Holmes Report 01 Dec 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
The key to developing and delivering results-driven public relations programming is not a proprietary black box containing magical metrics for measuring media relations success, it’s listening to the client, understanding his or her business objectives, and then working in partnership to ensure that PR plans and activities achieve those objectives. That, at least, is the formula Matter Communications principals Scott Signore and Patty Barry have used to build one of the fastest-growing public relations firms in the US.
One characteristic campaign, for a high profile retail and healthcare company, called on Matter to execute on a social PR influencer strategy aimed at bloggers. By targeting specific bloggers, the firm sought to increase coverage, encourage loyalty, increase advocacy and ultimately drive sales.
“Matter is a fantastic agency partner and extension of the CVS/pharmacy communications team,” says Erin Pensa, senior PR manager. “The Matter team knows how to develop and nurture relationships with media and also understands the importance of client service. They have shown me that no project is too big or too small; they consistently go above and beyond to create meaningful public relations campaigns that produce quality results.” Adds Tucker Walsh of Matter client ATG, “With so many PR agencies hesitant to measure their work at all, it was a welcome surprise when Matter recommended that we set and measure PR metrics quarterly to fit in with how we do our overall marketing planning. It’s great to have an agency partner that is so accountable and focused on the success of our business.”
Client reactions like those have helped Matter, founded in 2003, grow at a healthy pace despite tough economic conditions over the past couple of years. Fee income was up in the healthy double digits again last year, to around $5.5 million, with existing clients such as CVS/pharmacy, Fujifilm, Lexar and Verizon Wireless of New England providing much of the growth. The firm is particularly proud of both client and staff retention: both better than 90 percent last year.
Signore and Barry previously collaborated at Boston-based technology specialist FitzGerald Communications (now part of Fleishman-Hillard) where they discovered shared values and a common understanding of what made a great agency. At Matter, their clients span the high-technology, consumer-technology and consumer sectors, and the firm provides a range of services that includes company and product launches, product reviews, analyst and media relations, social media campaigns, crisis communications and thought leadership programs.