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Why PR Is The Nail For The Hammer Of Advertising (Abstract)


While Al Ries' article Why PR is the Nail for the Hammer of Advertising (AdAge.com, 15 Sept 2003) speaks of selling political canidates, it's advice is valuable for promoting your own products and services. The basis of the article is that public relations lends credibility and increases brand awareness to an advertising campaigns.

Let me add, new business relationships are built on familiarity, public relations opens the door to future transations. This is why I find Ries intecandidatestransactionsresting in the context of the professional business-to-business organization.

Here are highlights on the original article with commentary:

  1. No room for No. 2. In most markets the number two position has little or no value, example used was political campaigns, second choice doesn't get elected. Consider a large one-time purchases, once a customer makes the purchase, they aren't likely to get another from you. Great public relations increases the comfort level of decision makers and influences their decision.
  2. Inefficient, but still winning. Pubic relations can set your product in a favorable position for short targeted efforts to be more profitable. If you're top engineer is featured as an expert on a national news program, usually ineffective image advertising ran in the same slot can tie the value of information to your particular product. Lead generation is more likely to produce inquires.
  3. Word of mouth. Public relations is the prelude to a marketing push, preparing the market to receive what you have to offer. Public relations can break down barriers to acceptance, even debating what buyers should consider in a similar purchase. Set your own bias for selection even before you make an offer by getting people talking about what you offer.
  4. Credibility. When your company is featured in the news, or your people as experts, you gain a certain level of credibility. This third-party presentation creates a favorable opinion in the minds of your buyers. This exposure positions your product in the context of your coverage. (News outlets aren't in the business of promoting your company, so you must be newsworthy.)
  5. Going away from the core brand. Public relations can reinforce key brand characteristics, further demonstrating why existing customers do business with your company. This reestablishment of a strong position in customers or prospects minds further increases viewer comfort level for a buy decision when faced with your next offer.

Ries sums up the entire article with "Advertising is a hammer and works best when PR has set the nail first" -- it really can't be said any clearer than that.

Al Ries is the author of several books on marketing, including The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Chairman of Ries & Ries, and Atlantic based marketing strategy firm.

/ applying-strategy | clearly-communicate /

By Justin Hitt at September 17, 2003 4:03 AM  Subscribe in a reader


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