What is PR?
This is a question as a marketing consultant that I get asked time and time again.
Marketing is the overall concept for promoting yourself, your business and your products/services. Falling under the concept of marketing, are the individual ways to promote yourself, such as PR, direct mail, email marketing etc. Therefore PR is one of the many tactics available to market and promote yourself.
I see PR as doing the ground work to allow advertising to work.
PR is about sowing the seeds and planting the idea. It can be very helpful to warm up a potential customer or reader. Advertising then cements these ideas with an impactful promotion. If customers have read a useful article from you before you less subtle advert, they will remember you and will be more likely to react to the advert.
How a business comes across through PR or advertising can be different.
PR is more of a long term strategy and advertising a more short term. PR is less forceful than advertising, but not necessarily less powerful.
The two go hand in hand and work well together.
Note – be careful!
PR isn’t always in a company’s favour if it is not handled right. All publicity is NOT always good publicity.
Who can forget the unfortunate words of Gerald Ratner about this products being c**p! More recently the carefully timed damming of the Labour Party from the Sun newspaper by backing the Conservatives. To raise the publicity on this issue further, they even had a promotional van saying “We’ve got the Blues” driving through Brighton whilst the political conference was on!
Timing and planning are key factors to the success of your PR campaign.
Further tips for a publishable press release
Make your press release newsworthy. Find a hook or angle? Is it a celebrity, could it be a charity angle or could it be the first shop of its kind in the town or are you celebrating an impressive business anniversary? Include your contact details so the editor and readers can contact you for more information
Include a photo. They say a picture paints a thousand words!
A final thought…
PR doesn’t have to be implemented as an alternative to advertising. They actually complement each other well.
Remember PR is very much for the long term to raise awareness, do don’t expect overnight results.