Magazine article Business Credit

PR Helps Increase Influence

Magazine article Business Credit

PR Helps Increase Influence

Article excerpt

I had a letter recently from someone seeking information about the Institute's PR activities, and in the course of doing so, she asked, "Why does the Institute involve itself in any PR activity?"

I was taken aback by so fundamental a question, but it gave me food for thought. The answer is that the Institute's aim is to increase its influence. To do so, it must increase its membership by attracting members of the right caliber who perceive that membership in the Institute has some "cachet" and that it would be of benefit to them as professionals. We seek to get those messages across through PR, often in conjunction with other organizations.

Joint Initiatives

The first example was an information packet, "Making the Cash Flow," which was produced by the U.K. government's Department of Trade and Industry in cooperation with the Institute. The free packets were distributed through local business networks and mailed to telephone inquirers. They were incredibly successful. More than 200,000 were distributed and enquiries came from as far as Bangkok and Massachusetts.

Late payment of suppliers continued to be an issue. The U.K. Confederation of British Industry (CBI) decided to take action and asked the Institute to draft for them a Code of Prompt Payment Practice now endorsed by more than 600 companies in the U.K.

The Institute has also had a continuing dialogue with banks and was invited to make a presentation to senior members of the U.K.'s "Big Four" banks (Barclays, Lloyds, Midland, and National Westminster) on our work and the services we provide. The presentation was well received and, as a result, we were asked by Barclays Bank plc to produce a leaflet on how to get paid promptly. These leaflets were mailed out to Barclays' 500,000 business customers.

Our major press achievement in the last two years has been with the Financial Times. On each occasion, the Times has, with our cooperation, published a special credit management supplement to coincide with our National Conference and Exhibition, provided free to conference delegates, and mailed to all of our members with our monthly magazine.

All of these initiatives have resulted in a large number of enquiries about membership and about our training and education courses. …

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