January 21, 2012

Making the case for PR

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In the first of a mini-series of V Formation blogs designed to demystify PR, we consider the case for including it in your marketing mix and what you could – and should – expect PR to deliver.

Press, or media, relations activity is a core element of many businesses’ communications strategy – particularly in knowledge-intensive sectors such as professional services. When approached and implemented carefully, PR can prove a highly cost and time effective tactic for achieving overall business objectives and strategies, as well as raising awareness within a target community and audience.

PR is about being noticed, heard and understood, by the right people, at the right time, and in the right place. PR is one of the most effective marketing tools in the communications mix, as it can harness the influential power of the media whilst retaining its credibility with the public. Unlike advertising where coverage is secured through paid for space, genuine editorial coverage achieved through PR is due to its relevance for that particular medium. This perception of impartiality makes it all the more believable to the public. Reaching your target audience through the appropriate media, with clear, informative and interesting information is paramount to a successful PR campaign.

There is no guarantee that PR will create the coverage anticipated or hoped for, as we can only influence, rather than control!, what appears in the press. Moreover, the skill lies in identifying angles for stories that are most likely to generate interest with the key media so that they identify with a genuine relevance to their readership or audience.

Developing good relations with these key, and very often most influential press and editors, is a main objective in order to generate their interest and commitment to the story and hence coverage of it.

As a very brief overview, PR delivers a number of benefits for profile-raising activities:

  • PR is more cost effective than advertising, delivering more return on the investment
  • Editorial with readers of press and TV etc viewers, carries more credibility than an advertisement
  • It can target a diversity of publications and media with a range of stories
  • PR has the potential to generate leads and enquiries
  • Press stories can be adapted for other marketing material, used in online and social media activities, mailed/emailed to a contact database, etc.
  • And on social media – recent research estimates that more than 80 percent of journalists use Twitter to uncover stories or find answers/commentators (check out our earlier blog don’t be scared of being a Twit to make the most of your followers and those all-important 140 characters!)
  • Next we will be helping you to create a PR Handbook as well as giving you some top tips on dealing with broadcast media.

Find out more
V Formation has a strong track record of helping professional practices, family businesses and ambitious SMEs to build successful relationships with their key media. For help with making PR work for your organisation, contact V Formation’s Diane Wood or call 0115 822 6364.


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