The purpose of PR is to make your company credible and well-known, which in turn will make people more interested and more comfortable in doing business with you. Publicity is the action of getting press coverage which establishes you as an expert or your company as the premiere company that did that, that and the other. The reason why it works so well is because people favor third party endorsements. They’re more likely to trust a friend’s opinion than an advertisement. What that means for businesses is that you need to secure those third party endorsements. So how do you do it? That’s where publicity and PR come in.
Publicity is a tool of PR, whereby PR is a long-term strategy that helps amass relationships for you. Publicity is a tool to speak to those relationships and convince them that you know what you are talking about and that you are an expert. In business management there are certain natural laws that you have to abide by or organizations won’t expand; they will contract. Those same principles we apply in media relations management and publicity.
JoTo PR employs statistics as the defining factor of the success of a campaign – by following statistical analysis of what works 100% of the time, we can section off the things that aren’t working and then take your campaign and your message and use that with a 100% codified process to get you results.
To be a leader in any industry, you must be persistent and maintain have longevity. What you are doing in publicity is being consistent with your message so you are building a persona. You are giving people reasons to contact you when they need your products and services because you are showing them not only that you are expert, not only that you are the best, but how and why and you are showing them through news stories, and case studies and human interest angles that there is a solution to the problems that they are looking for, so you are warming people up, and when you do this over a long-term basis you really start to reap the rewards. PR is all about forming opinions where publicity encourages decision making on behalf of consumers – you need both of these units to help your company thrive.
But don’t make the mistake of adhering to the old adage “any publicity is good publicity.” Wrong! Bad publicity can create a big black hole from which you have to dig your way out.
Case in Point:
Apparently when they said, “We report, you decide” during the last decade or so, the folks at Fox News didn’t actually mean it. Media Matters (an admittedly left-leaning group) has the goods on how the network put its PR department to the task of pretending, in online comments sections, to be people who really love Fox News.
The story goes that a Fox staffer said the company had a hundred fake accounts to promote pro-Fox commentary:
On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked (1).
Stunts like Fox pulled only serve to make consumers (and the media) question your credibility. Eventually it is found it – BUT if you have a solid foundation of publicity placements from the bottom on up – not just on FOX – you can remain at the top even when unethical media outlets try to counter your message. Never be out of control with one story, with one outlet – when proactively putting good news out there, you drown out tactics like Fox’s.
So, what does publicity mean to you? It should mean bottom-line success. Some of the things that you can expect are:
- higher return on investment for your marketing dollars
- lowered cost per lead
- an augmented value for your business because you have a good will – and as we know, good will is starting to be factored in evaluations for companies that are being sold
Public Relations will also increase your credibility, your familiarity and it will make sales easier to close and that all affects your bottom-line success.
Mathis, Joel. “Fox News Used Fake Online Commenters to Counter Bad Publicity.” Phillymag.com. N.p., 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. phillymag.com/news/2013/10/21/fox-news-used-fake-online-commenters-counter-bad-publicity/.