Take a Look at PR
The new year has arrived and many of us rang it in with promises to lose weight, start eating better or stop smoking. Many years, our resolve to keep those promises begins to fade at about the end of January or the beginning of February. This year, we want to help you keep one resolution the resolution to consider using a public relations strategy to find new customers in 2010.
Many advertising and marketing managers are disappointed in their PR agencys efforts. Advertising can be expensive and the pressure to show return on marking investment is high. Many advertising agencies and B2B marketing agencies will spend your marketing budget on flashy interactive DVDs, personalized websites or electronic newsletters; meanwhile they forget or abandon the tried and true practices of highly effective public relations.
PR Is Credible
A good PR program allows your business or organization to communicate its message through third party outlets, including trade magazines, newspapers and similar publications. Imagine you are shopping for a new car. Would you prefer to hear the manufacturer talk about why you should buy it or would you prefer to read reviews from customers just like you? Advertising is one-sided, but PR is objective and convincing.
PR Showcases Expertise
Good public relations can also showcase your expertise. You are busy running a successful company, which means you do not have time to monitor the editorial calendars of trade publications or keep track of upcoming industry events for speaking opportunities. These two examples alone provide a great number of opportunities for you to talk about how your company is addressing the issues and trends that are interesting to your customers and potential clients. A PR agency could write an article for you about the leading-edge research your company is completing or you could speak about a clever solution your company found for a pervasive problem; and the list goes on. Using public relations professionals to cultivate relationships with media industry analysts offers you new chances to show off your expertise. These opportunities, in turn, generate interest in your organization and what it has to offer, which can create prospects and eventually new customers.
PR Can Be Cost Effective
Lets take a quick look of how public relations compares to advertising. When placing an ad, you have complete control over the content, timing and appearance of the piece. Even in a well-run PR campaign, you will not be able to decide exactly what is said about your company, when it is said or how the information is relayed to the public. Advertising is one dimensional, with only your side of the story being told to consumers, while PR is multi-faceted and more likely to be trusted by the general public. The goal for public relations and advertising is the same to communicate with a target audience, influence their perceptions of your company and change their behaviors to increase your sales.
As you can see, advertising and public relations are different, so a cost comparison can be difficult. In fact, it has been shown that public relations and advertising campaigns work better when they are conducted together. Consider the steady, strategic use of both to attain your marketing goals. Remember, PR may not be best for every company or every situation, but when it is used correctly, the costs pale in comparison to other marketing initiatives.
Public relations is hard work. It takes good research and planning as well as a great deal of patience and persistence. Think about this, coffee giant Starbucks spent very little money on advertising in its first ten years of operation. Instead, the company sank its money into public relations campaigns. Before spending thousands of dollars into an advertising program, consider whether PR could deliver the results you want.
Rhonda Ryerson is a PR Specialist at
, a Dayton B2B marketing company that focuses on technical B2B marketing campaigns.
Take a Look at PR}