It’s now been more than a year since Britain’s seismic decision to exit the EU but here in Ireland, we still don’t know how it’s going to pan out.

Late last year, a survey found that almost 60% of UK-based financial and professional service providers had begun ‘contingency planning’. Of these Brexit preppers, around three-quarters said they were actively considering relocating to Ireland.

Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t! Our PRGN partners in Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere are no doubt also watching and waiting to see what happens. But it seems a safe bet that cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway will be soon rolling out the welcome mat.

After all, Ireland is already home to most of the world’s biggest tech firms including Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Yahoo, the list goes on and on. Any company eyeing the EU market is most likely considering the Emerald Isle as their new base.

Ingredients of a successful launch

For these overseas firms, there are a number of ingredients – property, personnel, finance, technology – essential to a successful Irish launch.

One of these is undoubtedly Public Relations. Here at Cullen Communications, we have already assisted a number of high-profile overseas clients to set up in Dublin, using our global connections and local insight to ensure they got off to a fast start.

Here are a just couple of reasons why PR must be part of the plan for any company with an eye on Ireland.

Local insights

In the first instance, a local PR agency will be able to give you a panoramic overview of the marketplace. That will include insights not only about specific communications challenges and goals but about the competition, the Irish media, potential issues likely to crop up, the business landscape, the ‘state of the nation’.

Public Relations providers like ourselves routinely act as their clients’ ‘eyes and ears’, always scanning the market for news and developments of relevance, and this starts on day one.

Getting noticed

Working with a local PR agency instantly gives you access to local media: vitally important if you want your business to be understood and accepted by your target audience.

Your PR partner knows which media – individual correspondents as well as outlets – are likely to add the most value to your company launch, and how best to target them. Implementing a pre-launch PR strategy ensures that when the big day comes, all relevant media are equipped with every possible message they need to report the facts.

The fact that your message appears in an editorial context gives it way more credibility – about 90% more, it is estimated – than simply placing an ad in the same title.

PR keeps you ticking over

Once you’re up and running, you’re going to have your hands full. So while you are taking care of the day-to-day operation, your PR strategy will be ticking away in the background – issuing news and updates, liaising with media, developing a content calendar, generating brand stories, seeking profile opportunities.

The relationship-building nature of Public Relations means that over time, the accumulation of coverage and awareness will build credibility, trust and brand reputation among your customers / stakeholders – while you get on with the day job.

And boosts the bottom line

As your company starts to appear in a trusted media context, more people will recognize, understand and accept your brand.

This is how PR fills up the top of the sales funnel with leads who get what your business is about and what it can do for them. One good article in the right place can result in a big sales spike, plus more awareness – and more leads.

PR-generated coverage also remains long after the publication date so it can boost sales and growth for weeks, months or even longer.

Food for thought!

Owen Cullen is Managing Director of Cullen Communications, one of Ireland’s leading PR agencies specializing in consumer, corporate PR and Public Affairs, and a proud member of PRGN since 2004.

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