Just What Is Public Relations? And How Does It Differ From Advertising?

In advertising, you pay to have your message placed in a newspaper, TV or radio spot. In public relations, the article that features your company is not paid for. The reporter, whether broadcast or print, writes about or films your company as a result of information he or she received and researched.
publicity is far more cost-effective than advertising

Even if it is not free, your only expenses are generally phone calls and mailings to the media.

Publicity has greater longevity than advertising

Your story might even be picked up by the national media, spreading the word about your business all over the country.

Publicity has greater credibility with the public

As your business grows, it naturally becomes a more prominent element in your community and your industry.

Why Do Some Companies Succeed In Generating Publicity While Others Don't?

It’s been proved time and time again that no matter how large or small your business is, the key to securing publicity is identifying your target market and developing a well-thought-out public relations campaign. To get your company noticed, follow these seven steps:

  • 1. Write your positioning statement. This sums up in a few sentences what makes your business different from the competition.
  • 2. List your objectives. What do you hope to achieve for your company through the publicity plan you put into action?
  • 3. Identify your target customers. Are they male or female? What age range? What are their lifestyles, incomes and buying habits?
  • 4. Identify your target media. List the newspapers and TV and radio programs in your area that would be appropriate outlets.
  • 5. Develop story angles. Keeping in mind the media you’re approaching, make a list of story ideas you can pitch to them.
  • 6. Make the pitch. Start with a question or an interesting fact that relates your business to the target medium’s audience.
  • 7. Follow up. Following up is the key to securing coverage. Wait four to six days after you’ve sent the information, then follow up your pitch letter with a telephone call.