Creative campaigns attract attention
By Henry DeVries
Advertisers bet heavily on the recent Super Bowl. And lost, in our opinion.
With the average 30-second spot costing more than $2 million, you have to hope these companies weren’t investing all of their marketing budgets in advertising to build awareness. Because there is a better solution.
Marketing public relations is the creative use of newsworthy events, publications, social investments, community relations and other means to raise awareness, build traffic and otherwise distinguish a company and its products from its competitors.
To be newsworthy, a company and its products must identify with the needs, wants, concerns and interests of its customers. In other words, hard work.
Marketing public relations doesn’t replace advertising, but many savvy, marketers are shifting increasing portions of their budgets to the art of being newsworthy.
In a front-page story, the The Wall Street Journal commented on the cost advantage of public relations over advertising, noting that “ a PR budget of $500,000 is considered huge, while an ad budget that size is considered tiny.”
Companies can buy a full year’s marketing public relations program for the cost of a single, 30-second, prime-time TV spot. These same economies hold true for local marketing campaigns.
Another reason for the shift is the increased attention potential customers, be they consumer or business-to-business, pay to coverage in the media. No less an advertising authority than noted author David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather pointed out: “Roughly six times as many people read the average article as read the average advertisement. Very few advertisements are read by more than one reader in 20.”
Another fact to consider is that some things in life are not for sale at any price. You can’t buy the Mona Lisa. You can’t buy the Grand Canyon. You can’t buy an ad on the front page of the The Wall Street Journal. But marketing public relations can get you there.
Creating awareness is what marketing public relations does best, but it has its drawbacks. You can’t control the timing and the message like you can with advertising. But in the long run, nothing is mores cost effective at building awareness.