Advertising Versus PR
I am going to start with a popular business quote and one of my favorites that describes advertising versus PR:
This is an incredibly powerful and accurate quote, basically, it states that you pay for advertising, but PR is priceless.
When you pay for advertising it is the equivalent of saying hey look at me, look what I have to sell, it’s expensive, and you usually purchase one impression, meaning that you have one shot at for people to see your ad.
PR, on the other hand, is considered earned media. This is where you connect with the media, effectively communicate what you can contribute to their audience, and open up the opportunity to build an actual relationship with the journalist. This often results in becoming a trusted resource to the journalist and landing more media. The investment is your time, not $1000s of dollars on an ad. The dividends can pay off in a big way.
PR Success Story
I first started combining social media, SEO, and PR many years ago due to the needs of one of my clients. I was already handling her social media, website, email marketing and she was engaged with a PR agency to land media opportunities for her product line. They did a fantastic job, she was featured in tons of top-shelf magazines and blogs, but it was very expensive and her products were not selling because after they were featured they were not shared online other than a single mention, the opportunities faded fast.
At her request, I took over the PR too and started to incorporate her impressive media coverage into what I was already doing. This client is a top hand model and her products are a boutique line of anti-aging hand care products. I started to connect with beauty bloggers with small dedicated followings and they featured her in fun stories.
The other strategy I used was to track the hashtag #dryhands on social media, this landed me directly into conversations that were already happening, people were complaining about their dry hands and we listened.. we reached out and offered them a generous discount to try our products. We started making sales daily and after a period of about 8 months, we sold more than $100K of her products. We kept our campaigns targeted and our budget was pretty much non-existent. #thisstuffworks
The Social Media and PR Dance
As social media and online marketing mature they are becoming more and more intertwined with PR. Social media is the hub, it’s our water cooler, where we meet to connect, share, chat, ask for help, and complain. Journalists are actively listening, they are also often overworked and working on multiple deadlines. They are using social media to find experts and resources for their stories. They are looking for inspiration and breaking news. Simply by being an active participant in the conversations around your industry, you too can be found…
Social media is no longer optional and as small business owners we have an opportunity that was not available to us in the past… our small voice can be heard among the giants. I encourage you to take full advantage of this, get online, listen, and engage. Get into the conversations that are already happening… who knows what opportunities might pop up.
I would love to know what you think about this strategy and how you can work PR into your marketing plan. Share your comments below or on Facebook.