I know that PR can be tricky to get your head around, especially if the assumption is that it's just for celebrities and big business. The truth is that it can be one of the most effective methods of promotion for small businesses and has the potential to contribute hugely to brand growth and business success!
I have worked with clients who have come to me as start ups working alone from kitchen tables and within 12-18 months have become thriving businesses with staff, premises, in demand product and, perhaps most crucially, brand credibility.
Let's explore some of the advantages that PR could bring to you..
In order to have success with any PR activity, you need clarity in your brand messaging. By focussing in on what your core ethos is, you will be able to increase the potency of your PR and promotion efforts to benefit your business. A mission statement is important to any brand, and your messaging is an extension of this. There are a number of exercises you can do to get your thinking focussed and aligned in the most effective way.
Sign up below to get access to my exclusive FREE Resources Hub where you can find one such exercise to help with your brand alignment.
2. Audience Reach
While magazine circulations can vary greatly, the long and short of it is that PR can put your brand in front of tens, often hundreds, of thousands of people with just one magazine placement. If you feature on a high traffic website such as the Mail Online, and the number of people your product is seen by can run into 7 figures.
Imagine how much you would have to channel into a marketing budget to put your brand in front of even a fraction of this audience reach?
3. Traffic and Sales
Of course, eyes on the coverage doesn't automatically translate to money in your pocket, unfortunately. However, you can often expect to see surges in web traffic as a result of press coverage (online and offline coverage) that can easily turn into sales. You could also expect to increase your social media following with some coverage.
Online press coverage may even link directly to your website, in which case you will benefit in SEO terms as well as seeing direct traffic arriving to your homepage. For those surges in web traffic, there are ways that you can prepare and maximise the results you see from them. By having your landing page optimised for publication of the coverage, you can quickly direct your visitors to the product or service they will be looking for. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, giving new visitors the optimum experience.
You can never be certain what level of sales may come from any one piece of coverage, but if you have adequate stock levels and measures in place to take pre-orders if required, you are unlikely to get caught out.
4. Brand Credibility
This is one of the most long lasting benefits of PR. Think of it as building an archive that you can refer back to - if you've featured in VOGUE, there is mileage to be had in referring your your product or service as having been 'seen in' the fashion bible.
When consumers are new to a brand, they look for markers of familiarity and while the financial benefit is hard to measure, there is reassurance to consumers in seeing recognised and trusted media names as having 'endorsed' a brand with coverage.
Press coverage confirms your expertise and gives consumers the understanding that you are great at what you do! Not everyone can feature in The Telegraph or Stylist, so it's easy to be impressed when we come across a brand who is!
Brand credibility extends beyond potential customers or clients - potential collaborators, potential employees, investors, sponsors, stockists, endorsements and speaking opportunities can come from such exposure.
5. Cost Effective
Put most simply, it's FREE! In my 8 years of PR work, a client has never had to pay a publication for coverage. Editorial content is 'free'. While there can be associated costs such as delivery of samples to a magazine for shooting, there are no payments made to secure coverage.
I have previously blogged about the many merits of free editorial coverage over paid for adverts *read here*, but here are a couple of costings that really emphasis the astronomical leap from free editorial, which can include a small photo and mention right through to multi-page spreads, to any paid for advertising on a national level.
National Consumer Magazine - Cost for a 1/4 page averages between £2,500-£10,000 for one issue
National Newspaper - Cost for a 1/4 page averages £15,000 +
Free coverage can be achieved in any national newspaper or magazine with the right angle.
However, even if you decide to look for free editorial, if you're working with an agency, their costs will need to be taken into consideration. While a few boutique agencies may work on monthly retainers of £600-800, many PR agencies would charge upwards of £1200 a month for basic PR services.
Hence, Boss Your PR's approach to encourage you to take control and achieve your own results!
6. PR can do great things
We've all read about the 'Kate Effect' that would see the Duchess of Cambridge wear a dress or a pair of earrings that would sell out near immediately. This type of result isn't the norm, but it does show that a lucky break and great timing can make an extraordinary impact on a brand's fortunes. Get your product on the right people or in the pages of the right magazine and PR can make magic happen for you.