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How PR can help you to win more business A brief guide to Public Relations
In this presentation, you will learn: Lesson 1: What PR can and can’t do Lesson 2: How PR can help you sell more Lesson 3: Seven things you should know about PR Lesson 4: How to decide what level of PR you need Contents
Yet the power of PR can be huge. It can set the national news agenda for several days or secure a slice of fame for a company or an individual.
Even children have “brand awareness” these days. The public perception of a company can make or break it.
In 2008 research done by Cardiff University in Wales stated that the number of journalists in the UK was roughly the same as it had been in 1988.
But the rise of newspaper supplements, websites and 24-hour news services means that the same number of reporters must now fill three times as much space.
The result is “ churnalism ”: more demand for copy means more time spent in offices and less time spent out and about gathering stories. That makes reporters “open” to the offerings of PR firms and company press offices.
The same University of Cardiff research claimed that 60% of stories in Britain's quality newpapers are either recycled press-agency copy or rehashes of PR press releases.
One national newspaper estimated that about 60% of its stories had been handled by PR at one point or another.
You can read the full report here: Quality_Independence_British_Journalism.pdf] http://www.caerdydd.ac.uk/jomec/resources/
The correlation between business success and PR has always been hard to prove. Companies may justifiably believe that publication of, say, their interim results will move their share price whether or not there is press coverage.
In 2008, Metrica, a media analysis and evaluation company, produced a report based on its clients' experiences in 2007 that demonstrated the success of PR.
The report claimed that on average every month, public relations people reached 35% of Britain's adult population 11 times. That is a very good “hit” rate.
Only 8% of that coverage was classified as “unfavourable”.
The full Metrica report is here: www. metrica . net /MeasurementMatters/post/2008/04/15/ Metrica -Numbers -2007- PR -benchmark-data-available-now!.aspx
Good PR always works with other disciplines, not against them. In clients' eyes, there is little difference between PR, advertising and marketing agencies, each saying that their way is the best way.
Do you know the difference between marketing, advertising, branding and public relations? There’s a well-known illustration which demonstrates the difference...
<ul><li>PR can generate positive: </li></ul><ul><li>Goodwill towards a company and its products </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of a company and its products </li></ul><ul><li>Interest about a company and its products </li></ul>
<ul><li>PR can also: </li></ul><ul><li>Change attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Educate people about a company and its products </li></ul><ul><li>Manage public crises </li></ul><ul><li>Project a positive image </li></ul>
All of these help build: A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer. I - Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on the advantages and benefits. D - Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs. A - Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.
Traditionally there are four “Ps” in the “Marketing Mix” – one of which “Promotion” includes Public Relations. Product Place Promotion Price Economy Politics Technology Social Changes PR Competitors Demographics Stakeholders Innovation
PR can help with all aspects of reputation management and reputation drives word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), the most effective form of marketing. Word-of-mouth Marketing
Research published 2003 in the Journal of Psychology shows that individuals are more likely to believe WOMM as they believe that the speaker is sincere and less likely to have an ulterior motive. Word-of-mouth Marketing
You can get the research here on www.sciencedirect.com/science http://preview.tinyurl.com/cd8jxw “ Early-Entrant Advantage, Word-of-Mouth Communication, Brand Similarity and the Consumer Decision-Making Process” Journal of Consumer Psychology , Volume 13, Issue 3 , 2003 , Pages 187-197 Rajdeep Grewal, Thomas W. Cline, Anthony Davies
The Marketing Pyramid Advertising, PR, Direct Mail Trade Shows, Websites, Leaflets, Case Studies, White Papers Endorsements, Facts and Figures, Industry Awards Proposal, Meeting, Presentation
The Purchasing Decision Goodwill Awareness of product or service Education about product benefits Image, Trends, Cultural References Attitude
PR should always fit in with your Business Goals Business Goals Situation Analysis PR Strategy and Tactics Target Setting PR Goal Setting
So, how do you know what your business goals are? You need to do some strategic planning. Strategic planning is the best way to plot out an organisation's future course. Strategic planning should always work towards a set of business objectives and an action plan of ways to achieve those objectives.
Business goals might include: Survival – a short term objective, probably an objective for a start-up or when a new firm enters the market. Profit maximisation – trying to make the most profit possible above everything else, without alienating customers or suppliers. Sales growth –trying to make as many sales as possible in order to dominate the market.
Business Objectives Global Dominance Become a millionaire! Social Issues Long Term Survival Ethical Issues
All or some of these might include strategic marketing. So, what is strategic marketing?
Strategic marketing means looking at the bigger picture to work out how your business is going to grow.
Existing Product New Product Existing Market New Market Market penetration = concentrate on your strengths Market expansion = need market information and customer research Product expansion = develop brand and value Diversification = the most risky strategy Business objectives might include future growth plans
Business Objectives to PR Tactics PR Tactics PR Strategies PR Strategy PR Tactics
Lesson 3: Seven things you should know about PR
PR and your business A company's success can rest on the relationship that is has with its potential customers and how it is perceived in the media. The biggest question is, "Will the results gained from hiring an outside PR firm or consultant offset the cost of paying for their services?"
Perhaps the better question to ask would be: can you afford NOT to include public relations in your business?
# 1 PR is not a quick fix solution PR is not a short-term, quick fix solution. Changing attitudes and building relationships can only happen over time by repeating the same messages and backing them up with action. A short-term PR campaign is more likely to be seen as a “stunt” to get attention and it won’t be sustainable. Clients should plan on conducting a campaign for a minimum of six months and ideally a year or more.
# 2 PR can always be done better in-house Yes, it might be, but depending on the size of the company, it needs at least one full-time employee, and more likely several to make any impact. By hiring outside help, a company won't have to cross- train existing employees to take on roles that they are not comfortable with or experienced for and then get them to fit it PR around their existing workload.
# 3 PR consultants are too expensive The salary which a company has to pay to full time employee (or employees) may seem like a far cheaper alternative when compared to the amounts paid to outside public relations consultants. But when you add in the cost of sickness and other benefits, paid holidays, employment taxes and other fixed overheads, a company could end up saving thousands of pounds a year by hiring outside help.
# 4 PR can control the media Clients often get upset when their media coverage is not 100% accurate or not exactly the kind of coverage that they want. Even the best PR person cannot control exactly what is written or said about a particular company. If it could, then it wouldn’t be PR, it would be “advertising”.
# 5 PR is impossible to measure Measuring "success" in a public relations campaign, is often not straightforward, especially in the short term. However as long as you agree at the beginning exactly what it is that you are measuring then it can be done. Is it “outcome” or “output”? Press cuttings, Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) , Share of Voice – often the budget available is the biggest factor here.
# 6 PR should get you on the front page PR people rarely tell clients that they won’t ever be on the front page of the top newspapers, unless it is for all the wrong reasons. Every client wants a big profile of their company on the cover of a major magazine or in the top business newspapers, but these are very few and far between, even for established companies.
UK Print Coverage Breakdown Daily national newspapers: 69% Industry Verticals: 13% Business Press: 7% Industry Trade: 5% Online: 3% Wire Reports: 2% Financial reports: 1% Daily national newspapers: 69% Business press: 7% Industry Verticals: 13% Industry Trade: 5% Online: 3% Wire Reports: 2% Financial News: 1% Source: Case study Ask Jeeves from Backbones Research
# 7 PR people never get any results You have to have a good story to start with. Newspapers only print what people want to read or if it is newsworthy. PR people can only do their job properly if they are given access to the company’s senior management when they need it, and the information and material that they need is made available to them. Clients have to be flexible to fit in with the media’s deadlines.
Lesson 4: How to decide what level of PR you need
Three levels of PR service Hire a PR company – retainer basis or project basis Performance Support Hire a press release/article writer Hire a consultant to develop a strategy Buy Specialised Software Subscribe to Features Executive or PR Newswire Buy in Consulting Coaching Training Books CDs DVDs Unique Value = most expensive Replicability = least expensive
What level of PR support do you need ? Do you have the experience and expertise to do your own PR? NO – hire a PR firm or consultant YES - Do you have the budget to hire a PR firm or consultant? Hire a PR specialist to develop a strategy, develop the messages, write articles and press releases and then do the rest yourself or hire a virtual PA NO YES – do you have the time to do your own PR? YES – do your own PR
There are various PR services which can help you to “do-it-yourself”
If you do, you’ll need to prioritise your objectives Importance Feasibility High High Low Low Do this Second Do This First Don’t Bother Maybe
Books, software or consultancy advice may help supplement your knowledge and experience
If you want someone to do it for you PR is very labour intensive and you won’t get results straightaway. Someone has to spend time and effort developing a PR strategy that fits in with the client’s business objectives, developing the messages and researching the supporting evidence, writing the press releases or engaging in some other activity that produces the mentions in the press, on the radio or TV. That’s what companies are paying for when they hire PR agencies.