As we develop our thinking and start to assemble the pieces that will become elephant communications in 2012, we have made a decision today that supporting small businesses will become a central spoke of our community investment programme. Small businesses are the backbone to the economy and they need support. Everyone is keen to see growth in the economy and we feel we can make a contribution to this vital part of our society and economy.
Kicking off in February 2012, we will be running a quarterly free advice day for small businesses. Communications and PR is central to the work or bigger organisations, but often small businesses don't have the budgets or access to PR advice and support. During our quarterly free advice days we will offer small businesses advice on how they can use PR to promote their businesses and gain greater exposure in a simple and cost effective way.
In my view having advised major brands across most industry sectors over the last 20 years, the principles of good communications can apply to organisations large and small and this is an area where small businesses can be helped, particularly during the testing start-up phase.
To prepare for these days, we will be conducting independent market research among the SME sector over the next eight weeks to understand how small businesses approach marketing and the challenges they face in promoting awareness of their business.
More details on these open days will be announced early in the new year. This support for small business will form part of a broader community investment programme we will operate in 2012 which will also include education, the arts and conservation. As passionate PR people we are looking to build a different kind of consulting practice for 2012 that is based on authenticity and societal relevance, not spin, and our commitment to make a meaningful contribution to society gives elephant communications a soul we are proud of.