How are PR firms still staying at the top when working with clients and getting them editorial coverage?
It’s an interesting field right now. With the rise of some really reputable online media outlets and influencers not tied to any particular traditional media parent, this is definitely a balancing act.
You have to be smart about timing your outreach and where you’re targeting. Spread it out, offer the right stories to the right reporters, but don’t forget the smaller, up and coming outlets too. Maybe the little guys don’t get to break the news, but give them something to make their stories special too. In a year from now, they could be the next big influencers.
PR isn’t just about existing relationships with journalists – a huge part of it is being able to give them the tools they need to create a great story. If you put together the right pitch for the right journalist, the opportunity for coverage should be there.
What are the pros and cons of PR versus advertising?
A successful PR campaign carries a lot of weight. There’s a level of trust with editorial. For example, when you read Newsweek, Women’s Health, Wired, and Men’sJournal or see things on your local news, you’re gathering information from what you consider trusted sources.
I am a big believer in advertising. Well-produced ad campaigns have real value. When I hear from someone that “advertising didn’t work” for them, I have to wonder if maybe it was the overall campaign strategy.
Advertising has more than a few solid selling points for marketers. You get to control the message and you can repeat that message as frequently as you have the resources for. Just throwing images on a page with some copy and website isn't necessarily going to do anything except take some resources out of your marketing program.
PR allows for repetition of message as well, but in a different way. If a particular magazine covers your company’s new tennis racquet in April, they’re most likely not going to do another story on it in May. But that’s where a strategic, well-thought-out campaign comes into play. Maybe that same magazine will cover your hot new player in their next issue, and they’ll talk about or show the racquet. A similar magazine or national newspaper could cover that same racquet in the same month, followed by some online coverage in leading outdoor websites. The racquet brand’s message is being repeated, but in a different manner than a controlled ad campaign.