Putting PR in the Communications Mix
Friday, 8th January 2010
In the current economic climate we know that it’s imperative to keep watching your budgets and bottom line. But it’s as important to continue to come up with 'big' or innovative ideas - now's the time to stand out in crowded marketplaces.
Often, in business to business communications, it is easy to forget that audiences can be segmented not just by standard variables such as their job title but also by variables such as attitude. This is where PR can often help.
The benefits of advertising as a communications tool is that it is visible, powerful, hard hitting and can project a single core proposition ideally in a simply expressed, memorable way.
PR can help validate this in a more considered, in-depth way: the fuller explanation and validation behind the advertising headlines.
One of PR’s most effective roles in the communications mix is when it is used to validate an advertising proposition – it’s a strong partnership when an advertising campaign (either online or offline) is used to raise awareness of a service, product or issue, and then PR is used to explain, endorse and validate this proposition. Messages can be developed along attitudinal routes, and disseminated through appropriate, targeted channels.
PR can also help in being a catalyst in exposing a problem and providing an answer to that problem through the product or service offering.
It can establish and bring a brand to life and show its value.
It can provide a call to action (visit a website etc).
It can raise awareness.
It can help establish a brand in a new market.
As purse-strings tighten, price promotions are proving their popularity and have a built-in accountability. But value isn’t only measured by price.
Media and PR, working in conjunction with other marketing communications tools, can help you build an integrated marketing plan that helps ensure your ongoing activity will have consistency, stature and credibility. It will help you stand out from your competition.
But it is essential to remove barriers, promote trust and encourage interaction with a personal tone;
to engage, guide or facilitate.
It’s also important to recognise what PR can and cannot do alongside other media, and in particular advertising. Put very simply, it’s often about journalists talking about you and your products:
Advertising says “I’m great!”; press coverage says “I hear you are great?”. But media coverage is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.
PR should be a two-way process with your audiences. How often does this happen? Well increasingly so with the world of digital communication providing access for immediate feedback and interaction, and making it that much easier. It’s also important, particularly in the business to business marketplace, to make time to develop opportunities for ‘one to one’ dialogue.
How you deal with these opportunities, along with your ability to ‘delight and surprise’ customers can make a campaign and ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
If you would like to find out more about this topic or any of the other services that The Think Tank offers please contact Samantha Dawe by calling 020 7831 2225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.