Let’s face it – PR can be confusing for those who aren’t in the game. It’s a sort-of-marketing, sort-of-advertising concept that often gets overlooked because of its reputation. Sadly, the champagne drinking, air kissing publicists of the yesteryear have created a rather crappy stereotype that is akin to Samantha from Sex and the City. Sure, we still have an enviable little black book, but we can do a lot more than write a fluffy press release and schmooze with the who’s who.
For far too long PR has been considered as an afterthought, but in reality, it should be your first thought. PR should navigate all your strategic thinking and planning, whilst underpinning your marketing and advertising efforts. It’s not a tack on thing that happens when someone decides they might need a press release. The number one reason why PR should be an integral part of any brand’s strategy from the get-go is because it can save you money.
One of the easiest ways to describe how PR can save you money is this real-life example. I once worked with a well-known beauty brand who spent a substantial amount of money on creating some photographic assets for their advertising. Once all the planning and photoshoot had taken place, they decided to engage in PR to see if we could get any traction. The images they created were beautiful, however they had used little known models who weren’t interesting from a media perspective. After feedback from us, the brand decided to work together to create a PR photoshoot using models and influencers who had media interest. The results of the campaign was astounding, amounting to over 2 million dollars’ worth of PR value. However, it didn’t hide the fact that the client essentially paid to do 2 photoshoots using 2 different agencies, when they could have gotten away with half the cost had they factored in PR from the start. If we had been approached during planning phases, we could have suggested a different approach using models with media interest and saved everyone a lot of time and money.
There’s no arguing that Marketing and Advertising are paramount in your overall strategy, but many people don’t consider how PR can enhance each of these. Take SEO for example. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on SEO as a sole focus, enlist your PR team. Any good publicist will know how to ensure PR content features on high domain authority sites with backlinks that drive to your website. This enables you to scale back or completely drop your spend on SEO (because we’re already doing it for you)!
PR, Marketing and Advertising go hand in hand, but ideally you wouldn’t want one without the other. The key difference to consider is this: In Marketing and Advertising, you’re telling your consumers you’re a great company, but in PR, credible sources are telling consumers you’re a great company (not the brand itself). Credibility can almost be seen as the money-can’t-buy holy grail for brands (unless you’re buying it when you spend money on PR). PR has more credibility because it is independently verified by a trusted source, or ‘earned’, rather than purchased by the brand itself. Yes, things like credibility, brand trust and brand awareness can be tricky to measure, but imagine what can happen if you don’t have these?
PR is all about communication, so it’s almost ironic when Marketing and Advertising teams aren’t talking to PR from the start. Any brand that spends thousands on their marketing and advertising efforts no doubt wants to maximise their ROI. The best way to do this? Bring in the PR team. Too often brands worry about the additional PR costs, but they forget that PR can actually save you time, money and leverage what you’re already spending your money on. Publicists have the ability to spot a news opportunity or create a newsworthy story by creative storytelling, tapping into calendar hooks, agendaneering and content creation. We can quickly garner local and international attention, expose your business to new audiences and build the brand to a high-level scale of success from the start.