“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson
All human relationships are based around communication. You may have great business ideas, but if you can’t convey them to others, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. A public relations company knows best how to package and present your story to the media in order for it to get seen and heard without the costs associated with advertising spend.
Each of us has a unique story to tell. A professional public relations company is practiced at breaking through the multi-channel, multi-device marketing noise and helping you to engage with your selected audience with targeted messaging that will raise visibility about what you do.
Their sole purpose is to give your business credibility so consumers can gain trust in your product, service or brand. At all times you remain in control about how your identity, company culture and values are being presented and what is being publicised about your brand.
Not only will a good public relations company be able to attract potential customers and grow sales enquiries and leads, they will assist in establishing you as a trustworthy company that invites interest from talented future employees and industry investors.
What is the difference between advertising and public relations?
A public relations campaign offers more credibility for your product or service than an advertising campaign. This is because advertising is paid media and public relations is earned media. Your story has to be good enough to be seen as newsworthy to an editor or reporter in order for them to write a positive story about it. When your article appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV, radio station or website, it is perceived as information being served up by the media title or platform on which is it being distributed. This means the information has been approved by a reliable information source rather than you just paying for it to appear there. Statistically, more people are likely to engage with published content over advertising, giving it an estimated value of between 3 to 5 times more value than its equivalent in advertising.
A public relations campaign is also less expensive than an advertising campaign. There is no need to buy advertising space across numerous publications and news platforms. A well written story will get you there for free. Too often huge expense is laid out in creating an advertising campaign involving creative design and production processes and the purchasing of space over targeted media titles that will need to be repeated in order to gain influence for your brand. In advertising this process is known as the effective frequency: the number of times a person must be exposed to your advertising message before they respond and before exposure is considered wasteful. Currently, in the advertising world, this is considered to be between 5 and 7 times. Alternatively, a well written, stimulating article is more likely to be shared virally, emailed, reposted on other sites, receive feedback and comments, and get tweeted on trending topic channels.
An additional advantage for public relations is that as newspaper and magazine readerships drop due to the increased reliance on the Internet, there are less writers and editors being employed. This means titles have fewer resources with which to travel, research or source news the traditional way. Rather, more and more news outlets are relying on citizen journalists, leading research from corporate companies, and industry spokesmen to feed them current news and events.
How does a public relations campaign work?
Public relations is a process of building media relationships and then managing the spread of information about you or your business through news releases, compelling stories, educational articles, tutorials, reports, trending topics, success stories and testimonials of your clients.
The key to building a reputation in the market is for information to be relevant, consistent and easily digestible. This is where a public relations company will assist you with a goal specific, measurable PR plan, backed up with professionally written content in the correct style and format of the media platforms being targeted.
Information may be packaged as media releases, white papers, e-books, media tours, road shows and press conferences, competitions, seminars, speaking engagements and product launches. Additional tactics might include vlogs, blogs, webinars, and gamification.
A public relations campaign needs to be measurable in order to determine its success. Not only do the results of the campaign need to be measured but also a review of what worked and what didn’t and their attached media value. This is where a media tracking company such as Newsclip Media Monitoring will assist you in seeing where publicity is being published along with a variety of functions to determine meaningful and measureable media insights and analysis.
In addition to spreading good news about your business, a public relations company is able to provide damage control should a business crises arise or hostile rumours start circulating about your company. A professional PR consultant can react quickly and efficiently to addressing and dispelling rumours and getting your brand back on track.
Interested in learning how Firehorse Media can help make your company shine? Contact Mercedes Westbrook on C: +27 789707633 or E: Mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za