The night before, I watched some of my favorite shows on television, including The Big Idea. The Big Idea. The show is hosted by Donny Deutsch, a long-time advertising executive. The Big Idea is an excellent source of daily tips from a range of entrepreneurs.
The day’s topic was what you can do to help make your business known to the public. On the panel were experts from the advertising and public relations industries.
Donny is always looking to stir up a bit of controversy (one reason it’s so enjoyable). I wasn’t shocked when he asked an interesting question that he asked his audience:
If you’re an owner of a company with a small budget and could choose only one thing to focus upon, should you choose to focus on public relations or advertising?
Without hesitation, I screamed out my answer.
Ask any random group of business owners, and a majority will likely say there’s not much distinction between them. However, the reality is that these industries are quite different, particularly in printing.
Although advertising is a cost to be published in a magazine and effective public relations result in free publicity (assuming you don’t employ the services of a firm) in exchange for your item or service.
Furthermore, people realize you’re trying to make them buy something when the information you provide is presented as an advertisement. Therefore, they’re more likely to be cautious. You receive a third-party endorsement from the media through public relations, which can boost your credibility.
One of the issues people face when it comes to public relations is that you only have limited control over how public opinion portrays your brand. However, I believe that’s an option worth taking.
The response to Donny’s question is clear if you’ve read up to this stage. However, there’s a primary reason I believe the importance of public relations … as it could affect your company on a large scale.
Your message can be amplified through public relations.
This is what I mean when you’re featured, or your product or service is mentioned in any printed publication. There’s a good chance your message will be seen by more than the magazine’s readership.
The majority of media today is online. Because of social bookmarking, websites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit news articles are being shared more frequently than at any other point in history. Whatever your field, the internet can allow you to reach out to a worldwide market without paying big bucks.
Additionally, the rise of blogging has transformed anyone who has Internet accessibility and an opinion of a journalist. Overestimating the blog’s media ability is a significant error.
Remember, editors and writers, don’t simply look over the publications they write for. New information comes from numerous sources, including those of competing magazines. This is the reason you may see similar articles in multiple publications.
You’ve learned that public relations can be an effective and cost-effective tool for your company. What do you do with it?
As a frequent contributor to various publications, I have a few suggestions for you:
Find out which writers are covering your field. This is as easy as reading the publications you want coverage in and observing who is writing about subjects relevant to your field.
• Volunteer to be an authority. For writers, it’s difficult to find reliable sources for your articles. Contact them when you’ve learned about the industry-specific writers and ask questions regarding future articles.
Request editorial calendars. Most trade journals choose the themes for future issues in advance of months. Editorial calendars can be a fantastic way to discover scheduled topics, so you can share your expertise or, in some instances, write your own article.
• Send out press releases. I don’t think that many companies distribute press releases. Newsworthy events occur constantly. You may not even be aware of that because you’re so close to your daily activities. Begin asking yourself this question: Does what we currently do interest anyone outside our organization?
• Present your ideas for the article to editors and writers. It’s a daunting task for many. However, it’s well worthwhile. If you pitch an idea, make sure you grab the editor’s or writer’s attention by explaining how your subject is different. Be sure to explain how it will benefit the publication’s readers.
Tom Trush is a copywriter for Write Way Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona. You can view more free copywriting and marketing articles on his blog at https://upcity.com/profiles/otter-pr/st-petersburg or instantly receive his free marketing guide, “Simple Steps to Electrify Your Marketing Message,” at