PR Lies – Myth Number Four

November 18, 2008

Myth Number Four – PR is the same as a Marketing Plan. No!

I have come into contact with many SME business owners over the last four years, who believe that PR is the same as the entire Marketing Mix: ie that PR will achieve everything the Marketing Mix will do.

Of course it won’t, and this is a totally unrealistic expectation to place on your PR.

PR works within your overall Marketing Plan, assisting and bolstering other, equally-important actitivites.

Good PR will raise your reputation, enhance Press and Public perception of your commercial concern, help you to become well-known in the hearts and minds of target audiences…

..but it still needs to sit in the framework of an established Marketing Plan, with set aims and ambitions, measurable goals, and reasons to spend cash on PR in the first place.

A scatter-gun approach will always give erratic results – at best. You get out what you put in.

If you’re looking for PR to encapsulate all of your Marketing activities – look again.

This seems like a really obvious point, but I have come into contact with so many business people who roll out the standard statements ‘Loved the publication, but the phone hasn’t rung once’ or ‘We haven’t had any inquiries’ or ‘PR didn’t work for us’…

Missing the point of PR, I’m afraid.

Sure, we have had clients who have sold out of products from effective PR. We have had clients who had an amazing story published in a target publication who didn’t receive a single call. Why?

That’s where the rest of your Marketing Plan comes into effect: how does PR sit within this? What else are you doing? Advertising campaigns? Telemarketing? Networking? Direct Mail? Online Marketing? Search Engine Optimisation? Blogging? Product testing? Word-of-mouth?

Only through a dedicated mix of combined – and linked – activities can you see inquiries consistently over Time. Anything less is selling your business short of revenue.

PR is part of the solution. It’s a drip-feed of awareness, relevance and attraction. A subtle sell.

Consider your Marketing Mix before investing in PR. It can work, but it needs planning, positioning and placement within an appropriate framework of action.

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