Many people avoid trying to get media attention for their business because they are unsure of the value they will get. Many ask if it’s really worth the time and effort involved to add media relations as part of a marketing strategy.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story on how valuable public relations are to any business, especially in terms of media coverage. They also explained how it’s important for any business whether a solo professionally the way up to the world’s major corporations to make the most of media opportunities.
The Wall Street Journal article also explained why it is that public relations and publicity are having a resurgence.
Company owner Lena Fiore, who herself doesn’t use traditional advertising to market her organization, was interviewed in the article. In the interview she mentioned that the natural skepticism which individuals have about advertising makes coverage in the news media a much better way to build credibility. She sited that just one article in her local paper gained her an additional half million dollars in sales.
These are the kind of results which are moving companies to use public relations efforts as a replacement for of paid advertising to augment sales. Some companies have started using a very easy method to find out what publicity is working the best for them. This method is called the “how did you hear about us” questionnaire. This questionnaire is placed on their webpages or is part of the check-out process when someone is placing an order. Many are finding that, more so than advertisements, it’s media coverage which brings in customers.
Here are the top reasons to make PR part of your marketing plans:
1) Publicity is very low cost. The amount of sales which a favorable review or being featured in a affirmative light in a news story are more than worth the time you’ll spend putting together a media kit and building relationships with news professionals. Compared to the cost of buying a comparable amount of advertising, it’s almost free!
2) Media People can and do skip over ads; but being the topic of an story in print, radio or television news gets your organization noticed.
3) You will be perceived as credible . Your prospects don’t necessarily believe advertisements (nor should they). However, being covered in the news makes your organization instantly more credible. These are perceived as objective sources which can by and large be trusted.
4) Increase your sales. More than likely, you began patronizing some of your local companies after reading about them in the newspaper or a magazine or seeing them featured on TV. For example, take the local restaurant review program “Check Please” in Chicago. Being featured on the program guarantees a restaurant a packed house for weeks afterwards. You just can’t buy this kind of publicity.
5)You can do your own publicity. There are many websites, including mine, which can show you how to pull off your own public relations strategies just like a expert. You’ll gain knowledge of how to work with, and get your business featured in, different kinds of media. If you’re a new business working with a small budget, this is a good way to go.
6) You’ll have more control over your business’ image. Each organization can become the target of criticism, but if you discover how to use public relations effectively, you can do damage control before the issues which may impact your organization even have the opportunity to develop.
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