Why PR & Publicity is a vital part of your marketing strategy

When you start out in business, you know that there are a range of actions you have to take to get you started and up and running.

You know, get an accountant, a book keeper, a webs designer, SEO, etc etc…
One of them is also advertising. I bet you’ve all been told, from one channel or other (probably from websites and ‘business coaches’) that you have to advertise.

Where that may be true for some businesses, in reality, advertising can be and often is, a total waste of time and a hell of a lot of money – although the ad rags, many papers and magazines as well as other media will not admit that.

In fact, they will insist you part with what little money you have at the start of your venture to do just that.

Why? For a start, adverts are guaranteed in the press. Your ad will definitely be used in the paper or magazine you have agreed to pay. That’s why they are expensive.

Also, advertising is the lifeblood for basically every newspaper, magazine, broadcast station or website. Just look at Sky News. They don’t ask us for a TV licence. That’s because they have commercials and the BBC doesn’t. That’s why we pay a TV licence to the BBC!

Newspapers, especially locals, rely on ads to keep them going. They will always ask for an ad payment as opposed to an editorial if you don’t get your PR and press right.

And here’s further news: Ads that you have paid for (even ‘Advertorials’ which will feature some copy from you and a pic) will be placed wherever the ad people want it to go; often towards the back of the publication (unless you are prepared to pay quite a bit more for an earlier page). The date of the ad will also be random.
In addition, there will be a clearly visible line stating that it is an advertisement, not editorial.

Why does that matter?
Hmmm.. well, anyone can place an ad. That does not mean in any way that what you do is good, original, worth buying, worth investing in or worth taking any notice of at all.

Do you read ads? Do you take any notice of ads in the media? When is the last time you remembered one and bought from the advertisers as a result?
Now let’s compare this to editorial, articles and features in the press – by paying a professional and experienced PR and publicist rather than a salesman.
Do you buy a paper or magazine? Do you watch the news or listen to the radio?
What kind of stories, facts and commentary do you take notice of? Which do you remember?

Editorial coverage, in whatever shape or form, be that a NIB (news in brief) article, feature, online presence, or a slot on the radio or TV will immediately give you credibility.

That in effect means you are worth mentioning and therefore you are good at what you do and are of interest to the general public. And that means people will read about you, remember you and ultimately more than likely buy from you.

The general public, who have not been a 20-years’ professional journalists like myself – and rightly so, have no idea how competitive this market is. It is swamped by people like you – as well as huge companies – hoping their releases will be used.

You can’t write a ‘press release’, send it off to a generic email and expect anyone to use it. It just doesn’t happen. I have binned thousands of so-called ‘press releases’ in my time after about 20 seconds – that’s about how long it takes a journalist and news editor, as I was, to decide.

So get the help of a PR pro. It’s an investment in your business and one which could really help you raise your profile with credibility and get the public, your target market and potential buyers to stand up and take notice.

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