Without PR, less people will know about your business. That doesn't mean you won't be successful, but it does mean you won't reach your full potential.
Without proactive PR, your exposure depends on someone else’s priorities. It's as simple as that.
PR isn’t rocket science, but doing it right takes time and requires a cocktail of art, science, and experience.
The best way to think about marketing is as a double-sided coin with two very different disciplines. We would argue that everything, all of the nuances, ultimately fall within one of these two philosophical differences. Broken down, they consist of: Advertising - the art of creating positive opinion by pushing your own message out as many times as you can, and Public Relations - the art of getting those that your audience trusts to push your message out for you. Both disciplines will bring your company in front of your desired audience, and both are often needed as part of any marketing program.
Advertising and PR work in two different ways. Advertising relies on repetition of a message and garnering as much visibility of that message as possible. It is effective because it’s familiar and because opportunities are abundant – online banner ads, transportation vehicles, social media, radio, you name it. There are several major drawbacks to advertising though. For one, it’s expensive. When you pay for advertising, you pay creative agencies for ideas that have a small chance of succeeding. You also pay for the air time and the actual space that you are advertising in. Second, we are now conditioned to experiencing over 3,000 separate ads per day, so it’s understandably very hard for a message to stick. Lastly, in the minds of the consumers, advertising is a bit obvious - of course the message will be positive when its coming directly from the source. That’s part of the reason why we tune so much of it out.
Think about what is more likely to convince you to buy a product – an ad that you see for a product or a friend telling you about how good a product is. Chances are, you will remember what your friend told you and forget the ad. This is the basis for PR.
In PR, you work with the media so that they discuss your messages on your behalf. The psychology behind it revolves around the principle that when those who your audience trusts reference your company, your ideas, your products and your services, they are more likely to form a positive opinion of you. PR creates “buzz” by getting people to talk about what it is you want them to talk about. Not to mention, PR is also much cheaper since you don’t pay for the air time.
Effective PR requires a master understanding of language to find the right words that will properly convey your thoughts, dreams, perspectives, and insights to people who are often complete strangers. While it’s possible to do this yourself, it’s harder to be successful at. Like most things in life, you will get better results when you pay someone to do it for you.