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The power of the testimonial

As businesses we all spend a considerable amount of time making sure that everyone knows what we’re doing, where we’re going and what we have found to be interesting or thought provoking.

Social media has, without doubt, allowed us to keep our audience up-to-date with our activities and opinions, but sometimes it’s good to remember that the audience we want to nurture may be more interested in what others think of us rather than the image we have created for ourselves.

That’s where testimonials come into play.  There’s nothing quite like a genuine, glowing testimonial from a delighted client to illustrate the very best features of your products and services.  It may be a little more ‘old school’ than the instantaneous information sharing we have become used to, but in terms of addressing buyer nervousness (or indeed scepticism) there really are few things to beat the reassuring words of someone who took the plunge and liked what they saw.

Most companies will have toyed with customer feedback at some point in their business journey; some at the very beginning to assess whether the product or service they were offering had hit the target with their market, some perhaps further down the line when internal quality procedures or appraisal questionnaires had demanded it.  Many company websites have testimonials pages which were created with enthusiasm but were then left without update or refresh because the true worth was perhaps never fully understood.

At RDZ we say embrace the power of the testimonial and understand the significant value it can bring when used correctly.  Here are just a few reasons why we are huge testimonial fans;

  1. They show exactly what it is like to work with you, from an independent point of view
  2. They are one of the few ways to ensure that you are (and remain) relatable
  3. They provide great content for social media posts and blogs – each with a fresh style brought to it by the testimonial writer
  4. They provide rich content for your website in terms of keywords and search potential
  5. They are a great sales tool without being too obviously ‘salesy’

We understand that many businesses will feel reluctant to ask clients to provide a testimonial and this is understandable as there is a perceived element of imposition (asking your client to take precious time out from their daily workload to express their satisfaction in the written word – especially since putting things in words may, to some, be somewhat of a chore).  So, why not ask a few quick questions by telephone and then construct the testimonial on your client’s behalf, requiring only agreement and final validation?  In our experience this more pro-active approach is generally well-received and very often greeted with a huge sigh of relief.

Whatever the method of collation, there are just a few golden rules to adhere to when it comes to publishing testimonials;

  1. They should be ENTIRELY GENUINE and reflect your client’s own words
  2. They should be USED IN FULL and not edited to discard what you think is irrelevant
  3. They should appear as part of your marketing ONLY WHEN APPROVED for use

As a final thought we also urge that published testimonials be attributed to the specific individual or business rather than just ‘John from London’ as this not only says little about the authenticity but also negates any relatability there might otherwise have been!

Used well, the complimentary words of others can be hugely powerful.  A good testimonial substantiates your own claims and, therefore, re-enforces every other form of marketing you undertake.  It also removes a significant degree of risk on the part of the buyer and makes the decision to commit just that little bit easier…

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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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What Our Clients Say...

Sangeeta Patel, Joint CEO, Reaching People

Rachel provided us with a day of free support in association with the LLEP programme. Despite it being ‘free’ Rachels support was professional and dedicated. We received a full day of practical support including a discussion to fully understand our organisation, an assessment of our need, the production of a communications and marketing plan that was realistic, manageable and practical aimed at helping us move ahead on the communications front and, ultimately, with our organisational objectives. Rachel achieved so much in the time she had including writing and issuing a press release that appeared in the Leicester Mercury, wording for our website homepage and a letter to go with our membership pack. She also shared her hints and tips about social media, her press contacts and she connected me with a potential Reaching People member! In all it was an invaluable experience. Thank you, Rachel for giving up your time to help us.

Heather Johnson, Botanical Artist & Stationery Designer

I went on one of Rachel’s introduction to PR workshops and it was fantastic. She covered absolutely everything, explained it all in an understandable way and didn’t try to sell anything. She gave as much information as possible, answered all questions and she was just lovely. I would highly recommend Rachel for anything to do with PR and won’t hesitate to use her services in the future.

Ravi Summan

I was introduced to Rachel by an executive coach. My requirements were to provide quality, simple to understand content to engage with my target market and generate new customer enquiries in health and wellbeing. From my first discussion with Rachel, it was clear that she had the skills and empathy to provide a service to support the growth of my business. Rachel’s content writing and editing is very effective and her diligence ensures the right message is articulated. It is no surprise to me she has a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes support their growth. Aside from her professional competencies, Rachel genuinely cares about people and working with her allows you to focus on your core business. For those who are new to building their own business or employed by a large corporate, you will get value and authenticity from Rachel’s content and PR services.

Jayne McIntosh, Director, Air Aesthetics Health & Wellness Clinics

I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!

Victoria Curtis, Company Secretary, Mono Roofing Ltd

Rachel came to provide our company with an appraisal for the company PR, and we learnt an awful lot! Rachel taught us how to make the most of our marketing and advertising and how to make it work for us, to get the client’s we really want. Rachel has provided our company with a plan to follow, and we are gradually implementing these procedures, and we know that in doing so, it will really raise the profile of our company and get us the work we want. I would definitely recommend Rachel to manage your company’s PR.

Trusha Lakhani, MD, Great Business Matters t/a Trusha Lakhani

Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.

Paul Gerrard, MD, Gerrard Cranes

Rachel and I met yesterday to discuss my existing marketing and options for how we can improve and develop the strategy for my business. It’s very clear that Rachel has vast amounts of experience, knowledge, ability and some great contacts to achieve some amazing results. If you need some professional guidance with PR/awards/marketing then I’d highly recommend you get in touch with Rachel and see how she can help you out.

Victoria Beale, CEO, Business Live Global

I’ve worked with Rachel for the past ten years on a variety of client projects and for my business also and the service we have received has been second to none, consistent and most importantly delivers RESULTS. I would have no hesitation recommending RDZ PR to my customers and Business Live Network. Thanks Rach! Here’s to another ten years and more!

Mark Esho MBE, Easy Internet Services, Easy Internet Solutions, Dreme, Access Rating CIC

Thanks for all the hard work you put into the PR work for our companies and subsequently the business award submissions. You made the whole process stress-free, and the quality of the submissions have resulted in the receipt of multiple business awards. Great work, Rachel.