Which One? A Press Release, A Feature Article Or A High Impact Direct
on or offline are always looking for that panacea. Some find it and
are very successful, earning thousands of dollars seemingly at will.
They sometimes are very talented promoters that use a variety of
classic marketing techniques that are complex yet simple, but
sometimes they are the small online netrepreneur without years of
marketing experience. Any marketer can use the classic, simple
marketing techniques and be just as successful.
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. Today, netrepreneurs are chasing the high rankings in
search engines and the best e-zine advertising. While these methods
are very effective, they can be time consuming, costly and not
necessarily for the beginner or smaller company. In due time they are
both necessary but budget sensitivity must be considered, and of
course the return on the investment. Remember, the talented promoters
us a variety of techniques that, at times may seem complex, but are
often 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 businesses
and the online marketer, these costs are low compared to national
consumer brand awareness publicity campaigns.
looking at publicity and direct customer contact, there are three
vehicles often considered: the press release, the feature article
and a high impact, direct sales letter. Which one is the best of these
three? What are the different types of effectiveness that can be
expected from these vehicles?
it has to be assumed that all marketers are different. The answers to
the above questions may be generalized to address the masses. It is
realized however that the effectiveness of PR depends upon how well
your development and execution is carried out, who your target is and
what your message is.
instance, someone might be good at writing high impact, direct,
hard hitting sales letters, that really ask for the order but
really bad at writing press releases.
exact opposite might be true for someone else that is not used to a
sales intensive environment. The writing of sales letters takes a high
level of creativity to get the selling message across to the reader in
high impact fashion. It typically is not written as if we were
speaking, thus a different writing style is required compared to other
marketers, in companies on and off-line, primarily use press
releases, and they are very successful doing so. Press releases
generally are newsworthy. News and announcements entail a different
writing style than sales letters. Newsworthy press releases are almost
considered reporting in the journalistic sense. Many a reporter has
stated, " I am a reporter, not a writer".
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.
are 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.
marketers primarily rely on the feature article approach to
getting their name visible. Feature articles are the most prose like
of the above-mentioned vehicles. This is the style we all learn in our
development years and a style that we are all used to. Still some
people are creatively challenged and still need the help of a
articles can be a fantastic tool for getting "free" publicity for
products, brands people or businesses. Whether an editor chooses to
accept them, publish them or discard them is beyond the control of the
writer or publicist. Of course, here again, relationships with the
editors help, but control truly is limited. One of the indirect
benefits of an article is the gracious reception that can be received
from current customers and targeted prospects when the article is sent
to them. Customers like to feel informed and appreciate the attention
you pay them by sending them information. Usually in the bio paragraph
at the conclusion of the article is a way for readers to contact the
writer. Sometimes even a very subtle sales message is included.
worry about which one is best or most effective? Why limit a marketing
campaign to just one of these vehicles, especially if they are
categorized as lower cost?
most effective campaign is to let press releases, feature articles and
sales letters (direct response advertising) complement each other.
This three-pronged approach is not only lower cost than paid
advertising, it is considered by the experts to be of high efficiency.
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, filling the content of publications, (e-zines, online and
offline newsletters, etc.) with feature articles and crafting direct
sales letters for website content and direct mail and email programs
is almost ideal. This consistency goes a long way in creating identity
and awareness with a product, brand, company or person and will
provide the highest return on this low cost investment.
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