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Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's Marketing Topic: PR

Monday, December 28, 2009

That's right, today we're talking about public relations. It's amazing to me how little marketing professionals and small business owners know about PR. In fact, PR is largely becoming one of the most ignored marketing disciplines. When speaking about PR to one of my marketing buddies he said, "no one reads anymore.. so PR is basically dead!"

Honestly, I pretty much laughed in his face. "Dead! PR? You've got to be kidding!" I said. The reality is that today's news, social media, and email are all a forms of PR. Sure, I agree that the traditional practice of "getting ink" is old school, but the concept of pushing out a message or creating interest in what you have to offer is just GOOD MARKETING.

Using PR Today

I recently listened to a talk from Tim Ferris, the author of the popular book "The 4-Hour Work Week". Tim went from being unknown to one of today's most recognized authors in a very short time. How did he do it? You guessed it, PR. However, Tim's public relations approach was slightly different than the norm.

He contacted influencers within his area of expertise and let them know about his book. Even a slight mention from market leaders like, ".. taking a trip. Picked up a copy of 'The 4-hour Work Week'.." had a ripple effect that has grown into a phenomenon. In about a week, Tim's book went form nowhere to the New York Times best seller list.

If You Think PR Is Dead, Think Again

So if you're not Tim Ferris and you're not well connected, can PR still work for you? My answer is still yes, you just need to think about it differently. Whether your are targeting bloggers, Tweeters with a huge Twitter list, or other social media, public relations is about distributing your message for others to hear.

If you've done a Google search lately you'll notice the press releases are gaining exposure in search results. This is one of the ways that a well distributed message can appear before prospects and buyers. The next time you do a search check out your results list. You'll notice quite a few listing from PR and other media outlets.

Don't Lose Sight Of Public Relations

Whether you have a robust PR program or are just starting out, learn what you can about public relations. Anytime you want others talking about your product, services, or brand, think PR. Begin with media releases, talking to bloggers, and even reaching out to traditional media outlets.

Think new media too. Video and image are integrated into more and more PR efforts than ever before. Use everything at your disposal to communicate effectively with your audience. PR is far from dead!!!


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