Business owners large and small are looking for ways to cut expenses. So the question arises: Do I need PR? Here are a few reasons why you should say yes and feel good about the expense.
PR is a cost effective alternative to advertising. Even though web ads can cost 25% of those in old-line media, advertising is expensive. And, there are so many ads you have to wonder which ones really stick. People are exposed to thousands of messages everyday: in the supermarket line, at the gas station, on websites-not to mention the ads on the radio, in the newspaper and on TV. We are faced with ad fatigue.
PR provides third party validation. When someone else-an independent person-- writes about you and places that article in a public place, it has intrinsic value. That's why companies want to be featured in the media whether it's in the town paper or on the Today Show. A good PR plan includes strategies for promoting your story to the right media.
Many people think PR is expensive. It doesn't have to be. If you're a small business consider working with a small PR firm. A small business owner is used to being the point person and could be frustrated dealing with a junior level executive at a large firm. Plus, small firms are cheaper.
In PR, unlike in advertising, spending less doesn't mean you get less. Cutting an ad budget means you lose your reach and frequency and that can undermine a good ad. But, cutting your PR budget and signing on with a smaller, more nimble firm can still result in an effective media placement. Similarly, opting for a black and white ad instead of color means you could fail to attract enough eyeballs to get the ad noticed. But working with a PR firm on a project basis as opposed to a costly monthly retainer can still get you featured on TV. In the end it comes down to how well your PR pro develops your message and leverages it with the media.
In today's economy, ROI is more critical than ever. While PR is never a guarantee, it can be a cost effective way to get you message to the right people, and if you can still throw some money behind advertising-that's even better.
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