Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Featured in The Huffington Post and Tech.co. If you’re an entrepreneur who hasn’t included public relations in your company’s growth strategy, then you’re forfeiting substantial opportunities to promote your business. There’s good reason why business icons like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Henry Ford are recognized to have heavily depended on PR – because it works.
There’s an old saying: ”Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”
PR is an incredibly valuable asset that shouldn’t be underestimated; it’s less expensive than traditional advertising, establishes credibility for your brand and is significantly more effective than purchased exposure.
A 2014 study by Nielsen, commissioned by inPowered, concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising: “On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content… In the end, the impact of expert content on consumer decision making demonstrates the important role that objective and credible information from trusted sources play in the purchase process.”
For example, a positive story about a new product in the business section of a local newspaper has a considerably greater impact on readers than a full-page advertisement for the product since readers perceive the news media as presenting an impartial perspective of the product.
With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With PR, others sing your praises; there’s clearly a winner between these two scenarios.
Next to word-of-mouth advice from friends and family, earned editorial exposure carries far more weight than paid advertising, and it’s not difficult to understand why; advertising embraces an antiquated method of communicating that consumers have grown cynical of. They don’t want to be sold to, they want to be inspired by a source they trust.
For successful public relations practitioners, it’s imperative to understand human nature and the psychology of motivation. By leveraging this knowledge, many potent tactics can be employed, such as:
Using experts and leaders like doctors, scientists and celebrities to strengthen credibility and public interest;
Drawing relevance with current events;
Uncovering the emotional or intellectual story of the brand/product/issue/person.
Thanks to the digital age, a great magazine article, TV interview or newspaper story can outlive a giant redwood tree thanks to shares, tweets, re-tweets, emails, YouTube, you name it. Of course, you can always post something clever about your new app or the latest dental implants on Facebook, but don’t hold your breath..