There’s a time-worn saying that goes something like this – “a business without marketing is a well-kept secret.”
Marketing Directors know they need to actively search for people who have a problem your business can solve – and the ability to pay. They use the limitless targeting data provided by social media and paid online advertising to build beautifully tailored targeting. They hire designers, create a great campaign concept, run a few tests, then turn on the juice.
And – something happens. But often, it’s nothing seismic. Your audience grows a little. You bring a few people through your funnel, converting them to customers. But most people still don’t know you – or trust you – especially overseas. Time to try PR.
Marketing vs. PR
Business communication can be thought of as a blend of paid, earned, social, and owned content. When you use your owned and social channels to talk about yourself – that’s marketing.
PR, on the other hand, is earned. It’s the process of getting other people to talk about you. Instead of blog posts, landing pages, and adverts, PR takes place in pitch emails, thought leadership articles, and press releases. A story written about your company – by a respected journalist – in an industry media – is PR.
What does PR look like?
PR stands for public relations – and there are many ways a PR professional can build relationships with the public. You can host events, pull off publicity stunts, become a spokesperson for a contentious topic, and many more.
We feel the smartest, most efficient thing for businesses without corporate budgets to do is focus on the Press Relations angle of PR. Connect with media and journalists that your audience trusts and respects. When these people write about you, they endorse you as a credible operator to the public that follows them.
How PR boosts marketing
But don’t think of PR as a fuzzy thing with little impact on the rest of your comms. Every article you score, every thought-leadership piece that gets published can be shared through all your marketing channels.
Instead of constantly saying how awesome you are, PR shows your audience other people think you’re awesome too. It’ll bring more purpose into your comms, as the in-depth stories that matter to you will be told.
How to do PR right
Remember, while marketing is pretty instant, it takes time to build trust with the media. Don’t think of PR as “one and done” campaigns that take a couple of weeks. PR is an ongoing process of building credibility over several months with multiple outlets.
Also, a journalist’s job is not to sell your business – it is to share valuable information with their readers. The quickest way to ruin our relationship with the media is to spam them with marketing-style messages about your latest product or service.
PR is the tool that gets other people talking about you. It can build bridges overseas by showcasing you in international, respected publications. It gives you a new channel to tell stories with purpose. And it gives your marketing some added variety and authenticity points.
We’ve been working with people across Finland’s startup and growth company communities for the past 11 years to help them tell purpose-driven stories through PR. Click below to find out how we can help your company with its PR strategy and execution.