Russell Faulkner, Marketing and Propositions Manager for services and software provider Liberata, has worked with the Whiteoaks team for a number of years. The relationship goes back to his previous role as head of digital marketing for a past retail technology client. Russ’ expectations and experience of PR weren’t very good but once he started working with Whiteoaks and our unique engagement model, that all changed. We sat down with him to discuss how his perception of PR agencies has changed over time.

“I’ll be honest — my experience of PR prior to working with Whiteoaks wasn’t that good.

“One of my first experiences of PR was a few years ago in a past role where we relied on the agency to build relationships with the trade media and get our messaging out there through press releases. The results were very hit and miss… mostly miss. We were spending a fair bit of money but there were few results and no actual targets set on media coverage. When we challenged that way of thinking, we were basically told, that’s just how the industry is.”

Russ moved roles and began looking for PR services, in the process talking to a number of prospective agencies.

“Coming across Whiteoaks was like a breath of fresh air. The major differentiator between Whiteoaks and other agencies we were speaking to was the level of detail and emphasis placed on targets and measurement, whether that was key messages or coverage targets across gold, silver and bronze media. The other agencies we spoke to weren’t very clear around targets and results and one of the things we heard a lot of was PR doesn’t always work like that.

“But the team at Whiteoaks showed us that it does! The relationship fit was right from the start and everything was clear — what our targets were, what results we could expect and what was actually going to be delivered. Our relationship with them went from strength to strength.”

Russ then joined Liberata a company that supplies business process services and software to the public and commercial sector organisations in the UK.

“We were struggling to get any results from our PR and needed the proactive approach that Whiteoaks offered. And now we’re on a journey together, as we work to grow our brand awareness in the commercial sector and really own the space in which we operate — being top of mind with the relevant journalists, knowing that our messaging will resonate with the media and our prospects.

“More than that, the fact you have dedicated writers that can sit with one of our product specialists for half an hour and create a piece of content that captures the essence of what we do, using language that is easily understood, really makes a massive difference to us.”

The Whiteoaks PR campaign feeds into Russ’ wider marketing strategy and the emphasis on results and measurements ensures he can report that success to the wider business.

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