Cost Effective Marketing: The Press Release
are popping up all over the place, suggesting ways to do business when
the economy softens. By virtue of these articles popping up are we to
assume that the economy has in fact taken a turn down? Most will agree
that this is somewhat the case and businesses have been affected.
Regardless of the economists and statisticians, all businesses, large
or small, printing or related, encounter some type of cycle where
business is not as robust as a previous period.
happens, the experts will suggest cost cutting. All of the layoffs we
read about today are ways to do this. Budgets are analyzed and gone
over with fine toothcombs. Discretionary spending is cut. Overhead is
sliced. Unnecessary programs are abandoned. Companies sometimes have
the mentality to save themselves to prosperity.
these measures do work in a lot of cases there are some cautions. It
has been observed that one area of cutbacks that companies often make
in these situations is marketing. Do we really need to place that next
series of advertisements? Do we really need to hold that open house?
Do we really need our direct mail program to run that frequently? Is
adding to our sales force added cost or truly an investment for a
longer-term return? These are the questions that result related to
cost cutting and marketing.
My offer to you is that the answers to the above hypothetical
questions are yes, yes, yes and yes, an investment for longer term
returns. Because it is easy many will answer no, no, no and yes an
can be very cost effective.
determining the effectiveness of various marketing vehicles and
techniques, it's always good to look at the low cost, simple items.
Getting the highest return on investment is obviously important and
starting with low cost, high impact items will increase the rate of
that return. Talented promoters and marketers use a variety of
techniques that, at times may seem complex, but are really simple.
said that Publicity is free advertising. The true part of this
statement is, the space that publicity is placed in, is usually free
of charge. Some public relations campaigns can be costly from the
standpoint of development and execution. For the smaller printing
companies and the online marketer, these costs are low compared to
national consumer brand awareness publicity campaigns.
newspapers, TV, radio, and magazines hand out millions of
dollars in FREE publicity. A lot of these stories also end up
"on-line". If you have a good "story", news or information to share,
an editor somewhere will jump at the chance to use your material. Your
name, brand, company and solutions can be spread to thousands of
people over night. And the cost? Zero.
out a press release can be the single most effective advertising
vehicle--with the smallest amount of effort and cost--providing the
press release is well-written, newsworthy, with an angle or a hook,
that is appealing to both editors and readers.
The effectiveness of PR depends upon how well your development and
execution is carried out, who your target is and what your message is.
marketers, in printing companies large and small are very successful
using press releases. Newsworthy press releases are almost considered
reporting in the journalistic sense. In fact, many a reporter has
stated, " I am a reporter, not a writer".
release (sometimes called a news release) is simply an announcement
about a company, a product or service, an event or anything else
newsworthy. Press releases are sent to the media, by professional
distribution services or by the individual companies writing the
releases. A well-written, newsworthy press release can result in tons
of free exposure of your company in newspapers, magazines, tv/radio
and online. For example, one Chicago suburban, small, commercial
printer offered a relocating Fortune 200 company, free printing, if
they chose Chicagoland as their destination. Two press releases
"reporting" this generated thousands of dollars of free press;
sometimes even landing front-page newspaper articles, (for more
details on this contact the author).
The key to
a good press release, including the above example, is making it
newsworthy, and including a "media hook." If you're confident about
your company's professional writing skills, you can write it yourself
or you can hire someone to write it for you. Consider hiring a PR
consultant, professional writer, college student, or anyone you know
who has good writing skills. You can also hire a press release
distribution service to write and distribute your release.
"target" your press release. If your release is about a new printing
technology that you've discovered, and you send your release to
editors of sports related magazines, you will be viewed as an amateur
and the probability of your press release being published approaches
I will leave you with:
reasons writing a press release for your business
is extremely important:
"News stories" always get more attention, credibility, and
response than "ads".
Very little time spent for large potential return.
Opens many doors for business opportunities.
Establishes you or your company as an expert, a leader and a
business with great credibility.
releases can give you publicity in the various media that you could
never buy for money. It also seems that good publicity is often much
more reliable and trustworthy, these days, than advertising.
drawbacks of course, just like anything else. The problem with press
releases and "free" publicity is that you can't control when and where
they are published. Some editors work well with publicists; others
ignore them. Developing editor relationships is a long and arduous
task. Leave it to the professionals. It can pay off.
The key to
marketing, besides the fact that it is made up of many many little
things, is that those little things happen on a consistent basis.
A consistent program of hitting the media with press releases is
almost ideal and very cost effective. This consistency goes a long way
in creating identity and awareness with a product, brand, company or
person and will provide a high return on this low cost investment.
publicity is the ultimate in cost effectiveness. You get results when
you are organized and persistent.
hard to quantify the precise results of press releases, one thing
leads to another, including new and valuable contacts, exposure,
prospects and eventual customers.
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