Marketing is a powerful business development tool, and with the rapid (and costly!) changes occurring in the media landscape, many businesses are struggling to find the budget to keep marketing in the business plan. That’s when public relations—one of the most cost-effective marketing initiatives connecting your experts with the public through the use of media—becomes even more important than ever.
News coverage is free
Unlike advertising, or paid media, public relations generates “earned media.” This means that when a reporter or editor interviews you, the reference in a news article is free of charge. There is, however, a cost (time) associated with the development of press releases or media outreach. But it’s worth remembering that successful public relations outreach can generate articles and broadcast stories that would cost considerably more if the space or air time was purchased through advertising.
Public relations builds awareness and credibility
Sometimes the most difficult part of business development is just getting your message in front of people. From new products and services to everyday best practices for living, there are many topics a reporter or editor may want to use your expertise to support.
Public relations professionals build relationships with the media to connect them with sources, which is often why contracting a marketing agency can be helpful. Just one article or broadcast story can amplify the awareness of a product, service or brand. What’s more, once reporters, editors and producers have an expert as a contact, they are likely to call back for other stories. Repeat appearances and regular guest columns are often the result of successful media outreach, which catapults awareness.
Credibility is one of the strongest arguments for the value of public relations. While a business or brand can say they are the best at what they do or produce, it does not ring true unless others think and say so, too.
Public relations opportunities
News coverage should be just that, new! Here are a few general ideas about topics that may intrigue media targets:
- New products and services that offer value to their audience
- New hires and promotions
- Success stories
- Accreditations, expertise and awards
- Special events
- Local expertise about trending topics
Overall, the benefits of public relations opportunities are vast. Understanding that it takes time to develop a relationship and rapport with key media targets and influencers is important. Equally important is how to facilitate media relations; for example, by being responsive to fast-paced deadlines and providing well-written, compelling press releases.
If done effectively, public relations is a cost-effective and persuasive marketing tool that businesses should consider as part of any marketing plan. When you’re ready, contact us––we have exceptionally strong connections with the media and a great record of producing results.