Here is a post from Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman at Sonnhalter, discussing the value of PR. Small PR programs can yield big results.
The Value of PR
Don’t have the budget for an elaborate, integrated, multi-faceted public relations program? For smaller companies with more limited marketing communications budgets, a PR program that involves a minimal investment and enlists the basic PR tools can generate a huge return.
Measuring PR is a controversial topic, and the industry as a whole agrees that it is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately measure. Traditional metrics of volume and outputs, like ad equivalency and impressions, can provide a snapshot of the PR program’s effectiveness. Assuming the sentiment of the PR results is positive and the delivery is appropriate, right now these metrics are a useful indication of PR’s success. One could actually argue that completely earned space with credibility should actually be worth MORE than comparable ad space.
Of course, it is important to remember the media outlet’s relevance in reaching a company’s audience. While it can certainly be an “ego booster” to receive coverage in USA Today, many of our business-to-business [or as we like to call them, B2T, business-to-tradesmen] clients would be better suited to receive coverage in a targeted trade journal with a circulation of 3,000.
As an example, at Sonnhalter we have a smaller, long-standing industrial-focused client with a small PR budget. This client places a priority on PR initiatives over other marketing communication initiatives. In the past year, a basic press release program combined with a modest media relations effort garnered quite a bit of media coverage [if using the traditional metrics, it generated 1,000 percent of its PR investment], which increased brand and company visibility.
Recently this client acquired another company, and it turned to Sonnhalter for assistance in announcing this news to the industry. As its business continues to grow, so does its PR program. Proof that an effective PR program doesn’t always need a large investment.