How to get your ads notice ― and other lessons in public relations
Advertising can be vital to attracting attention to your business, but it’s not all that gets customers through the door. For companies touting consumer-related products and services, the role of public relations is crucial to extend the impact and credibility of advertising and to enhance the overall marketing campaign.
The strategic purpose of PR is to create a sense of community, to make a brand or service more memorable, and to ultimately entice consumers to want to learn more and share the information with others.
Unlike advertising, PR is uniquely capable of building relationships with the public. It can effectively reach specific target markets through events, interactions on social media, in-kind support for a cause, sponsorships, presentations and, of course, traditional media interviews. This engagement through shared stories and interactions allows a brand to actually come to life. In other words, PR is used to deliver messages not normally conveyed in conventional advertising.
Positive news stories can be shared to create buzz about a company, including recent achievements, the addition of new products or services, the addition of someone to the team, or the involvement in a community event. Through increased visibility comes increased awareness, which attracts more attention and gets people to notice traditional ads.
In addition to getting your company seen and heard, PR can work with advertising to effectively help build momentum for the launch of a new ad campaign. Interviews, quotes or news segments provide a company with media exposure between ad placements and can actually increase the frequency of brand exposures during the time period ads are running. In an effort to build brand awareness and keep a company top-of-mind, there are few substitutes for pure frequency.
When looking at developing a PR campaign, begin by asking three major questions:
(1) What are you trying to achieve with PR?
(2) Who are you trying to reach?
(3) How will your PR campaign integrate with your marketing and communications plan?
Think of PR as a tool for reinforcing. When a company launches into a new market, acquires another company, establishes a new partnership, or introduces a new product, public relations is one of the most cost effective and credible tools for telling the story.
Unfortunately many companies fail to incorporate PR into their marketing mix after realizing the amount of money that they are spending in other areas, including advertising. When weighing the costs, it is one oversight that can be costly. After all, it makes sense to have the various mediums work hand in hand ― that is, if you want consumers to take notice.