Fishbowl PR is a specialist public relations company, founded in 2010 by Birgit Schonafinger. The company is based in Beechworth, and works with clients from across north eastern Victoria.
Tell us about your market and customers
Our major market segments are medium to large businesses, government agencies and not-for-profits. We work with clients to improve communication with their stakeholders – in most organisations these include staff, customers, government agencies, community groups and the media.
Part of our role at Fishbowl PR is to develop communication plans: identifying who will communicate what messages, when and how. A constant part of the business is educating prospective clients about just what public relations is, how it can benefit them and how it differs from, but works in conjunction with their marketing activities.
Which web technologies you are using in the business?
- Our website is our main online presence. Here people can get a quick snapshot of our expertise, order services and make inquiries, learn more about public relations and connect with us on social media sites.
- We advise clients on using social media, and tools that can help them to manage their social media presence.
- We can also recommend monitoring tools which pick up any mentions of the client’s business name online – allowing our clients to see who is talking about them, and what they are saying.
- We undertake training through online webinars, and use online phone conferencing facilities for our business meetings.
- We have experience with TripAdvisor – a major travel website, where customers rate and recommend accommodation providers and restaurants.
- We also use e-newsletters and surveys, through systems such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Survey Monkey.
What benefits have you gained from using these tools?
The obvious benefit of developing an online presence is being easy to find. Our social media presence has also helped us to win clients by drawing on personal recommendations through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn; demonstrating the power of those connections, both online and in person. It also illustrates the power of being endorsed by a third party, and how we trust other people’s recommendations.
We have also found online webinars to be a great training tool, reducing our travel time and costs while helping us keep up to date on the latest in communication practise.
How do you plan to use high speed broadband in your business when the NBN arrives?
We see the NBN offering greater access to high quality video conferencing, online meetings and training options.
What advice do you have for other businesses who want to maximise their use of web technologies?
Businesses should undertake some research on their target audiences for marketing and PR purposes. Once you understand your audience’s preferences, you can choose the best tools to reach them with – don’t just choose a tool that you like and hope they will come.
That research helps shape your communication plan, which should consider your resourcing levels and ability to manage your chosen tools. Developing a social media policy in advance can help determine who is going to be able to say what on behalf of your business online. Once a business invests those resources, monitoring is important to help them to find out which tools are working best.
Do you run a business in the Hume Region that uses the internet effectively? Send us your insights and opinions via our contact form.