We just wanted to do a quick post on PR and what people see or should we say, want to see.
As an agency we work with clients to build brand awareness through various media channels - print, online, TV, radio etc which we love, however many brands still don't fully understand how to use it.
We have worked with clients where we have achieved a lot in a small space of time, covering things like: national press interviews, double page spreads, editorial, radio, TV, product placements, celebrity and influencer collaborations and more........ yet we have been greeted with things like:
'We haven't made any sales from that PR'
'Why isn't the PR working? '
'What are you actually doing? '
'Why aren't we selling out of said item?'
'We're not seeing the benefit in what you are doing'
'We don't want to send out samples'
'We don't want to send a blogger or influencer items'.
'We don't have stock to send out'
'We don't have the investment to keep sending things out' ...need we say more.
As frustrating as that is, we have done and put in a lot of leg work in the background (hello.... it's a lot of fucking time people!)
We think that this a classic case of clients seeing what they want to see..... and ignoring the rest!
So we just wanted to break something down to you - REAL TALK!
PRESS AND PR:
Gaining any coverage (regional, national or global) is fucking great. However, the purpose of press and PR is all about building and driving awareness - Plain and simple!
Even if you're placed in VOGUE you will not sell out of an item, by that one simple placement! You (as a brand/ business) need to do your job in using it and integrating any piece of PR with paid promotions across social, combining it will email marketing and an advertising campaign and so on.
'PR is not sales, it’s visibility & brand awareness'
Rochelle White, Director
You need to be able to answer questions like - Do we have a sales process? What does the process look like? How are we going to use the PR? What is its purpose? Should we invest in-house or freelance? Should we invest in an agency? (lot's more questions, which we can't be arsed to write, but you get the jist!)
A freelancer or PR agency is not a sales team, they are there to help you and brand gain awareness to your ideal clients/ consumers. They come with the contacts, expertise and skills to do so (we are not magicians).
PR isn't magic and won't just generate XYZ amount of sales from one placement, it's all part of a bigger picture. Most consumers will need around 7-8 touch points before they will buy from you, so a lot of leg work has to go in to make sure that happens.
Like anything, you need to build trust, get your message and story out there, have all your social media platforms on point and be ready and willing to be able to respond or send out samples when needed.
PR is just a cog in the big old wheel of marketing and strategy.
Remember big brands have already established their presence, they have built their audiences and of course the mainstream magazines know who they are, you as a small business or brand have a lot of background work to do to catch up. Just because you might have had a few placements here and there, you can't force consumers to buy what your selling - it takes time!
'Remember you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink it!'
It's all a process. You as a brand and business have your own responsibility to do your part with the pr you either generate yourself or via an agency. What PR is, is one of many marketing/ customer journey parts that lead to a sale. Just because you either have a pr person in-house or hire an agency doesn't mean they are fully responsible for all your sales and how you get business. It is a partnership and something that works together.
Yes, it can be a struggle to measure success, however it needs to work in harmony with all elements of the marketing mix. We as an agency use many ways to measure our success, which includes things like how many pieces of media we generate. But businesses should measure PR by what the piece of coverage will do, what it says to the consumer, what it can potentially do and the best way to use that shit!
Don't be that brand who only 'See what, you want to see'.
We encourage all brands and businesses to try PR for themselves (there are many books, tools and systems to help), to see how much time and effort goes into it. See what results you can generate, build your network and understand the process. Then, once you know and either have done all you can do, or are struggling to get anywhere - invest!
TIP: When you are fully ready and we mean FULLY ready.... invest in a PR person or agency.
NOTE: If you don't have all your ducks in a row, be willing and ready to send out shit when requested or meet editors (for various reasons) then seriously don't invest - you're not ready!
PR is a very small part to your sales process - yes it can work will with amazing results but, you need to do your part to make it a success.
In our next blog we will be covering the difference between paid PR/ advertorial (yes if you are paying for a pr piece its advertising) and what earn media is, budgets and knowing your audience.
Hope you have found this useful.
Team RWPR xxx