The beauty of PR has always been the personal way it connects a message with its audience. Like a trendy necklace photographed on your favourite actress or a trusted restaurant reviewer‘s critical praise, putting your message in the right place at the right time will determine its value in the eye of the beholder.All publicity is said to be good publicity, but gaining popularity is just one piece of the puzzle. While this may be true for celebrities or campaigns designed solely to garner attention. If you are a business trying to get the best results for promoting your services or products, it is imperative that the message be one that connects with your target audience and instills in them the sense of value that would drive them to choose you.
Advertising has always been for selling, where PR tells a story. Effectively utilizing the media as a trusted third party source to spread awareness has always been a vital way to gain trust and credibility. Media outlets have a vested interest in reporting the truth about products and services. Where as, advertising is a direct message between you and your customer and the content can often be suspect.
Times though are changing and the one time “tete a tete” between the PR and advertising worlds has found a new player to compete with. Welcome the boom of social media, an opportunity to spread your own detailed information exactly as you see fit. No longer are you dependent on someone else to paraphrase and spread a watered down version of your message. Developing your own custom content tells the story that traditional advertising never could and it puts you back in control.
Who wins? While social media has given people the power to promote themselves, the fundamental flaw is the businesses that stand to benefit the most from a great social media platform are the ones that are successful at something other then promoting themselves. Businesses are turning away from traditional advertising methods as a way to cut costs and in turn are receiving a lackluster response to their own mediocre social media campaigns.
Advertising on the other hand will always have its place. Even though social media has significantly cut into the advertising worlds revenue stream, as long as people are buying there will be businesses driving sales by putting their messages anywhere and everywhere.
What is a business to do? If no one ever hears about your business how will they know to come? Should you go it alone in the complex world of social networks and digital messaging or invest your marketing budget into traditional advertising that can no longer stand on it’s own and the promises of ROI?
Enter content marketing, the prettier and younger sister to advertorial who made a name for herself as media heavyweights first fought to find space within their precious editorial while competing with up-and-coming digital powerhouses. It was budgets that first shifted away from traditional advertising channels, as companies delved into the world of custom content and social media.
In an attempt to close the floodgates, advertorial was born, to bring substance to traditional advertisements and meet the needs of a consumer adapting to new sources of information. When these consumers started to shift away almost exclusively is when things began to change.
While everyone can agree that PR has always been the best outlet to garner industry respect and gain a credible reputation amongst consumers, the single point of issue has only been a business’s inability to completely control the message as media outlets had final say on what was said. That is, until now.
Custom content, once reserved for airline magazines and theatre playbills, has found new life in the hands of PR agencies with the new found leverage to push their now news worthy content directly into the editorial pages of even the most respected media outlets.
The same custom content that also holds top wrung status, filling the pages of go-to websites, blogs and social networks.
In the hands of a professional this paid and earned media exposure, accompanied by custom content that is optimized for web searches and a network of consumers interested in learning more about you, is invaluable.
So who wins? The businesses that partner with creative and connected PR agencies who believe in integrated marketing solutions. PR agencies can build custom content that will impact your target market and know the ways to ensure it reaches them.
Carefully crafted, custom content delivered through traditional advertising methods, cutting edge digital networks and PR channels that suit your business goals will build and maintain the relationships with your target audience required to succeed.
Having the tools to develop a digital campaign is one thing but having a professional team that can implement a strategy that suits your business goals is another. PR agencies are a force to be reckoned with in the new digital age where technology plays a pivotal roll in a landscape thats foundation was built on the relationship between the public and the products.