Steps to Management Success – Step 23: Advertising is Good, Publicity Is Better

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010


Advertising is Good, Publicity Is Better

Much can be said in the debate as to which is better—advertising or public relations. An advertising executive will tell you that PR offers short-term impact whereas advertising is more strategic. A PR executive will counter that good PR will offer both strategic and immediate impact. It’s become apparent though: put your money on the promotional power of publicity every time.

WHAT IT MEANS: Publicity requires a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. Let’s face it, the world is deluged with advertising. The average person is subjected to thousands of advertising impressions each day. Unless you have the budget for a major advertising campaign, your message is just not likely to break through all that clutter. There’s also an ever-worsening credibility problem. People tend not to believe ads because they know those ads are only there to sell them something. On the other hand, when people read what they perceive as legitimate news sources, they view that information as more objective and reliable. What they (and you) may not realize is that a good amount of the non-hard news comes from press releases and publicists doing their jobs—so if you have a product or service that is newsworthy, you can often get people to know about it for free.

ACTION PLAN: Issue press releases on a regular basis. Develop a media list of local press and relevant trade periodicals. Keep in mind that journalists are looking for news, not just self-serving hype, so make their job easier—and positive results more likely—by developing interesting story angles to go with your press releases.

EVEN BETTER: Plan an event to which you invite others in your industry—and the press. Trade shows are an excellent opportunity for this. You can seize the moment by introducing a new product or making some other type of major PR splash. And it’s a great way to further develop your media contacts.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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