People tend to confuse PR and advertising, but the truth is that they are quite distinct and while good advertising can bring your business plenty of publicity, there´s nothing like great PR to give you that boost in the public eye.
First, it is important to understand that PR stands for public relations. It´s coverage that isn´t paid for in cash, like advertising. Although it takes more work to make good PR, it’s well worth the effort as this method is more effective in publicizing your company.
The advantages of using PR are many, so let´s take a look at a few of them.
PR is almost always free. It may cost you in printing out your press release and stamps to send them, but it´s still a lot cheaper than advertising which can run into the thousands of dollars!
No matter how much you pay for an ad, you´ll never get a big front page placement. That´s reserved for news and offering great PR is a good way to get that position for absolutely nothing.
Advertisements are paid for, and people know this. They take these ads with a grain. A good advertisement can still convert people, but they are suspicious of any advertisements. However, with media coverage brought about by PR, people won´t have their guard up. They´ll read your story and be interested in it without being suspicious because it is assumed to be un-biased.
Once you´ve been featured on the front page, it´s quite possible for other areas of the newspaper to pick up on your story and redo it in their own way. This is a great way to get free coverage in other areas of the newspaper, which can be a huge boost for publicity. Information is important to people before they decide to buy. The more publicity the better.
You´d be surprised at how far a good news story can go! Unless you have something to do with a piece of major breaking news, chances are you won´t be the number one story on the news tonight, but that doesn´t mean you can´t enjoy repeat coverage. If one television show or newspaper reports on you, it ´s quite likely that your story will also show up on other channels!
Public relations stories can include more details about your company, product, or organization. Most newspapers will want to print more than a few lines, which would be standard for an advertisement, so you´ll want to include information that will catch the public eye.
It’s never a bad idea to have connections with the media. This can help you later when your business needs a boost. Your press releases should be exactly what editors want. This will help you get an edge when you issue press releases again. They´ll know that you provide quality work and this will reflect in their treatment of you.
There are many reasons PR is better than advertising, but you will have to choose. Combining both publicity methods can result in a great way to increase sales. But, the reality is that good public relations outweighs advertising most of the time. It is crucial to establish relationships with the media and build connections that will help you succeed.