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Lack of investment in PR

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“I don’t spend money on anything that’s not direct response.  My budget is tight.  I have to see every penny pay off.”

We hear those excuses from a lot of marketers, and it worries us.  Fact is, we’ve seen plenty of data – formal research studies and anecdotal evidence – revealing that if prospects don’t know enough about your brand, they are far less likely to respond to your direct response marketing.

Frankly, very few CFOs or CEOs in sales-driven companies really understand or support PR, aside from the ego placement (I want my name in the WSJ!)

Nevertheless, the fact is, MarketingSherpa research data indicates that trade show speeches, print magazines and online magazines are the top three marketing factors – aside from word of mouth — that truly influence more than a third of business purchasing decisions.

You can do all the email, podcasting, Webinars, white papers, paid search marketing, telemarketing, etc. that you want.  None of it may be as influential as a raving story in a trade magazine about your brand.

Let’s face it – what would you trust – marketing copy or reporters’ stories?  An advertisement or a best-of rating from a trade magazine?

If you can’t get the budget to hire a great external PR person, try starting a black ops operation in-house using a freelancer or even a college intern.

There are plenty of PR students in universities near you.)  Track everything carefully — much easier these days with free Net services, such as PubSub.

And then, present at the next quarterly management meeting with an eye to getting a real budget assigned.

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