Marketing, business – PR: More Than Just a Press Release

You need the complete ingredients of public relations before you start your campaign.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Q:
I’ve heard that PR is very cost-effective marketing, but does
that mean just sending out press releases?

A:
Yes, PR is extremely cost-effective. Often the cost is zero, but PR
is not limited to just sending out press releases.

Your visibility will increase with powerful publicity.
Publicizing your business, you or your services will help increase
the value of each to you and your whole target audience. The idea
is that publicity will bring the news of your company to the world,
online or off. The basic weapons you can use to do this are a press
kit, a company background piece, press releases, story ideas, and
articles or columns about your firm. As you can see, there are many
vehicles to distribute through the media, even though the most
important of all is the press release.

A press kit can include the background piece, press releases,
photos, story ideas, reprints of previous articles about your
business, a list of customer references and anything else the news
media might find newsy. If you provide the media with news that
will appeal to their readers, you will gain instant credibility and
have a valuable promotional relationship. This can be very powerful
from a marketing point of view.

A publicity campaign should begin with a master plan. The more
newsworthy you make your company, the more coverage you’ll get.
And publicity will earn credibility that advertising just can’t
buy. Your goals should be uniqueness, timeliness and
top-of-the-mind awareness. With publicity and visibility, your
company profile rises, as do your client and prospect level. One
successful story about your company can result in free publicity
worth hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Part of managing the total marketing campaign and especially the
public relations portion is supplying the media with a unique story
that will grasp their reader and viewer audiences. Press releases
also have a dramatic impact on customers and your targeted
prospects.

PR is one of the most cost-effective parts of marketing that an
organization can undertake. The cost is in the development of an
organized campaign and the writing and distribution of press
releases-there is usually no cost associated with printed pieces or
placement into publications.

There is definitely a knack to writing a newsworthy press
release, even though sometimes the goal is awareness and promotion.
Editors do not like promotion, so crafting a press release to
appeal to an editor is key. There is no guarantee that your story
will ever be published, but with a consistent professional,
newsworthy approach with editors of reputable publications, the
probability is good that you’ll gain some publicity. Press
releases are also great vehicles for communicating with clients and
prospects. Putting them on your Web site is a very effective means
of promotion to your captive markets. It also further substantiates
your credibility in your field.

Alfred J. Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing and PR
consultant, direct-mail promotion specialist, principle of
marketing consulting firm Marketing Now, and president and owner of
The Ink Well, a commercial printing and mailing company in Wheaton,
Illinois. Visit his Web sites at http://www.market-for-profits.com[1]
and http://www.1-800-inkwell.com[2], or
e-mail him at al@market-for-profits.com[3].


The opinions expressed in this column are those
of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to
be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas
or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting
an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or
accountant.

References

  1. ^ http://www.market-for-profits.com (www.market-for-profits.com)
  2. ^ http://www.1-800-inkwell.com (www.1-800-inkwell.com)
  3. ^ al@market-for-profits.com (www.entrepreneur.com)

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