Why do you need a marketing and PR agency to improve your business? Because you struggle with the basic things you need to know and do, and with the time it takes to do it right.

Last month we published our Small Business Marketing Survey results, which were no less than amazing. We received more than 570 responses! We learned so much about what you do, what you don’t do, what you know, and what you don’t know – we’re excited to release our white paper soon with our best recommendations for your business.

Your top three marketing challenges

What stood out for us, of course, as a marketing and public relations agency, was what you told us your top three marketing challenges are:

  • Don’t know how to target your ideal audience
  • Need help with messaging about your products and/or services
  • Not enough time to do it right

We get it – and it’s why you need a marketing and PR agency to improve your business

We get it. We really do. It’s what gave us our spark to get started in the first place. You do what you do really well, and you need to focus your time and energy there. We do what we do really well, which gives you the time and energy to focus.

And, just to be sure, we spoke with our fabulous client, Feeding Pets of the Homeless, about what it meant for them to take their marketing outside of their daily tasks, and give it to us.

Feeding Pets of the Homeless – An in-house to agency story

Feeding Pets of the Homeless, or Pets as we fondly refer to them, is a national nonprofit organization that provides pet food, supplies and emergency veterinary care to companion animals of homeless people, as well as sleeping crates for homeless shelters so people with pets can come in out of the cold and have a safe place for their friend to sleep.

IPSM provides media and public relations, social media, email marketing, donor and volunteer communications, website development and improvement, and crisis communications for Feeding Pets of the Homeless. This year, we’re even launching their new podcast! (More on that to come.)

Allowing time to focus

Laura Brown, office manager extraordinaire and former do-all-the-things-plus-marketing go-to-person at Pets, said before they engaged with us, she managed their monthly newsletter and social media marketing for the organization.

When they hired In Plain Sight Marketing, Laura said her job description changed.

“Having IPSM on board allowed me to focus on emergency vet care, our case managers and the cases we are dealing with,” she said. “I am diving into our data base more, making sure data is being collected properly and that our case managers are being attentive to what our President and Executive Director wants to see statistically. Our emergency care program is such a huge part of what we do, and now I can be more hands on than before.”

Communicating during a pandemic

The pandemic created chaos for many organizations. For Pets, it meant shutting down volunteer operations, which included picking up pet food and supplies from donation sites and delivering them to provider sites across the country where homeless people could pick up what they need for their pets.

IPSM crafted a crisis communications plan to help distribute news and information across varying stakeholders nationwide as things changed.

Laura said IPSM’s participation has allowed the organization to really focus their efforts where they are needed the most.

“It’s really important to be able to see where our resource requests come from and the areas where pet food is needed the most,” she said. “Things changed so much with the pandemic, and we rely on IPSM’s guidance and planning. It’s nice to have a more detailed plan on paper – it’s something we look to for answers about what to do and who to go to.”

IPSM has provided media kits, communication plans and marketing kits for donation and provider sites to inform our stakeholders and the public around the country of the help and supplies available to them in their own communities.

Website woes

One of the larger hurdles the Pets/IPSM team faced was Pets’ massive, unwieldy, custom-coded website.

A website is the hub of all of your online activity. Having a website that is hard to navigate, impossible to update and confusing in its navigation is like attempting to sail the ocean blue in a rowboat. Eventually, you’ll get there, but there’s a lot of heavy lifting and you’re likely to lose potential donors, volunteers and people seeking help.

IPSM is managing the Pets website as well now with a complete rebuild on the horizon to make more user friendly. The new website is currently in the design phase, and the IPSM Pets team couldn’t be happier to design a site that features easy navigation to information about the Pets mission and services.

Transparency and working together

“We’re trying to help as many people as we can,” Laura said. “Transparency and being able to put the information out there is so important. Having our partnership with IPSM has really allowed me to focus on our programs, our case managers and our volunteer coordinator and on the retention of our donation and provider sites, volunteers.”

Laura and Genevieve Frederick, founder and CEO of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, both have marketing backgrounds, so they understand the power of their relationship with IPSM.

“The strategic planning we’ve done with IPSM informs what we do,” Laura said. “It’s wonderful to have a professional behind you. We did the best job we knew how but having IPSM there allows us to focus on the most important things we do, together.”

And that, our friends, is why you need a marketing and PR agency to improve your business.

P.S. The benefits of working with a marketing and PR agency is winning cool awards with your content. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we brag a little (OK, maybe a lot) about the awards we won for work we did for our clients throughout the pandemic – including a couple for Pets!