Build Your Marketing with Public Relations
For the last year, this column has discussed a wide range of business issues focussed on how to improve your marketing. When we think of marketing, advertising usually pops to mind. But there is a lot more to marketing than your ads.
Internal marketing and marketing to your database of customers are critical and often overlooked. There are books and consultants who can help you improve in these areas. So what are you doing in the public relations area?
Newspapers Need Copy
Newspapers are on a never ending quest for more information. The newspaper is a beast. It eats “copy” and photographs with an insatiable appetite. My college buddy had a 1967 Pontiac GTO with a six barrel carburetor. Now that thing ate gas, but not like a newspaper eats stories.
Do you know where the television and radio media get their story leads? From daily newspapers. Television news people are merely communicators of information in a different format. Newspapers produce the stories by either seeking them out or working throught he press releases they receive.
Press releases should be a major feature of your Internet marketing.
Successful Marketing Programs Need a Mix of Strategies
If you have read these articles, then you know you need a mix of marketing to be successful. Withstanding the not so successful marketing campaigns requires a Parthenon approach advocated by many leading marketing gurus. This means basically having ten pillars to your marketing. A major one should be PR.
Public relations guru, Harry Chitteneden, who happens to live in St. Petersburg, recently sold out the Snell Arcade condominiums using nothing but PR. “We combined targeting marketing events with publicity to generate a complete sell out in record time, “ says Chittenden. “This was a true test of the viability of PR as a marketing tool as no other media was used.”
Is there an event you participate in, a community service you provide, or something special about you? Do you find when you tell people about these things, they seem truly interested? Then hire a PR person to help create media interest.
Telemarketing in Trouble
Think about the mail you get every day. How much of it do you open, let alone read? And telemarketing is under a grave assault that will likely spell the end of it as a tool to reach homeowners. Between the “call intercept” feature and the national do not call lists, telemarketing is greatly hampered.
On the internet, there are several software options for eliminating “SPAM” emails. Most marketers are turning to “opt-in” email lists of subscribers to avoid the anger SPAM creates with prospects. While there are no laws nationally or in Florida prohibiting SPAM emails, it is such an annoyance that it creates the wrong feeling with prospects.
Fax outs are prohibited by law and abusers can be fined $500 or more for each fax sent!
Testing and Measuring Your Marketing Tactics
So what is the answer for the small business owner? As we have stated many times, the key is a solid testing and measuring program to find out what works and improve it. Make sure to have ten strategies to work through, although not all at once. Networking, referrals,strategic alliances, host beneficiary relationships, and PR should be five of the ten pillars in every marketing campaign. Measureable, targeted media for lead generation such as newspapers, newsletters and cable TV are important. Brochures help close sales, not create leads.
PR increases interest in your company or product. People become suddenly more aware of your advertising. The human brain gets trained to respond. When you buy a red car, you suddenly notice all the other red cars on the highway. PR sets the brain’s awareness.
“PR is a cumulative thing, like all marketing. You have to be committed to a steady campaign for it to produce results, just like advertising, “ says Chittenden.
So add PR to your marketing Parthenon and watch what happens!
Get help from Jim with building your marketing program by calling 888-820-3466.