When it comes to advertising, being bridesmaid would be a huge step up for PR. Far too often PR finds that it isn’t really your business’s friend; it’s more of a passing acquaintance that gets invited to the party just because every other kid in the class has an invitation. Mixed metaphors aside, neglecting to be friendly with PR is costing your business.
So many businesses are unaware of how powerful Public Relations is and don’t realise how much PR has to do with the articles and news they consume every single day. Considering how valuable and cost effective PR is, it’s downright confusing why more small businesses haven’t made PR their business’s new best friend.
When business owners think about their marketing and advertising strategy they spend their money on big splashes — think sponsorships, billboards and radio ads — as they want “bang for their buck”. Whilst these outdated tactics are still somewhat effective they can be prohibitively expensive. You can do so much more with your marketing budget if you learnt to love PR a little more.
STOP SPENDING YOUR ENTIRE BUDGET ON ADVERTISING!
Let’s start with what PR actually is. Public Relations is the way businesses communicate with the public and media. Someone who is a specialist in PR contacts the media either directly or indirectly on your behalf with the aim to share your story and create a relationship with the audience. Whether your story is about a new product, an innovation award you just won, or how you’re helping the local community — it’s all about building a positive connection with the reader.
Why PR is so freaking worth it:
- The content created by your PR specialist can be shared on social media to build your business’s authority as an expert in your industry, reach new audiences and increase your visibility in an often crowded marketplace. Three birds, one stone.
- Think about where you are spending your marketing dollars; how effective are those branded USBs and promotional lollies? Do you have the numbers? If you could even dedicate HALF of that promotions budget to funding a PR consultant you will see 13230% more tangible results (<<< you can’t argue with numbers).
- It can be hard for your team to pitch to prospects without something cool to get the conversation going. Being able to share an article about your company on a credible third party news site is definitely a conversation starter for your sales team and instantly builds validity around your service or product.
- PR is the marketing consumers don’t realise is marketing. This means it’s more successful. It’s natural information digesting (not so technical term). It’s often hard to measure, but people are beginning to tune out of blatant advertising now. Write something moving, get it in front of the right people and build a connection with the readers. What good is a marketing strategy that no one listens to or sees?
- Most importantly there’s our friend Google. Without getting too heavy on the technical side of things, you need credible websites backing your website up. How does this work? Think of it as other websites giving your website a testimonial to Google If a long existing website with lots of traffic and lots of new content writes (and links to) your businesses website you build credibility as a service provider in Googles eyes. The more websites you have talking about you and linking directly to you, the higher your search engine ranking will be. To get in front of these credible websites you need an effective PR strategy and someone who can make it happen.
PR is an art and it often gets lost between the big show of advertising and the broadness of marketing in the world of business. Before you sign off on your next marketing campaign budget, you need to make sure there is an allocation for PR. If not, you’ll be left behind with MSN, Myspace and other companies who didn’t adapt and make PR their new bestie.