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The true value of PR…or as I like to call it the POP (power of publicity) – By Vanessa Strangio, Senior Publicist, InsideOut PR

As a publicist of more than ten years, one of my pet peeves is when brands question putting their money into PR, but are happy to pour money into advertising. A lot of their time it’s not their fault, as there is a common misconception around publicity versus advertising and the true value of what PR (when done effectively) can deliver.

While an integrated advertising and publicity campaign can work effectively together, to completely dismiss PR, I believe is not an effective strategy for any brand, and to do that would mean brands miss out on the power of publicity.

Here are some of the key benefits of PR –

  • PR is earned media – unlike advertising where you pay for exposure, publicity relies on the on the creation of a narrative around the brand/product that appeals to media (and in turn their audience), in a way where the journalist decides to pursue a story.
  • PR is credible – Because of the fact PR is earned, it is seen as more credible and authentic than a paid promotion, as the journalist is pursing the story on its merits.
  • PR is strategic – PR is not simply the creation of a media release and a fingers-crossed approach that media pick it up, but rather a multi-layered communications strategy where key messages are packaged in a way that will appeal to different media and their audiences.
  • PR is cost effective – PR enables different messages to be pushed across different media channels, allowing for multiple avenues of exposure.

Over the years, how to truly value secured PR coverage has always been an issue, the industry standard was conventionally to measure PR as worth at least x 2.5 the advertising value.  So an advertisement valued at $20K was evaluated at $50K if the same space was secured via PR, in an editorial form. While these measures are generally outdated now, the fact remains that publicity, when done effectively, is a powerful way to get brand messages out to audiences and ultimately create a story in the media.

The trick is finding a good PR agency….. #insideoutpr