Background

Haines Watts is a national firm of accountants that specialises in supporting SME/OMBs, as well as niche sectors such as education. Its Birmingham client base is dominated by manufacturers and business-to-business organisations – as well as schools.


Brief

In 1996 we were appointed to raise the profile of the firm and its partners, generating media coverage, organising seminars and promotional materials. The overall objective was to increase the understanding of the practice and its services to business and its target sectors.


Method

Clarke Associates’ media relations work is predominantly around those issues that are likely to be of interest to SMEs and OMBs: taxation, capital investment, the diversification of their businesses and the need to compete in a world-market.

This has been achieved through a series of hard-hitting news releases which have sought to position the firm as understanding the needs of SMEs and OMBs and promoting the fact that Haines Watts has a wider level of expertise than smaller “high street” accountancy practices and offer a more personalised approach than the first-tier firms.

The consultancy has been particularly successful in organising seminars which have attracted the interest of both existing and prospective clients. Subject matters have raised from meeting the property needs of SMEs/OMBs to the successful management of acquisitions and sources of funding.

Clarke Associates has also implemented a client satisfaction survey which has been additionally used to identify those issues that are of greatest concern to SMEs and OMBs.

We have also supported a programme targeting schools – and we now work with Haines Watts to deliver ‘thought-pieces’ to a number of high profile national media.


Outcome

A detailed comparative analysis of coverage achieved for Haines Watts across a six month period showed that Haines Watts achieved more coverage than any other single accountancy firm operating in its tier. The client satisfaction survey revealed the clients were pleased or very pleased with the level of knowledge demonstrated by the firm in their sector. A number commented on the high level of press coverage achieved.

The Birmingham office continues to grow, attracting SMEs and OMBs – and its educational specialism has attracted a number of schools as clients.


“You always come up with original ideas at Clarke Associates, and this certainly betters a card. Thank you all for all the hard work you have put in on our behalf this year – in fact it has now been over a decade. It is much appreciated. Henry Briggs, Senior Partner, Haines Watts