Determining if PR is worth an investment or not is an important concern for a small business as it wants to see results and growth quickly with a limited budget. This comes down to one metric….the ‘Return on Investment’. Otherwise put, ‘Does the money you spend on PR increase your business by at least the same amount?’
PR is a key component of your marketing plan
PR should be seen as a key component of the marketing plan of any small business, sitting alongside advertising, e-mail campaigns, sales initiatives and social media. It focuses on getting your brand recognised by your target market, through the voice of trusted influencers and journalists.
Typically, a small business should use about 10% of its marketing budget on the PR element. There is never any guarantee that a journalist will pick up a story and run with it, so committing too much of a budget to it could be a poor strategy. Ignoring the PR side though would be an equally poor strategy.
'PR is worth 3 times the value of an ad'
The difference between PR and the other components of marketing is the independent trusted voice promoting the business, and it is generally accepted that this is about three times as valuable than a business profiling itself through the likes of advertising and mass email distribution.
To get the best value for the business from PR the secret is to ensure that the story distributed to journalists is of sufficient interest that it gets covered, and this involves getting the timing right, so that the story is linked to other trending news, getting the content right, so that it is sufficiently captivating, and ensuring that it is sent to relevant journalists.
This is where businesses generally need most help, and look to engage a PR Agency, which is often where they find the costs to be prohibitive, and as a result they end up omitting PR from their marketing.
What affordable solutions do small businesses have?
PR is actually completely manageable internally. As an alternative to PR agencies, businesses can just as easily use an online platform at a fraction of the price. This can make PR very affordable, requiring little budget provided the business owner is prepared to commit some time to the process.
Set aside the costs and potential impact of advertising and mass market marketing campaigns though, this investment of time is well worth the effort.
In simple terms, any small business ignoring PR is potentially missing a material opportunity. For the smart ones, PR is very much worth it.
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Written by: Peter Ibbetson, Company Director
As one of the co-founders of JournoLink PR, Peter is passionate about giving small businesses a voice in the press by providing them with the support and advice to do just tha