What is PR Marketing? – Geek Think

In the last five years, business has changed.

Every day we are assaulted by hundreds, if not thousands of marketing and advertising messages. They are in the newspapers and magazines we read, on the television and radio and on our favourite websites. We are called by telemarketers, we get direct mail and email spam. We have learned to filter 99% of this out. So where does this leave you if you need to promote your business? What should you do? You should ditch your current marketing and do PR Marketing instead.

So what is PR Marketing?

PR Marketing is not PR/Marketing (a combination of the two), it’s marketing that is totally driven by a PR — Public Relations — focus. It is no longer enough to sell to people, you need to tell and/or educate people about what you do and what your business does. You also need to position yourself and your business as either an expert in your field, or the provider of a completely unique product or service. You need to do this not only with your prospective customers, but also with those people who are likely to influence your prospective customers.

“People who are likely to influence” is a very important category — think of the influence a wife or partner has when buying a car, or small children who exert a very powerful influence over their parents when it comes to purchases of fast food and toys. The “people who influence” category also of course includes journalists and bloggers, whose opinion is valued as being expert and perceived (generally) as unbiased.

So how do you position yourself and/or your business in this way?

By completely re-focusing your marketing so that you are informing people about what you do, in as many ways as possible, as opposed to “selling” to them. Traditional advertising is generally not an effective way to inform people. Al and Laura Ries, authors of “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR”, veterans of the advertising industry in the US, maintain that you cannot change a person’s point of view about a brand, product or service with advertising, you can only reinforce an opinion a person already has. Many businesses large and small have attempted (and failed to) change perceptions using advertising. The authors claim that the only way to change opinion and perception effectively is with PR.

To implement a basic PR marketing program you should do the following five things:

[1] have a website that is packed with useful information about what you do, and is updated regularly

[2] communicate regularly with your customers and anyone else who expresses an interest or has an interest in what you do

[3] inform the media about what you do — again on a regular basis

[4] find as many ways as possible to reach out to your target market and inform and educate them on what you do — offline and online

[5] if you do advertise, make sure this is “direct response” advertising and not simply “brand” advertising – and test and measure each advertising channel to make sure it is working for you

David Bateson is Director-PR Marketing at Brisbane-based PR Marketing consultancy News Equals Business. He has been writing email/print communications and media releases for businesses for many years. Originally with a sales and marketing background, his experience covers a wide range of industries, including publishing, automotive, legal, accounting, HR and pharmacy.

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