Why a Press Release is Good for Public Relations
The first step to sales is trust
You have a great product, you’re excited about the prospects, and you’re ready for the orders to flow in. You have a website. You have brochures. You have sales people ready to help customers. Now you want to connect the customers to the business.
If the website isn’t effectively generating business leads, or if the brochures that are mailed or handed out to prospective customers fail to generate the interest, then it will be a long and tiresome journey for each salesperson to contact prospective customers one-at-a-time to entice an interest in the business, if they can at all.
Many times the burden of the company’s success falls on the efforts of the sales people. But what does the salesperson talk about when the customer is already receiving satisfactory quality, service, and prices from existing suppliers?
Sometimes the best intentioned website, brochure, and sales literature are ineffectively produced. Often the brochure contains images of equipment and machinery performing functions in a factory. The owner of the company is impressed but the customers are left yawning. Why? It is likely because the benefits to the customers were not explained well enough. There may be loads of features that explain how fast and how well the manufacturing process is going to produce a product, but the customer benefits of the features must be stressed.
Consider the valuable press release
Perhaps a step prior to generating sales and marketing materials would be to earn some credibility for your product or service in the way of public relations.
A good public relations effort will help your business earn the credibility you need to build a marketing and advertising campaign that will increase sales and expand your market share. An article in a publication (or better yet, several publications) that places value in your company’s solutions to problems that customers share, will award you the position of an expert, without attempting to sell but to inform and educate.
At this point it is not necessary to sell the company, but the idea that your company knows the problems customers have and that you know of some good solutions.
For example, it would be informative to explain the value of changing the oil and filter in a car every 3,000 miles to ensure smooth operation and long engine life with regular changes, resulting in fewer problems through the life of the car.
The brand of products or the name of the car maintenance company that performs the work is not the point of focus in the PR piece, just the value of the message. This informs and establishes the company’s position for solving or preventing problems, and supplies testimony to the value of the topic of the article.
An advertisement at this point should be a small statement. When sending out press release notices to editors of magazines that target a select group of readers, sometimes advertisements within the press release are edited out and will not appear when published.
Do not be alarmed because many times the publication will ask if you will want to place an advertisement in the magazine, and this could be a negotiating point in your favor when you do.
Your sales team will then have plenty of topics to talk with clients and customers about. The article and/or the advertisement that is in the magazine(s) are a good way to open doors to new prospects.
The point is to expose your solution to your customers’ problems as the valuable information that it is, not because you want to sell them something but that the information and knowledge is helpful to them.
Building trust will open more possibilities to you and your business. Your sales and marketing efforts will only improve because of it.
With a foundation of credibility to build upon, every company’s marketing efforts, whether electronic, print, broadcast, or personal, will greatly improve. The results of more sales and greater market share because of the trust that is generated through good public relations compounds the synergistic energies that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Simply stated, the more credibility that is generated the more effective the advertising, marketing, and sales efforts, which leads to more credibility, and the circle of influence continues to grow.
Basic public relations is the most important element in a business’s marketing success no matter how large, and can make the difference between an expensive advertising campaign and an effective one costing much less.
The advantage of public relations over advertising is that it’s inexpensive. When a newspaper or magazine publishes an article about your company, it is free.
Where advertising is sometimes seen as a nuisance or intrusion, public relations is welcomed. Also, people believe what they read in newspapers and magazines in the form of editorial or news, where as advertising is viewed warily.
A good review or favorable story appears as media endorsement to the public. If a magazine prints flattering or complimentary things about you or your company, it gives credibility to your business.
Advertising can be expensive where public relations are inexpensive, and many small or medium size businesses can do more PR for less, and likely achieve better results.
Press releases are at the control of the magazine editor, and the press release may be edited if used at all. When you pay for advertising you have control of the size, content, color, and timing of the ad.
A short, well-written press release with the right angle or a good hook is the most effective tool – nothing beats them for results.