The benefits of combining advertising and PR in your marcomm program

balloon_new_320Keeping your messages in front of your target audience at all times is one of the keys to marketing communications success. Whether your prospect is reading a trade journal, surfing the internet, opening the mail, checking email or attending a trade show, the more times he encounters your messages, the more likely he is to remember your company and products and, ultimately, to buy from you.

But using only paid communications tactics (advertising, for example) can be costly and yield diminishing returns. The best way to ensure your messages reach your prospects frequently and via multiple mediums is to make marketing public relations part of your program.

Marketing public relations sells, too
Marketing public relations exploits the news and information value in your products and services to gain free access to print and online editorial columns. By producing a regular stream of product news releases, customer application stories and technical articles, you can reach — and inform, educate and impress — your customer prospects more often and in more media than your paid program is likely to allow.

Often mislabeled a soft sell, marketing public relations is, in fact, a very powerful communications tactic. Public relations efforts educate buyers, demonstrate product attributes and performance, raise awareness, stimulate website visits and generate inquiries that can lead to sales. And PR’s greatest strength is something you can’t buy — the credibility and implied endorsement that come when your company and product messages are delivered by trusted industry information sources.

Expand your budget a little, your audience a lot
For a small increase in your overall marketing communications plan budget (on average, CCC’s clients spend 10%–20% of their total marcomm budget on PR), you may be able to double or triple the impact on your target audiences. When you combine advertising and public relations in your program, here are some of the ways your prospects will see you “everywhere at once”:

  • Notice your ads in key trade magazines
  • Read a case study about how you helped a customer solve a problem
  • See your new products featured on a webpage or in a magazine
  • Download a white paper from your company’s website
  • Learn effective new problem-solving strategies from a technical article authored by your company

Repetition of marketing messages is one of the surest ways to generate awareness, interest and preference for your products — and marketing public relations can significantly raise the frequency of your messages. If you’d like more information about, “how to be seen everywhere,” contact your account manager or email Susan McPherson at smcpherson@cccinc.com.