Member of the Week - Bruce Public Relations

This week’s Chamber Member of the Week is an Inverness-based PR firm which supports organisations to improve their performance through strategic communications. 

Originally established in Northern Ireland, Bruce Public Relations relocated to Scotland in 2012 and has truly excelled in the field of public relations in the north of Scotland.  The firm actually celebrates its 10th anniversary this week – a fantastic achievement!

According to Laura Bruce, founder and director of Bruce Public Relations, the firm “leverages strategic communications to help established business to become more successful, and to help new businesses to target the niche with the greatest potential for growth.” 

Laura describes her role in more depth:

“I think the most appropriate title for me is ‘CIO’ – ‘Chief Ideas Officer’ – because that really is my forte.  Coming up with creative ways to help clients to raise their profile and attract new business – that is the part of my work I enjoy the most.  Our business has just one employee, but we partner with specialists across the Highlands and beyond to provide whatever our clients require.”

Laura explained that during the past four years, the business has transitioned from mostly achieving media exposure for their clients, to helping them gain exposure across multiple platforms – not surprising in the age of social media and with a rise in digital technology.  Bruce Public Relations uses tools such as Google AdWords as well as developing content to tap into SEO to help new customers find businesses easily.

Laura believes the potential it holds is huge:

“I believe content marketing is the single most powerful tool businesses have at their disposal, yet 95 per cent of businesses have no idea how to tap into this incredible resource.”

 “‘You have ‘PR’ whether you like it or not. The question is the degree to which you manage it.’  That’s a quote from the founder of the oldest PR firm in North America.  Lou Cahill APR head-hunted me in the mid-1990s to work at the firm he founded in 1946.  He mentored me, and the principles I learned from him continue to guide the practice of PR at Bruce Public Relations.”

With more than 20 years’ experience in Canada, the US, Ireland, and the UK, Bruce Public Relations considers itself the most experienced PR firm in the Highlands.  The range of countries in which the firm has worked has provided a wide variety of clients, as well as working with businesses across so many sectors. 

Laura continues:

“From pharmaceuticals and health care, to local councils and government agencies like the EU, to breweries and shipbuilders, house-builders and engineers, solicitors and architects -- the principles are the same, but each client has unique goals.”

“We recently worked with accounting firm Eagle Consulting to help them in their annual recruitment of trainee accountants.  We came up with a totally unique approach – an innovative campaign centered around an animated video.  I’m delighted to report it has succeeded in attracting precisely the type of candidate they wanted.  They are very pleased, and have a tool they can continue to use for a number of years.”

So if you asked me, is conducting research and writing a script for a film – is that PR I would say absolutely – good, solid writing is the backbone of successful PR, and this is evident in one of our newest services, value proposition development.

“We recently introduced value proposition development, because it is a tremendous tool to help any business to stand out from the crowd.

“Whether you have an existing product or service, or are considering introducing a new product or service, we will work with you to develop a value proposition to ensure you have the right product and service for the right customer – along with the best language to describe and promote it.”

Writing solid awards nominations is another speciality of Bruce Public Relations:

“We were delighted to help a couple of Highland businesses to win awards at the 2016 Highland Business Awards at the end of September.  This gives us a winning streak at the business awards two years running. Our forte is to help them articulate what makes them special – it’s something a lot of businesses have trouble expressing.  We believe we are particularly skilled at awards nominations which is great for our clients, because it’s always easier for someone else to sing your praises.”

“I was pleased to be awarded the inaugural “Shining Star” shining star award in March by Highland Business Women at the 2016 awards, and in July I became President of Inverness Toastmasters, a public speaking and leadership development club.

“The skills I developed in Toastmasters led to one of the highlights of my career.  Two weeks ago I gave my first TEDx talk, at TEDx Inverness.  It was a wonderful experience, and I was delighted that so many people were moved by it.”

Laura explained that one of the best things about Bruce Public Relation’s Chamber membership was the networking opportunities it creates with other members:

“My top tip would be for members to embrace the networking opportunities, and if you aren’t confident, then look to develop your skills.  I have contributed a column of simple tips to improve your networking which will be published in December in the Chamber’s inBusiness of Executive magazine.”

As well as her day-to-day activities, Laura also presents Dessert Highland Discs, a weekly radio show on North Highland Radio.  Laura’s business columns on a host of subjects such as communications and skills for success have been published in dozens of magazines including Executive, Bytestart, Business Matters, Consultant News, Leeds City Magazine, Top Consultant, Sales Initiative and Recruiter.

She is a member of BNI, a business networking organisation, and serves as the BNI Highlands’ Education Co-ordinator.  When she isn’t volunteering, she enjoys travelling and sailing, and is writing a book on business communications.

Chamber members may be interested in a soon-to-be-released project of Bruce Public Relations: an ebook to help talented business owners to stand out from the competition. For more information, click here.

For more from Bruce Public Relations, please visit the website.  Don't forget to follow social media throughout the week for more Member of the Week posts.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce
Bruce Public Relations