The omnipotent Bill Gates may or may not have said that if he only had a dollar left to spend, he would spend it on PR. Either way it’s a good opening gambit and, like many SMEs, if you do have only a small budget to play with then PR really does need to be in your box of marketing tricks!
Due to the evolution of more digital, instant, sharable platforms, for some PR may have lost its place at the top table of marketing. Don’t believe a word of it. With the ability to reach, engage and motivate a massive audience, a decent sprinkle of PR in your marketing mix, whether you’re a thought leader or a new start up, can go a long way.
Here are just three ways a decent PR strategy can boost your brand:
PR opens up additional channels that marketing spend may not: Effective PR is the result of collaboration with both the media and more recently social media influencers to reach your target audience across a variety of print, digital or broadcast platforms. A PR strategy can position your brand in the newspapers and magazines your target audience reads and have you read and recommended by key bloggers that they follow. Because PR relies on long-term relationships, it builds a degree of trust but it is an effective way to get featured in more places for less spend.
PR is more affordable, can have a much wider reach and higher return than advertising: A good PR strategy will see your brand pitched to a wide range of media outlets, social media influencers and digital platforms. Where ad space may be costly, a solid piece of editorial is largely free and comes with a whole slice of third party endorsement, so readers know they can trust your brand as a source of information. Plus with many outlets operating across multiple channels all craving up-to-date news and comment, your monthly PR activities can result in countless cross-channel features, and therefore lots of opportunities for your prospects to see you. Opinion pieces and comment opportunities are an excellent way to spark a personal connection with your audience.
PR can tell your brand’s story from every angle: We are living through a time when trust, transparency and being seen to do the right thing are crucial to a brand’s value and legacy. Finely tuned PR will not just promote your brand but also highlight your unique stories and the people behind them. PR can help your brand develop an identity that goes beyond a piece of sales collateral to engage your audience, help them to understand your values and ultimately align themselves with your product or service.
PR is really about storytelling, which is a great way to connect with your target audience. Most of our thinking takes place in the subconscious mind, where logic and reasoning make little impact. People expect to be taught, entertained, and inspired. Plus, your stories can blend the emotional and visual, allowing your audience to immerse themselves in a memorable brand experience. It’s a powerful way to create an association between your brand and hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people in a way that an ad set, however innovative, simply cannot.
If you would like to know more about how PR can support your existing brand or new venture, get in touch.