PR ON THE GO July 3, 2022

Is Public Relations A Gamble?

For business owners who question PR because it doesn't guarantee results.

Our PR and growth experts give an overview of PR efforts that are still effective, even if press coverage as a result cannot be guaranteed. Learn more about the processes of a PR campaign execution and its effects to evaluate if PR is a gamble (hint: it's not).

You Will Have Content For Your Owned Channels.

Andrea Sok, Owner at SOK Influencer PR

"Every PR opportunity is a content gathering opportunity. You work hard to perfect your pitch or draft a great press release complete with data, quotes, and a personal story. Your news doesn’t need to be picked up by the biggest outlet in town for these activities to be considered a success. You have done all the legwork to create great content for your owned channels. Share that story with your customers via email or break it up into a week-long social media campaign linking back to the full story on your blog. Last month our PR efforts for a client contract announcement didn’t result in any media hits but the social content shared on LinkedIn garnered the highest impressions of all posts that month."


It's Highly Cost-Efficient.

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls

"It's the most cost-efficient way to get a great story out. Anyone with a big budget can buy an ad but to speak at industry events, publish thought leadership pieces in trade journals or have the media mention you as a market leader, best new product/service or quote you in an article carries a lot more weight and credibility. PR is basically an endorsement/third party validation by a trusted source and perception is reality in marketing so even if there is no guarantee you get a lot more bang for your marketing buck with PR in my experience."


You Build A Thought Leadership Trail

Rowena Figueroa, Director of Outreach & Partnerships at Hinge

"When done right, PR or earned media is not a gamble, but a valuable investment in establishing your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The most impactful investment is in producing high-quality educational content that addresses the needs and priorities of a target audience. After all, earned media is driven by owned media. If you blog or vlog consistently and regularly, you will establish a thought leadership trail that demonstrates your relevance to the media’s audience. Over time, the media will feature you in their publications, podcasts, and events, raising your profile as an expert, as well as boosting your website’s search engine ranking, leading to more traffic and conversions. There is no risk in building up a thought leadership trail. But without one, neither your buyers nor the media will find you online or know you’re the expert you say you are."


There Are No Overnight Results

Brian Case, Director of E-commerce & Retail at Selkirk

"I believe the results of public relations operations are not immediate. Some customers have the expectation that their exposure and sales will increase immediately. However, just as with other marketing tactics like search engine optimization or content marketing, it takes some time before you start to see returns. Clients that wish to see a viral campaign after just one press release need to be aware that outcomes like that require ongoing and persistent effort on their part in order to achieve them. Be sure that these expectations are communicated to everyone involved from the very beginning."


PR Opens Doors

Robert Warner, Head of Marketing at VirtualValley

"Misperception of public relations (PR) as a gamble with no certainty of success is, in my opinion, that public relations professionals can exert some influence over how their clients appear in the media. It's important to stress that while PR can open doors for clients to obtain visibility, it doesn't have much control over what happens afterward. Journalists are free to publish whatever they want, whenever they want, without regard to the whims of public relations (PR) staff."


Being Pro-Active Makes The Difference

Abdul Saboor, Full Stack Developer at The Stock Dork

"Some clients appear to believe that once they hire a PR firm, the firm would automatically secure the desired visibility for them. Unconcerned with their role in the process, the client may delegate all responsibility to the firm. However, we know that this is not how public relations works. For a good PR strategy, the customer must understand that collaboration with the PR agency is crucial. A successful PR effort requires both proactive and reactive client input."


It Cannot Ensure A Certain Outcome

Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager at Buyer's Guide

"In my opinion public relations (PR) is undeniably a gamble. Some public relations professionals will be honest with their customers about this, while others will choose to hide this information. The most effective strategy is to clarify for customers that public relations activities cannot ensure a certain outcome. However, what occurs after the windows have been opened is not always within our control, and this is one of the responsibilities of a public relations firm: to create chances for its customers."


Results Take Time To Appear

Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor at ReviewGrower

"In my perspective, PR is misunderstood as a gamble with no guarantees of success, but when it works, the results arrive in a flurry. PR campaigns take time to see results. It is common for clients to expect an immediate increase in their exposure and sales. Results take time to appear, as they do with other marketing methods like search engine optimization or content marketing. It is important for clients who expect to see an instantaneous viral campaign to understand the continuous and persistent effort required to get those kinds of outcomes. Get these expectations out in the open right away."


It Needs Efforts In Relationship Building

Adelle Archer, Co-Founder & CEO of Eterneva

"The biggest misperception about PR is that it requires no building of relationships but those who are diligent in making those efforts will only risk their time. Ineffective entrepreneurs view PR as something that is fairly static, in which they send a press release and the outlet decides whether or not to publish it.

However, PR is about building trust with the journalists by providing them expertise, connecting the angles of a story, and responding to their work on a consistent basis. Waiting for the journalist to come to you, or sending press releases with no follow-up, will not yield results."


For PR Sucess, Get Out Of The Office.

Lulu Albanna, Co-Founder of WRC Media

"Digital connections are important, but genuine in-person networking can lead to industry ties and PR. Meeting speakers, influencers, and scholars at conferences is a great way to network. Additionally, you are acquiring new skills and pursuing worthwhile continuing education as you expand your network.

Do your homework in advance so you can discuss the accomplishments and histories of key industry leaders. Get contact information from people you meet in person so you may genuinely connect with them after the conference.

Work your leads once the conference is over. Send a follow-up email thanking the speakers for their knowledge and time. They might eventually repay the favor by referring their contacts to you or your business."


Most Important Go-To-Market Strategy

Sammie Ellard-King, Founder of Up the Gains - Money Made Simple

"PR is and will remain one of the most important go-to-market strategies. Not only does it help rapidly expand brand awareness, often you are receiving high-quality links back to your websites which results in increased traffic from search engines. Whilst it may seem a gamble to those who do not understand it, PR comes down to creating a fantastic back story and it's the responsibility of the marketing team and/or Founders to create something that is press worthy. The PR team are only ever as good as the story."


First And Foremost, Think About Your Audience.

Adam Crossling, Marketing Manager at Zenzero

"Always begin by defining your target audience and determining their motivations, as well as what they care about. Our content strategy and media teams work together to ensure that earned and paid channels are seamlessly integrated. What sources of information does your target audience rely on? I'm curious about what they're reading. What are their ages and whereabouts that you are aware of? Do they participate in online communities? Yes, they are digital citizens who subscribe to newspapers. What about podcasts? For a successful content and public relations campaign, you must first determine who your target audience is and how best to interact with them. Once you've identified your target audience, I believe that it's time to create a character for them. Use audience research methods to gain additional insights into the motivations, interests, and media consumption indexing points of your target audience (our team uses MRI). Additionally, the link between persona building and accurate data helps to build a smart and compelling PR/content campaign."


Your Competitors' PR Success

Jessica Wright, Owner of Dream Team Fundraising

"Following an audience definition, remember that you're not the only brand/organization in your field. Keeping tabs on your rivals is a must. Make a list of your competitors' media appearances and use it to your advantage. Use applications like Cision, Meltwater, or Critical Mention to get your name out there. In my opinion, to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals, you need to know what your competitors are saying and how they are expressing it in various media. This is a powerful tool for all of your content and media projects, not simply your PR campaign."


Examine And Improve

Daniel C. Foley, Marketing Manager at Perspective Pictures

"The end of the road for your campaign. There is nothing left for you to do now that you've completed your task and spoken to your audience. What's next? In the same way that athletes review their performances to prepare for the next match, you should examine your PR efforts and see where you can improve. You're not alone in this endeavor. There are a slew of measurement and analytics tools that may assist you and your team in getting the proper information in front of you. Like anything else, you need an expert to get around these obstacles."


The Need To Become A Trusted Guide

Cody Candee, Founder & CEO of Bounce

"PR largely depends on creating value for customers without focusing on sales and this is why content is so important. Creating a business website that is solely dedicated to products, services and some limited company descriptions does little for the customer.

PR requires effort to create that value through offering useful insight and expertise that makes your company more than just a business, but a trusted guide. There is little gamble in providing this service, just a mindset that not everything you offer requires a cost to the customer."


PR Establishes Confidence In The Quality Of A Product

Robert Johansson, CEO & Tech Expert at imgkits

"It is a misconception that good products do not require PR. You've probably heard the phrase "this thing sells itself." It's also true that a high-quality product has an advantage over its competitors when it comes to sales. However, the truth is that no product sells itself. In order to capture the interest of potential customers and establish confidence in the quality of a product or service, public relations (PR) is a need."


PR Efforts Include Building Partnerships

Sam Eastwood, Digital Marketing Specialist at LearnMate

"PR efforts that are effective are partnerships. Your audience can grow by leveraging someone else's. Here's a great example of a public relations partnership at work. People can now test out Leesa mattresses at West Elm before deciding if they like them or not. As a result, West Elm's foot traffic increased as a result of individuals having to go to the store to try them out."


PR Makes Your Brand Relatable

Andrew Cussens, Filmmaker & Founder of FilmFolk

"As CEO of FilmFolk, bringing back film photography using effective PR strategies wasn't easy, but it's safe to say that PR is a gamble you should be willing to take. There are certain misconceptions regarding PR. But PR takes time, so all you can do is invest in a good PR strategy and leave everything else at the hands of media outlets. You can use press releases by pitching your story to journalists. You can also reach local TV and media outlets to promote your brand and gain visitors. During Covid, many brands promoted body positivity and mental health awareness campaigns and involved their audience. It resulted in people relating and building a community of trust and strengthened the brand's reputation. So as long as your strategy is unique with a touch of personalization, you are good to go."


Managing Your Reputation

Benjamin Stenson, Owner of Norsemen Home Remodeling

"There are a variety of methods in which public relations (PR) builds and enhances a brand's reputation. When it comes to crisis communication, this is a common analogy. Image and reputation management, on the other hand, is a long-term endeavor that cannot be accomplished in a single campaign. To retain its legitimacy, it must be continually inspected and maintained. The longer a reputation has been maintained, the more powerful its influence on the intended audience. A long-term process of reputation management means that PR's significance comes in the form of a series of achievements and events that are carefully planned to benefit the brand's image."


PR Creates A Strong Message For Your Business

Nely Mihaylova, Content Editor at UNAGI Scooters

"Aside from knowing your audience, your competition, and the content producers and journalists you support, there's one thing left to figure out: what's your topic? Your message serves as a public business card and an introduction to the rest of the world. It's who you are in front of the people that mean the most to you and how you present yourself. I believe that to be successful, you need a strong message that resonates with your target audience and in which you have complete faith. As simple as it may seem, articulating a clear, compelling message takes time and effort. You want your audience to understand who you are and what you stand for. Once you find the correct message, you're off to a flying start!"


Having A Substantial Presence

Rakhi Oswal, Life Coach & Founder of Edrio

"Successful PR campaigns rely on the basic principle of knowing your audience inside out- their location, their preferences, their dislikes, and so on. To this day, using press releases to spread the word about a product, service, or a new launch is more effective as people trust the media. Every message passed through PR campaigns needs to be customized as per the demographics to closely relate to the people. Having a substantial presence in all the events and community gatherings that covers your target audience is also an effective PR campaign."


You Can Increase Your Odds Of Winning

Carla Williams Johnson, Founder & CEO of Carli Communications

"In business everything is a gamble and public relations is no exception but there are many things you can do to increase your odds of winning.

Refining your message and choosing the right media where you can show up to the right people who will receive it.

Being timely and jumping on opportunities specific to your niche when they arise. (but being sensible in your approach as well)

Having a clear idea of the media you'd like to be featured in and learning the names and contact information of the persons whom you need to address. (No 'Dear Sir/Madame')

Writing a killer pitch to capture their attention

.......or having a publicist do all of the above for you so you can just show up and do what you need to do."


Relevancy To Current Events

Jas Banwait Gill, Growth Manager of SnackMagic

"PR done right is no gamble. And by creating a planned and sustained framework of activities, PR can help you achieve your brand's marketing objectives at a fraction of the cost of paid advertising. But for your efforts to succeed, each task must be newsworthy and communicate the same marketing message. This means you've got to think like a reporter so that your activities are consistently relevant to current events and cover various angles, giving each media outlet what it likes."


Increase In Brand Confidence And Consumer Reach

Tommy Mello, Founder & CEO at A1 Garage Door Service

"With the PR market size exceeding $50 billion dollars, and with hundreds of thousands of successful PR agencies being established, it is obvious that PR is an important part of a successful business. PR does not only involve media relations, but also involves crisis resolution, communication, event planning, reputation and brand building, and so much more. The ways in which the PR events are carried out help in building a connection with consumers and the public. This in turn translates into an increased number of sales. Take the example of creating a platform on your website where the owner/experts in the field could talk to and share advice with consumers. It would increase brand image, consumer confidence as well as consumer reach."


Adjustments To Universal Hooks Are Needed.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager at PhotoAiD

"The case with PR is quite similar to marketing campaigns and SEO strategies. You may have broad knowledge, reliable stats, and impressive experience, but you can’t plan results for sure. Why? Because your results are influenced by many rapidly changing variables, such as current world events, trends promoted by other brands, or viral content. Ideation for digital PR campaigns is always a guessing game. The one thing that can ensure your success is adjusting your campaign to universal hooks. In other words, if your campaign stirred emotions, answered big questions, and addressed basic needs, it will surely succeed."



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