THURSDAY 20 MAR 2014 10:56 AM

PROFESSIONAL PR ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The government has launched a £30 million voucher scheme to supplement small businesses and encourage growth. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has announced that it will be working in partnership with the Enterprise Nation Marketplace; a portion of the Growth Vouchers programme.

CIPR members are encouraged to register with the marketplace and offer their experience and guidance to small businesses owners. Advice offered could range from PR advice and attracting and keeping customers, to making the most of social media and digital technologies.

The Growth Vouchers programme was announced as part of the 2013 budget and was rolled out in January of this year. The project will distribute vouchers to over 20,000 small businesses who haven’t previously sought advice, and will give them access to professional agencies and bodies. The Growth Vouchers research programme, jointly run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Behavioural Insights Team in Cabinet Office, will test the best way to reach, and have a positive impact upon, small enterprises.

Stephen Waddington MCIPR, CIPR president said, “Public relations has a critical role in supporting the growth of early stage businesses through traditional and social forms of media, and other forms of stakeholder engagement. The Growth Voucher programme is a great opportunity for UK businesses to connect with credible and accountable public relations professionals through the CIPR. It is also an excellent opportunity for CIPR freelance and agency members to attract new clients.”

Alongside the CIPR, other professional bodies acting as growth voucher advisers include the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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