The end result or return of any public relations effort is publicity.
Publicity can come in different forms:
Great publicity can be achieved with a combination all of the 12 strategies discussed in other articles. Ultimately, all kinds of publicity to lead to some media coverage. Even though media coverage is thought to be publicity by most people, it is really just a subset of it.
Publicity is both an art and a science. Knowing how to manage the media is a science, and adding creativity and flair to a pitch is an art. They are both essential to businesses.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not know how to plan and implement a public relations strategy to generate consistent publicity. If you want a head start in gaining publicity, it is essential that you understand what constitutes news, as well as what the press and media want. Essentially, good publicity for your product and brand will always enhance the public perception of its value.
The press and media are powerful stakeholders of your business. The press prefers to develop stories, while the media prefers to explore different angles. Unlike advertising, publicity is not something you pay to receive—it is something you earn. A word of caution: The terms publicity and public relations are often used interchangeably, but there is a huge difference between the two.
In this series of articles, the emphasis is placed on generating publicity, as every public relations strategy will eventually lead to some form of publicity in the media, even though it is targeted at different audiences and with slightly different objectives. Before we evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of publicity efforts, let us first explore the value of public relations.
The public relations industry has developed a formula to measure the value of media coverage achieved in a publicity campaign. PR value, in short, is actually the news coverage value ascertained by public relations professionals. It is equivalent to three times the cost of advertising. For example, if you have been featured in a 10-minute interview on television, on top of a paid advertisement, that time slot would have cost you $30,000. In this case, the PR value of the television exposure would have been $30,000 x 3 = $90,000.
Most public relations professionals are evaluated based on the PR value they have created over the course of time their campaign is in effect.
Publicity must be generated alongside integrated marketing of your products and services. It adds credibility to your brand and builds more trust. More coverage in the form of positive reviews builds social proof that your products stand out from your competition. Publicity also increases customer expectation of your customer service. Customers demand swifter response, as well as more undivided attention and a more personable attitude from all of your customer service staff. In fact, the ROI of positive publicity is more than creating goodwill, mindshare, and market confidence—it amplifies your brand promise to your customers.
Before executing your public relations strategy to generate positive publicity, ensure that other business functions like branding, marketing, sales, customer service, logistics, and operations are aligned to deliver a great customer-centric experience.
The following shows the ROI of the 12 public relations strategies:
It is worth noting that publicity can be negative at times, perhaps arising from instances of inaccurate reporting, poor business performance, crisis management, customer complaint, and even social media ranting, just to name a few.
Essentially, publicity cuts both ways. well before implementing anything to avoid being in the media limelight for the wrong reasons. Instead of focusing on short-term exposure in the media, gain mastery in the art of pitching to obtain the publicity you covet.
Andrew Chow is a successful social media and public relations strategist, entrepreneur and speaker based in Singapore. He is also the best-selling author of a highly popular series of books: Social Media 247, Public Relations 247 and Personal Branding 247. Andrew has spoken in over 15 countries within 5 years and addressed more than 20,000 people on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, Enneagram, Public Relations and Branding. Andrew’s career of 30 years; has seen him work with an array of clients including AXA Insurance, Abbot Medical Optics, Singtel and Sony Pictures, M1, Starhub, and Sennheiser. Andrew had more than 300 interviews and features about him or his business since 2005 from more than 40 local and regional media. He is listed as the Top 10 Most Influential Speaker in Singapore in 2013 by the Singapore Business Review. He won the Spirit of Enterprise in 2008 and the Successful Entrepreneur in 2010. Before he served as the President of the Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS), he also won the coveted Spirit of Service Award from the Industry. He loves travelling and held his solo Photo Art Exhibition for 3 days in Singapore to raise funds for a charity – Teen Challenge. Andrew is known by the moniker @ideasandrew in all his social media platforms.