There are lots of misconceptions surrounding public relations and companies that we talk to often have concerns about integrating PR into their marketing activity. And yet public relations is one of the most effective marketing tools for raising awareness and promoting your company’s brand, and often much more cost effective than advertising.
Here we dispel some of the most common misconceptions and explain why PR could be good for your business.
1. PR and advertising are the same thing
Not so – advertising is paid for and PR is earned. Paid for advertising will guarantee space in your chosen publication and it will appear as expected and when scheduled. PR on the other hand comes with no such guarantees – you can’t dictate when it will be published or how it will be used. BUT, because of this PR brings much more credibility than advertising. Your content has been endorsed by a third party (probably several if you’ve got a good targeted media distribution list).
2. It’s all about contacts and advertising spend
Building relationships with journalists/editors is important, but you don’t have to have contacts to do PR or be spending lots of money on advertising. Journalists are interested in a story if it’s newsworthy and relevant to their readers.
3. All I need to do is submit an article about our products/services and it will get published
Unfortunately not as that would be an advertorial. Journalists/editors need ‘news’ so whether that’s a new development, new investment, new personnel it needs a ‘news’ angle.
4. You can’t measure ROI with PR
Whilst it can be difficult to put a quantifiable measure on PR that doesn’t mean there is no return on investment. PR is often the platform for all of your other marketing activities – the content of your press releases can be and should be published on your website, used to develop content for your blog, shared through your social media channels and pushed out through your emarketing activity. Not forgetting the credibility it gives your brand by being published by a third party, and as most news is published online, it’s an integral part of any SEO strategy.
5. Our business doesn’t have enough news stories
It’s easy to overlook news in your own businesses when you’re doing your everyday job but there’s lots of things that constitute news from winning a new contract to supporting a local charity (read our blog on ideas for press releases here). There are also other ways to get coverage and raise your profile, for example commenting on industry news/trends or contributing to features.
6. PR is free and easy
Although you don’t pay for any coverage you get in the media, you still need to invest the time and effort in getting someone to prepare the articles and get them in front of your chosen publications. Stories won’t always get published and it does require some perseverance which is why it is often more effective in the long-run to use a PR professional.
If you’re considering investing in PR why not get in touch for some friendly no obligation advice.