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 of all, you need to realize that PR is public relations. It´s coverage that isn´t paid for in cash, like advertising. It takes a lot more effort to create good PR, but it is well worth it, since this method is far more effective for publicizing your business.
The advantages of using PR are many, so let´s take a look at a few of them.
PR is usually 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.
People know that ads are paid for and they take them with a grain of salt. While a good ad can still convert, people are automatically suspicious of an advertisement. 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 can provide free repeat coverage, within the same publication which is a real boost to publicity. People need to see information a lot of times before they make the decision to buy, so 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!
You can offer far more details about your company or product within a public relations story. 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.
Having connections with the media is never a bad thing and can stand you in good stead later on when you want to give your business a boost. Make sure that your press releases are exactly what editors are looking for, which will give you a leg up next time you have a press release. They´ll know that you provide quality work and this will reflect in their treatment of you.
There are many reasons to choose PR over advertising, if you have to make a choice. The truth is that combining the two publicity methods is an excellent method for gaining the optimum number of sales. However, when it really comes down to it, good public relations trumps advertising the majority of the time. Building connections and relationships with the media is invaluable and should definitely be utilized in every business that wants to be successful.