Successful companies combine PR and advertising, using PR to build their credibility, increase consumers’ awareness and drive sales. A company can advertise throughout the whole spectrum of the media and not see results, while one quality media placement can lead to results no one would have dreamed.
My PR firm, Wasabi Publicity, recently placed author Don Goewey in Outside magazine. As a result, Don’s book shot from an overall ranking of above 250,000 to just over 6000, and it hit No. 2 on its way to No.1 in his category on Amazon.com.
Most firms calculate the value of a placement by starting with the price of ad space in the publication, and then adding value for that all-important intangible — credibility. Industry standard is to multiply the ad price by 10. At Wasabi we’re conservative and only multiply the price by a power of three. Even by our conservative estimate, the value of this placement rolls in at $260,000. But a $260,000 ad won’t necessarily sell a book. Goewey’s credibility spiked after the placement, driving his sales.
There’s a notion that it takes seven touches before a consumer finally buys a product. PR increases the quality of touches, by offering a variety of exposure. If a consumer sees an ad for a product, then reads an article or interview with a business owner who discusses the product, the consumer’s awareness of the product is increased along with the product’s credibility. Seeing an ad seven different times won’t necessarily sell a consumer on a product, but seeing the product in a variety of respected places and ways will.
When a company builds credibility and increases awareness for its products, they will ultimately see a boost in sales. Exposure in the media will always be a cost-effective way to increase the consumer’s awareness of a product and build up its credibility.
Whether it’s a placement with a top tier media outlet like Outside or an interview with a local radio station, when you gain the media’s attention you will gain their audience’s — consumer’s — ear as well. With PR, just like advertising, it’s important to know who your target audience is. If you find your potential consumers, then go after them in a variety of ways, you’ll see results.