and communications skills of in-house staff via training and mentoring.Founder Marcie Bell said the service was in response to market forces that are squeezing budgets and demanding added value in every sector. It offers SMEs a cost-effective and sustainable solution to their communications needs.
Bell said that many SMEs outsourced communications tasks, from media relations to web development and event marketing. Only later do they realise that none of the briefs join up, messaging has lost its way and they may even have duplicated effort in some instances, she says.
What’s more, knowledge hasn’t been transferred so they have no means of extending the benefit of the work, Bell adds. They realise they need a more integrated, joined up approach and would like to deliver more of their communications needs in-house.
The Virtual Communications Director is aimed at companies with limited or no in-house resource. Such companies are not yet ready to invest in an experienced communications director but need a strategic approach to everything from PR and marketing to customer relations and internal communications.
Bell said:“This is very much a needs-driven service. SMEs need effective communications more than ever if they are to compete. Many (particularly small businesses) will struggle with resource but all businesses need to ensure value for money.
“úTaking on an experienced director is a significant investment as the cost of his or her salary is only one part of the jigsaw. That person then needs a budget to draw on and a member of staff or team to delegate to. It all mounts up.
“The Virtual Communications Director offers a cost-effective alternative. By plugging the resource gap in the short to medium term, companies meet their needs, develop new in-house skills and buy time before they need to invest in a bigger way for the long term.”
Bell said that The Foundry House’s associate model lends itself to the Virtual Communications Director service as she augments her capacity by drawing on her associates for expertise, resource and training workshops when required.
To find out more, go to www.thefoundryhouse.com/what-we-do/virtual-communications/