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Public Relations
 

 

As one of the most effective means of business marketing, public relations is a strategy that can fulfill almost every business organization's goals: cost-effective, credible business promotion.

  What makes PR more believable than advertising?
 
When a business or professional service is featured in the press as a positive editorial piece, the public perception is usually one of admiration and awe. While advertising is a worthwhile, necessary function of doing business, it is often viewed with some skepticism if claims seem too good to be true. Because it appears that an unaffiliated writer has chosen to do a story on the business in question, publicity is usually viewed as true and reliable information. This gives PR a powerful edge over advertising, which is ironic because the press coverage is free and the advertising can be quite expensive.

With PR, there are no guarantees.

Just because the press receives a release or feature story about a business does not guarantee that it will be used. In fact, the press many times can ignore such PR altogether if they regard it as "fluff" or "not newsworthy." Sometimes, if they do decide to utilize it, they do so on their own schedule and terms which may be greatly abbreviated and on an "off" day. This may not benefit the business at all if the treatment is so small or ill-timed that it is missed by the majority of people. And this is where advertising has the edge over PR. When you pay for your exposure, it is guaranteed to be noticed if it is done well because you decide when, where and how it reaches your market.

But when the press is accommodating,
a business benefits greatly!

Established relationships between editors, writers and PR firms can be extremely rewarding to businesses seeking publicity especially if there is a special mix of appropriate subject matter, good timing and luck. When this happens, the media usually assign a writer and/or a photographer/videographer who use the press release as a basis of factual information while conducting their own interview and research to compose a feature story which appears on the front page of their publication or in that night's TV news. There is really no better exposure for a business if this publicity is positive.

Is PR as a regular practice worthwhile?

If you intend to offer your products or services over the long term, a regular schedule of public relations efforts can't hurt. In fact, once your corporate message is repeated enough with variations dependent on the details of the individual press releases, members of the media will begin to recognize your organization and possibly view it more favorably when editorial opportunities arise than some company they've never heard of. While some media claim differently, we have also found that the media tend to recognize regular advertisers when a chance for editorial coverage arises or when they need an "expert" to interview for a related editorial subject.

Press coverage is not an everyday affair.

With enough press coverage, some clients begin to expect that every press release will be treated with golden gloves and ushered to a page one position of importance in every case. This is hardly the truth. Unfortunately, the media cannot play favorites, realizing that there are many, many businesses vying for that all-powerful page one feature position and they cannot look biased. To some clients, continuing a regular schedule of PR may seem wasteful when coverage may be so infrequent. This is usually what separates the advertisers from the publicity hounds.
From a marketing standpoint, neither is wasteful or redundant. Both are extremely important to business success and if affordable, should be continued on a disciplined schedule of regularity.

Does Mid-Hudson Marketing have "pull" with the media?

This is a touchy subject with the media because they claim that they maintain separate departments of advertising and editorial matter, and with apologies to Rudyard Kipling, "never the twain shall meet." Also, after 35 years in the business in New York's Hudson Valley region, we have established our share of relationships with writers, editors, and publishers, some of whom give us preferential treatment on occasion, depending on circumstances and other variables. In some cases, their knowledge that we represent advertising revenue carries some weight as well. But when all is said and done, achieving media coverage is very much a matter of value of content, timing of release, professionalism of presentation and composition and luck in reaching the right person at the right time. If that is "pull," then we have it.

 

 





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