So there you are trying to figure out what to do first, marketing or PR and we come right out and tell you – PR comes first. Can you dig it? There are a number of reasons why you have to think of PR as the Marines and why PR has to lead the charge.
There’s a very simple reason why PR comes before marketing – it delivers a better return on one’s marketing dollars. Bottom-line, people are distrusting as heck these days – they don’t like to be sold. They don’t like being told what to buy by a talking head. They Google and get all kinds of info before they even contact you these days…they are informed… they are prepared and resistive to the sale cycle WAY before they talk to you…
You need to be proactive and the key to being proactive is PR. You are able to empower your public and arm them with the data you want them to have so that when your sales messages reach them they are more comfortable and interested in doing business with you. PR allows you to promote into a body of people that do not know you .
What is going to make them choose you over someone they DO know and RESPECT? Do you think it is Price? No way! People do not necessarily want the cheapest price, they want to know that their money is being spent WISELY and is going to get them a good return. Return on investment is not just for big corporations – the man on the street, the purchasing agent, anyone who buys goes for ROI before they jump on price.
Public Relations will invite their trust before they spend their hard earned cash. Of course you have to back up that trust with proof (good product or service) that they DID make the right decision.
So if you ask yourself, where in my organization’s promotional mix does public relations fall and then said “first” you were right, but it is also relevant and of major importance during the selling process. PR adds credibility to your marketing mix. It makes people more interested and comfortable in doing business with you. 3rd party endorsements are a strong part of any public relations campaign and we know how important they are to doing business in today’s social marketing arena.
Take a look at one of our clients, KnowBe4. The founder, Stu Sjouwerman, followed his same recipe for building up Sunbelt Software that he sold to the conglomerate, GFI…PR first!
Using the tell-tale method of saturating his media market first with great news stories, we then started to conquer the good ol’ USA…and it worked like it always does – where he was then interviewed and published in several publications, blogs and internet shows.
Eventually, in about 6 months time, KnowBe4 landed a placement in the WSJ. And by “PR first,” the company has already has become a major contender in its industry – how do we know? KnowBe4 was recently asked to bid on an RFP for 50,000 seats. How’d you like to sell 50,000 of your products or services? Power of PR first, baby! And it was carefully crafted and worked out behind-the-scenes by a smart PR company (us). Here’s the Wall Street Journal story… “What’s a Company’s Biggest Security Risk? You.”
How can you apply this in a Do It Yourself fashion? Don’t underestimate your reputation as being “PR first.” There is another area of PR that is seldom discussed but the fact is, your personal PR as a potential employee or as a vendor is very important. More than ever before we have access to a bounty of information, some personal, some random but if you want to find out about someone, you go online and Google someone’s life away. Therefore it is important to Google yourself or your company/organization and discover what the world has to say about you and your business. Likewise, employers are not only checking references these days but checking out your online activities, so keep those bizarre photos to a minimum in your Facebook album.
In today’s New Economy you will spend more effort, more time and more money getting people interested in you and convincing them to buy from you WITHOUT PR.
PR leads the charge!