Typically, when businesses think about PR or public relations, what they mean is putting press releases out to the print outlets and newspapers. While these outlets are still a primary channel for public relations, technical and social behaviors have substantively changed the way PR is managed and delivered. Most print outlets have an ‘online’ component to reach their readers, so PR must consider the platforms and channels where the messages will be delivered, at times short enough to fit into a Twitter Tweet, or 140 characters. There are tools available that re-publish automatically to multiple platforms, however, control of the messages and targets are sacrificed for the benefit of a ‘re-message blast’ out to all recipients. A common result is message fatigue, thereby losing marginal targets. A managed approach to ‘re-messaging’ is the use of professional and semi-professional bloggers, maintaining control yet allowing re-messaging to targetted market segments. This is usually an expensive approach.
PR Beats Advertising for ROI Efficiency
While the costs of PR, even individual campaigns, can range in cost, PR remains a very efficient approach to campaigns with a better Return on Investment (ROI) than advertising. This is because of many factors, but most importantly PR allows businesses to explain complex messages to a specific targetted audience while building the business Brand.
Good PR builds Brand, Proves Expertise in the Market
Typical PR consumers, i.e. readers of PR material, are doing so on their terms, at their leisure, on their schedule, and therefore are more likely to digest the message. PR can be contrasted with ‘Pop-Up’ marketing, or ‘In-Your-Face’ marketing, such as television advertising, website pop-up advertising, and other marketing that relies on interrupting the PR consumer.
PR Needs a Feedback Loop
Any effective marketing tool should have a mechanism to capture feedback and response to messaging, including Branding. PR needs the same type of feedback review. In fact, PR needs a constant capture and review of feedback due to the nature of how PR consumers control it’s delivery. While Interruption Marketing controls delivery, PR and other types of marketing must consider the timing and mode of how the marketing messages are consumed by the targetted segment. PR requires constant capture and periodic testing of the marketing message.
Most Critical PR Actions
The final actions in any PR campaign are the most important. These actions will strongly influence success in campaigns. These are the follow ups and reactions to the PR and the feedback. Many campaigns that were well conceived and executed fail to convert customers as part of the campaign. However, many ill-conceived and poorly executed PR campaigns have converted customers effectively, driving businesses forward. For examples of well conceived campaigns, tightly executed, with appropriate follow-through businesses need look no further than those firms with outstanding quarterly numbers, or successful elections, or the heightened awareness and mindshare of a social or environmental problem.